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Page last edited on 12 March, 2003

A Muslim's Letter to Americans

Islam holds that all of creation must be respected and cared for with love, a sentiment shared by Christians that love the sinner but hate the sin.

According to Islam, the simmilarities between the world's religions are not coincidence: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ismail, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus, Muhammad (the last messenger) (Peace Be Upon Them) and many others are among prophets of God. All the Prophets were sent with the message of Islam. But, over time their message was changed and distorted. God swore to protect the words in the Quran. Though it was revealed over 1400 years ago through the prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), it has not changed.

All the prophets were informed that the name of the One and Only God is Allah, a word without gender or plural, just as God is One and has no gender. (The pro-noun 'He' is used to connote Allah, in English-translations because the closest approximation to an all-powerful genderless one is Stephen Kings "It", which has inappropriate negative connotations) It is interesting to note that Allah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic. Aramaic, a predecessor and contemporary of Hebrew, was also a major contributor to Greek which in turn contributed heavily to Latin, which is why today Alleluia sounds suspiciously like Allah-leu-yah. Early Jews, Christians and Muslims used the same word for God because there is only ONE GOD. We are told in the Quran to "say 'We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you; our God and your God is One" (Quran 29:46) 

In the case of Christianity, Muslims believe that some of the early followers of Jesus (peace be upon him) under the pressure of unbearable persecution, altered the True religion he preached to make it more acceptable to the Romans and pagans they preached to. Muslims do not believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) ever established a church hierarchy and that those who established it, wished to mirror the government of the Roman empire. The original Bible was the word of God, but that parts of the Bible were changed. See: http://www.angelfire.com/fl/religions/jesus.html it's a table of similar quotes from the Bible and Quran concerning Jesus (peace be upon him) {the selective quotes follow a theme similar to Unitarian interpretations of the Bible, I recognize that there are other interpretations, including the view that only those in positions of authority at the Vatican should be interpreting Biblical verses, but I offer this as one view on the matter}

Just to clarify, the most basic Muslim beliefs are: There is one all knowing, all powerful God, Allah closer to us than the beating of our own heart and with more love for us than a mother for her child. As custodians of Creation, en-trusted with free-will and the ability to reason, we are accountable for what we control, our intentions, deeds and omissions. We must humbly seek Truth and Justice in all that we do, opposing tyranny, giving what Allah has provided for the less fortunate, because all life is sacred and all creations, deserving of mercy, kindness, generosity and understanding. We must remember that no heart with an ounce of arrogant pride will enter Paradise and that no-one is a believer until they love for their fellow humans what they love for themselves. "Let there be no compulsion in religion" (Quran 2:256), and treat all faiths with respect because they all originated with Allah. Every gender, race, and person is equal in the sight of Allah and we are distinguished only by our virtue. Humility, kindness, self-control, honesty, and patience, are repeatedly emphasized in the Quran. The prophet (peace be upon him) said: "My Sustainer has given me 8 commands: to remain conscious of God, whether in private or in public; to speak justly, whether angry or pleased; to show moderation both when poor and when rich; to reunite friendship with those who have broken off with me; to give to him who refuses me; that my silence should be occupied with thought; that my looking should be an admonition (to myself); and that I should command what is right" We must live in balance, with the realities of the present, guided by the principles of the divine, based in the Hereafter. 

Allah realizes we have human frailities, that we do not always glide smoothly along the straight path, instead we often stumble and trip. Life is a struggle not towards the attainment of perfect faith, but the maintenance of perfect faith. Allah is all forgiving , all merciful. Allah runs 70 steps towards us for every step we walk towards the straight path. It's never too late to repent or atone, it's never too late to make things right if you're sincere and do not knowingly persist in sin. Similarly we have been told to forgive, to make 70 excuses for another before we suspect them of anything and then to forgive them. 

We should follow the example of Muhammad (peace be upon him) by being more tolerant, patient and loving towards all creation. We should advise, not argue, offering counsel, not complaint, listening more and not blaming anyone (blaming is judgemental, Allah is the judge and we should not try to supercede Him, with our own judgement). For 13 years in pre-Islamic Mecca, Muhammad (peace be upon him) patiently and peacefully voiced his opposition while enduring persecution, torture, boycotts, the murder of his companions, repeated attepts on his life and non-stop public humiliation. During those 13 years Muhammad (peace be upon him) would kindly greet and give gifts to his neighbor, who everyday laid thorns in his path, threw garbage on him, poured camel dung on him while he prayed at the Kabba and insulted him loudly in public. Muhammad (peace be upon him) was known as 'Al-Amin' or the truthfull one, even among his enemies. When the Jewish tribes of Medina had a dispute, it was Muhammad (peace be upon him) that they called upon to arbitrate for them. 

When Muhammad (peace be upon him) tried to lead his people to safety away from the persecution in pre-Islamic Mecca, the Meccans appropriated all the Muslims' possessions and sent their army and dogs to kill them. When this did not work, the Meccans formed coalitions with neighboring cities to attack and destroy the Muslim camps. When a non-Muslim urinated in the corner of the his Mosque, Muhammad (peace be upon him) stopped his companions from treating him roughly and gently and privately explained to the errant urinator that he was in a holy place and that there were other more appropriate locations for urination. When his companions were mis-guided about sonmething or argued with him, he never raised his voice, but rather he took them aside and explained calmly the reasons for their mistake. When Muhammad (peace be upon him) conquered Mecca, the city of his birth, that had tortured him, killed his people, stolen all the Muslims' possesions and repeatedly attepted to kill him, he forgave everyone in the city, lowered the taxes due and ordered that no one was to be harmed and no loot was to be taken (he did this, at a time when it was standard practice for conquering armies to kill all those that opposed them and plunder the riches of the population)

The fundamental message of Islam was one of pursuing knowledge. It was Jahiliya or Ignorance that Islam saught to end. The pursuit of knowledge is a never ending journey and life long learning is a responsibility upon every Muslim. It's not a coincidence that the first word revealed to the prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him ) was "read". Ilm or knowledge is praised in over 300 verses in the Quran and is the second most common word in the Quran, after Allah. The prophet ( peace be upon him) said "Seeking knowledge is a (religious) duty on every Muslim" and advised his companions to seek knowldege wherever it may be. We are called upon to seek truth even if we have to travel to the farthest reaches of the Earth. Never stop learning, thinking, questioning. Every experience, good or bad, has a purpose. Every person has something to teach. Knoweldege doesn't just come from books, it comes from experience and perhaps most importantly, it comes from respecting the experience of others. Islam is an Arabic word, whose roots Silm and Salam, mean peace, purity, acceptance and commitment. Islam was not named after a person, group or place. Islam was named for an idea, the idea that Mankind through understanding their position in the grand scheme of things, may find Peace with themselves, their Creator, other people and the environment. Knowledge is not about filling an empty bucket, it's about lighting a fire, that burns with the Truth of an idea who's time has come, who's flame brings every soul from darkness into light, clarity and Truth.

Ideas are precious. An idea is the only lever which moves the world -Arthur F. Corey

One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions -Oliver Wedell Holmes 

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -Galileo Galilei 

Islam specifically asks that we NOT have blind faith, but rather use our God given gifts of reason and free-will to study all of creation, understand its glory and realize that it was not an accident. We feel that by profoundly understanding any given discipline one could see the vast interconnectedness of our reality. This holistic, gestalt approach to knowledge is diametrically opposed to the Western model of 'separate spheres' utilizing superficial analysis, symbolized by the laundry list approach to teaching and testing in the US. This philosophy has contributed to many environmental and societal problems seen in the West. 

The Quran states: "We shall show them our signs on the horizons and within themselves until it is clear to them that it is the Truth...." The signs of Allah are all around us. Think about it. If the Earth was 1% closer to the sun, wed all be burnt to a crisp and if we were 1% farther wed be freeze-dried. Our bodies are so carefully caliberated that in every second, with every heartbeat and every breath, all the systems of our anatomy work together to keep us alive. Everything in this world is in balance, everything exists in a perfectly delicate harmony. It is this harmony and balance that we are called upon to emulate in our own lives. Islam has always been about moderation, balance, and taking the middle road. This idea has been expressed by many non-Muslims, as well. The 18th century English poet William Blake sought to show his audience the hand of the divine in the world around them, "To see the World in a grain of sand, And Heaven in a wild flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour..." 

Muslims believe in an all-powerfull, all-knowing Lord that has no partners, no son (Jesus and Ezra (peace be upon them) were prophets), or other family relations. Muslims believe the Creator is not like any of creation and that we are not able to imagine the True form of our Lord. Muslims do not believe in 'original sin' or a 'chosen people' favored from birth or that anyone can "die for our sins". Muslims believe that "two wrongs don't make a right" and that the Lord would not require the torture and blood sacrifice of our spiritual leader by those that oppose our philosophy, in exchange for forgiveness. We believe that everyone is held individually responsible for their own intentions and that no one can intercede on their behalf. (no priest, bishop, Pope or anyone else can allow special dispensations) Forgiveness should be sought from those who were wronged and directly from the Creator. 

Since this 'Attack on America' began many have expressed strongly Anti-Islamic positions, but not shared the reasoning behind their convictions. Explaining the reasons for our firm beliefs, helps others to relate to our understanding of events. Many have been deeply moved by the tragedies that occured this week and it is understandable that in the height of our emotional suffering we may say things that others may not completely understand. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and especially those who have been hurt by recent incidents have a justifiable need to express their anger. Perhaps through clarifying our views we can come towards a national consensus to repel these attacks through a show of national and maybe international unity. 

I feel it would be wrong for me to ask others to clarify their views, without doing so myself. 

When I learned of the events that had occurred I experienced a rush of emotions. I felt pain, sadness and anger when I viewed the horrible images of death and destruction that crazed individuals brought to innocent Americans, disrupting our daily lives and robbing us of our sense of security. It is apparent by the timing and nature of the attack that the perpetrators intended to maximize civilian fatalities. Some of my friends are missing. This tragedy has made its mark on my life. The change in the New York City skyline is the smallest effect this terrorism has had upon American lives. I encourage everyone to generously donate their time, wealth and blood to help the victims of this tragedy. This attack is a threat to the freedom and security of everyone in the world. The hate that would lead any group to plan, support or defend such actions must be swiftly extinguished. Our hearts are broken, but our will is stronger than before with a renewed sense of purpose and unified resolve. 

Whether we use covert or open military force, we must be careful not to play into the hands of these monsters. From the world-wide expressions of condemnation, condolence and support, it is clear that this terrorist action is deplored by over 99% of the world's population. The vast majority of the world's countries have pledged to support the US in finding those responsible. If we fall into the trap of scapegoating ethnic or religious groups, we risk alienating our supporters, sending them into the eager hands of the terrorists. Currently Turkey, the Arab states, the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union with Muslim majorities, Pakistan as well as the 57 countries of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Countries) have pledged their support to the US in destroying those responsible for this tragedy. Muslims world wide have sent out condolences expressing their deep sorrow for the victims of this cowardly terrorist attack. The governments of all majority Muslim nations have condemned the tragedy that has befallen the US and American Muslim Groups have issued a joint statement of condemnation, "American Muslims utterly condemn what are apparently vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Americans in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No Political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts" There is no cause that justifies this type of an immoral and inhumane act that has affected so many innocent American lives and we support all efforts of the investigation in order to track down the people responsible for this tragic act of terrorism.

If we send our forces to carpet bomb areas, we will kill mainly the civilians that are least prepared to deal with military attacks, while the well trained terrorists will be able to escape un-harmed. We must find all those responsible, isolate them (without harming civilians) and verify their destruction, without turning them into martyrs. If we take a "kill them all, big and small" stance, then the Muslim majority states will believe the extremists' arguments that the West does not care about civilians outside its borders and feel pressured to join with the terrorists in opposing the unfair slaughter of their civilians. We would have no moral hi-ground: they killed our innocent civilians by the thousands, so we kill other innocent civillians, in response. 

It is important to remember the foundations upon which America was founded. It is our principles of Justice and Freedom that seperate us from the terrorists that attack us. There are Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Arab-Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Catholic-Americans and Muslim-Americans, but they are all Americans. America is a land built and populated by immigrants. All Americans were at one point immigrants that came to this land seeking freedom and opportunity. They paid America the highest compliment that any one could give: they in essence say through their actions that they believe so strongly in the principles of America that they would like to leave the land of their birth and start over spending the rest of their lives in America. As Americans they stand together for the same values: that every person regardless of their faith or ethnicity has the same rights, freedoms and opportunities. 

There were over 1,000 Muslims employed at the World Trade center and hundreds of them are missing. Muslims have lost families, neighbors and friends. Muslims have felt the pain, anguish and loss that have entered the lives of all Americans, of all faiths. These Muslims are also Americans, they love their country, most struggled for years to come to the land of freedom and they detest those that have attacked it. Many of the volunteering rescuers and relief workers are Muslim. Muslim groups are organizing fundraisers, blood-drives and scheduling volunteers to assist the victims. 

These extremists are not following the principles of Islam. I've heard reports that the suspected Hijackers were known to drink heavily in stripper bars. Islam forbids drinking and scantily clad women, yet these hijackers are supposedly religious. 

Islam holds all Life sacred and only allows killing as a means of defense for society, "whosoever kills a human for other than manslaughter or corruption in the Earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind" (Quran 5:32) Christains and Jews are respected and honored in the Quran as "people of the book", and Muslims are encouraged to befriend them "you will find the nearest in love to the believing Muslims those who say: 'We are Christians' " (Quran 5:82); "And of the people of Moses there is a community who lead with truth and establish justice therewith" (Quran 7:159) The Quran recognizes all Mankind as a single family distinguished only by virtue, "O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another (not despise eachother) and verily, the best among you is the most righteous" (Quran 49:13) 

Islam does not fight other religions, believing that all should be free to choose in a free and open marketplace of ideas: "There is no compulsion in religion, the Truth stands clear from falsehood" (Quran 2:256) "To you your religion, and to me my religion" (Quran 109:6). The Quran tells Muslims that all faiths worship the same Lord, "say 'We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you; our God and your God is One" (Quran 29:46) No individual or group can claim monopoly of God's mercy or deny it to others, "those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord" (Quran 2:62) Throughout the Muslim world, churches, synagogues and missionary schools were built within Muslim neighborhoods. These places were protected by Muslims even during the contemporary crises in the Middle East. 

Christians and Jews lived peacefully with Muslims for centuries in the Middle East and other Asian and African countries. The Muslims are and have been entrusted, with the key to the Oldest Church in Jerusalem for well over 1000 years. In 1492, the Jews were expelled from Spain as a result of the victory of Ferdinand and Isabella over the Muslims. Contrary to previous promises, it was made illegal for Muslims and Jews to practice their religion. Then they were condemned to death or expulsion if they did not convert to Catholicism. Many Jews chose to go to Turkey, then the seat of the Islamic Caliphate and were generously received, the Sultan mocked Ferdinand and Isabella's expulsion of the Jews by saying, "They impoverished their kingdom and enriched mine." 

If there is no struggle there is no progress -Frederick Douglass 

The fear of death keeps us from living, not from dying -Paul C. Roud, "Making Miracles"

The term "holy war" was coined in Europe during the Crusades, meaning the war against Muslims. Jihad is derived from the Arabic word 'Jahada', which means 'to be diligent' or 'to make an effort'. The English word closest in meaning to Jihad is struggle. There are two types of Jihad. One is the outer struggle to end tyranny and the other is the inward struggle to stay at peace and resist temptation. 

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us -Ralph Waldo Emerson 

He who gains a victory over other men is strong, but he who gains a victory over himself is all-powerful -Lao-tze 

Thus Jihad is the struggle for freedom from oppression in the environment around us and within ourselves. In the outer Jihad, to end tyranny, Muslims are to defend themselves, their treaties and the defenseless: "Permission (to fight) is given to those... who are driven out from their homes without a just cause only because they say: Our lord is Allah..." (Quran 22:39,40) "Those with whom thou makest an agreement, then they break their agreement every time, and they keep not their duty. And if they break their oaths after their agreements and revile your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief -- surely their oaths are nothing -- so that they may desist." (Quran 9:12) "to fight in the way of Allah, and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, who say: Our Lord, take us out of this town, whose people are oppressors, and grant us from thee a friend, and grant us from thee a helper." (Quran 4:75). Jihad is not a war of agression, Muslims are told in the Quran to "fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Surely Allah loves not the aggressors."(Quran 2:190) "And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Surely He is the Hearer,the Knower." (Quran 8:61) "But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." (Quran 2:192).

The word Islam is derived from the Arabic roots Silm and Salam, meaning peace, purity, acceptance and commitment. A Muslim is one that accepts Islam, so to be Muslim means to be peaceful. The Islamic term for Heaven is Janah, meaning the abode of Peace. Peace is the nature, meaning and objective of Islam. Islam calls for: complete acceptance of and submission to the teachings and guidance of God; living in peace with one's self, the Creator, other people and the environment. Thus Islam is a total way of Life requiring balance and moderation, so nothing permissable is taken to extremes, and when Muslims eat, sleep, study, pray or do any thing, else they are to do it with moderation, in the hope of pleasing God and achieving True peace. Muslims greet eachother, with the phrase "Assalam-mu-alaikum-wa-rah-mat-Allahi-wurbur-katuhu" or May the Peace and blessings of Allah be with you, wishing eachother that which they all strive for. The term Islamic Terrorist is an oxymoron since Islam preaches peace. Identifying Islam with violence or terrorism is not only inaccurate, it is reminiscent of the propaganda campaigns of hatred that Hitler used to persecute Jews in W.W.II Germany. Why isn't the Mafia called a group of radical Catholics? Why isn't the Ku Klux Klan referred to as a Protestant Racist Group? Why aren't the South American Drug-Dealers dubbed as Christian Drug Cartels? All, of the religions that criminals claim to be adherents of denounce their deeds. The terms terrorist, radical, militant or extremist should be used by themselves, without mention of their professed religious preference. Throughout history religion has been exploited by ambitious tyrants and violated by ignorant mobs. This is no reflection on religion, but rather shows how desperately humanity is in need of better education to increase its concern for human dignity, rights and freedom.

When Christians commit crimes they are only human beings performing individual acts, but when it is done by Muslims it is Islam that is on trial. Non-Muslims in general have the perception that all Muslims, get all their ideas from Islam. Muslims are human. All humans are individuals, each person is an individual that has their own ideas. Not all people strictly adhere to the system of beliefs they claim to follow. The majority of serial killers are Northern European males that claim to be Christians and often use the Bible to justify their murderous efforts (remember the movie 'Seven'). For instance Jesus Christ is known to have advocated ideas, such as: "turning the other cheek", "treat others as you would have them treat you", "love thy neighbor", "judge not lest you be judged", "let he that has no sin cast the first stone", "love thine enemy", "forgive them their trespasses", "he that lives by the sword shall die by it". Yet many of those that claimed to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, used religious justification to act in a manner opposed to these ideas. For instance, hundreds of thousands of tenth century Europeans answered the call of the Pope, by marching to Jersualem, slaughtering millions of Muslims by burning their villages and at least 70,000 non-Muslim inhabitants, a few thousand while they prayed in the church of the Holy sepulchre, before returning with stolen Holy relics from the churches. Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain instituted the draconian laws and forced conversions of the Spanish Inquistion in the name of Christianity, using specific Biblical references as their supposed guide. 

European nations colonized weaker states, robbing their natural resources, destroying their economies, instituting racist laws and installing puppet governements for what they claimed was the glory of God. The most successful genoocide in history, killing all the members of 6 Native American 'Indian' Tribes, were carried out by those that claimed to want to 'save' the souls of their victims through their 'Lord and saviour' Jesus Christ. Those that advocated the US slave trade used Biblical verses to explain the justness of their cause. When the British defeated the Indian armies in 1847 the Mosque of Delhi was turned in to a stable, captured soldiers were dumped in a mixture of limestone and water and every tree on the road from Delhi to Lahore held the bodies of Muslims hanged for their beliefs. The Pope was the first government official to recognize the authority of Hitler's regime. The IRA is an organization of Christians, that bombs civilian targets, yet it is never described by the media in those terms. In Bosnia and Kosova Muslims were raped, tortured and massacred for their beliefs, by Christian Serbs. The US and UK are currently starving millions of Iraq's children, under the rubric that Sadam Hussein's aggression must be contained. Saddam Hussein used US supplied chemical weapons to gas his own people to death and the sanctions weaken any opposition to his rule. 

Whenever Christians have taken an area held by Muslims, every effort has been made to destroy any 'evidence' of their existance, so there are no historically old Mosques, Muslim centers, museums or Muslim families in Christian countries, like France, Italy (Sicily) and Spain, where Muslims had ruled in the past with a sizeable Muslim population. This trend continues today as the Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya, who have recently lost power, are being systematically exterminated by predominantly Christain forces. In contrast, historic churches, synagogues and temples can be found throughout the majority Muslim countries. The church of the Holy Sepulchre was under Muslim rule for centuries and it was protected for centuries. Muslims believe that worshipping idols is wrong, yet the pyramids of Egypt have been protected for over 1,000 years under Muslim rulers. Throughout the Muslim world, churches, synagogues and missionary schools were built within Muslim neighborhoods. These places were protected by Muslims even during the contemporary crises in the Middle East. 

Because the Western Media has continued the time-honored tradition mis-representing Islam and Muslims as violent, barbaric, depraved hordes, I feel I should clarify the issue. This use of stereotype-genaralization demonizes the group as a sort of horde, lacking humanity, to cognitively facilitate the violation of that groups' human rights, in a manner simmilar to that employed by Hitler, in advocating a "final-solution" to the "Jewish-problem". This sort of reasoning that denies the existance of individuality among victimized group members, while accepting the individual characteristics among more-favored groups is the common thread linking all forms of prejudice and racism. Since our individuality is what makes us human, the villified group is dehumanized, through mis-representations that portray it as a threatening mono-lithic monster to be destroyed. Once the public perception of the villified group is in line with this portrayal, there is no shame in victimizing the group members. 

Too often, for political reasons, under-represented minorities, like Muslims, Arabs, and Palestinians are stereotyped, demonized and maligned by the media to a mis-understanding majority, and not given an opportunity to respond. It's sad and ironic that so many media outlets would exercise poor journalistic judgement in serving as platforms for the destructive rhetoric of hate-speech, berating the intellect of their audience, while deriding the principles of Freedom and Justice that this great nation was founded upon. Spreading hate-speech suggests tacit approval of its intolerant reasoning. The dissemination of distorted or inaccurate information has a negative impact on the lives of ordinary Muslims and serves to mislead people of other faiths. Media images shape public perceptions, especially of ethnic and religious minorities and thus media institutions have a responsibility commensurate with their influence on popular culture and public perceptions. Vilification of minorities is irresponsible and unacceptable, creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear, leading to discrimination and hate crimes. Especially vulnerable are children, who have few defenses against negative stereotypes and who face harassment and worse at schools based on widespread prejudices which the media promote.

Unfortunately many occasions have shown that misinformation and racist stereotypes in the media lead to acts of discrimination in the populace, demonstrated by attacks on Muslim homes, businesses and mosques throughout our nation. For instance within 48 hours of the Oklahoma City bombing, irresponsible media coverage including "expert-analysis" by Steven Emerson (see: http://www.fair.org/extra/9901/emerson.html ) created an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust leading many to vent their misguided anger in over 200 reported incidents of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab threats, harassment and violence. Sadly most victims never report their cases, suffering in silence, fearful of retraumatization by a legal process that they correctly feel is stacked against them. During those 48 hours Congress quickly passed an anti-terrorism bill that to this day allows the use of ethnic-profiling and secret evidence to imprison Muslims without trial or due process. 

Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on. -Led Zepplin, "Stairway to Heaven" 

I hope more work is done to promote mutual understanding and tolerance between groups of differing beliefs. It is important to recognize that all life is sacred and all views should be respected and considered. Ostracizing or excluding any faith from productive participation in our society is bigoted, biased, counter-productive and reminiscent of Nazi policies. All faiths and ethnicities should be recognized, accepted and incorporated into society so that no one is discriminated against in zoning laws, lending policies, workplace rules, cafeterias, school holiday celebrations or any sphere of society. Muslim individuals and groups throughout North America, Europe and Asia are working daily to provide free medical care, homeless-shelters, social services and natural disaster relief, but face a constant battle against media generated stereotypes that portray them as violent terrorists. 

Religious freedom is central to the American system of liberty. We have always held that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals. That no one ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of religious opinion. A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is afraid of its people. Nothing is as fundamental or as valuable for human life as pursuing the inclinations of the mind, the heart, and the conscience. In America, long before the Revolutionary War, the writing of the Declaration of Independence, and the adoption of the Constitution, pilgrims of faith escaping religious persecution sought the freedom of a New World to practice their faith. Throughout our history, men and women have come to this nation to escape religious persecution and secure this precious freedom. They and others have built a nation in which religious practices and religious institutions have thrived - exactly because each individual has been able to choose for himself or herself whether and, if so, how to worship. America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, human rights invented America. The Media's concerted McCarthyist attempts at marginalizing, villifying and intimidating Muslims out of exercizing their constitutional rights, is an embarrassment and an affront to the ideals upon which this nation was founded. 

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Last updated on 12 March, 2003

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Hate Hurts. Love Cures. Conjecture Fails. Truth Prevails.
Islam - Bearing witness to the Truth
Seek Understanding from Knowledge/ Information
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