Response of Reason, Not Rage

Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality Views: 1569

"Events" exercise a great and strong momentum of their own and do not accommodate much interference, although it is possible to influence one's "response" toward them. The recent tragic event has offered Muslims one such opportunity to define and execute a "response", the outcome of which will incontrovertibly benefit the entire humanity.

Our response thus far is to the extent of interfaith dialogs, joint prayers, vigils, anti-war rallies and other such activities. These noble acts are important and must continue as it will bring peace to the hearts of those who live today as those who perished are already embraced by the Infinite Peace-Giver. It can be safely assumed that all of us aspire our progeny to live in a fearless, peaceful and a just world of tomorrows.

The pursuit for justice continues, from "Infinite to Enduring!" May that be either, but it must be 'just'.  The alleged should not be convicted before they are tried with a fair opportunity to defend themselves. Justice is a prerequisite for Peace. This is a principled position & must be part of our response.  

The sacrifices of 1.5 million and the maiming of countless millions of Afghans by the Soviets, in fact gave victory to United States of America over Communists. The world must remember their sacrifices and the maiming because it is that which made the world free of "Red Peril". Our response must remember this fact too.

The 18 minute gap between the first and the second attack allowed every camera to focus on the scene to capture the second impact. With no film footage, the Pentagon explosion and the Pennsylvania crash smolders in our mental background. News consumers must heed to the useful caveat: Just because you see something does not mean that is all there is to see. And just because you do not see something does not mean nothing is happening.

If we cite what steeled the homicidal and suicidal resolve of the perpetrators, we must not feel ashamed to also include the exchange on CBS (May 12, 1996) between Madeleine Albright, then-US ambassador to the UN, and reporter Lesley Stahl. 

  • Stahl: "We have heard that more than half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And you know is this price worth it in the pursuit of one man (Saddam Hussain)?"
  • Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price? We think the price is worth it."

That exchange became infamous among some. Is it possible that such senseless statements and actions could have created senseless rage against America? Short of visiting the ruins of World Trade Center, Madame Albright must be invited to reflect her past. Respect is earned if we are fair to all people, all the time. Our principled position shall influence the response.

The media's response to the event in all of its forms had the irremovable red/blue/white lens. The mantra of Muslims, Islam, Ex'sts and T'sts ... continues with more intensity. Precisely two weeks since Sep 11, fourteen people were shot killed before the "gunman" (not a T'st) shot and killed himself. It was in the city of Zug in Switzerland the country that prides itself for its lowest crime rate. Rather than maintaining a full time armed force, the government of Switzerland  requires all civilians to undergo military training, and gives an assault rifle and 24 rounds of ammunition to each person for their personal safety. Imagine if these six million Swiss people with an estimated 2 million privately held firearms including automatic rifles, were to have been in some other country. Would media change or remove its fixed lens?  Our response must be of reason and not rage.

The struggle to fight wrong is neither a fight of West vs East nor West vs the Rest, it belongs to the believers of peace, compassion and justice for all. It would honor the memory of those who perished on Sep 11 to insist that in the future, our policy makers and our media offer a better accounting of how wars for freedom are fought and what the actual price might include.

  Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality
Views: 1569
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Older Comments:
this piece has all of the nutritional value of cotton candy. what is the response of reason? you fail to tell us. what should be done?

Your bulletin on "Response of Reason, Not Rage" is an excellent piece. I enjoyed reading it, and it touched many issues I felt, and still feel, but I do not have the abilty to formulate them and say them as correctly, and as eloquently as your piece. Thank you, wa barak Allahumma in your great work, and may He (SWT) reward you generously (insha'Allah) for bringing some peace and justice to others.
Thank you again.

Until the governments in the Middle East begin to fear U.S. reprisal for harbouring and supporting terrorism more than they currently fear extremist, the war on terrorism will not be won. The governments and people of the middle east can prevent "Rage" by taking the proper steps to putting a stop to the dangerous groups within their own countries. Unfortunately the people and governments of the Middle East will have to be motivated by the U.S.'s strong actions. The people of the U.S. can only be pushed so far, the world should beware of the "sleeping giant" that is now the United States. Once the people of world understand that a United America will not be defeated by terrorism, they will chose to join forces against the extremist and eliminate them or be eliminated. The people and governments of the Middle East are fearing the wrong group, do not fear Bin Laden...Fear a United America, that has the resolve to finish the job. Americans are just as fanatical as extremist....but Americans are fanatical about a way of life, if that way of life and freedom is threatened the American people turn from a peaceful dove to a venemous snake. This war is not against Islam, it is against those who threaten freedom.

Bismillah ArRahman ArRahim,
AsSalaamu Alaikum

Your article was "straight" and refreshed my memory. It reminds me of the hadith of changing things with your words, hand, or heart. Many Muslim here in Philly are walking around with a guilty look and are afraid to continue their lives as normally as possible. It seems to me that the masjids don't look as full as before 9/11/2001.

I, as a Muslim first, so-called African-American second, was reminded of the days of the Black Panthers when every black male was profiled as a Black Militant or revolutionary. We had more "heart" then and did not fear "the man". Many of us who became muslim forgot about the conspiracies to stop the movement back then.

We "motivated" the passing of many of the civil rights that all living in the US enjoy today by using our words, hands, and we certainly changed the hearts of many. We did not try to hide our color, hair styles or clothing. Now any one who looks Sunnah is suspect. But the people accused of hijacking did not have on thobes, beards, etc. Where are the civil rights if anyone reading a Quran on public transportation is profiled?

Bigotry and hatred is resurfacing. Many say it's O.K. to give up certain civil rights. People did not hate the Irish or Christians when Timmothy McVeigh did his thing. They did not change the name of churches like St. Timmothy! Evidence was gathered, he was tried and we heard of his execution. Shouldn't evidence against Osama be published on the front page of every major newspaper?

May every Muslim make dua that Allah protect ot from the evils of the dunya, the torment of the grave and the punishment of the hellfire.

Fi amanillah,

Misrahim Amin

I am extremely pleased with such great tact and taste this article has been written. Bless you. Please keep writing such good sensible stuff. I am proud to be an Islamicity member.
Sayeed Khan.

The worst tragedy took place on Sept, 11th, & can not escape any condemnation, But Wisdom Demands to find the REASON & not to design the act on this tragic RESULT.
It is high time that Honesty of Purpose in all the lines & profiles of steering elite who are waging this WAR against TERRORISM should be based on JUSTICE. The basic Foundation of ISLAM.
The demand of the time is to unite & work out an effective action plan to meet this challenge,
"At the end GOOD has to prevail upon EVIL."

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am
Japanese so that even if I belong to a religion that originated in the
United States of America, and I'm part American, I do not adhere to the
military offensive of the US government against Afghanistan although I do
believe that there should be a stop to the terrorism in the world that has
various forms and shapes.

The United States of America has no right to involve a lot of people in this
offensive especially countries like Japan and Germany with their history of
ferocity in WWII. It makes me mad to think of how the USA
deprived us of dignity of mapping our own destiny by slapping us with a
Constitution that attempted to destroy our Japanese spirit and introducing
to us an educational system that will totally terminate and eliminate that
spirit, but they failed because we have a civilization and a culture older
and more refined than theirs. They failed to kill our Japanese spirit of
unity and innate for peace and beauty of even what they may consider ugly.

As a citizen of the world, and as a taxpayer burdened with these silly wars
that we have actually nothing to do with, I am opposed to these military
operations to annihilate a people just because of a man suspected of the
leading the attacks against the USA, whose altruism has been subject to
doubt and scrutiny when instead of bringing peace, its continuous meddling
in other people's affairs have only contributed to the chaos and anarchy the
world is in.

Our people in fact are now being divided into the pros and cons of this war
against the Afghans, who have sheltered and protected Osama Bin
Laden, a monster the Americans themselves created. A lot of people who
would like to see Japan again as a military power are happy with the planned
revision of our Constitution. The Americans are indeed playing with fire
and risking the destruction of world peace and security.