US Muslims should harshly condemn terrorist acts

Category: Americas, Life & Society Topics: Muslims Views: 1185

In the pain-filled atmosphere after Sept. 11, I was one of the Muslims who took a public and critical stand regarding the way both my co-religionists and our government were handling the crisis. As a result, I started to receive death threats from Muslim and non-Muslim fanatics alike. The stress my family endured became unbearable when police noticed that my home was being "staked out" by "unknown and suspicious parties."

A friend of mine, an Orthodox rabbi, urged my family and me to stay with him, saying, "My friend, whatever befalls you let it befall me--we are one!"

I have lectured with this rabbi, and we disagree on practically everything related to the Arab- Israeli conflict. But in his offer of sanctuary, at great personal risk to himself and his family, he represented the best of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions. He represented what, in my view, is the true soul of our country, the United States of America. Today, that soul is endangered.

I fear that in the aftermath of Sept. 11 the terrorists will succeed in placing the American tradition of tolerance and sanctuary under siege. The social barrier against intolerance that traditionally acts to muffle religious bigots in our country has been ruptured. In one year, more than 20 hate-filled books, with titles such as "Islamic Invasion," "The Truth About Islam" and "The Enemies Among Us," have been published. Some voices that gained a public platform went as far as urging the U.S. to rid itself of all Muslims through deportation or other means.

One thing fueling this rise in public bigotry is the anger expressed by some Americans about the Muslim reaction to Sept. 11. On this matter, I think that American Muslims should take a hard look at the Muslim organizations that claim to represent them or speak on their behalf.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the leadership of these organizations has failed to establish its credibility and to convince the American public of the outrage felt by most Muslims over the tragedy of Sept. 11. Various individuals and particular organizations have issued isolated condemnations, but to date there has not been something unified and overwhelming. Muslim leadership has failed, and it has blamed everyone but itself for this failure.

American Muslims must demand that either this leadership reform itself or be changed. There are three concrete steps that already should have been taken but would still be healing and powerful.

* All major Muslim organizations should agree on a unified statement unequivocally condemning terrorism and the Sept. 11 attacks in the harshest language possible. All major American Muslim organizations and intellectuals should sign this statement.

* Muslim organizations should establish a unified task force that provides information and assistance to the federal government with the purpose of preventing further terrorist attacks against the U.S. and apprehending anyone involved in facilitating or carrying out such attacks. The point is that Muslims themselves should dedicate a considerable amount of money and effort to assisting the government in the war against terrorism committed on American land. They should also invest significant funds in independent investigation and inquiries for the purpose of combating terrorism.

* These organizations should organize a massive march to ground zero in New York to express the unequivocal opposition of American Muslims to the terrorism of Osama bin Laden and his like. As an expression of solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attacks, the marchers should each deposit a flower or card at the site of the murders. We Muslims must send a clear message to terrorists that they do not speak for us and that they are not welcome in our midst. I even wonder why this leadership has failed to undertake such simple steps as printing and distributing bumper stickers saying, "Muslims Against Terrorism!"

Most important, whatever we do must be united, compelling and convincing, not because we fear retaliation or harm by bigots or Islam-haters but because this is what Islamic morality teaches us. And because this is our country, and we must be at the forefront of the war against those who wish to terrorize it into abandoning its traditions of tolerance and sanctuary.

Khaled Abou El Fadl is the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Fellow in Islamic Law, and Acting Professor of Law, at the UCLA School of Law. Professor Abou El Fadl is one of the leading authorities in Islamic law in the United States and Europe. Raised in Egypt and Kuwait, he trained in Islamic legal sciences in Egypt, Kuwait, and the United States; he has clerked for the Arizona Supreme Court, practiced immigration and investment law, and worked with such human rights organizations as Human Rights Watch and Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights.

  Category: Americas, Life & Society
  Topics: Muslims
Views: 1185

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Older Comments:
LL said:

Why have I never heard about you?

ABSOLUTELY COURAGEOUS ARTICLE! Why is it that we only hear from the militant morons and so little from enlightened educated ones like you?

Please speak up even more publicly and loudly.
The American people need to hear you.

Mr. Abou el Fadl's argument is based largely on the claim that American bigotry towards Muslims and Islam is due to what he percievd to be unresounding condemnation of the 9/11 attack.
Yet, if one were to hear the most prominent and virulent opponents of Muslims in America- Pipes, Michael Savage, Robertson- none will openly say that the Muslim communities in America supported the 9/11 attacks. Why? Because the Muslims made it known that they condemned it. So why is the author advocating extraordinary measures for attacks that we, as in the Muslim at large, did not do? In contrast, the American govt is directly responsible for killing over 400 Afghan civilians and has no indications it will compensate them or their families. What about the over 500,000 children dead from American sanctions on Iraq? Or American 'green light' to Russian atrocities- mass executions, rapes, ethnic cleansing- in Chechnya so America could get cheap oil from Moscow?
Or American support of Muslim regimes who brutally repress 100 of millions of Muslims?
Unlike Mr. Abou el Fadl's rhetoric, Muslims should NOT aspire to be Bush's "American patriots". Patriotism is an amoral, debasing bond among humans. "My country wrong or right" is determined by the interests and motives of the ruler(s), not Allah. On the contrary, Allah instructs Muslims to adhere to their contractual obligations, including the contracts signed in order for many to come and live here. Thus, they should obey the laws and not cause anarchy, or corruption, or revolt against the govt as the contract stipulates. And that is the fundamental source of Muslim bond with Americam govt. This does not include aiding in Orwellian counterterrorism stings, mass intelligence gathering on Muslim communities, or assisting in the containment of 100s of suspects whose actual connection with terrorism is unknown to the average Muslim (but the FBI asks Muslims and nonMuslims to just trust them?!).


While your post wasn't directed at me, I would like someone to tell me why so many people think that the US is a terrorist. Seriously. So many people on this board talk like it's a given, but I don't know why. One person tried to talk to me about the US being in Lebanon, but that was going on way before they got there, and it went on long after they left.

I agree that the cruise missile attack in Sudan was a terrible mistake, but there has to be more to it than that. The US helping the mujahadeens in Afghanistan vs.the USSR could be considered aiding terrorism, I suppose, but they were there helping Muslims against Communists.

Where can I learn more about this subject?


Esther, rather than go on about ancient history, would you care to talk about the recent times, and the role the US has played in torturing and killing innocent civilians ?
I posted a number of posts, yet I see you haven't responded.
I would like you to make a coherent disagreement with what I said earlier, rather than talk about the times of Babylon (you're beginning to sound like a Rasta)

Khald3d, I said this stuff because a lot of Muslims are saying how terrible the West treats them. I guess I must clarify that the jews were taken from their land by the Babylonians. During the Persian empire they were able to return. (Most did not). Eventualy the Bryzitine Christians lived there. (There is no Bryzitine Christians today). The Muslims invented algebra, and added the 0 in the numbering system. However, the Europeans were so busy fighting the Muslims to realy learn about Muslim culture. Then the West went through a period everyone wanted to gain knowlege and learn science.

The Muslim community has condemned the tragic events oh 9/11 numerous the calls by anti-Muslims like Moon and their ilk are disingenuous. Perhaps Moon and company aren't aware of the thousands of hate attacks made not only on American Muslims, but Sikhs and Hindus as well after 9/11, or maybe he just doesn't care. I'm sure these wackos would love to see Muslims renounce their faith and go along with the rest of the nation not asking the real questions....but ofcourse that would be "unpatriotic." Fadl is an opportunist. I've seen him on TV numerous times, the guy is quite incapable and is only parroting childish rhetoric designed to please the american viewers. Fadl stutering his way around on CNN is quite a site. Its not surprising though, all communities have their Uncle the American Muslim community has theirs.

Esther you need to give the full picture. Dont just give half the image just to try and make your argument stronger which will never happen. Europe did not see light until the Moorish muslims got there.They were in total darkness. The Muslims di not kick any jews out of their lands. The Jews got a little too treacherous before the treacherous ones got kicked out. Your Roman were the ones to kick the jews out of their land the arabs reclaimed the land and jews lived with the muslims and got protection from the muslims. even the Jews will admit thet they lived for 500 golden years under the muslims. Stop the distortion Esther. You want to be an enemy of Islam, be an enemy but for your sake dont be a liar.

This guy is decieving everyone by claiming to be a leading authority in Islamic law. he is making claims against people he does not even know. He lacks one of the basic concepts in islamic law, which is not to accuse people without "Clear Evidence". This man clearly from his statements supports Bush's war on Islam(terrorism). A man claiming to be an authority in Islamic Law should be a man with a muslim mindset not a clouded one. Too bad if this sounds harsh. This man is misrepresenting Islam. Islam is the first belief system to fight terrorism and is doing it even today. Osama Might yes Might have done what he is being accused of but he cannot be judged without "CLEAR" evidence. We are behaving like the Kuffar (unjust, and irrational) if we go about pointing fingers like El Fadl is. El Fadl is clearly not thinking properly. He is crazy. America has beeen Involved in terroristacts around the world since its begining. I guess El Fadl does not know that. Let us see when Mr Fadl comes out and behave like a Muslim and condems Americas terrorism around the world with the same vigor and emotion. There is clear evidence for Americas Terrorist acts by the way. They do it openly. And they are proud about it. .......dont even suggest that anyone else do your dirty work with you.

I agree with Mr. Fadl but I think US Muslims should harshly condemn israeli acts against palestinians, stupid sanctions against Iraq, Cuba and North Korea too. And many other things.

I have been asking these same questions since 9-11.. where is the Muslim community?? instead of Marching against it... they went into hiding.. it is most important that they show solidarity with Americans and against terrorist who not only hijacked American planes by hijacked their religion too... STAND UP AMERICAN MUSLIMS to the infidel terrorists!

This is a very good article because it requests Muslims to move beyond vague "statements" to real action. Naturally there is an unwillingness to back words up with actions so we get half-hearted stories from Muslims (in America) about how evil America is.

When Afghanistan was bombed the Muslims were full of hot air and equivocation. When the Palestinians are ill-treated we get more hot air and equivocation. When terrorism is condemned we get yet more hot air and equivocation. There is a pattern here...

I don't entirely agree with Mr Fadl, but I have to admit he isn't running a double standard -unlike some of the Muslims from the USA who are revealing their malice towards their neigbours on this forum (maybe they can inform us of where they learned this particular trait). They believe that their pretence masks their treachery - both to their fellow Muslims and to the USA.

PS. Fadl never calls the Jewish rabbi his "best friend" as 'nail' asserts - a deliberate distortion.

Dont listen to any muslim whos best friend is an orthodox rabbi. We will all be raised with our friends and i hope to be raised with my muslim brothers. talk about westernized!

this man is crazy. he wants you muslims to go to where the trade center was destroyed and put a flower or a card like the christins do. He also hates Osama Bin Laden and his likes. What a westernized loser. i condemn what this man said about Osama bin Laden and his westerized ideas. then he says islam teaches us this behavior. On the contrary Islam teaches us to be unlike the disbelievers. Osama Bin laden didnt send those planes crashing into those buildings anyway. no one can prove that he did those acts and he is innocent until proven guilty. obviously this man wants to please the US by writing this article. what a disgrace to Islam

Esther, your lack of intelligence is beyond belief. You continuously fixate around the Muslim's invasion of Europe and the alleged exodus of the jews from the Holy Land at the hand of the Muslims and yet it is manifest that you know as much about world history as Bush knows about politics. If I were in charge of the comments, I would tell you to keep your commentary to yourself in order to prevent humiliating yourself further. Unfortuantetly, i am not in charge and consequently, we will have to continue to endure the utter drivel fabricated by your poor excuse for a brain.


Your piece is little out of place.Today Islam is synonymous with the voice of opprressed and maligned.If "terrorosm" is to be wiped out than "civilised" acts in Iraq ,Afghanistan and most importantly in Palestine should be wiped first.Why are you blind to the terrorosm commited by your "traditionally tolerate" country.

Having just returned from the US, it seems the stirring has begun again. In an open letter to their compatriots and the world, published in the Herald on June 17, almost 100 of the US's most distinguished names in art, literature, journalism and education wrote: "Let it not be said that people in the US did nothing when their government declared war without limit and instituted stark new measures of repression. We believe that nations have the right to determine their own destiny, free from military coercion by great powers. We believe that all persons detained and prosecuted by the US Government should have the same right of due process. We believe that questioning, criticism and dissent must be valued and protected. Such rights are always contested and must be fought for. We, too, watched with shock the horrific events of September 11. But the mourning had barely begun when our leaders launched a spirit of revenge. The Government now openly prepares to wage war on Iraq - a country that has no connection with September 11. We say this to the world: too many times in history people have waited until it was too late to resist. We draw on the inspiration of those who fought slavery and all those other great causes of freedom that began with dissent. We call on all like-minded people around the world to join us."

Esther, your disagreement is ...?

Al-Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan were kindergartens compared with the world's leading university of terrorism at Fort Benning in Georgia. Known until recently as the School of the Americas, it trained 60,000 Latin American soldiers, policemen, paramilitaries and intelligence agents in terrorism.

In 1993, the UN Truth Commission on El Salvador named the army officers who had committed the worst atrocities of the civil war; two-thirds of them had been trained at Fort Benning. In Chile, the school's graduates ran Pinochet's secret police and three principal concentration camps. In 1966, the US government was forced to release copies of the school's training manuals. For aspiring terrorists, these recommended blackmail, torture, execution and the arrest of witnesses' relatives.

The irony is that the US is also the home of some of history's greatest human rights movements, such as the 1960s epic campaign for civil rights.


Perhaps you should understand your own govt and their actions better. I dont even have to go as far back as the Indian massacres.

For your convenience I've posted an except from The New Rulers of the World, by John Pilger

"In the war against terrorism," said Bush, "we're going to hunt down these evil-doers wherever they are, no matter how long it takes." Strictly speaking, it should not take long, as more terrorists are given training and sanctuary in the US than anywhere in the world. They include mass murderers, torturers, former and future tyrants and assorted international criminals.

There is no terrorist sanctuary to compare with Florida, currently governed by the President's brother, Jeb. In his book Rogue State, former senior State Department official Bill Blum describes a typical Florida trial of three anti-Castro terrorists who had hijacked a plane to Miami at knifepoint. "Even though the kidnapped pilot was brought back from Cuba to testify against the men," he wrote, "the defence simply told the jurors the man was lying, and the jury deliberated for less than an hour before acquitting the defendants."

General Jose Guillermo Garcia has lived in Florida since the 1990s. He
was head of El Salvador's military during the 1980s when death squads closely linked to the army murdered thousands of people. General Prosper Avril, the Haitian dictator, liked to display the bloodied victims of his torture on television. When he was overthrown, he was flown to Florida
by the US Government. Thiounn Prasith, Pol Pot's henchman and apologist at the UN, lives in Mount Vernon, New York. General Mansour Moharari, who ran the Shah of Iran's notorious prisons, is wanted in Iran, but is untroubled in the US.


Looks like Mr.Fadl wrote this article in a big hurry ;).

The United States has a spotty record when it comes to human-rights around the world BUT THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE. The policies of the United States do not excuse terrorism carried out against innocent civilians UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BY ANYONE ANYWHERE. I am growing increasingly uncomfortable with the slippery argument techniques that are employed when the issue of terrorism carried out by Muslims is raised.

Victor, I disagree with you. Unless you want to talk about what America did to the Native Americans or how they enslaved black people. The Muslims when they had their empire enslaved people, and pushed people off their land. The Crusades (which was terrible) was a response to the Muslims invasion of Europe. In 711 AD the Muslims invaded Spain. Soon after they started invading other European countries. The Armenians sufered under the hands of the Turks.

The question is WHO actually mastered the sept 11 attack! Maybe it wasn't done by these muslims, maybe muslims AND some other party was in on it. How was it!? It is also sad to see muslims beeing grouped together in one box with one label. If one American kills someone, I don't start suspect the whole community of americans. Muslims are certainly not a homogenous group.

Thank you


I have a simple question for everyone who has been 'supporting' the mythical land of freedom etc.

Who denies that the US IS THE biggest terrorist sponsor, and oppressor in recent history ?

Any takers ?


I would like to say that the way the rest of the world have treated the Muslims after the attacks was wrong because it was not all of the Muslims who have committed this horrible crime. Two wrongs do not make a right.I understand how the Americans feel but there were also many Muslims who have been killed as well. It is very hard to lose a loved a one, trust me I too have lost a love ones to a war. I understand the pain that the rest of the Americans are feeling.

There were a lot of Muslims leaders in the US who have condemned the terrorist acts. There is the sites:




God Bless America!!
God Bless Canada!!

I would like to thank the wonderful people here in Canada who have helped me and my famliy through ruff times.


I would like the author to know most Americans do not blame Muslims for what happened. Dino Demars you are right about Spainish having alot more slaves then the Americans. Now since I am a Westerner I feel I must address those that are talking bad about the West. The Muslims had black slaves, and not only that but they had white slaves too. ( Maybe Dino can give us a number. I am curious.) As for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I would like you to do some reasearch about how the Japanese treated their prisoners, and about the fact the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. What happened to the Native Americans was very bad. However, I want to point out how the Muslims pushed out the Persians, and Jews.

In response to 'withheld':

When you are referring to slavery, don't get confused with the United States of America, the country, and 'the Americas' the continents and islands. According to calculations by the historian P.D. Curtin, 399,000 slaves were brought to the United States between 1500 and 1870. Almost 10 times this number went to the Caribbean and about the same to Brazil. Spanish America got 4 times as many slaves as came to what would become the United States. While this is a lot of slaves, it is not millions. You can read more about slavery here:
Before you get to looking down on Americans, tell me your feelings about this quote from that site:
"African monarchs also often bought slaves (who might earlier have been obtained in any of these ways) from dealers, in order to sell them again to Europeans (or to other Africans, and especially Arabs)."

Anyone who brings up Hiroshima and Nagasaki is treading on questionable ground. That was war. It was not an unprovoked attack like Pearl Harbour, nor was it a genocidal massacre like the Muslim Turks perpetrated against the Armenians in the early part of the last century. Don't try to point fingers at other's past when your country's past is probably just as tainted.

If you don't think that America has a tradition of tolerance and sanctuary, it is because you have never been there. In America, you can worship in whatever way you wish. It doesn't matter if you are a Shiite or a Sunni Muslim. Can you say that for Iran? Your beloved Iraq? Anywhere in the Middle East? America might not be perfect, but I would like you to point to a non-western country which can provide more freedom, tolerance and liberty for her people.

cont from the previous message....

If America has a "tradition of tolerancce and sanctuary" it is they who should be apologizing to us because we have not experienced that tradition. It is a mercy from us to America if we give a flower to a victim of September 11th, but it is our right to be treated equally. It is not something that we must grovel in order to receive.

Perhaps I didn't read the fine print that must have said, "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, (but some men are more equal than others)."


Assalaamu 'alaikum,

First of all, this so-called "American tradition of tolerance and sanctuary" never existed. It is theoretical at best. Has Mr. Abou El Fadl totally ignored the American history of injustice and intolerance toward Native Americans and toward Africa, robbed of millions of her children who were sold to avaricious white slave masters, whose "tolerance" only applied to the white protestants who approved of their actions? Has he forgotten America's policy of domination and imperialism in the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, and the Philippines? Has he forgotten America's policy of shoot first and ask questions later in countless Muslim countries or America's policies on Iraq, Afghanistan, and dozens of other countries; policies that inflict sickness and death, not on the corrupted regimes, but on the innocent people?

Has Mr. Abou El Fadl forgotten Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for which the United States still has not shown any remorse? Has he forgotten that the government agencies that he says we should assist "with the purpose of preventing further terrorist attacks against the U.S." are the very same agencies that have detained over 1,000 Muslims up until this day, who have shut down our charitible organizations, and have harassed our educational institutions and mosques?

If Mr. Abou El Fadl is an American who agrees with the above mentioned "tradition of tolerance and sanctuary", then I pray that Allah guides him and forgives him.

We do not owe America any apologies for September 11th. We expressed our sorrow clearly enough; so much so that thousands have accepted Islam after September 11th. But we will not apologize. We will not apologize because we did not fly the planes into the World Trade Center, nor do we support those who did it.

....cont in the next message

REDA FROM U.S. said:
Salam alaikom!
I just want to share with you a link to the U.S. department of State that sites the condemnations of the Muslims and Muslim organizations that some people might have missed.

The article was indeed interesting as it views events and things from the "American" point of view and completely ignores the suffering of countless non-Americans (including many muslims) around the world.

The author suggests that Muslims in the US should undertake certain actions in response to the events of Sep 11 many of which in fact have already been done.

However, far more innocent people have died or have been killed in many other parts of the world but the author appears to think that it is OK to ignore their suffering. Many of these people have been killed by US (usually people affected by US actions are in millions like in Iraq and not in thousands)

I believe that this is the most naked form of patriotism that I have encountered from a Muslim "intellectual" as it advocates strong action to be taken when "American" lives are lost but doesn't take even a notice when millions of Muslims are killed, displaced, tortured, raped etc.

I believe finally it comes to the question as to who you identify with and the author demonstrates that he identifies with "America" to the point of disassociating himself from the Ummah at large completely as I have never heard him urging to take similar action when misfortunes and calamity has befallen the Ummah elsewhere.

All in all this shows the "patriot" Al Fadl in his complete nakedness and I beleive that he is so blind in his feelings that it is hard for him to see this.

Dr. El Fadl is woefully inaccurate when he complains about the lack of critisism from Muslim leadership in America about terrorism in the name of Islam. As a journalist, who works for a major television network, I am keenly aware of how the media chooses to ignore the moderate and rational voices which represent the highest ideals of Al-Islam in favor of the extremists and the ignorant rants of some ignorant muslims in order to perpetuate their self serving and bigoted stereotypical view of Al-Islam and Muslims. One such internationaly known leader who has earned the respect and admiration of muslims and non-muslims alike, I'm speaking of Imam Warith Deen Mohammad, has recieved virtually no media coverage in America. For 2 decades Imam Mohammed has tirelessly been the leader of the largest indigenous Muslim in the country, respected and admired by the religious, political and educational establishment in this country and the world; and yet has not been allowed the the same voice of moderation and rationality over and above the more extreme and hyperbolic ones.
I would suggest that you should examine some of your own exaggerations and reevaluate your conclusions accordingly.

Salaam aleikum,

Seems like more of the same rubbish, simply repackaged in a different form. I believe that it was Malcolm X who once said that it would be the house slave/negro who would look after the interests of and love his slavemaster more than the slavemaster would love himself. If Mr. Abou-ElFadl is so concerned about "his" country's plight, why does he not call attention to the U.S. policies which are unfortunately leading people into violence?

Better yet, if he has the guts, why not go and proclaim this nonsense (stated in this essay) in the streets of Damascus, Cairo, Karachi, or Dar es Salaam? See what kind of reception you would get from the Muslims there?

Muslim's should definitely condemn senseless mass murder by anyone. That includes flying planes into buildings or dropping bombs from 50000 feet in the air or from a few hundred miles off-shore from gun-boats.
As a Muslim I could never really understand putting flowers at graveyards or even on memorials. A persons memory is in his mind and heart and his true prayers are to Allah. He(Allah)is the one who will accept and grant prayers.
Every Muslim speaks for themselves and are responsible for themselves. They do represent the Ummah. But it is they themselves who are answerable to Allah for themselves and will be judged for their actions on the day of Judgement. Organizations are not the ones who are going to be on trial on the day of judgement. Even though many organisations have condemned the actions(and rightfully so) they are still not the ones who are responsible for our actions as individuals.
As such, in my humble opinion, the best way to deal with this is not by appeals to mass emotions by going on marches, but on the individual level by making example of ourselves as true Muslims so when people see us they are encouraged to view Islam with more rational thought and approach. Finally, all victory comes from Allah. It is to him we should trust and turn, over and above all else.

The views of the writer would make sense if the same of what he proposes had been done by Christian organizations after the Oklahoma bombing!


REDA FROM U.S.A. said:
Assalamo alaikom
This is a thought-provoking article. It doesn't only talk about what we should've done, but it also talk about what we should do. I personally had an experience very similar to the story of the Rabbi. My Jewish friend told me right after 9/11 if you need any place to stay, just come to my house. That touched me a lot and made me realize that people who wanted to put hatred in our hearts and in our society somehow failed. Non-Muslims are just like us wanting to know the truth; some or most of them don't know the real meaning of Islam. We should reach out to them and show them the real meaning and the teachings of Islam. Let them experience Islam firsthand. This, I believe, is something that each individual should and could do. This is something that no leader or organization is needed to tell us we should do it, it's a common sense. Unfortunately, though, very few do that.


'I fear that in the aftermath of Sept. 11 the terrorists will succeed in placing the American tradition of tolerance and sanctuary under siege'

Are you saying that the American Govt, who after all the 'terrorists' are fighting, is not the biggest terrorist on the planet ?

I put it to you that your little essay will mean absolutely NOTHING to all those muslims who were locked up after Sep11 with no trial, nor those who have since been deported on nothing more than minor charges.

So let me get this straight, you raised 3 actions which can be summarised as :

1) All US muslims should condemn those who carried out the Sep11 acts.
2) Muslim organisations should 'grass' on any muslims they suspect of not having any love for the US Govt
3) US muslims should have a big march and lay flowers at the 2 former towers of American greed and corruption.

I guess you would argue that all your doing is acting on the belief of 'when in Rome act like the Romans', however please tell me in all of your little 'essay' where is the Islamic perspective ?

I put it to you in quite clear words, that when you say :

Most important, whatever we do must be united, compelling and convincing, not because we fear retaliation or harm by bigots or Islam-haters but because this is what Islamic morality teaches us.

you actually mean all of the above, purely on the grounds of fear and 'retribution'.

You say :
because this is what Islamic morality teaches us

Really ? Islamic morality teaches you to make more of a fuss over non-muslims than muslims being persecuted in their own lands ?

By the way, the fact that the US has killed over 5000 innocent muslims in Afghanistan since your little 'tragedy', where were you and your fellow intellectuals ? Did you march and lay any flowers anywhere ?

I can honestly say that along with US policies, its 'intellectuals' like yourself who force the youth to take sides with people like Al-Qaeda

Dr. Abou el Fadl's criticism of the Muslim leadership's lack of unified condemnation and action against terrorism is unfounded and inaccurate. Muslim leaders and activisits have already implemented all of his "recommendations", and, for God's sake, before making such allegations, he should investigate his claims in an academic and objective way, the same way he has to follow strict academic guidelines for publishing papers in respectable journals. His statement, coming from a respectable institution (UCLA) and himself speaking as a Muslim, is both inaccurate and dangerous.

You are not realistic. Open your eyes to see around you. Take time to read the history of islam