Devoted to my Faith and Country

Category: Americas, Featured, World Affairs Views: 3479

EXACTLY 10 days after my 24th birthday, I would awake to a day that would mark the true beginning of my existence as a human. On a day when my country was attacked and in the subsequent year in which my religion was berated, I have been plagued by sleepless nights, blessed with sympathetic smiles and unnerved by threats where others vowed to "take care of people like me."

Although I was no less of an American on Sept. 10, only one day later was I commanded to "prove" my loyalty to America and to apologize for my religion.

I will never do either and this is why.

I am a Muslim. I believe in the monotheistic deity of Abraham and revere prophets such as Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all) as true messengers of God. Much of the only solace I ever acquire is when I prostrate my head in the direction of Mecca every day. As part of religious mandate, I donate money to the poor and abstain from food and drink during the daylight hours of the blessed month of Ramadan. Mosques serve as peaceful sanctuaries for Muslims, just as churches, synagogues and temples serve our sisters and brothers of other faiths.

I am an American. I was growing up in Chicago while the Huxtable children were growing up, at the same time, on my television. I have seen my beloved Boston Celtics play their final game in the original Boston Garden and have dreamed of playing wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills. I have interned for two U.S. senators, one of whom now serves as this country's attorney general. As I finish my final year of law school at one of this country's finest institutions, I wonder how any rational human being could think that I was anything but American.

As American Muslims, we pledge religious allegiance to Islam and national allegiance to America. We are contributing members of this society and thus are entitled to every inalienable right and freedom that all Americans cherish. Like all Americans, we have the freedom to speak our minds, the right to be tried by a jury of our peers, the entitlement to practice our religion freely and the privilege to dissent against the government when we deem necessary.

For millions of us, this country is the only home we have ever known. Like all Americans, we grumble whenever there is a new tax hike. We worry about leaky faucets, mortgage payments and exorbitant college tuitions. Muslims are your doctors, accountants, engineers, teachers, store owners and activists.

As part of the next generation of Muslims in America, I vow to continue to be an asset to my faith and my country. I will graduate from law school and, like all Muslims, will continue the constant struggle to better humanity. So as I continue my true existence as a human being, regardless of whether or not I am welcome in your home, you are welcome in mine. My home is America.

Arsalan Tariq Iftikhar attends Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He serves as Midwest communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim advocacy group.

  Category: Americas, Featured, World Affairs
Views: 3479
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Older Comments:
Thats true and sounds nice, but Muslims unlike
other groups that crave acceptance can't blend

in as easily. Many of our values are opposite
OF AMERICA. We only need Allah's acceptance!!

Asalaam Alaikum

I think you need a history lesson and those other Muslims who want to please the kufaar. Badr? Khaybar?India?The Tartars?Burma?Andulus?The fall of the Khalifate? Afghanstan? Iraq?Muslim blood flowing through the alleys of Jerusalem knee high? Buried alive in the Balkans? Bosnia and the systematic rape of men, women and children? Gujrat? Kashmir? Eritrea? Sudan? Somolia?Palestine? Philipines? Chachnya? East Timor? Screams, mourning, gang rape,widows, children without mothers, mothers without children? The pain and agony? The weeping and sleepless nights? The hunger and disease? My friend, the Bosnians 'integrated' and paid with thier lives and honour. Look closely, the writing is clearly on the wall. You have no shame and care only for yourself. So selfish. Wake up! The Islamic world is ablaze and the only thing you can do is warm your hands over it????

It is very refreshing to know that young responsible people like you understand your position and place in the American society. I am proud to know that a young Muslim is willing to stand up for what is right and for your rightful palce in the United States.
I have studied and lived in the US and understand clearly the pressures of that society.
As a 20 year old student I was pressured to adopt an "American" name instead of my Muslim nane. I am 54 years old now and is still proud that I resisted being called anything else than by my Muslim name. Stay strong and proud to be a muslim.

Best regards.

Mr. Dowd, have you forgotten the 1700 years of religious and gender oppression in the name of a Christian God?
Have you forgotten that democracy is from Pagan greece? Hae you fogotten the masacres of native Americans? Have you forgotten the fights in America against slavery and for Womens sufferage? Thats right American democracy is by nature tolerent just like Andrew Jackson was to the cherokee in Georgia, right?
You know nothing about Islam, our government supports every oppressive regeme in Islamic countires except Iraq. These governments aren't Muslim anymore than Hitler was Christian. They are ruled by "muslims" but they do not follow Islam.

dear paki-american sister, i wish i could meet you to talk with you , i am new to islam,just took my shahada on the 8th of november, but i am already realizing how we are so often misunderstood and rejected within the american society, even from my own family, this is hard for me, im trying to find a sister to talk with, and i have a "son" i call him from pakistan that is muslim, so if you wish to talk to me, email me at [email protected] ok

You had some good points. Muslims should not be mistreated simply because some people within their group happened to commit a terrorist act. As a Christian, I recognize that there are some who want to follow the way of the Lord and some who do not care. I pray that all will find the Truth. Salaam es Isa, Dustin

If the terrorists who attacted WTC were really Muslim, it will not automatically indicates that they represent the will of the majority of the muslims in the world. To the best of my knowledge and understanding about this religion,it is full of peace and love.

You can tell right away the unaccepting narrow-minded individuals that are coexistant in the U.S. These people have probably never set foot out of this country. I hope they don't otherwise they'll just continue to feed the world with anti-american sentiment. I AM A MUSLIM AMERICAN immigrant, just like all the other non-american indians in the states. THIS IS MY HOME JUST AS IT IS OTHERS'. So they need to accept us or just keep their nonsense to themselves, because obviously they are not good jews or christians if they themselves don't practice what their prophets taught.

I don't understand why we have the hole world against muslims and it's all because of one man(osama binladin).I've convirted to islam after the 9/11 attacks i've learned the quran and I once was a wrong beliver i was a christian but i pray and i'm so thakfull to all tere is no god greater for guiding me to the truth ameen i just pray that all muslims pray for a better day if not now then for the hereafter remember what you sow on earth is what you reap in judgement day. I believe that we should respect and love one another lets agree to disagree with out bloodshed. ASALAMAALAYKUM

Blah Blah Blah. You will never be my doctor, Lawyer, Teacher, Friend. Maybe a 7-11 employee or hotel clerk. If you buy the hotel I won't stay there.

BOB said:
why do so many muslins hate USA or Americans and treat women as second class people

dear arselan
please let me commend you on your covictions.
I have the same convictions ,I am 70 ,and you are 23,
I am trying to get the over 30,and under70 (smile) to do the same.
It seem they have difficulty switchimg from the old counrty to the new .I can understsnd that ,you were born here , this is the only place you is easy for you ,you were exposed to one culture ,theynhave to deel with two opasite ones.
If i were you, I would not brag about your internship with attortny general when he sae a senator .
however you have to fallow your conscience, after you understand what the quran and the hadeeth views on civil rights and human rights .
The A.G.seem to be on the opposit side of justis and respect for human life.
He is a boarder line fascist
His mato "shoot first and ask quesrtions later"
and to complet the sentence "...and I will deffend yo"
That what Himler (Iforgot his first name!!)said to his people when he was the head of th Gistapo
in Odoulf's administration
don't take my word for it ,
what dio I know??? I am just a 70 years old architect.
please refer to what the ACLU people are saying
also what the lawyers guild of Amemca are sying.
these are lawers just like you , or soon to be
remember on judjment day you will be asked about
your words and your deeds,and most of all your intentouns "niyah"
God bless you
God forgive us all
we the people
God bless America
your essay has been on the site for ever,
are you for real ??


dear Arsalan
may i congratulateyou on your niewsand convictions.
I am trying to get the over 30 to have the same
convictions .

I am 62, and lived my whole life knowing almost nothing about Islam. I finally got some insight only when, as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I spent two years in Gabon. There I made the acquaintance of many Musims, and even (hurriedly, unfortunately) read the Koran. I had never known that Islam shared a common heritage with Judiasm and Christianity, or that there were so many points of commonality. This was years before "9-11" I have to believe that other Americans are like I was, completely unfamiliar with even the most basic information about Islam. Since "9-11," all most of these people know about Islam is what they hear in the news and comments by others, equally ignorant. But our ignorance is not entirely our fault. The people of Islam who live here should have made themselves heard. I don't know exactly how, but some "PR" effort would have helped. It would have made Islam seem less "alien" then it seems to most Americans -- and less "antiChristian" than it seems to many, especially "fundamentalists." Now the job is more difficult -- but more important than ever. Now American Moslems have to make themselves seen and heard, and need to spotlight not their differences (because others will see to that), but their similarities to all other people. It is easy to understand the need to highlight the heroes of Islam, but there is a need to add to that the image of the ordinary American who wrote the article to which I am responding, a law student who worries about taxes and leaky faucets. I suppose this website is a beginning, but there should be more. A picture needs ot be formed of an AMERICAN Moslem, who is not dressed like a bedoin. Forgive my saying that, but I really think that is what it will take. For the sake of all Americans, Moslems and others, I hope you can find the way to do this. We can't heal with all this distrust. I'm sure it can be done, but I don't know exactly how. Nevertheless, I wish you all possible success in this effort.

well we are making some progress - good on you.
I have no religion and intend to stay that way.I can't bring myself to be part a group even if some might find this easy - or that's all they know.
Any how keep your chin up and try to be good to all.

Your article was very well said, and you would be welcome in my home.

I love this article; it is beautifully written. Is there any way I can e-mail this article to some bigoted relatives I have who are spreading anti-Muslim propaganda?

Thank you.

Carol Cox

i would like to thank aralan tiriq for spreading the truth about his religion and what is means to him to an american.educated, peaceful, goal oriented, hard working and has a future unlike a lotr people out there who want to hurt others becouse of there low selfesteem, low self worth..thank you brother TIRIQ for helping me to understand a differant religion and philosophy

Although you have grown up, lived and
prospered in a country that has provided you
well with such public goods as national
defense and economic stability, a muslim
must strive to form a true Islamic state. A
state where the morals and values would
conflict drasticly of those in USA. Another
point I disagree amiably with is that you are
devoted to the USA, a muslim can't have
devotion and alegiance to anything other
Islam. What i infer from the title is the duality of
your devotion to Islam and USA, and they are
clearly not equal, and can not be set up as
partners. The culture of America is very
overwhelming and engulfing and muslims
shouldnt just be satisfied with an Islam city,
they should strive for a Islamic world through
dowah and education of unbelievers.

Akeel Williams

Don't worry what others say. First of all America is not a "Kufr" system. It is a system developed by the philosophies of jews and Christians who are need I remind you ahl al-kitab and not Kufr by their very nature. How can a person be Kufr, and from the followers of Ibrihim
(pbu)at the same time? It is not possible to say this is foolish. How dare any good Muslim say this. Arrasul (pbuh) never compelled the ahl alkitab as a priority. The pagan Arabs were Allah's first target. The word Kafr refers to people who worship many gods, and those of wathen. The Christians and the Jews have problems in their religions true, but they are still Allah's people who he loves. Musims around the world as well as Christians and Jews would do better not to point their fingers at each other but rather work together to bring back religion to our increasingly secular corporate and Allah forgetting world. We must bring back Allah piety and morality to the west in Alliance with religious Christians and Jews.

I was pleased to have read your comments on referring yourself as an american and muslim. Hmmm to my profound amazement, I wonder , what kind of human-being , you actually are , blind ..if you ask me ...Actually I believe you are one of the ones who want to be accepted , however as you know ,you'll never be accepted ,unless you follow what others follow . You might make yourself sound american , but in reality you are a want a be ...and you will never be . ( you will Never be an American ) ,I'am sorry for my harsh words but its true ,( read the Al'Quran , and youll see for yourself ) ,you sound pathetic and ignorant , seems to me you have made it here (usa and decided to forget about all that is important in this life and pick up the duty of a hipocrit , ( you cant say you are muslim , and then turn your cheek and say , " oh yeah , I'm also american ") like i said , youre a want a be ,and its better to be either cold or hot , but not warm . You sound to me like you have forgotten about the iman , maybe you should research Islam before deciding to lable yourself a muslim , you make me sick , you will NEVER be an american , unless you can give up Islam , and from the way you put your words , I must say , you have already given up Isalm . May our God , show you , the difference between USA and Islam . You say you are a graduate from law school , well , well , you should research the truth about terrorisam , who the real terrorists in this world are , before labeling yourself a true american , you idiot , you make me sick . Thats all I have to say to a so called Muslim from the USA ...

Dear Arsalan
We need to make this thought a movement in the entire World. We are with you and support the idea that every muslim must be loyal to his country of residence, espatially the country which has provided you a better system.
Snr Vice President
Preston University

AK47 FROM UK said:
salaam bro.
you can no longer compromise your position.
bush has stated "you are either with us or against us". i.e accept Islam totally or accept capitalism but still pretend to be muslim.
to be in the uk or usa is a geographical situation, but we are not part of their society in the way we think. we are part of the muslim ummah, which they have split into tiny countries for their own gain. we should therefore prioritise our faith and work towards re-unifying all the muslims, to protect them from us attack ant to bring the non beleivers to Islam.
"Whoever calls for asabiyyah (nationalism/ tribalism), fights for asibiyyah and dies for asibiyyah, he is not from us." Hadith reported by Abu Dawud.
Al-Hijr:94 "Proclaim what you have been ordered; And turn away from the mushriks"
"It is he (Allah) who has revealed his Messenger with the Guidance and the Deen of Truth so that it may prevail over all other Deens, no matter how much the Mushrikeen may detest it"

The shaytan got to you good and proper.It is YOUR so called Government thats killing muslims around the world. You might have done 1 minutes silence for the victims of 9/11 but you will need a LIFETIMES silence for the amount of muslims the US Government has killed. See you on Judgement Day

That's fine being proud, but what about Muslims working hard to improve conditions of such poor countries? We can't forget our homelands. We can't just call ourselves American, French, English and just forget our own roots and leave behind our motherlands to rot and melt away into even worse conditions. If you all want to be true Americans, you'd all get up and start working on improving poor countries.

Whatt do you have to say about tthe teachings of Quran that all non Believers (in Allah and Islam) should be punished and that they would go to hell, what are your views on the fact that political and economic struggles are being called "jehad". what is your opinion of the general attitude of the western world towards the Aran israel conflict.

Assalamu Alaikum,

I am an African American Muslim in the military. Being devoted to your faith and country are very different. Being a devoted to your faith should come before anything! Being devoted to your country is more like a hobby. Its true I'm in the military (right now), but I put my faith in Allah before any and everything! Besides, you should be devoted to the whole world, Allah created all of this, so we should all be as one!

assalaamu alaykum,
have we as muslims forgot our duty to ALLAH and islam? have we forgot our duty is not to intergrate into a kufr system of darkness ,but to bring mankind into the light of islam. brother arsalan,and imam salahudin shame on both of you. you know the prophet told us to leave is rotten. i give you the benefit of the doubt that you must have forgotten the ayat in surah fater 35:10"HE WHO SEEKS THE IZZAH,DIGNITY,GLORY,AND HONOR,LET HIM KNOW THAT IZZAH BELONGS TO ALLAH. or the ayat in surah al-munafiqoon 63:8 "AND THE IZZAH IS FOR ALLAH,HIS MESSENGER AND THE BELIEVERS,BUT THE MUNAFIQOON DO NOT KNOW OR BELIEVE IN THIS. within this context,Umar(ra)said:WE ARE HONORED BY ISLAM;IF WE SEEK THE HONOR THROUGH ANY OTHER THING,THEN ALLAH WILL HUMILIATE".
this is not just for america,but also in the muslim world.nationalism is haraam and has no honor and can not bond humanity together.only islam can do it did in the prophet's time.humanity needs bring true justice and peace.never will man-made codes of islam and borders will never bring justice.

I appreciate your words dear brother and I do not see it as a contradiction. Yes you are Muslim and you are American and you can be proud to be both. Of course we have those who would like to deny you that, however this in my humble estimation is reality. May Allah Ta'Ala keep you well and may He continue to Guide you and preserve you. Masalaama salahuddin

As an America Muslim I have never doubted wether I'm welcomed or not this is My home and the home of My family My GrandParents. My home that my Grandfather fought for in Korea and my uncle fought for in Veitnam. So regarless of what anybody says does or thinks I know were my family and all of the other American Muslim family stand.....Personaly I think that the world as a whole is being terrorized by evil and those who fallow it,and we all(the Righteous people of this earth,No faith excluded)need to Truthfuly stand for what is good and forbid what is evil...Only shaaton or satin loves and promotes evil... So no matter were your from or where you live now just know that Allah(God) knows and is very aquainted with all that we All do and we All will be accontiable for all that we do & do not do...As Salamu Alikum, Hamidah Abdullah 20 an American Muslim Woman.


This sounds good but is it Islam wish to convert America to Islamic state why would we want to do this when all of the countrys that are Islam don't tolarate any other faith to be openly. Islam sounds good but lets be honest

What is the meaning of ( American Muslims we pledge religious allegiance to Islam and national allegiance to America....). When nationyou pledge allegiance to drafts you into its Army to slaughter your brother Muslim to whom you pledge religious allegiance I wonder what Arsalan Tariq would do. A muslim is the brother to a muslim, he cannot draw his blood, dishonor him or cause him pain in anyway. Remember that, Arsalan Tariq, when you support your Government and 'fellow Americans' in their unjust crusade against our 'fellow Muslims'. On yawm-ud-deen Allah(SWT) will not ask if you are American or how you supported brother Americans, He(SWT) will ask if you were MUSLIM and how you supported BROTHER MUSLIMS.

I think your point is extremly valid. I hope i am a asset to my country and pledge aligence to my country. Thankyou for the article.

All fine but the mortgage paymnts. Lets not exemplify that commonality.

The author wonders " any rational human being could think that I was anything but American." It's all a matter of perception; most Americans believe that religion and state cannot be separated at all under Islamic principles. I wrote a very lengthy comment about it; you can see it at

I love your article and inspirational words. I hope this article reach more non-muslims and it touches their hearts as it did mine. As an immergrant living in America for over 20 years, I am more American than I am anything else, because I lived most of my life here. America has many good values, but it also has a lot of bad just like anywhere else. It isn't supreme over anywhere else. Allah has bless America in many ways and we are fortunate to be a part of that, howerver we can not support the government in the distruction of other lands for it's own personal gain and who use the title Americans to show support to the world. Right is right and injustic is injustic. We can not pretend that America is not doing wrong. Like my grandmother would say, You can not do wrong and expect good.

The writer made my day. I dare say there are many of us who feel like you, we are unmoved by the politics of religion going on in America. At the same time i call on all Well-meaning Muslims to continue to disassociate our religion from Terrorism, a true Muslim can never be a terrorist, the laws of wars are very clear in the Quran.

Those trying to take advantage of the situation to smear Islam will fail as they have failed before, Islam always overcome. Allah will protect his religion.

Ma Saalam

Those who sit here, in spite of the blood bath that the Americans and Israelis are taking part in, AND pledge their allegiance to this kind of atrocities are traitors.

It is far better for us to know our enemies and where they stand. It is most often that these "fence sitters" get called in to "negotiate" some rediculous "deal" with the Muslims countries.

Soverignty belongs ONLY to Allah Subhana wa ta 'Ala. Bottom line. The kings, queens, sultans and "popular Soveringty" are all anti-Islam and those who support them are as well.


As-Salaamu-Alaikum Warahma Tullah...
...let me ask you this: why is it that whenever Muslims are referred to, within this country, we are referred to as american Muslim, as oppossed to Muslim american? For, whenever the latino is referred to, she is referred to as Latin american; or, the chinese, chinese-american; even blacks...referred to as African american.Whatever they are first, is what they are referred as, and then, american second. Why is that the case with everything else, except for the Muslims? Why will it not be acknowledged that before we are anything else, that we are Muslims first? For, Allah Himself has named us as such; so, since we are so very honoured to be labeled as such, by the Lord of all the worlds, then, why is it that we let what humans label us, come first, and what the LOrd of the worlds has labeled us last? Why not be referred to as Muslim american, and not the otherway around? Why? I will tell you why: when the people label a person, of non-european descent, their race first, and their place of origin first, that is exactly how they treat them: through racism, they treat them like a Latino-american; like an African american...they label us as american Muslim, because they want you to be and to act and to denounce spirituality, and embrace their democracy, as an american...and then, without compromising your loyalty to their democracy, you can be only as much a Muslim as they say that you can...By the Mercy of Allah Azza Wa Jaal, I am a Muslim first...It is the Lord of The worlds that has named me that...if anything, call me a Muslim american...and not the other way around; as far as justice is concerned? Sure, the events that have taken place a little over a year ago, was indeed a tragedy; but, I think that the biggest tragedy, is the very fact that the people have been betrayed by their very own government. THe dog is not barking...that tragedy, was homegrown...domestic, so to speak...Muslims must mourn own loss: Bosnia...Palestine..

I am proud of you Arsalan. The whole world needs people like you. Keep up the good work.

First my friend, I would like to say that was a beautiful way of putting it. Like you and many I too watched in horror the events that unfolded in America.

I was in sympathy to your country men and most of all worried for the future of our children.

People like you are to be "admired and supported", after all you are the Next Generation black and white!

From one Aboriginal to Another.

Assalamu alaikum--

I am just writing to express my gratitude towards Br. Arsalan for his very well written piece on faith and country. We, as Muslims, need to take more initiative and get more involved media-wise so that people know the truth. Br. Arsalan is a great example for that and insh'Allah we should all try to get more involved. JazakAllah khair and may Allah (swt) reward you for your effort.

I do not jude you because you are muslim.I think it is good that there are muslim familys in the US. I have been reading about muslims and i have siad the pary so i can become islm and last night i did that and i am not a shame of it. I am just trying to read more about islam but i can not find anything on. Do you think you can help me

Dear Khabib Maksud
I am a Christian but I for one can say with complete honesty that I accept you as a fellow member of this country. You may occasionally encounter unfairness in America but you will find this everywhere! I am sometimes unfairly treated because I desire to live in accordance with Jesus. But you must press on and you will see that there are many more who will accept you as you are.

I applaud your candor. You can live within these borders and not agree with everything that is done here - in fact you have the right to change things if you wish, if you in turn will be willing to show a love for your adopted country and it's citizens. Some people will show you disrespect yes - there are ignorant people in every society, but why not ignore the ignorant and show a genuine patriotism. No one would dare disrespect an immigrant who expresses a love for America.

Assalamu Alaikum,

It sounds like Mr. Cunningham is confusing Islam with the basic mission satement of white supremacy, "If you do no have white skin and believe in Christianity, we shall destroy you".

White American males are indeed the original terrorist to America. Massive homocide of Black Americans, Native Americans, massive imprissionment of Latino Americans, the temporary imprissionment of Japanese Americans, unpressadented abductions and rapes of children (in a so called civilized society). Bermingham Alabama was renamed "Bombingham" for all of the explosive devices White Americans directed to people of color and sympathetic Whites.

Theadore Kazinsky, Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols... are only a "teaspoon" in a potluck of "White (Christian/Atheist) American Terrorists".

I have to use the distinction of race/religion" because the prejudice in Americand and world media is so pervasive that if you simply say "American Terrorist" the whole planet "assumes you mean an Arab American, a Muslim American or and American convert to Islam.

Yet, no one demands that Mr. Cunningham "goes home" or tells hims that is "not his home".

Brother Arsalan by comparison of what an "American" has meant... Is a refreshing flower, may Allah be pleased with him.

To Chris Jones: To a new reader like you, Qur'an may appear as confusing. This is because it is not a typical book we find on bookstores having introduction, chapters and conclusion / summary. Qur'an was revealed to prophet Muhammed over 23 years and was compiled after his death in the book form as we see it today.

Thus in order to understand the comprehensive message of Quran, you may want to understand the context of its verses. I guess Islamicity is a very good place to study such things.

May Allah shower His guidance and mercy on you. Ameen.

I was born originally in Muslim and In the country that muslim majority. I would like to say that I disagree with terrorism and anything connecting with it.

But I would like to say that not every muslim terrorist blood and we would like to life in peace by other religion in USA and in the world.

I am glad to join and make communication with my brothers/sisters ( assalam mualaikum ) American Muslim Community.

Sorry, my English is still in beginner.
([email protected])


ANAS FROM U.S.A. said:
Assalam Alaykum brother. I just have to say Yee Haw, and JAK. You put my feelings into words. I was asked in history class to talk about sept.11. I told about the arab perspective, since I spent 3 years in syria and people took it as a declaration of hate towards America and Americans. They thought I was saying I agree with the terrorists. Men will believe what they want to believe, and hear what they want to hear. So I have to explain myself over and over to people like them. But I also get alot of mutual respect from others. I play HS football and nobody gives me or the other two muslim brothers on there a hard time. But my sympathy and prayers go out to any muslims having a hard time in america. Assalam Alaykum.

I just wanted to say that Mr. Tariq would be most welcome in my home and I do hope that he won't judge "Americans in general" to be as callous as some are, misjudging and being critical of and even mean to Muslims, just because they are Muslims. I am a Catholic American. I know that most of the people I know would agree with me. By the way, I have known some prejudice by non-catholic Americans, who don't understand my religion.

I am attempting to learn about Islam-I have begun reading the Koran and browsing the internet for information.I am not religious so I have no preconceived ideas about your religion. I am angry about terrorism,and Islamic fundamentalists have engaged in much of it around the world, not just in the US.One thing that I don't understand is what seperates peaceful Muslims from those who engage in violence.I have found the Koran to be difficult-as it seems to teach peace and justify violence at the same time.I am not finished reading it-and will probaly read it more than once,however what I have read so far is confusing. I would like to understand and I am trying very hard to have an open mind,for I believe strongly in religious freedom.I have entered my e-mail address,feel free to write me if you would like to talk. Your perspective as an American Muslim interests me and your writing indicates that you are a resonable and intelligent person.I look forward to hearing from you.

I work in san Francisco as a Fin. Analyst, and am a practicing muslim. I stick to my 5 salats, even at work and try to follow each and every command of Allah, Alhamdulillah.

I can attest to what Mr. Iftikhar is talking about in his article. May Allah bless him, and ease the task ahead of him. I would like to offer my firm solidarity with Mr. Iftikhar's views.

Jazak Allah Khair.

I'm disappointed in the comments by Mr. Randall Cunningham. I say to him:
America is the only democratic republic on Earth that it entirely composed of immigrants and their descendants (the small remaining Indigenous population notwithstanding). These immigrants have come from every nation on Earth and represent every religion. THAT is what what makes America what it is. Pluralism equals strength; it is a very simple and true maxim which sums up what our country is all about. And this country belongs to every American citizens, regardless of religion or where there parents came from or if naturalized, their country of origin. Mr. Cunningham, you need to review your American History and realize that the religious and ethnic pluralism of America is what has made us the strongest and greatest nation in the world. From the day the first explorers of Iceland and Spain set foot on what is now American soil, it is the influence of the world community that manifests itself here in a winning combination. Your ignorance is not only obnoxious but sad as well. I wish you the best in ridding yourself of the cancerous hatred that resides in your soul.

SHAY FROM U.S.A. said:
While it is good to hear that you enjoy America,
I don't think you fully understand have opposite
your faith is to the freedoms America stands
for. America gives me the right to burn a
Quran and to dephile Muhammed. Will you
fight for my right to do this? America was built
on my right to do just such a thing. Will you
fight for my right to worship my religion? What
if my religion involves worshipping animals, or
idols? The teachings of the Quran and the
Sharia law are totally opposite to the
principles America was founded on.

RE: Randall Cunningham's response to the essay by Arsalan Tariq Iftikhar. I found Mr Iftikhar's words to be extremely well-presented, in line with the teachings of Islam, and consistent with the American value of freedom of self-expression. It was therefore, both a politically and religiously viable statement as well as a highly enlightened one. Randall Cunningham's response to it was none of those things and serves to expose a common ignorant trend among non-Muslim Americans. Exactly what does Mr. Cunningham know of "True" Islam (is there even such a thing?). He has taken the author's statement, which is written with an eye towards explaining and educating, and "pooh poohed" it with an obscure and illogical reference to the year 1095. The "balanced" view of society to which he refers is NOT new, and has existed in Islam since its inception. What IS new is the sort of uninformed and dangerously negative attitudes of people like Mr. Cunningham who seem to believe that America belongs to some people but not others. The statement belies a common fear among right wing pseudo-intllectuals in America (like many of those featured on FOX News), that America is for White, Chrisitan types and the rest of its inhabitants are here at thier whim. Nothing could be further from the truth. This nation was built by immigrants (including my own parents) and has sustained its exceptional economic and intellectual growth thanks to them and in spite of people like Mr. Cunningham. Muslims comprise a significant proportion of those immigrants. Many Muslims were born RIGHT here in the good old USA (such as myself). Mr. Iftikhar did a very good job of showing how he can simultaneously be Muslim (through his religious beliefs) and American (through his love of sports and service to his country), but Mr. Cunningham still stereotypes. I'm Muslim and this country is MINE. I will do and say what is right to keep it a place where I can be proud to live and raise my children some day.

To whom Allah(swt) bestows the beauty of wisdom are require to spread the beauty of his(Deen-ul-Haq)Islam.

Your stance, while sound on the surface, is not in line with the teachings of "true" Islam. As for anyone who does not agree with or join in YOUR religion, they should be destroyed. It's good to hear that some Muslims are indeed breaking away from the ancient 1095 teachings. This is a very different world than back in 1095, it's good to finally hear and see that some of the new breed of Islam followers having a more balanced approach to society. America is indeed our home, not yours.

Asalamalaikum. Thank you Br. Arsalan for your refreshing article which captures my sentiments as an American Muslim.

Salamu Alaikum,

I salute your courage and firmness, brother. We are Muslims first then "Nationalists" or whatever after. This is a message for the whole world! Say it loud and clear and WE SHALL NEVER APOLOGISE! not to America, not to the world on this FACT.

To my fellow Muslims, I say let us return to Allah and enter His deen wholeheartedly in total submission to his will, and we shall never have to cry again.

Allah is certainly on our side. May He continue to protect Muslims the world over, ameen.