The image thing

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Middle East Topics: Christianity Views: 3110
3110

Leo Tolstoy once said that "Hypocrisy in anything may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised." Just as al-Qaeda used their fatalistic interpretation of Islam to promote their agenda, Reverend Jerry Falwell is essentially proclaiming a political jihad against Islam in an effort to promote his apocalyptic worldview and lobbying power to the American public. History will vindicate or demonize us for the manner in which we react to such skewed and self-promoting rhetoric.

 

In the most recent installment of "60 Minutes", Falwell begun by smugly telling correspondent Bob Simon that the fringe element of the Christian Right dictates the policies to which President Bush adheres. He and some other evangelists proclaim to be stronger political saviors to the state of Israel than American Jews themselves. He basically reiterated Sam Huntington's myopic "clash of civilizations" thesis, in which Christians and Jews are on one side, with the dark monolith of Islam being on the adversarial end. Before you go out and buy an Israeli flag to fly next to Old Glory, Falwell's over-endearing gestures towards our Jewish brothers and sisters must include some non-evangelical context.

To many evangelical Christians, it is no secret that the establishment and sustenance of the state of Israel is a sign of the second coming of Jesus. According to Christian Evangelical theology, the creation of the Jewish state of Israel is a precondition for the return of Jesus, the battle of Armageddon and the Apocalypse. Falwell contends that it is his sincere love for his Jewish brethren that leads him to his unequivocal support for Israel. What he fails to tell the public is that, according to Evangelical doctrine, after the battle of Armageddon, Jews who remain on Earth will either be slaughtered in the battle or convert to Christianity. The Israeli Jews that were interviewed for the "60 Minutes" piece tried to distance themselves as far from Falwell as humanly possible. Many Jews realize the duplicity in Falwell's support; a support which ends in their death or their conversion.

Islam was next in the crosshairs of the reverend. He self-righteously asserted that he thought "Muhammad was a terrorist. I read enough to decide that he was a violent man, a man of war. In my opinion, Jesus set the example of love, as did Moses, and I think Muhammad set an opposite example." If I were to stoop to Falwell's anachronistic level, I would cite Leviticus 20 in the Bible, where the prophet Moses proclaims the penalties for various crimes, including death for anyone who curses his father or mother, commits adultery, or engages in homosexual sex. There are more examples of violence in the Bible, taken completely out of context. The prophet David is praised in Samuel 18 for slaying "tens of thousands," and in Judges 14, Samson kills 30 random Philistines in revenge for losing a bet. These are meaningless examples, because we don't understand the historical and cultural paradigms of the prophets' times. Prophets of Christianity and Judaism are also great prophets of Islam. They set moral codes that were unknown to humanity at the time. An attack upon any of these prophets is an attack on Islam.

The scariest aspect of this debate is the undue influence people like Falwell have within the current Bush administration. Commenting on Falwell's comments, a Washington Post editorial stated that "on [Falwell's] noxious mix of religious bigotry and anti-Muslim demagoguery, Mr. Bush's silence is deafening." Only when President Bush denounces and distances himself from duplicitous and conniving people like Falwell, will I ever be convinced that this "war on terror" is not an evangelical war on Islam.


Arsalan Iftikhar serves as Midwest Communications Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He attends Washington University School of Law in St. Louis


  Category: Faith & Spirituality, Middle East
  Topics: Christianity
Views: 3110

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Older Comments:
~SUSAN~ FROM USA said:
RE: Amal Post # 6407

My Dear Amal... I attended school with a very Dear friend whose name was Amal Mahi almost 30 years ago here in America... She and I had many good times and shared many Good secrets and gifts... I think about her often , these days especially and Pray that she is safe and well... If you View this ever You may contact me at I would be more than willing to assist you in your english paper and information seeking because that is what I do online here...

I am saddened that you would feel that Usama was justified in attacking and killing Muslim,Jewish and Christian Americans for what he believed but I can understand the Idealisim of youth and that is where Knowledge and balance come in ... Please , As the Prophet was told "READ"... Do not stop at reading what people may tell you to, but Read all the rest of the Qur'an as well... also read the Injeel and the Torah for they are a part of what Muhammad (pbh) taught as well...

Do not let other people's opinions guide you; make your own decisions based on KNOWLEDGE from all and well balanced sources... Hope to speak to you in the future , Susan
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CATHY FROM US said:
The response from 16 year old Amal is very very sad. As an American reading about Islam I find it very disturbing that someone claiming to be a Muslim would have so much hatred in their heart and then in the same breath claim that it is the American people who are the problem...Islam preaches peace but how is that Muslims have so much absolute hate in their hearts? Did I just read that the actions of Osama are justified? Evil is evil, no matter what country it is in! THIS is your image problem, and unless Muslims practice what they preach (PEACE),it will forever be there. If they cannot then it would be wise to look to where the SOURCE of all of the hate is coming from...peace comes from God, evil from Satan.
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S.A.KHAN FROM ENGLAND said:
Assalam-u-aliakum.
I totally agree with brother Adamu Ibrahim Muhammad that the Muslims are one body,and thatis the way we should perceive our selves.Allah subkhanahu wa tahalh has declared us as a ummah,a complete unit,and if we try to recognise our selves by nationality,then we are not serving the purpose of being muslims (that is to obey the commands of Allah).And since we are not obeying the commands of Allah, we are incurring the wrath of Allah on ourselves.The nationalism or the ethnicity does not exist in Islam.This is something that is invented by the Kuffar to rule us,(remember their policy of 'Devide and Rule').
We have lost touch with the Quran and the Hadice and so therefore we are running in all sorts of problems.we need to re-establish the Shariah law,which is the supreme law above any other law made by these Kuffar.We were the greatest empire on the face of the Earth,that's when we were following the Quran and Hadice.Look around the world and you'll see all the Muslims being torchoured.This is because we are not strong enough as we used to be both millitarilly and relligeousl.
All the Muslim countries should get together and set up a united millitary defence orginasation like that of NATO. With this,I hope, we would be able to at least defend our brother in various parts of the world,since the West and the America is targetting all the Muslim countries(America is now lobbying for the support to launch a terrorist attack on Iraq.Who knows Saudi Arabia,Iran,Syria or Jordan might be next on the wanted list,all Muslim countries).
We can be,Insha Allah,victorious gain BUTT only if we stop fighting with each other, and act on the commands of Allah and Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h).This we can start from our own homes.Look at the muslim society in this country,or any other country for that matter,and you'll understand the reasons why we are being treated like animals (or even worse than them)by all the nations.
Assalm-u-alikum.
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FRED FROM USA said:
The reference in this article to Fallaci's book should perhaps point out that she was addressing whatshe perceived to be the anti-Israeli and anit-Jewish bias in European countries. Here, the article suggests that she is against Arabs in general. I am not sure what her position is on this issue but I know that the main issue confronted by her is the European bias, the sort of thing that the author concludes with, slipping in a slap or two at Israel while mentioning what ought to be done to correct missimpressions about Arabs and Muslims.
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ADAMU IBRAHIM MUHAMMAD FROM NIGERIA said:
My Dear Salama,

Let me ask you first, are you a Muslim? You see I have been emphasizing the idea of "Ethnic Nationalism". The fact that it is a bad innovation that is destroying the Muslim Ummah is indisputable. As far as Allah is concern Islam will remain and conquer even if the present day Muslims are exterminated from the earth. And unfortunately, we the Muslims are going far away from Allah's commandments and by implication destroying ourselves.

Salama, mentioned Arabs and Muslims more than three times in her article, Why? Arabs are different from the Muslims? It is true that Allah revealed the Quran in Arabic but He never mentioned Arabs by name. If you are from China and a Muslim who can recite the Quran, you may be better than many Muslim Arabs in the sight of Allah. That is easy for Allah. So Allah warns the Muslims about this in the Quran and in the Hadith.

If the Muslims are to win this imposed war by the Jews, it is my submission that we fight with the sole purpose of emancipating the third holiest shrine of Masjid-Al'qsa, the Muslims in bondage in Palestine, Chechenya, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and all over the World. And not for the sake of Arab land of Palestine only. It is when we have this aqida built in our hearts that we shall succeed. It is never too late. But is better late than never. May Allah help the Muslims all over the World, ameen.

Bissalam.
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AMAL FROM AUSTRALIA said:
I just want to comment about your article on "The image Thing" My name is Amal, 16 years of age and i am lebanese. I just wanted to say that i agrees with your article and i find it so unfair and disgusting on how the media is portraying us muslims. Its sad to see people sink so low. Here in society instead of showing good things about muslims, you see the media pick up on little mistakes and turn them into big issues. The thing i dont understand it that why when we have our people dying everyday..no one knows about it, the media dont bother to show it and no one sympathises for us. But when other cultures from other countries die, its like the world has ended and they make a big fuss and deal of it. I wish that someday we receive the same respect as everyone. After september 11, so much has changed.....i mean there blamming us for this but i think it was the jews that done it. I just hope the ..Americans never in their life catch Asuma Bin Ladin, may god be with him and protect him.....well i think its enough from me for now, but if you can id lik eit if you replied to my email...thank you......By the wya, im doing my english assignemt about this exact topic about us muslims being portrayed badle, and i am wondering if you would be so kind is to give me some information about us and the media......Thanks again..Amal Hajj-Hassan
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ALEX NODOPAKA FROM USA said:
I suggest the Arabs and the Moslem world in general spend their billions on their own people. That spending is overdue and is needed to reeducate the Moslems in regards to technological and cultural progress as they go hand in hand. The Moslem world has misspent billions in the last 50 years towards the wrong ends on the massive building of religious 'teaching centers' instead of the building up of technology within their own countries.
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MOHAMMED MOGRA FROM UK said:
ASSALA-MU-ALAYKUM

This article is almost spot on to fact that there has been lot differeces between comunities and religion, since sept 11. I live UK, Manchester and would say our community had become under threat before sept 11, for example race riots all over UK during whole of summer of 2001. Religious school, buildings and mosques were under threat. There were many attacts by whites and raciests youths on thses buildings. But after sept 11 these attacts become more intense and the whole of muslim community in UK were absolutely appalled at the goverment who did nothing stop this raciest attacts. An example of these attacts were for example about 10 miles from the city of Manchester called Bolton, a minor bomb had gone off outside a mosque, there were no investigation been carried out by the police. Another was raciest youths attacted many muslim women, a pram had been turned over with the baby inside. Muslims in many parts of the UK asking questions, how will this suffering will go on and is it going to get any worse?
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JOHN NORMAN FROM ENGLAND said:
Medola: You've hit the nail on the head. But don't expect any excuses or apologies ftom Islam. They are right, you see.
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IQBAL A FROM UNITED KINGDOM said:
I believe that our image and religion would be better served by ordinary Muslims interacting and communicating the true ideals to others. We Muslims only seem to react after incidents like September 11. We should be more proactive in explaining what being a Muslim means.

Others should learn that we are similar to them and have similar aspirations eg. we care for our families, children and our community.In this way the popular media portrayal of Muslims can be combatted.

The Western perceptions of Islam are deep rooted in history. From Chaucers demonisation of the Arabs for having the temerity to defend themselves from the Crusaders through to the modern day.

Their view is also tainted by historical associations. For example, the first cold war was fought between Islam and Christianity. Muslims almost turned the entire continent of Europe to Islam, but for the Ottoman Turk defeat at the very gates of Vienna, at the Battle of Mohacs in the 1500's. The lingering fear remains, often incited by certain groups and concerns to the modern day.
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LUIGI MEDOLA FROM ITALY said:
I've read the book of Oriana Fallaci and I don't find hate in it just rage for impossibility of communication.
The central problem with islam is lack of reciprocity. That is why the rights of religious freedom are requested and obtained by islamics in western countries but they are denied to christian and others in islamic states?
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JUHA FROM USA said:
Response to Hayao i couldn,t agree the outhor,s viewpoints but he has forgeten that jewish has benn the begest terror in this world for the past 50 years and now it is time to clean-up and put the mess in the trash!!!!!!!!
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MUSTAFA FROM USA said:
I agree with teh commentary. However, the Arab regimes are merely attempting to protect their rule.
The reality?
Allah will test us when we declare belief. Our tests are most likely going to increase in severity as our belief increases.
Our solution is not to emulate America. America has reached its peak.
Our solution is to emulate Muhammad and reestablish the Islamic caliphate. End natinoalism that divides, oust the petty rulers that oppress us, and solve our many problems according to Islam.

May Allah ease our suffering and grant us success.
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LUIGI FROM ITALIA said:
I read the Oriana Fallaci book and I must say you didnt exactly get the true meaning of it.
She is a idol in italian Journalism . After the the 11 sept facts she gave voice to something that was in the heart of millions of western people. Why islamic people can hate us so much? why so many people people in muslim contries cheered and approved terrorism? Why muslims ask and obtain religious freedom in western countries but deny the same freedom to other religions in their contries and so on.
Indeed there was much rage in her book but not hate .Her questions, by now, havent received satisfying answers from islamic culture
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JOHN NORMAN FROM ENGLAND said:
hiya Matsu.,

You appear, on the surface at least, to be a pretty pathetic human being. Obviously, something bugs you. Did you not make it to Berkeley? Did they turn you down at Salomon Brothers? Did Steven Spielberg trash your moronic screen play? Aren't you able to keep up with Philip Roth and Saul Bellow? Aren't you as talented as Dustin Hoffman or Harrison Ford? Did a Jewish psychotherapist turn you down for treatment? Why don't you stick to the issues in the article?

No more answers for you, Matsu.
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HAYAO MATSUMOTO FROM USA said:
A reader mentioned that you Norman were a Schizo, now thats an insult to all schizophrenics....they atleast have a chemical basis for their dilemma.
You on the other hand Norman continue in your standard behavior....a 3rd rate jewish racist whose petty bigotry has even been used against fellow Jews not in favor of Israel's terrorist policies.
As for holding the record in racism, there is no doubt that Jewish chauvanism today serves as the greatest threat to world peace and security. Maybe the Japanese should NOT have helped Jews seek refuge during world war 2. Certainly the Japanese today are not the ones blowing up children and seizing land like your terrorist brothers in the occupied terretories.
I wonder why you are so hung up on Japan's actions from over 60 years and ignore your brethrens actions in Palestine....simple...you are a jewish racist and hypocrite...a dirtbag who is afraid of history and reality.
You zionists are a true fifth column in this country. As far as pathology goes.....its a shame Tay-Sachs didnt claim you...it certainly would have spared the gene pool thrash of your likes.
Either way, you;re not fooling anyone with your inane comments.
Jewish hate peddlers are all going to end up in the same place...the trash bin of history...not surprising given your history.
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ANNE FROM USA said:
In the last part of the article about "how arabs are seen" the writer talks about freedom and democracy in the arab worlds. Where have any of us actually seen democracy in action nowadays? The United States says they have it but in fact this isn't the case. We don't get fair elections either. They arent counted properly etc. Florida remember? police Tap out phones and spy on us all the time. The people are not even listened to by the oil money hungry men in there expensive suits.
If the arab world wants to do a better job all they have to do is follow all that is in the Quran. Who cares how the unlbelievers portray muslims...they don't matter in the bigger picture.
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K. A. YOOSUFANI FROM USA said:
AlHamdu Lillah Nahmaduhu wa Nusalli ala Rasulihil
karim. Amma Ba'du. I would like to present a few
verses from Holy Quran.
1. "Oh you who believe! If you would help the Deen
of Allah, He will aid you and plant your feet firmly." ( Ref: S 47: v 7)
2."We will, without doubt,help our apostles and
those who believe, (both) in this worldly life
and on the Day when the Witnesses will stand forth,"--(S 40:v 51)
3. "O you who believe! Seek help with patient Perseverance and Prayer: for Allah is with those
who patiently persevere." (S 2: v 153)
4." It is He Who got out the unbelievers among the People of the Book from their homes at the 1st
gathering (of the forces). Little did you think
that they would get out: And they thought that their fortresses would defend them from Allah!
But (the Wrath of) Allah came to them from quarters from whichthey little expected (it) and
cast Terror into their hearts..."(S 59:v 2) Please
read the whole story from a Tafsir of Holy Quran.
5. "O you who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain that will save from a grievious penalty.
That you believe in Allah and His Messenger &
that you strive (your utmost) in the Cause of
Allah, with your wealth and your persons....."
(S 61:v 10-11)
6. "O mankind! There has come to you a direction
from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases)
in your hearts,- and for those who believe,
a Guidance and a Mercy". (S 10:v 57)
7. "If Allah helps you, none can overcome you..."
(S 3:v 160)
8. "So lose not heart, nor fall into despair:
for you must gain mastery if you are true in
Faith" (S 3:v 139)
9. "...Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything
we may have done that transgressed our duty:
Establish our feet firmly, and help us against
those that resist Faith".(S 3:v 147)
Abu Huraira RA said:Prophet SAS said: When my
Ummat begin to attach more importance to the world
and to regard it as source of glory, the awe and
importance of Islam will
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NAVEED FAROOQ FROM USA said:
We need solutions, we know the problems are already there. We need more action people who are willing to take responsibility rather then just sitting and watching from outside.
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ANONYMOUS FROM USA said:
Totally disagree. If people hate you because of your race, religion, etc., the problem is with the hatred in their heart, not you. If you "re-vamp" your image, haters of you will not change, since their hatred of you is their problem. Plus, your generalizations of Muslims are way over the top. This article just feeds into anti-Islam propaganda.
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AMIN FROM USA said:
First not all jews are zionists,
second all zionists are racists.
I agree with this article but the problem in our perfect Din isn't simply bad publicity but the way it's practiced.
Islam is a flexable systems, and we are now far too divided there is now a trend to be an unrelenting extremist who is narrow minded and takes the Qu'aran out of context, or a liberal who wishes to secularize Islam as has occured in the west. What does this mean? To me both fanatics and the liberals are hypocrites.
Secularism and intolerance are Western plagues not Muslim plagues, why do we adopt them both?
If someone a westerner or a Muslim criticizes something in the Muslim world we quickly defend it and say what westerners do or did and how this is worst, or rationalize. This is of course wrong. I do not defend Muslims just because they say they are Muslims, I do so if they are good honest people. If we act honestly and justly as did the Prophet(PBUH)our record would change. These militant extremists use Allah's name but in vain. They do not follow Allah's rules on proper use of force. First an attempt at reason must be made with the enemy. The prophet entered a humiliating treaty with a people he knew would not keep it. It is our duty as Muslims to accept blame for our actions and strive to do right.
When a Westerner condemns something in the Muslim world our first response shouldn't be, but America did this and Israel did that. This is expected of America and Israel. They don't have God's proper law, but we do. Just because Israel kills unarmed civilians doesn't give us the right to return the favor. We know better. The prophet (pbuh) never killed or had anyone killed unless they were armed or being executed by Allah's law. Did he kill the women of the Jewish tribes in Medina, I think not.
one critic mohdwaseeluddinahmed said it best
"THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT WE ARE NOT FOLLOWING ISLAM." When we show proper behavior to the world people will flock to Isl
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MUSTAFA DINC FROM TURKEY said:
The author of the article mentions that the elections in many muslim majority countries are won by 99 per cents. These are some Arab countries with socialist or nationalist and thus unIslamic ruling elites who carry out non-Islamic and even anti-Islamic policies. So the fault belongs to these westernized elites --with west-origined ideologies-- and the western countries that support them against the quite popular Islamic awakening which is these days artfully and malevolently stigmatized as "Islamic fundamentalism".

I am not from one of these countries. My country is one of the most democratic countries of the Muslim World. But similar undemocratic things happen here too. The non-democratic groups that usurp the peoples right to elect whoever they wish are again the same groups: The Westernized, secular elites with modern, western ideologies such as capitalism, social democracy and liberalism.

One more thing to add. This is not so valid fro my own country, Turkey, which never suffered a period of Western colonialism. But this is the case for most of the other Muslim nations: These anti-democratic regimes were established by the Western imperialists who shaped the political systems of their ex-colonies in such a way that they can never develop a healthy political system again. For example, the French usurped the political rights of the 90% Sunnite majority in Syria and gave the command of the army and the government to the minorities who belong to some religious sects. But it seems that the ruling elite does not even really belong to these religious sects. They are mostly militant atheists. After spoiling the political system of Syria, the French left it.

No, the world does not know much about us. At least, they dont seem to know the things I wrote above.
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YAZID FROM USA said:
Suban Allah Brother.

Here we have a muslim with the blinders of pride and cultural arrogance removed. Well said. Now if we can get the rest of the Ummah to WAKE UP and realize that Islam's greatest enemy is not the Jew or the US Gov. but ourselves. If we don't fix ourselves WHO DO YOU THINK WILL? If you can answer that question honestly...then we have a place to start
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ABDUL WADOUD FROM USA said:
We have an image problem is true and it is due to our behaviour or lack of it. As the brother mentioned the best way for us to clear our image is for each of us to behave in the manner of our Prophet(PBUH). But how can we when most of us are Muslims in name only. Muslims because our parents were or are, parents who in many cases don't go to the mosque or pray. Remember that before we were given any laws the Prophet took thirteen years to work the hearts of believers into understanding and believing "la illaha illallah" so that it was not just in their mouths but in their hearts for as we all know "what is in the heart comes out in the hands". Until that day we will continue to distort the Sharia and make it into something that chokes mankind instead of something that frees it. The mosques will stay empty except during Ramadan and for Jummah. Muslims will fight other Muslims because they are from a different country or worse will refuse to stand in salat next to them. We will continue to in some countries treat 1/3rd of our Ummah as second class citizens and deny them the right to vote or get an education. We will be one billion and growing individuals with no power instead of one Ummah controlling over 1/2 of the worlds natural resources. We will continue to look at science and math as evil and understand that a true understanding of science will bring the thinking person closer to the truth about the greatness of Allah and the truth that is Islam.
Until being a Muslim is more than just a lable we will have a bad image and we all of us are to blame. Aquire true faith for with it comes the ability nay the desire to do good deeds and it was through good behaviour and good deeds that Islam was spread and why it is still today the fastest growing religion in the world.
As Salaamu Alaikum
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AHMED FROM US said:
This is article has some good points but I do not agree that "the world knows too much about us." I believe that the world does not know much about the rest of the world. The media focuses only on us and that could be a good thing, however, it only focuses on our vices. So, of course, we seem like the worst people on earth to the rest of the world because no one sees the crimes against humanity in Ireland, Russia, China, and don't forget Israel. Israel's crimes are NEVER shown on the news here in the U.S. Fortunately, we can recieve al-jazeera station through satellite but how often do you think people see that? In that case, it is our fault that Muslims do not try hard enough to fight ignorance and bring truth to those who need it most.
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JOHN NORMAN FROM ENGLAND said:
Sorry, Matsumoto, but the Japanese hold the world record in racism. We know, don't we, that they think of the Japanese as the only true human beings in the world. Everyone else is non-human.

Glad your Grandparents served in the US Armed forces during the war. But this doesn't alter the issue of Japanese racism one whit. So before you start accusing Jews of being racist, take a good, hard,long look in the mirror.
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AHMED FROM PAKISTAN said:
all the image & argument going today is correct or in correct. the question in my mind is WHY DO WE MUSLIMS need, or desire to have a CERTIFICATE OF GOOD BEHAVIOUR from any human being.
this only shows our lack of self confidence that we are the best nation as a religion in the whole world.
For Haven's sake just forget that we have to clear our image infront of the whole world. Instead lets sit & think that we should strive for achieving new technologies which are more user & global friendly & compete with the west in reference to our contributions in field of science $ tech; arts etc. etc.
thanks.
Dr. Ahmed Uzair Qureshi
Lahore, PAkistan.
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HAYAO MATSUMOTO FROM USA said:
Well well well, "John Norman" looks like the truth hurt you enough to reply back with your usual brand of half-truths and standard jewish racism.
Get this Norman, my Grandparents served in the United States armed forces during WW2, so theres goes your lame attempt to link a 4th generation Japanese American to the crimes of the Imperial Japanese empire. If 1935 seems recent to you, than your crimes in Sabra and Shatilla, Qana, Jenin practically happened yesterday! You truly are pathetic!
The fact is Norman, you are a typical jewish racist, a phony who uses lies and orientalist myths to propogate your hate campaign against Arabs and Muslims. We are well aware of desperate charlatans like you in the club of cowardly zionists who now see the tide turning in America against your nazi-style policies against the Islamic peoples, as your crimes are being exposed.
I am well aware of your love for your idol Areil Sharon, a warmonger racist terrorist....the typical zionist.
Such Chutzpah!
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MOHAMMAD FROM USA said:
Bismillah.

During the 13th Century CE, rampaging Mongols invaded and devastated Muslim lands. Yet within 50 years, these same Mongol hordes converted to Islam, thus was one of Islam's dark hours elevated into a fantistic victory.

I believe Islam is still capable of enjoying these miracles - providing that Muslims adhere to Islam. The growing record of corruption, human rights violations, and the inability to rise to the challenge of modernization within an Islamic framework are not good signs that Muslim nations are willing to progress on the path of a progressive Islam.

If these short comings could be addressed, I think there would be no stopping tremendous advancements in Islamic causes throughout the globe.

As-salaamu alaykum.
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MOHDWASEELUDDINAHMED FROM INDIA said:
THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT WE ARE NOT FOLLOWING ISLAM.THE DAY WHEN MUSLIMS START FOLLOWING ISLAM THEN ALL THE MISCONCEPTIONS REGARDING ISLAM WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE REMOVED.IT WILL BE A SIMULTANEOUS ACTION.THEN THE WORLD WOULD START COMING TOWARDS ISLAM(DIVINE RELIGION)
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NOREEN FROM USA said:
There are over a billion Muslims in the World and there are more Muslims in the US than Jewish people.
It is up to each of us to learn from other minority groups and repair the damage done in Islam's name.
There is nothing Islamic regarding the called "Muslim" countries. These countries do not represent Islam.
Islam promoted democracy, not monarchies or dictators.
It is upto the civilians of these countries to educate themselves in all areas of academics, Quranic wisdom, Hadith and Islamic history to reinstore democratic leaders in their countries.
Study Islamic history to see how true Islamic civilizations existed and follow that example.

Its true that many of these dictators are supported by Western powers however it is ultimately upon the people to break free from these internal oppressors.

Without proper leadership and educated civilians, Muslims can not advance in education, science, medical research, economics, trade etc.
These nations can not rely on oil forever.

Muslims living in the West are largely free to educate themselves, and promote good public realtions by behaving like Muslims and following the Qurans. We need to monitor the actions and voices of our Imams and set standards, because many ignorant "scholars" have misled many Muslims and created havoc.
And we need to question and clear our own methods and behavior.
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FAIZ KHAN FROM USA said:
It is sad that the condition of the Muslim Ummah is so depressing. There is no doubt that the enemies fo Muslims world is doing its best to show them at their worst by manipulating and exployting. Unfortunately the character of the current Muslim Ummah is so unislamic that I think we (Muslims) have given them all the opportunity to do it.
The status of the Muslim Ummah will not change unless we make the effort to change ourselves. I think the answer is simple - we have to follow the basic Islamic principles and the situation will correct itself.
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EL HAJJ ADE-SUNNAH FROM CANADA said:
This sort of article is part of the problem. The author would have been more correct if you replace "arab" in the second part of the quote below with "muslim" to read"..as long as the political and moral situation in the muslim world remain the same". Every muslim has to start to think that whatever affects a muslim in any part of the world affects him. Going back to this basics is the key to solving our collective problem as muslims and in playing our collective role in solving the world's problems through service to Allah.

The quote:
The sad fact, however, is that the image of Arabs and Muslims cannot be revamped, regardless of how many millions we spend, so long as the political and human situation in the Arab world remains unchanged.

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SAIF FROM ENGLAND said:
Your article seems to take a middle ground. However it is firmly rooted in Kuffr ie. in concepts. The prophet said in a hadeeth one who things the ummah is destroyed is destroyed in themselvs. And democracy as mentioned at the end of that passage is not from the creed of Islam. Islam is subservience to Allah alone not the mind of a collective of men. In Islam it is the Khaleefa who delegated responsibility and impliments the authority of Allah upon the people.
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JOHN NORMAN FROM ENGLAND said:
To Mr. Kettani and Mr. Matsumoto.

Sorry, Mr. Kettani but it was Judaism which insisted that every slave should be freed after 7 years. That was some 1600 years before Islam appeared in the Middle East. Perhaps you could explain to us why slavery still exists in Arab societies, Sudan being a noteable case. And why it was Dr. Livingstone's campaign, amongst others that forced the British government to intervene against Arab slave-traders in the Gulf. The last slave revolt in Africa took place in the 1960' when the people of Zanzibar rose up and expelled all Arabs and Muslims from the island. Isn't it time that the Arabs and Muslims showed some maturity and apologised for that appalling trade.

Your other point: if Jews and Christians had been fully accepted as equals in the Arab world there would have been no need for protection. Against whom were they being protected? Muslims!

As for Mr. Matsumoto, before accusing the jews of racism, he ought to examine the recent history of Japan with its rape of Nanking in 1935, with over 300.000 people murdered, the colonisation of Korea and the atrocities committed against Philipinos, Chinese, Koreans, Indians, Malays, Indonesians let alone Europeans ans, Australians and Americans.
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CHRIS AZAM FROM US said:
Hayao Matsumoto wrote: I agree with Yusuf, quit apologizing for things you haven't done.

Uhh... that's not what Yusuf's said. Please re-read the second last paragraph of the article, then read Yusuf's comment again.

As far as John Norman's comments are concerned, I don't believe them to be popular myths. A schizo episode, possibly. Or, giving him the benifit of the doubt, black humor? Regardless, I don't get it either.
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MOHAMED IRSHAD FROM SRI LANKA said:
I am a Sri Lankan muslim.at present i am studying Ulster University in northern Ireland
this is my address. please send somemore new masseges about islamic wored.
Mohamed Irshad,
Errigal,House7115,
Room 7211,
University of Ulster
Cromore Road,
coleraine,
Nothern irelend
BT52 1SA
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RAFIAH MUHAMMAD FROM AMERICA said:
America and the western world know nothing about us, that is why they are so thirsty for information about Islam now. Americans know nothing about the similarities and differences with their Muslim neighbors. Ignorance is deadly for both Americans and Muslims.
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HAYAO MATSUMOTO FROM USA said:
I agree with Yusuf, quit apologizing for things you haven't done.
Speaking of discrimination, I see jewish racist John Norman is back in circulation. Armed as usual with popular myths. Its no coincidence and Norman's brethren have actively shaped and molded the image of Arabs and Muslims for over 5 decades to create what Dr. Shaheen calls the "TV Arab." Not to mention demonizing other minorities.
The Chutzpah of these jewish supremacists is nauseating.
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YUSUF FROM FRANCE said:
Actually fix the problems instead of being a perpetual victim and blaming everyone else -a long overdue realization, and one that I commend the author for stating. The truth is sorely needed if we are to move forward.
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MOHAMED KETTANI FROM USA said:
Dear Norman:
Slavery existed before Islam and was common to all civilizations. Islam is the first religion, which explicitly encouraged people to freed slaves. Regarding our so-called "discrimination" towards non-Muslims, let me remind you that Jews and Christians were living peacefully and protected by the Islamic Caliphate. Please before to argue, read the facts enumerated by western historians regarding the burning alive of Jews and Muslims during the Inquisition in Spain by the "enlightened" Christians of this time. Also please, please read the massacres of Arab Christians (beside the Muslims) by the Crusaders (again other "enlightened" Christians). As far as I know until 1865 Slavery still existed in the United States; has ever the US government apologized to Africans for centuries of enslavement, racism and other atrocious crimes? Has ever the US and Australian governments apologized for the extermination of Native Americans and Native Australians? Have ever Europeans apologized for Slavery? Have ever the civilized Westerners ever apologized for the war crimes committed during colonization? The list is long, but I think it is enough. Before to judge, please clean in front of your door and look at what your enlightened civilization did to others. Last advice, read and educate yourself it will free you from ignorance.
Friendly,

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S. KASHIF HAQUE FROM FOREIGN said:

Salaam aleikum,

Very good article. The author has correctly grasped what is really at the root of this problem and has alluded to the fallacy and short-sightedness of those Muslims who think otherwise.
Coupled with Muslim intransigence at recognition of the problem one should also add kaffir's denial that a problem even exists. Many non-muslims believe that their military and politicians can simply do no wrong, that exploiting people in the third world is "God's work" or "manifest destiny" and that the sins of the past can simply be forgiven because they are "god's chosen people". That any and all resistance to U.S. imperialism or colonialism (especially of peaceful protests) is terrorism.

Perhaps some ideas of how to combat this ignorance at some level among people on both sides needs to be discussed. The status quo will simply lead to more of the same.

salaam aleikum,

s. kashif haque
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JOHN NORMAN FROM ENGLAND said:
It would certainly help matters if Arabs and Muslims started by apologising for their discriminatroy behaviour towards non-Muslims, now and in the past, and the slave trade, colonialism and imperialism.
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