Better relations with Muslims would yield better intelligence

Category: Americas, Life & Society Views: 2938

Our policy-makers need to look at the Muslim world as both a region and as separate localities.

Intelligence failures in Washington are not limited to the Iraq crisis and alleged weapons of mass destruction programs. Based on my organization's work with government officials and their staff members in Washington, D.C., I believe that the lapses in credible information-gathering and judgment will grow unless we change the style and approach within the decision-making process.

There is a deficiency in our government of sound cultural, religious and political analysis of trends and attitudes about the Muslim world. Developing sound intelligence in the U.S. government requires three steps: understanding the interconnectedness of events in the Muslim world; strengthening partnerships between the U.S. government and Muslim communities; and developing American Muslim participation in policymaking.

One region, many nations

First, our policymakers need to look at the Muslim world as both a region and as separate localities. While each country has distinct problems and different demographics, the development of an Islamic civilization in the past has defined the history and politics of the region in a unique manner.

No other region in the world is defined by a religion. This orientation will help our analysts see how actions in one part of the region affect others.

Lack of support from Muslim countries for U.S. efforts in Iraq, for example, could be a result of U.S. actions in other Gulf countries and indifference to Palestinians and Kashmiris.

If the United States is not applying its resources to resolve international conflicts Muslims consider priorities, then it cannot expect to receive broad support from the Muslim peoples when American interests are at stake.

Trust and respect

Second, partnership requires a relationship of mutual trust and respect. Indeed, America is the superpower -- all the more the reason to utilize this leverage on the rest of the world in diplomacy rather than military endeavors only. Then others will appreciate our values of freedom and human rights rather than regarding them as instruments of colonialism in the region.

More dialogue is needed among leaders on an array of issues, from resolving disputes politically rather than militarily to dealing with illiteracy and communicable disease and population control.

American Muslims

Third, the American Muslim community remains an untapped resource as a partner with analysts and decision-makers. It's unfortunate that to this day, 30 months after 9/11, there remains a terrifying absence of Muslims in policymaking positions at the departments of State, Defense and Justice. It is a form of anemia that stalls efforts in the law-enforcement and foreign-policy community. To this day, we suffer from a shortage of Arabic and Farsi interpreters in our system of government.

But more important, our government lacks a credible level of understanding of Islam and Muslims. With such a body of knowledge, our policymakers could filter the irrelevant and nonsensical from critical information. Is it possible that the exclusion of American Muslims from the decision-making process is driven by the racist premise that we cannot be loyal to our country and faithful to Islam at the same time?

Forget about the civil-liberties crisis for a moment. Just think of the way our goals for effective counter-terrorism policy and global diplomacy are shortchanged. It is a case of negligence when considering the interests of our future generations. At the very least, our national leadership must admit a need to utilize human resources more than before, and hopefully we can learn from the lapse of judgment from previous mistakes.

Salam Al-Marayati is executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington, D.C.

  Category: Americas, Life & Society
Views: 2938
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Older Comments:
If you want a dialogue with us when your knowledge is based on what your mind is fed with by the US/Israeli Media, then you stand on no ground at all. There can't be a fruitful dialogue when your knowledge itself is flawed and your mind is pretuned to wrong attitude based on false information which is more often than not against the Muslims in general.

Please get your facts straight first. Get the facts from independent sources which are not biased in either Israel's favor or in the Palestinian's favor. Then we can have a fruitful dialogue. Peace unto you!

I guess you once again missed the part where I asked you to prove what else you know about Islam outside of a silly rap song. Obviously, nothing since your response was written only so that you could defend yourself, not what you said.

Bigotry is your own quality, your inability to think outside the box about so broadly generalizing about Muslims such as Ahmed and myself as you say, is the root problem of prejudices and hate crimes being committed against Muslims in the United States every day. It's high time for you to realize that you cannot stop Islam and Muslims from demanding their rights to say what they can't stop that, sorry too bad for you.

Summum Bukmun 'Umyun fahum laa yarji 'Uun
-Deaf, dumb, and blind, they will not return (to the right path).
Surah Al-Baqara, ayat 17

And the war of words continues.

It's ironic that Akbar Khan has accused me of putting words into his mouth, since a close reading of both our comments will reveal that he is the one doing this. Never have I accused him personally of hating all Americans, nor have objected to his criticism of my government.

What I have taken issue with, as many of you have already witnessed, is his bigotted approach to discussion. He gloated about the American Dollar (which had little if any relevance to the discussion), and he claimed that "Americans installed dictatorships", which is as bigotted as saying that Muslims commit terrorism. He implicitly accused me of questioning the patriotism of Americans who disagree with the US government. And to top it off, in a mocking tone he criticizes me of acting like a "mind-reader". Ironic again, since in his first comments to me he presumed to tell me that I don't want peace, as if he could actually what's in my heart. War of words?

Akbar Khan has claimed that I have characterized Muslims "a certain way". Admittedly I did say that many Muslims prefer a war of words over sincere dialogue. But I present the conduct of Akbar Khan and Ahmed as examples when I say that I stand by my words. Regardless, my ultimate point is not that these two Muslims take a misguided approach to discussion with Americans who disagree with them, but that their misguided approach is not rare among Muslims. This is what I mean when I say that better relations requires a better approach to dialogue from the Muslim world, because as all of you can see, the present one just isn't working.


My "rantings" Nick, as you say, are not only being said by myself...did you forget the thousands of anti-war demonstrations around the world where American citizens themselves participated in questioning as to why it is all of a sudden "unpatriotic" to question the actions of their own government? I'll tell you, hte most patriotic thing you can do is to question the actions of your own government, try doing it someday.

I never said American people install dictatorships - the leaders they elect do. Are you not watching the news, in Haiti? Have you not seen ousted democratically elected Aristide who has been called upon by Dubya Bush to exit, and for the rebel military dictatorship to take power? Was is not US Soldiers who helped this rebel police commander assume power over that nation?

It's funny how you seem to be think that you can read my mind...that you say I probably know that most Americans like myself don't hate Muslims - I never said Americans hate Muslims, those are your words...stop putting your words into what I say and assuming that I am thinking this or that, that is your own fault.

Dear readers...Nick Cameron, this poor soul who seems to be able to read my mind, thinks that I hate Americans...How can you expect Muslims to discuss with you when you spew venom as us in accusing us of being a certain way, when you have never even met me? You have no idea who I am or what I am like, likewise if you wanted broader dialogue, I presented you an answer for the word Kuffar from an Islamic perspective, yet in your haste to "get me back" you threw it back in my face without building your knowledge of Islam. I can say to you if you feel that I present a war of words to you and it hurts your feelings because you cannot absorb the content within my messages, that is your loss, not mine. Do not deny the truth that your comments are full of erroneous statements - but please, continue to try to state that you are holier than thou - Good luck.

Yet again, Akbar Khan has chosen to continue his war of words. While we can credit him for backpedalling on the anti-American rhetoric after he felt confronted on his error (since he has wisely chosen discontinue his rantings about our economy as well as refrained from further accusing the American people of "installing dictatorships"), his rhetoric of conflict nonetheless remains. Moreover, he seems to seek justification for his conduct by claiming that some Americans do this as well, which in my mind is no excuse. Nonetheless, we can appreciate that he has opted to tone down on his broad generalizations of Americans.

That being said, no one can deny that many Muslims do view non-believers like myself as "Dirty Kuffars", since all of us here are familiar with the popularity of the song and music video by the same title among many Muslims. Nor can anyone deny that he and many Muslims like him have no qualms about engaging in this kind of rhetorical bigotry against entire groups of people whenever it suits him, for he demonstrated this himself. Such things only serve to confirm my belief that too many Muslims would much prefer recriminations, accusations, and insults over genuine dialogue as the preferred method of discussion with Americans. The irony is that Akbar Khan probably knows that most Americans like myself don't hate Muslims and would much prefer good relations, since he admits to having "many American friends".

In any event, my point is not that Akbar Khan is the root cause of poor relations between America and the Muslim world. Rather, I believe that he is an illustration of the much broader challenge to dialogue. And as longs as the war of words remains the way of things among Muslims, there can never be dialogue between America and the Muslim world. This means no discussion about Israel, Iraq, WMDs, terrorism, democracy, economic cooperation, etc. And if there is no dialogue, then there will be no improvement in relations.

If you think that your previous comment was not laced with fallacies Nick, then you are in denial. I refuse to discuss issues with people who present rudiculous statements like yours. I have many American friends all over the U.S. who feel the same way as I do. I've lived with American roommates in Boston, MY EXPERIENCE will show that when people like you say things like "Dirty Kuffars" without knowing what Kufr means in arabic, and it's 5 different relations used by Allah Almighty btw, then your rudiculous diatribe of false statements cannot be something to be discussed, like I said, learn what Muslims are about before you speak. You leave me no choice but to tell you that you are confused. When you talk about not being able to "force our enemeies to want peace as much as we do," I request you to answer as to who you are referring to as your enemies if you want peace???

Without knowing your history, you have no future. Read the volumes why the world is how it is today and you'll see past your current mindset about Muslims.

Do you think Muslims hate Americans as you say, or that they hate the actions of its so called intelligence community(WMD) and it's moral authority, especially when it deals internationally, foreign policy and this "democratization process" your current administration continues to promote? If you could get your head out of the clouds, you would realize my response to you has a lot to do with this article - as it does with your silly post where you talk about a war or words, maybe that is what you are interested in, but until you start to realize that TYRANTS in Muslim countries (not Muslim leaders) are not the only ones who are responsible for rhetoric...please refer to Jerry Falwell who said, Muhammad (saaw) was a terrorist, or Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, and Bush himself who indirectly used the word CRUSADE in a speech against Muslims.

Stop playing double standard, if you're for peace, stop policing the world,nuffsaid

Once again, another example of the war of words presented by Akbar Khan. He starts by accusing me of considering Americans superior to other human beings, then proceeds by insisting that my dissenting views are the product of brainwashing. This is precisely what I mean when I describe those Muslims who seek a war of words over genuine dialogue. Instead of attempting to refute me by giving examples of Muslim tolerance and open-mindedness, he (like so many Muslims) chooses to attack me personally with clear anti-American bigotry and rhetoric. And to conclude his diatribe against myself and my country, he gloats about the present challenges that my country's economy is facing.

Now what does any Akbar Khan's hateful rant have to do with the topic of this article? While on a superficial level he speaks in irrelevancies (After all, what does the Dollar's strength against the Euro have to do with American-Islamic relations?), it's his choice to personally attack me as an American in the first place that reveals the root of the current troubles between America and the Muslim world.

Muslims frequently complain about Israel's "war of words" in regards to Palestinians. What individual Muslims must ask themselves is whether the way they themselves dealings with non-Muslims is what creates such a situation.

P.S.: I once lived in a Muslim country, and I have many fond memories of the people there. So the question that Akbar Khan and people like him should ask themselves is what has changed for Americans since then.

Nick comes the HUMBLE AMERICAN once again! What a great showcase, bravo, your superiority complex is fantastically 100 percent, US-media brainwashed accurate.


What do you know about Islam anyways since you talk like u know that most Muslims hate Americans? CNN?

Why do you talk like American citizens are superior to the rest of hte people in the world?

Have you yourself ever made the effort of reaching out to Muslims? Do you think Muslims are going to come running into your arms begging you to teach them, for them to kiss your rear-end because Americans can do so and so? I know... Americans are very good at installing dictatorships...that must be the best qualification Americans have eh? You don't want peace, get want a piece of the action, a piece of the loot, a PIECE OF FLESH! This is what you want, you have no idea what is going on in your own country - hint hint - CHARITY STARTS AT your 20+ million Americans get jobs and 10's of millions of more out of poverty before you start justifying your reasons for going into a country like Iraq and then expecting Muslims to suck up to you because you hold a U.S. passport. I was born and raised in Canada, but I've been to the U.S. and stayed there for long periods of time. I've seen and met goons like you in all different kinds of places, even worse. Get those armageddonist evangelical lunatics out of your government before they turn the world into a battleground why don't ya before accusing Muslims of calling others names.

Your economy is being gently cracked every day by the continuous strength building up in the Euro.

I think your idea of stimulating the economy is to destroy and plunder...if you read up on your American history, you will see that you inherited this tactic from the British, your "ally" whose leader is hanging his head in shame, found to be a liar and con artist to all of U.K. Think before u speak. Reap what you sow.

Well Ahmed, I think it's dishonest for you to say that my love for my country won't "get" me "anywhere here", since you don't even believe that. To me, there is no other explanation your apparent obsession with trying to provoke a fight with me here. Moreover, I note with interest that you refuse discuss your religious beliefs when asked, which tells me a great deal about the real purpose of your inflammatory tone.

In any event, I think your conduct provides an important illustration of why America's relations with the Muslim world is so troubled at this time. You see, I don't think that your bigotry against Americans is at all unusual. I truly believe (though admittedly it's based only on my own experience) that the majority of Muslims in the world would, as you seem to, prefer a "war of words" over sincere dialogue with us. And while the rhetoric of peace that Muslim leaders both here and abroad try to propagate is most appealing, the truth may be that rhetoric is all that it is. It may even be the case that the majority of Muslims (in the world, not in America) see us as nothing more than "Dirty Kuffars" to be "trown in the fiyah". If the more enlightened Muslims like the author of this article truly want better relations with Americans, then he and others like him will need to take it upon themselves to educate their less accepting brethren.

Americans can put a man on the moon, energize the global economy, and maybe one day even cure cancer. But we can't force our enemies to want peace as much as we do.

Come now Cameron, I dont believe being polite to a supporter of terrorism like you is in order. Instead of comtemplating on who I am or what religious group I belong to, why not focus on the real issues, that is American militirsm which you support. Actions speak louder than words.
Pretending to be polite, yet hiding behind lazy rhetoric and condescending "patriotism" isn't going to get you anywhere here.

Peace, [email protected]!

Concerning entry and residence of individuals who rejoiced in 9/11, I'm not certain whether or not we do share common ground. I don't think that our government should penalize people on the basis of their personal beliefs and nothing else. If we're talking about foreigners, then the real issue is whether they pose a threat to the People's interests by coming here to live. Now if personal beliefs drive particular individuals to commit acts that hurt us in a material way, then yeah I think the CIS (formerly the INS pre-911) should act accordingly.

About your comment on bulldozing white supremacist camps, it reminds me of something that happened a few years ago when members of a white racist group killed the son of a Native American woman. On behalf of the woman, the Southern Poverty Law Center sued the group in court for wrongful death. The jury in the case gave the woman such a large sum of money that the racist group had to liquidate the land they used as a base of operations, which resulted in the woman taking the land.

Not exactly "bulldozing", but to me it seems even better. Of course, we'd probably have to settle for the bulldozing when it comes to terrorists outside the US.

As far as applying for the specifically FBI, you'd probably need to check out for more info. But if your community is really interested in policymaking, then I suggest that Muslims should not limit themselves to the FBI. In fact, government departments like Defense and State do much more in the way of shaping our foreign policy than the FBI, whose jurisdiction is theoretically domestic affairs.

[email protected] FROM USA said:
Peace, Nick Cameron. Here is perhaps some common ground between us: anyone who rejoiced in the events of 9/11 (for WHATEVER reason they rejoiced) should be denied entry into and be forbidden to remain within the United States of America. Would that perhaps be something we could both agree upon?

Now then, you have advocated the bulldozing solution, in one of your other submissions (which was posted for another article). Were you perhaps suggesting that the United States bulldoze the homes of American white supremacists who have conspired to blow up federal office buildings? Note that I still oppose such measures -- but it would make your personal renunciation of American imperial-aspirations seem a bit more credible.

It might also be worth considering that out of the 11,000 people who officially work for the FBI, it was recently reportedly that the Bureau has only six (6) Muslim employees. I suppose that Muslim Americans could perhaps start submitting applications to FBI, even while expecting their applications to be rejected, in order to substantiate a case of religious discrimination. For whatever it might be worth, I have already made my personal contribution to that particular effort. Perhaps because I applied for a job the FBI has concluded there is nothing I could know which would interest them. What was that site again, Nick -- --

Well Ahmed, I can assure you that whether or not you are "impressed" is immaterial to the topic of this article. As far as your personal attacks against me, I think your comments speak more about the kind of person you are than they do about me. (BTW, are you a Muslim? I ask because I'm curious as to what religious beliefs you hold that condones your lack of civility.)

In any event, I'm fairly certain that I don't want an empire at this time. It's too messy, and I prefer wealth and comfort for the American people over more power for my government. Instead of trying to control the world, we'd be much better off using our resources to develop new technologies that can improve health and quality of life throughout my country. And if foreigners want to share in the affluence that we will build for ourselves through our own labors, then they can pay through the nose.

But back to the topic, I agree that Muslim Americans are a great asset to this country and that they can contribute much.

Peace, Yahya Bergum! I will start by saying that your apology is unnecessary. I found your comments to be polite and thoughtful, even if they may have been based in part on a misunderstanding. My remarks about the hatred against me referred to those who want to force me onto a boat and rock it back and forth as well as those who accuse me of wanting to force Muslims to become "collaborators".

Of course, I'm aware that many Muslims in America fear that what happened to Japanese-Americans during WWII may happen to them as well. For the record I do not support the Patriot Act in its present form. Nor do I agree with the idea that the Administration can run roughshod over due process with an arbitrary power to label a citizen as an "enemy combatant". The Bill of Rights was not meant as a set of peacetime guidelines. In fact, it was intended for precisely these moments in history when government becomes the most active, as is generally the case during wartime.

In any event, I will try to clarify misunderstandings by saying that I don't seek to force other Americans to agree with me on my world view. And certainly, I do not claim that people who are not with me on my opinions are necessarily with my enemies. But I do believe that we Americans should stand with each other when faced with a threat to our lives from abroad. And furthermore, we should not seek an invitation before we do so.

But to get back on topic, the opportunities for Muslim Americans to serve our country and help to shape policy already exist. They just need to know where to find them.

Hint: is one source ;).

Peace out!

You protest a bit too much Nick. I'm neither impressed by your false bravado or jingoistic patriotism. Why should American Muslims stand beside those who have declared war on their faith ? You must be daft.
Instead of demanding that those who disagree with your terrorism to go elsewhere, how about you get the hell out of the business of invading countries which have done you no harm ? No ?
Dont waste our time regurjitating FOX propaganda, we know you for the empire loving megalomaniacs that you are.
ANd you will religated to the dust bin of history as a failed nation in all aspects.

Nick, I will not at this time answer for the manners of Muslims -- other than I myself apologize. Let's for a moment forget about Muslims, Salafis and KSA. (Meaning that this is my response and not someone else's.)

At the risk of seeming presumptuous, you declared to a group of generally apprehensive Americans that they either needed to side with whomever you yourself happened to side with or perhaps consider going somewhere else. Yes, I fully realize that might not have been what you actually meant to express -- but I can personally imagine that is what it sounded like to at least a few of the other Americans at this site.

I seem to recall your name from somewhere at this site before and have the impression that either you have strong religious convictions or perhaps it was merely that Islam seemed to appeal to you. (I recall being impressed with your name for some reason or another.) Either would do nicely, thanks, for the sake for this discussion.

It is my position that as a patriotic American citizen (even if you are an atheist) that you should strive, to some extent, to persuade Americans (including our elected representatives) to serve the cause of that which is good -- which may or may not, at one time or another, be the same thing as maintaining national unity. I am trying to (hopefully) provide you with perhaps an idea for avoiding the problem of serving "two masters" so to speak.

I am not sure I have even managed to answer any questions you might have had -- but thanks very much for caring. I really mean that. May Allah bless you.

I don't understand the anger towards me. I see nothing wrong with saying that American Muslims should be loyal to their countrymen and stand with their fellow Americans against the Enemy. And I think it says more about you who condemn me than about myself that you object to the idea of loving America as I do. I am fully aware that most American Muslims love our country as much as I do. Nonetheless, I don't think that Muslims are "excluded" from the political process, and I will remind those citizens who believe this that our Constitution has guaranteed for us the power of the vote.

If this hatred against me on the basis of my expectation of loyalty from other Americans (whether these Americans are White, Black, Green, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, etc.) to America seems objectionable to some, then those who feel offended have the option of leaving our blessed country and live in KSA. I stand my ground on this one. (And yes, I do believe that the Salafis are in charge in Saudi so I think there's nothing wrong with my acknowledgement of this.)

It is time that someone creates a zionist boat and put Nick Cameron (OUR GUEST) in it and bulldoze the boat back and forth here at the "waters" of Islamcitiy/ and only then Sir NICK Cameron will know which gov't and its people are the REAL TERRORISTS!!!

May be we should put some CHEAP STOLEN OIL into the "waters" of this site and all MIDDLE EASTERN PUPPETS/proxies of U.S. gov't, as floating devices....No!!! that's a wrong will be more attractive for Nick to jump in....Hence, his escape will be much easier....

Since we,MUSLIMS, treat our guests kindly...We MUST put oil and the dictators in the "waters" of for an easy escape for Sir Nick Cameron....


Nick, the argument here is not so much about Muslim Americans being invited to participate in the defense of our country. The argument here primarily concerns Muslim Americans being excluded from the formation of US policy -- which in some cases pertains to the invasion of Muslim homelands.

Also, Salafism is very much a religious orientation, as much as (or perhaps much more than) a political movement. You almost seem to long for the confinement of Salafis to the Arabian Peninsula. Such a desire would seem to suggest religious discrimination -- something that is very much NOT the "American Way." For whatever it might be worth, not only do I myself wear an American flag pinned to the lapel of my jacket but I also consider myself to be a Salafi. My views are of course my own.

Nick, I would say it's actually more of a global campaign than a national struggle. On the other hand, if you're proposing to limit the scope of the on-going campaign to US territory, I suspect you'll find a decidedly more receptive audience here at iviews.

Also, I personally prefer to refer to the place you mentioned simply as Arabia. Plus, I like to think of myself as something of a Salafi -- so evidently they are not all in Arabia.

Oh, one more thing. Please bear in mind that Senator Cicero was actually referring to Julius Caesar, when warning his countrymen of the enemy within -- regardless of what others would have you believe. I consider myself to be a fan of full disclosure, in addition to something of a Salafi.

Strength and honor (and peace and God's mercy and blessings).

And thanks for stopping by.

PS. Rest assured, the FBI has rather extensive file on me by now. (No worries.)

Grow up Nick, Muslims are not going to turn into collaborators and stool pigeons to facillitate your campaign of terror against the peoples of the Middle East.
Your "war on terror" is nothing but an orchastrated sham to extend American hegemony on the region.
If you were the least bit interested in fighting terrorism, you would have hanged your leaders a long time ago. Nobody in going to entertain your lies here.

While I agree that we Americans must maintain unity with those of us who are Muslim, I see no particular need to make a special invite for their support in our national struggle against terrorism. They are Americans, so they should enthusiastically offer whatever help they can in our fight against the enemies of the People whether or n ot they are asked. Such is their obligation, and if they don't like it then they can go live with the Salafis in KSA.

Let learn the lessons from Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq eventhough it is harsh one. Look at how we are being mistreated and a true muslim will not let this happen to another muslim or a non-muslim.

Wa'alaikum assalam Kashif. Are you here on business or pleasure? My point would be, in the event of a conflict, I presume you would strive to behave honorably -- insha'Allah. Jazak Allah khair for your sincerity. Wassalam -- warrahmatullahi wabbarakatuhu.

Salaam aleikum,

(The sideshow comments notwithstanding) This article represents a shameless appeasement to the political establishment purely for political and personal gain. Comments such as this:

"...our policymakers need to look at the Muslim world as both a region and as separate localities.." seems reflective of the author's ignorance of the Islamic concept of Ummah and of the historical precedent of Muslim lands having been united in govt. and administration (most recently under the Ottoman authority). Blatant endorsement of the status quo of nationalism,tribalism in the Muslim world offers nothing new to people -- be they Muslim or non-Muslim. Secondly, this author boasts and brags of what his organization has done to appease the establishment, but one is begged to ask -- when has MPAC ever taken a principled stand *against* the establishment on ANY issue? It's easier to wait which way the wind blows before deciding to step outside. Lastly, the author would be best to acquaint himself with the Islamic concept of "wal'aa" and "bar'aa" (loyalty and allegiance) hence he can then clarify which "govt"/deen he would support in the event of a conflict between Islam and kufr.

Jamal... Islam is not about trying to emulate Arabs - but emulating the Prophet (saws) who was an arab. Also akhee, fear Allah, and spread love among the Msulims wherever they are from - do not spread hate and discord.
As salaamu alaikum

Peace be unto to you, Jamal. I would guess you suspect this site is both Wahabi-friendly and frequented by Arabs. What is your motive for 'submitting' such comments at this site? In what way might you expect to have encouraged those you have insulted to be more honest, patient and inclined to perform acts of compassion?

Do you have a complaint concerning Arab royalty perhaps? To the best of my recollection, I have never met royalty (Arab or otherwise) that I felt were anything other than courteous and graceful. Might you feel that those "of the Wahabi persuasion" have somehow discriminated against you? Please consider whether or not funding by Wahabi concerns might be largely responsible for putting the Qur'an into the hands (or into the web-browsers) of all those converts you mentioned.

Please note that I take exception to your calling the Bedouin arrogant. Also, from my understanding of the Qur'an, intellect (combined with ingratitude) would appear to be the origin of arrogance -- and if you don't mind my saying so, Jamal, you yourself seem fairly intelligent. What we are given is a test - is it not? Please consider my words (and peace).


Assalamu alaikum Richard. I guess I'm confused as to why an understaffed military would care about a naval corpsman's politics. The naval corpsman would normally be serving on a ship, is that correct? If they don't have a weapon in their hands then what possible difference could their potential "pacifist inclinations" make? Regardless of any of that -- may you and yours receive Allah's blessings and peace (Ameen).

Alsalam Alaykum:
I have to write Zinedine and AT your missing the point of Jamal. Arabs didn't give us Islam Allah(swt) gave Islam to all of mankind. An Arab is not neccesarily a muslim. A Muslim is not neccesarily an Arab. Arabs were pagans before islam and was nothing before islam and would be nothing without islam. Islam civilized every nation, culture and race of people on earth. Zinedine arabs didn't do does those things you state muslims did them. AT if your an muslim first state that first and not that your arab. What is happening your using the arab interchangable with the word muslim. Your over sensitive when talking about enthic groups, failing to understand that as muslim were not even suppose to identify with enthnicity but only as the Ummah (muslim nation). I know it is hard not to identify w/ our enthnicity but for this reason we muslim are in the trouble state were in. That's why the Arab league is racist, the arab national movements of Omar Quaddifi and Saddam Hussain failed and they will continue to fail cause we have to hold tight to the rope that bind us as muslims. When non-arabs who are muslim see the words arab and/or muslim used together or interchangable it angers us because the two aren't the same. Are the Malays, Cheneyans, Pakis, Nigierians, Turks not muslims? Are they referring to them? Zinedine your from Morocco, your located in the continet of Africa, are you african or arab?, are you arab cause arabs came there and mixed w/ the african women and had children?, are you arab cause you speak arabic? would that make the burkina faso children arabs since most or them are bilingual? Are only the saudis arabs since they are born in saudi arabia? The point I'm making we have to be precise when we use words. Now as for the article, the article is a typical uncle-tom apologetic slop this website features, it's typical of muslims in the West, working in Wash, D.C. would think better relations w/ the ummah would get better intelligence.

This is for Mr. Jamal. I am an Arab, but first and foremost, I am a Muslim (alhamdulilah). I am sad to hear you speak of Arabs, who are your muslim brothers and sisters, in that manner. I can see that you may have had a bad experience dealing with Arabs but I would not generalize, for not all Arabs are the same, nor are all Indians, Pakistanis, Indonesians, Americans etc. There are Arabs in Africa, Middle East, Asia, North America, South America, Australia and they are all different. If we want the West to respect us and make an effort to understand us, we should try to understand ourselves first and unite instead of insulting one another. It is therefore our responsibility as Muslims to refrain from useless insults that will only provoke anger, hatred and animosity towards one another. If you have had a bad experience dealing with Arabs then I would be more than happy to extend my apologies to you. May Allah unite us and forgive us all. Salam

I agree with my Moroccan brother,Zinedine, that Sir Jamal is an "askiNazi-KKKgized" son of Mother Eve.

Here is another seni~or, who has really fallen in LOVE with cheap LOBSTERS found in Gringo reastaurants (Note:the lobsters are cheaply obtained at the expense of the 3rd world people)

It is time that someone bulldoze him out of and build an apartheid wall around this site. Then and only then, Mr. Jamal(who has an Arab Name, but too drunk to realize it) would be able to differentiate between the Israeli terrorists/hardcore zionists (Note:not faithful Jews) and the Arabs.

See!!! What cheap lobsters, American Pies, and such gringo TV shows as "American Sweethearts"/Reality TVs can do one's brain cells!!! I think he'll soon start hating himself.

His hatred of Arabs (and Jews) probably comes from the recent sad event near Mina, Saudi Arabia, in which many South Asians were caught celebrating VALENTINE by drinking and dancing near the Holy Site.

Anyways, H.A., however, would like to give Jamal a big ARAB-STYLED BROTHERLY hug to squeeze the "askiNazikkkgized" component out of Sir Jamal's system.

Let H.A. summarize his "TRUE" points with his sad, but PATENTED equation -
t= time

t + >=10 yrs in America + REB LOBSTERS of Sizzlers (a restaurant) + American Reality TV shows + Half-time Shows of American Football/Superbowl games = hating those who lifted people of out of darkness and also taught people NOT to be tempted by infidellic activities

Just too sad....


Salaamu alaikum,

This section is reserved to Jamal, the jahili, I thought my ancestors, the Arabs saved your ancestors from aljahilia, Ignorance. I am sure that most Indian Muslims and Pakistanis and all South East Asians in general are grateful for their ancestors early contact with Arab traders and the subsequent conversion to Islaam. Thanks to my ancestors for that. They are grateful for the fact that Arab travelers like the Moroccan Ibn Battouta recorded your history for you when you did have a written history before the advent of Arabs like him. I cannot believe you call yourself Muslim and your racism is as bad as that of the KKK. And who said that all Jews are bad. Little ignorant Jamal, do you know that Arabs were the brains that gathered all the best brains of the world and built Bayt Alhikma for them in Baghdad when Europe was living in their dark ages? Do you know that the laws of natural sciences started out as Ilm al'osool, the science of fundamentalism, then Arabs turned alchemy into Chemestry? Can your your little and dense brain understand that Arabs have saved the World 600 years of scientific error and trial as per non biased science historians?
Regardless of their race or color, nations shares two common features: success and failure. They rise and fall; they can fall when their leaders and schloars are divided into clans and their commoners stoop to the lowest moral values but can achieve greatness when their leaders and scholars are united and their subjects or citizens exhibit high moral values and unite like a solid block.

I am now thru with you Jamal, you don't deserve this Arabic propre noun and remember that our beloved prophet pbuh and Ali KAW and most Sahaaba (prophet's companions are Arabs. Did you some of the Sahaaba are of Roman, Jewish and African origin?

May Allah forgive ignorant people and cure them from racism!



Yahya, I served in the US Navy for 5 years as a Hospital Corpsman for a battalion of Marines out of Camp Pendleton, California. I've been to many countries along the pacific rim under the US flag.
The situation I face now is that I'm Muslim. My wife accepted Islam as well. The military can't understand why we did so and has stated that they are "concerned" about it and don't approve of our lifestyle. Pure and simple islamaphobia. Discriminatory to say the least. We have both served with honor during our time in service and my wife still does. This kind of talk coming from the US Government and military is the worst kind of rubish.

People in general and MUSLIMS in perticular need to understand one very important fact that popular media has one goal when comes to Islam: to demonize Islam and Muslims. Quite often we hear Muslims and non-muslims saying that Islam is a "misunderstood" religion. Islam is not a misunderstood religion. The spin masters are using tools at their dsposal to spread mass deception about Islam and Muslims. One rarely see a Muslim "expert on Islam" invited by the media when Islam is the topic. It is a non-muslim "expert on Islam" that is invited to talk about Islam and Muslims. At present the policy maker are not interested in the truth about Islam. They have there own agenda. Muslims need to work hard, organize, participate, and excel then only they will be heard.

On more than one occasion since the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001, President George W. Bush has denied his "war on terror" plans are aimed at Islam. He has visited mosques, invited Muslim leaders to the White House and praised Islam as a religion of peace. But few Muslims are convinced of his sincerity or goodwill because his actions contradict his words.

This is because many contrary indications suggest that Bush, and more particularly the neo-conservatives now setting the pace in Washington, conceive of their struggle as a global conflict between the forces of "democracy" and the "enemies of freedom", between "civilisation" and "barbarism", between the West and Islam.

The question must be posed: Are the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the world-wide terrorist manhunts, no more than the early skirmishes of a prolonged war between the world's only superpower and the world's fastest-growing religion? Bush has hinted the war could last a generation..." Echoing his messianic rhetoric, Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair has vowed to "finish the job", however long it takes. Between the two of them, we seem to be promised war without end.

No one doubts the United States is the most powerful country in history. Bush has signed the 2004 military budget of over $400 billion, greater than the combined military budgets of all other major powers dwarfs that of every earlier empire, including the British Empire at its peak. Thousands of US troops, supported by formidable air forces and navies, and the latest conventional and non conventional weapons of mass destructions, are stationed at major bases in 35 foreign countries.

It just doesn't sink in some Muslim brains including our the US ZOG just like Israel has zero interest in peace with or democracy export to the Muslim World. Iran and Syria are important countries that can be included in the stability of the Middle East, Asia Minor and Afghanistan but the US gives a blind eye to international law .

Also, I don't think that our nation should have to rely on our soldiers' memoirs as a source of Intelligence. This would especially seem so if we ourselves work with or live near someone who could have told our soldiers in advance what they would (instead) learn at the job site.

Richard, I am grateful for your wife's and your service to your (and presumably my) country -- you didn't mention the flag under which you yourself had served -- and God willing I would not be excessively presumptuous (in as much as presumption is inherently erroneous). Why your wife's antagonists would propose that you violate a tenet of Christianity is beyond my profoundly limited comprehension.

Peace be upon both you and your family. (Ameen)

Also, I don't think that our nation should have to rely on our soldiers' memoirs as a source of Intelligence. This would especially seem so if we ourselves work with or live near someone who could have told our soldiers in advance what they would (instead) learn at the job site.

Richard, I am grateful for your wife's and your service to your (and presumably my) country -- you didn't mention the flag under which you yourself had served -- and God willing I would not be excessively presumptuous (in as much as presumption is inherently erroneous). Why your wife's antagonists would propose that you violate a tenet of Christianity is beyond my profoundly limited comprehension.

Peace be upon both you and your family. (Ameen)

America can afford to have poor relations with the Islamic world. In my opinion the brains behind current foreign policy have decided that
1) an unstable Islamic region is more favorable to a stable one that can "possibly" develop hostile nuclear capabilities
2)as long as U.S. forces sit close to or on the actual oil fields the rest of the region can go up in flames
These are harsh racist policies, but in line with what is called "pragmatic" in this day and age. The current policies are no different from the policies used against the Native Americans who were systematically robbed of their lands and resources by the greed of the modern age. The paranoia that America suffers from today is partly a result of uneven distribution of wealth, and an unhealthy infection of the policy makers minds by the zionist survivalist mentality, a mind set where no matter how powerful they get the more paranoid they become.
The sad reality is Muslims are weak today in both, arms and leadership, while the west is strong and arrogant.
May Allah help us find a way out of this darkness.

I think the author stated quite well the reasons behind this issue. I also want to comment on the US Government's view of American Muslims. My spouse is on active duty orders in the US military and her orders are about up. She wants to stay on since this is our only form of income at the moment. They told her she would have to divorce me in order to get new orders. Why might you ask? We are a MUSLIM family and are causing "concerns" for the military!!! I'm a veteran! She's still in the military and we are considered a "concern" because we are Muslim! They basically called us terrorists! Needless to say we are in the process of finding a new source of income. Why should we support an organization that labels us in such a manner? Just another example of islamaphobia at work.

The article asks what I feel is the key political question for Muslims almost anywhere. To slightly rephrase the question that was asked, is it possible that the exclusion of Muslims from (secularist) decision-making is driven by the premise that Muslims cannot be loyal to both their country and their Lord at the same time? I would answer, definitely yes.

My current thinking is that the best solution to this sort of problem is to strive to encourage our countrymen (Muslim and otherwise) to do what they themselves have come to understand is right -- so long as we, as Muslims, are instructed to do similarly. My thinking is that doing so would likely leave us more trustworthy in the eyes of our countrymen. More importantly, doing so would (hopefully) leave us less likely to incur the wrath of our Lord.

Also, consider perhaps allowing for occasional "political compromises" in our struggles to do what is right. We compromise in our daily lives anyway, do we not? Patience is a virtue -- in most cases, I would say.

Better relations with the Muslim world???

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH WEST'S RELATION TO THE MUSLIM WORLD.....there is allot wrong with their relation with the ARAB world.

The Arabs have opressed taken advantage of, used and abused Muslims from the indo-pak regions for centuries.

They export THEIR version of Islam to the rest of the world....building Masjids and posting THEIR Imam at the pulpit ensuring their adgenda is propogated.

Islam has NOTHING to do with being Arab, dressing like an Arab, thinking like an Arab, eating like an Arab.

It's does however have everything to do with being MUSLIM.

Arabs are in Hell...Islam is fine....I've been watchin people convert all year....

The ARAB is the BROTHER of the is obvious from his behavior, attitude and they reap the rewards of their arrogance