How to Deal with Islam and Muslims

Category: Americas, Life & Society, Nature & Science Views: 7399
7399

If Islam and Muslims are not driven to greater democracy, modernity and compatibility with the contemporary international world order, the possibility of a clash between civilizations may become real, concludes a study conducted by Rand Corporation recently. Sponsored by the Smith Richardson Foundation and supervised by the National Security Research Division of Rand, Cheryl Benard wrote several recommendations for policy makers and planners.

The Smith Foundation aims to contribute to important public debates and to help address serious public policy challenges facing the United States. The Foundation seeks to help ensure the vitality of our social, economic, and governmental institutions. It also seeks to assist with the development of effective policies to compete internationally and to advance U.S. interests and values abroad. This mission is embodied in our international and domestic grant programs. The report suggests that only through developing a modernist Muslim leadership and supporting a Sufi brand of Islam, Muslims can be tamed in their anger against the West.

The report does not address any of the core issues that are central in developing the perceptions of the Muslim world like; Arab-Israeli conflict, Kashmir-India conflict, Chechnya and Russia conflict and the exploitative political systems supported by the American or European elites.

The report makes a detailed analysis of the existing and emerging intellectual trends within the Muslim community and concludes that the only viable allies in the fight against the so called Muslim fundamentalism are those modernists and Sufis who are loyal to the ideas of American and European elites. The report divides Muslims into five main categories, namely:

The fundamentalists who "put forth an aggressive, expansionist version of Islam that does not shy away from violence. They want to gain political power and then to impose strict public observance of Islam, as they themselves define it, forcibly on as broad a population worldwide as possible."

The traditionalists are those who believe that Islamic law and tradition ought to be rigorously and literally followed and Muslims orthodoxy should make some concessions in the literal application of sharia.

The modernists are those who seek far-reaching changes to the current orthodox understanding a practice of Islam, while the secularists are those who believe that religion should be a private matter separate from politics and the state.

The sufis are those who believe in a peaceful isolationist tendency.

The report suggests that secularists may not be trusted as they have radical ideas based on anti-colonial, and imperialistic or communist ideologies. The fundamentalists and traditionalists can also not be trusted. However, the report suggests that fundamentalists and traditionalists must never be allowed to develop an alliance. Rather they should be encouraged to fight against each other. The only group that can serve as a dependable ally of the American and European elites are those modernists who are willing to argue that human will can assume supremacy over the will of the divine. In other words, who are willing to acknowledge the limitations of the Quran in guiding Muslims or others. The report suggests that such groups should be promoted and supported. The report also recommends that those belonging to fundamentalist brand of Islam must be exposed and their character must be questioned or even assassinated. Here are the excerpts of the report: 

Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, resources and strategies is 80 plus pages long. Here is a summary of some the recommendations to develop a strategy.

Build up a Modernist Leadership. Create role models and leaders. Modernists who risk persecution should be built up as courageous civil rights leaders, which indeed they are. There are precedents showing that this can work. Nawal Al-Sadaawi achieved international renown for enduring persecution, harassment, and attempts to prosecute her in court on account of her principled modernist stand on issues related to freedom of speech, public health, and the status of women in Egypt. Afghan interim minister of women's affairs Sima Samar inspired many with her outspoken stance on human rights, women's rights, civil law, and democracy, for which she faced death threats by fundamentalists. 

There are many others throughout the Islamic world whose leadership can similarly be featured. Include modern, mainstream Muslims in political "outreach" events, to reflect demographic reality. Avoid artificially "over-Islamizing the Muslims"; instead, accustom them to the idea that Islam can be just one part of their identity.

Support civil society in the Islamic world. This is particularly important in situations of crisis, refugee situations, and post conflict situations, in which a democratic leadership can emerge and gain practical experience through local NGOs and other civic associations. On the rural and neighborhood levels, as well, civic associations are an infrastructure that can lead to political education and a moderate, modernist leadership.

Develop Western Islam: German Islam, U.S. Islam, etc. This requires gaining a better understanding of the composition, as well as the evolving practice and thought, in these communities. Assist in eliciting, expressing, and "codifying" their views.

Go on the Offensive Against Fundamentalists. Delegitimize individuals and positions associated with extremist Islam. Make public the immoral and hypocritical deeds and statements of self-styled fundamentalist authorities. Allegations of Western immorality and shallowness are a cherished part of the fundamentalist arsenal, but they are themselves highly vulnerable on these fronts.

Encourage Arab journalists in popular media to do investigative reporting on the lives and personal habits and corruption of fundamentalist leaders. Publicize incidents that highlight their brutality-such as the recent deaths of Saudi schoolgirls in a fire when religious police physically prevented Saudi firefighters from evacuating the girls from their burning school building because they were not veiled-and their hypocrisy, illustrated by the Saudi religious establishment, which forbids migrant workers from receiving photographs of their newborn children on the grounds that Islam forbids human images, while their own offices are decorated by huge portraits of King Faisal, etc.

The role of "charitable organizations" in financing terror and extremism has begun to be more clearly understood since September 11 but also deserves ongoing and public investigation.

Assertively Promote the Values of Western Democratic Modernity Create and propagate a model for prosperous, moderate Islam by identifying and actively aiding countries or regions or groups with the appropriate views. Publicize their successes. For example, the 1999 Beirut Declaration for Justice and the National Action Charter of Bahrain broke new ground in the application of Islamic law and should be made more widely known. Criticize the flaws of traditionalism. Show the causal relationship between traditionalism and underdevelopment, as well as the causal relationship between modernity, democracy, progress, and prosperity. Do fundamentalism and traditionalism offer Islamic society a healthy, prosperous future? Are they successfully meeting the challenges of the day? Do they compare well with other social orders? The UNDP social development report (UNDP, 2002) points clearly to the linkage between a stagnant social order, oppression of women, poor educational quality, and backwardness. This message should be energetically taken to Muslim populations.

Build up the stature of Sufism. Encourage countries with strong Sufi traditions to focus on that part of their history and to include it in their school curricula.

Committed adult adherents of radical Islamic movements are unlikely to be easily influenced into changing their views. The next generation, however, can conceivably be influenced if the message of democratic Islam can be inserted into school curricula and public media in the pertinent countries. Radical fundamentalists have established massive efforts to gain influence over education and are unlikely to give up established footholds without a struggle. An equally energetic effort will be required to wrest this terrain from them.

Thus, to accomplish the overall strategy, it will be necessary to:

Support the modernists and mainstream secularists first, by

  • publishing and distribute their works
  • encouraging them to write for mass audiences and youth
  • introducing their views into the curriculum of Islamic education
  • giving them a public platform
  • making their opinions and judgments on fundamental questions of religious interpretation available to a mass audience, in competition with those of the fundamentalists and traditionalists, who already have Web sites, publishing houses, schools, institutes, and many other vehicles for disseminating their views
  • positioning modernism as a "counterculture" option for disaffected Islamic youth
  • facilitating and encouraging awareness of pre- and non-Islamic history and culture, in the media and in the curricula of relevant countries
  • encouraging and supporting secular civic and cultural institutions and programs.

Support the traditionalists against the fundamentalists, by

  • Publicizing traditionalist criticism of fundamentalist violence and extremism and encouraging disagreements between traditionalists and fundamentalists.
  • Preventing alliances between traditionalists and fundamentalists.
  • Encouraging cooperation between modernists and traditionalists who are closer to that end of the spectrum, increase the presence and profile of modernists in traditionalist institutions.
  • Discriminating between different sectors of traditionalism.
  • Encouraging those with a greater affinity to modernism-such as the Hanafi law school as opposed to others to issue religious opinions that, by becoming popularized, can weaken the authority of backward Wahhabi religious rulings.
  • Encouraging the popularity and acceptance of Sufism.

Confront and oppose the fundamentalists, by

  • Challenging and exposing the inaccuracies in their views on questions of Islamic interpretation
  • Exposing their relationships with illegal groups and activities.
  • Publicizing the consequences of their violent acts.
  • Demonstrating their inability to rule to the benefit and positive development of their communities.
  • Targeting these messages especially to young people, to pious traditionalist populations, to Muslim minorities in the West, and to women - avoiding showing respect or admiration for the violent feats of fundamentalist extremists and terrorists, instead casting them as disturbed and cowardly rather than evil heroes.
  • Encouraging journalists to investigate issues of corruption, hypocrisy, and immorality in fundamentalist and terrorist circles.

Selectively support secularists, by

  • Encouraging recognition of fundamentalism as a shared enemy, discouraging secularist alliances with anti-U.S. forces on such grounds as nationalism and leftist ideology.
  • Supporting the idea that religion and the state can be separate in Islam, too, and that this does not endanger the faith. 

Obviously, the report is recommending a Muslim leadership that is completely owned and operated by the American and European power elites. The report has serious repercussions about Islam, Muslims and the future events. Interestingly, the report has not generated any serious discussions among Muslim intellectuals and Islamic scholars in the country, many of whom seem to be unaware of the existence of such report.

Dr. Aslam Abdullah is the Editor of the Minaret magazine which is a monthly publication from Los Angeles, California.


  Category: Americas, Life & Society, Nature & Science
Views: 7399
 
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Older Comments:
MUMTAZMIR FROM USA said:
this is typical divide and rule policy
2004-04-29

JOHANNES FROM STANKONIA said:
salamu alaykum.
well said akbar.
to sis amira and the others here who arent up on what the rand corp is, the rand co is an extremely influential think-tank in the u.s. one that caters to extreme right wing govts, i.e bush, reagan et al. there are other think-tanks such as the rand corp, namely the american enterprise institute, the heritage foundation and the like.
the bush regime bases their policy decisions largely on the think tanks that suit their global outlook. the brookings institute (a quasi liberal outfit) was used quite extensively by the clinton regime. the brookings institute files their regular reports, but since they dont fit the hegemonic agenda or the bush cabal, reports from the broookings institute will fall on deaf ears.
the rand corporation will find every report it files will find its way into the oval office. the reports will no doubt be taken into consideration, and if all else fails .. will be used as an excuse by the neocons for their policy initiatives.

so, what does this all mean? it means that bush-cheney-shaitaan are getting their info from an organization that thinks muslims are threats to america. not only threats in the non-assimilating nuisance threat, but a socio-political and economic threat. the rand corp has pretty much labeled us as being a collective fifth column.

amira, another thing - not every muslim is an arab, and not every muslim is an immigrant. muslims have been in the united states for over 400 yrs. both white, black and native. arab muslims sailed to this continent in the 11th century. chinese muslims followed soon thereafter in the 12th century.

we're not all running away from some arab prince, finding save lodging in the 'american dream'. arabs only account for 14% of all muslims. apart from uzbekistan, albania and most arab states, i cant think of another muslim nation where the rights of muslims are being trampled upon by their own leaders.
2004-04-28

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
Amira: If you wish to be labeled and compartmentalized into groups of sub groups by some stupid organization with a hidden agenda you haev no clue about, that is up to you. really if you want to be classified as being labeled as a particular type of Muslim, I cannot stop you, but I would suggest to you to not fall into such a trap, b/c that's just what it is, a trap into making you go back to sleep, do your 9-5 job, watch tv when u come home, and not be active in standing up for Muslims instead. I'm pretty sure you would prefer doing the latter, I might be wrong, though...

The other thing is, this precious Taliban we all talk about was made rich, fat, and even created by US government subsidies for years....millions of dollars in aid they were receiving b/c a pipeline deal was in the works between Americans and Taliban, from the Caspian to bring the oil through Afghanistan. Just take a little more time to see how this single tribe (Taliban) out of the tens of thousands of other tribes in Afghanistan came into power. It's b/c they were put there. Where were the calls against the Taliban's human rights violations against women when they were getting 6 million US dollars per year from the US Congress in the early to mid 1990's? No no...they had vested economic interests.

I would just ask you to reconsider your "agreement" with the classification and designation that the RAND organization wants to put us all Muslims into.

Personally, and to be more straightforward, I wouldn't want to be labeled as a particular type of Muslim by a group of people who are first, NOT MUSLIM, and second, they are not educated on Islam, they are looking at Muslims and judging them based on a mold or model of their own...not from the peaceful co-existence model of Islam. Think about that...just a suggestion.

Wassalaam.
2004-04-28

AMIRA FROM USA said:
Oops, I should have put I am against the article here but FOR the Rand article. My mistake.
2004-04-27

AMIRA FROM USA said:
Salaam alaykom,

I was rather surpised to find myself agreeing with alot of this article. The RAND Corp. is not a group I would normally listen to and I acknowledge that RAND is not putting this article out for the love of Muslims but I do find this article to have merit. I think we DO need to limit the fundamentalist interpretations of Islam....who wants to live under the Taliban? NOT ME. If we are honest with ourselves, very few of us would want to live in Saudi Arabia either....at least not as a person who HAS to live there.

It is hard to finally acknowledge that things are very messed up in the Muslim world...and I am talking idealogically not economically (another issue entirely). Let's face it, we all want to live in a democracy that treats all citizens equally regardless of race, religion etc. If someone says the don't then I question their humanity and more importantly, I wonder if they are hypocrites. How many times have I heard our immigrant brothers and sisters jumping on the bandwagon to complain about how Muslims are treated here in the USA but nary a word is said about things 'back home.' I realize it might be dangerous to say these things publically but you, and I, know that the attitude is that back home it is 'ok' to discriminate against non-muslims. There is a disconnect of logic in this area.

We DO need to change our knee jerk reactions and ideas of what is acceptable and we need to think thru these issues. If we don't like being discriminated against here in the USA then how can it be ok 'back home' to do to others.

I think it IS time that we be honest with ourselves and stop being hypocrites. To GET tolerance we have to GIVE tolerance, even when we dont agree with a particular lifestyle or world view or religion.

Time for us to wake up.

2004-04-27

BOHARI BIN MASHLI FROM MALAYSIA said:
Allah protect ISLAM until kiamah and so does it followers and believers.
2004-04-26

MATT NOONE FROM U.SA> said:
This Is yet Another wake up call fot all Those
Muslims that are for practical appliacation of the diyn chosen formankind By Allah (A.W.J.)And given a mercy from ALLAH(S.W.T.) and guidancethrough the sayings and actions of the rasoolulah (s.a.w.s.)as applied by the prophet and the pious predecessors.
Another proof of the commonly used tactict of divede and conquere employed by the enemies of the haqq to undermine your diyn and your way of life.
Save yourseleves and your family from the fire whose fuel is men and stones.
lines are being drown and this article magnifies them and gives you a glimps into the ongoing tactile sublte and abstract battle theater of the war Against AllAH
and his messenger and those who know wich side they belong on.
Let us All asses ourselves Before we are assed.
Inshall-Allah
2004-04-26

KHALID FARIDI FROM INDIA said:
I am indifferent to these conspiracies though I believe in the authenticity of Zionist Protocols. I believe as long as we have Quran and Sunnah, RAND and its ilks would not be able to make inroads into mainstream Muslims. Remember how Jehad was declared null and void by the west and its stooges in Ummah but now Alhamdilillah everyone among muslim knows without Jehad there is no respect, no Islam and no Houris in Jannah.
2004-04-26

SYED FROM USA said:
sufi spread islam through out world not mulla .
2004-04-26

ABD AL-BASEER FROM GERMANY said:
Assalamualaykum. It would be nice to exchange views with you on a personal basis. I agree to what you wrote, but still, we have to work out a solution to this growing danger, i.e. these news sects of modernist, tradionalist etc amongst the Muslims.

Also you said Muslims didnt debate on this, well the point is, the debates which you see in Western media are all those of the Modernists, so whatever goes in their favor is not questioned publicly.

Baseer
2004-04-26

JOHANNES FROM STANKONIA said:
salamu alaykum.

contrary to popular opinion, the rand corp is a rather influential think-tank in the bush regime. one that functions as a high level intermediary between cheney, the enterprise institute, the heritage foundation and the 3rd infantry division. i'm floored, the thought that an 'in'famous high level think tank would publish something so outlandish as to derail mainstream islamic thought had never crossed my mind. it should then follow that rumsfeld, cheney and others in the bush junta that can read have come across this report.

moving on .. i came across this line a few posts back. "why cant islam accept secular humanism as others have" - paraphrasing.

has there ever been a more striking oxymoron in the history of the planet? apart from 'compassionate conservative' ofcourse. since the dawn of secularism - 17th cent onward, the greatest atrocities have been carried out without the slightest bit of apprehension. secularism is a plague. christians and jews have embraced it, which ofcourse explains the slave trade, the holocaust, ww1, ww2, sabra-shatilla, deir-yassin et al.

the 20th century has without doubt been the most barbaric period of time ever. secularist ideologies are the cause. one might say the slave trades, the native american purges were far worse, but those took hundreds of yrs. over 150 million innocent people were killed in the last century. - christian countries, all with the exception of turkey, which had already proclaimed itself atheist.

the unfortunate trusim here is, that the 'muslim world' as backward as it is, is falling into the secularist quagmire christianity seems to be basking in. actually, it began 50 or so yrs ago.
but getting back to the article, well written. i'll be forwarding the good doctor's essay to inquiring minds everywhere.
salaams.
2004-04-26

NICK CAMERON FROM UNITED STATES OF AMERICA said:
It would be ironic for the author of the Rand article to presume that Sufis do not prosyletize, since it was the Sufis who were responsible for much of Islam's growth throughout South and Southeast Asia. Of course, I do not consider the Randists to be the primary authority for the history of Islam.
2004-04-25

YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
Actually, I am in favor of improving our understanding of Sufism - and of Wahabism, Shiism, etc. It seems that Wahabism was initially "harnessed" to halt the spread of Sufism throughout Arabia.

Also, at first, I had assumed that the Rand study was simply recommending that Sufism be harnessed as a means of countering the global spread of Wahabism. The more I read about Cheryl Benard, however, the more I am wondering if the motive behind the study, as strange as it may seem, might be to harness national security concerns as a means of promoting Sufism.

After all, the study seems to say that Sufis would not be expected to proselytize. Instead, Sufism must be promoted in interests of national security. Of course, in pursuit of national security, there might also be something to be said for movements that encourage people to fight for that in which they believe - insha'Allah.

Salaam
2004-04-24

YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
It seems the study's author, Cheryl Bernard, is married to the senior-most Muslim in G.W. Bush's administration, Zalmay Khalilzad - who himself is Pashtun, from Mazar-e Sharif in Afghanistan.
2004-04-24

LULU-UK FROM UK said:
Salaams. We live in an intellectual world where dialogue should be the first venue for change. The two words Islam and muslim mentioned in the report should also be separated. In real terms Islam is a way of living and muslims are the followers of Islam. We might have issues with the way muslims practice Islam but no one can change Islam. The Quran and the teachings of the prophet Mohamed(PBUH) are our guide.

We must remember that we are human beings and have our own faults. If some of the muslims interpret Islam in a different way then they need to be challenged. Their ideology needs to be challenged not Islam. A good example of how Islam is a universal religion and the way it shaped science and so on one can read Prince Charles' Latest Speech on Islam http://www.sunnah.org/nl/v0104/prince.htm

When God created us he did not leave us alone but gave us a religion and the Quran as a guidance. This means we humans are fortunate to have solutions at our disposal. The problem lies with how to implement those solutions. For example the solutions to looking after the environment, animals those who are less fortunate than us, eradicating poverty and so on. Basically creating peace and harmony in the world.

Some how instead of the west finding what solutions islam brings to those challenges if they take a U turn and start changing Islam as well as how people practice Islam then we will really have clash of civizations.

We must look into our hearts and find a middle path where we can enjoy our differences as well as share our glory as one race the human race. Islam has shaped world civilization and until today a lot of the challenges are not met two classical examples are global environment pollution and global poverty not to mentio HIV/Aids.
Instead we all seem to be putting each other's civilization when global poverty, aids, evironment pollution is getting out of hand. Then we the champions of civilizations will be the real losers.
2004-04-23

AIZ FROM USA said:
Outstanding & Eye opener for western think tank countries, How to Deal with Islam and Muslims, Excellent study for Muslims if they can think forward, but average Muslim around the world don't have time to think for simple reason their mind is preemptive digesting the day-to-day abuse & humiliation of Islam in the name of Democracy by western countries

2004-04-23

AIZ FROM USA said:
Outstanding & Eye opener for western think tank countries, How to Deal with Islam and Muslims. Excellent study for Muslims if they can think forward, but average Muslim around the world don't have time to think for simple reason their mind is preemptive digesting the day-to-day abuse & humiliation of Islam in the name of Democracy.

2004-04-23

ASLAM ABDULLAH FROM LOS ANGELES, CA said:
Thanks for your postings. Those who posted their comments in fact commented on the report and not the article as in essence you all agreed with the basic premise of the article that the report is a mischaracterization of Muslims and you all agreed that the Rand report was not a honest evaluation of Muslims.
In fact, the report outlined several approaches for American power elite vis a vis Muslims and suggested that only those Muslims should be considered genuinely concerned about peace and democracy who are willing to argue that the Quran is changeable.
This is a premise no Muslim will ever accept except those who donot beleive that the Quran is a divine revelation.
The foundation of Islam rests on the Quran and the authenticity of Prophet Muhammad. Muslims will always have differences in interpreting the verses of the Quran but essentially they all would remain committed to the Quran in order to be ocnsidered legitimate in their views on Islam within the Muslim community.
The Rand corporation and others are trying to encourage some Muslims to start challenging the foundation of Islam. Some Muslims might say that but their voices will never impact the Muslim mind.
What is important is that Muslims become aware of these efforts and counter them intellectually in their own way.
There is no need to be paranoid about these reports. They are attempts to demoralize Muslims. However, what is being missed here that Muslims commitment to Islam is not for the worldly gains, rather for the world hereafter. This is a matter of belief and faith. No amount of interpolation can turn Muslims away from this basic concept.
2004-04-22

AAMIR SIDDIQUI FROM USA said:
I agree with this article. Unfortunately, there exist these classes of mulims. The people who support the creation of the Islamic state where Islamic Sharia laws can be enforced are termed as fundamentalist. The Kufr can not accept that. The moderanist wants to tailor the religion according to todays environment, but they should know that Islam is for the whole life time of the earth, we cannot bend Islamic laws according to our desires to make them compatible with modern traditions.
These devine laws are from Allah, the creator of mankind and every thing that exist in the entire universe. Being Muslims means complete submission to the commands of Allah, it does not mean to take something and leave the rest.
We as a mulims should strive for the creation of Islamic state which will take care of the affairs of the Ummah and provide us justice in the light of Quran and Sunnah.
2004-04-22

AL LADD FROM USA said:
Why does Islam appear antagonistic to secular humanism? Seculary huminism is an ideology that lives side by side with other religions!?
2004-04-22

HAMADOUN SIDIBE FROM CANADA said:
I am against these five categories of Muslims, because Islam (in the Quran and Hadiths) do not teach and promote violence and no separation between the "deen" (religion) and the government of a societe or state. Prophet Muhammad (sas) was a prophet and the ruler of the state (chief of the state). In Islam (according the Quran and the Sunna) there is no fundatentalists, no modernists, no secularists as defined by this report.
If this report is implemented, it will be very dangerous, because there is no scientific basis to identify (scientifically) a person as belonging in each these categories.
2004-04-22

KOVITZ FROM CANADA said:
How to deal with Muslims:
It is very simple, tread them with the "JUSTICE". The "Justice" is a cornerstone of Islam,same as "Love" for Christianity.
No Peace without Justice!
2004-04-22

ZAK FROM UK said:
A dangerous article clearly aimed to decapitate the power of islam so as to limit its influnce in spheres that would lead it to conflict with western hagemony.

The designs of these authors and so called modernist is in black and white and they can clearly be identified and to say they will succeed is laughable. Islam played a prominent part in state machinery and law and order, this has been the case in past dynasties in the Middle East, Spain, Asia and will be the case in the future.

You cannot deny people their democratic choice in life, it will be their decision to rid themselves of the despots, dictators, autocrats, etc that are so backed by the West as a bullwark aginst Islam which favours justice, law and orders and vanquishing of oppressors.

You would be better off directly addressing issues like the occupation of Palestine, Iraq and forcing Western backed puppets in islamic countries to better the condition of their people rather than doing the obtaining resources at dirt cheap prices in exchange for security of their rule.
2004-04-22

ADAM IBRAHIM MUHAMMAD FROM NIGERIA said:
What I believe is that they can plan their plans and Allah will plan His plans, and the BEST of planners WILL ALWAYS BE ALLAH.

Oh lest I forget Nick(the confused), Uncle Sam's "Leaders" don't seem to agree with you on your principles. Or at least that is what the RAND report is saying. Don't you think is time for you to come out clean and call a spade a spade?
2004-04-22

HARSHA FROM INDIA said:
If we dont bark back,the dog might bite(which it is doing,alrady.
2004-04-22

ADNAAN SHUKRI FROM USA said:
Re Weinstein: LOL, that story about the so-called "sufi" teleportation to Mecca to pray as he blinks in DC is funny. Yeah, I heard that some of the high-ranking "sufis" are sometimes capable of teleportation and called "As7ab al khatwa", which literally means "people of the step" in Arabic. It wasn't until I learned about Asian mysticism and philosophies that I realized these guys are fraud. They injected Asian philosophies (Bhuddism and Hinduism) and superstition into Islam to mass-delude the people. Not only that, but they also practice "magic" feats like penetrating their flesh with sharp objects. Oh, and they call that "Karama" (divine endowment) instead of Indian clownsmanship. Lamo!!!
2004-04-22

NICK CAMERON FROM UNITED STATES said:
David:

The majority of Christians in America do not believe that there's any kind of religious duty to give so much support to Israel. It's just another nation-state to most of us. Sure we have Christian conservatives like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, but they're just a minority, albeit a rather influential one. Anyways, don't hate on the Sufis cos they're pretty cool.

http://www.muslim-canada.org/sufi/sufism.htm
2004-04-22

MEBROCKY FROM USA said:
Why is this article even here. It is a criticism of a policy paper written by a PRIVATE organization that produces papers on issues from obesity, substance abuse, health care, education, the efficient operation of municipal services, to the development of computing
among high school students. This does not reflect American opinion or government policy. Right now our government has a horrible policy regarding the Middle East. Since so many of the people commenting here are from the US, then get out and vote for Kerry - he's not perfect, but he is a heck of a lot better than Bush!!! P.S. Nick Cameron - you are really getting the idea -good comment.
2004-04-22

NICK CAMERON FROM UNITED STATES said:
How to deal with Muslims:

Just treat them with civility. The majority are not bigots, though a minority cause all the problems.
2004-04-21

DAVID WEINSTEIN FROM UK said:
Interesting, this explains the Ramadan parties thrown by the White House for Sufis during the Clinton era. But though I am sure Sufis are a good lot, some of the stuff they claim makes just no sense. I witnessed this Sufi guy at a Sufi convention in Washington DC I attended last year. He refused to participate in the congregational prayers. When asked to lead the prayers he said he had already said his prayers in Mecca. Someone asked how was that possible. The good Sufi claimed that he just closed his eyes and was transported to Mecca where he said his prayers in the Kaba. Incredulous and bemused I approached and asked him just how in the world did he do that and if he could teach me this trick. The good Sufi stated that it would take many years of meditation and focus. Strange, he could not have been more than 30 years of age, and he claimed to also be a medical doctor. So how many years did he devote to learning medicine and just when did he have time to learn this art of Transportation telepathy? I also noted at the Sufi meeting glossy magazines being distributed for free which by and large contained article upon article on how horrible the Wahabies were. I have an interest in Sufism but what I found there in Washington DC, was just plain nonsense. I can see why the US and indeed the Western world would prefer that Muslims remain entrenched in this world of mysticism and fairy tales-so that they remain asleep to the realities of life , smoke their hookahs, eat their Baklava and admire their Belle Dancers and keep away from politics and any effort to establish their rights and property. Yes I do see the International conspiracy here against Islam. By the way I read the article by George Monibot in the Guardian someone recommended. Christians beware. This exposes you. http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1195568,00.html
2004-04-21

DAVID WEINSTEIN FROM UK said:
Interesting, this explains the Ramadan parties thrown by the White House for Sufis during the Clinton era. But though I am sure Sufis are a good lot, some of the stuff they claim makes just no sense. I witnessed this Sufi guy at a Sufi convention in Washington DC I attended last year. He refused to participate in the congregational prayers. When asked to lead the prayers he said he had already said his prayers in Mecca. Someone asked how was that possible. The good Sufi claimed that he just closed his eyes and was transported to Mecca where he said his prayers in the Kaba. Incredulous and bemused I approached and asked him just how in the world did he do that and if he could teach me this trick. The good Sufi stated that it would take many years of meditation and focus. Strange, he could not have been more than 30 years of age, and he claimed to also be a medical doctor. So how many years did he devote to learning medicine and just when did he have time to learn this art of Transportation telepathy? I also noted at the Sufi meeting glossy magazines being distributed for free which by and large contained article upon article on how horrible the Wahabies were. I have an interest in Sufism but what I found there in Washington DC, was just plain nonsense. I can see why the US and indeed the Western world would prefer that Muslims remain entrenched in this world of mysticism and fairy tales-so that they remain asleep to the realities of life , smoke their hookahs, eat their Baklava and admire their Belle Dancers and keep away from politics and any effort to establish their rights and property. Yes I do see the International conspiracy here against Islam. By the way I read the article by George Monibot in the Guardian someone recommended. Christians beware. This exposes you. http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1195568,00.html
2004-04-21

ZINEDINE FROM MOROCCO said:
Part III

Salamu alaikum dear brothers & sisters,

It is ironic that America is believed to be the world's first elite democracy & France is the second world elite democracy yet they are attacking Islam & Muslims in the open in different overt & undemocratic ways. Today, the ideals of Mass democracy are beautiful ideals but they never saw life because most leaders & scholars of different backgrounds are corrupt. World leaders, scholars fall into two deadly sins: temptation & or fear. It unfortunately does not help that the masses are usually like cattle as Toqueville describes them. They passively wait for their corrupt governments to do everything for them when they should sometimes take matters into their own hands & influence decision makers in humanity's favour. In the words of the Lebanese author Jibran Khalil Jibran: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" .

The three groups have not made sincere efforts to change & that reminds me of what Allah said in the Holy Qur'aan: "Allah does not change the situation of a people until they change from within". This Quranic verse rhymes well with the messenger of Allah's statement (pbuh): "true belief is not what you claim to be but to confirm your words with action".
Forget this doomed report & remember that we Muslims can take care of our dinosauric extremists & hypocritical modernists with the interference of evil powers in our affairs. We must not take war criminals & their ideologues as awlia' (patrons) either because Allah clearly prohibited it: "God forbids you not from dealing justly and lovingly with those who have not fought you on account of your religion or expelled you from your homes. He prohibits you from taking as patrons only those who waged war against you on account of your religion, expelled you from your homes, and aided one another to expel you. Whosoever takes them as patrons are certainly wrongdoers." Al-Mumtahina, 60:8-9.



2004-04-21

ZINEDINE FROM MOROCCO said:
Part II

Salamu alaikum dear brothers & sisters,

Once you do this come back to this site & see if you will have the guts to defend evil!!!
Last but not least, remember that we Muslims don't hate the American masses, we feel sorry for most of them especially those innocent civilians that get killed overseas & those who have to pretend to be Canadians when they travel abroad. We would like them to wake up & have their own Intifada against the minority 1% Zionists & Pro-Zionists entities that are brainwashing them & are using their tax dollars in a very unpatriotic ways in support of terrorist states like Israel & other dictatorships making innocent Americans the most hated people on this planet. I know that there are lots of good hearted Americans out there, some are educated & from all walks of life. I & other good Muslims are trying to reach out to them. We would like them to be rational patriots & not slaves of another Zionist controlled government. Stop paying taxes en masse until your government promises you that your money will be invested on you & your children not on Zionists. If not rest assured that the seeds of decay will turn into an incurable political cancer (Israel) that will destroy America slowly but surely. We just want your evil governments to stop interfering in other nations lives in very negative & selfish ways at the least & brutal ways at the most & know that we don't hate your freedom at all & if our freedom fighters and martyrdom bombers kill your soldiers it is justified because you should not be in their soil to begin with let alone bombing their innocent civilians from the skies. You call them terrorists but know that your nation-state is the leading terrorist state in the world. Again we don't hate your freedom & if we hated freedom 911 events would 've taken place in the red district of Amsterdam & not in the twin towers of New York.


2004-04-21

MUSTAPHA ALI FROM MEXICO said:
Of course no one will ever do what others tell them to do especially if they percieve it to told by oppressors. The interesting thing about what it seems the Rand Corp is saying is that they want a stable, democratic, peaceful, tolerant Muslim society. It is more interesting that most responses talk about how "we will do what we will do"
2004-04-21

ZINEDINE FROM MOROCCO said:
Part I

Salaam brothers & sisters,

Here is what the report should 've looked like: We suggest that our political & military prostitutes in our past & recent government (tax payers) start knowing the difference between Elite democracy & Mass democracy as understood by the Greek philosophers not the American slave owners...may be we can start by reading some of Jean Jacques Rousseau books say "The Social Contract" then read John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke political theories, Brian Turner & Max Webber, Karl Marx & Cramsi's sociological theories as well as Noam's Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent" and "Hegemony or Survival" then read Edward Said's "Orientalism" then once we start knowing the difference between right & wrong, good & evil then try to understand Islam by reading the Holy Qur'aan translation by one of our own American scholars T. B. Irving ; then read John's Esposito's "Islam, the straight path" then read Imaam Ali's "Nahjul Balagha" to give us an idea about Islam's early history then read "Ma'thurat Hassan Albanna" then Syed Qutb's "Milestones" & Ahmad Deedat's "The Choice" Abul A'la Almawdudi's "Towards understanding Islam" to understand modern Muslim movements especially the Muslim brotherhood & Jamaa Islamia may some Salafis books "Fatawi Ibn Taymia, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal & Muhammad ibn Abdel Wahhab's views to understand Taliban's mentality. Btw: Those Muslim leaders I mentioned were Sufis and Salafis as well as Mujahideen so don't think as this report claims that all Sufis fearfully hibernate in a Zawia. It's not true! To understand Israel's Orthodox Jews & Zionism you need to read "the Jewish State" by Theodore Hertzel. Add to that "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" that all came true & the Talmud especially its racist statements i.e. "the gentiles are the donkies that Elohim created for us so that we can ride them & whenever a donkey brays we should ride the next one".




2004-04-21

S. KASHIF HAQUE FROM USA said:
Salaam aleikum,

Finally an article by Aslam Abdullah that is worth reading. I congratulate iViews for republishing this (even though it was lifted from the Muslim Observer). Indeed many of the policy recomendations have and are already being acted upon, witness the venom sufis are hurlng at wahabis and how they have been bussed in by Vladimir Putin to subdue and delegitimize the Chechens and shore up support for the Uzbek regime. Secondly the article has, at it's core, a racist assumption that any advocate for political islam is de-facto incompatible with modern life, hence must be subverted, isolated, and persecuted (all of which the Middle EAstern dictatorships are already doing).
As, brother Abdullah correctly points out this article and the policy recommendations are rarely discussed among Muslims (Even though this report talks about them). This report should be the basis of Ju'mah khutbahs and lectures for Muslims to ponder over their own divisions and who profits from them.

salaam aleikum,
s. kashif haque
2004-04-21

ZINEDINE said:
Salaam brothers & sisters,

Here is what the report should 've looked like: We suggest that our political & military prostitutes in our past & recent government (tax payers) start knowing the difference between Elite democracy & Mass democracy as understood by the Greek philosophers not the American slave owners...may be we can start by reading some of Jean Jacques Rousseau books say "The Social Contract" then read John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke political theories, Brian Turner & Max Webber, Karl Marx & Cramsi's sociological theories as well as Noam's Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent" and "Hegemony or Survival" then read Edward Said's "Orientalism" then once we start knowing the difference between right & wrong, good & evil then try to understand Islam by reading the Holy Qur'aan translation by one of our own American scholars T. B. Irving ; then read John's Esposito's "Islam, the straight path" then read Imaam Ali's "Nahjul Balagha" to give us an idea about Islam's early history then read "Ma'thurat Hassan Albanna" then Syed Qutb's "Milestones" & Ahmad Deedat's "The Choice" Abul A'la Almawdudi's "Towards understanding Islam" to understand modern Muslim movements especially the Muslim brotherhood & Jamaa Islamia may some Salafis books "Fatawi Ibn Taymia, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal & Muhammad ibn Abdel Wahhab's views to understand Taliban's mentality. Btw: Those Muslim leaders I mentioned were Sufis and Salafis as well as Mujahideen so don't think as this report claims that all Sufis fearfully hibernate in a Zawia. It's not true! To understand Israel's Orthodox Jews & Zionism you need to read "the Jewish State" by Theodore Hertzel. Add to that "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" that all came true & the Talmud especially its racist statements i.e. "the gentiles are the donkies that Elohim created for us so that we can ride them & whenever a donkey brays we should ride the next one".
2004-04-21

TONY S. FROM USA said:
salamu Alaikum,

It is truly sad to say that the true Islam which was practiced during the days of our Prophet (peace be upon him) does not exist nowadays. It would be an illusion to state that there are true Islamic nation-states. Islam has become so organized to the point of a breakage point if there is anything left of it all. Both Muslim leaders and Muslim masses are complicit in the destruction of the real Islam, the religion of peace, love, harmony, exemplary behavior, etc. No matter where the antagonistic tides blow, and no matter how evil certain forces are toward Islam, the truth will come out. I am not worried because Islam is being reborn in many parts of the globe in its true version of peace and the common good. Islam has become now the platform of many debates and discussions which must be welcome throughout the world. It is an encouraging sign, one which will assist in discovering the truth about the Creator and the created. If all Muslims armed themselves with honesty, care, and love for all humanity, Islam will flourish as it is promised in the Koran, the Old Testament. It is only the dynamics of how things will evolve. Islam will never spread with force or terror; it will only spread with the very exemplary manners of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).
2004-04-21

DAVID ROSENBERG FROM USOFA said:
Good attempt, Dr. Abdullah. Your review may be richer if you had included the background of some individuals and institutions perpetuating such efforts. A keen eye can clearly see the 'mysterious' hand(s)!

1. The author of RAND's report, Cheryl Benard is married to Zalmay Khalilzad, who is considered to be the Doctor of Islamic Fundamentalism & Terrorism, the century's disease-for-all-evils as diagnosed by another dear aspiring-doctor from Yale, the George Bush. He is in also designated as Special US Envoy for Islamic Terror & current US Ambassador to Afghanistan.
2. The Smith Foundation that underwrote RAND's notorious work is governed by among many, the infamous architect of "Clash of Civilizations", the Harvard Doctor Sir Samuel Huntington!
3. That, the RAND's report is a filtered down version of the State Government's millions of dollars research headed by Edward Djerejian, the ex-US Ambassador to Israel, titled "Changing Minds, Winning Peace".

Your review claims "Interestingly, the report has not generated any serious discussions among Muslim intellectuals and Islamic scholars in the country, many of whom seem to be unaware of the existence of such report." Perhaps that is incorrect. Absence of discussion does not necessarily mean lack of awareness.
2004-04-21

ANNIE ROBICHAUD FROM CANADA said:
I just got married with an musilman man. I'm catholic, when we first meet, I was against islamic religion. But now that i live with someone who is. I've come to understand that islam is not as bad as it seem. Personnaly, i've always been though that islam was not a good religion, that it was bad to be involved with people who is. And I was afraid of those type of people. But now, living with someone who is and seeying what it's like I've come to understand that it's really a nice culture and religion. I'm still a catholic but with all the information that internet provides, now i can understand how to deal with it. Thanks for all the good ressources.
2004-04-21

YAHYABERGUM FROM USA said:
It seems a little strange for an expert on Middle Eastern affairs, particularly an expert married to someone from Afghanistan, to seem so unaware of a principal which would by now seem obvious to just about anyone who was even casually interested in Afghanistan's history. We are partners in the benefit or harm we have endeavored to bring upon others - and it would seem reasonable for us to imagine we might be rewarded in kind.

Salaam
2004-04-21

SHUJA FROM LOS ANGELES, US said:
It is not what Rand wanted us to do. It is what the glorious Qur'an instructed us to. Islam should be at political top. Islam cannot be subservient. That is what Rand criminals wants us to do. No matter what, no matter we will be bombed with nukes, Islam must be imposed from the top down.

2004-04-21

AHMAD ALAM FROM UK said:

I doubt this will have any influence on Muslims, seems more like a poilcy statement of what 'they' are trying to do already. Problem is report is blinkered to the loss of Muslims life, when you stop killing a people, they will not try to kill you. As long as Muslim blood is shed continously, Muslims will try to hit back when and where they can, only their powerlessness stops them from being more effective than they are, and their form of revenge being more primative (bomb attacks on civilians) and even odious, e.g. suicide attacks. The US attack on Falluja last week for example is quoted by the BBC as having killed 470 people, which the aid agencies counted as about 200 children, 230 women. Leaving 40 combatants/freedom fighters/militants/terrorists dead, and this was to find the people who killed 4 American contractors.

The report itself encourages voilence, for example "Preventing alliances between traditionalists and fundamentalists.
" will no doubt require military action.

It also wants Muslims to do something the West does not to much of, i.e. "facilitating and encouraging awareness of pre- and non-Islamic history and culture, in the media and in the curricula of relevant countries", would mean encouraging Muslims to look positively back before 732AD (or 1AH) to an era of daughter burying and extreme tribalism? Or for those in South Asia to a period when they worshiped idols etc. when those who continue to worship idols massacre them at regular intervals, e.g. post Ayodhya and Gujarat more recently? Do you see Western societies advocate dumping their present for the past? E.g. Germany just 60 years ago?

Hence I am not surprised that Muslims aren't interested, though it should provide motivation for Muslims to unite.

The Rand institute is well known for publishing the absurd with regards to Muslims. If a dog barks, does one bark back?
2004-04-21

YASER K. FROM CANADA said:
I think that there should be discussion and education on such articles being written that poison some people's mind. And show that this article resulted from poor handling from some of the contempory muslim intellectuals.
I am suggesting to base education on these critics as such that muslims around the world understand what message they want to give to their environment. Once we understand our message, we will be better prepared to face any critics from an intellectual point of view.
2004-04-21

BNAK said:
I am simply appalled knowing how much the West is after Islam and Muslims and how they want to exploit both to their own selfish means. Little do they know that they are only dreaming and their dream will only remain a dream and can never come true.

By resorting to such dangerous ideas, they are creating more chaos in the Muslim world. But, InshaAllah they will never be successful in their evil intentions.

They are planning but little do they know that Allah is the Best Planner. Woe unto the enemies of Islam. May Allah make them bite the dust. May Allah inflict upon them what they want to inflict upon the Muslim ummah. Amin!
2004-04-21

AL-HATMI SAEED FROM OMAN said:
This article showed the goals of those are against islam. Those who even didn't want secularism which themselves adhere to because it will challenge them. It is obvouse that they want to be on top of the world and the rest to be their slaves. they didn't encourage anything that will bring people to peace or justice.
Any way the report showed their goals and as they want to use it against us. we can use it to stop and focus on taking anti-measures.
2004-04-21

OMER ISHAQ FROM PAKISTAN said:
I have also read the full report that has been mentioned by the learned writer.

From this report it seems that although the west talks about "democracy" in Islamic countries, it is bigot enough to support a strategy that may not be acceptable to the majority of the Muslims.

It is difficult to comprehend why the US wants to impose a version of Islam upon the 1.4 Billion muslims that was conceived in the Rand Foundation and not in the streets of public opinion of the muslim countries.

In this report a fundamentalist has been defined as a person who imposes his views forcefully on others.

Going by this definition US itself is a fundamentalist state, since it wants to impose modernist Islam.

I must mention here for the information of my muslim brothers and sisters that although the report has been published recently, work on this US-Zionist Agenda is already in an advanced stage in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

In Saudi Arabia it has been prohibited to discuss Jihad in Juma prayers.

In Pakistan the situation is more critical. A concerted effort is being carried out by NGOs to discredit the orthodox principles of Islam, give a diluted version of Islam and finally defang the only Muslim Nuclear Power by brainwashing the next generation with ultra liberal curriculum in the schools.

These efforts in Paksitan are spearheaded by the Education Ministry, Sustainable Development Policy Institute.

The report has also mentioned that Orthodox Islam is not compatible with the prevailing concepts of civil society in the west.

In this regard I agree with the report, however I disagree with the conclusion that because of this incompatibility the religion must be modified. I think the choice is very clear for the muslims either obey what Allah has ordered or become a modernist hypocrite.

And I think it is about time that we make this choice. In this regard there is either black or white; there are no shades of grey in between.
2004-04-21

ABD AL MALIK FROM NORTH said:
Alhamdulilah, with the onset of inet era those who search for the truth can easely find it, wherever they are. The task of friends of Satan, of hiding the truth, is becoming harder, hence these desperate attemps to evaluate and counter Islam. They do not realize that this religion is predestined to be dominant by the One and Only Creator of worlds. They do not realize that even utter atheists bred by their systems, accept Islam once they come to understand it correctly. The dog barks, but the caravan goes on.
And Peace to all mu/meens!
2004-04-21

LALA FROM PAKISTAN said:
such a report should not be even considered becoz the PROPHET (SAW)has condemned INNOVATION
2004-04-21

ZEESHAN FROM UNITED STATES said:
Great Article. Very enlightening at the oppositions strategy to divide, disinform and destroy the "muslim threat" to the west.
2004-04-21

SUHAYB FROM CANADA said:
pretty interesting. this report talks about "teaching democracy" in the muslim world schools...how funny. when most of the dictatorial leaders in the arab world are held in place for decades because of the "democratic" US and EU s support. oh sure you can give me a school book saying how nice it is to participate in the communities developpement, but as soon as i step a foot out of class...then what?!?! i see the same guy my father saw in power. thats the truth of the matter. it is so ennoying to have those "neo hippy subconscious conservatives" (that think they are bright, watching a painted cube and calling it art, buying it for millions while people starve a few blocks away) telling the world how to be civilized. i haven't found one country on earth where people don't despise us. the improvement in the educational system should happen in america. those self proclaimed intellectuals really think that 5,5 billion people will adapt to their views...well NO, it s the other way around folks.
2004-04-21

YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
I am not entirely unreasonable. Perhaps this foundation will fund "Muslim centers" having ping pong tables and so on.
2004-04-21

HACENE HAOUAS FROM USA said:
One has to look at the events of the past week to understand how muslims realy feel.bush appoint two of the most anti islam to prominant positions.They are pipes and negraponte.i guess its this administration way to win hearts and minds of the islamic comunities.Any thing they say goes in one hear out the other.Their hypocricy is beyond belief.
2004-04-21

ABDULMAJEED ASAAD FROM USA said:
First of all, this report has been discussed in countless Islamic sites.

Second, policy making and planning of the ZOG is not discussed in public papers.

Third, all these obfuscations and blabbering about Clash of Civilization and democracy vs. Islam and Godzilla vs. King Kong is smoke screens to hide a very simple truth, which is, after the collapse of traditional Christinaity in the West, Islam is the only remaining obstacle to Jewish world domination.

And finally, and Muslim who is worried about the so-called Clash of Civilizations theory is totally clueless, BECAUSE we are in the middle of the War of Civilizations right now. What the freak do you call all the butchering taking place every day against Muslims?
2004-04-21

AKBAR KHAN FROM CANADA said:
The more and more that reports such as this encourage Muslims to create divisions with other Muslims, and succeed in pitting us against each other, then the end result of such a situation is a clash of civilizations. If Muslims hold fast to the rope of ALlah and work together, then Muslims and Christians who believe in good works, and the True God (Allaha/Allah) will instead unite and come together in solidarity. Otherwise, the end result will be massive wars, conflicts, and chaos like we have never seen before.
2004-04-21

K.C. said:
This is nothing more than their daily dose of
propaganda.
2004-04-21

NICK CAMERON FROM UNITED STATES OF AMERICA said:
The author writes:

"Obviously, the report is recommending a Muslim leadership that is completely owned and operated by the American and European power elites."

I'm going through the report right now, and I don't see it advocating any such thing. In fact, the report makes very clear what America's policy goals are:

1. To prevent the spread of extremism and violence.

2. To avoid the impression that the United States is "opposed to Islam".

3. To find ways to address deeper economic, social, and political causes feeding Islamic radicalism and to encourage a move toward development and democratization.

If anything, the report seems to advocate the need to seek out and support allies in the Muslim world. That's a far cry from saying that America needs Muslim sycophants.

In any event, I don't think we can re-engineer (my word) Muslim societies to fit our needs. For this to work, America would need to have a lot of global prestige. Fact is that we just don't presently have enough prestige to pull off something like that. Moreover, any attempts by America to steer the Muslim world one way may push it in a diametrically opposite direction, no matter the merits of America's ideas. Reform in the Muslim world is out of our hands. Muslims will have to want to reform for themselves, and there's nothing America can say or do to force it on them.

Our policymakers need to come to grips with the idea that the kind of reform necessary to end the scourge of extremism in the Muslim world is still many decades away. Instead, we should focus on the things that we can do to keep the extremists off our soil. Improving homeland security is a good start, as well as working with other countries that share our interests in preventing extremists from the Muslim world from threatening their own lands.
2004-04-21

HUDD D'ALHAMD FROM CANADA said:
The article is informative and draws attention on perils surrounding islamic believes among Western Muslims. There are certain things that Muslims innevitably must face in the West. Unfortunately, the islamic thought and vision are stagnant. It reached a compliance or an intellectual laxity as br. Zinedine put it. Islamic scholars push islam in to a new jahiliah for fear of losing the faith or compromising on the traditions(sunnah). In the long process we lose. We lose our children to modern thought, to technology and consuming industry. We cannot shackle them to a past no longer relevent to them. I would say it is sheer intellectual blindness. I see Muslim parents forcing on their children Pakistani clothes for any aspect of their life. The idea is that those are islamic clothes. I just want to examplify this new jahiliah(ignorance) with this typical example. The Muslims need a scientific research on islamic values. What does the sunnah say about clothing? I quote:"Any garment that covers one's aurah(shame) is a fit garment for a Muslim." Where from then this insisting ignorance that jeans are haram, T-shirt is haram. My children do not take something without explanation. The future Muslims in North America will question everything we did and everything we do! We better prepare ourselves for the moral and intellectual debate we're going to have with our own progeny. Shaikh Abdallah Quick in one of his discussions said:"In the house of Islam if a father told his son,'Pray!', the son would ask, 'Where?' The same son in the house of the Americas will ask, 'Why?'" Unless we come with convincing answers and 'cool' practices and fashions and "reformation" of the Muslim self-we can say good buy not only to the fundamentals of Islam but to the very practice of it by the generations to come. It was easy in a Muslim country to uphold traditional islamic thought, since there was no challenge. We were dormant for too long. Time to wake up and put our mind in high gear asap!
2004-04-21