Difficult and Challenging times

Category: Americas, Nature & Science Views: 3811

These are difficult and challenging times for all of us. Our country is in the midst of a war that the majority of our citizens did not approve and our people are in harms way in Iraq and elsewhere. As American Muslims, we grieve for what is happening to our country and to our religion.

Last week, the beheading of a fellow citizen at the hands of criminals exploiting the name of Islam is indeed a stab in the heart of Islam. It is an act of injustice that must not be tolerated. Masking their identity for a crime raises questions about their intentions and actions. What was done to Nicholas Berg was barbaric, uncivilized and unfathomable. His beheading diverted the attention from a major crisis that grew in the prisons of Iraq.

The horrors in Abu Gharib are bleeding wounds in the hearts of all people of conscience. We feel unbearable pain for those men and women who were tortured and humiliated. We totally resent the manipulation of the obvious facts by some who are trying to make them isolated incidences contrary to the Red Crescent and Red Cross assertions, or to reduce them to just a public relations failure in the Arab and Muslim world. There is a big apology due to the American people, to every Americans in harms way and to the forefather, of this country and the values they preached.

We are horrified by the hate mongering, racial statements and religious venomous talks that have been on the rise lately and still continue now. General Boyken who ratified Islam in the most vicious language, and who stated: "Our God is bigger than their God" is still enjoying his high rank. He still gives advice about preparing prisoners for interrogations; Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell and Pat Roberts and his ilk are still preaching their hatred against Islam among Pentagon officials. They have increased their rhetoric about apocalyptic future where Islam emerges as the enemy of Jesus as the Anti Christ. All this has created a subculture of violence, which is begetting worst violence. There is the potential of having this malignancy materializing and growing in our society.

But we must not sit quiet and resign to the leadership that has misled us so far.

A coalition of people of conscience, politicians, disenfranchised elements of the society, human right groups, media leaders need to be formed at once, to counter this subculture of hate, violence and bigotry, before things get worst, if there is a worst than what we already have.

Dr. Maher Hathout is the Senior Advisor for Muslim Public Affairs Council

  Category: Americas, Nature & Science
Views: 3811
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Older Comments:
it is so sad that people would actually do something like that. we need to start standing up for our beliefs and not allow people to put us out there like that.

Salaam, I believe we as Muslims, and knowing the true meaning of Islam, should be the ones to change for the better instead of stoop down to the level of this "New World Order".

salamu alaykum.
israfil, i'm in absolute agreement. though i think you missed the part where i said "notwithstanding his intentions however, he was a noncombatant, and harming him at all is a sin".
there is no justification for harming civilians in islam. its what differentiates us from the colonial thugs. suicide bombings, indiscriminate bombings et.cetera are innately non-islamic and will never succeed under any capacity.


To johannes I say that what you said was an
inexusable comment. Who are we to judge this
individual? so what if he was an imperialist as you say,
or let's assume this alledge fact, as you say he was a
noncombatant and didn't really partake in the war so is
this a justifiable excuse to murder an innocent

People die everyday of course and people suffer
everyday of course, but it seems that the Ummah is not
being successful overshadowing the suffering of a
people over another. Sufferings are just that and none
are excessive more than another because the effect is
the same devistation.

Also, killing individuals in the name of Islam is the most
"unislamic act" this is a product of terrorist dellusions
held under the false pretense that all Americans are out
to get the oil. I highly express that the Ummah needs to
be more clear and critique its own before we can
critique another country because we have yet to come
from the shadows of ignorance...

Even though the act of beheading was an barbaric act, it is a byproduct of our invasion and occupation of another country. There are certain behaviors in war that should be used and ingaged however the overall issue is that America under the Bush presidency should listen to us the people and stop the war in not only Iraq but also take substancial steps in resolving the issue of Palestine and Israel.

Thank you

Islam comes to a turning point.

I was first trained in systems analysis and have a bit of operations research, statistics, neurophysiology and industrial psychology. It is a potent brew. When I read the Quran I see what could be called a "popular science" exposition on strategies of conflict that a small group can use against overwhelming force given to a man in the seventh century in what is now Arabia. Understanding this I also know some of the dangers the poor application of these strategies can bring. But before going into that let me digress.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Is the Creed of Peace to go to war with the Creed of Love, however poorly it is demonstrated.

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tomb of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous saying "If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets." Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

"And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold.

There is a strategy of force and lording it over others and there is a strategy of service. One leads to the darkness of escalating cycles of oppression and resistance the other leads to progression along the spiritual spectrum of monotheist, muslim, servant, slave of God, and christ. The "Christians" have forgotten the the words of Jesus. The concepts of the founding fathers of the US are being replaced by the concepts of the fo

I am suprised that Dr Maher Hathout is not more widely quoted. Newspapers should be flocking to him and he should be advising both George Bush and Tony Blair. This article is a fine example of good sense. Islam is good; only individuals who use the name of Islam to commit acts of atrocity are bad. Everyone should read at least a summary, if not actual transcripts from, the Qur'an. Knowledge from the Qur'an is compatible with Christianity. It is describing a good and spiritual way of life.

salamu alaykum.
i agree with the doctor's overall article, but a few things struck out a little odd. first, nick berg was an imperialist, he advocated an imperialist campaign on a defeated people, and went to profit from it. notwithstanding his intentions however, he was a noncombatant, and harming him at all is a sin.
ok, that cleared, professor hathout claims to be shocked over the prison abuses - Heloooo!! muslim scholars and preachers of the faith are tortured in just about every muslim country. in turkey, scholars of the deen have their insides pulled out while they're still alive, the same in uzbekistan. any muslim cleric who preaches about the ruling structure, i.e the way a muslim society should be run dissapears the next day. look into the way egypt has treated islamic scholars for decades now.
what the nonbelievers are doing in iraq is repulsive, non islamic and conventionally christian. thats understood, but dont act surprised as though it doesnt happen in some muslim countries.
we need to protest the way MUSLIM countries deal with muslim scholars the same way we're protesting what the americans are doing in iraq.

dr. hathout's reference to our forefathers and their humanism was also a little funny, our forefathers spoke of tolerance, equality and everything benevolent while owning slaves and believing women had the souls of animals. but dr. hathout's organization needs some federal dollars, he needs to say something nice about the shaytaan once in a while. : )

Dear Dr. Hathout.

Timely observtions, indeed. With all due respect two corrections.

1) Our country is NOT in the midst of a "war". Our country is in the midst of an "invasion" upon Iraq who neither challenged nor posed any threat to our country.

2) the people who masked their identities not just masked their intentions and actions but also faith. we do not know for "fact" if they were Muslims.

Shakeel Syed

Excellent article. Dr. Hathout's article speaks for the millions of people who "are horrified by the hate mongering, racial statements and religious venomous talks that have been on the rise lately." His suggestion of a coalition is one of the best plans offered recently. Thank the Lord for Americans like him!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree these evangelical types promote war, not peace.

I agree fully. This hate is consuming the peace, it is the path to civilizational conflict indeed.

However, I must say we should be cautious. I do not think the official story is correct here. Why was berg wearing an orange prison jumpsuit? Why did 'Zarqawi' wear a gold ring, and seem to walk/stand normally? He has a prostetic leg(the REAL Zarqawi), also some people have said they didn't sound like native speakers of Arabic.

The men in the background also seem to stand in the military at-ease stance. And why is there an 11 hour lapse in the video from the time he says his name and so to his 'execution', and why is there a lack of blood ommitting from the severed head when they hold it infront of the camera?If it was just cut off there would be MUCH more blood.

None of this makes any sense.

Whoever killed Mr. Berg was inhumane, cruel, barbaric...
Gen. Boyken comment-If he is Knows his religion he would not have said that.Christians, Jews and Muslims God is the same - ONE GOD( ALLAH) Because all prophets(including Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad prayed to One GOD-ALLAH.
Pat Roberts should change his TV Channel name from CBN to AMC(Anti Muslim Channel).
Jerry Falwell is a radical man according to many christians that I spoke to..
How can these people call themselves as good christians when they do not follow teachings of Jesus(pbuh)and other prophets. No prophet has hated other religions and spoke bad about other people.
These people are afraid if they read Quran and Hadith - not only they become muslim they may start preaching Islam.
We believe in Jesus as a prophet.(Of course he one of special among the prophets like Muhammad, Moses,Abraham Adam-peace be upon them).If Jesus can be son of GOD , What about Adam's creation.
God wanted to show he can create a person without father(Jesus-pbuh),without father and mother (Adam-pbuh).
At present modern science can create clones from single person - it is not a big thing for GOD.
Just think- Come out of arrogance, denial..

Please read the facts of Islam and history.Islam is not only the religion for muslims- but is a guide and the way of life for all mankind.

Coalitions of people of conscience(Jews, (evangelical) Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Secularists)are accessible and active in small groups and in impressive websites. I am on about a dozen international emailing lists of such nature(they bring me hope, energy, and great distraction from repetitive mainstream media sensationalism).
People of conscience I believe need to feel more confident and do contact their politicians and community leaders and let remind them that very many people like us exist by making our humane voices and opinions known them---- I know the vast majority of leaders would appreceiate that and it will help them follow more fully their consciences/humanity also.

I have to say this article is bad news for me as i am a Muslim and i am supposed to be a part of the Anti-Christ according to those bafoons, which ultimately means that they will be after me.

honestly speeking it really worries me that these people can still voice these words of hate in the American public domain, why isnt anyone doing anything about it. Honestly, have the peolple of America really gone so iresponsible that they allow such biggoted words of hatred to be preached.

Please if you are a responsible American and are reading my views here, please do something about this before things really get out of control. you as a nation have to do something about this.

As for anyone who dose not know this, Muslims also believe that Isa (Jesus) will come back to fight the Dajjal (Anti-Christ). So if you are a christian reading this message, please dont hate Muslims for we belive in and love Jesus aswell. Only difference is that we dont belive he is the son of God. I guess he will have to come back and prove it to you.

May peace be upon you all!!