The media must refuse to promote material maligning a race, religion, ethnicity or nationality in the name of freedom of expression.
Recently, a local newspaper featured a political cartoon which used Islamic symbols to satirize an Imam condoning the London terror bombings. Another cartoonist depicted a Hispanic coming to America solely with the intention of benefiting from our welfare system.
Such humor does not always bring laughter. In both cases, the respective communities responded with strong indignation and protest. When the media paint a community with a broad brush, knowingly or unknowingly, for the evils of a few, the entire community then feels compelled to respond.
American media attracts global attention when our leaders speak out on issues through our newspapers, magazines, on radio talk shows, through the Internet and on TV. And the world understands that it is not a very sensible expression of facts to call the IRA "Catholic terrorists" or the abortion clinic bomber a "Baptist terrorist."
But, it should equally be common sense not to name suicide bombers, whether in London, Israel or in New York, Islamic terrorists -- these terrorists do not and must not be allowed to represent 1.3 billion faithful. Furthermore, Islamic leadership should not have to issue religious edicts denouncing such acts when an average Muslim has nothing to do with it.
Should we ask the pope to apologize for the IRA or have local Catholic communities come forward with statements denouncing IRA bombings in London? Do we constantly harass American fundamentalist Christian leadership to be sorry for the acts of Timothy McVeigh, David Koresh and Eric Rudolph?
An Israeli Jew recently attacked and killed four innocent Arabs in a bus. Should we then expect the Board of Rabbis to issue an apology in the name of Judaism and the Jewish populations? Should we have named this killer a Jewish terrorist? Religious killers come in every denomination, but unless they are Muslim, we routinely brush off such incidents as acts of a few crazies. Why then does it become mandatory for Islamic leaders to issue "fatwas" -- religious edicts -- confirming terrorism is not compatible with Islam?
It is wrong to back the Muslims in a corner and force them to plead not guilty for a crime neither they nor their faith is responsible for.
Sure, a few imams are guilty of inciting hatred but which religion has not produced a few zealots? The war on terror begins with the battle for the minds and hearts of the Muslim populations, so says our State Department. Demonizing the Islamic faith will not win the support of the faithful -- it will only be a strategic error.
Let us isolate the terrorists, but not dignify and sanctify their act in the holy name of a religion.
Let us not hold a fifth of humanity guilty for the crime of a small minority. It is against the American justice system and against international norms.
When we associate the name of a faith with a few, we then strengthen their cause and make them martyrs for the faith.
If a neighborhood is attacked for the mistakes of a few, people of that neighborhood have no other choice but to bind together and defend their territory. Tribal mentality then becomes a norm.
Indictment and/or negative portrayal of an entire group of people is simply wrong for the crimes of individuals. Our leaders in media and government must recognize this.
Victor Ghalib Begg is chair of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan.
Source: Detroit Free Press
of a culture or religion. It misses the point when it comes to
taking a hard stand against those who remain silent about the
terror commit by "the few".
All of Islam must speak out against hatred and violence!!
Victor's voice about poor "reporting" and poor use of cartoons
must be repeated by all!
Race does not exist as a biological fact! the media, governments
and individual should stop promoting the "divide" by continued
reference to "race".
Racisim exists but it will dissipate sooner if all will realize "race"
In my own opinion,those who are sabotaging islam are instead promoting islam in the sense that many people have decided to really research on islam.As they do so, they have not seen any area in the Quran and the hadiths that are encouraging violence.They have discovered that islam is really the religion of peace.That is why many people continue to embrace islam.Today,despite the blackmail,islam is the fastest growing religion.I wish to tell the anti islam that "islam is in Quran and authentic hadiths and not the deeds of people." cos some muslims are only muslims by name.
So those who are trying to blackmail islam has made islam to be popular and only those who have been guarded by Allah SWT will see the light of islam.
May allah protect all the muslims in the whole World and protect and promote islam.Ameen.
I believe you can understand my views.
A mere handful of Muslim's around the world
condemn Jihad, while the vast majority lend support with their silence.
Their absence of outcry builds a foundation
on which many more will join Islam's world wide
Such a tragedy. Shame in it's most vile form.
My best to you,
You say that Catholics and such are not held to these standards, but I say they are held accountable when members of their clergy speak in support of such garbage.
If you want the world to stop seeing your religion in a malign light, then start at home and deal with the Imams that are doing an excellent job of showing you as a group of crazed psycho's. You can bet for sure that Catholics, Jews and all the rest step up when they disagree with some crazy in their own church.
Personally I think Islam caught a social virus hundreds of years ago. The religion isn't too bad, but the social values that were attached to it are ruining it.
Please drop the crap about anyone else causing the tribal thought patterns in Muslims. You've had it since Mohammed first created the religion (no disrespect, his existence created the next step of christianity, Islam). Islamic people were tribal then and for some reason have never managed to shake that old mentality.
One last bit I find interesting. Muslims keep yelling "the crusaders are evil". However, the crusades took place after the Holy Lands were invaded by the muslim armies. The crusades were just too little too late in an attempt to take back what was originally stolen from them. Try asking your history books what happened to the convents full of all those Nuns who were virgins? Your generals were very thrilled at all the virgins they were able to sell into slavery at a premium.
In case you are wondering, I am not in any way associated with the Christians, Jews, Catholics, Muslims or any other monotheistic religion. Your all wrong on that score, but I know not a one of you will believe it. :)
WE AS MUSLIMS Do not condemn or degrade others beliefs,do not harass, abuse, or threaten other members, but others are doing whatever hey cn do to paint us as bad as hell while we watch.
think of the media as the author say, totally was given a green light to degrade our right way of live and justice and no single islamic government is making any move to condmn this
public "Terrorist" they should report the news.
It's jus a small group of people who using Islam for their cause. Just like the Waco, Texas
that group use Chistianity for they cause.
misunderstood it and then became guilty of doing exactly what
the article says about judging a nation of people for the acts of a
"If a neighborhood is attacked for the mistakes of a few, people
of that neighborhood have no other choice but to bind together
and defend their territory. Tribal mentality then becomes a
As the Pope and MANY others suggested and as the quote from
this article suggest, Islam SHOULD be bonding together to RID
their peopple of these terrorists who "kill in the name of Allah",
who "kill in the name of Islam". Americans vote to get rid of bad
Political leaders. Why do not the Muslim vote to get rid of their's?
Why is Islam not in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and other
Groups of terrorists in their countries to rid their society of these
criminals? Why are 1/5th of the world population (muslim) just
standing by and watching? The american main stream media has
their own misguided agenda. They always have. Not even
Americans know what the truth is because the media is about
ratings, not truth.
I want to make a comment to "KIM" your message 33371 you are at the moment the only to disagree wonder why? hmm? You mention Timothy and his bombings were not committed in the name of Christianity therefor we can not compare, and these acts of ignorance by Bin Laden or anyone else for that matter saying in the name of Islam are one in their own. (Maybe you need to re read this article, what was said was what if we turned the tables,what if media announced him as a "Christian Terrorist" which they did not. Key words "what if" Well KIM I beg to differ, simply because anyone reading and understanding the message from Allah, in the Quran as it is written will clearly see that no Muslim declaring such horrendous acts in the name of Islam is at best a true Muslim, which is precisely the point. So when the media, who obviously no nothing about True Islam declare that this person is a Muslim/Islamic Terrorist, they are flat our wrong in their accusations. The issue is, like with all walks of media, they are in the business to sell. To make money. Not report truth and accurate information, What should have been said back in 9/11 was not Islamic Terrorist but Terrorist alone. Had media or anyone else for that matter researched on Islam, they would know that No True Muslim would do such an act and declare it as such a behavior in the name of ones religion. This is ignorance on both parties, the "terrorist" for stating an incorrect term, and the media, for not investigating the truth enough to know that in the name of Islam these types of Terrorists acts are not condoned..EVER!
Islam is a faith, of love, obedience, tolerance, helping others, and worshiping and praising your God.. End ..Period, Fact!.. Those are Facts, lets stick to the basics. I see, you too are blinded by media enough to not see what this article is trying to say. Re-read it.
Its clear what's wrong is wrong, whether you are Muslim, Catholic,Jewish,Christian,or anything else
Assalamu Alaikum Victor Ghalib Begg,
As a new Muslim in San Diego, CA. I know of this topic of which you write. Nobody in my family is a Muslim and all they say about Islam is the negative. They say things such as "Well I read an article that says Muslim women are oppressed and that terrorists are Muslim. Muslim is for third-world poor and uneducated people with nothing in life but their prayers. How can you want to associate with the Nation Of Islam and Farrakan?"(I am NOT a member of the Nation of Islam and from what one Imam says they are not true Muslim-I have not met any so cannot say) They say very hurtful things to me like, "How can you want to dress like that and look like a terrorist with that THING on your head?" They do not want to even attend the mosque with me, to hear the Imam speak about what Islam really is. They tell me they "read all they need to know about Islam that they know they do not want any part of it." For me this is very sad. For me, before I make an opinion on a person or group of people, I like to get to know them. Before I became a Muslim, I found myself reading all the negative. So before I became like the rest of my family and filled with negative opinion, I attended the mosque prayers. A wonderful experience and I welcome Fridays when I can go and experience real Islam with real people...not terrorists. I suggest for people, before they come to conclusions about people, get to know those that you do not understand as there can be much learned.
An article posted by Br. Abid Ullah Jan about the Pope delivering a bull on Aug. 21 2005 to the German muslim leaders. It resembles the bull delivered by Pius II in 1458 about the new crusades.Pope Benedict tells muslim leaders: "It is your job to stamp out terrorism, steer young muslim away from barbarism, cruel fanaticism, etc..." In my oppinion, someone should inform the Pope that we (the mainstream muslims 99.99%) do not have label on terrorism and that we are also terrorised and from both ends. With this kind of mindset coming from popes, presidents and other people in high places the world stands a slim chance for peace. I hope and pray for world's PEACE, keep up the good work.
If you look at the language used in this Declaration, you will find uncanny similarities to the rhetoric used in the media to bash Islam and Muslims. ttp://www.jerusalemsummit.org/eng/declaration_full.php
Demonize and then neutralize seems to be their "mission statement".
That's the TRUTH. If anyone has hard time swallowing this "naked" truth then that's just too bad. After reading my comment, an evironmentally friendly and non-toxic task for you would be to find a ranch and feed cows, INSTEAD of trying to swallowing the truth...
That said there are some important distinctions to be made between the IRA, McVeigh, Koresh (who didn't attempt to blow up anything - what's he doing in this article? nobody's saying you can't be nuts, just not violently nuts). The IRA was a regional organization fighting regionally. McVeigh was one man. Terrorists in the name of Islam (is that better?) are a global phenomenon, speak in the language of Islam, and hide among innocent Muslims in foreign communities and often recruit amongst those communities. It is understandable that non-Muslims who live amongst Muslims would want to hear loud and clear that their local Muslims don't believe the injustices in the ME justify violence outside the ME. Its a matter of communicating with your neighbors ("Hey, guys like you just blew up some guys like me. You guys don't think I should be blown up do you?" "No, you're fine by me. I'm not like those guys for reasons X Y and Z, which means I don't want to blow you up").
So thats the relatively non-controvertial stuff. Here's where people get mad at me:
The less you identify with somebody the easier it is to do them harm. This is why so many people have attempted to explain terrorism as the act of the poor and marginalized. Unfortunately its been the educated and relatively integrated Muslims that have commited the big terrorist acts. It appears they've seen the West up close and found it despicable. I've read in the Koran that the greatest sin is un-belief. I don't believe Muhammad was what he claimed. I'm not even "of the book." Does that make me a sinner of the lowest kind? I'd like to know that my neighbors don't think I'm a bad guy for faith rea
As a new Muslim in San Diego, CA. I know of this topic of which you write. Nobody in my family is a Muslim and all they say about Islam is the negative. They say things such as "Well I read an article that says Muslim women are oppressed and that terrorists are Muslim. Muslim is for third-world poor and uneducated people with nothing in life but their prayers. How can you want to associate with the Nation Of Islam and Farrakan?"(I am NOT a member of the Nation of Islam and from what one Imam says they are not true Muslim-I have not met any so cannot say) They say very hurtful things to me like, "How can you want to dress like that and look like a terrorist with that THING on your head?" They do not want to even attend the mosque with me, to hear the Imam speak about what Islam really is. They tell me they "read all they need to know about Islam that they know they do not want any part of it." For me this is very sad. For me, before I make an opinion on a person or group of people, I like to get to know them. Before I became a Muslim, I found myself reading all the negative. So before I became like the rest of my family and filled with negative opinion, I attended the mosque prayers. A wonderful experience and I welcome Fridays when I can go and experience real Islam with real people...not terrorists. I suggest for people, before they come to conclusions about people, get to know those that you do not understand as there can be much learned. I highly suggested before to the school districts here, though do not know what they are doing with this idea, but to offer in middle and high schools a class on compassion, diversity and community relations. An opportunity to get out and meet the different cultures and religions of people for a building of understanding. Bless you for this article. May others be guided to the truth of Islam. Again, thank you for this article that I will share with my friends and family too.
The above has to be the sheer stupidest leap of illogical b.s. ever put on here. What this low IQ Republican-spinning individual fails to understand is that if America didn't give a damn about the oil that is sitting on in the ground, they would literally drop one bomb and let it go at that. Their indifference to human suffering stands as clear testimony to that fact -- silence on Rwanda, subsidizing Israel's brutality and cruelty of Palestinians (something which makes YOU an accomplice, and which YOU and every taxpayer NEVER is asked to apologize for) and their enthusiastic re-election of their primate as commander-in-chief
never mind that nearly 2000 U.S. soldiers have died for a war waged on the basis of a lie and spun as being done for the "innocent Iraqis" -- were they just as innocent when Rumsfeld was shaking Saddam's hand? When Bush's daddy was using federal banks to send him loans? When American warmakers were selling him arms?
They (govt) have to have guts which they don't
"And when the Lord thy God hath delivered [a city] into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones... shalt thou take unto thyself... But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth." - Deuteronomy 20:13-16
"And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them."- Deuteronomy 7:2
"Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city [of nonbelievers] with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword." - 1 Samuel 13:15
"Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep,
camel and ass." - 1 Samuel 15:3
So now explain to me again what is Mad Mulla Bush's foreign policy based on? Seems to me he's ready to join the Taliban.