Muslim American: Patriotic or Fifth Columnist?
Muslim Americans are constantly suspected to be fifth columnists working to bring down Western civilization or destroy the American way of life. The July 31 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer published such a letter in which a Hatfield resident wrote, "Whenever there is a concentration of Muslims there seems to be a potential for violence against Western culture... We need to defend ourselves against internal terrorism by being one step ahead of our enemies. The federal government needs to infiltrate and find out who the leaders are, who the soldiers are and what they are up to, now and in the future. Otherwise, we'll get caught off guard as we were on 9/11." This, in spite of the fact that none of the perpetrators of the 9/11-violence was a Muslim American!
Many Americans are unaware of the fact that of all the religious groups, Muslim Americans have the lowest crime rate, and that prior to the first WTC attack, there was no violence directed against the western culture by its members. A survey of 175 recorded incidents of terrorism in the US from January 1982 to January 1996 showed that of these: 77 were committed by Christian Puerto Rican nationalists, 31 were the work of Christian animal rights and Christian environmental groups, 23 were blamed on Christian left wing organizations, 18 were committed by what the FBI called "Jewish extremists" and 12 were by Christian anti-Castro Cubans. The total number committed by Arabs or Muslims over a period of 14 years was 3 (three).
Anyway, this hysterical and baseless accusation of being fifth columnists laid against Muslims comes not only from the neo-Fascists, racists and bigots within the native population, but also from alienated individuals with Muslim- or Arab-sounding names. [Some of them declare that they are ex-Muslims or Refuseniks.] These alienated individuals act as the cultural coolies and modern-day house-niggers, always willing to please their new 'slave masters' and jump higher than what their masters would have expected from them. They, in essence, are the snitches, stooges and lackeys of western imperialism. Truly, they behave more English than an Englishman or a Londoner and are trying to play their 'historic' role so beautifully captured by no less a novelist, playwright, existentialist philosopher, and literary critic than Jean Paul Sartre.
In the preface to Frantz Fanon's "The Wretched of the Earth," Sartre wrote: "The European elite undertook to manufacture a native elite. They picked out promising adolescents; they branded them, as with a red-hot iron, with the principles of western culture, they stuffed their mouths full with high-sounding phrases, grand glutinous words that stuck to the teeth. After a short stay in the mother country they were sent home, whitewashed. These walking lies had nothing left to say to their brothers; they only echoed. From Paris, from London, from Amsterdam we would utter the words 'Parthenon! Brotherhood!' and somewhere in Africa or Asia lips would open ... thenon! ... therhood!'' It was the golden age... Then, indeed, Europe could believe in her mission; she had hellenized the Asians; she had created a new breed, the Graeco-Latin Negroes."
I thought those 'golden' days of colonialism were over. And that the yellow, black and brown mouths that opened - were opened by themselves - unaided, un-whispered, and unrehearsed. And the yellow, brown and black voices that spoke, spoke only to reproach Sartre's world for its inhumanity, for causing dispossession, hunger and pain.
However, it seems that not all 'natives' have been able to shed the slave mentality. There are some who still speak their 'master's voice.' Look at all the ridiculous and obtuse arguments by these 'French-fries' and 'Hamburgers' in favor of states and individuals that perpetrate and/or provide aid in mass murder against dispossessed civilians. Look at their hostility to their native culture. And look at how, like a brain-dead moron, they repeat racial and bigoted slurs picking cues from 'Julius Streicher's 'Der Sturmer.' They insolently question the patriotism of Muslim Americans who dare to challenge the criminal activities of neo-Fascists and bring sanity to a very disturbed world. These coolies foolishly view that their masters can do no wrong. In their misguided notion of patriotism and newly discovered zealotry, they ignore history, they forget Vietnam; they overlook the rise of Nazism and Fascism; they excuse slavery and condone centuries of immoral colonization of Asia, Africa and Latin America. To them, any Muslim American who follows the dictates of his/her religion has to be an extremist, or worse yet an Islamist, a term first coined by their masters. It is a strategy to disempowering and dividing Muslims.
These fanatics are often irate that Muslim Americans have not lined up as minions behind their masters - the unabashedly misguided neoconservative warmongers, most of whose allegiance is more to the only remaining apartheid state in the world rather than their own.
The neoconservatives, aligned with the War Party, have often misconstrued - probably deliberately - Muslim pacifism or anti-war attitude. In their opposition to war, Muslim Americans have been no less patriotic than the likes of Jesse Holmes (1864-1942) who wrote, "The pacifist does not deny that wars are inevitable at the present; but he believes that it is the spirit of suspicion, hatred, panic and fear that makes them inevitable. He would, therefore, spend his effort in removing this spirit rather than preparing for war. Such preparation may be safely left to those who believe in it, since it is their belief which makes it necessary." Holmes also wrote, "The interest of civilization lie in demonstrating that there can be no victor and no victory in present-day warfare. We desire no conqueror dictating to vanquished peoples; we desire no vanquished people plotting for a day of vengeance. 'Peace without victory' is the highest hope for civilized humanity." What Holmes had said is arguably more applicable today than it was back in his time.
Have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan made anyone feel more secure today? Violence has only begotten more violence. It is dividing our tiny world into hostile camps. It is producing tens of thousands of orphans, widows, parents without children, sickness, hatred, and spiritual and psychological trauma. It is producing more Zarqawis. What we call 'terrorist attack' is viewed by others as 'retaliation.' And worse still is the fact, as reiterated in the Amnesty International's 2005 annual report, that when the most powerful nation on earth thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a license to others (like the despots in Central Asia and Myanmar) to commit crime and abuse with impunity. Our government simply cannot preach moral standards while setting itself as one of its worst violators and condoners of such crimes. It cannot plant liberal democracy on the ashes of its victims.
Muslim activism against war is also shared by great minds of other faiths. It was Martin Luther King Jr. who said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Edmund Burke similarly said, "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." This activism is also the cardinal principle in the Qur'an: "You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in God." (Quran 3:110)
No, Muslims and millions of others from all faiths (Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, including atheists and agnostics) and races, from one continent to another - that opposed and/or protested the immoral and unjustified war are not wrong. They are on the right and just side of history. They are not unpatriotic either. As conscientious human beings of this planet they dared to speak out for human decency, justice and higher moral values that permeate beyond national, religious and all other artificial boundaries against global hegemony, unilateralism, hypocrisy and greed. Calling them unpatriotic would be like questioning the patriotism of George Washington, this nation's most beloved and revered president. (Farewell Address, Sept. 17, 1796)
The founding fathers of this nation envisioned that the US should be a beacon of liberty, security and justice for the planet. When we see that our present government is straying from that path and embarking on a very dangerous road to serve the interests of a small but powerful lobby, it is our patriotic duty to correct it. 'Surely, we have been raised for good counsel and forbidding evil.' These two divinely ordained duties transcend all man-made imposed demarcations.
Finally, let me say that as much as immigrant-Muslims are the best ambassadors of their native lands to their adopted countries, America's best ambassadors to the Muslim world are also the same Muslim Americans. Muslim Americans simply cannot be ignored, demonized and marginalized. They are the best chance America has to change its much-maligned image in the global arena.
Dr. Habib Siddiqui lives in suburban Philadelphia, PA, and is the author of the book Islamic Wisdom. He can be reached at [email protected]
Topics: Western Culture
"It is clear in Islamic teaching that if you cannot fight back against oppression or persecution then you either leave the place of oppression or give up the fight."
If this would be Islam it would have died in Mecca. Since its advent, Islam was fought vehemently by the very people to whom it came. There isn't in Islam the concept of giving up the fight. Read more, sister, and read genuine Islamic history and ahadith. Read about the first and latter battles in the great history of Islam. When did the Muslims cowardly draw their tails between their legs and run like rabits away from fighting? In other words you said that the Palestinians should leave their ancestral land to the Israelis and go where? You talk like the Zionists. Are you sure your name is Muslima?!
Moreover, non Muslims reading their own historical icons quoted might deduce that they are the first to speak of justice and tolerance, when that is not true at all. If the author said that the holy prophet taught those noble principles over a thousand years earlier and Muslims had vibrant and tolerant civilizations for millennia it would have silenced some critics.
Also, the best example of Christian terrorism would have been the IRA from Ireland who have killed and maimed thousands of people for decades, because of religeous strife between Catholics and Protestants. Nonetheless, Muslims should not excuse if Muslims do terrorist acts regardless of their reasons. I was always against what the Palestinians terrorists did, their reasoning that they had no other way to fight back was inexcusable. It is clear in Islamic teaching that if you cannot fight back against oppression or persecution then you either leave the place of oppression or give up the fight. The emphasis not to kill civilians is so strong that I cannot believe they have discarded such important Islamic values and as a result maligned the religion, and set an awful precedence. It is also possible that those who want to harm Muslims might use it to their advantage and propagate the act in the name of some invisible but named Muslim terrorist group, without anyone being able to prove otherwise.
"Jesus is Great"? Allah is not the correspondend of Jesus. Nobody says "Muhammad is Great". Allah is the Arabic word for God as it is Khodah in Persian, Dios in Spanish, Boga in Slavic. If you are unknowing don't display your ignorance in public. It is not in the Christian way to scream God or anything is Great, but they exclaim, "Haleluia", "Holy S--t", "Jesus Christ", etc. Of course they will not yell "God is Great" they are not Muslims, they are Christians, it is not in their practice.
Are you implying that somebody that lives in USA must become a slave to the system and thus give up his/her freedoms? Just read what you wrote:
"If you are being honest about the American culture which is providing you a job and home in Philedelphia, you would not call these groups "Christian"." First of all, not the American culture is providing the Dr a job, but rather his talent qualifications and skills. We have in USA grass-root white trailer trash people that couldn't spell their names and live like people in the fifth world and they are Christian, Patriotic as well as congenital morons much like the president himself.
You fail to understand and observe details in this anti-Muslim progrom. Muslims are members of a great religion, Islam. Muslims are of different ethnicities, orientations and even sects. 1,2 billion Muslims are of all nationalities there are. American Muslims are not "at war" with their government. Only because they don't endorse the government's policies in the Middle East it doesn't mean that Muslims together with all those that share in their concern about Israeli expansionism and US Imperialism are the enamies of U
How do you expect the non-Muslim American to react? People are people. How do Muslims react to Americans in their home countries? You live here Dr. Siddiqui. Be honest, who is reacting in a more restrained manner? Who is more extreme in their behavior or belief? Is it the average American who sees Muslims around the world screaming "death to America" and is suspicious of Muslims, or the average Muslim screaming "death to America"?
..."The pacifist does not deny that wars are inevitable at the present; but he believes that it is the spirit of suspicion, hatred, panic and fear that makes them inevitable. He would, therefore, spend his effort in removing this spirit rather than preparing for war. Such preparation may be safely left to those who believe in it, since it is their belief which makes it necessary."...
What more can be said on the subject. Thank you for this wonderful article.
There is, however, ample evidence of a "fifth column" in our country, especially among "mainstream" muslim advacacy groups. CAIR, ISNA, and MAS openly proclaim their desire to convert the entire country to islam and to fly the crescent flag over the White House. American muslim scholars state openly that muslims don't have to respect "corrupted religions" in this country, or obey US laws that go against sharia law. Sounds subversive to me! More and more people are noticing this anti-American behaviour among muslim organizations and "scholars." Far from being "hysterical and baseless," it's just good powers of observation. This in spite of the relentless propaganda about the supposed peacful nature of this totalitarian ideology, where the world is divided into muslims and non-muslims. Your own article refutes your premise, with referring to your critics as "lackeys", "house niggers" and "brain-dead morons." Hmmm, not very peaceful, Mr. Siddiqui.
One vertual story:
Two person brought to Judge for their crime.
one was a thief. He explained to judge that he was stealing due to no income to survive. Therefore he was punished for a very short period of time.
The other man was a writer. His crime was that he intentionally mislead people by his writing.
His punishment was to stay in solitary confinment untill his death. He was protesting by saying, "why I should be punish that long?"
So judge answered by saying,"you corrupted the socitey and the generation by not saying the truth and blame them that they never commit or did. There is no chain in your nick to follow the master but you accepted the slavery to entertain the master. Due to that people get corrupted and due to your writing innocent people are victimized. Therefore you stay in confinement for ever."
Some educated people glorify master and ignoring their consciousness. There pention is saved by the master. Therefore they do not mind to victimize innocent people. It seems that they are eating flash and bone of innocent people in their breakfast and lunch.
God give us a gift of choice called roll of a mind.
We are unable to make decession in our life and death issue but to use our mind it is in our domain. Therefore we have to be careful how to use our mind for ourselves and for others regardless of race, color and relegion. We will be responsible for that.
Accountibility is a key issue in Islam. Every one is responsible for their action. As a muslim, we believe one creator, accountibility, day of judgement and life after death. Every day we live with it. This is our creed. Any action we take, if it is not measured according to Quran and sunnah, it will not be accepted.
Thank you again for the article