Urgency of Dawah in the West
"A girl like you should take off this burqa and start getting an education," a middle-aged white woman told a 17-year-old Muslim girl at the dressing room of a respected health club. The Muslim girl was shocked by these hostile comments, but chose not to reply. Later, she reported the harassment incident to the club's manager. The manager apologized and assured her that this behavior is against their policy, and if it was repeated, he would take an action against the aggressor. Ironically, this Muslim girl is a national merit scholar who started her college education at one of the well-known universities at age sixteen.
In the middle of a friendly conversation, a receptionist at a medical clinic told a young Muslim mother who came to see a doctor for her baby, "You don't know how to drive."
In both cases, stereotypes and presumptions were absolutely wrong.
Cashiers at department or grocery stores often assume that Muslim women who wear scarfs (in accordance with the Islamic dress code) do not speak English. One Muslim girl put it: "Do I need to wear a shirt with labels saying, I speak English, I know how to drive, I have an education," so that the general public don't think otherwise just because I am devoted to my religion and covering my hair?
Anti-Muslim Hate: Why Da'wah Should Be Our Top Priority
Since September 11, the damage of planned media campaigns against Islam and Muslims has been increasing exponentially with time. "Hateful, negative rhetoric regarding Muslims is on the increase both in tone and frequency. It has almost become socially acceptable to engage in bigoted and racist speech about Muslims. More frightening is the reality that the hateful thoughts and speech can turn into hateful, even violent action, which can ruin an innocent person's life", Karen J. Dabdoub-the director of the Cincinnati office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ohio, USA-wrote in The Enquirer.
Islamophobes are aggressively organizing propaganda that portrays Islam as a foreign religion that came with the backward, violent Arabs, who oppress women and deny them their rights of education, driving, working, or even leaving their homes. This completely distorted image is ingrained in the minds of the majority of the American public as a result of organized efforts by bigoted figures. Daniel Pipes, a critic of "Islamism," has proposed the creation of a new "Anti-Islamist Institute" (AII), designed to expose legal political activities of "Islamists," according to Jim Lobe of the Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS).
The draft of a grant proposal by Pipes' Middle East Forum (MEF), obtained by IPS, reads, "In the long term... the legal activities of Islamists pose as much or even a greater set of challenges than the illegal ones."
"Pipes is also working with Stephen Schwartz on a new 'Center for Islamic Pluralism' (CIP) whose aims are to 'promote moderate Islam in the U.S. and globally'" and to oppose the influence of extremists," Lobe writes.
"The 'extremists,' according to the CIP proposal, are mainly represented by ... an array of organisations consisting of CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada (MSA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), as well as 'secular' groups, including the Arab-American Institute (AAI) and the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)," he adds.
Muslim civil rights organizations, such as CAIR, are working day and night to counteract the effects of such campaigns. But they are limited in number and resources compared to Islamophobes. The American people are victims of the biased and racist media propaganda. Ordinary American citizens do not have the time or motivation to filter the information fed to them through media outlets. Leaving this destructive tide unchallenged could lead to serious consequences: For instance, some Muslims-especially the young-will be forced or tempted to deviate from the authentic teachings of Islam in order to be called liberal or progressive. On the other hand, those who have strong beliefs will be persecuted for false allegations; they will be labeled extremists, isolated, and discriminated against.
We Must Unite for the Sake of Da'wah
To preserve genuine Islam in the West, every sincere Muslim has an obligation to educate as many people as he/she can about Islamic beliefs and values.
Islam is a complete way of life. We must adjust our lifestyle to our religion-not the other way round. That is, we cannot twist the laws of Allah and His message to fit our convenience or to please a person or group. To accomplish this noble mission, Muslims need to coordinate and unite their efforts to withstand the plots that aim at distorting Islamic teachings under slogans like "Reforming Islam" or "Promoting Liberal Islam." We need to focus our energy in passing the genuine message of Allah to humanity.
In order to do this, we must begin to unite. The Muslim community in the West is so diverse that Muslims end up getting segregated in clusters. Not only is this disunity totally against the spirit of Islam, it also makes Muslims much less effective in pursuing their goals or acting as a powerful minority that can positively influence the societies they live in.
Muslims in the West need to put aside cultural differences developed from their ethnicity or original country and consider their Islamic identity as the only source for a unified Islamic culture. Muslims from every background should review all their customs and traditions, give up what is national but not Islamic, and preserve only what is compatible with the Qur'an and Sunnah. Every Muslim must make learning the Arabic language a high priority. In their golden days, Muslims used the language of the Qur'an to communicate.
Developing a unified set of customs and social behaviors that is based on Islamic teachings and communicating in one language will act as strategies to develop a united Muslim community.
Dr. Salwa Rashad is an Egyptian writer based in Madison, USA. She holds a PhD in engineering and a master's degree in computer science. A freelance writer for Aljumah magazine, Rashad also presents Islamic views at schools, colleges, and churches. She is a peace activist with Beyond Terrorism group and Madison Area Peace Coalition (MAPC). You can reach her at [email protected]
Courtesy of Islam-Online.net
Just one of many problems I have with the article of Dr. Salwa Rashad is his statement; 'Since September 11, the damage of planned media campaigns against Islam and Muslims has been increasing exponentially with time.'. This is total nonsense, it is the actual events that create problems, the Western press I find has been very careful to present the terrorists as terrorists and not as ordinary Muslims. What a farce like there is a central planning committe to publish anti-Muslim articles, totally absurd.
An educated person like you may know how to give dawa but I do not think all muslims living in america knows how to give dawa. The american muslims must spend some time in learning on how to give dawa. Once they have this line of direction, then they can address the fears of uninformed american public.
Also, I think you have to develop a technique to teach the american public on how to fliter information from american media. I do not know if muslim association & organizations are organised themselves to undertake such a job. But those of you who are residing in america has this wonderful opportunity to spread dawa to this powerful nation.
At this point in time, muslim community does not matter much to american politician, but in about two decades time they will. Might as well get ready from now on in light of Qur'an & Sunnah.
Please don't allow the deliberate spread of misinformation to go unanswered.
Muslims should thank the police for arresting the Muslim terrorists in Canada June 2nd from committing great harm to the country they live. If they would of did their dastardly deeds, untold thousands could of died!
Islam is as Islam does. What Islam has done, just in the recent past shows a very violent ideology, an ideology that is in mode of expansion by any means.
Islamaphobia is a nonsensical term. Islam is an ideology. As like any other ideology, being in disagreement with it doesn't make you an Islamaphobe. In the same with disagreeing with Christianity doesn't make you a Christianaphobe. Disagreeing with nazism doesn't make you a Naziphobe, it makes you in my eyes a person with morals, and a sense of justice.
Also to call people who disagree with Islamic ideology as racist is just wrong. It shows an effort to use incorrect terms to manipulte people. Everybody knows that Islam is not a race, but an Ideology!
If Muslims don't like what people say about their religion there are many things they can do. What I recommend would be to argue the points of disagreement instead of name calling, a method used by children!
Our only solution is, we must diligently continue to strengthen our IMAN/PRACTICE, LIVING AS TRUE BELIEVERS, HOLDING FIRMLY TO THE ROPE OF ALLAH, allowing our light to shine brighter than ever, individually/collectively, pragmatically with modesty. Remember, at the end of the day, it is not by how much lip service we do that we will be judged by. It is by our lifestyle, Iman + Practice. (Qur'an & Sunnah)
Peace and blessings
That's a no, no at mosque or at Muslim community center...that's a yes, yes at home, or on Pakistani cultural day...
Soln: Translate in English right after sermoning in "Paki" language or hold multiple sessions (hire English speaking Madrasa(the institute of keen observation)graduate for at least one session).
or Ms./Mrs. Farah should journey in the way of God meaning move to a English speaking mosque area...
That's my solution and I am sticking to it...
Sad to read about your predicament, sister Farah of UK ( comment 30894 ). Islamicity is a forum, a virtual City, for all Muslim brothers & sisters. You will find many people here who are well informed and have the love of Allah and feel for the Ummah. You will not be alone here. You can sign on to Discussion Board and take any topic.
Your brother in faith.
Muslims must first imagine a society & most have little power to imagine what they do not see, that every thing written in The Qur'an & ahaadith makes a perfect sense for that time & that place. Does'nt make much sence now if you apply it out of context. Justice, Honesty, fairness, humility, God conciousness - Qur'an & Hadith are full of these principles - these are golden rules valid 1500 years ago and will still be valid 3000 years from now, if the world lasts that long. The Muslim can not recognise them and does not practice them. Therefore he deserves the kick he is getting now.
There is one remedy. Allas (SWT) can forgive us for our misdeeds of centuries.
May Allah show light to my Qawm.
(Wassalaam. Ironically, I am a practising Muslim)
I was researching Female Gender Mutilation and this website quoted a partial hadith (no chain of narrators, no proof of its authenticity) and said that the Prophet (pbuh) said that clitoridectomy was allowed in Islam- there is no mention of this in the Quran- and I was seriously worried that people could be spouting this hadith left, right and centre- without there actually being proof that the Prophet (pbuh) actually did say so. I am still searching for this hadith (if in fact there is one) on many online databases so that if in fact they are wrong about the hadith I will contact them in order to set it right.
I feel that there should be a shared moral responsibility of all Muslims to counter fallacious arguments put forth by the media (locally as well as internationally) and put a stop to the negative portrayal of Islam.
We should stop being appologetic due to their lies, hate mongering driving fear in people, instead we should expose and spread the truth.
Since main stream media owned by big defence corporations run by Neocons who block news there are many websites like www.freespeech.com who are asking Americans to take back Democracy, Presidency and White House. Many websites are exposing lies about 911. Evil people plan but Allah (swt) plans better. Bring people with intelect and reason closer to join us. We all need to unite. Allah is testing us and giving this unique opportunity to unite, spread and revert people to Islam.
Allah knows Best. May Allah help and guide us, Ameen.
The means to penetrate across the 'ideas' mountain should be based on ACTION. This is the call to ISLAM--the things that set ISLAM apart from all else is the empashis on 'belief with action'--that's where the supriority of it lies. You cannot convince people or change their beliefs by talking to them...this includes all muslims and non-muslims. To effectively change or transform our situation we as Muslims must not 'fight' out battles in the ideas dimension but must engage our efforts in the physical realm for this is where concrete long lasting results can be achieved. I contrast your article with Tariq Ramadan's--the disparity is overwhealming...you talk about going out there and talking to people to change their perception of us because we are good people, and belive in a religion that means PEACE. Forgive me but the average person is quite astute and reductionist statements don't hold. Now Prof. R's monitorium on huddud is action oriented it calls for lobbying our 'ISLAMIC' governments to halt this punative punishment...message is clear: ACT! Very specific very defined...the headlines one day, inshallah, would read: 'Muslims worldwide stop capital punishment...value life'I could go on to other areas 'Innovative muslim thinking saves environment' but I think you get the gist.
Very sad group of people (most of them, not all)
we all r muslims and so we should act as also like muslims. espacially those muslims living in the non-muslim countries should act like a true muslim this can be a muslims half Dawa'at and the rest is on saying or preaching. we all should unite as one Brother Hood supporting each other every where and forgiving each other and try to show and prove that Islam is the true and the best religion in this world.
May Allah set us all on the right path.
These people may not say it outright, but they have the same agenda as Pipes, and lable people extremists left and right.
See http://pmunadebate.blogspot.com for details on this notorious group. They are worse than anything Pipes could dream up of.
Let us all make our first and formost priority Islam, and our identity as a Muslim.
And be open hearted to the Truth, the Right from where-ever we get it. We should promote brotherhood. Highlighting good things, and if observing any wrong correcting it in a best of manner.
Yes, Quran is the only thing which can glue us together, so everyone of us should making stronger relations with Quran, THE Book of Guidance. Learning Arabic is a key to being close to Quran and Ahadeeth, its a language of Islam.
We should not be ashamed of our islamic values. As these are the best thing, and Allah (SWT) has choose this Deen as a best for us.
May Allah (SWT) make us His true servants, His friends on Earth.
I am a muslim female age 35. I was not used to wear hijab. Once I went to a pharmacy and the girl at the counter asked me if i am muslim and i noded in to agreement. She said but you do not look like them and I replied how do they look? she replied "they are un civilazed and love to cover thier hair and wear long dresses but you look modern." It was really annoying for me. At her back on the wall there was a picture of Jesus and Mary. I said to her " Look at that picture, how Mary wear her cloth and what is there on her head. Is it you Christains who are following her way of dressing or the muslims? I asked, and agian I asked do you think it was difficult at that time for Mary to cut her dress and make it like a mini skirt ? You hang her picture on the wall but we do not see you performing any of her acts. Thus, muslims are more willing to follow the examples of Mary than you people who claim that Mary is " Mother of God" and you love her very much.
From that day on, I started wearing Hijab and joined the accused " uncivilazed". (Alhamdulilah)
Sorry for my english
moreover....i encourage all muslims....to be much much much more vocal on your objections to your extremists than you are right now...
that is one reason why the west thinks the way they do...because they see and experience your extremists...but little is said by the moderates about how the extremists are objecting to the true tenets of islam...
my humble opninion...speak up more in opposition to terrorism and hatred to the west and infedels...humble yourselves and admit that many in dar al islam have made mistakes in terrosism...be vocal in your opposition to extremism in your own ranks...
then and only than after we hear a loud cry from your people AGAINST your extreme brothers and sisters will our ("our" as in general) ears be more open to the true claims of islam...especially sura 3:118
oh did i quote that?
allahu akbar, sukran isa my lord and God