Losing My Religion- a call for help

Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Life & Society Topics: Islam Views: 14645
14645

To the Homegrown American Sisters and Brothers

At present, our community in America, whether or not we are aware of it or acknowledge it, is engulfed in a decisive conflict, and we are taking heavy losses. Mass numbers of descendents of Muslims, converts, and spiritual seekers are forsaking the American Islamic community and many of these will inevitably abandon the religion. The confrontation is of course not military but rather is occurring on the intellectual plane. On one front our religion is being both subtly and overtly demeaned by the media. On another, anti-Islam websites are assaulting the faith with mostly discarded but now resurrected antiquated orientalist criticisms.

On another, an extreme, virulent and irrational interpretation of the faith has assumed, with a good deal of outside support, center stage on the world scene. On another, most mosques in this country impose in the name of Islam, traditions and beliefs of questionable necessity that obfuscate the fundamental message of God's last revelation to humanity and that are driving individuals from the faith in droves, and that serve to confirm for too many youth of Muslim parentage and American converts the overriding negative impression of Islam that society seems to hold at large. Instead of seeing a path to spiritual growth, enlightenment and fulfillment many of these disengaged Muslims start to see a stagnant, retrogressive, patriarchal remnant of a lagging culture, mired in meaningless controversies and hollow, lifeless formalism.

If this is going to be countered, it will require an immense and courageous intellectual effort, and those upon whose shoulders this challenge and duty primarily rests are the second generation and converts who have held fast to their faith despite the many challenges this has presented. It is you, the activist American Muslim youth and converts, though your numbers are small, who have been placed in a pivotal role. Through your American upbringing, you have come to fully know and understand the surrounding society, and through your love and commitment to God and your religion, in a milieu that constantly tests it, you have by nature and necessity become the crucial bridge between your faith and its future in this country. You are in the best position to rationally respond to Islam's detractors and to communicate and demonstrate to your fellow countrymen and women what it really means to be a Muslim. You think their think, talk their talk, and appreciate their confusions and concerns. You are also in the best position to reassess the vast tradition that has come down to us in the name of Islam. It is precisely because you have not been reared in a traditional Muslim culture and because you have been taught since your first day in school to search, question, critique, and analyze that you are the prime candidates to endeavor to separate religion from culture, to distinguish the essential to Islam from time and place bound interpretations. It is you who are best able to understand and communicate to the disaffected Muslim youth. This is your jihad (struggle), a jihad for minds and hearts, a jihad of intellect and reason.

So I encourage you to arm yourselves, my younger brothers and sisters, with books, and pens and personal computers, and all the other instruments of learning. And arm yourselves with knowledge of your religious tradition and the works and thoughts of its great minds of the past. But also arm yourselves with modern techniques of critical, analytical, investigative research, so that you can better study and critique past contributions in the Islamic sciences. Learn all you can in your coursework, and especially in such fields as religious studies, history, anthropology, and linguistics. Arm yourselves also, if you have the inclination and aptitude, with advanced degrees in these areas of research so critical to the project of reappraising our community's traditions. And arm yourselves with humility, because it is vital to objectivity, and with courage and perseverance, brothers and sisters, because you will be opposed from without and within the Muslim community.

And remember to always pursue the truth, for God is the Truth, and always pray for and trust in His guidance. And so arm yourselves also with steadfast devotion to your Lord, never forgetting that to Him, and Him only, you have surrendered-not to a tradition, or a school of thought, or a local community or culture, or scholarly legacy-and that your living, striving, sacrifice and dying, all is for Allah.

The article was excerpted from Dr. Jeffrey Lang's book entitled Losing My Religion, an in depth analysis of the current acculturation of the Muslim American identity.

Dr. Jeffrey Lang is Professor of Mathematics at The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. He is the author of two best selling works: Struggling to Surrender and Even Angels Ask: A Journey to Islam in America. Both Books have been translated into other languages.

Losing My Religion : A Call for Help

~ Usually ships within 24 hours. (Allow 3- 5 business days for delivery.)
(Books - 504 Pages - Jeffrey Lang - English- ISBN:1590080270)

 

Follow up title to his previous bestsellers, "Even Angels Ask" and "Struggling to Surrender."


  Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Life & Society
  Topics: Islam
Views: 14645

Related Suggestions

 
COMMENTS DISCLAIMER & RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


Older Comments:
SHAREEF FROM USA said:
I do agree with brother Lang and i would'nt say that he "has to" sell a book im sure he's comfortable living as a professor...He's doing what we all truely in our hearts desire to act upon and alhamdulIlah he's being heard
()

L. D. FROM USA said:
Over fifty years of arming myself with books knowledge etc. What Jeffery Lang says is perfectly right and true. The solution is a simple one THINK Dont be so ready to adapt just any opinion THINK How did RASULLULAH(SWA) deal with this situation THINK IQRAA! It isnt the Thob or kafiyah that brings the truth it is the established verifiable word(s) given to us. The truth is there over and over again negative attitudes and actions committed by the people through the ages solutions for certain behaviours all repeated over and over agin there is nothing new or strange about the best solution for what we must do is what is advised in the Quran Sareef,& what our Brother Jeffery and others keep advising us to do. IQRA IQRA IQRA the more you do the more answers become clear Ameen

















()

DOOGIE FROM US said:
As a new convert I agree with what he is tryin' to say. Only by study, we can find the truth that will support us in difficult times. I will only stand in defence of somthing, not because I was told to but because it is true & just. ...DOOGIE
()

UMYUSUF FROM USA said:
Muslims leaving the religion in the droves. I think what he meant is Muslims leaving the local core community of Muslims or the mosque community due to the dominant immigrant culture which ever it is. Not necessarily leaving Islam. I agree with Dr lang about the conflict between immigarant Muslims ("third world" culture-for lack of a better term) and the native born Muslims and second generation born-muslims (culture which is predominantly "American" culture/western). I have thought a lot about this as well and seeing the pain these cultural gaps have cause the communities and various relationships. This is normal human encounters/conflict. Eventually it needs to be sorted out. As a community we cannot afford to go to extremes of either sides. We have to meet in the middle. No culture can claim to have the best of whatever it is. We need to come together sort out what is good and what is bad for us as a community. Islam is about the middle way the moderate way. There is no point saying one culture is better than the other. Culture is part of human experiences, Islam cannot exist in a vacumm. A culture is in the making and it is up to us to define it or to mire ourselves in conflict it is our choice.
()

AMIRAH FROM USA said:
wow... Asif Zaidi couldn't have said it better
()

ASIF ZAIDI FROM USA said:
Lets be clear on one thing. Dr Lang has to sell a book... he is going to make it sensationalist; but of course under the guise of religion and that he cares about it (I know he is a Muslim)

I disagree with his argument - in the Muslim world (and there is a world outside America), Muslims are going in ever-larger number to mosques, Quran readings etc... He needs to leave ths shores of America a bit


But like a true American tabloid, he writes w/o full investigation to make a buck and then gives some good naseehah at the end...

Authors think that they know more than the common man - the layman knows what he needs to do. Everyone knows what is right/wrong.
()

AARON FROM UK said:
Again, you typically like to make a generalized assumption. You are implying that you cannot be millionaires and be righteous muslim at the same time. If you know the reality your head would be forcibly bowed in shame for your prejudiced remarks. Yusuf Islam made millions before he found happiness in Islam, abandoned his decadent lifestyle, became a devout muslim and spend his life and wealth for the cause of islam.

And you somehow seem to be blind to the fact that the man that you'd think as the leader of all literalists, Bin Laden is a millionaire. He was brought up in a family you could easily brand as literalist, the wahabbis. He has always had the so-called "literalist" mentality while he's making millions and he was never enjoying a decadent lifestyle. So is his second in command who is a paediatrician and surgeon. Just because they stood up against the American terrorism, doesn't mean that they do not care more for this life than the afterlife. They are just like anybody else having desire for this world, but what sets them apart is that they are willing to sacrifice their comfortable lives in order to fight American terrorism. So it's obvious that it's not islam that forced them to live in caves now... it's the tyrants who want to enforce "unliteralism" on them.

The fact is that there are so many rich muslims and are devout at the same time all over the world not limited to a geographical or geopolitical circumstances. They give so much for the cause islam, for dawah, charity, welfare, etc. (where do you think the so-called literalists got most of their funds from? *hush*) And yes they are literalists... they took the hadith that i mentioned in my earlier post literally... that's why they are rich! Not because of living in a prostitute culture.
()

ROMESH CHANDER FROM USA said:
Reply to Aaron (UK):

You write "If "they are stuck on literal interpretations and promise of 'afterlife' and not worry about this life" as you said, there cant be a total of 10000 muslim millionaires living in UK.".

Now just think. Did they make all that money by being literalists or by ignoring literalism? By being a part and parcel of British Capitalism, which is contrary to Islam. I bet a large majority of these muslim millionaires don't go to mosque, don't pray (except to British pound), and don't listen to any mullah or his sermons. They probably are just nominal muslims, wearing finest british suits and ties, no beards, no turbans, and probably enjoy Scotch Whisky. Do you want all muslims to be like them?. Obviously, these muslims care more for this life (i.e., enjoying british decadence) than worry about afterlife.

Aaron, when you write, do some thinking.
()

AARON FROM UK said:
In ref to Post By:Romesh Chander
- Ref: 49289

Imagine an ordinary heart patient advising a heart surgeon of how to do operations on his heart. He sure can't be taken seriously. That's the case with Mr. Romesh Chander, he's not even a believer in religion above all, but he's advising "the practitioners" of how to practice religion. He must be running out of points... ! You first have to study it, understand the concept and then practice it in order for you to prove your credibility and be taken seriously not merely parroting what those anti-islamic sites are saying.

If "they are stuck on literal interpretations and promise of 'afterlife' and not worry about this life" as you said, there cant be a total of 10000 muslim millionaires living in UK. Ref:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-557929/Two-million-Muslims-live-Britain-10-000-millionaires-reveals-Home-Secretary-Jacqui-Smith-visit-Pakistan.html

The Prophet (pbuh) said, The intelligent person is the one who acts for this world as if they were going to live forever and acts for the Next World as if they were going to die tomorrow... so "balance" is the key.
()

RAMON AMRRIS FROM USA said:

...I have no idea where the writer is getting this information. EVERY brother and sister I know have met, yes 100% have NOT abandonded Islam! I'm happy to say as a Catholic all the brothers and sisters come to our home and have found success in their love for their religious beliefs. As the minority masseeheyeen I can say I have never seen even the secular loose touch. The secular grasp to come back, not to exit, and I encourage them according to THEIR motivation to paray more not less. Maybe I'm fortunate because all brothers and sisters are welcome to celebrate Issa's birthday as they see fit in our family home! AND none have never abandoned their roots and religious beliefs, muhamdalallah!!!
()

FATIMAH MUHAMMAD FROM CANADA said:
Salam alaikum to all my sisters and brothers,
I do agree with this article. The young people must be strong and intellectual. They have to learn as much as they can about this religion. I must say that my daughters community which is made up of young African-Americans take this religion very seriously. They have classes and are very into their studies and into raising and teaching their children about Islam. I personally have only met about 2 people who turned back from Islam. Honestly, I do not believe that they were Muslims in the first place. My daughters had it hard in school, and honestly this made them even more stronger in the faith.
Another thing, us reverts find that some of the muslims from other countries are not so welcoming to us as well. But guess what, we do not let that deter us or slow us down. My daughter always says it best, the religion is perfect, but the people are not. Take care my brothers and my sisters. And always, hold tight to the ropes of Allah.

Fatimah Muhammad
()

MAYA V FROM USA said:
This is response to Romesh Chandar:
How many you know being killed for leaving Islam? When compared to the conviction Islam provides intellectually and spiritually, it is my understanding is that other faiths melts. Islam can stand and is standing heat of the all sorts of hatred, while other just melt in the day light. It is this conviction that keep a Muslim a Muslim.
Don't be naive and just parrot what those news channels are saying. Analyze for yourself and come to a conclusion.
()

ROMESH CHANDER FROM USA said:
Note to Imran (#49297):

Imran:

You did not get the point when I wrote that muslims and christians should revert to their original religion "Paganism". All I was looking for christians and muslims to do some hard thinking regarding the problems of their religions; if they cannot do that, then should revert to paganism. As expected, nobody wants to do any kind of thinking because they are stuck on literal interpretations and promise of 'afterlife' and not worry about this life; but they all complain about injustices in this life.

The whole thing was written as a satirical comment on the state of the two religions. It proved my point.
()

AHMED ASGHER FROM BAHRAIN said:
Charles Jacks

Your observation is excellent. Please keep commenting more frequently.

What I liked most about this article is the conclusion:

"arm yourselves also with steadfast devotion to your Lord, never forgetting that to Him, and Him only, you have surrendered-not to a tradition, or a school of thought, or a local community or culture, or scholarly legacy-and that your living, striving, sacrifice and dying, all is for Allah."

I am a great believer in surrendering to The One who guides and ultimately those who surrender receive the same truth as it emanates from the same source.
()

IMRAN FROM USA said:
Re: Romesh Chander

Comment
Note to Brian Holt:
You write "Maybe these Muslims will embrace Biblical Christianity".

Nah. Better will be that muslims should go back to their original religion "Paganism". And same should be true of Christians; they should also go back to their original religion "Paganism" / Idol Worshipping. Cycle will be complete.

UNQUOTE:

It must be getting quite lonely in the land of idol worshippers that Romesh wishes for us to join him there. Kind of like worshipping the 8 limbed girl who was a "goddess" to many Hindus.

The one fear liberals and their pagan backers have is that those have turned away from God will wake up and realzie they are destined for Hell and repent.

That will leave monkey worshippers amongst the guaranteed people to enter hell first......

()

ROMESH CHANDER FROM USA said:
Note to Jahazee:

You write "I am Muslim American and have lived in this country for over 35 years. I have never met a Muslim that has left Islam for any other religion.".

Of course, you will not meet a muslim who has left for another religion. Don't you know that the penalty for leaving Islam is recantation / reversion to Islam within 3 days or death (and any muslim can apply that death sentence); now, who is going to dare reveal that a person was a muslim and changed his religion to something else?. Nobody wants to die. Don't be naive.
()

IMRAN FROM USA said:
Yet another writer who thinks Muslims have their fingers on the self destruct button and the slightest excuse will make them press it.

Masajids are overflowing with people specially on Fridays, Islamic schools are opening nationwide, Muslims are increasing in numbers, Islamic conferences like those held by ISNA and ICNA attract thousands, recently in NJ a networking group organized an event at a local hotel and they "sold out" with people wanting more such events in future....so hold on to your hats we are a thriving Ummah, naysayers notwithstanding.
()

JAHZEE FROM US said:
Dr. Lang premise may have some basis in fact; however my contention is I am Muslim American and have lived in this country for over 35 years. I have never met a Muslim that has left Islam for any other religion. Granted many Muslims may not be the devout Muslims of the Koran but their core principals and behavior is that of good people. I am not afraid that Islam will lose it place in the world - that is Allah's decision - it is his religion. I just try to live the best life I can based on the teachings of Allah through the message of Mohammed. If Islam is the true path then none can disrupt it. I personally believe in this - so the detractors can spread all the fear they want - it should not affect your iman. America does provide the best opportunity to strip Islam of the cultural / national interpretations to the true core of the faith. Islam in its basic form is the best, most logical and purest way of life. It is simple and unpretentious - it encourages the best in mankind only if we would follow these teachings.
()

MUSLIM FROM WORLD said:
As a Muslim born & brought up in the West, I have questioned my beliefs & investigated the alternatives. For me, atheism is a waste of time as is agnosticism. Paganism is just embarrassing & demeaning dizzying mish-mash DIY worship anything MATERIAL. If I were not a Muslim, I would only consider a theism which is Monotheistic. As for so-called "Biblical" Christianity, I am sure that they all consider themselves as being biblical. A UNITARIAN religion is preferable to a TRINITARIAN semi-polytheism. So for me Unitarian Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism are the only real alternatives if Islam did not exist. Even then, I would have a real problem with the corruption of Christian texts & the evil concept of ORIGINAL SIN & vicarious liability.
()

ROMESH CHANDER FROM USA said:
Note to Julie:

You write "The Muslim community needs to discuss these issues more in depth and accept that practice of faith in the U.S. is different than other countries".

Julie:

The moment muslims start discussing issues, they will tear themselves apart. Literalism is too ingrained in muslim societies all over the world. "The gates of itjihad (i.e., independent thinking) were closed about 700 years ago and have not been opended. The moment somebody starts opening those gates even to a little extent, the mullahs and other literalists will be up in arms. If Islam can be different in US, then it can be different in every country and even within countries, a concept unacceptable to literalists (i.e., the people who believe in literal interpretation of Koran and hadiths). It will destroy the unity and universality of islam.

There is plenty of freedom in the west and muslims have not discussed any issues of Islam, not to talk of discussing them in the predominantly muslim countries where there is no freedom; anybody looking for changes will be considered blasphameous.

Discussing relationship of muslims and other religions in US is NOT discussing issues of Islam itself.

All muslims can do in US is to practice whatever they want and forget any discussions regarding Islam lest they be branded apostates. Fundamentalist thinking is too strong among muslims to be eradicated by mere talk and discussion.
()

JULIE FROM U.S.A. said:
I agree with everything the author said. The
Muslim community needs to discuss these issues
more in depth and accept that practice of faith
in the U.S. is different than other countries
and understand that it is not wrong! I also wish
the Muslims would identify more with the various
Christians faiths more so that we may learn from
one another.
()

ROMESH CHANDER FROM USA said:
Note to Brian Holt:
You write "Maybe these Muslims will embrace Biblical Christianity".

Nah. Better will be that muslims should go back to their original religion "Paganism". And same should be true of Christians; they should also go back to their original religion "Paganism" / Idol Worshipping. Cycle will be complete.
()

UNCLE LOGIC FROM UK said:
I admit that Muslims in America have to put up with a lot of un provoked abuse from the media and a lot of it is certainly hate speech and ought to be illegal.

Anyway, onto the sort of stuff I usually say.
I think:
"If this is going to be countered, it will require an immense and courageous intellectual effort, and those upon whose shoulders this challenge and duty primarily rests are the second generation and converts who have held fast to their faith despite the many challenges this has presented." Sounds a bit overly dramatic.

I'm very surprised the author encourages criticism of Islamic achievement. If you want help getting started on the good points of Islamic history go on youtube and type in "Islamic Inventions - 1" and look at part 2, 3 etc if you wish. On youtube there is also "1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in our World"

Anyhow, onto somethin' a bit more Uncle Logickey; ie... .. THE BAD POINTS!!

If you go on Wikipedia (it's not 100% accurate, you may wish to look at other sources too). and type in "Suleiman the Magnificent" yep, nice guy, great contributor modern law, lived to be 71. however, look at the others like Murad III, he was totally greedy. Mehmed III and Murad IV, were brutal. None of the Ottoman Sultans (except a couple of the very first) lived longer than European Monarchs. between the death of Suleiman I and the crowning of Abdulaziz not one of the Sultans lived to celebrate his 65th birthday. Also, we all know there was a lot of killing in the European royal families, But few point out this was also the case in the Ottoman royal family.

Also, Three of the first four Caliphs were murdered. Sure there were leaders like Saladin, this man was extremely rich but ended up bankrupt because he gave so much away to charity, however, many jump to the conclusion that Saladin was a typical Muslim king rather than the best of the best, I don't think Islamic history books place such an emphasis on Muslims like Timurlane.
()

CHARLES JACKS FROM USA said:
I am afraid I must accuse the author of the same cultural myopia that he tacitly accuses the first generation of having. Consider that the time in which Europe was controlled by the church is known as the dark ages and the time after that known as the enlightenment. While during the dark ages the dominant government system was church installed kings and the three estates, the dominant government system afterwards was democracy and eventually a fraternity of equality.
What was the driving force behind this sea change? If you read the writings Ibn Arabi, he mentions particular Muslims of Andalusia Spain who endeavored to inject the truths and high ideas of Islam into Europe. The result of this was a threat to the power of the church and the church launched the reconquista. One cause of the reconquista being successful sited is the division within the ulma between the Berbers and the Arabs that the Berbers accused of being discriminatory. (A lesson to be learned .)
So while contact with Islam lifted Europe out of the dark ages, contact with Europe plunged Islamic lands into a dark age.
The author fails to recognize that the very attributes of the west that people champion are the truths and high ideals of Islam and that the disaffection the youth feel is not toward Islam but the dark ages imposed upon its peoples. Quote( a stagnant, retrogressive, patriarchal remnant of a lagging culture, mired in meaningless controversies and hollow, lifeless formalism. )End quote. ie. The dark ages.
They are not drawn toward the church or the lowness found in parts of western culture, which would be to insult the perspicuity of their parents in instilling justice within them. What they are drawn to is the embodiment of Islam within the west. In this they represent a fifth column of democracy to both the west and the Islamic lands. Do not be discriminatory toward them. The enlightenment was interrupted before it could fully mature.
()

MOHAMAD DIAB FROM CANADA said:
Mashallah this is a very good article. The muslims born or raised in North America have a very good understanding of the culture and way of life here. We have been defending Islam from non-muslims biased views our whole life. I myself have experienced the worst of North American life. I have questioned Islam many times. But through my experience I have come to learn that Islam is the truth. I have no doubts that it is the true religion. I am constantly discussing Islam with my friends. All the non-muslims and even some other muslims I know are always judging Islam according to what they see in media or from the negative actions of muslims around them. It is our job to let them know the true Islam and explain to them that actions taken by muslims here are not always what Islam teaches us. Islam is a peaceful religion and does not support the oppression of anyone.
()

A.M. FROM USA said:
I thought that Islam was the fastest growing religion in the US, too. Maybe he's saying that the mosques need MORE RELEVANT KHUTBAHS that are connected to the realities of Muslims in the US. We also need more youth activities, real-life lectures on having a good marriage and family that are practical. The good thing about Islam in this country is exactly what he said-- we are having more and more English-speaking Muslims and Muslims who are not naive about the realities of modern life who are starting to lead. There is a huge difference between speeches by foreign-born imams and US-born younger Enlglish-speaking Muslims. I wish he would've given some real examples of people who have left Islam in America and their opinions. I think it is THEIR opinions and feedback that would help IMPROVE the situation.
()

BRIAN HOLT FROM USA said:
Maybe these Muslims will embrace Biblical Christianity
()

MADINA FROM USA said:
The author writes "Mass numbers of descendents of Muslims, converts, and spiritual seekers are forsaking the American Islamic community and many of these will inevitably abandon the religion.".

"The haq doesn't need people. People need the haq"

People should be proud and feel happy as they revert to Islam.


WBT
()

NIZAM FROM INDIA said:
here is a reminder from Allah (SAW) for muslim priest for our brother and sisters:

9:34 O ye who believe! there are indeed many among the PRIESTs and anchorites, who in Falsehood devour the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way of Allah. And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah. announce unto them a most grievous penalty.
()

AS FROM UNITED KINGDOM said:
I am rather amused that I share my fellow Indian-origin commentator's apparent surprise & possibly views, though we normally differ! I suppose to be fair that one cannot comment accurately to the author's assertions WITHOUT reading the book in full. At first sight there are some contrary messages, Islam has value & on the other hand it does not. Perhaps he is talking about potential value? The Muslim diaspora has to be wary of US inspired TROJAN HORSES advancing the RAND Think-tank so-called "Moderate Islam". This is just a rehashed version of the unsuccessful Soviet Communist totalitarian method of parochial NATION STATE Islams for DIVIDE & RULE using the colonial method. Islam is HOLISTIC & is not just restricted to just an esoteric spiritual aspect a la castrated Pauline Christianity. Islam is a transcendental revelation according to its own corpus, a perfect & complete Deen. It is not imminent or man-made, so there is absolutely no need for an ISLAMIC REFORMATION or change, ipso facto. If it needs to change according to time or place, then it must be considered imperfect, so must be rejected by that individual. Islam is not DIFFERENT from any other temporal weltanschauung & is not subject to the capricious whims of the fickle nafs. Islam has a wordly aspect & is one of the few religions that has the inner strength to practically change the problems of a REAL world e.g. racism & drugs etc. That is why it is spreading rapidly. The abandoning Islam in droves appears to be an UNSUBSTANTIATED & anecdotal supposition, EVIDENCE please? I, for one, as a UK Muslim from University to the mundane work sphere have seen the exact opposite. Perhaps the US is out of step, though judging by the anecdotal reports of Afro-American & Hispanic reverts, I doubt it. As a thinker, "crises of faith" & doubts are natural in an educated diverse society. If Islam is not the answer, then what is? I for one see the majority weltanschauung as being a PAGAN RETROGRESSION based on DARWIN.
()

NIZAM FROM INDIA said:
Being a born muslim and raised in a moderately muslim family, I know that every word written by this author is true. It is indeed a very sad case that muslims are responsible for the backwardness of muslims. So-called muslims in powerful position themselves start behaving like pope, who themselves consider infallible and teaches things which is foreign to what Allah (SAW) teaches in His last revealation. But again, it is not surprising because lack of knowledge and education make most muslims vulnerable to fall prey to such people. From my personal experience I know that muslims youths now finding their faith thanks to the information available easily. I pray to Allah (SAW) to guide us all to the truth and help us to gain knowledge about His deen. May Allah (SAW) bless brother Lang and people like him. From their writing I myself has found my faith back.
()

REGINA FROM USA said:
As a convert, I myself have encountered the very things the
author mentions. I have felt very isolated at my local mosque
since a particular culture dominates there and they tend to make
me feel like an outsider. I have though recently regained my
courage and have gone back to the mosque. I think the
mosques in the US need to take even more strides to reach out
to the local community. But despite any isolation we as converts
may feel, or just feeling like we may not fit in with the majority
of those at the mosques, we must remember that the main
purpose of the mosque is to worship Allah (swt). We must only
be concerned with what He thinks, not other Muslims and also
not to worry what non-Muslims think.
I agree with the author that we must act as bridges between
born-Muslims and the rest of Americans. I believe the majority
of Americans are good-natured, warm people, as my family and
I are. I tend to be more positive about non-Muslim Americans
and believe that as Americans the majority of us are tolerant
people. Islam teaches us to be positive and optimistic. Let's not
forget that.
()

U.O. FROM USA said:
This guy is the death knell of Islam. Let me explain. When Christianity was finally embraced in Europe, it gave the Europeans an excuse to usurp the religion and deem others under their defining terms. Basically, it allowed Europeans to not feel guilty in opressing other Christians, and also non-Christians. They didn't feel bad about killing other Christians during say, the Crusades. It is similar to how the Mongols converted to Islam because they saw it as the best way to control their newly conquered territories. Thus began the brutal reign of the Ottomans over the Arab lands.

"You are also in the best position to reassess the vast tradition that has come down to us in the name of Islam. It is precisely because you have not been reared in a traditional Muslim culture and because you have been taught since your first day in school to search, question, critique, and analyze that you are the prime candidates to endeavor to separate religion from culture, to distinguish the essential to Islam from time and place bound interpretations."

In these words lies the demise and subjugation of Muslims by other Muslims. Just like the Ottomans over the Arabs. While I don't think this will come to pass by Westerners becoming Muslims and then feeling justified in whatever actions they might take in the Middle East, another group of individuals at some point in time might be.

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!

()

ROMESH CHANDER FROM USA said:
The authore write "... most mosques in this country impose in the name of Islam, traditions and beliefs of questionable necessity that obfuscate the fundamental message of God's last revelation to humanity and that are driving individuals from the faith in droves, and that serve to confirm for too many youth of Muslim parentage and American converts the overriding negative impression of Islam that society seems to hold at large.".

Surprise. So, it is the mosques which are now responsible for driving muslims out of Islam!!

The author also writes "Instead of seeing a path to spiritual growth, enlightenment and fulfillment many of these disengaged Muslims start to see a stagnant, retrogressive, patriarchal remnant of a lagging culture, mired in meaningless controversies and hollow, lifeless formalism.".

Does the author admit that Islam has retrogressed?

I thought self-criticism made a person's convictions (i.e., belief in one's religion) stronger; but the author seems to think otherwise.

The author also writes "Mass numbers of descendents of Muslims, converts, and spiritual seekers are forsaking the American Islamic community and many of these will inevitably abandon the religion.".

Wait a minute. I am told that Islam is the fastest growing religion in US. Which one is it? Growing or losing muslims to other religions? What is the truth?

Is it scare-mongering just to sell more books?

Surprisingly, he did not blame the Jews and evangelical christians for this.
()