By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS
I read with great sadness the letters to the editor in one of the daily newspapers in the Detroit, Michigan area. The letters were responding to an editorial written earlier by one of our upstanding community leaders in this area, Victor Ghalib Begg.
He wrote excellent column that decried the ignorance of those who practice and push Islaophobia. What is interesting to note is that ALL letters to the editor responses were negative toward Islam. ALL of them; and they took up a major portion of the page. Most said Mr. Begg wrote a nice piece and it sounded good, but the truth is Muslims donâ€™t condemn terrorism and he needs to tell his words to the Muslim imams. Imagine! They all said Muslims donâ€™t condemn terrorism – which is a Big Lie. They even had a Hindu write in asking, â€œWhy do you think there is no Hinduphobia? He took great pains distancing himself from, and condemning us.
I donâ€™t know how many Muslims wrote in (I know there were some, but the paper printed none) But thatâ€™s unimportant concerning what Iâ€™m talking about. The important thing is here you have a â€œnice, suit and tie wearing, Bloomfield Hills based, businessman that calls his peers Bob, Bill, Joe and Stan, and yet, in their eyes, heâ€™s still no more than a terrorist-loving Islamist.
I bring this up because of the seriousness of the situation, brought to light by these letters. Muslims have made great strides in recent years with more recognition than ever before. But something is missing. I say it is a too much culture and not enough religion.
In the late 70â€™s and early 80â€™s when Imam W.D. Mohammed was electrifying the society with a resurgence of Islam, there was much more recognition and respect for Islam. Then things slowed down and the community of Muslims became inactive and somewhat ineffective.
After that came the first World Trade Center bombing, and later, 9/11, with lots of incidents in between and after, and our credibility was shot.
If a Muslim is talking and looks foreign in any way, especially Middle Eastern or South Asian, their flowery words are listened to with suspicion and disdain.
This is especially true since they have linked even clean-cut, intelligent medical doctors with being secret terrorists (after the recent Glasgow terrorist incident).
We are going to have to get serious about enhancing and highlighting the real essence of Islam, ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES.
Imams are going to have to stop bringing so much â€œback home cultureâ€ into the religion. Weâ€™re going to have to quit saying â€œthis is Islam; thatâ€™s not Islam; this is haraam; thatâ€™s halal, if ALLAH didnâ€™t say it first. ALLAH is very emphatic in Qurâ€™an where He says â€œdonâ€™t you make haram what I didnâ€™t make haram.â€
One of the biggest problems is non-Muslim people donâ€™t know what Islam is because they see so many different versions of it determined by where a person is raised or what â€œschoolâ€ they follow. Pure scripture gets very little attention.
The recent events in Sudan regarding the teacher; and the sentencing of the gang-rape victim in Saudi Arabia are all about cultures ignorantly defining what they think Islam is â€“ and they are saying things that ALLAH never said and is completely against. Yet, the world thinks itâ€™s Islamic and the haters of Islam exploit it for their own devilish, sinister benefit.
If your cultural and ethnic traditions are false, ignorant, archaic, and doing Islam harm, you need to send it back across the water and live in the country you have chosen to adopt â€“ America.
ALLAH has blessed us with the complete way of life and the final instruction to all of mankind.
â€œâ€¦This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor on you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.â€
Notice He didnâ€™t say He chose Chineseism, Arabism, Africanism, or Pakistanism.
He says He chose Islam (that He revealed) as our religion. Letâ€™s look more at the Book of ALLAH and less at our culture for true salvation.
I guarantee we will get more genuine respect, especially from Christians.
With ALLAHâ€™S name, the Merciful Benefactor, Merciful Redeemer
As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah Bey El-Amin