In 1925, shortly after the symbolic destruction of the Ottoman State, Ali Abd Ar-Raaziq, a graduate from the distinguished institution of al-Azhar University of Cairo, issued a controversial religious edict. He claimed that the institution of the Islamic State is not an integral part of an Islamic society. Many of the readers might be forgiven for assuming that the current infamous Sheikh Tantawi of the same al-Azhar was inspired by the likes of Ali Abd Ar-Raaziq for approving the recent French governments decision to ban the Islamic scarf. Prior to this no genuine Islamic scholar endorsed the abolition of the Islamic State or the ban on the Hijab. It would be superficial and hasty to consider such incidents as merely isolated events in history.
On opening night of a recent major gathering of American and Islamic leaders in Doha, Qatar, one former Senior American diplomat made it clear that “the US will never turn its back on Israel”. At the same opening night, a Senior Islamic religious scholar said categorically, “we will not dialogue with the Jews”. These remarks, indicate both the need for more such encounters, and the significant obstacles that stand in the path of their success. What such comments should do, is compel Muslim Americans to take a greater lead in reconciling the two communities of which we are a part.
After the catastrophe of 9-11, and the subsequent “war on terrorism,” the media?s ability to sway public opinion proved detrimental to American Muslims. The American media?s influence and corruption infiltrated every aspect of news coverage, shaping the nation?s opinion of Muslims. News anchors speculated about terrorist networks. Radio programs propagated false information about the tenets of Islam. Newspaper articles questioned the ulterior motives behind Muslim activism in America. In the end, the media successfully put a face to the vicious enemy behind the destruction of 9-11. Muslim Americans were blamed collectively for the attacks, rather than placing accountability on the few, deranged terrorists that transgressed.
Muslims in America Post 9-11
First, it was the Indigenous Americans. They were forced off their own land in an unimaginable genocide, their way of life altered forever. Then came the turn of the African Americans. Forced into slavery, they became part of an enduring cycle of social oppression, which continues to this day. The Japanese became the target of choice during World War II. Their internment was merely another log in the burning fire of racial discrimination practiced by the government. As thousands of Muslims sit behind bars without due process, we come to the painful realization that now, it’s the Muslims’ turn?
Saudi Arabia is not America. The idea that religion should be separated from the affairs of the state is viewed as a heresy. In Islam secularism equates with apostasy ? a fact that clearly shows the fallacy and dangerousness of George W. Bush’s messianic vision of democratizing the region. The fundamental issue for Saudis is not whether their government is a democracy or a monarchy; the fundamental issue is to what extent their government is implementing Islamic law in both its domestic and foreign affairs. A replacement of their Islamic government with a secular government isn’t what they hope for, it’s what they fear.
Osama bin Laden - The Full Transcript
As is expected in a state that considers itself at war, little attention has been given to the contents of the recently released audio-tape from Osama bin Laden. However, a reading of the transcript of the tape makes it clear that this was as much a message to western observers, as it was to the world’s Muslim people. Gone are the rather medieval sounding references to the glory of the martyr, and the satanic nature of the Bush regime. In their place, what we find is something that, were it written by anyone else, would pass as a radical, but hardly revolutionary, Islamic political analysis of the present-day Middle East.
At the January 2002 State of the Union address, George Bush stated, “America and Afghanistan are now allies against terror. We’ll be partners in rebuilding that country.” He reiterated on October 11th 2002, at an event highlighting US humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, “we want to be a continuing part of the new era of hope in Afghanistan. We are helping the people to now recover from years of tyranny and oppression. We’re helping Afghanistan to claim its democratic future, and we’re helping that nation to establish public order and safety.” More than two years on, where is the help? Where is the reconstruction? Where is the hope?
Praise be to Allah, the Muslim Ummah is now increasingly aware of the double standards of western policies, but a significant few are still captivated by the elaborate illusion of “democratic free and fair” elections. These people really believe George Bush Jnr.’s claim to be bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East. Besides the fact that the claim is one a long line of lies designed to divert attention from elusive Iraqi WMD, the USA has consistently pursued capitalist interests, and has undermined so-called democracy whenever it obstructed other overriding interests like economic or strategic objectives.
Saddam is no different to any of the brutal secular dictators in the Muslim world such as Mubarak, Musharraf or Karimov. They are all backed financially and politically to the hilt by Western governments. Indeed without this Western support, the Muslims of these countries would have removed these tyrants long ago and made them prisoners. For Western leaders to now seek to claim the moral high ground in removing one of ‘their’ dictators is the height of hypocrisy!
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