City of Brass

City of Brass


American Muslims Call for Swift Action Against Domestic Violence

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following is a press release written today by a group of muslim bloggers, journalists, and media people including myself. The idea is to coordinate the friday khutbas (sermons) in as many American mosques as possible this week to focus on the theme of domestic violence. This event is also posted to Facebook where you can show your support virtually.

In fact, I think this should be an annual event, every third friday of February. An annual recognition of the problem of domestic violence in muslim communities would ensure that this attention to this crucial issue isn’t transient. It’s amazing to see how the muslim American community has coalesced in unity around this tragic event, and I hope that this resolve will bring about genuine progress.

Press release follows:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 18, 2009
Media contact: Wajahat Ali, 510-909-7506, wajahatmali@hotmail.com

American Muslims Call for Swift Action Against Domestic Violence

Murder
of Buffalo resident Aasiya Zubair spurs American Muslims to forcefully
address domestic abuse and violence against women; call on imams to
address DV in Friday sermons

SAN FRANCISCO – A coalition of Muslim organizations, journalists,
community leaders, imams, and other concerned citizens are calling for
immediate action by American Muslim leaders and religious figures to
address domestic abuse and violence in America, including that found in
the American Muslim community, on Friday, February 20, 2009. 

In
response to the collective concern of the American Muslim community,
imams and religious leaders across America have been asked to speak out
against domestic violence to their congregations. They are asked to
remind congregants of the Prophet Muhammad’s abhorrence of harshness,
abuse and violence, and emphasize solutions that strengthen families
and ensure all members are treated with fairness and respect, free of
fear of abuse or violence.

Members of the coalition are
contacting imams and religious leaders in major Islamic centers and
mosques. They are encouraging sermons addressing domestic violence and
are offering resources available through the Peaceful Families Project,
a Muslim-run domestic violence prevention organization founded in 2000,
to help educate the American Muslim community. This education addresses
the extent to which domestic violence exists and strategies to stop it.

Several
prominent imams have heeded the call to action by concerned American
Muslims including Shaykh Hamza Yusuf of the Zaytuna Institute in
Berkeley, Ca. and Imam Tahir Anwar of the South Bay Islamic Association
in San Jose, Ca. These imams have committed their Friday sermons to
addressing domestic violence and preaching that in the Islamic
tradition and by the example of the Prophet Muhammad, family harmony
can never be achieved by force and that emotional and physical abuse is
never acceptable.

This call is being broadcast through various
channels, including blogs, Facebook groups, personal contacts, and news
media. “The outcry among Muslim Americans against this type of violence
is a heartfelt one,” said Shahed Amanullah, editor-in-chief of
the online newsmagazine altmuslim.com.
“It is essential that we address the problem and take steps to ensure
that no one else faces the same tragic fate as Ms. Zubair.”

Specific calls to action for imams and religious leaders include:

  1. Unequivocally denounce domestic violence and any attitudes that enable or excuse it
  2. Remind Muslims that the Prophet Muhammad condemned with unequivocal language all forms of spousal abuse.
  3. Immediately
    create community social service committees made up of qualified social
    service providers to supply educational resources and staff
    institutional programs that support abused and battered women.
  4. Promote educational and awareness programs that outline abusive and violent behaviors. 
  5. Allow
    community members ways of pointing out and preventing the emergence or
    escalation of possibly abusive relationships and environments

Individuals and organizations helping to organize this call (partial list, titles for identification purposes only):

  • Salma Abugideri, Peaceful Families Project
  • Wajahat Ali, Playwright, Attorney and Journalist, domesticcrusaders.com
  • Shahed Amanullah, editor-in-chief of the online newsmagazine altmuslim.com
  • Zeba Iqbal, Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals
  • Ruby Khan, Director, Hamdard Center for Health and Human Services
  • Dr. Aminah McCloud, Professor of Islamic Studies, DePaul University
  • Hussein Rashid, Visiting Professor, Hofstra University, husseinrashid.com
Mosques, imams, and organizations confirmed to have joined this effort (partial list):

  • Arab American Association of New York (New York, NY)
  • Arab Muslim American Federation (New York, New York)
  • Council of the Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago – Imam Abdul Malik Muhajid
  • Islamic Society of San Francisco – Imam Khalid Siddiqui
  • Islamic House of Wisdom (Dearborn, MI) – Imam Mohammad Elahi
  • Islamic Center of Greater Lansing (Detroit, MI) – Imam Dawud Walid
  • South Bay Islamic Association (San Jose, CA) – Imam Tahir Anwar
  • The Islamic Center at New York University – Haroon Moghul
  • Zaytuna Institute (Berkeley, CA) – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Resources for the media regarding Muslim efforts to confront domestic violence:



  • John

    Where’s CAIR?

  • Maureen Martin

    Beheading is hardly the form that domestic violence takes. To reduce this case to an issue of domestic
    violence is to miss the very thing that makes it distinctive.
    Under Islamic law, beheading is the prescribed means of punishment for apostasy and adultery, among other crimes. Mr. Hassan was responding as Muslim man. Hence, the beheading.

  • dave

    The problem lies with Islam. Any religion that has beheadings as one of its allowable actions needs to be fixed before any further moves are made.

  • Denny, Alaska

    And of course someone will be along here any minute now explaining to us how Islam is the “religion of peace.”

  • Yasmin

    typical…even when the Muslim community rises against violence, it’s still called a violent religion. Your word-twisting abilities should be applauded.
    And FP, educate yourself before you speak on something you obviously have no idea about.
    Actually, all of you should do that.
    peace (yep…even a Muslim can say that. Amazing, eh?)

  • Your Name

    Without going into whether or not the tragic result may be categorized as domestic violence, there is reason to believe that Aasiya Zubair suffered from domestic violence in the months, and possibly years, leading up to her death. Domestic violence is a legitimate social ill that needs to be dealt with in all communities.
    In that regard, I think an annual event, or day of awareness within the Muslim community, is a good idea – may I suggest that this day of awareness occur in October, which is nationally recognized as DV awareness month: http://www.ncadv.org/takeaction/DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth_134.html

  • Your Name

    FP and Dave – don’t forget that is was the Christians who took part in the Crusades. You might also be wise to remember that many “Christian men” have killed their wives. Lacy Peterson was one of these women.
    So, instead of bashing religion let’s try and get rid of our ego to solve the real problem: violence against women is a HUGE problem. The United States has the most violence against women than any other country in the WORLD!
    As a former Christian who is now a Muslim, I would urge you to educate yourself before coming to any conclusions.

  • wtf

    Yasmin: You can say it but until muslims begin showing it, you will understand that not many will believe it.
    Until we in the west see better behavior and adherence to accepted social values from muslims, I guess we remain to be convinced. Oh, and calling for people to be beheaded and threats of violence against those who disagree tends to make the convincing more difficult.
    But it’s up to you and your kith and kin. Most of us would like to live in harmony, so how far will islam go to meet us? Demanding Sharia laws, demonizing women who want to better themselves, supporting any organization that wants to wipe ‘non-believers” or Jews off the map… will those ideas be replaced soon with anything more acceptable? Your choice, as I say.

  • http://www.brokenmystic.wordpress.com Broken Mystic

    FP and Denny,
    Both of you should be ashamed of yourself. Seriously, who taught you that it’s okay to generalize about an entire religion and/or group of people? Did you miss the lessons in elementary school about respecting everyone regardless of their religion, culture, skin color, etc.?
    What “real action” are you looking for? Muslims have been speaking up and condemning terrorism since 9/11. Instead of making ignorant statements, why don’t you read some books for a change? Read “The Muslim Next Door” by Sumbul Ali-Karamali or “No god but God” by Reza Aslan. Don’t you realize that making Islamophobic statements are counter-productive? Do you ever even bother to put yourselves in our shoes and imagine what it feels like to constantly defend your Faith.
    Saying Islam is NOT a religion of peace puts you against Muslims because you’re disrespecting our Way of Life. What part of that do you not understand? Questioning us about crimes that we didn’t even commit is like me asking you: where were you when a customer called me a terrorist and made me lose my job? Where were you when my Mosque was vandalized? Where were you when my family members got their car windows smashed and tired knifed? Where were you when the numerous Muslims, Arabs, and non-Muslim South Asians were killed and beaten up out of anti-Islamic hatred? Where were you when a Muslim girl got beat up on her way home from college just because she wore a headscarf? Where were you when a group of punks threatened to blow up my Mosque?
    When a Texan mother drowns her own children, no one blames her religion or culture. It’s just reported as an atrocious crime. When Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building, no one blamed his religion even though he associated with a radical so-called “Christian” group. Yes, a so-called “Christian” group because REAL Christians don’t support this. This is called RESPECT for other religions, FP and Denny.
    If you have a problem with multiculturalism and extending compassion to other groups, especially Muslims, then you need to seriously check yourselves. One day, you’re bound to meet Muslims, and when you do, you’ll learn that most of us are peaceful and Loving people. Go visit a Mosque, go attend inter-faith events, go attend an MSA event.
    If you don’t want to listen to us and engage in mature dialogue with our community, then PLEASE, *PLEASE* don’t complain about us not taking “real action.” You have no right to speak if you don’t bother listening to what we have to say.

  • http://www.brokenmystic.wordpress.com Broken Mystic

    “wtf,”
    Your comments don’t reflect anything but racism and extreme prejudice. “You and your kith and your kin.” Excuse me? Let me teach you something, and make sure you read this loud and clear:
    No Muslim is responsible for the murder of Aasiya Hassan. I did not commit those crimes, and neither did the majority of Muslims. Just like people don’t blame White people for the bombing in Oklahoma City, no one should hold Muslims accountable for the actions of a small minority.
    Did you read that? Good, read it again.
    The majority of Muslims are peaceful people and it’s just disgusting and incredibly offensive when people associate these horrendous acts of murder with our religion. Anyone who studies Islam honestly will understand that Hassan completely acted against the Islamic principles and that no other Muslim should ever be held responsible for his actions. As the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) say:
    A wife of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: (The Prophet) never hit anyone with his hand, neither a woman nor a servant.” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1082)
    The Prophet said: “The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is someone who has excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who behave best toward their wives.” (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 106)
    One final thing: Prejudice against Muslims and Islam is NOT okay. You wouldn’t be making racist statements against Black people, would you? Making lousy generalizations against Muslims and Islam is NOT okay. If you seriously want to learn about Islam — and not just come in here and make ignorant and prejudice statements — then, by all means, visit a Mosque, make some Muslim friends (surely you have those just like I have Christians, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh friends), and read “The Muslim Next Door” by Sumbul Ali-Karamali.
    Your hate speech is not welcomed here. This site is called Belief.net. One day, you’ll meet a Muslim and you’ll be so ashamed of yourself for making such ignorant and hateful statements about our community and religion. I promise you that.

  • non-croyant

    Read the WHOLE article:
    It was the second time since June’s elections that the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, quashed the bill on such killings, which are mostly carried out by brothers and fathers against women who have had sex outside of marriage.
    Islamists and conservatives opposed to the new law said it would encourage vice and destroy social values.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3088828.stm
    Yes, domestic abuse against women is a world-wide phenomenon, and exists in the West, including America. The difference is that our culture, and especially our law, condemns it and offers harsh penalties for it (though I would agree that there is room for improvement even now).
    Violence against women is considered a religious and cultural duty in the Ummah; don’t try to deny it.

  • Broken Mystic

    Non-croyant,
    There is so much hate in your words that you don’t even know what an American means. You don’t believe in the American constitution. All you believe in is hatred. This is proven in how you totally missed my point about Timothy McVeigh. There is a little something called “White privilege” which you don’t understand and will probably never read a research journal on it. Middle-to-upper class Whites never have to feel responsible to answer for the culture or ethnicity, unless they’re Muslim and have to speak for the religion.
    I honestly feel very sorry for you. You’re probably so frustrated in your home because you can’t do anything about the 5-7 million Muslims in America. I grew up in the United States and I’m probably more American than you’ll ever be. Many of my best friends are White Christians, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. How many Muslim friends do you have? Probably none because you wouldn’t be saying these hateful things in the first place.
    You say you’re proudly prejudice? I’m proudly aware that hatred will get you nowhere in this world. I’m proudly aware that one who expresses so much hatred towards one group of people is simply insecure with his/her own self.
    Islam teaches respect and Love for all human beings. The fact that you say “Violence against women is considered a religious and cultural duty in the Ummah; don’t try to deny it” shows that you don’t KNOW A SINGLE MUSLIM in your life, and are probably never interested in meeting one. Read “The Muslim Next Door” written by a MUSLIM WOMAN (OH SNAP!), Sumbul Ali-Karamali.
    As I said before, people like you will meet Muslim people in your lives. And you’ll see how loving, peaceful, and compassionate we are. All of my non-Muslim friends are disgusted by people like you. You’re no better than the extremists call themselves “Muslims.” Extremists fight each other, you know why? Because they THINK THE SAME WAY.
    You and I don’t think the same way. You incite hatred and anger. I stand for peace and Love. Good luck living with your hatred.
    [25:63]And the worshipers of the Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant quarrel with them, they reply with “Peace!”

  • Broken Mystic

    Television propaganda, racial profiling, growing misconceptions,
    They vilify my religion, my way of life
    Don’t they know
    Islam means submission?
    Your eyes judge me by what they see
    Simple ‘differences’, colored skin
    You fail to look inside
    How can you see me?
    Your ears trigger a stereotype in your mind
    When I say I am Muslim
    Then you associate me with Terror
    When I speak of Palestine
    Your heart becomes clouded like dark skies
    When you shout ‘Raghead’ ‘Camel Jockey’
    ‘Barbarian,’ ‘Terrorist,’ ‘Osama’
    Are these the words you use for the Iraqis who die?
    Your tongue commits an ignorant crime
    When you accuse my Veiled Sisters of being oppressed
    Inner beauty and liberty can not be seen
    Like the Virgin Mary, they submit to the Divine
    Your fingers point and blame Muslims in fear
    Categorizing all of us as “Islamic Fundamentalists”
    Do you know of the hundreds
    Who die in Palestine, Afghanistan, and Kashmir?
    Your hands become prisoners of Hate
    When you vandalize our Mosques
    Is this how you represent
    Your freedom in the United States?
    Will you always be plagued by lies
    And accept what you see on the news?
    Or will you, for once, listen to our voices?
    Instead of suffocating our cries?
    I am a Muslim, I am a Human Being
    I have dreams and aspirations like you
    I am part of this country, this is my home
    Islam is Love, Islam is Peace, Islam is True
    I pray to have a family one day, Lord willing
    Will I have to worry about my children facing intolerance and hatred?
    Will I have to worry about my children being treated differently?
    We can change the world and bring peace, let’s start by believing!
    Let’s do it for God
    Let’s dismantle the wall of separation
    Let’s do it for brotherhood and sisterhood
    Let’s do it for our children of tomorrow
    When your mind is able to unlock the Secret
    And become aware
    Of the Place where all are One
    I will meet you there
    ~ Broken Mystic

  • Khadijah Abdallah

    Broken Mystic – I love your poem and words. One of the reasons I am a Muslim is people like you. People who follow the Prophet and Quran, good Muslims who make me proud to be a Muslim. I am an American revert, but I get the same stares and hostile looks that other Hijabi Muslimahs get. America, under Bush, made institutionalized racism against Arabs and Muslims (and anyone else he doesnt like)OK. Hopefully, with Obama, we will have a better nation, a nation that is truly representative of its people, with freedom and justice for all. non-croyant – You are a hate monger and not at all representative of the American people. Why don’t you crawl back under the rock you slithered out from and make the world a better place. The brutal murder of Aasiya Zubair could have happened anywhere, to any ethnic group. Unfortunately, domestic violence is rift throughout the world. The answer to it is the stand up and demand it stop now! That said, I look forward to hear the imams speak up on this topic during Jummah prayers. Muhhammad was the first and best champion of women and families. He treated women with respect and utmost kindness, anyone who says different does not know Muhammad, the Quran or Islam. Learn first before making ignorant remarks. It is my prayer that imams all over the world will speak out on this subject as one, united Ummah. Domestic violence is not and has never, been a part of Islam.

  • AmWiser

    Domestic violence is a big part of Islam – where else do you see little girls being held down so they can have their clitoris cut off? Where else do you see that if a woman does not obey the men in the household she could be killed by them to defend their honor? It is a BIG problem in Islam. It is a BIG problem with Islamic TRADITION by ignorant people who do it because no one speaks up. Speaking up can get you killed, you know.
    Islam means submission meaning you submit your will to Allah and forget dreams and aspirations. Also forget expression. All forms of free expression are forbidden except for what is taught in the mosque. That includes dancing. No dancing dammit.

  • Madiha

    Hey AmWiser, don’t bite me but just fyi: the whole holding-little-girls-down-to-cut-them and practices like wani, kari and other killing for honor traditions are centuries-old, tribal practices that actually don’t have much to do with any religion. They do, however, have to do with ignorant, exploitative men from certain cultures who use religion to justify and keep their cultures’ chauvinistic traditions alive.

  • http://submandave.blogspot.com submandave

    America, under Bush, made institutionalized racism against Arabs and Muslims (and anyone else he doesnt like)OK.
    Respectfully, I call BS on this. Specific to former President Bush, I challenge you to find any statement he made condemning terrorists and terrorism that was not almost in the next breath balanced by a statement making the very points Broken Mystic does, that the vast majority of Muslims, and particularly American Muslims, are good people who love peace and would never do anything against their neighbors. The fact that is conveniently ignored so often is that groups of self-identified Muslims have declared their intent to destroy the country and demonstrated both a will and ability to inflict real damage. Another conviently ignored fact is that there are many in this country who have provided moral and/or material support to these groups and their efforts. To ignore these facts is to blindly place more lives (both Muslim and non-Muslim) at risk. If the Japanese were to attack again, I would expect my family ties to that country to be investigated and come under suspicion. I see no difference.
    The disturbing statistics are that as recently as 2007 the Pew Research Center released a study that found that 26% of the Muslim youth answered that suicide bombing even against civilians in the defense of Islam is acceptable. Even if this is off by a factor of two, the thought that 13% of young American Muslims approve of such violence is troubling in the extreme. One cannot but believe that throughout the Ummah this number is invariably higher. I’m not suggesting that 10% of all Muslims are terrorists, but remember all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
    It is with this thought that I applaud the words and deeds of the good men (and women) above who, rather than circling the wagons to defend the indefensible, recognize that working to remove the beam in one’s eye is not an attack upon the body whole. Because, the reality is that when those outside Islam see obvious evil and wrong within Islam ignored and an attempt made to change the topic to how much Muslims are victims in this, the country most supportive of all religious freedoms, it looks like an effort to abet and excuse.

  • Your Name

    I as an Imam and Islamic Scholar along with the rest of my community condemn the murder of Aasiya Zubair Hassan who was found beheaded in Buffalo, New York on Thursday, February 12, 2009, and offer my condolences to her immediate and extended families and friends.
    We stand in sympathy with the family members and relatives, who suffered a great loss when violence rather than love and compassion decided the fate of this loving mother of four.
    In this moment of trial, I pray that the Almighty grants those affected utmost patience and Aasiya Zubair Hassan paradise.
    I hope all law enforcement agencies will do everything to investigate the murder and bring the perpetrator to justice. I pray that the community of Buffalo and all communities worldwide will maintain their commitment to educating the masses on the correct principles of Islam and will try their best to never again allow such a heinous crime to take place.

  • http://www.brokenmystic.wordpress.com Broken Mystic

    AmWiser,
    Do you even know any Muslim people in your life? There are over a billion Muslims in the world, and 5-7 million of them live in the United States. Do you think that every single Muslim practices domestic violence? You don’t think domestic violence exists in non-Muslim societies?
    But it’s ok, because I understand ignorant Islamophobic individuals like yourself are so blinded by your prejudices that you can’t look at things through a broader lens. When someone within YOUR group commits an act of violence, they’re just “crazy” to you. But when someone OUTSIDE of your group commits an act of violence (especially a Muslim) you blame it on their religious affiliation. It’s a very narrow-minded process.
    Oh and I hope you feel better about yourself after making a mockery of Mosques. Did you know high school bullies pick on other people just to boost their low self-esteem?

  • http://www.brokenmystic.wordpress.com Broken Mystic

    Hey Submandave,
    There is nothing respectful about calling someone else’s post “BS.” I’m in the field of Islamophobia in the United States and the facts show us that hate crimes and discriminatory acts against Muslim-Americans have increased on an annual basis since 9/11. You want the reports, accounts, and statistics? I will be more than glad to share information with you.
    Oh and by the way, have you ever been racially profiled? Anyone ever spit in your face just because you told them your religious affiliation? Did you ever see your place of worship get vandalized? Anyone ever come up to you and scold you just because of whatever country you came from? Ever have a police officer arrest you just because you “look suspicious”? Ever get fired from your job after a customer called you a “terrorist?” I have.
    The difference between me and Islamophobes is that I will NOT generalize about all non-Muslim Americans based on my experiences. I deal with people on an individual basis. There are idiots and extremists everywhere, and that’s what they are: idiots. Do not look at skin color, religious affiliation, or culture.
    You pull out statistics, but don’t mention anything about knowing Muslims. How about you get to know some Muslims? How about you visit a Mosque? I should point out to you that thousands of Mosques all across North America are speaking about Aasiya Zubair RIGHT NOW. Go to a Mosque if you don’t believe me. I have friends from all walks of life. One of my best friends just converted to Islam — why? because we promote domestic violence? because we’re violent. No, because our Faith is a source of Peace, Beauty, and Love. I could care less if you believed in Islam or not, but I ask you to SHOW RESPECT. When someone shows you respect, you show respect in return.
    Go and read all the hateful things people are saying in this post. And this article is about CONDEMNING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, and yet people are STILL expressing their hatred of Islam. Doesn’t that disturb you ONE BIT? When someone insults our religion, all that shows us is that they’re not interested in building positive relations with Muslims.
    If you don’t LISTEN TO US, then there’s only so much we can do. I have three pieces of advice for you: Read “The Muslim Next Door” by Sumbul Ali-Karamali, visit a Mosque, and make Muslim friends. If you really care about COEXISTING and UNDERSTANDING us better, then you’ll do these three things.

  • http://www.brokenmystic.wordpress.com Broken Mystic

    “Ever have a police officer arrest you just because you ‘look suspicious’” should read “Ever have a police officer THREATEN to arrest you just because you ‘look suspicious’” since that is what happened to me.

  • AmWiser

    Madiha try telling that to people like Aayan Hirsi Ali
    You won’t find other religions doing that

  • Me

    Ah, the irony. I can sympathize with Broken Mystic regarding his fears of prejudice in the U.S. Yet as a Caucasian American citizen, I know the reality of the situation – the U.S. is clearly one of the safest and sanest places in the world for people of any color, ethnicity or religion.
    Nearly everywhere else in the world, and certainly in the vast majority of Muslim-dominant countries, I would be threatened with much more than prejudice – how about loss of life and limb? How about jail time, beatings and – if you’re lucky – deportation, for foreigners who unwittingly offend Allah vis-a-vis some local “holy” man’s personal interpretation of Muslim Law?
    Sad as it is, prejudice is a fact of life. If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time – historically speaking – you may face more scrutiny in a given situation than another individual. There is no use in dwelling on this fact and repeatedly whining about how unfair life is. Life IS unfair, to all people, at all times, in one way or another. So, moving on.
    I’m glad to see Mr. Poonawalla’s commitment to ending violence, regardless of it’s form or location. I would encourage him – and all Muslim Americans – to prioritize even higher the need to address the incredible amount of violence and destruction caused by followers of his religion worldwide at this point in time. I’m no religious bigot. In fact, I could care less which dogma a person follows as long as it doesn’t interfere with my ability to lead a peaceful, productive life in the manner that I choose.
    Unfortunately, as has been the case with most of our major religions at some point, today’s Islam is awash with ignorance, brutality, bigotry, incredibly harsh treatment of women, and a populist movement which seeks to force a particularly nasty strain of the religion on every person worldwide at the point of the sword, the bomb, the bullet, or the stone.
    Someday, billions of average everyday people who happen to follow the Prophet but otherwise want nothing more than to lead a peaceful coexistence with their neighbors, will wake up and look around at what they’ve allowed their religion to become. It will happen slowly, in small pockets, and it will happen from within. The destruction, the violence, the outright murder will simply become so overwhelming that even the typical “average” Muslim won’t be able to deal with the guilt and shame any longer.
    Neither the U.S. nor any other military power will have much of an effect on this process. In the short-term, in fact, it will likely result in the kind of backlash we’re seeing today but in even larger numbers. But again, all this (the wars, the terrorists, the violence) is simply a sort of window-dressing that provides a backdrop to the ebb and flow of religious struggles throughout the history of mankind. It’s scary to me how few people understand this. Sooner or later (probably later), as any first year history student could predict, the violence will ebb, the pain will lessen, the conflict will cool, and rationality will begin – however slowly – to re-exert its hold on the minds of the many Muslims who are simply too scared, too ignorant, too poor, too beaten down, or whatever to think logically in the face of the insane mutterings of many of the religions current leaders.
    So, here’s my appeal to all of you obviously intelligent and thoughtful people out there: forget about the nay-saying, quit the whining, get past the fear, the threats and the knee-jerk one-liners (e.g., “you won’t find other religions doing that” – read a history book AmWiser, they’ve ALL done it in the name of ignorance at one time or another, and we’re just damn lucky that we live in a place and time where our dominant relgions and social constructs don’t allow the insanity to happen here).
    Here’s what you can do with all that hot air you’re expending talking about who’s more peaceful, who’s religion is more charitable, less violent, and more open-minded. Take the time and energy used in that dubious venture and direct it towards a productive effort to counteract the status quo.
    Write, speak, and otherwise communicate in any way you can to anyone at all that will listen – but most importantly Muslims like Mr. Poonawalla who have influence and the ability to to use it effectively – the message that only Muslims can solve this problem. Only Muslims will change their own “churh”. Encourage them, one and all, to stand up by the billions in the face of the angry, violent and deadly surge of destruction their religion has become, and denounce it in such a way as to leave no one in doubt about their feelings and their intentions.
    Every Muslim Man, Woman and Child has the right and the responsibility to cry out against the evil and the bloodshed propogated on the world under the names of Allah and the Prophet. There is no other way, no simpler path, no magic solution and no other process by which Islam can be redirected towards its original objectives – bringing Man And God closer to one another and preparing the mind and soul of Man to sit with His Savior in peace for eternity.
    By whatever name one’s god is called, by whatever words have been used to justify a variety of actions that never were or could have possibly been envisioned by that religions prophets, peace and love are the truest and highest callings of our modern religions. It’s just a fact that some would rather ignore this concept to focus on the minutiae of religious laws, contradictory and difficult to understand sayings, and enmity towards one group or another versus dropping their arms (as in rifles) and spending more time in the synagogue, the church, or the mosque.
    It’s really so much more demanding of one’s intellect to become educated, to direct one’s life towards a higher level of understanding about one’s religion, neighbors, and world. It actually takes an effort to think critically about what is important and what is not.
    And when millions upon millions of one’s fellow believers are spewing forth filth, ignorance and cruelty in the time honored fashion of the morally bankrupt everywhere – it’s more than just difficult to stand up and speak out. It’s very likely to be dangerous, even deadly.
    It’s time for every Muslim to make a choice: to take action to move the religion forward towards more enlightment, or let it erode into a barbaric nightmare of hatred and violence that may last for countless generations.
    And, it’s time for every American to stand up against violence and ignorance in every way, including bigotry towards the followers of the Prophet, the vast majority of whom simply want to raise their children in peace, teach them justice, and watch them grow into the adults who will inherit all their hopes, dreams and aspirations. If you are NOT a Muslim, your duty in this time and place in history is to help every Muslim you can to facilitate the dream of all of us who live in the world of sanity – to live a peaceful, prosperous and productive life while seeking wisdom and spreading love througout the world.
    I’ll end with a quote from an unknown author that seemed appropriate -
    Time will soon teach you what you were ignorant of
    ??????? ?????? -?? ?????- ?? ??? ?????

  • Your Name

    …isn’t this issue supposed to be about domestic violence against all Americans–mostly women?
    “…calling for immediate action by American Muslim leaders and religious figures to address domestic abuse and violence in America, including that found in the American Muslim community….”
    how do you (I can only assume) men turn it into another opportunity to complain about prejudice and profiling and blah blah blah. Could you for once think about something/someone besides yourselves–like the women in your community, your family, your country.

  • http://www.brokenmystic.wordpress.com Broken Mystic

    LOL @ “Me.”
    You wrote: “I can sympathize with Broken Mystic regarding his fears of prejudice in the U.S. Yet as a Caucasian American citizen, I know the reality of the situation – the U.S. is clearly one of the safest and sanest places in the world for people of any color, ethnicity or religion.”
    Translation: “That sucks that you’re afraid of prejudice, but hey, America the best country in the whole world so it’s best for you to shut your mouth.”
    I didn’t say I have “fears of prejudice.” I said I have *experienced* prejudice and discrimination.
    You wrote: “Nearly everywhere else in the world, and certainly in the vast majority of Muslim-dominant countries, I would be threatened with much more than prejudice”
    Translation: “So if I see a Muslim getting beat up in a hate crime in the United States, I’ll just pat him on the back and say, ‘hey buddy, Muslim countries discriminate against non-Muslims all the time!’ Can’t help you with this one!”
    You wrote: “Sad as it is, prejudice is a fact of life. If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time – historically speaking – you may face more scrutiny in a given situation than another individual.”
    Translation: “With wars going on in Muslim countries these days, it just sucks to be you! Sorry Muslims!”
    You wrote: “I’m glad to see Mr. Poonawalla’s commitment to ending violence, regardless of it’s form or location. I would encourage him – and all Muslim Americans – to prioritize even higher the need to address the incredible amount of violence and destruction caused by followers of his religion worldwide at this point in time.”
    Translation: “This was a nice little blog entry, but since I know EVERYTHING about Muslims despite not visiting Mosques on a weekly basis, I’m pretty darn sure that Muslims don’t prioritize stuff and don’t speak out against violence! I know they don’t speak out because I don’t see it on TV! If its not on TV, it doesn’t happen!”
    You wrote: “Unfortunately, as has been the case with most of our major religions at some point, today’s Islam is awash with ignorance, brutality, bigotry, incredibly harsh treatment of women, and a populist movement which seeks to force a particularly nasty strain of the religion on every person worldwide at the point of the sword, the bomb, the bullet, or the stone.”
    Translation: “Basically, Islam is a violent religion that promotes brutality, bigotry, oppression of women, and forced conversions. I’m a non-Muslim, so I know everything about Islam!”
    You wrote: “Someday, billions of average everyday people who happen to follow the Prophet but otherwise want nothing more than to lead a peaceful coexistence with their neighbors, will wake up and look around at what they’ve allowed their religion to become.”
    Translation: “The peaceful majority of Muslims are responsible for atrocious crimes like the murder of Aasiya Hassan and terrorist attacks like 9/11! Even you Muslim kids who just want to play video games and watch “Twilight” — you should be speaking out against terrorism because you’re Muslim!”
    You wrote: “The destruction, the violence, the outright murder will simply become so overwhelming that even the typical “average” Muslim won’t be able to deal with the guilt and shame any longer.”
    Translation: “Every Muslim should feel guilty and shame for the crimes that other people did.”
    You wrote: “Sooner or later (probably later), as any first year history student could predict, the violence will ebb, the pain will lessen, the conflict will cool, and rationality will begin – however slowly – to re-exert its hold on the minds of the many Muslims who are simply too scared, too ignorant, too poor, too beaten down, or whatever to think logically in the face of the insane mutterings of many of the religions current leaders.”
    Translation: “In order to get people to think rationally, we need to bomb the hell out of them until the violence dies down. War is good!”
    You wrote: “So, here’s my appeal to all of you obviously intelligent and thoughtful people out there: forget about the nay-saying, quit the whining, get past the fear, the threats and the knee-jerk one-liners.”
    Translation: “Here’s my appeal to you over-sensitive Muslims: ignore Islamophobia, stop standing up for your civil rights, stop being so paranoid about racial profiling and the patriot act, and don’t call the police if someone threatens to blow up your Mosque or your car. It’s ok, there’s nothing to be afraid of, America is the best!”
    You wrote: “Take the time and energy used in that dubious venture and direct it towards a productive effort to counteract the status quo.”
    Translation: “Anyone who posted something on this blog haven’t done a single thing. I know because I am God.”
    You wrote: “Write, speak, and otherwise communicate in any way you can to anyone at all that will listen – but most importantly Muslims like Mr. Poonawalla who have influence and the ability to to use it effectively – the message that only Muslims can solve this problem.”
    Translation: “I insulted your religion and now I’m going to tell you what to do. You should listen to me because I know what’s best for Muslims.”
    You wrote: “Every Muslim Man, Woman and Child has the right and the responsibility to cry out against the evil and the bloodshed propogated on the world under the names of Allah and the Prophet.”
    Translation: “Again, I reiterate, like a broken record, every single one of you Muslims — yes even the CHILDREN — are responsible for the violence in the Muslim world.”
    You wrote: “There is no other way, no simpler path, no magic solution and no other process by which Islam can be redirected towards its original objectives – bringing Man And God closer to one another and preparing the mind and soul of Man to sit with His Savior in peace for eternity.”
    Translation: “Let me sprinkle in some positive things about Islam just so I don’t get called an Islamophobe (even though the positive things I’m saying about Islam completely contradict everything I just said!) God bless Tokenism!”
    You wrote: “By whatever name one’s god is called, by whatever words have been used to justify a variety of actions that never were or could have possibly been envisioned by that religions prophets, peace and love are the truest and highest callings of our modern religions.”
    Translation: “Let me speak about peace and Love now, even though peace and Love should have led me to visit Mosques on Friday and actually listen to the sermons instead of making lousy accusations here! Yes, peace and Love. You Muslims need to learn about peace and Love.”
    You wrote: “It’s really so much more demanding of one’s intellect to become educated, to direct one’s life towards a higher level of understanding about one’s religion, neighbors, and world. It actually takes an effort to think critically about what is important and what is not.”
    Translation: “Muslims aren’t educated and can’t think for themselves, therefore I, a non-Muslim, have every right to tell them what to do.”
    You wrote: “And when millions upon millions of one’s fellow believers are spewing forth filth, ignorance and cruelty in the time honored fashion of the morally bankrupt everywhere – it’s more than just difficult to stand up and speak out. It’s very likely to be dangerous, even deadly.”
    Translation: “Since I don’t Muslims speaking out against terror on TV, it must be because they’re freakin’ scared!”
    You wrote: “It’s time for every Muslim to make a choice: to take action to move the religion forward towards more enlightment, or let it erode into a barbaric nightmare of hatred and violence that may last for countless generations.”
    Translation: “The fate of the world depends upon the choices that Muslims make.”
    You wrote: “And, it’s time for every American to stand up against violence and ignorance in every way, including bigotry towards the followers of the Prophet, the vast majority of whom simply want to raise their children in peace, teach them justice, and watch them grow into the adults who will inherit all their hopes, dreams and aspirations.”
    Translation: “Yeah, here’s my shield against being labeled an Islamophobe. After all, I’m an intellectual man, if I only spoke badly about Muslims, I wouldn’t look very educated!”
    You wrote: “If you are NOT a Muslim, your duty in this time and place in history is to help every Muslim you can to facilitate the dream of all of us who live in the world of sanity – to live a peaceful, prosperous and productive life while seeking wisdom and spreading love througout the world.”
    Translation: “O’ non-Muslims, help the Muslims, just like I am by telling them what to do. Tell them what to do because they cannot think for themselves and there are no such things as Muslim leaders. Only we, non-Muslims, can lead!”
    You wrote: “I’ll end with a quote from an unknown author that seemed appropriate – ‘Time will soon teach you what you were ignorant of’”
    Translation: “Oh shoot, this quote actually just backfired on me! ‘Time will soon teach ME what *I* was ignorant of’”
    PWND.

  • http://www.brokenmystic.wordpress.com Broken Mystic

    At “Your Name,”
    Why, of course, if you see a Muslim “complaining” prejudice and profiling and “blah blah blah,” it surely must mean that they don’t think about others in their community. I didn’t know that mentioning the annually rising hate crimes against Muslims translated as “not caring” for others in our community! Did you attend a Mosque on Friday? Please tell us if our concerns for our community was properly discussed. I’m sure you went :)

  • Your Name

    Perhaps I didn’t explain this correctly. I don’t have any issue with Muslims complaining about prejudice and profiling. But thats not what this article is about.
    My issue is with this specific article and the comments that follow. Here is an article where the Muslim community is addressing a horrific case of domestic violence. Domestic violence occurs in every community–not just the Muslim community. Recent celebrity news verifies that. I did not go to Mosque on Friday. I am not Muslim. I am a woman. And I was very impressed with how quickly the Muslim community reacted to the violence. I think its unfortunate that the comments are not about that subject–in fact they have little to do with the article “American Muslims Call for Swift Action Against Domestic Violence”. Whatever you discussed in Mosque on Friday, you are not on subject with these comments–the subject being domestic violence.
    But you aren’t the only one–maybe this subject just makes people uncomfortable. A singer just beat his girlfriend up and the main subject seems to be if he (and she)are going to lose their endorsements.

  • http://www.brokenmystic.wordpress.com Broken Mystic

    @ Your Name,
    The only reason why I brought up the issue of Islamophobia in the United States is because of the anti-Islamic comments that people were writing. This post is written by a Muslim and it’s calling for the Muslim community to address this horrible issue in their local Mosques. Thousands of Mosques all across North America discussed the brutal murder of Aasiya Zubair and that is something that needs to be taken into account.
    If you click back to the initial comments, you’ll see the nasty remarks that Islamophobes made. One of the comments got deleted, so my response to him/her may look random. I found their comments to be very insulting because here we are CONDEMNING this violence, and people have the nerve to blame our religion — our way of life — for it.
    And maybe you should visit my blog if you think I’m “not on subject” here. Maybe you should visit a Mosque (just like many of my non-Muslim friends have) and you can see what we really talk about.
    It’s unfortunate that you didn’t see the hateful comments that other people made. And we’re not “complaining” by the way. Standing up for your human rights is not complaining.
    Peace

  • http://eloquentbohemian.com Eloquent Bohemian

    So… let’s all step back a minute and look at the entire picture.
    This is not an issue about Islam.
    It is not an issue about America.
    It is an issue about domestic violence perpetrated against women. Of this, there is no question.
    But what everyone has missed is the actual reporting of the crime.
    The editors, in their infinite wisdom, used the word “beheaded”.
    If the headline had read “Man Murders Wife” or “Man Kills Wife”, and if there was no mention of “beheading” in the text of the report, would there have been as much controversy as there is?
    Google the two phrases above and see what you come up with.
    I haven’t read anyone asking WHY Mr. Hassan committed this henious crime.
    I haven’t read anyone asking what were Mr. Hassan’s motives for killing his wife.
    Islam didn’t wield the weapon, he did.
    All I’ve read is people jumping on other people and their religious views and others defending their religion.
    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH REliGION.
    Did I speak clear enough?
    This has to do with one human being murdering another human being. Period. Nothing more. Nothing less.
    Does it matter what weapon was used to murder Aasiya Zubair or does it matter more that a human being’s life is lost at the hands of another human being?
    Everybody pause for a moment and say a silent prayer for Aasiya Zubair.
    And then say another prayer for every other person who has been murdered at the hands of another person.
    And then resolve to do something about it.
    No matter what your religious, or non-religious, convictions are.

  • ERS

    It’s interesting that one of you linked to a BBC article on dishonor killings in Jordan and the extremely light sentences permitted by the penal code. When I conducted a nationwide attitude and opinion survey on these crimes in Jordan, I found that the overwhelming majority of people in my representative sample–89%–support tougher penalties for these crimes. Most people do know right from wrong.
    Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
    “Reclaiming Honor in Jordan”
    http://www.redroom.com/author/ellen-r-sheeley

  • George

    Domestic Violence in the Western World.
    I just heard from Oprah that 1 in every 4 wmomen in a relationship is prone to being abused.
    I also just heard that if once abused the next best thing to do is for one to get out of the relationship as soon as possibe etc etc.
    It is a shame that as developed as America is today there is still a moral deprivity gnawing at its core socio-economic fabric which is still yet to be resolved.
    I am not an advocate of violence of any sort HOWEVER we may need to step back for a bit and teach girls and women to be ladies once again and boys and Men to be what they ought to be…MEN…good o’l fashioned Men!!!
    America is fast decaying and turning into a society were values are most times warped to say the least. Women act LIKE men folk…Men act like Women and ofcourse the children take to guns and sex.
    I PITY THE NEXT GENERATION. LOOK AROUND YOU. AMERICA IS DYING FROM WITHIN. A SHAME.
    ” A great civilization is not conquered from without not until it has conquered itself from within”

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  • napaall

    This would have more validity but for the fact that Mohammad was not a peace loving individual, but a war monger – Try reading the Koran. He destroyed a culture and people, they continue with slavery, their only word for blacks is slave, and woman are nothing to them. Why isn’t NOW more vocal? Why hasn’t NOW come out for the woman in Iran – they need our support more than ever as they continue their protest against the regime. But then, NOW failed to celebrate Sarah Palin who lives the life we were told to strive for in the 1970′s – she is independent, has family and career, husband shares house and kid duty, she can, and does, male activities as well as comfortable in traditional female world. She does it all – just like NOW promotes. So what if she is a republican or anti abortion – NOW promoted us to have our own opinions. So……… you continued to disappoint.

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    I remember when muslims openly cheered when the attacks on 9/11 happened! Religion of peace my ass! You don’t belong in America and as long as you are here you will be labeled as a threat, because all of you are. The religion of Islam is a religion of hate, I have seen it first hand! People call them terrorists but I call them Muslims!

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