Common Word, Common Lord

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

Let me say this up front: extremist savages have no regard for the sacred: An ISIS suicide bomber attacked the holy city of the Prophet Muhammad, Medina, in 2016. This year, Saudi authorities foiled an attack on the holy city of Mecca. And most recently, gunmen killed two Israeli policeman before being killed themselves in a gun battle in the Temple Mount.

This has set off a crisis in the Holy City, where Friday prayers were canceled, and now a tense standoff exists after metal detectors were installed at the Aqsa Mosque compound, which threatens to kill off the already dying Middle East peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

So, yes, I get it: extremists don’t care about sacred places, and they will kill wherever they can get away with it. Still, this latest standoff in Jerusalem has deeply saddened me, and it makes me ask: why can’t we let sacred places just be sacred? Indeed, the Temple Mount has seen its share of violence before, and there have been both Muslims and Jews who have been victims of the violence. But, why does this have to be so?

A Very Special Place

The Temple Mount, or Al Haram Al Sharif, as it is known to Muslims, is a very special place and is sacred to Jews, Muslims, and Christians. At that place stood the Temple of Solomon, dedicated to the worship of the One True God. At that place, King David ruled with glory and was given the beautiful Psalms. At that place, Jesus Christ ministered and performed miracles as the Messiah. And at that place, the Prophet Muhammad stood in prayer to God leading all other Prophets. 

It is indeed a very special place, and as a Muslim, all of these Kings and Prophets are special to me. 

And I am not blind to the fact that there still exists an intractable conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. I am not blind to the fact that there still exists a military occupation. Still, why can’t the Holy Places be somewhere Jews and Muslims can go to worship without harassment? Why can’t the Temple Mount be somewhere gunmen can’t attack, or security forces can’t fire tear gas and shoot rubber bullets?

Even in pagan Arabia, the Holy Sanctuary of Mecca was a place where war could not take place. Despite its being defiled with idols and idol worship, bitter enemies could stand next to each and worship in peace. You couldn’t even pick a leaf off a tree or hunt an animal within the confines of the Holy Sanctuary. These rules exist to this day, which is why an attack in Mecca by ISIS would be such a repugnant thing to Muslims the world over.

Why can’t the same thing – despite the ongoing conflict – exist today? Jews who visit the Temple Mount should not be harassed when going to pray at the Western Wall. Muslims wanting to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque should not have to be subjected to “security measures” and random closures of the mosque on Fridays to all men younger than 50. The word “Jerusalem” means the “City or Abode of Peace.” It needs to become one again today.

Am I being naive? Perhaps. But, it really disturbs me when I see the Holy Lands – whether in Mecca, Medina, or Jerusalem – defiled by the blood of the innocent. God blessed those lands, and the places of worship dedicated there are supposed to be places where God’s children can come – in full peace and security – and praise God’s name and worship Him freely.

It was like that in Jerusalem at one time before. I pray to the Most Beautiful Beloved Lord that it becomes like that again.

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring 

Photo by Reem Abdelhafez

On July 2, my wife and were blessed to witness a truly extraordinary event: the wedding of our friends’ children. While the venue was beautiful, and the hall packed with numerous dear friends, that’s not what made it extraordinary.

The parents of the bride were Americans of Mexican and Indian descent. The parents of the groom were Americans of Syrian and European descent. As we walked into the beautifully laid out landscape for the ceremony, a Mexican Mariachi band serenaded us.

The attendees were immigrants and American-born. They were native Arabic, Urdu, and English speakers. Their ancestries hailed from all over the world. They were Muslim, and they were Christian. And they all came together to witness a Muslim wedding ceremony.

The ceremony itself was a thing of beauty. Two young people exchanging vows of love and making promises of commitment. The sermon, conducted by an African-American Imam, talked about the love and mercy, from the Heavens above, that God places between husband and wife. And the ceremony finished just in time before the pouring rain came down.

But that rain also brought a beautiful rainbow, a perfect finish to a perfect Islamic wedding ceremony and a sign of Divine pleasure. After dinner and prayer came the speeches by the father of the bride and the father of the groom. They were both heartfelt and heartwarming. The emotion was palpable, and it was an honor for my wife and I to be among the hundreds who got to listen to those beautiful words of peace, love, and friendship.

And no wedding is complete without music and dancing, and we were all pleasantly surprised by an Arab music group performing live “Dabke” music. I joined in with the group, jumping and stomping my feet, and shared in the joy of all who were there. The wedding was truly one of the best I have attended in a very long time.

As we celebrate our nation’s independence, it is natural to reflect over what our nation is, who our people are, and what kind of nation we want to be. There are some who are trying to define our nation narrowly, in terms of ethnic and religious make up.

Yet what I witnessed on July 2, in the far Southern suburbs of Chicago, is the truth about America: e pluribus unum, “out of many, one.” While we differed in skin tone and language, heritage and religion, we all came together as one – during a holiday weekend – to celebrate the marriage of two young American Muslims, who are embarking on a new journey of life together.

That is what makes America already great. That is what America always has been. That America is the one towards which we should always be striving.

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring


This is what we are celebrating as a country on July 4: our independence from the British Empire in 1776. And it was good that we became independent from the Crown: we were able to chart our own destiny in history and make one of the greatest, if not the greatest, country the world has ever seen.

Along the same lines, if we can be independent from most people and things, it would be laudable. If we do not need other people or things for our livelihoods, our shelter, our sustenance, our stability, our happiness, and our inner peace, that would be amazing. It is likely what most people are trying to achieve in their lives: independence from everyone and everything.

Yet, there is One from Whom we cannot be independent, even if we think it to be so: the Lord our God.

We depend on God for the very air we breathe; the water we drink; the food we eat; and the life we live. We depend on God for the safety we enjoy, the love we get from those close to us, the happiness we enjoy with friends and family, and the smiles brought to our lives from every day situations.

I know there are plenty who don’t believe in God and disagree with my contention. I respect their stance and beliefs. But, as a believer in God, I truly believe in our utter dependence on God. And the sooner we accept this, the sooner we can avail ourselves of His Power and Grace.

God is so very close to us, as the Quran says:

And if My servants as you about Me, behold I am near: I respond to the call of the caller whenever he or she calls unto Me. Let them, then, respond to Me and believe in Me so that they might follow the right way (2: 186)

The Quran also says:

Now, verily, it is We who have created the human being, and We know what his innermost self whispers within him, and We are closer to him than his jugular vein (50:16).

Thus, it would behoove us to strengthen our bonds with Him and take advantage of a friendship that can never disappoint. The Lord has the dominion of the heavens and the earth in His hands, and thus it is common sense to me, as a believer, to avail myself of that dominion and seek whatever I need from Him directly.

And the most beautiful thing is, the more we ask of Him, the more He loves it. And the more we are grateful for His bounty, the more He will give us:

And [remember the time] when your Lord made [this promise] known: “If you are grateful [to Me], I shall most certainly give you more and more…” (14:7)

Yes, we are celebrating our independence on July 4, and one of the greatest things about America is her “fierce independence” and that of her people. And most time, true independence is laudable. But total dependence on God is neither a flaw nor a weakness. It is, rather, the greatest thing we can achieve in this worldly life.

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring 

Ramadan ended on June 25, and I cannot lie, it is very cool to be able to drink coffee in the morning again, and drink coffee in the afternoon when the sun is still out, and eat dinner and still have several more hours of daylight to enjoy, and, and, and. While the fast of Ramadan was about piety, reflection, humility, discipline, connection to God, spiritual purification, recitation of the Qur’an, among many other things, it was also about gratitude:

God desires that you complete the number of days required and that you declare His perfection for His having guided you aright and that you render your thanks unto Him. (2:185).


As soon as I sipped my Venti Cinnamon Dolce Breve Mocha on June 25, the day of Eid, I was extremely grateful. Grateful that I no longer had to fast, but also grateful that I was blessed to finish the month and partake in its (truly) difficult ritual. And now, with the fast and its difficulty still fresh in my mind, I am grateful for every cup of coffee that I can have with the sun still shining brightly.

The challenge will be staying grateful for every cup of coffee that I have when the sun is still shining brightly for the rest of the year. For, that is the point: we have to guard against taking the blessings we enjoy for granted. We have to remain grateful for everything with which the Lord blesses us, and that gratitude should move us to worship Him, get closer to Him, and help those who are not as fortunate as we.

And do you know what the best part is? That gratitude protects us from the punishment of God:

What purpose does God have in punishing you if you are grateful and believe? And God has always been ever responsive to gratitude (literally: thankful) and all-knowing (4:147)

Our gratitude should be the main driver of our worship of God, not the fear of His punishment, even though His punishment is severe and must be feared. And in response to that grateful worship, our Lord is thankful in return. That is part of what the fast of Ramadan teaches us, and it further confirms the truth that our God, the One Whom we worship and adore, is truly an Awesome, Beautiful, and Beloved God.

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring 

We are in the final week of Ramadan, and I won’t lie: it’s been hard. The days have been long, the nights have been short, and the weather has been hot.

For me, it’s not the hunger or thirst (yes, I can’t even have water). Rather, it’s the sleep deprivation.

By the time I’m done eating and enjoying being able to eat again, it’s 10 pm. Then I still must do some night vigil prayers before going to bed for work. So, naturally, I’m getting less sleep. During “regular” days, I drink coffee to make up for it. Can’t do that now. And so, I am frequently dragging, especially in the mid to late afternoon when there is still a good 3-4 hours left before sunset.

Yup, it’s been hard.

But, you know what? That very moment when I break my fast; the very moment I put that date or piece of candy or drink that glass of milk, the feeling is amazing. Not just because I can now eat and drink again. But because of the sense of accomplishment: I did it. I fasted 17 hours today and made it safe and sound.

Now, of course, those who are sick or physically unable to fast are exempt. But for those of us blessed with the physical ability to fast and choose to do so, the sense of happiness at the end of the fast is truly indescribable. It is as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was reported to have said:

“The fasting person has two occasions of joy: one when we breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord.”

During Friday prayers two weeks ago, I heard an amazing thing about the fast: it’s a marathon, and it is incumbent upon us to finish the race. I can relate to that because I ran the 2010 Chicago Marathon in honor of my late daughter. At the end of the race, I was exhausted: my legs were killing me; I couldn’t sit down from the pain; my feet were on fire. But, it was one of the happiest moments of my entire life.

The same is with the fast: throughout the day, I am tired, fatigued, and many times, cranky. But, when it’s all over, and I can eat again, it is an amazing feeling. The Qur’an talks about this:

 “…He [God] desires that you complete the number of days required and that you extol God for His having guided you aright and that you render your thanks unto Him.” (2:185)

When it’s all said and done this coming Sunday, there is such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and happiness  – not just that the fast is over, but that I was blessed to be able to complete another year of fasting for the sake of the Lord. And then, I look up to the sky in eternal gratitude for this blessing.

So, yup, it’s been hard, there is no doubt about that. But – in the end – I believe it is totally worth the pain.

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

“This is for Allah!”

That’s what one of the attackers in London screamed as he stabbed a person in rage and hate. That attack came on the heels of brutal bombings in Baghdad and Kabul, where hundreds of innocent people were slaughtered, and now, Tehran was struck. It is so disheartening.

During a time which is supposed to be spent in fasting and quiet reflection, in worship and humility, the terrorist savages of ISIS have wasted no time spreading carnage and death in cities all across the world. They pervert the meaning of Ramadan, and I pray God punishes the attackers and destroys this death cult wrapped in religious garb.

These savages think that, by committing acts of terror, they are doing “good deeds” and “attaining martyrdom” in Ramadan. Yet, they are in for a very rude awakening indeed. 

There is one passage in the Qur’an that makes me think of them in particular:

Say: “Shall we tell you who are the greatest losers in whatever they may do?  [It is] they whose labor has gone astray in this world’s life, and who nonetheless think they are doing good works: it is they who have chosen to deny their Lord’s messages and the truth that they are destined to meet Him.” Hence, all their [good] deeds come to nought, and no weight shall We assign to them on Resurrection Day. That will be their recompense – Hell – for having denied the truth and made My messages and My apostles a target of their mockery. (18: 103-106)

This passage applies to them perfectly. 

They think that, by killing innocent people, they are doing “good deeds” and are engaged in a “holy war.” They could not be more wrong. They are committing cold-blooded murder, plain and simple. Thus, their “labor has gone astray in this world’s life” and they “nonetheless think they are doing good works.”

Through their murder, they have “chosen to deny their Lord’s messages and the truth that they are destined to meet Him.

Someone who brazenly kills innocents – be they Christian, Muslim, Jewish, atheist, or whatever – clearly has denied the messages in the Quran that absolutely condemn the murder of innocents. The Quran says that killing one innocent person is like killing all of humanity. Yet, they do not care. They kill at will and thus reject the messages of our Lord. 

Further, the terrorist that kills denies that he will meet God one day and face accountability for his actions. If someone truly understood that he will one day face God and account for all his actions – good and bad – there is no way he could commit such acts of barbarity that we saw in London or Baghdad or Kabul or Tehran. No way. Thus, these savages reject the truth of the Resurrection and the Last Day.

Hence, as the Qur’an says, “all their [good] deeds come to nought, and no weight shall We [i.e., God] assign to them on Resurrection Day.” 

These savages are in for a very rude awakening. The joys of Paradise will not be awaiting them after they die, but rather the blazing flames of punishment. This is because, by committing brazen acts of murder and barbarism, they have “denied the truth and made My messages and My apostles [i.e., Prophets] a target of their mockery.

This is true indeed: the one who kills and says “this is for Allah” makes a mockery out of God and His laws. The one who kills because he “loves the Prophet” is actually brazenly and brutally insulting him. The one who runs people over on London Bridge, or shoots Christians in Egypt, or bombs an ice cream parlor in Baghdad, or a public plaza in Kabul, or the Parliament building in Tehran, scoffs at the sanctity of life, which God Himself made sacred. This person, this terrorist savage, mocks all that is holy, and he will face justice: possibly in this life, but of a surety in the next. 

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring 

Kids. He killed kids. And their parents. And what’s worse, the 22-year-old savage took his own life in the process. What sort of barbarism is this? 

Now, it is true that, as a Westerner, whenever the terror of savages hits a Western city, I have more of an emotional reaction. I can’t help this. At the same time, we must remember that the sort of savagery that we witnessed in Manchester happens almost on a daily basis in Iraq and Syria. The savages (as well as governments) kill kids there as well, and with savage impunity. 

From where does this barbarism stem? Wait, I can almost hear you scream out: “The Qur’an, of course!” 

Untrue. The Qur’an does not endorse terror – any terror – and it certainly does not endorse the kind of murder we saw in Manchester. 

First of all, murder is absolutely prohibited in the Qur’an:

and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully” (6:151)

“…whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.” (5:53)

The same goes with suicide:

And do not kill yourselves. Surely God is most merciful to you.” (4:29)

And do not throw yourselves into destruction.” (2:195)

Yet, there is more than this. These savages think that, through suicide terrorism, they can bypass this world and go straight to Paradise. How wrong they are. 

This life is about hard work, about patient struggle in God’s path, and only after one lives an entire lifetime of righteousness does he get the chance to be shown Divine Mercy and enter Paradise. 

This is understood when reading these verses in the Qur’an:

“gardens of perpetual bliss, which they shall enter together with the righteous from among their parents, their spouses, and their offspring; and the angels will come unto them from every gate [and will say]: ‘Peace be upon you, because you have persevered!’ How excellent, then, this fulfilment in the hereafter!” (13:23-24)

“Upon those [blest] will be garments of green silk and brocade; and they will be adorned with bracelets of silver. And their Sustainer will them to drink of a drink most pure. [And they will be told:] ‘Verily, all this is your reward since Your endeavour [in life] has met [God’s] goodly acceptance!'” (76:21-22)

Because you have persevered. Since your endeavor in life…

We are meant to toil on this earth. Yes, in the past, and sometimes now in the present, we may be called on to defend our homes and lives in a just war. But blowing oneself at the end of a Ariana Grande concert – where there are thousands of kids and their parents – is never, and will never, be a just war. It is unjust murder. 

These savages, with their sick and depraved souls, have twisted the word of God. The question must be how could such a young soul, 22-years-old, be duped into ending his life in such an inglorious manner and murdering kids along with him? What was it about his life? Who convinced him to do such a terrible deed? I pray they are answered. 

Yet, one thing is clear: the Qur’an does not teach us to end our lives through suicide terrorism. Rather, it teaches us to toil, to strive, to struggle, i.e., do jihad, on this earth by living as righteous a life as possible. And then God will judge us in the end on how good a job we have done. The terrorists have got it all wrong. 

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring 

All the jokes about President Trump’s speech on Islam given in Saudi Arabia aside, I was pleasantly surprised at the text of the speech. It was moderate, humble, respectful, and optimistic. I must be honest that I didn’t think it would be like that, and for that, I thank and commend President Trump for a job well done. 

My favorite part of the speech is below:

Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith.

Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.

If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism’s devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered.

If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing—then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God.

This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations.

This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.

This is a battle between Good and Evil.

When we see the scenes of destruction in the wake of terror, we see no signs that those murdered were Jewish or Christian, Shia or Sunni. When we look upon the streams of innocent blood soaked into the ancient ground, we cannot see the faith or sect or tribe of the victims – we see only that they were Children of God whose deaths are an insult to all that is holy.


That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires. And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.

Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.

Wow. I didn’t think I would like the speech, but here I am praising the President for an excellent speech. This is how it should be. 

It’s no secret that I am not a political supporter of the President. But, politics end at the shores of our country. While in Saudi Arabia, or Israel, or Beligium, or the Vatican, he represents me and the rest of our people. Abroad, he is my President, and I wish for him to succeed and put forth the best possible face for our nation. If this speech is any indication, perhaps this foreign trip will be a tremendous success. And that can only be a good thing. 

In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

So many times, Muslims – including me – have said that the terrorist savages killing in the name of Islam “have nothing to do with Islam.” And I know that, when we say this, many people may roll their eyes or slap their foreheads in disbelief. 

That is because theses self-same savages quote the Qur’an to justify their acts of sheer barbarity. For every bomb they set off, they cite a saying of the Prophet, peace be upon him. And these texts exist. That cannot be denied, and it would be disingenuous to do so.

Therefore, I will stop saying that these terrorists have nothing to do with Islam. 

I will continue to say, however, that these terrorists betray everything Islam stands for and teaches. I will continue to say that these savages twist and distort the timeless morals located within the Quran that has guided millions of people over dozens of centuries. I will continue to speak out against these savages, because the religion that they distort is far too precious to me to stay silent.

Yet, how can it be that the Quran can be used to justify violence?

Well, it is like any other text: it has a linguistic, historical, and cultural context. And what these savages do, just like they have always done throughout Islamic history, is cherry-pick verses out of that context to dress their barbarity in the garbs of righteousness.

But there is something more: the people who justify murder by using Sacred Text can only do so because they have a sick heart, which is to say, a sick spirit and sick mind. And the Quran says that, if you have a sick heart, the book will lead you further away from guidance:

YET WHENEVER a surah [of this divine writ] is bestowed from on high, some of the deniers of the truth are prone to ask, “Which of you has this message strengthened in his faith?” Now as for those who have attained to faith, it does strengthen them in their faith, and they rejoice in the glad tiding which God has given them.

But as for those in whose hearts is disease, each new message but adds another element of disbelief to the disbelief which they already harbour, and they die while still refusing to acknowledge the truth (9:124-125)

Here is another example of this in the Quran. The book will be a source of guidance only for those who are conscious of God:

THIS DIVINE WRIT – let there be no doubt about it is [meant to be] a guidance for all the God-conscious (2:2)

If someone has a sick spirit, he can open up the Quran and find the verse that will give him the justification to do an act of evil. The same goes with any Scripture, and Lord knows plenty of evil has been done citing the Bible as justification. 

Yet, I don’t condemn the Bible or Quran for this. Rather, I condemn the reader of the Bible or Quran whose sick spirit reads that evil into the text. 

This is because there are many more people who use the Bible or Quran to bring a tremendous amount of good in this world. 

Take the White Helmets, or the Syria Civil Defence, as an example. Their motto is “To save a life is to save all of humanity.” This motto comes directly from the Quran:

…if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind… (5:32)

Other examples abound, in all faiths and religious traditions. Moreover, when one has a sound spirit, if she comes across a verse that, on the surface, calls for violence, she understands that this verse has a linguistic, historical, and cultural context. Thus, she understands that the verse is not a general call for violence. 

For truly, truly: only someone with a sick spirit can blow himself up at a Coptic Church in Alexandria and think that the verse below will give him spiritual cover:

[And] fight against those who – despite having been vouchsafed revelation [aforetime] -do not [truly] believe either in God or the Last Day, and do not consider forbidden that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and do not follow the religion of truth [which God has enjoined upon them] till they [agree to] pay the exemption tax with a willing hand, after having been humbled [in war].

Only someone with a sick spirit can kill, rape, and enslave Yazidis and think that the verse below will give him justification:

And so, when the sacred months are over, slay those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God wherever you may come upon them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every conceivable place!…

In fact, one of the assassins of the Caliph Uthman cited this verse as justification:

PERMISSION [to fight] is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged and, verily, God has indeed the power to help them.

This can only be when someone reads Scripture with a sick and twisted, i.e., Satanic, spirit. And so, we must all work hard on that spirit, keeping it pure and righteous, and ever bring it closer to the Precious Beloved. 

That way, we will never fall under the sway of those who espouse the Satanic reading of the Divine Word. 

In the Name of God, The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

The chemical weapons attack on Syrian children was beyond heinous. This man, Assad, is beyond Satanic. He will face justice: possibly in this world, but most definitely in the next. Something had to be done. And, all of his problems and faults notwithstanding, President Trump acted: he launched more than 50 cruise missiles into Syria.

Analysts, politicians, and pundits are debating his true motivations for the attack. Even Nicholas Kristof, no fan of Trump in the least, praised his actions:

President Trump’s air strikes against Syria were of dubious legality. They were hypocritical. They were impulsive. They may have had political motivations. They create new risks for the United States.

But most of all, they were right.

Yet, President Trump should not have had to act on Syria. Muslims should have stopped him long ago.

The Syrian civil war has been a disaster of monumental proportions: hundreds of thousands have been killed; millions have been displaced; vicious terrorists have been given the sanctuary to thrive in the midst of the chaos – and strike at innocents both in the Muslim world and the West.

What makes this disaster all the more heinous is the fact that Muslims are fueling the fires of conflict on both sides. Muslims should know better – their Scripture tells them what to do if internecine conflict arises:

Hence, if two groups of believers fall to fighting, make peace between them; but then, if one of the two groups goes on acting wrongfully towards the other, fight against the one that acts wrongfully until it reverts to God’s commandment; and if they revert, make peace between them with justice, and deal equitably with them: for verily, God loves those who act equitably! (49:9)

Once it was clear that the Syrian uprising degenerated into a full-fledged civil war, the Muslim world should have gotten together to stop the conflict and make peace. It should not have had to come to this, if Muslims were true to their Scriptures and commandments.

If you don’t know already, nerve gas such as sarin causes an overload in nerve receptors that respond to a body chemical called acetylcholine. As a result, the victim of nerve gas literally drowns in his or her own secretions. It is an horrific death.

Those children, suffocating from sarin, are the children of all Muslims, not just their Syrian parents. Those parents, hysterical at the loss of their children, are Muslims’ brothers and sisters in, not only humanity, but also in faith. Even if the victims of the brutal Assad regime were Christians, or Yazidis, or Jews, or atheists, Muslims should have stood up for them, because God commanded them to stand up against any injustice, even if committed by one of their own.

Am I being naive by saying this? Some may think so, and I do understand that geopolitical reality is much more complicated than the ideal world of a column. Nevertheless, this is the word of God, and it is the height of hypocrisy for the so-called “Islamic republics” to be right thick in the middle of the Syrian quagmire, making it grow much worse by the day.

History will tell us what exactly motivated President Trump to strike at the Syrian regime after its barbaric chemical weapons attack. We will see if this strike is the opening salvo of escalation, or a one-time strike intended to send a message. Still, President Trump should not have had to act at all. The Muslims should have taken care of the cancer of the Syrian civil war all by themselves.

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