Beliefnet
Muslim Youth USA

by Adil Khan

“My dear, cherished fellow citizens, my loved ones. What has happened to you? Why have you not learned from 245 years of slavery that is a great sin and stain upon my great, beloved country’s history under whose “Reconstruction” many of our African American brothers and sisters are still rotting and wasting away in drug and gang-infested ghettos? Why have you not learned from the treatment of our Irish and Italian brothers and sisters? Have you forgotten about our Japanese-American brothers and sisters who were taken from their homes and forced into concentration camps on this sacred “Land of the free and home of the brave”? Have you forgotten about the discrimination laws passed against our Chinese-American brothers and sisters in California in the late 19th century?

First we, as a nation, condemned entire races and ethnicities of people. Now are we going to graduate to condemning an entire religion? Have you forgotten about the Puritans who took pilgrimage upon my country’s shores at Plymouth Rock?

 I am, of course, talking about Islam which literally means peace, a faith which God Himself said was for all of mankind, which includes blacks, whites, latinos, east asians, central asians, and middle easterners. Keep in mind, a condemnation of Islam is a condemnation of the belief of 1.6 billion people!

 Another person in modern western history scapegoated an entire faith. His name was Hitler! How many millions of our Jewish brothers and sisters not only were murdered, but endured unspeakable torture under his regime. It’s also shameful that Jews became a hated group here at home in the states during WWII when they were suffering and being murdered in the millions in Europe. We had to read Anne Frank’s diary in school at Gilman. Is this no longer required reading?

 Why does it go unpublicized that the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center—a government organization—stated in 2011 that “between 82 and 97 percent of terrorism-related fatalities” were committed against Muslims?

Following the election of Donald Trump to the office of POTUS, there has been a rise in harassment and hate crimes against Muslims and other minorities. A picture was recently on Telegram of a pickup truck with the words “Muslims Go Home And Take Obama With You”. Accounts such as that of a Muslim woman being threatened to be set on fire unless she removed her hijab at the University of Michigan are plain disgusting. It is sad that my fellow citizen’s are demanding that women abandon their own desire towards modesty and decency. However let it be known that women who follow True Islam (trueislam.com) are those who fearlessly hold onto modesty throw indecency into the sea and do not care for the consequences. My dear sisters! Know that Islam gave you the same rights 1400 years ago that you rightfully received in my home, i.e. the USA, and in other Western countries only around 100 years ago.

 Do some unbiased research. Don’t believe the hype! I suggest alislam.org. The True Islam of my master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of God be upon him) condemned the backwards, extremist, anti-Islamic views spread and espoused by the Mullahs, the Sheikhs, and the “Maulvis”.

I condemn any and all harassment and encourage everyone to unite in working towards making our country safe for all its citizens and residents. Many have expressed a desire and willingness to stand with communitie s being marginalized and wish to know how they can help. This is embodied in the #MuslimAlly twitter hashtag. My dear ones, keep in mind though that we do not place our trust in or rely on people. Rather we trust in and rely on God Almighty. The way I see it, this is a great opportunity for you to do the right thing and win God’s favor. As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, I believe that the best cure for bigotry and religious intolerance stemming from ignorance is first prayers, then education and understanding.

I encourage everyone to visit TrueIslam.com so that they may learn Islam’s stance refuting common allegations leveled against Islam and thus be better empowered to fight the hatred and misinformation that feed off of each other.”

by Zohaib Zafar 

As the war in Syria continues, more and more people are being displaced from their homes. Many have no place to go and unfortunately many Americans are insistent that they not come to America. Some contend that even if only a few are terrorists, the harm they will bring will outweigh the good. Donald Trump Jr. recently tweeted an image which had written on it, “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful. That is our Syrian refugee problem.”

         What greatly disturbs me about all of this is that many of the people who are against Syrian refugees coming to America are Christian. They fail to understand three important aspects of the Syrian crisis that, as Christians, they should have no problem comprehending.

         Firstly, if historical precedent means anything, Donald Trump Jr’s bowl will need 784,000 skittles. According to the Migration Policy Institute — a nonpartisan, Washington, D.C.-based think tank — between Sept. 11, 2001 and October 2015, approximately 784,000 refugees came to the U.S.. Of those 784,000, a grand total of three refugees were arrested for “planning terrorist activities,” according to the MPI, which added this disclaimer in its report: “It is worth noting two were not planning an attack in the United States and the plans of the third were barely credible.” Mic Network US calculated this to mean that only 0.00038% of refugees who resettled here over a 15-year period were involved in terrorist activities.

        Secondly, even if three out of every one hundred Syrian refugees would be a terrorist in an impossible hypothetical, what about the other 97? According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, up to 422,000 Syrians have died in the civil war. Hundreds of refugees have died trying to reach safety. Do we want these other 97 to share the same fate? Do we want this blood on our hands? Or do we want to turn the other cheek knowing that it is quite likely that nothing will happen to either of our cheeks.
        Lastly, Americans need to understand that not all Syrians are Muslims and that ten percent of the country was Christian according to the International Religious Freedom Report conducted in 2006 by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.  Are Christians in America going to turn a blind eye to these refugees? If Americans are really convinced of the absurd idea that Muslim refugees are more likely to harm Americans than Christian ones, why don’t they just enact legislation at least allowing Christian refugees to come? Many will allege that Muslims will lie about their religion in order to come to the United States. Okay, sure but then what about the real Christians who are prevented from coming? Even if three of the 100 “skittles” will kill Americans, 10 of 100 Christian “skittles” that are prevented from coming to America might die in in the ocean waiting for a country to take them in. Are people who are born in America really worth more than other people? If so, how many American lives are equal to human beings who were born outside of this fortunate nation? Is this really Christianity?
        No, it isn’t. Christians in a faraway land faced a similar Muslim refugee crisis many years ago and what they did may surprise some. When the founder of Islam and his followers were being persecuted in Arabia by polytheists, many of them went to the Christian Kingdom of Ethiopia(Abyssinia) as refugees. These refugees were treated fairly and together the Ethiopians and the refugees lived in a prosperous society. Many returned to Arabia once peace returned and while they were in Ethiopia, some established successful businesses. Syrians have been coming to North America for many years now. Steve Jobs’ father was a Syrian immigrant. Many of the refugees that have arrived in America since the Syrian crisis have included highly educated people such as doctors and engineers. America has a great shortage of people in these fields. Syrian refugees will help make America greater than what it already is. This is the tradition and surely, this will remain the American tradition.

by Kwabena Osman

In the Eastern hemisphere, in the last few days, the city of Mosul, Iraq, the last major strong hold of the terrorist group Daesh (aka ISIS) is on the brink of falling. This group, although they claim to be Muslims, has terrorized the world and has caused the death of more Muslims than any other faith. With the wishful thinking of forming a Caliphate without divine help, they, for a while succeeded in causing disorder and blood shed. Their legacy will be that of disdain and hatred from every noble minded person on earth. The Prophet of Islam was right in describing them as “the worst creatures under the canopy of the earth” more than fourteen hundred years ago.

Around the same time in the Western hemisphere, in Ottawa, Canada the true Khalifa of Islam, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, is leading a campaign for peace, justice, service to humanity, and universal human rights. His Holiness met with the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau. He was also the guest of honor at the Canadian parliament and delivered a key note address in a dinner organized in his honor.

Mirza Masroor Ahmad Meeting with Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada

Mirza Masroor Ahmad Meeting with Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada

In this address the Khalifa of Islam said, “In this age, when the fear of Islam is on the increase in much of the world, let me reassure all of you that Islam is not what you commonly see or hear portrayed in the media…The literal meaning of the word Islam is peace, love and harmony and all of its teaching are based on these noble values. However, unfortunately, it cannot be denied that there are some Muslim groups whose beliefs and action are in total contrast to this and in complete violation of Islam’s teachings.” He went on to explain the true teachings of Islam.

The Quran teaches that there shall be no compulsion in religion (2:286). This and other verses in the Quran clearly prohibit Muslims, whether as individuals or groups, to compel anyone to join their faith. Prophet Muhammad himself was told by God that his task was only to convey the message (42:49) and whether the people accept his message or not lies on God Himself.

The Khalifa touched on pressing issues facing the world today, including climate change, global economic uncertainty and the increasing lack of peace and security in much of the world, all of which he says are the results of unjust policies, inequality and lack of balance. He mentioned that, in his view, the lack of peace in the world is the most critical issue facing us in the world today and it is very regretful that the Muslim countries are the center of such instability and disorder even though their religion has given unparalleled teachings of how to establish and maintain peace. He supported the later point with verses of the Quran (49:10, 23:9, 5:9)

In talking about the cause of unrest in most parts of the world he narrated that the Muslim nations can’t be blamed entirely for this situation because major powers in the world have contributed to this issue by selling deadly ammunition to the Muslim countries and other third world countries who use them to kill each other and by extension terrorize people of other nations. He cited the well published report of Amnesty International in December 2015 which states that decades of reckless arms trading has contributed to the terrorism conducted by Daesh. The report further states that majority of the weapons used by this deviant group was purchased from the United States and Russia.

The religious leader further mentioned that it is well known that Muslim countries do not have sophisticated arms factories that could produce the state of the arts weapons used in the middle east and so the vast majority of the weaponry been used in the middle east are being imported from abroad. If the major powers cease to trade arms and ensure that other supply lines are cut off to these unstable governments, rebels and terrorist groups, such conflicts could be brought to a swift conclusion.

The Khalifa emphasized to the audience that the root cause of all these problems are injustice, inequality and lack of fairness. He advised the leaders of the major powers not to consider their vested interest when dealing with people of other nations but should act with justice and fairness.

Light and darkness are not alike. Truth will always prevail and falsehood will vanish. While the man-made Caliph and his associates run and hide from the very weapons they use to terrorize people, the true Khalifa of Islam, with divine help, goes around calling the world to peace, love and respect of all humans.

by Hassan Mahmood 

     Pope Francis, in his recent comments regarding Islam and terrorism has taken a commendable position on one of the most pressing issues of our time. Just two months ago, he talked about the injustice of equating Islam to violence and terrorism saying, “It is not right and it is not true.” His rhetoric towards refugees as well draws the admiration of many, Catholic or otherwise.

     It appears however, that this doctrine of love and tolerance – in essence the message of Jesus (peace be upon him) – does not emanate from all members of the church hierarchy. Not two weeks ago, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, considered by many to be a leading candidate to succeed the current Pontiff, warned listeners of the impending threat of Islam to Europe and its people. The speech was delivered on the holiday commemorating victory at the battle of Vienna against the Ottoman Empire. These words on that day revive terrifying echoes of a time rife with intolerance, disrespect, and devastating religious politicism.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna

In the 21st century that is ever threatening to devolve into chaos. These kinds of divisive, accusatory, and ultimately inflammatory statements are exactly the kind of tinder that fuel the fires of misguided hatred in people’s hearts. To compound the issue, Cardinal Schönborn’s words come during turbulent times as the refugee crisis in Europe has filled people with fears and uncertainties about the future.

The statement that “Many Muslims would be glad to see Europe conquered by Islam” is both incorrect and terribly ironic. First and foremost, if a large portion of the Muslim population really wanted to “conquer Europe” in the traditional sense then a sizable group from among the 44 million Muslims living within Europe’s borders would be doing everything in their power to decimate the countries in which they live. As we do not see such widespread and terrifying mayhem, it is only logical that most Muslims in fact don’t want to overthrow or “conquer” Europe as Cardinal Schönborn insidiously implied.

It is blatantly obvious that the Cardinal’s words were an exercise in religious politicism. By taking advantage of the current political climate of Europe, he has made Islam the boogeyman responsible for Europe’s problems, and Catholicism its only source of relief. After all, the Cardinal says himself that Europe is “in danger of forfeiting our Christian heritage.” And “What will become of Europe?”

     The irony in this portrayal of Islam is that if most Christians were asked, they would be ecstatic about the idea of a Middle East and Europe united in Christianity. Does this mean that they wish to invade and “conquer” the Middle East? Most certainly not. They simply wish the widespread and heartfelt adoption of the ideals they hold to be superior to all others. In the words of Cardinal Schönborn himself, this is to be done by spreading the word to “everyone, even strangers.”
     In times of uncertainty and fear, it is not the divisiveness of religious politics that will help us as a global community. It is, in fact, the message of tolerance and mutual cooperation espoused by the Bishop of Rome which is what the world so desperately needs. As responsible citizens of an ever shrinking world, we must strive to be examples in this for others.

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