I’m glad that the Time Square Bomber failed and was sentenced today. But I’m a little scared.
He clearly admitted his guilt in the plot to kill civilians. One can’t claim some conspiracy theory, he doesn’t claim he was framed, instead during his sentencing he issued a threat:
“Brace yourselves, because the war with Muslims has just begun,” 31-year-old Faisal Shahzad told a federal judge. “Consider me the first droplet of the blood that will follow.”
Faisal Shahzad believes that killing civilians is self-defense. He, and other Muslims who target unarmed civilians in order to exact revenge for America’s military occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan, support of Israel, and dictatorships in South Asia and the MIddle East, have some ideological underpinning that must be addressed. Sadly, our scholars just ignored this issue for so many years, sticking their heads in the sand. The truth is, we need to wake up and face the elephant in the room. We don’t have just one elephant, we got a few. Well, enough that we have a circus show going or maybe even a zoo.
I remember in the 90s, suicide bombings were fairly rare. In fact, many people then saw terrorism as something that came out of the nationalist cause in Palestine. Muslims I knew disowned terrorism, “It has nothing to do with Islam.” Now, we have seen Muslims use terrorism, targeting civilians, in the Philippines, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Africa, Algeria, Morocco, Indonesia, etc. The reality is that it has to do with Islam, somebody’s interpretation of Islam. Somebody came up with a novel idea that it was okay to target civilians.
Our scholars need to face this stuff head on. I don’t think every Muslim in America is responsible, but the scholars who refused to deal with dangerous ideologies do have to bear some responsibility. Now, certain ideas spread like poison branches throughout the globe. Sadly, it is the Islamophobes that are pointing it out, all the while conflating Islam with identity movements. They seized the opportunity because we failed to take stock. Muslims who take the Middle Way, the Path of Moderation, now must face a two-front battle. Without being reactionary or self-loathing, we need to address the ideological roots of extremism. We have to have courage because we may be shouted down, threatened, or ostracized for not sounding sympathetic to this cause or that cause. We may be despised by the Right because we won’t give up our Muslimness. As a Muslim, I stick to my principles and condemn all forms of injustice, whether it is from our own or not. And the terror that Shahzad is trying to strike in our hearts is indeed a great injustice.
3 thoughts on “The Truth Is…”
At the last ISNA West Conference Dec.2009 Imam Zaid Shakir tackled this whole issue. His bottom line was that we need to instill the proper guidance/ideology in our youth or someone else will instill their own hatefulness. (My personal summary.) I was so ecstatic because I really felt that he tackled and nailed the issue. Unfortunately, I know that he is an exception, and I can’t agree with you more on the fact that our scholars and Imams, as our leaders, are responsible for honestly facing these issues and tackling them publicly and privately. I actually watched the Christiane Amanpor ABC “Town Hall Debate:Should Americans Fear Islam”. More than anything I realized exactly what you have said, “We need to wake up and face the elephant in the room.” No ifs, ands, or buts about it, the time is here and now. One other important thing I realized is that we must not let the hate mongers continue to describe Muslims as “Islamic”. We must be able to clarify and separate the word “Islamic” from being a description for Muslims as individuals, or groups. The word “Islamic” is an adjective used to describe non-human nouns, such as Islamic art or Islamic architecture. It cannot be used to describe a follower of Islam. The hate mongers specifically use the words “Islamic” and “Shariah” to not only incite non Muslims, but also to confuse Muslims. Finally,I would like to share one answer to our truth..www.ING.org It’s a down right shame they only have a handful of affiliates in this whole nation.
There is definitely a lack of leadership amongst the ulama addressing radical groups using Islam as shield for their Marxist ideology. As Noura stated Imam Zaid Shakir has spoke about for this recently and in past but no other scholar within Muslim world has.
Most ulama are university professors cloistered in academic world.As well as Imam Suhaib Webb has stated before (@ 34:50 – 42:20) many ulama are not living in the modern world.
In the past many the ulama used to live amongst the people but in modern times most men of learning are too far removed from regular people. They by whole refuse to take leadership. When someone who has over 20 years studying the principles of deen will not step up when people of no knowledge are taking leadership roles is a disgrace. I certainty believe all scholars of this time will be held accountable and severely punished by Allah for lack of action. They are similar to doctor who refuses to help a bleeding patient.
One look at how the judges of Somalia joined together to bring peace for short time in Somalia is a testament to success Allah will give to ummmah. If they only would step up.
Which is more shameful? A person who acts with ignorance and hurts people or someone who refuses to act and can save people?
As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu Dear:
Here’s a great pamphlet I used for interfaith events:
Click to access islamswaronterror2.pdf