Four pieces to read, two added today, July 22, 2008;
Cair and Pervaz Ahmed need to clarify these allegations, as they stand.
With the exception of a few, American Muslims believe in co-existence and contributing towards the well being of our nation. They inherently repsect each faith without any reservation. The opinion of the majority of Muslims must be given a voice.
CAIR and Parvaz Ahmed need to clarify the allegations leveled against the organization in view of his resignation.
American Muslims believe in co-existence, and are the participating and contributing members of our nation. They inherently respect others faith without any reservation. It is time for majority of Muslims to have that voice.
Who are the Islamists? They are the control freaks who will pick up a stick to frighten or straighten you. Their insecurities are apparent in terms of their inability to dialogue; instead they run with the circular logic.
The civil societies have evolved with the idea of co-existence and the Islamists do not believe in it, nor do they believe in the validity of another point of view. The same statement goes with the Neocons be it Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Jewish label wearers.
They do not believe in co-existence, nor do they have the capacity to see another point of view. To them their understanding of the faith is the only way, which is fine, but their agenda is to impose their understanding on others and that is simply not acceptable. They believe God has appointed them to run the world, but they are a very insignificant minority with a burning desire to impose their views on others. Their time is up now. It is time for the moderate majority to represent the faith.
The Muslim base is open minded and believes in democracy, pluralism and separation of church and the state as most Americans believe.
CAIR is not in the business of political Islam, they are in the business of defending the civil rights of Muslims in particular and eventually Americans in general. Another Ahmed was accused of saying that the purpose of Muslims in America was to rule America; they do not have any proof other than their word, given that, whose word would you buy into? I would rather buy Mr. Ahmed’s words, as he claims he did not say those words, whereas the WorldNet people are yet to produce any proof.
Most Muslims including me believes that CAIR, ISNA and other organizations are NOT Islamists in nature, they represent the views of the moderate majority of Muslims.
However, the resignation of Pervaz Ahmed is brewing rumors that may not be true, it is time for CAIR and Mr. Ahmed to speak up and tell the truth. Muslims are in America to live their own lives as every one else, they do not have any agenda to rule America, the Neocons do, not the Christians, not the Muslims, not the Jews and others.
July 9, 2008
CAIR Chairman Resignation Needs Careful Analysis
M. Zuhdi Jasser
The recent departure of Parvez Ahmed from CAIR’s Board of Directors and his leadership post was just noted by my fellow blogger- Left Coast Conservative.
In the Florida Times Union piece, Jeff Brumley cites Dr. Ahmed’s grievances over CAIR’s lack of appeal to “less religious Muslims” and youth. He also criticizes their grievances as always appearing anti-American.
If Dr. Ahmed had cited disagreement with the Islamist ideology of his co-directors at CAIR I would have taken note. If Dr. Ahmed had cited CAIR’s inability to name terrorist organizations like AL Qaeda, HAMAS, Hizbullah, and others by name, I would have taken note. If Dr. Ahmed had cited CAIR’s ultimate goal to implement sharia through requests for accommodation as a minority while pushing sharia law in other nations where Musilms are a majority I would have taken note. If Dr. Ahmed had cited his desire to join anti-Islamist movements and dissidents against the Islamist organizations which exist which are mainly Muslim Brotherhood front-groups, I would have taken note. But he did not.
Time will tell, what he and his fellow CAIR-departee, Ahmed Bedier in Florida do next. But from where I sit, looking at the comments he left with the Florida Times-Union, it appears to simply be a manifestation of a software upgrade for Islamists in the U.S. who are finding that their divisive agenda is failing miserably and they are looking for a way to re-tool their Islamist platform in a way which can more cunningly deceive the masses as being less divisive.
Note, Dr. Ahmed’s references to the synergy of Islam with America. That is certianly the feeling of anti-Islamists. But Dr. Ahmed is no anti-Islamist. And nothing in his departure interview points to such an epiphany about the merits of the anti-Islamist Muslim stance. Until he begins to declare the need for Muslims to counter political Islam as embodied in groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and until he begins to lift up the need to separate religion from government in the Muslim mindset and keep sharia at home–I see nothing but a repositioning going on.
Simply put, some Islamists are growing unhappy with the current intransigence of the “old guard” and are upgrading to Islamism 2.0 which will be even harder for the untrained citizen to notice. But in the end. Islamism 2.0 can become 9.0 and it will still advocate for the Islamic state and not believe in secular constitutions like our US Constitution as being central in guiding government for society in Muslim majority nations.
We shouldn’t let internal battles among Islamists distract us from the real contest of ideas regarding political Islam and the west to which all of these upgrades remain silent.
# # #
Another point of view
Chairman of Council on American-Islamic Relations resigns
He cites group’s failure to be more proactive, open to younger Muslims.
By Jeff Brumley, The Times-Union
Jacksonville resident Parvez Ahmed has resigned as chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, saying he’s frustrated about the national organization’s failure to be more proactive and positive in its promotion of Muslim civil rights.
The nation’s most well-known Muslim advocacy group, which he has led as board chairman since 2005, also needs to be more inclusive of younger, less-religious Muslims and encourage regular turnover of leadership ranks to ensure an infusion of new ideas, he told the Times-Union on Monday, a day after resigning.
These and other goals have been agreed to in principle by the organization’s board and professional leadership, Ahmed said, but “an old guard mentality” among some of those leaders has kept elements of the strategic plan from being realized.
“And I got a little bit burned out pushing so hard” for the organization to be more open and transparent, he said.
The Washington, D.C.-based council declined to answer specific questions about Ahmed’s comments. Instead, it e-mailed a four-sentence statement thanking Ahmed, 44, for his contributions and acknowledging differences in vision.
“Ultimately, the majority of organizational stakeholders supported a vision for implementing change and growth that differed from that of Dr. Ahmed,” the statement said.
Two board members did not return phone calls seeking comment Monday.
An outspoken critic of the group said Ahmed did not capitalize on a golden opportunity to transform the organization.
The council was the only Muslim agency in the United States experiencing growth when Ahmed assumed its leadership, said Muqtedar Khan, director of Islamic Studies at the University of Delaware. But its continued foray into political and foreign-policy matters – such as seeking rights for foreign combatants held at Guantanamo Bay – has detracted from its mission of promoting Muslim-American rights, he said.
“He had an opportunity to take it to the next level and I think he failed,” Khan said.
Ahmed said one of his unrealized goals was to transform the council into an organization that doesn’t sound anti-American when it’s criticizing government policies.
An example would be racial profiling, he said. In such cases the organization rightly criticizes the practice but routinely fails to work behind the scenes with government agencies to ultimately eliminate the practice.
Ahmed, a business professor at the University of North Florida, said his resignation has as much to do with a busy personal and professional life as it does with the council’s sluggish movement. He’s in the process of writing two books. And he said his children – a daughter, 11, and son, 7 – are beginning to require more of his time and energy for home schooling.
“I also wanted to send a message that a change in leadership is needed at the highest level, that we need some new blood at the board and executive levels,” he said.
Ahmed has been a member of the council since 1991 but got actively involved after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “Before that I was a very studious, quiet academic,” he said.
By October of that year he had formed Pennsylvania’s first council chapter and was named state chairman. In 2002 he had moved to Jacksonville to teach at UNF and was named chairman of Florida’s council. At the time it boasted a $70,000 annual budget, one small office and a single part-time staffer. Today, he said, the council has additional offices in Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville, 10 full-time employees and an annual budget of $900,000.
Although he will no longer be involved with the national council, Ahmed said he hopes it will devote more resources to demonstrating that Americans and Muslims share the values of peace, justice, understanding and inclusiveness. “The values of Islam and the values of America are complimentary.”
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Notes by Iftekhar Hai
From last 2 years Parvez Ahmed wanted to bring in positive changes to improve CAIR but, religiously motivated board of directors did not give him support. Here is what he was asking:
1) CAIR concentrate on domestic issues like Civil Rights and Human Rights for American Muslims only NOT on Foreign Policy matters.
2) Do not involve Israel-Palestine issues with CAIR Civil Rights agenda.
3) Work with interfaith groups and build coalition – without the hidden agenda of proselytising or talking about Islam.
4) Recruit more young less religious American Muslims who will work on a secular agenda of Civil Rights and Human Rights. He never got the cooperation from other Board members who are more religiously inclined.
5) End all CAIR programs with American National Anthem. CAIR always starts all its programs with verses from the Quran – but they have never encouraged ending their program with National American Songs or National Anthem, like, “America the Beautiful.”
6) CAIR also does not make it a point to display the American flag. It never encourages the American Islamic schools to ask the children to take the, “Pledge of Allegiance.” Parvez Ahmed says, “I want to make CAIR more American organization – not anti-American” The religious minded Board of Directors failed to see his vision.
Iftekhar Hai UMA Interfaith Alliance Tel: 650-872-2578 http://www.umaia.net/