BOLD STEPS : Muslims should not apologize

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 The Muslim community should not apologize for the crimes they did not commit. They are as American as anyone, and have the same concerns about extremism, violence and terrorism. They should assert their rights, and consciously earn the support from the sane majority to speak up with them against the Anti-Muslim bigotry. We have to stand up for each other and build a cohesive America, where all of us can function effectively without apprehension of any – Mike Ghouse

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Texas Faith: Have Muslims effectively confronted terrorism within their own community?

Published in Dallas Morning News at 3:15 PM on April 30, 2013 by Wayne Slater

The Boston bombings have heightened the debate over connecting religious affiliation with violence and militancy. There seems to be no doubt that the attacks were associated, at least in the minds of the alleged bombers, with Islam. The drumbeat to convict Islam is loud among some on the right. But many on the left, worried about being politically incorrect, have tried to explain away the hijacking of a major religion by virtually avoiding direct mention of Islam altogether. Neither approach is helpful.

Into the heart of this debate strode Ruslan Tsarni, an uncle of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers. Activist and author Asra Nomani notes in the Washington Post that while others were avoiding or exploiting the issue, Tsarni confronted a central question head-on. Tsarni said his nephews had brought shame on the family. He confronted the dishonor of terrorism within his own community and denounced it. Normani wrote: The collectivist-minded Muslim community needs to learn an important lesson from Tsarni: It’s time to acknowledge the dishonor of terrorism within our communities, not to deny it because of shame.”

Have Muslims been as effective as they could be in publicly confronting terrorism within their own community? Is there a danger that Uncle Ruslan’s direct, blunt and unequivocal denunciation might feed anti-Muslim bigotry? Or is it exactly what’s needed?
Our Texas Faith had some strong ideas:

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas, and Speaker on interfaith matters, diversity and pluralism

Uncle Ruslan’s direct, blunt and unequivocal denunciation of terrorism mirrors what the Muslims do; day in and day out. Facts don’t matter to the right, and indeed it will feed anti-Muslim bigotry demanding a pound of flesh from the community. Muslims are sick of extremists just as everyone else.
In fact, most of the FBI terror suspects arrested after 9/11 were turned in by Muslims, and Muslims rejoice when one of those guys is arrested hoping and praying this to be the last one. Safeguarding America is the right thing to do and Muslims do their patriotic duty well.
I was on Hannity show twice in the last week, as well as on the national radio network. My last comment was, Muslims do condemn terrorism every time, more than their share in comparable situations, but they don’t get the microphone. “On your show Sean, I am condemning it, and almost all Muslims will do that if you stick the microphone in their face.”
Just Google, “Do Muslims condemn terrorism?” Sheila Musaji of the American Muslim has compiled anextensive list, and the Ontario consultants on religious tolerance sum it up as follows; “Actually, there are lots of fatwas and other statements issued which condemn attacks on innocent civilians. Unfortunately, they are largely ignored by newspapers, television, radio and other media outlets.”
If we are looking for each one of the 6 million American Muslims to condemn it individually, then we need to ask, did 318 Million of us Americans condemn the Newtown and other killings?

Muslim Americans are as effective in stopping terrorism as all Americans in stopping murders of 3300 Americans in the four months following Newtown shooting. Neither the New town terrorist, nor the Wisconsin killer were authorized by Americans, nor were the Tsarnaev brothers authorized by Muslims. A day before the terrorists were identified as Muslims, I boldly wrote in Huffington Post, so “What if the Boston terrorist turns out to be Muslim?”
What is needed?
The Muslim community should not apologize for the crimes they did not commit. They are as American as anyone, and have the same concerns about extremism, violence and terrorism. They should assert their rights, and consciously earn the support from the sane majority to speak up with them against the Anti-Muslim bigotry. We have to stand up for each other for a cohesive America.


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A few points for Muslims to ponder:

I have consciously made an effort to ask fellow Muslims to share their comments to be included in the articles I write.  In this article, I have included Sheila Musaji’s quote – for those who are searching for Muslims speakers, at least I have added one more name in my circles of readers. Check out the links associated with her name.

We are still not a part of the society. Living, eating, mixing and doing things with fellow Americans who are not Muslim is not a norm. You rarely find them at our birthdays, funerals, graduation parties or just about any party. Are we not capable of making friends? How long will we be chasing our own tails?

We need to quit being judgmental however much we disagree with fellow Muslims. We should not accept the salesman’s job to hell, giving free tickets to hell to Muslims and non-Muslims as well. Let’s leave that to God.

It is sickening to see Muslims being relegated to parroting every damn thing to be haram – halal.  Is that all we are capable of doing?

We Muslims need to believe and practice verse 49:6 of Quran 49:6 (Asad) O YOU who have attained to faith! If any iniquitous person comes to you with a [slanderous] tale, use your discernment, [5] lest you hurt people unwittingly and afterwards be filled with remorse for what you have done. [6]

Let’s learn from our Jewish brothers and sisters, and quit bitching that they control the media, that is a poor excuse for our inabilities. They are consciously involved in every aspect of American life; there is not a place where you don’t find them contributing towards the well being of the public at large. We need to write in our local dailies – in the readers’ comments section, not about matters that matter us, but matters that matter most people of the City. Our presence is almost non-existent. Whichever City I visit, I see in the readers’ comments if Muslims are involved in the common issues – I am afraid not. We are a single issue community, and that won’t cut it in the long run.  How can we expect Peter King’s to change his mind, if we live in Ghettos (sorry, Silos – sorry posh homes).

Insha Allah, we can be assertive and bold. I am looking to form an informal group of at least three Muslims in each major city, who are willing to spend a minimum of four hours a month to volunteer to be the media contact for you city. Believe me, the Muslim organizations cannot do it, they have loads of work to do, and are under the gun and not free to speak up. Those who are seeking monies will not do it either; we the Public Muslims need to do that. If you are serious, I will start out with home work for everyone to do certain things to get there, you can do it on your own, but if you do it in the group, there will be a qualification process that you have to pass, then you are free to carry on the work of Ambassador for Muslims.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel,India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive Americaand offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest onSean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly atHuffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal indexes all his work through many links.

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