Two Open Letters

Dear Muslims,
  • I don’t understand why Muslims’ communities in US and around the world don’t speak up publicly in the mosques against terroristic acts like Fort Hood shooting incident and other terrorist incidents. I honestly believe that terrorists who kill innocent people in the name of Islam insult the prophet, peace be upon him, and his teaching more than the danish cartoon, because terrorist commit this awful act on Prophet’s name and damage the image of Islam around the world. So, why Muslim’s reaction is different when it comes to Fort Hood shooting. Shouldn’t you go to street, protest and speak out-load that you are against these terrorist and their message!
  • I think Muslims in US enjoy the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion more than in any country in Muslim nation. So, dear beloved Muslims, if you don’t appreciate the blessing you have here, you are more than welcome to come to live in any Middle eastern country you choose.
  • Muslims always complain that they can’t rise their children in Islam teaching and keep them away from all the seductions and immoralities of the Western society. Well, I think the seductions and immoralities are in everywhere. People can find them whether in Saudi from the TV channel and internet, or in US by simply going to night and strip clubs. So if you don’t know how to rise your child to be a good Muslim and represent the teaching of Islam here in US, you will never be able to rise them even in any of very conservative Islamic society. So stop blaming the society and start blaming your self.

Dear Non-Muslims,

  • Professor Juan Cole of the University of Michigan once wrote in his article Blowback from the GOP’s holy war “One most certainly does insult Muslims by tying their religion to movements such as terrorism or fascism. Muslims perceive a double standard in this regard: Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols would never be called ‘Christian terrorists’ even though they were in close contact with the Christian Identity Movement. No one would speak of Christo-fascism or Judeo-fascism as the Republican[s] … speak of Islam-o-fascism. … [Many people also] point out that [it was] persons of Christian heritage [who] invented fascism, not Muslims.” That is simple what I wanna say for my dear american.
  • I am really sick of american coming to me asking these questions like: why Islam treat women badly, why Islam support terrorism! There are extremists in every religion. Catholic church has killed massive number of people when it was in power in Europe, now would it be legitimate to call the whole religion as bad religion! of course not! What about the Zionist soldiers when they kill palestine kids in the name of Judaism, would it be legitimate to blame that on all Jews! of course not.
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24 thoughts on “Two Open Letters

  1. Chiara

    Excellent and innovative take on the subject!

    I find myself agreeing most with the 2 Dear non-Muslims entries–even with Juan Cole!

  2. kathryn

    I appreciate that you put up the dear non-muslim part.

    These are things that I’ve been thinking a lot lately, due to people that i’ve come in contact with, but I didn’t have the cojones to speak up

  3. JerryM

    When discussing terrorism against Western targets these days it is silly to dismiss the connection between the terrorists and Islam. Could one dismiss the connection between Israeli settlers and Judaism? Israel didn’t take the West Bank and Gaza for religious reasons but once it took them, it banked on the religious feelings among the settlers.

  4. Great job on these two “letters”. I’m going to be expanding the discussion over at SGIME later this week and linking to you. These are good things to talk about, no matter where you stand on the issues. Again – great job!

  5. Interestingly enough, these are all questions that have been asked by so many passionate Muslims like you. I think we can all agree how frustrating it is that people don’t even see how ridiculous it is to stereotype and generalize a group of people, but I also like to think pro-actively in situations like these. It’s understandable and normal to get frustrated, but it is important now more than ever to have patience, and to “show”, not “tell”, what you represent, to show by example, and to not get tired of communicating and putting your message across.

    More power to you!

  6. -coralbead & Chiara
    Thank you for your kind words coralbead

    – susanne430,
    Thank you. It would be nice to hear your point of view in regard this issue. Since you are Christian, I am curious to know if you face any stereotype from any muslim you have encounter. Because I think there are some muslims who stereotype others but when Others stereotype them, they feel upset. So I would love to hear your thoughts

    -kathryn,
    Thank you for coming by my blog.
    I think in many issues that we face in our life, we need honesty and confrontation. I think the time isn’t in favor of anyone, and our silence wouldn’t help to solve any of our problems.

    -JerryM,
    Great point. I don’t mean to dismiss the connection between Islam and any movement that called its self islamic. but what I mean is that we shouldn’t make a judge a whole based on what the few do. I think judging people and blaming them wouldn’t help, but dialogue can help to clarify the misconception. For example, muslims for so long feel that that are being hated by the west. now blaming one each other at this point would get us to nowhere. But open communication and understanding would take the hate away.

  7. -Sand Gets in my Eyes,
    Thank you, and I would be following the expanded the discussion in your blog as well.

    -diana,
    I totally agree. many of us has the abilities to talk but fail to show his talk into action. I am working in both. I am trying to talk to clarify many of the misconception and present what I have been talking about into action through my daily life here in US.
    Thank you diana for your rich comment

  8. Well, I think I was stereotyped based on my various labels which did not include “just Christian” which is OK in Syria (the Muslims I know live there for the most part and are fine with Middle Eastern Christians.) I truly understand why I had this negative baggage now that I’ve had a kind Muslim Arab explain a lot to me the last two years and become my dearest friend. Thankfully the Muslims I’ve encountered haven’t dismissed me because of the labels, but welcomed me tremendously and heard my point of view. And I heard theirs. Since then I’ve changed a lot in how I view things, especially foreign policy. I believe God used them to give me greater understanding of how we are perceived in the world and how we need to better represent the teachings of Jesus Christ. Sadly, we’ve given them a horrible view by the way we’ve lived.

    Thanks for asking. 🙂

  9. I’m Lebanese American Catholic…..
    i completly agree with you! there are good and bad in all relgions and all races.
    anyone who would interfere with god’s time in taking someone’s life, i feel could not be any relgion!
    because no relgion promotes such acts.
    i wish more non-muslims who know that someone claiming to be muslim, who commits terrorist acts are not really muslim….would speak up.
    because we need to stop seperating ourselves from each other based on relgion.

  10. My mother side is Catholic and I grew answering questions from both side of the coin. I wish people would be more open minded and know that terrorism knows no religion.

  11. Chiara

    Interesting discussion.

    As a Roman Catholic I have only ever had one negative remark from a Muslim. I think it was based both on his personality and his expectation of a negative reaction to Islam and wanting to get in the first hit. Needless to say it was unimpressive.

    Angie Nader–an excellent point that non-Muslims who are knowledgeable about Islam should be speaking up. They are in a safer position in some ways than Muslims, and for some non-Muslims would have greater credibility.

    Coralbead–well said. Terrorism is a tactic of asymmetrical warfare, not a religious manoeuvre. Nelson Mandela was labelled a terrorist, as was the ANC listed in the US as a terrorist organization. At one point his greatest supporter was Gaddafi, for which he remains grateful. Most early leaders of Israel were former terrorists against the British Mandate, and then against the Palestinians–ie formally described as such.

  12. Lynn

    I am non-Muslims and I ALWAYS correct someone when they incorrectly repeat some negative thing about Islam.

    Thank you, thank you for your letter to Muslims. That is something that I have been asking for years and I must say, the non-stop silence from them makes it harder and harder for me to sell that ‘Islam is peace’ to those who think otherwise after watching the happenings in the world. So, tell us, did you get a gathering from your mosque and go out with picket signs declaring ‘Death to the Islam tarnishers’ after the Ft. Hood shooting?

  13. oby

    Murtadha…

    Thank you so much for these letters from both sides…they are very important questions that MUST be asked and answered…

    My heart has been feeling so heavy as of late because I think that when it gets all boiled down to basics, people, whether they be Muslims or Non Muslims, want the same basic things in life. Productive work, health and happiness for their families, to worship in the way that they would like to without threat or discrimination, basic needs of life met and perhaps most importantly a peaceful world and future full of hope that they can leave to their children.

    I have traveled all over the world and the thing that always struck me no matter how different the culture or religion was(even in remote parts of the world) is that human beings all want pretty much the same things in life…that always gave me a sense of community with the world and always left me in awe of the simplicity of what humans need/want. Yet how can people who have the same basic desires more or less be so opposed to each other? I think that the answer is that they need to know each other better and once they realize their commonalities perhaps they won’t be so afraid of each other and will lose the misconceptions on both sides. Maybe that is a first step…

    I have a question for you Murtadha…I hope that you don’t mind answering…I just want to get it from you who would know better than any non Muslim I could ask…

    Why do you think that Muslims are not more outspoken about terrorism, especially those here in the USA where they are absolutely free to say what they feel? It seems that terrorists are not just a threat to the West but they kill many innocent Muslims as well and it is a threat to the Muslim community around the world too.

  14. @ oby–well it’s partly because we have this thought that Westerners won’t take us seriously anyway. The media is a formidable force to reckon with,and judging from the coverage of the Fort Hood killings, it’s just the same flavor that they gave to the 9/11 incident. And a lot of us unfortunately, are too busy trying to sample all the trappings of a non-Muslim way of life that we actually don’t care anymore! It’s sad. There’s so much that we can do, and so few people who have the courage to get out and do what should be done!

  15. Dear Lynn,
    Thank you for your great comment in my blog. as for your question, the answer is No, I have never heard Muslims in the mosque that I go to saying: “‘Death to the Islam tarnishers’” However, I found muslims who attend the mosque working very hard to speak and talk about how Islam is against terrorism and how they are against extremist.

  16. Dear oby,
    First of all, thank you for bringing up a very good point. I totally agree with you that all human regardless of what faith they hold, share the same basic needs in life. We all love peace, enjoy happiness and have dreams. I also realized that most people believe in specific faith because it leads them to be better human. So, if we are all heading to be better human, to love one another, and respect each other, we do we choose to fight and hate each other? I think if each of us think thoughtfully in his faith, he will eventually learn that no religion is built up of hate. All religion seeks to promote love and respect.
    as for your question in regard why Muslims are not more outspoken about terrorism, especially those here in the USA where they are absolutely free to say what they feel.
    the problem is a little bit complex. I encounter many Muslims who said that the many american have been silent in regard the killing of innocent people in Middle East. Some argue that Americans have never take position against Israel oppression on Palestinian people. American enormous support for Israel made many Arab and Muslims believe that American hate Muslims. This is very big reason for many Muslims I encountered.
    Another reason is that some Muslims think that they aren’t responsible for what extremist do because they think terrorists don’t belong to Islam. In fact, they believe that terrorist was supported first by US. US has supported Osama Bin Laden during his fight with Soviet and when the war was over, US let Bin Laden plays on his own in Afghanistan.
    so as you can see, the issue is complex and many past historical and political events plays roles in forming the mind-set of Muslims. I hope I provided a good answer to your question.
    Thank you for asking and thank you for visiting my blog. let me know if you have any further questions

  17. @Angie Nader,
    Thank you for your great comment. I totally agree with you that we should all work together and speaks up against any discrimination or separation between religion and cultures.

  18. @susanne430,
    I really like the way your represent your faith. I have so much respect for my Christian friends especially when they apply the teaching of jesus to their daily life. I have been in church many times and I really enjoy listening some of the beautiful versus of Bible. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us here.

    @Chiara & coralbead
    as always you enrich the discussion by your participation. Thank you so much for that

  19. oby

    Murtadha…

    Thank you so much for your answers. You are right it is a really complicated problem. I can see both sides better now. I don’t know that much about politics and I can see how political it actually can be.

    I totally agree with you about Palestinians and that situation will need to be worked out sooner rather than later…it’s been too long already…I hate what is being done to them. It is funny, only the other day I asked several people “Why does the USA support Israel so strongly?” no one really clearly knew why…and these were pretty intelligent people.

    As for attitudes about Muslims…I am old enough to remember a time before all this terrorism…Muslims were considered peaceful and no one thought of them or Islam as violent. It makes me sad that things have changed so much to make people suspicious of each other. I hope that one day that can change and we can see each other as people once more rather than representatives of ideologies.

    Thank you Murtadha for your answers and honesty.

  20. oby

    I wanted to add something after thinking about it for a while. Although the war in Iraq is very unpopular and is not supported by most Americans, and Americans will talk among themselves about how wrong they think it is and we should get out…there seems to be an inevitability about it. Americans don’t agree with it,it is costing Americans and Iraqis their lives, we are spending so many tax dollars on it and yet no one is out there jumping up and down or organizing marches to make our feelings known. I don’t know why. I know for sure that almost everyone I talk to doesn’t want the USA to have a continued presence in M.E. Maybe people don’t speak up because they are not sure what the alternative to defeat terrorists is? Perhaps that might be a parallel for the Muslims not being more outspoken about terrorism.

    Just a few thoughts out loud…

    thanks again.

  21. Lynn

    Thank you for your response Murtadha. You say ‘ I found muslims who attend the mosque working very hard to speak and talk about how Islam is against terrorism and how they are against extremist’

    Who are they working very hard to speak to? Non-Mulsims or their fellow Muslims?

    In your response to Oby you say ‘I encounter many Muslims who said that the many american have been silent in regard the killing of innocent people in Middle East…’

    We hear that all the time don’t we? Can you blame us if when we hear that as a response we come to the conclusion that the speaker is PRO what the terrorists are doing? It’s making excuses for them. Do you understand what I mean?

    Wouldn’t you say that the real reason more don’t speak up against it is because they are afraid of what their fellow Muslims might think of them if they did?

  22. @ oby,
    yeah, the war in Iraq has gotten unpopular among American. In fact, most american I have met, are very upset that they got into Iraq in the first place. Anyway, I think with the current administration, there is a hope that American troops will go out of Iraq soon. By the way, Obama is very popular among Muslims. He has inspired many Muslims by his speech in Cairo. So, that is a good sign for new beginning.

    @Lynn
    -I mean the Muslims who I have encountered in the mosque are very upset about how the terrorist are damaging the image of Islam. In fact, many Iraqi-american muslims I have encountered have lost their beloved one in Iraq because of suicide bomber. In the mosque, they talk about their opposition to extremist in almost every lecture. They also visit church around them to clarify the misunderstanding between the two religion.

    -as for your second question: you said :”We hear that all the time don’t we? Can you blame us if when we hear that as a response we come to the conclusion that the speaker is PRO what the terrorists are doing? It’s making excuses for them. Do you understand what I mean?”
    can you clarify more? because I couldn’t understand the question.

    -as for your last question in regard the reason of Muslims silence and whether or not they fear their fellow Muslims if they speak up!.
    for American Muslims, I don’t think they have a fear of anyone here in US. They have freedom of speech and no one can threaten them.
    as for Muslims in Middle East, it is different.
    1) Muslims can speak up against terrorist but they have to show their opposition to US government in the same time
    2) There is a group of Muslims in Saudi Arabia and in Egypt and many other arab countries that believe that the suicide bombers that target american soldiers in Iraq aren’t terrorist, their justification of that is that they think that there are so many Iraqi families and children that have been killed by American troops. Muslims don’t trust american troops when they saw a pictures of Iraqi prisoners in Baghdad Central Prison. so as I said for oby, the problem is way complicated and there are so many historical events that plays roles. and the problem will continue as long as american troops are there in Iraq. It is very hard to convince Iraqi for example to stand up against suicide bombers when they show you pictures of their loved one who has been killed by american troops regardless of whether that happen by mistake during the mission or not.

    All I hope is that american troops return home safely to their families, Iraqi start taking responsibility of their country and we all stand together against one common enemy (the terrorist).
    I am very hopeful about the future. I have encounter many Muslims who show their opposition for extremists, I have encounter many Christian who are upset about Iraqi civilian being killed during the war. so we all seek peace!
    Thank you again for your question. I really appreciate your time in writing them.

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