Growing Anti Muslim Bigotry: ICNA’s 6-Point Response

Growing Anti Muslim Bigotry: ICNA’s 6-Point Response

Sep 9, 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
Assalamu alaikum and greetings to all,
 
As you are aware, there is an alarming rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric throughout the country that is guided by calculated bigotry and racism for political gain, and is aimed at excluding Muslim Americans from the economic and social life of this nation.

The opposition and controversy over the proposed Park51 project has now extended far beyond. Islamophobes are exploiting Americans’ emotions and sensitivities associated with 9/11 and Ground Zero; they forget or perhaps deliberately ignore, however, the fact that 9/11 affected every one of us, and its victims were people of all faiths including Muslims. We have a shared loss, and together mourn and remain determined to safeguarding our nation. While it is understandable that the current charged climate has caused anxiety and panic, it is simply unacceptable that some individuals, politicians and agenda-driven groups exploit the memory of 9/11 victims and campaign to deny Muslim Americans their fundamental and constitutionally granted rights. Several prominent American analysts have already warned that the controversy over Park51 is not an isolated event; it is part of a much more far-reaching pattern and problem.

The series of hate crimes that have occurred during the last few days indicate where anti-Muslim bigots intend to take America. Some of the results of their hate-filled campaign are the recent throat slashing on a New York City cab driver, the bombing of a mosque in Jacksonville, FL and the arson at the site of a Tennessee mosque. It is also clear that the increase of anti-Muslim rhetoric by certain high profile elected officials and political hopefuls has contributed to worsening the situation.
Urgent Donation Needed
We are deeply concerned by these crimes and ask members of our community to exercise extreme caution and immediately report any incidents of harassment, abuse or violence to the appropriate authorities. We also ask our government officials, both local and federal, to step up and ensure the protection of Muslim Americans. We urge especially the Department of Justice to pursue and prosecute each and every hate crime, and ensure that equal protection and due process rights are afforded to everyone, including non-citizens, in the United States.
While appalled by the level of intolerance exhibited by some, we are not necessarily surprised. Many ethnic and religious communities have been targeted and discriminated against in America’s past. The ordeals of Catholics, Irish Americans, African Americans, Jews and Japanese Americans are still fresh in the minds of many; now, as Muslims face the same prejudice, we are confident that we will also overcome and prevail, God willing.
To this end, we suggest the following to our fellow Americans, religious leaders, the Muslim community, interfaith and civil rights groups and members of ICNA:
 

1) Cooperation and Coordination

It is impossible to turn a blind eye to the situation described above. Islamophobia harms America; core American values, especially the ideals of religious freedom and coexistence, are at risk. We remind everyone what George Washington wrote in his letter to the Jews of Rhode Island, wherein he affirmed the essential nature of America as “a government which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance – but generously affording to all liberty of conscience, and immunities of citizenship.” Can America back down from its great foundational principles? Certainly not, no matter how bigots cry otherwise. However, to protect American values, all well meaning people and civil rights groups must take a stand. We commend those individuals, religious leaders, political leaders, media personalities and interfaith and civil rights groups who have already stood up for American values, spoken out against bigotry and racism and are working to counter Islamophobia. We join with all Muslim organizations and express ICNA’s solidarity with the commendable positive and proactive responses, such as Muslim Serve, and urge others to join these campaigns.
 

2) True to our Faith – True to our Country

We are Muslims and we are Americans. We are neither an extension nor instrument of political players in the Muslim world. Muslims have been here for centuries and have never committed those acts of which they are accused. We have invested in the infrastructure of America with our careers, relationships, lives, money and property. For decades, Muslims have been in positions of trust and authority and have honored their covenant with their fellow Americans. Muslims are everyday Americans. We are family oriented people who promote virtue and care for our neighbors. Muslims were not only among those killed on September 11th, they were also among the first responders who died trying to save others. We can be true to our faith and true to our country without conflict. We American Muslims see our future in America and care about America’s security and prosperity. Therefore, we ask our fellow Americans: Are you supportive of the ugly rhetoric and anti-Muslim rallies, or are you with common decency? There is no denying that anti-Muslim hysteria is bad for our troops, undermines our national security and national values and is profoundly irresponsible.
 

3) Persistence and Steadfastness

Since the current deteriorating situation began with the Park51 controversy, some suggest that choosing an alternative site would end the debate. We doubt this and rather agree with NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg as he observed, “It won’t.” For “the question will then become, how big should the no-mosque zone around the World Trade Center be. There is already a mosque four blocks away. Should it, too, be moved?” Moving the center, the Mayor rightly observed “would send a signal around the world that Muslim-Americans may be equal in the eyes of the law, but separate in the eyes of their countrymen.” Such a move will only validate the incorrect perception of those who try to relate Muslim Americans with the 9/11 attacks.
 

4) Muslim Family Day (MFD) and Outreach

To all our ICNA members and chapters, we ask that you make every effort to make the MFD events a success and reach out to members of all communities. Let people know that ICNA is trying its best to improve the situation in our neighborhoods through outreach activities, relief and social services such as school supply giveaways and feed the hungry programs.
 

5) National Campaign Against Hunger

At a time when 49 million Americans remain hungry every night, ICNA is launching the National Campaign Against Hunger in October 2010, a month-long nationwide campaign to create better social awareness and remind all of our collective and moral responsibility to those who suffer around or right beside us. The slogan of the campaign is “United Against Hunger, Standing up for Justice.
 

6) Positive and Compassionate Response

Last but not the least, if the proposed misguided “Qur’an Burning” event does proceed as announced by a church in Gainesville, FL, we must transform this challenge into an opportunity to demonstrate what Islam really means and stands for. We should organize a positive and compassionate response so that the world can see the contrast between Muslims and bigots. Let us respond to their hate-filled campaign with compassion, care and wisdom. Our volunteers must not respond to any provocation even if they are the victims of hate crimes. All of our events must be organized in coordination with law enforcement. As always, our message must remain entirely positive (e.g., “We know that this does not represent Christians or their beliefs” and “We understand that people just don’t know.”) It is not unlikely that the Qur’an burning event will provoke unreasonable reactions from some Muslims who may feel that something must be done to protect the Qur’an. If we organize a positive response to the Qur’an burning, we can channel their grief and anger. After the Qur’an burning we may begin our Qur’an distribution, as people will certainly be curious about this Divine Book, God willing.
Your Zakat Needed
May Allah give us the wisdom to transform each challenge into an opportunity and may He help us all. Ameen.
Sincerely,
Dr. Zahid H. Bukhari, Ph.D.
President, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
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47 Comments

  1. Syed J

    Wa alaikum as Salaam Wa Rahmatullah
    Jazak Allah Khair

    Reply
  2. Masih Siddiqi

    ICNA’s 6 Points
    This is quite a change from the usual appeasing statements we get from CAIR, ISNA, CIOGC.
    Br Bokhari has conveyed the point without having to sacrifice the truth.
    I would advice him to go one step further and condemn the media and the corrupt politicians of this country.
    We are not guilty of anything on the contrary it is “they” who have destroyed this nations constitution and its credibility in the world.

    Reply
  3. Fawad Hasan

    And what about the Bigotry and Hatred that exists between the differnt two sects of Islam itself? What has ICNA done to confront the bigotry within Islam. The two latest incidents in Pakistan in Ramadan 2010 are a wake up call for entire Ummah.
    Fringe lunatic minority of Wahabis ideologists of TTP, SSP and Lej aka Salafis aka Deobandis are killing Shia muslims, demonizing them as Heretics and hence wajib-ul-Qatal. Saudi Clerics are on top of the list with their fatwas. They are even doing more harm to the Shia and Ummah that then the above mentioned harms that this christian lunatic frindge is doing to us all in America.
    Atleast Sunnis life and Property are still protected in America.
    Have ICNA tried to bride that crossing? Have you issued a rejection of those tactics? Shouldnt we be putting off the fire in our own house first before worry about the neighbours?
    I would like to know?
    Does ICNAs constituion have equal rights for all and do you really implement and practice it?
    Please dont delete my post and reply publically to my post.

    Reply
  4. Fawad Hasan

    Why was my previous post deleted?
    I simply mentioned the bigotry that exists from Wahabi sect of Islam towards either Baralvi, Sufi or Shia sects of Islam. I mentined that atleast the lives and properties of muslim are safe in America and are not been declard heretics and hence to be murdered.
    So how can you ISNA claim to be fighting Racism and bigotry unless and untill you fight it among your own ranks first. Start from your own home first. You claim to be fighting the Christian bigotry and racism but how about the racists among us? So my question to you was:
    Does ICNAs constitution guarantees equal rights for all and if it does, do you really implement it?
    Please dont delete my post again?

    Reply
  5. Ayman Nassar

    ICNA hit the nail on the head with this writeup. I commend the Br. Bukhari for the 6 steps. It is practical and of utility, and shows a clear position on the situation.
    May Allah (SWT) give us all success in our efforts.

    Reply
  6. Fawad Hasan

    Why do you keep on deleting my posts? You have deleted my two previous posts. ICNA claims to be standing up for the rights of muslims In USA but you are not willing to give me those very rights of asking a simple question?
    How hypocritical.
    I am an American muslim and would like to know that if ICNA is claiming to be standing up against the bigotry and racism of these fringe lunatic “Christians” then but what about the bigotry of fringe lunatic “musims” who are worst then these christians because these christians would not kill you and destroy your houses but these “muslims” will and laught at that destruction and praise each other.
    My question to you – ICNA – is does your consistution guarantees equal rights for all muslims or is it only for certian muslims because if it doesnt how do you claim to be standing up for the very rights that you yourself dont guarantee to others?
    I would like to know the answer?

    Reply
  7. Maheen Siddiqi

    Excellent response. I pray our community implements these 6 points and continues with the teachings of compassion of our noble Prophet, peace be upon him.

    Reply
  8. Faheem

    Jazak Allah O Khairan for your works. We will inshaAllah follow your instructions. Can you also offer (and/or encourage) other Muslims to distribute Quran in their areas. Can you ship them a few boxes of Quran so that they can distribute it.
    I am ready to distribute Quran copies(English only) in my area, here in New Haven, CT inshaAllah.

    Reply
  9. Asif Sheriff

    This is time for self-introspection. That is, to radiate the cancer within us like Major Nidal, Faisal Shahzad and our beloved brother of all Osama Bin Ladin permanently.
    It is very simple, you are judged by your actions. Right now, our backyard is filthy ugly and in total disarray.
    Clean your backyard first before going out publicly to conduct interfaith and Muslimserve to say how good we are.
    Just focus on another underwear bomber from surfacing again would be a start. No?
    Would the prophet Mohd. be so relentless to have a mosque amongst all the controversy? What is the harm in moving a few yards away or do you behave just as selfishly with your next door neighbor?
    Bigot are we who don’t allow a church, temple or synagogue next to Mecca or Medinah.
    On Eid and 9/11 just focus on being a good person. Conducting civic duty when you need to make yourself look good is bigotry.
    I hope the Quran burning event will teach Muslims tolerance and that Islam is not a superlative religion.
    If you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen. Now the shoe is on the other foot, see how it feels?

    Reply
  10. VIQARALAM

    “After the Qur’an burning we may begin our Qur’an distribution, as people will certainly be curious about this Divine Book, God willing.”
    The above quoted lines from the 6 point agenda shows how serious we are to respond about the burning of Quran.
    In my opinion the best time is now so that general public can read and see what this divine message stands for. I was able to mail to some non-muslims and to priests of few churches arround Gainesville, FL. English translation of Quran and some literature about concept of Peace in Islam, hoping that they will try to understand the true and peacefull message of Islam before attempting to burn Quran. viqaralam.

    Reply
  11. Ahmad Abdullah

    I am glad that ICNA is making a strong statement and staking a position that honors Islamic principles and American values. While I am tempted to try to ignore these bigots and islamophobes, some of whom happened to have occupied or occupying prominent national political positions in our country, I however see the danger of not speaking up on these matters and not taking a stand. It is the same bigots who vote to deny health insurance for children and unemployment to fellow citizens for political expediency. And while extending corporate welfare (2008 & 2009 bailouts) to some of the giggest corportaions in America. Let it be known that Muslim Americans are here to stay and so are our Mosques,whereever they have been approved by local authorities. We owe no one any apology about this. If you can allow strip clubs closer to ground zero, we honor the dead with a faith house 2 blocks away. Glad that there are many Americans who take believe in the constitutional rights of every citizen and also in high places. If you are looking for terrorists, they are not at Park51 or any mosque in USA.

    Reply
  12. VIQARALAM

    Performing Umrah was the right of Prophet Mohammad pbuh at that time, instead he accepted an apparently degrading pact (Suleh Hudaibia) with non-muslims which was immediately announced as one of the biggest victory in Islam by Allah and later on proved to be a turning point in Islamic history. Move that Park 51 Mosque some where else and save thousands of mosques in USA and show that we have the wisdom of our Prophet pbuh.

    Reply
  13. Ghulam Muhammed

    To counter the current Anti-Islamic propaganda, we Muslims should mount a counter media campaign that 9/11 was not a Muslim incident. And thats the truth. It was an inside job, especially designed to plant the seeds of division and use the disturbed public mood to justify invading Muslim lands.
    There is ample technical evidence available about 9/11. Youtube is full of personal interviews that point to the conspiracy. We must dispassionately and catagorically argue that no Muslim is involved in 9/11. It is an hoax and a fraud on American people and the people of the world and the perpetrators should be exposed, brought to justice; so we can wipe the blame from our future generations. Or like India’s partition, the propaganda, the canard will acquire its own life and keep resurrecting itself. We must make a stand.
    Let Congress pass a legislation, absolving Muslims of 9/11.

    Reply
  14. shim tz

    I think its all a lie…
    what is park 51 anyways?

    Reply
  15. Kathryn Buffington

    As a non-Muslim, I am appalled at the hateful reactions to existing, planned and under contruction Islamic centers and mosques. These awful people do not represent my friends, family or me. I’m sorry.

    Reply
  16. S. Sardar

    Mr. Arif Sheikh, GROUNG ZERO IS NOT MECCA OR MEDINA. I dont know what you are talking about. You are right Kathryn Buffington; these awful ppl do not represent you and the same way some handful awful ppl who claim themselves to be Muslims and do awful things anywhere in the world do not represent muslims aswell.

    Reply
  17. Babar Ahmed

    You would go much further by not building a mosque. It is not about admitting 9/11 was done by Muslims or taking blame for anything, it is about sensitivity of the situation. You have many average Americans who are hurt by this. It would be an act of good faith to not build it, and this act would go a lot further than by building a mosque, esp. when there is one just four blocks away. If you were to come out and say that we are not building this mosque because of the reaction it has stirred then believe you me that America would appreciate you more and realize that we are flexible. It is not about admitting guilt.

    Reply
  18. Chirine

    Salaam wa alaikom/ PEACE be upon you and all of us whether we claim to be muslims or not.
    After reading the right reaction form ICNA, I also went through the replies from people claiming themselves “muslims”. I don’t think you are. Allah knows best.
    I am not tlaking in the name of anyone but me trying to rpely to some indecency stated above.
    @Fawad Hasan: maybe your posts have been deleted because of your indecency and agressivity shown through your rhetoric.
    1-One before talking about others, should strive to change oneself.
    Instead of you focusing on lecturing ICNA on why they’re not cleaning the policies of the world and changing all the “bad” muslims of the entire world, etc, remember what is the goal of ICNA.
    Islamic Circle of NORTH AMERICA not of Asia or Middle East. You got me?
    2-It is a complex and though still simple the reason why muslims are “killing” each other and in such a state today. Because of the lack of UNITY!!! and you just confirmed that again by not supporting the fact ICNA is trying the best to build Unity between muslims and pleasing them while living peacefully in America but hiting on them. I must say the natural disease of the muslim (and human being in geenral).
    3-We should first strengthen our ‘Ummah in “developed” countries before trying to remind the purpose of this dunya to “delicate” (dictatorship, corruption, etc) countries.
    Salaam my brother. Hope your heart find rest.

    Reply
  19. Chirine

    Now, @ Asif Sheriff (supposebly muslim): there is no need to hide behind a muslim name to hit us (muslims).
    Because a muslim brother would hope the sacred word of God be burnt, and even worse to teach something especially that the first word that has been revealed to our last Prophet Muhammed (saws) was “Ikra” (READ).
    There is no church or synagogue in Mecca, for the simple and natural reason that there is no mosque in the Vatican (Italy), in Lourdes (France), in the jewish, in Corcoda Mountain (Rio). The essence of those places are particular to a specific religion due to its History. Now, it doesn’t become a problem unless it is to justify Islamophobia and Hatred.
    Conducting civic duty is practising our Deen, our religion, Islam, same as generosity, help, taking care of an orphan and elders especially.
    The real hypocrisy is one hiding behind a muslim name to insult spiritual and helpful people towards their own as their non-muslim friends.
    “O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.” [Qur’an 49:13]
    Salaam/Peace.

    Reply
  20. Chirine

    And I’m definitely “In” to help distributing the Qur’an to help erase ignorance towards it because at the end of the day, it is like they are burning the Bible. It comes from the same God at the origin ( though it has been changed after).
    Maybe it will get people to get curious about it just like some time ago inshAllah. 🙂

    Reply
  21. J'Amy

    Asalaamu Alaykum – Thank you for posting such a poignant response with very concrete points that ALL muslims can work on in their communities. As a revert I am both %100 American and %100 Muslim.
    Sadly, I also have to strongly agree with the comments of Fawad Hasan. My experience in the USA is that Muslims organizations such as ICNA and CAIR have focused entirely on non-Muslim hatred of Muslims with no attention given the hatred perpetrated from within.
    Fawad Hasan wrote:
    “I am an American muslim and would like to know that if ICNA is claiming to be standing up against the bigotry and racism of these fringe lunatic “Christians” then but what about the bigotry of fringe lunatic “musims” who are worst then these christians because these christians would not kill you and destroy your houses but these “muslims” will and laugh at that destruction and praise each other.
    My question to you – ICNA – is does your Constitution guarantees equal rights for all Muslims or is it only for certain Muslims because if it doesn’t how do you claim to be standing up for the very rights that you yourself don’t guarantee to others?”
    End quote.
    I would like to know the answer to this also. Does ICNA’s constitution protect the rights and well being of ALL Muslims or only Sunni?

    Reply
  22. Leila Abdur Rahman

    I am 100% with ICNA recommendations, however immigrant muslims need to note that African American Muslims have been in the USA and practicing Islam for more then 50 years. We were the first communities of Muslims in this country and experienced racism and bigotry for just being Black not with standing that our ancestors fought for every right with their lives and blood that immigrant (Muslims and non Muslims) come to this country and take for granted. Look at our American history and learn from it.

    Reply
  23. Asif Sheriff

    Chirine: Not hiding behind a muslim name. And what makes you think that I am hiding behind a Muslim name? Oh, I get it. It is your paranoia. By the way, there is no such word as “supposebly”. You must be in your teens.

    Reply
  24. Asif Sheriff

    COMMON SENSE STEPS TOWARDS REFORMING TODAY’S ISLAM.
    1) Don’t think the message of Islam is better than other religions of the world. There is a verse in the Holy Koran which says “respect other religions.”
    2) If you think dressing like Osama Bin Ladin makes you a better Muslim, think again. A Muslim is not judged by their dress code. A Muslim should lead by example. Please Google Liaquat Ali Khan to see how he dressed.
    3) Jihad is not about beheading people who don’t believe in your God. Gandhi performed jihad against the entire British Empire. He succeeded with dialogue, debate, reasoning, round table conference etc. These are civilized ways to solve problems.
    4) Think about how to apply Islamic principles in today’s world. Applied Physics: We know force equals mass times acceleration. How does one apply that rule in today’s world? It is the application of the Pythagorean Theorem that advances mankind. When was the last time you sat next to someone on an airplane reading a book on Mathematics?
    5) Perform reverse Dawah. Learn how other religions at least appear to be peaceful. Observe how they are infusing technology to communicate and appeal to the young and youth.
    6) Get your “house of worship” in order before performing Dawah. Otherwise, a Muslim will come across as a hypocrite.
    7) If the book compiled some 1400 years ago says swine and alcohol are haram for Muslims, then please don’t judge others who do not share your belief.
    8) Ramadan teaches tolerance. Be comfortable in enjoying your non-alcoholic beverage when others choose to do otherwise. The book does not say become a social outcast.
    9) Discuss how to handle situations when your host has prepared a haram dish then to take your religious high road to heaven. The book does not say hurt your host’s feelings in the name of Allah.
    10) Imams need to be schooled not only in Islam but also other major religions of the world. Otherwise, how can they provide a balanced and convincing viewpoint?
    11) Attend other religion’s places of worship to balance your thoughts and ideas.
    12) Convert the mission and curriculum of Iqra schools towards mainstream assimilation.
    13) If you feel compelled to memorize the book, memorize the applied meaning first.
    14) Leave the translation to Islamic scholars who have spent their lives arranging the conflicting pieces of the puzzles together. Even Zakir Naik gives the book a B grade (80% rule). Javed Ahmad Ghamidi is an example of an Islamic scholar.
    15) Dialogue with Hormel, Tyson and Jennie-O to study the feasibility of providing Halal meat in the US. Creating boutique Halal Muslim retail stores does not help to uplift the mind of Muslims. Start penetrating the world of science, mathematics, arts, literature, and economics. Don’t be known for animal slaughtering techniques.
    16) If you want to live in the US then send your kids to US public schools. If you think there are too many distractions, think again. The public schools are training grounds for the real world. Dialogue with public school administration personnel to provide after school cultural assimilation assistance. Sheltering leads to isolation.
    17) Definition of Insanity – Doing the same thing over and over again. Think of ways to uplift and raise Muslim Intellectual Property.
    18) What is the mission statement of a Muslim? Are they strict adherence to rituals or are they what Mr. & Mrs. Bill Gates are doing in India or Africa?
    19) Live in the present and be cognizant of life after death. Unless you have aspirations to become a Zakir Naik, balance religion and life. 80-20 or 20-80? Spend 20 percent in the masjid to impact 80 percent of your life in the present or 80 percent if you want to lead.
    20) Visit your local YMCA and observe how this organization has employed values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility to build strong kids, families and communities.
    21) To inspire the youth, invite the likes of Zain Verjee, Javid Iqbal and Ali Velshi to your masjids. Don’t judge a book by its cover. They are exemplary. Collaborate with other masjids to raise funds for their tour to inspire and not duplicate.
    22) Is there a verse in the Koran which says that a Muslim can’t eat the meat butchered by a Christian or a Jew? Do you think God will grant a Muslim a better place in heaven because he or she went out of their way to buy Halal or a certain brand of toothpaste blessed by Halal Shopper Guide? Other issues like the perception of Muslims in today’s world should be keeping Muslims awake at night… Don’t you think?
    23) If you think the Bible and Torah have been “lost in translation” over the years, please think again. Count the number of mosques in North America alone. They are all marching to the beat of a different drummer. Agreeing on when to celebrate Eid will be a start let alone the applied meaning of a Surah or Hadith since 632 C.E. in 2008.
    24) If Jews are such terrible people, then please compare the percentage of Jewish Noble Prize winners in the field of World Peace, Chemistry, Economics, Literature, Medicine and Physics to the Jewish world population against Muslim winners. Abandon your automobile and cell phone, as both the internal combustion engine and cellular technology were invented by a Jew.
    25) Judge the goodness of a religion by the impact it is making in birthing role models and its impact on humanitarian causes. Is measuring the impact of Islam in scientific breakthrough more important than its growth rate?
    26) Muslims had good business sense. Will you buy a business with positive revenues (i.e. global Muslim population) and mediocre profitability (i.e impact of Islam)? Do we have a 5 year plan to get back on track? If not, maybe its time for a takeover or merger.
    27) Watch movies like The Great Debaters to seek inspiration and to learn how the Negroes fought against slavery in America. Think about the progress they have made in less than 50 years. What progress have Muslims made in the last 100 years?
    28) Respect the customs and traditions of your neighbor. Involuntarily or voluntarily participation only opens your mind.
    29) Attend an Ismailia Jamat Khana to see how this faith has incorporated concepts like:
    • Written agenda ….for functions….yes, even for a funeral, so everyone knows what is going on and what is expected.
    • Self-Help…The leaders and helpers function as facilitators and coaches not hecklers.
    • Dress code…A strict code for men and women that would make your head turn. A dress code at an Ismailia gathering offers complete transparency between a doctor and a gas station attendant. A dress code for women that is modest yet current with times.
    • Prayer books are simple with cliff notes in English. Like Wikipedia, they provide a guide to help pronounce Arabic words.
    • What is the point? …. A son who is not a Hafiz can lead his father’s funeral from A to Z. It will make your head turn.
    • Can you imagine placing the burden to learn Arabic on a child that has enough going on with SAT/ACT and college entrance preparation?
    • Women are born to nurture …. Witness how they lead recitation of Dawah and Ayah along side men.
    • Cushioned and elevated seating for the elderly.
    • Stamped serving dishes and plates which rotate in the local community. Note the emphasis on presentation.
    • Unisex seating etiquettes …which compel men to behave like gentlemen.
    • Baby-Sitting Facility/Service…
    • Atmosphere and greeters ….to make outsiders/non-Muslims feel completely at home. An atmosphere which tranquilizes one towards spirituality.
    • Architecture …which makes their place of worship appear like a chapter from a Frank Lloyd Wright coffee table book.
    • Leadership – The Imam does not look like a typical Maulana. The Imam says the least. With their body language alone they guide the attendees to lead.
    • Volunteers and helpers ….are distinguishable by honorary symbolism.
    • Equitable Fund Raising …Sliding scale which keeps everyone at par, end of story.
    • If you think their way of reciting the Koran or performing prayers is not proper, please think twice. Get a copy of their monthly publications to see what their youth is doing in rural areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
    Assimilation will eliminate efforts to reinvent the wheel. For instance, interfaith dialogue, Iqra schools, Halal Muslim stores, Muslim book stores and Halaqa etc.
    Think of ways to get your stuff in mainstream grocery stores, schools/colleges and Borders/Barnes & Noble. To do that, you have to dialogue, and that is interfaith.
    Exchange the time reinventing the wheel towards thinking and chasing a higher cause. For example, self-reliance, mentorship etc. to uplift. Discourage monetary hand-outs and acts that lead to co-dependency.
    The Jews, Christians, Buddhist and Hindus did it. So can the followers of Prophet Mohammed.
    My contact information is noted on page one. I welcome the opportunity to converse and dialogue with you at my home, the local masjid or coffee shop.

    Reply
  25. rehma

    mr sheriff,in reality you are not a sheriff but a gunda and number one badmaash

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  26. rehma

    mr sheriff you are anti-islamic

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  27. basheer

    Asif Sheriff (or whoever behind that name),
    A few of the points listed are very valid, but most of them are maligned by a lack of understanding of Islam. Your first point itself proves you are not a Muslim or you are a person with a Muslim name without proper understanding of Islam. The command “respect other religions does not mean all other religions are of same status as Islam. Muslims are Muslims because they believe message of Islam is the best of all messages. One who does not believe in it can’t be called a Muslim. Similarly Christians would think theirs is the best message. Respecting Christianity does not mean considering message of Islam is not better than Christianity. It just means to respect their choice of believing in their message.

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  28. basheer

    Chirine:
    Would you please explain more regarding your response to Fawad Hasan
    Doesn’t Islamic Circle of NORTH AMERICA speak when atrocities happen against Muslims worldwide (like in Palestine), or act in case of natural calamities affecting Muslims outside US (like Pakistan flood)? If it doesn’t, I am fine, but if it does, doesn’t it also have the responsibility to speak against inhuman actions done by those around the globe in the name of Islam (against Muslims or others)?
    Don’t you think Muslim organizations including ICNA should play a bigger role in criticizing wrong actions by Muslims?

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  29. Fawad Hassan

    @Chirine:
    You totally misunderstood me. I do support ICNA, ISNA and other organizations and especially CAIR.
    Now having said in reply and i quote you “indecency and agressivity” was not intended to be that. My question actually meant to clarify whether ICNA stands up for the rights of all the Muslims regardless of secetarianism or is it secetarian?
    I donot want to support an organization with my money or time – even a $1- that is Wahabi in its docterine because they consider everyone else to be Heretics and i am not talking about Shia only but Deobandis, Sufi etc but Jews and Christians as well who are “People of Book” in Islam, and have been shown great love and respect in Quraan.
    Now please dont go off the roof, i dont consider every wahabi to be such but if you listen to the fatwas comming from their ulemah, that would answer your question and looking around us when you find Wahabi docterine after every massacre of civilians and cold hearted murders such as 911, well whether you like it or not where this is flame there is fire.
    I want to support an organization that is defending the rights of ALL the muslims regardless of their sect. Whether is Wahabi, Sunni, Shia, Sufi etc and stands up for Justice not bigotry and secetarianism.
    Now why i do that? Its because in my view supporting a certian organization who is tilted towards one sect is sowing the seeds of secetarianism and divison for tomorrow in US.
    you mentioned one should start from themselves up etc cliche that all of us have heard 1000 times, well then if you start from your own self then make sure you support an organization that is non secetarian, non divisional but for all based on equality and protecting the right of all and everyone.
    Thats why i asked the question. Hope that helps..!
    Dont support bigotry and hate, that is what i mean and i am not going to.

    Reply
  30. Fawad Hasan

    @ Asif Sharif:-
    I will quote you ” Bigot are we who don’t allow a church, temple or synagogue next to Mecca or Medinah.”
    Its not about hypocrasy but simply the arragments. Muslims cannot build a mosque in Vatican city which is the center of catholic world and Christians cannot build a church in Mecca and/or Medina because these cities are center of Islamic world. True, all the people should have the right to worship freely which means building their worship centers but it should not be on the expense of others and building mosques in Vatican or churches in Mecca/Media would be at the expense of others. There should be churches in greater Saudi Arabia though. In my view that shouldnt be a problem, but steps should be multi-dimensional and not uni-dimentional.

    Reply
  31. Fawad Hasan

    @rehma:-
    Whether you consider Mr. Sharifs opinion to be down right wrong, please act civily. Cursing someone else based on their opinion simply shows the shallowness of your own intellect. If you cant answer logically to their opinion and are threatened by their intellect, then you will simply curse back out of your own frustration of ignorence, since you have nothing else to say but then what does that tell us about your own intellect?

    Reply
  32. Ariffin Gutierrez Abdullah

    Assalamu alaikum, brothers and sisters in Islam.
    I think the Kafeer have the freedom to do what they want to do, including killing innocent people and burning the Holy Quran. Let them burn the Quran that they bought. It is their property. Even if they burn all the Quran in the world, they can not erase Islam from this planet because millions of Hafis(es) have memorized the Holy Quran.
    May Allah S.W.A. protect our iman and increase our yakin towards our Creator. And may Allah S.W.A. gives guidance to human kind around the world. The burning of the Holly Quran will be a universal act of Dawah. Ameen.

    Reply
  33. J'Amy

    Thank you Br Asif Sheriff for your positive, uplifting and practical outline of suggestions to help Muslims living in the West. If we could replicate your example of maturity, reasonableness and tolerance, we might take a step forward. Unfortunately too many Muslims in the world are not willing to more beyond the illusion of the categories of “us” and “them”; this will be our downfall and if we dont’ change it, it will perpetrate another 1000 years of misunderstandings, discrimination and bloodsheed.
    Also unfortunately, I do not think ICNA exists to protect and promote the unity of all Muslims in North America namely because their definition of “Muslim” and “Unity” is very narrow.
    You mentioned your contact information was on page one . . .where??

    Reply
  34. Chirine

    @ Basheer: I am totally fine with the muslim orgamizations in America thought at some points I disagree but they do stand whenever. Yet, we can’t blame them for not standing for every single muslim hystery throughout the world. They do as much as they can but they can’t save the entire world’s problems. Everyone needs to work on it.
    @ Fawad Hassan: My apologies. I agree on “I want to support an organization that is defending the rights of ALL the muslims regardless of their sect. Whether is Wahabi, Sunni, Shia, Sufi etc and stands up for Justice not bigotry and secetarianism.
    Now why i do that? Its because in my view supporting a certian organization who is tilted towards one sect is sowing the seeds of secetarianism and divison for tomorrow in US.” I totally agree again. I don’t follow (not even) a particular madhab, just the Qur’an and sunnah because for me, following a specific branch leads to sectarianism.
    Nonetheless, there will always be muslims that will go astray. Now, YOU tell me: is it better to strengthen our ‘Ummah and defend us against disbelievers and hypocrites attacking us or fight against us, trying desperately to put on track those who went astray knowing that it is an endless situation like politics and military situations in Kashmir and Palestine (but I am going off the subject).
    Anyway, all this to say: ICNA like any other American organization is doing a huge job. There is no such a thing in France or any other country (and even muslim ones!) so let’s be a part of the solution and not “publicly” create a problem. Let’s volunteer and propose instead of posting public comments displaying muslim problems to potential opponents of Islam.
    @ Asif Sheriff: May you be guided http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/supposedly.
    In Ramadan, I would have told you “Allahuma ini saima” but now it’s over, I’ll let you attack as much as you want so that I can turn your bad behavior into good deeds in my favor on the day of the judgement 😉

    Reply
  35. Fawad Hasan

    @Chirine. With all due respect i completely disagree with you simply because How can ICNA claim to be fighting for the very rights that ICNA wants for themselves but are not willing to give them to others? They want rights from Christians such as freedom of worship, freedom of religion etc that they are not willing to give to other sects of Muslims? That is called hypocrasy. No one is asking ICAN to send volunteers to go and fight in Afghanitan, they would be supporting the enemy of our country – USA – but atleast what it can do is declare openly in its constitution that its a NON SECETARIAN, NON DENOMINATIONAL, NON extremist organization that is standing up for the rights of ALL and i repeate ALL the muslims and not certain sects.
    Morally ICNA or anyone else has no right to ask for the donations from those that she is not representing. Thats hypocrasy. Now as far as your comments about potential opponents of Islam, well the worst enemies of Islam are among us. They are zarqawis and Sadrs of Islam. They are the extremists and murderors in Deobandi, Wahabi, Barelwi, Jaffery, Hanafi, Shafee and of corse Salafis. These elements have killed, maimed, tortured more muslims in general then either the Jews or the Christians. Whoever they are and whatever sect they belong to, they are the real enemy, You are trying to hide the ginnie that is already out, everyone knows about it since they watch it everyday on their TVs, so who are you trying to kid and hide the truth from?
    I would urge the Ummah that we are American Muslims and we want to be united, not divided based on sects, color, creed etc and that is Americanism. So please support those organizations that are non secetarian, non denominational, non extremist and those that stand up for the rights of ALL muslims and for the rest of them let me die slowly.
    I still havent got my response from ICAN as to what do they stand for and since then, sorry ICNA you are not gettign a single dollar of my money or any other support.

    Reply
  36. Fawad Hasan

    @ Ariffin Gutierrez Abdullah. Br Abdullah the damage that muslims themselves have done to each other is far worse then the damage that outsiders have even done or will ever be able to do us. The “Zarqawis” of Iraq have killed more women and children then the Americans. They are still doing it. They just attacked womean and children in Iraq. Is it Americans killing the Iraqis now? Let me ask you a question. Why is it a big deal if an american or an Israeli for that matter kills a muslim baby but when a Sunni kills a Shia baby, or a Wahabi kills a barelwi baby, or a Shia kills a Wahabi baby or a salafi kills a Sufi baby that is not a big deal? Why is it fair that if we kill each other, blow each other into pieces, destroy each other houses, behead each other and prasie each other for doing so thats OK, but if Christians and Jews does it to us, well thats a grave sin? Thats a big NO, NO for us as an Ummah. Killing is Killing, it has the same results regardless of whoever or for whatever reason its done. Look at Pakistan, bombs are being blown up in shops, and in mosques and in Hussaniyas and in shopping centers and in villages but if these ba$tard Taliban are attacked by drones and killed they start screaming about their women and children being killed, well why is it OK for you Taliban to kill women and children in cities simply because you wrap your murder in the cloak of religion and claim to be doing it for the sake of Islam? This is all wrong and murder is murder whether done by Wahabi Taliban or by Christians or Jews it should all be rejected with the same passion if it was only done by non muslims or else its simply hypocrasy. Do you part in reviving Islam, dont support sects, support Islam that is for all.

    Reply
  37. Asif Sheriff

    Faisel Abdul Rauf needs to ponder the following:
    1) He may have to shelf his plans for Park51 and change his name to Ralph if one more terrorist attack on US soil succeeds. Daisy, one step ahead of Ralphie, will just have to bleach her hair blond.
    2) Instead of whining to build goodwill in the US thru Interfaith and Park51, Rauf may want to think about having green tea with Ahmadinejad to negotiate the release of the three American hostages.
    3) Have the leaders of US Muslim institutions given any thought to what might occur to Muslims if a crotch bomber were to succeed?

    Reply
  38. J'Amy M.

    If anyone is interested in good models of INCLUSIVE Muslim organizations in other countries, there are several in Canada and throughout Europe (Even France) explicitly stating they represent ALL Muslims. Each website for each organization also explicitly states they support Islamic Plurality.
    ISLAMIC SUPREME COUNCIL OF CANADA:
    “Islamic Supreme Council of Canada was founded in Calgary on June 18, 2000 with the following mission and objectives. Presently, its head office is located in Calgary, Alberta. ISCC members are from all the denominations of Islam. ISCC believes that the Muslims should not be divided based upon their schools of thoughts. ISCC encourages healthy difference of opinion among its members and follows the Islamic decision-making process, which is more democratic than the western democratic principles. ISCC is a Canadian organization, which is based upon one common belief, ” There is no God but Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is his (last) Messenger” and provides nonsectarian environment to its members. ISCC members exhibit this unity through their behaviour.”
    CANADIAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS:
    “CIC is Canada’s largest national non-profit and wholly independent Islamic organization. It is an exclusively Canadian non-governmental organization (NGO) with no affiliation to any group, body, ideology or government, absolutely none. CIC is the independent voice of Canada’s Muslims — Sunni and Shi’a, men and women, youth and seniors. ”
    MUSLIM CANADIAN CONGRESS:
    “The Muslim Canadian Congress is a grassroots organization that provides a voice to Muslims who are not represented by existing organizations; organizations that are either sectarian or ethnocentric, largely authoritarian, and influenced by a fear of modernity and an aversion to joy.”
    COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS IN CANADA (CAIR-CAN) – Not affiliated with CAIR in USA.
    MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN
    THE ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF BRITAIN
    The French Council of the Muslim Faith , CFCM, Conseil Français du Culte Musulman
    Central Council of Muslims in Germany, ZMD: The Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland
    The Muslim Council of Sweden, SMR: Sveriges muslimska råd
    Dutch Muslim Council

    Reply
  39. dr shaista khalid

    br dr zahid bukhari,
    it is a good point that you have decided to distribute Quran .it is book of Allah Tallah it will change their lives inshaallah so please keep on distribution of Quran.

    Reply
  40. Fawad Hasan

    @Asif Sherif; No i absolutely dont agree with your last comments. We the American muslims need to live our lives with our heads up high and chest out. Imam Rauf is not a second class citizen of America just because his name is Rauf. To suggest he should change his name even sarcastically is ridiclous. Muslims should be sensitive to the feelings of other Americans and i am for moving the mosque a few blocks if that would create harmony but we will never and should never quit/change our faith for anyone rather we should demand our rights – the same way i have been asking ICNA to clear her position and have not heard anything yet – and live with harmoney and mutual respect with other Americans. As far as Iran is concerned building a mosque is American has nothing to do with those who crossed into an enemy territory and got arrested. I didnt know Iraq was a hiking destination? So let Obama Administration that i voted for, deal with it and fix it, and God forbid if there is another attack well whoever is behind it – most probably wahabis – should be bought to justice. Its that simple. And Go on america, make sure you bomb and destroy these Taliban murderors.

    Reply
  41. Amjad

    What is “Park 51??” Would you please explain. Does it mean to kill or drive all Muslims from USA.

    Reply
  42. Azeem

    @Fawad Hasan
    ICNA is a non-sectarian organization, it states so in our Charter and Bylaws. We are open to working with non-Muslims and all Muslims.

    Reply
  43. J'Amy M.

    @Fawad – I’m also waiting to hear ICNA’s response to you. I have the same concerns as your postings. As you can see from my last post, there are PLENTY of organizations around the world, especially here (Canada) that are inclusive.
    We should never have to apologize for being Muslim or change our names. And we should never have to apologize or hide what minority sub-groups we belong to.
    Peace to all!

    Reply
  44. Fawad Hasan

    @Azeem: Thank you very much for your reply, can you please point me as to where it says in your constitution or your charter? Of course you have to respect the non-muslims since they are in majority, i am more interested in your declarations among muslims and your organizations secetarian inclinations.
    Looking forward to your answer.
    @J’Amy: Thank you J’Amy, make sure you raise this point from each and every organization that wants your money and time. As i have mentioned earlier, the reason i am so passonate about this issue is because by supporting a certian sect – who so ever it may be – we are sowing the seeds of secetarianism for our comming generations in American continent and eventually the results would be the same, we will keep on fighting among each other while EVERYONE ELSE and i repeat EVERYONE ELSE will succeed in the long run.

    Reply
  45. irfan

    “Of course you have to respect the non-muslims since they are in majority”….???

    Reply
  46. irfan

    “Of course you have to respect the non-muslims since they are in majority”….???

    Reply

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