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Iraqi Expat

Friday, July 08, 2005

Shame, Embarrassment, Time to Wake-Up

Yesterday I said "My family and I are ashamed of being Muslims". Many of you asked me not to be ashamed for obvious and logical reasons; however, I can't help it but feel ashamed.

I was more angry than ashamed when Arabs and Iraqis killed - and still kill - innocents in Iraq and sabotage Iraq's resources. I feel more anger because I expect the criminals to be ashamed even though they are shameless, and because they are attacking their own people which clearly show what kind of people they are.

I was ashamed when Muslims and Arabs committed the evil 9/11 attacks; I was even more ashamed when Muslims and Arabs celebrated these attacks in the streets. I despise them all.

I was ashamed because those murderers have stained our faith and heritage with dishonour. For similar reasons I was ashamed when Saddam was in power, he damaged the image of Iraq and Iraqis when he destroyed our country and committed mankind's most evil atrocities against his own people and against others.

Yesterday I was ashamed, because Muslims have attacked innocents in the country that has given to Muslims more than any other Muslim or non-Muslim country. I was ashamed because of the wickedness and ungratefulness of those who call themselves Muslims.

Jeff Pudewell described part of my problem very well in a private email, he said:
I was fascinated by the account of your feelings. I tried to imagine myself in your place. For example, if the terrorists claimed to be Christians, all Christendom would condemn them and do their best to find them and either kill them or prosecute them and send them to prison or execution. In that case, I would be proud to be a member of a faith which disciplined itself so sternly.

You would probably be proud of Islam as well, if Muslim politicians and community leaders were condemning them, Muslim police were hunting them down, and Muslim Imams were preaching against them every Friday.

So I guess that you are angry and disgusted with the Muslim faith not because a few fanatics bomb innocents in the name of Allah, but because the great mass of Muslims from Imams on down actually sympathize with the bombers and will neither condemn nor discipline them. Do I guess correctly? What is to be done about this?
Yes Jeff you are right, if Muslims were doing what you have said, I wouldn't be ashamed, or at least I would be less ashamed.

Today on my way to work I was listening to BBC radio five. A Muslim caller named Abdul said he was "sorry" for the victims, and then quickly jumped into attacking the security forces and called their methods and arrest of terrorism suspects as bullshit and not based on enough evidence. He was angry and he strongly condemned the police actions, yet he refused to condemn yesterday's attacks; he refused to say that those who died yesterday, died unjustly. He was "worried" that the Muslim community was being alienated! He thinks that the evidence, under which 2 or 3 Muslims from his area, who were held under the terrorism act, are flimsy.

I was so angry I didn't know what to do, I wanted to call radio five, but didn't have the number. People like Abdul shouldn't live in this country, they should be denaturalized and sent back to the shit-hole the came from.

I calmed down however, when I heard the Imam of Birmingham central mosque advices Muslim to full corporate with the authorities and to be proactive and inform the authorities of any suspicious activities. He asked Muslims to stand united with the rest of the country against terrorism.

And then Lyla, a Muslim female, said that she was embarrassed to leave her home, embarrassed to go shopping, because she wears hijab. She is embarrassed to be seen in a hijab after what "Muslims" did yesterday. I feel and understand exactly what she means, I felt the same thing because of my Middle Eastern look.

Muslims should be embarrassed and ashamed, not ungrateful, disgraceful and shameless like the criminals and like Abdul. Until Muslims stand strong and united with all humans of all faiths against terrorists, I will feel shame for some have brought that shame to our faith and heritage. I know these are extremists and minority and I have nothing to be ashamed of, but not all of their sympathisers are so extremists and not all Muslims are against those extremists. Hate is in the heart of many so called peaceful Muslims, and that is shameful.

This country and the rest of the free and democratic world must wake up and put a stop to fanatical Islamic organisations that promote terrorism, recruit terrorists and or simply sympathise with terrorists. Radicals who sympathise with terrorists must have no place in these countries and must either be sent back to the shit-hole they came from or sent to Gitmo. Organisations like al-Muhajiroun and Hizb ut-Tahrir, and people like Abu Hamza al-Masri and Omar Bakri should have no place in this country. Either that, or say goodbye to this way of life.

Did you know that terrorists are shameless disgusting parasites? Did you know that the scournful Hizb ut-Tahrir organised a protest in April in London against the anti-terror legislation and some (few) shameless Muslims actually participated? Did you know that extremist Muslims consider voting as un-Islamic and against the Muslim faith? I guess that explains a lot, doesn't it? But it doesn't explain why they live here! And some of them demonstrated against the Iraqi elections, all of whom are non-Iraqis!

For these reasons, I would like to see tougher laws, more anti-terrorism acts, arrests, denaturalisations, deportations, less freedom for religious organisations and more monitoring of these organisations. And I would love to see moderate Muslims, moderate Islamic organisations and Muslim countries to call for outlawing of radical organisation, to call for deportation or arrest of radical Muslims, and to fully and unequivocally support GWOT, and then I will be a proud Muslim.

At the moment and until then, I am a proud and grateful Iraqi who finds it hard to call himself a proud Muslim or a proud Arab; because many Muslims and Arabs are shamelessly ungrateful and disgraceful.

I will leave you with these lines that I've just received by email:
You come to place your bags of hate
On bus and train, you made us late
Yet we’ll be back again tomorrow
We’ll carry on despite our sorrow

Your bags of hate caused some to die
Yet we stride out strong with heads held high
You’ll never win, we will not bow
You can’t defeat us, you don’t know how

This London which we love with pride
Is a town where scum like you can’t hide
Don’t worry we will hunt you down
Then Lock you up in name of Crown

We’re London and we’re many races
Just look you’ll see our stoic faces
We all condemn your heinous act
You will not win and that’s a fact

We’ll mourn our dead and shed a tear
But we will not bow to acts of fear
You’re out there somewhere all alone
There’s nowhere now you can call home

Olympics ours we’ve won the race
Your timing then a real disgrace
Our strength you’ll find remains unbowed
We’re London and we’re very proud.

52 Comments:

Anonymous Iraqi American said...

I have the same feelings Ahmed. I was also thinking yesterday that the UK has been most kind and generous to Muslims from all over the world.

July 08, 2005 4:48 pm  
Blogger Goesh said...

You are in a difficult position. We have no way of knowing the numbers, but my feeling is that perhaps less than .001 of Muslims are willing and desiring to carry out terrorist attacks. Perhaps as many as 10% support such attacks. Perhaps as many as 70% feel there would be retribution for speaking out against terrorism. That is the dangerous number. We in the West are too accustomed to speaking out freely with no fear of retribution. We take this for granted, when many in the world cannot. It is imperative that non-Muslims remember this. I suspect there are in London neighborhoods where some Muslims fear retribution if they spoke out strongly and condemned terrorism. I have seen on TV a picture of masked men standing outside a mosque somewhere in London. This does not bode well in a free society.

It does behoove Imams in particular to publically speak out and condemn terrorism. It is difficult for non-Muslims to extend good faith if this does not occur, but then this what the terrorists want.

Having condemned these attacks in a Public manner, pray for the families of the victims and return to your duties of reporting and commenting on Iraq. If the jihadis cannot be stopped in Iraq, then they cannot be stopped anywhere. Your path is clear on this, Ahmed, proceed in peace and may Allah guide you as you move forward.

July 08, 2005 5:04 pm  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

Ahmed,

Thomas Friedman agrees with you. Here's his latest article:

If It's a Muslim Problem, It Needs a Muslim Solution

If you need a login and password, visit www.bugmenot.com

July 08, 2005 9:42 pm  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Thank you Fayrouz,
Friedman's article is spot on.

Goesh,
I have prayed for the victims and their families; but I feel that my duty as an Iraqi, an Arab, Muslim, Living in the UK is to try to touch on subjects that relate to Iraq, Arabs, Islam and UK (Western societies). These issues are all connected; and therefore, I can't ignore any of them.

I keep saying that WE have a problem and WE must solve it. It doesn't matter where the problem is, it is the principle.

July 08, 2005 10:43 pm  
Blogger Kat said...

Ahmed...

A thought, if people are afraid to speak out its because they don't know who or how many would join them. This is often a problem with all movements.

What I would suggest is a "silent" movement, a signal, a sign, a button or a sticker that can represent the movement without disclaiming Islam. See if it catches on. The movement could simply be "say no to terrorists" or "Muslims for Peace". doesn't have to be a sign that even indicates the words. Like the old peace symbol everyone wore. But now that is too used up.

Need something with a new twist.

Then, if people knew how many were with them, they might feel more inclined to speak out against the use of Islam as a cover for hate.

You know, the main problem is that people feel this is their only community in a foreign community like England (however nice she's been) and this is where they are safe. They don't want to speak out if it will cause them discomfort or to be shunned by that community.

So, we need to give people a universal sign that they can hold on to and show without saying any words what they support. When they see enough of them they will know how many are like them and feel better about speaking out.

Only in speaking and showing solidarity can we be able to thwart these people and make them ashamed of THEIR existense and ideology.

what would you recommend as a universal sign?

July 08, 2005 11:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't feel ashamed.

Many things are done in the name of religion. Disagree with me if you want, but religion is the root of historical problems that keep reoccurring.

Nihilism is the reason.


Humanity needs to just have faith in one another, compassion, sincerity, and dignity. Virtues that can lead to peace, not enigmatic religious doctrine.

July 09, 2005 12:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Each religion has been used deceptively to create problems in the world. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc...



Wait....I don't think Buddhism has......Those orients created a great religion there.

July 09, 2005 12:34 am  
Blogger Louise said...

Ahmad, can you write letters to newspapers. Can you contact organizations like the American Free Muslims coalition? Maybe there are British equivalents to this kind of group. Muslims need help in learning how to organize. Turn your shame into a movement Ahmad. It has to start somewhere. Why not with you?

July 09, 2005 12:57 am  
Blogger dcat said...

Now is the time to make extremist pay not the entire community! It was like the stupid nuns when I was a kid! Instead of punishing the creeps that caused the trouble we all got in trouble for it! See how I am I don’t forget! Never!!!

But you know Ahmad you can turn this around and you have with me I know better about people good people and you are one of those good people. Religion has nothing to do with it my friend!

July 09, 2005 1:34 am  
Blogger Kat said...

http://www.cabalamat.org/weblog/art_622.html

HEY..this site is doing a pledge to defy terrorism and go down to London ASAP.

Go check it out. This is something we can do.

July 09, 2005 2:06 am  
Blogger Mark said...

Ahmad,

I understand why you are ashamed. But I believe you are doing exactly the right thing. You are voicing your pro-civilization/anti-terrorism opinions and you are allowing your love for human beings and human rights to overwhelm feelings of racial or "religious" solidarity.

If more Arabs and Muslims do as you are doing, progress will be made.

July 09, 2005 2:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahmad I admire you more then I can express here.

These muslims come to live in western countries, and take, and take, and take, then stab the people who gave to them in the back. It is nice to actually hear a muslim loves the west.

praying for you and Iraq everyday, for Iraq is going to be the beacon of light in the middle east.

-pjb

July 09, 2005 3:02 am  
Blogger Nancy said...

Ahmad,
all I can say is that I congradulate you on writing this post, because I know it takes a great deal of courage to speak out the truth on any topic that touches on the Islamic faith, even though you are making it abundently clear that you are not attacking your religion but rather those who are using it the wrong way...but we both know how it is in the Muslim ME countries...they tend to twist things around!

great job on a wonderful post...it is people like you who will be able to change our world...you just have to act and keep making your voice heard!

July 09, 2005 3:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A quick question, has the commentary thread at alarabiya.net been whitewashed?

It was at once distressing and heartening to read the reactions. Yet, I saw it as a place were Muslims could debate "freely with no fear of retribution."

Goeth described "masked men standing outside a mosque." Is there anyway to unmask these men, to strip away the mystique?

And, please take pride in being an "Iraqi, an Arab, Muslim, Living in the UK" and be not afraid. Submit your image here.

yo tengo mucha fe en ti

July 09, 2005 4:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally Kat, I would suggest a logo for PLURALISM. There needs to be an acknowledgement that other religions exist and the folks are not unlearned or inferior or ignorant...they like their own religion and do not want to change. That people are equal even if you think your religion is best.

Also...I think the philosophy of violent jihad should be abandoned.

Ahmed...you are the best!

July 09, 2005 5:35 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahmed....My husband looks Middle Eastern but his ancestry is French. Dark and handsome and brilliant. Interestingly...he doesn't feel ashamed. So I guess the shame is of BEING Middle Eastern...not LOOKING Middle Eastern.

I too was fascinated by your post.

Welcome to the world. I'm very glad you were born. Maybe your tribe is that of civilized people of all faiths like the rest of us.
I am not ashamed of crazy Christians..but I don't take my identity from Christianity...its my private relationship with my God that I cherish.

The scariest thing to me is that many Muslim fanatics don't seem to value non-Muslims as much as people of their faith. 'Love thy neighbor as thyself' should be the mantra. Its another way of saying that all men are created equal.

As a young woman professional in an all male field at one time...I empathize with you as a member of minority trying to establish a good name and reputation.

More people are speaking out from the Muslim faith than spoke out after 9-11....its an improving, albiet slowly, situation.

Relax...you are a representative of civilization at its finest...not any particular sect or race.

thinker

July 09, 2005 6:52 am  
Blogger Mark said...

Ahmad,

I remember a few months ago, an African-American co-worker of mine expressed to me his disappointment that there were so few positive African-American role models. This co-workder is a devout Christian.

He mentioned some of the African-American movie stars from the "black exploitation films" of the 1970s. He said that these "stars" were racist (anti-white) and behaved immorally in other ways.

Some African-Americans have begun expressing the same anger towards their leadership as you have towards some of the Muslim leadership.

These African-American "conservatives" had been arguing that their community must raise its standards and quit reflexively blaming the society in which they live.

I see a similarity between your complaints and those of some of today's conservative African-American leaders.

July 09, 2005 7:10 pm  
Blogger Mirco said...

I think you must look in the basic of Islam to see that is have a big problem.

As Quran is considered the word of God, and Hadits are the bases of Islam, you muslims will always will have a big problem counciling human rights and religion.

All religions are, essentially, the imitation of their founder(s).
Christianity is about imitate Jesus
Buddism is about imitating the Buddha
Islam is about imitating Mohammed.

Now, look in the Hadit, read what Mohammed did ad said; ALL please, not only the good things.

Then, now, do you would live near someone that imitate Mohammed, Jesus, or Bhudda?

Muslims are people like all others.
It is their religion that let them breed so hateful people and stop their community to disciplinate them.

It was written that "Muslim are good each others and stern with kafir".

When you have this teaching in your religion, how can a good muslim argue
agains an islamist.

You surely are a good man, as many other muslims, but you are so AGAINST the teaching of your religion not BECAUSE your religion.

This leave good muslims with a problem to solve:
be good men OR be good muslims

July 09, 2005 8:48 pm  
Blogger dcat said...

Man always has to make things more difficult then they really are!

July 09, 2005 9:44 pm  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

Ahmed,

You're not alone anymore. Here's a new idea brought by another Muslim:

Pray For Peace

July 09, 2005 9:47 pm  
Blogger stefania said...

You must not be ashamed. It's those who keep silent who must be ashamed.

Go ahead :)

July 10, 2005 12:35 am  
Blogger Moron99 said...

Shame is of no consequence to anyone except those who feel it or exploit it. The stark reality is that there are people who claim to be acting on behalf of Islam while committing horrible acts. Islam has not demonstrated intolerance towards these people and has not taken any direct action to deny them sanctuary within its community. It is as Friedman says, if Islam does not solve the problem then the west eventually will. There is still time for muslims can cut the cancer out with a scapel. If they do not, then it is inevitable that the west will one day use an axe. Frankly, Ahmad - do it for yourself. Do it for your children. Do it not because of shame or guilt or anger. Do it to protect yourself and your culture. Cut out the tumour before it becomes hopelessly malignant.

July 10, 2005 2:08 am  
Anonymous Annie said...

"The greatest restraint on human behavior is what a culture and a religion deem shameful." I liked this quote in Mr. Friedman's article.

See Ahmad, you already deem terrorism as shameful behavior, so you don't have to carry the shame of what another person has done...

I think a lot of you Ahmad and see your wisdom and your compassion, and don't want you to have someone elses shame as a burden on you (though I have understood what you were saying).

July 10, 2005 2:25 am  
Blogger Catez said...

I agree that we should stand together against terrorism - "we" beng people of different faiths and in different countries. I read some of Friedman's article and I think he raises some good points. Good on you for speaking up Ahmad. I hope your shame is only a temporary reaction though - the feelings are I think better harnessed proactively, and you certainly seem proactive. I've been reading through sme of your posts and like your blog.

July 10, 2005 8:24 am  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Kat, Louise,
I like the idea. A Movement and a sign like a wrist band or a medal would be nice. I am thinking about it.

Thinker,
Probably you are right, it's not just the looks, but being a Middle Eastern.

Micro,
You are going into a complicated subject; but in principle you are right. The problem is that many Muslims are afraid of reforming Islam, afraid that by doing so or asking this would mean they are no longer good Muslims. I DO THINK SO. I believe it is the duty of Muslims today to reinterpret and reform Islam.

Fay,
Thank you for the link. That is a great idea.

Stefania,
Those who are silent are the problem and yes they should be ashamed.

Moron99, Annie,
Friedman article was spot on.

Pjb, Annie, Nancy, Thinker, Catez,
Thanks for the compliment.

July 10, 2005 12:53 pm  
Blogger stefania said...

It's not a problem with a Muslims. We've "our" leftist countrymen ( like here in Italy ) who find the courage to compare the war in Iraq with Bin Laden's terrorism - and they said that some moments after the attack in London.

They're the sixth column.

July 10, 2005 1:40 pm  
Blogger stefania said...

Sorry, I meant *it's not a problem with muslims *

July 10, 2005 1:41 pm  
Blogger Moron99 said...

Ahmad 12:53
"You are going into a complicated subject; but in principle you are right. The problem is that many Muslims are afraid of reforming Islam, afraid that by doing so or asking this would mean they are no longer good Muslims. I DO THINK SO. I believe it is the duty of Muslims today to reinterpret and reform Islam."

Perhaps the problem is that Islam has already been reinterpreted and reformed. Perhaps the solution is not to question Islam but to question those who have redefined it to suit their own earthly ambitions.

****************************************************
(soapbox rant)
I would put forth the following as a basic principle that has been ignored, redefined, and over-ridden :

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white - except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belogs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware: do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone."

I would say that power to determine one's own life, one's own opinion, one's own destiny, and one's own relationship with Allah is something that is given to every Muslim at birth. I would say that any Imam, any government, and any zealot who takes away these things from another is illegitimate in the words of the prophet. And I would say that any Muslim who places the arab over the non-arab, the black over the white, or even the woman over the man can not be a person of piety nor good action. I would further propose that it is the duty of every good Muslim to reclaim Islam from those who use it to pursue these acts of illegitimacy and heresy.

"Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope of that he will be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things."

I would further propose that upon the day of judgement those who had been taught the right and told what to see - and yet stood idly by - will be found more culpable than those who are ignorant. And so Ahmad, as I said, take action not from shame or fear or anger - take action to protect what is good within your culture so that you and your children may enjoy the peace and prosperities that Allah intends for all of his children.

(/soapbox rant)

July 10, 2005 3:42 pm  
Blogger Mirco said...

@moron99
You report the lastwords of Mohammed.
Do you read them carefully?
They are of no use against islamists!!!

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white - except by piety and good action.
This is surely good because is against racism (Islam is an universal religion, so it MUST be against racism)

Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belogs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves."

Where he spoke about all mankind?
He spoke about muslims only!!!
Can this be, honestly, interpreted as interesting all humanity?
Any fundamentalist and radical will point you out that this don't protect kafir in any way.

Again someone please find me something helpful to say Islam is reformable or misinterpreted.

July 10, 2005 4:44 pm  
Blogger Moron99 said...

Micro ...

the fundamentalist and the radical himself is rejected from Islam itself by these statements. To impose ones view of Allah upon another Muslim is to strip him of his most basic possession - his personal relationship with Allah that is between himself and Allah only. To represent their view of Islam while preventing other Muslims from speaking freely and willingly is to take from him his intellect, his speech, and his reasoning. The fundamentalist and the radicals are themselves illegitimate. Why then should their interpretation of the prophets words be the only ones with a right to speak. Why should they be granted sanctuary within Islam when their only purpose in doing so is to achieve illegitimate goals? One who is kafir through ignorance is less contemptable than one who knowingly commits evil within the house of God.

Silence of action. Silence of thought. Silence of word.
A man who walks underneath an elephant's ass will eventually get what he deserves.

July 10, 2005 5:48 pm  
Blogger Moron99 said...

IMO -
you see Micro - I do not believe that these words were meant to protect kafir. These words were meant to protect Islam. They were not meant to direct Muslims upon the treatment of others as that was covered in his summary speeches. It was meant to direct Muslims upon the protection of their religion. It was said that islam's greatest threat would come from within. These words are meant to precisely identify that threat. Considering that they are over 1,000 years old, these words do an extroidinary job of doing precisely that. They tell exactly how evil would find sanctuary within Islam (by leading Muslims astray with little things) and exactly what basic tenets of Islam would be violated. It was a warning for Muslims about Islam. It was in no uncertain terms telling Muslims that Islam would be corrupted from within and that the responsibility for protecting Islam rested with Muslims themselves.

July 10, 2005 6:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahmad, I'm thankful for your voice of reason, because you remind me that Muslims like yourself exist, and sometimes I need a reminder. I believe the tide will turn against Muslims in Britain if or when people find out their Muslims neighbors and/or friends have broken their trust. The British know Muslim extremists reside amongst them, but finding out it was your kind grocer or your best friend will certainly change the tide to turn against all Muslims because one thing the terrorists have in common is that they are all Muslims. Good, decent Muslims need to speak up against the terrorists or things could get ugly; unfortuntely, ugly is a human trait.

Joanne

July 10, 2005 7:10 pm  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

Ahmed,

Here's something I found on a UK blog:

Solidarity Pledge: We Defy Terrorism

It needs some PR from the UK bloggers.

July 10, 2005 8:12 pm  
Blogger Mirco said...

@moron99
now the problem is muslims - not-muslims.
Mohammed words stop good, peace loving muslims to attack extremists muslims for what they do against not-muslims.

This is the big problem.
As Ali Sina wrote here, http://www.faithfreedom.org/faq/18.htm
The Islam I am opposing is the Islam of the Prophet Muhammad and what he taught in Quran. I am not concerned about other versions of Islam. Islam cannot be changed. You only can change Islam when you change Quran. Trying to humanize Islam is like trying to humanize Nazism. Representing Islam as a tolerant and humanistic religion is lying. Can you put the foundation of human happiness on lies?

Quran and Hadith say that women are less than men; they are deficient in intelligence and beat your wives. How can you preach equality without changing what is in Quran?

Quran demands killing the disbelievers, waging war on them until everyone converts to Islam or is "subdued, feels humiliated and pay Jizyah", How can you build an Islam that talks about tolerance, but neglect the inhumanities of Quran? It is like saying, let us discover the “liberal” Nazism in which everybody is loving and gentle, and there is no racial hostility. If you want to fool yourself go ahead but you won’t be able to fool others. If you are so much attached to Islam, live by it. Don’t try to change it and pick and choose what pleases you most. If you are unsatisfied with what you see, may be it is time to move on. The true Muslim was Khomeini.

July 10, 2005 8:16 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

Islam cannot be changed. You only can change Islam when you change Quran.

If people interpret the Quran differently, Islam will have been changed even if the text of the Quran remains the same.

Islam has changed over the centuries and has been practiced differently in different nations.

But let's concede the point for the sake of argument......

Let's say that millions of Muslims decide to adopt "phoney Islam" as their religion. In other works, millions of Muslims decide to take a Light Beer approach to Islam: All of the spirituality, with half the violence and hate.

What's the problem?

July 10, 2005 8:36 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

Hey, maybe we should promote this new religion as an advertising slogan:

Tired of hearing anti-Israel, anti-American and anti-Iraqi (at least the democratic kind) rants in your Friday sermons?

Try Islam light: All of the spirituality of Islam, with less promotion of hatred, world domination, subjugation of women and oppression of religious minorities.

You might think that Islam light is just watered down Buddism. Not so. This religion is really a more accurate representation of what Mohammed really believed. We should live as he wanted us to live.


You see where I am going. I'm open to suggestions.

July 10, 2005 8:44 pm  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Moron99,
You said "Perhaps the problem is that Islam has already been reinterpreted and reformed. Perhaps the solution is not to question Islam but to question those who have redefined it to suit their own earthly ambitions."

Yes, Islam has been reinterpreted many times by different scholars but never reformed. It has been reinterpreted with a regressive view by backward thinking people. Therefore, you are very right in saying that we have to question those people and their motives.

What I believe must be done is to reinterpret it with a progressive view and reform it. I.e. one should not be afraid of making things better; God, IMO, only set the limits. E.g. when God said a man can marry four wives; that was because anything less would not be acceptable at the time. You have to remember and consider how people use to live then and what the norm was then. Therefore, there never was and never will be a time when a man can marry 5, but Muslims can and should say that in this day and age, a man can and should only marry one wife.

Things like that. Equality can be achieved but it can only be achieved by reinterpreting Islam progressively and reform it.

Read these two previous posts of mine; this and this.

Muslims and specifically Arabs need to and MUST get rid of the tribal culture; otherwise, they will never be able to progress.

Micro,
Islam is reformable and has been misinterpreted in many sectors, most prominently and most importantly the Wahhabi sector. I ask you to read the links I provided to Moron99, and think of the Quran and Hadith as something that has been said at a specific time which may not specifically apply to today. Think of it as a threshold of what can be made permitted or not; e.g. God gave women one third of the inheritance, which means you can not give her less, but can certainly make her equal and give her half.

Inheritance is a simple example of how interpretation is different. If a Sunni dies and has no sons, his brother would inherit from him; whereas, if a Shiite dies, it doesn't matter whether or not he has a son, his money will go to his children.

Mark said: "If people interpret the Quran differently, Islam will have been changed even if the text of the Quran remains the same."

Precisely; it is all about interpretation and when it was done and what was that person's views or objective.

July 11, 2005 12:18 am  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Joanne,

The tide will - and I hope it does - turn against extremists, but not against ordinary Muslims. The British people are very tolerant; which might be problematic!

I think, the tide will turn against extremists because the Brits will be against them and so will decent grateful British Muslims.

July 11, 2005 12:25 am  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Fayrouz,

Thanks for the link. I also found another one by an Arab here.

July 11, 2005 12:29 am  
Blogger Louise said...

Ahmad, that link is great. That little poster or banner can be turned into buttons that every Muslim who supports this cause should be wearing on their chests. Go read the comment I just left there and tell me what you think.

July 11, 2005 12:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A...

I have read your response and distilled it into...

Muslims are afraid to reform Islam because of fear of punishment. Clerics have really done a number on Muslims. It reminds me of the God of the old testament...vengeful.

But Jesus came to deliver a new message ...a new covenant...God as love, mercy, acceptance, etc. I think that Muslims ignore Jesus because they are afraid of Christianity since its such a large religion.

July 11, 2005 2:21 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry. The last message was me...

thinker

July 11, 2005 2:22 am  
Anonymous colagirl said...

Ahmad, I feel for you. It must be incredibly infuriating and frustrating to watch extremists do such things in the name of your faith, and then to seem to hear (as you apparently have) other members of that same faith not only not condemn the monstrous acts of the extremists, but instead try to explain, justify or minimize them. You must feel like they're making your faith look bad to the world.

Well, you should take heart. You aren't part of the problem; it's people like you who are part of the solution, who are willing to speak up and show the extremists and fanatics--and the world--that they aren't the heart of Islam after all.

July 11, 2005 5:27 am  
Blogger GES said...

Dear Ahmad,

If I were you I would feel no shame for my fellow Muslims who are wrong, they are wrong and not you.

Consider the actions of these criminals who kill innocent Muslims in their misguided thinkings, they kill police or aid workers or Coalition forces. These people committing these crimes are wrong and they are criminals and there is no point in bringing shame on yourself for the shameful wrong doing of others. I do not paint all Muslims with the same brush because of the wrong activities of the criminal few who claim to be Muslim. Hold your head high you are right they are wrong.

After much study I have learned that the real religion of the Profit Mohammed believed in one God, Allah, the same God as the Jews and the same God as the Christians. All these religions at one time or another have been used by the criminal to oppress the real people for the hypocritical ends of the criminals to enslave the people and steel there food and works.

Allah said there is no compunction in religion and there is no point to forcing people to believe as we do there is no value in forcing people to come to a certain religion, it would be false with out value, the real God knows we come to him/her because of righteousness.

The Bedouin of the Desert who raid the farms of the hard working people to steel and enslave are ignorant and they are cursed to failure. The real people of the world with goodness in their hearts are with you and are proud of your hard fought war. I for one will never abandon you nor think you have anything but humble pride for your honorable struggle against the enemies of humanity.

If those criminals think they will get away with genocide in the Sudan killing children and enslaving the women etc. they have another thing coming. The false mullahs stole and changed the law from Makkah and they are becoming extinct and the real sons and daughters of Allah will be dealing with them. Al Hussein the Profits grandson was captured and killed by these false mullahs, he was against all oppressors of the people, all arrogant slavers.

You have an honorable history my friend, one of kindness and peace.

Praise God and pass the ammunition.

There was a King who freed the slaves....


Kindly

Augurwell
Chesshire by Severn
Canada


Global Emergency Service
.|. .).

July 11, 2005 5:31 am  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Louise,
I think you are right, it should read "Muslims against terrorism" without any reference to Arabs.

Thinker,
You are right in saying Muslims are afraid of punishment, but I don't think they fear Christianity because its a large religion. I think Muslim/Clerics are not interested in the message of Jesus nor of Moses, unless it helps them to confirm something they believe in.

Colagirl,
Those who try to explain, justify, and minimise what happened and the extent of the problem make me sick.

Ges,
Thank you. You are right my friend, bad people/Mullahs/leaders have always abused Islam and twisted it to serve their selfish agendas.

July 11, 2005 10:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. Interesting. People in the US enjoy the study of comparative religion. I've learned good things from every religion.

July 11, 2005 3:20 pm  
Blogger CaliValleyGirl said...

What a great poem.

July 12, 2005 3:03 pm  
Blogger Catez said...

Hi Ahmad, have also linked to and discussed this post:
Trackback from Allthings2all
London: Looking for a Muslim Response

"One of the most interesting responses to the terrorist attacks in London that I've come across in the last few days has been at Iraqi Expat..."

July 12, 2005 3:44 pm  
Blogger thabet said...

Being against anti-terror legislation is not incompatible with being against terrorist acts. You might "love" to see "tougher laws" but I think you're speaking from raw emotion. There are logical conclusions to these "tougher laws" which are unpalatable to anyone who seeks to defend basic liberties afforded to all people in this country. I too live and work here in London and my mother was on the verge of tears when she saw the news on the television that something had happened at the tube station she was heading for. I too am a Muslim who sometimes is at odds or struggles with some more vocal opinions.

Muslim extremists might well consider voting "un-Islamic" (I consider all extremism "un-Islamic"), but holding an opinion that participating in an election does not fall into line with ones beliefs, Islamic or otherwise, is not a reason to be condemned and lumped with al-Muhajiroun or Abu Hamza. If we do this sort of gross and sweeping generalisation, what makes us necessarily more tolerant than those who see fit to take life of others?

The real course of action is not simplistic calls for condemnation (these condemnations, even we were all to shout from the top of Big Ben are never enough for some people -- then again if a Muslim climbed Big Ben he'd be sent straight to Belmarsh). The real course of action is, in fact, to use Islam against the extremist groups themselves. We need a contemprary theology, one which uses all the classical and historical sources against the views of extremists. We need modern Islamic critiques of Qutb and even the likes of Khomeyni and Maududi. We need a modern Islamic debunking of 'theocracy' (theocracy as shown to us by western history). This is the most realistic option as it can reach out to the mass of Muslims, who quite rightly are not interested in re-writing their religion to suit a certain historical construction.

assalamu 'alaykum

July 12, 2005 5:18 pm  
Blogger Ahmad said...

Thabet,

I am not speaking against al-Muhajiroun, Hisb ut-Tahrir and Abu Hamza only because of the elections; but because of who they are, what they do and what they say.

Can you remind me again why they chose to come to a free and democratic "satanic" country?

These extremists exploit every right a free and democratic society offers them while undermining that society. It is truly disturbing.

Read this previous post, which I believe will answer your comments.

July 12, 2005 6:13 pm  
Blogger Brian H said...

thabet;
sorry, being "on the verge of tears" doesn't cut it or solve anything. In the absence of actual effective moves within the Muslim community to control the firebrands and jihadist recruiters, legal changes and enforcement by the countries where they squat and shit their poisons are necessary. Put up or shut up.

July 25, 2005 1:25 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am Cuban-American and Catholic. Having fled a dictatorship I can fully appreciate your comments, Ahmed. God Bless You!

The West needs to hear more from Moslems like you. I am printing your posting and I am going to distribute it among my friends.

August 03, 2005 1:43 pm  

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