Is­lam is in­deed seek­ing peace

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

One won­ders what the Is­lam­o­phobes like Al­bert Gra­ham hope to ac­com­plish by such hate let­ters as the one pub­lished in Mary­land In­de­pen­dent of July 27. If they hope their let­ters will make Mus­lims quit their faith or leave the coun­try, or cause non-Mus­lims to rise up against Mus­lims and elim­i­nate them, they are in for an ut­ter dis­ap­point­ment.

Mr. Gra­ham’s let­ter is all false ac­cu­sa­tions. To deal with each one of them would re­quire a book, which I doubt the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent would be in­clined to print, so I’ll re­spond to just a cou­ple.

In sup­port of his ar­gu­ment that Is­lam is a ter­ror­ist re­li­gion, he men­tioned verse 2:190 of the Qu­ran, but did not quote it. Here’s what the verse says:

“And fight for the sake of God those who fight you; but do not be bru­tal or com­mit ag­gres­sion, for God does not love bru­tal ag­gres­sors.” (Trans­la­tion by Thomas Cleary, a Chris­tian)

This verse lays down the fol­low­ing rules of war­fare:

1— Fight only for the sake of God. That is, for a just cause — not to usurp land (like Is­rael’s at­tack on neigh­bor­ing coun­tries in 1967 and 1970) or to take over an­other coun­try’s re­sources (U.S. in­va­sion of Iraq for its oil).

2 — Fight only those who fight you. That is, in self-de­fense only.

3 — Do not be bru­tal or com­mit ag­gres­sion. Mean­ing, do not kill in­dis­crim­i­nately (killing chil­dren, women, the dis­abled and the aged is pro­hib­ited) and do not use tor­ture, e.g. wa­ter­board­ing.

This sin­gle short verse beats all the Geneva Con­ven­tions and ar­ti­cles.

He ac­cuses Mus­lim im­mi­grants of re­sist­ing ac­cul­tur­a­tion into their adopted coun­try and re­sid­ing in ma­jor­ity Mus­lim en­claves. That’s not just im­prac­ti­ca­ble but im­pos­si­ble. Re­gard­less of who they are or where they come from, peo­ple live where they find work and can af­ford to live. Work and af­ford­abil­ity are the two fac­tors that de­ter­mine where peo­ple live, not their ma­jor­ity eth­nic en­claves. I have lived in this area for 41 years and still don’t have an­other Mus­lim fam­ily within five miles.

He says Mus­lims are “wag­ing war world­wide” who “sys­tem­at­i­cally slaugh­ter Chris­tians and Jews.” He must be liv­ing in a dif­fer­ent world. In this world, as ev­ery­one knows, the only peo­ple who are be­ing sys­tem­at­i­cally slaugh­tered are the Pales­tinian Mus­lims.

And the Is­lamic ter­ror­ists and fa­nat­ics that he men­tions are no dif­fer­ent from Mr. Dy­lann Roof who slaugh­tered in­no­cent, godly peo­ple while they were in com­mu­nion with God. Ter­ror­ists and fa­nat­ics are in ev­ery re­li­gion, and we con­demn them all.

As for his tirade about “Ji­had against the un­be­liev­ing world” and Is­lam be­ing “re­spon­si­ble for more than 90 per­cent of all fight­ing in the world to­day” and so on, let me just re­pro­duce a few ex­cerpts from his­to­rian An­drew J. Bace­vich’s ar­ti­cle pub­lished in The Wash­ing­ton Post of Oct. 5, 2014.

“Syria has be­come at least the 14th coun­try in the Is­lamic world that U.S. forces have in­vaded, oc­cu­pied or bombed … And that’s just since 1980.

“Let’s tick them off: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Le­banon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-) So­ma­lia (1992-1993, 2007-), Bos­nia (1995), Saudi Ara­bia (1991-1996), Afghanistan (191998, 2001-), Su­dan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Ye­men (2000,2002-), Pak­istan (2004-), and now Syria. Whew.

“Oil — not free­dom, democ­racy or hu­man rights — de­fined the prin­ci­pal Amer­i­can in­ter­est, and sta­bil­ity was the goal… how­ever, whether putting boots on the ground or re­ly­ing on mis­siles from above, sub­se­quent U.S. ef­forts to pro­mote sta­bil­ity have tended to pro­duce just the op­po­site.

“Want to mea­sure what Amer­ica’s war for the Mid­dle East has ac­com­plished through its first 13 in­ter­ac­tions? The Is­lamic State (ISIS) has to rank promi­nently on any list of achieve­ments.

“We must hope for vic­tory over the Is­lamic state. But even if achieved, that vic­tory will not re­deem but merely pro­long decades-long mil­i­tary un­der­tak­ing that was flawed from the out­set.”

Un­less he’s to­tally blinded by big­otry, it will open Mr. Gra­ham’s eyes to read that ar­ti­cle. It will show him that 9/11, ISIS, the at­tacks in France and else­where are nat­u­ral con­se­quences of the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by the U.S. in the Mus­lim world. In Iraq, Afghanistan and Pales­tine alone, mil­lions of in­no­cent civil­ians have been killed, young girls raped and in­fants shot right in front of their par­ents.

Un­til they were at­tacked, all the Mus­lim coun­tries ever did was pro­duce oil and ship it to our shores so we could drive our cars and fly our planes. It was af­ter the U.S. backed Is­rael and the U.S. it­self started bomb­ing those peace­ful coun­tries that things went hor­ri­ble all over the world.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr. Gra­ham, “within sev­eral decades Mus­lims will be­come the dom­i­nant po­lit­i­cal power in Euro­pean coun­tries.” That’s not all. Ac­cord­ing to Time mag­a­zine of July 2015, “the growth rate of the global Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion from 2010 to 2050 is es­ti­mated at 73 per­cent, mak­ing Mus­lims the only ma­jor re­li­gious group pro­jected to grow faster than the world’s over­all pop­u­la­tion.” That be­ing the case, wouldn’t it be an ex­er­cise in fu­til­ity to con­tinue to de­nounce Is­lam and de­mo­nize Mus­lims? Wouldn’t it make more sense in­stead to get to know the re­li­gion — not from the me­dia or from a bor­rowed copy of a trans­la­tion of the Qu­ran, but from peo­ple who have spent their lives learn­ing it and liv­ing it — so we can live in peace to­gether?

Shaare Shalom, a syn­a­gogue in Wal­dorf, the La Plata Mosque and a few lo­cal churches are try­ing to get to­gether an in­ter­faith group. Mr. Gra­ham and oth­ers are wel­come to join us. We are also con­tem­plat­ing an In­ter­na­tional Food Fes­ti­val in Charles County. Those in­ter­ested, please con­tact Ge­orge Gazarek at shaare­shalom@gmail.com or the writer at laplata­mosque@gmail.com.

Muham­mad Ameen, Hugh­esville

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