Islam is indeed seeking peace
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or the writer at email@example.com.
Muhammad Ameen, Hughesville