True Islam teaches equality
In her recent anti-Islam diatribe masquerading as a legitimate condemnation of female genital mutilation (FGM) (“The Islam clash in America,” Web, April 18) Cheryl K. Chumley makes some ill-informed, inaccurate and offensive statements about Islam and Muslims.
First, let me say the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) has long repudiated FGM and other anti-women abuses. CAIR has stated: “American Muslims join people of conscience of all faiths in condemning female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriages, ‘honor killings,’ and any other form of domestic violence or gender inequality as violations of Islamic beliefs. If anyone mistreats women, they should not look to Islam to justify their abhorrent, un-Islamic actions.”
Ms. Chumley falsely claims that “Islam, at least when it’s practiced... is incompatible with our country’s spirit of freedom, Founding Father principles and constitutionally based concepts of equality and justice.” In fact, justice and equality are core values in Islam. One of the 99 Names of God is “Al-‘Adl — The Just, The Equitable.” The Koran, Islam’s revealed text, and the words of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) are the best refutation of Ms. Chumley’s inaccurate and offensive remarks. Mohammed said: “Whoever wishes to [enter Paradise)]... should treat people as he wishes to be treated by them.” He also said the following:
• “All people are equal as the teeth of a comb.”
• Those who dispense “justice will be seated on pulpits of light beside God.”
• “For every day on which the sun rises, there is a [reward from God] for the one who establishes justice among people.”
• “Anyone who God has given authority over people, and does not look after them in an honest manner, will never experience even the scent of Paradise.”
Mohammed once told a companion, “You are not better than people [of other races] unless you excel them in piety.” And he famously said in his last sermon: “All humankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab. Also, a white person has no superiority over a black person, nor does someone who is black have any superiority over someone who is white — except by piety and good action.”
Islam’s holy text also promotes gender equality. An excerpt: “So their Lord answers their prayers, saying: ‘I will never let the (good) work of any of you, whether male or female, be wasted. You are members one of another.’ ” These are all principles that every Muslim learns from an early age.
It is unfortunate that instead of taking a few minutes to conduct research about what Muslims actually believe, Ms. Chumley chose to rely on the cottage industry of Muslim bashers for her distorted representation of Islam and American Muslims.
National communications director Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)