Are Elections Haram?
Says Who? And Based on What?
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
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(8) Excuse Me, But We Are the West!
- Muslims Built the West Indies
- Muslims Rebuilt Europe
- Colonial and Imperial Legacies
- French-Born, British-Born and Other European-Born Muslims
(9) I Am America!
- A Shocked Reaction
- Mainstreaming Islam
- You are not even a Real American
- What on Earth Do You Mean?
- Self-Hate Masquerading as Bravado?
- America's New Face
(10) Islam and World Citizenship
- Elementary Islam
- Tauheed - Unity - the Core of Islam
- A World Moving Closer to Islam
- Swimming in Street Clothes
- The 1990s
(11) An Islamic Logic of American Citizenship
- No Crossed Fingers for Muslims
- A Train Called America
- A Choice of Destinations and Directions
- Beyond Fame and Fortune, Looking for a Better World
- The True Promise of America:
(12) The New West
(13) "The Western Wing"
- Grafting a Patch
- Marginals vs. Mainstreamers
(14) Sharing the West
- No Abduls-Come-Lately
- Rejoicing with Divine Expressions
- Forgetting a Fundamental Fact
(15) Ignoring a Beautiful Hadith
8. Excuse Me, But We Are the West!
That is right.
That is what is missing in all this. The simple fact that you and I, and other Muslim folks who live in the West, we are the West.
And we have been for a long time - many of us.
And many of us have played a key role in making the modern West what it is today. Therefore, when we say we are the West, we are not making an empty claim.
We have made significant contributions to the building of the West. We therefore have ownership rights in the West.
Below are some of the ways in which we did it.
Muslims Built America:
There are Muslims in America who have lived there from the days of slavery. Don't forget that Muslim sweat, toil, tears and blood went into the making of America.
And then there are others whose Muslim parents and grandparents immigrated to America as a result of which they themselves were born and brought up in America as Muslims.
And then there are all those other people whose ancestors have been living here in America for God knows how long, and who now have embraced the Deen of Allah and become Muslims by their own choice and volition.
Muslims Built the West Indies:
And then there are fifth, fourth and third generation Muslims in Trinidad, Guyana and Surinam in the West Indies who date their arrival into the Western Hemisphere from the days when slavery was ended in the West Indies and Muslims from Indonesia and undivided India were brought in to replace the newly freed African slaves.
It was these Muslims, along with all the others that were similarly brought in, that built the West Indies and helped save the British Empire when centuries of slavery suddenly collapsed in that part of the world.
Muslims Rebuilt Europe:
There are Muslims living in Germany for generations whose parents and grandparents were invited in from Turkey to rebuild a war-ravaged Germany. Don't forget that it was Muslim muscle that put Germany back on its feet after it was laid low by the British, the Soviets and the Americans in World War II.
To what extent this is true of other European nations such as the Netherlands and Austria is an empirical question. That means just go and search the records and see who was brought in by whom when and where and told to do what.
And find out how and when and for what purpose the Muslim workers were imported in all these European nations.
Colonial and Imperial Legacies:
Colonialism and Empire Building leave their own legacies. They produce their own chickens that come home to roost.
Colonialism means forcible taking over of someone else's land and natural resources and exploiting them for the benefit of what is called the Mother Country.
Often it involves the subjugation or elimination of the native classes of people that are resistant to foreign occupation and control and fostering and creation of some others to replace them that are more submissive and pliable.
Empire means in part continued domination and exploitation of other peoples' lives, lands and natural resources for the benefit and advantage of the Imperial Center.
Empire building often requires the implementation of the Divide-and-Rule principle according to which different segments of a society are set against one another to facilitate continued occupation, control, domination and exploitation of their land and natural resources.
In all these cases, the ebb and flow of the colonial and imperial waves washes up on the mother countries' shores a lot of bodies from the client classes in the colonies and the periphery of the Empire.
Since a great many former colonies and a great many of those nations that bore the brunt of the most recent European Empire were Muslim, it was a lot of Muslim bodies that washed ashore in these mother countries and former and present-day Imperial Centers like France, Italy, Britain and the Netherlands.
French-Born, British-Born and Other European-Born Muslims:
That is why there are generations of Muslims living in France, Britain and other parts of the Western world that were born and brought up there.
So, who and what are all these people if not the West?
And why would they be any less of the West than anyone else living in the West?
Where are they supposed to go if they cannot live an honorable and productive life in their own places of birth and upbringing?
And what is life worth to them if they are not permitted to live life as they wish and allowed to have a voice in what happens to them and to their life and culture in the society of their birth?
And what is life worth to them if all they are allowed is a second-class existence without equal rights with their fellow-citizens?