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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(19) Islam, Muslims and the West: The Imperative of Mutual Understanding, Respect, Cooperation and Coexistence
- Islam Is above the Fray
(20) Futility of Anti-Islamism and of Anti-Americanism
- A Four-Fold Formula of National Success and Survival
- A Bit like Timex
- Corrosions in America's Soul
- Purging the Ghosts of Lynching
- A Faltering Congress
- A Six-Fold Guarantee of Divine Protection
(21) America Created to Protect Religion, Not to Destroy It
- America's Potential for Good
(22) Kaun Dushman Hai? Islam's and Muslims' Worst Enemy
- Issue Salience in the Muslim Mind
- Ignoring the Realities in the Muslim World
- Enemy Is Us
19. Islam, Muslims and the West:
The Imperative of Mutual Understanding, Respect, Cooperation and Coexistence
As a result, what is important for both Muslims and America is to realize that not just their own future but the future of the world may depend on both of them being able to work together and develop a relationship of mutual understanding, respect, trust and cooperation.
For, neither side seems likely to disappear from this world in a hurry. And both America and Muslims are here on this planet to stay. And their stay in this world is most likely to be marked by a tight embrace of economic interdependency, geopolitical imperative and mutual need.
Therefore, it will be foolish for America to appoint itself the designated crusader against Islam and Muslims, either by trying to obliterate, change, distort, dilute, corrupt, rollback, contain or dumb down Islam or by treating every Muslim as a potential natural-born enemy combatant to be either eliminated, caged, tortured, bought, bullied, defamed or destroyed.
Similarly, it will also be equally naïve and foolish on the part of Muslims to ignore or underestimate the reality of America's pervasive power and presence in this world and swear eternal hostility to America without any regard for consequences and without any prospects of rapprochement, reconciliation and cooperation.
Islam Is above the Fray:
As far as Islam is concerned, it is totally and completely above this fray. It is above all errors of judgment, above all aberrations of conduct and above all manner and forms of naivete, mischief, mendacity, spin or foolishness Muslims and Americans may be able to muster either jointly or separately. For, Islam - and the Qur'an - is directly under the protection of God Almighty.
And so, in the ultimate analysis, are the Muslims themselves as a community of believers in God, in the Prophets, in the Day of Judgment and in such things as righteousness, fairness, equality, liberty, peace, justice, service - and that something else, so very rare these days, called truth.
As an Ummah that is.
That is, as a species of people the Muslims are also under God Almighty's protection due to their very special and divinely guided belief structure as well as due to their commitment to certain types of behavior including honesty and integrity in speech and conduct - both private and public.
20. Futility of Anti-Islamism and of
Therefore, as far as Anti-Islamism is concerned, it is doomed to failure from the start. I am coining a new expression, Anti-Islamism, to capture the hate, hostility and prejudice that are now being so systematically directed against Islam and Muslims from so many different quarters.
I am somewhat skeptical of the expression Islamophobia that seems to be gaining currency of late in some Muslim circles. Not the least because it is lexically inelegant and phonetically cumbersome. At the same time, I am also not sure of its pedigree.
I am afraid some Muslims rushed into embracing it because they saw others make a rather successful use of similar sounding expressions with regard to their own causes and issues. Even the U.N. seems have embraced it. I am, however, inclined to believe that the expression Islamophobia may not stand the test of time.
Therefore, it is futile for America, or for anyone else, to seek the destruction of Islam, just as it is naïve and foolish for Muslims to seek to fight America to death.
For, Islam as we know it today is God Almighty's last, final and complete revealed truth on earth, and God Almighty has made it perfectly clear in the Qur'an that he will not allow his truth to be wiped out from the face of this earth.
An Islam-free world is simply not an option for this universe.
A Four-Fold Formula of National Success and Survival:
Both the Muslims and the Americans should know that nations and societies don't just crumble and disappear by the bitterness, hate and hostility shown to them by the weaker and disgruntled segments of humanity in what we may call the periphery.
Nations and societies generally go when the core of essential goodness on which they are founded reaches a point of hollowness and rot that is beyond all redemption.
In the imagery of the Qur'an, the secret for national survival and success over time is fourfold:
a) A sound and solid belief structure and foundation of faith. The Qur'an refers to it as Iman.
b) Good actions that meet certain minimum standards of fairness, decency, transparency, honesty, integrity, accountability and divine guidance. The Qur'an calls them Swaalihaat.
c) A generally active, vibrant and engaged social conscience. This is referred to in the Qur'an as Tawaasi Bil-Haqq;
d) A common culture of perseverance and patience. In the language of the Qur'an it is referred to as Tawaasi Bis-Sabr.
While patience may not be her strongest suit, America's case is certainly not without merit when it comes to matters of faith, good deeds and a fairly robust social conscience.
A Bit like Timex:
And whatever core of goodness America was founded upon, and which continued to be buttressed and refurbished over the subsequent decades and centuries, continues on in the tradition of that famous Timex watch advertisement: It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
That means America has the resilience to withstand winds of adversity and weakness and build on the good things of her past and craft a new and better present and future that are likely to stand the test of time.
Therefore, it is fair to say that rumors of America's imminent demise are, as Mark Twain would put it, greatly exaggerated.
Corrosions in America's Soul:
But, at the same time, one cannot ignore the fact that there are some serious corrosions in America's soul that need periodic purging and polishing.
From time to time America wakes up to that task with a yawn, a shiver and a panic attack. A task that is often fueled by a complex and volatile mix of a generally poll-driven, special-interest-beholden and opportunistic political environment; a profit-crazed, anything-goes, competitive media; a self-absorbed, grant-dependent academic elite; and a mostly credulous, myopic, comformist and neurotic public .
Purging the Ghosts of Lynching:
In one of the latest attempts at dusting and polishing America's soul, the United States Congress, according to newspaper reports, is, at the time of writing, about to pass a resolution apologizing for over 4000 documented cases of lynching in at least 46 out of 50 states between the years of 1882 and 1968.
During this period, the Congress used a tactic of non-stop talking on the floor known as filibuster to kill nearly 200 anti-lynching bills.
Seven presidents between 1890 and 1952 petitioned the Congress repeatedly on the matter but only to see their efforts fail in the face of intransigence from a Senate that simply did not want to pass legislation outlawing lynching.
A Faltering Congress:
These cases - over 4700 of them - of mob murder of targeted individuals - most of them black - known as lynching do not include the more recent incident in Jasper, Texas, where two white men chained a black man to a pickup truck and then dragged him to his death and dismemberment.
But the count does include the case of a successful black cotton farmer Anthony Crawford in 1916 or so who owned more than 400 acres of land in South Carolina. When Crawford complained to officials that he was being paid less for his cotton than the white farmers, 200-400 town people and government officials reportedly got together and hanged, shot and killed him.
Lynching was often White America's way of dealing with uppity and troublesome blacks who not only did well for themselves, but who also had an attitude of self-respect and assertiveness. Lynching was generally resorted to when certain influential elements in the community felt that the local blacks were forgetting their place.
And now the Congress is finally coming up with the goods for an apology for failing to prevent these crimes of mob inhumanity and savagery that lasted close to a century.
A Six-Fold Guarantee of Divine Protection:
At the same time, God Almighty has placed a six-fold protective enclave around the Qur'an - and, naturally, Islam. And it is fair to say even the Muslims as the professed bearers of the Qur'an.
In addition, God Almighty has also built an unassailable and impenetrable security wall - taller than the sky - around every individual Surah - chapter - of the Qur'an.
As a result, those who will seek to destroy Islam - and Qur'an - will fail and fall on their face. Therefore, the mission to destroy the Qur'an - and Islam - is not what I would recommend to those who are looking for a weekend of fun or a lifetime of fame.
Such people will be challenging and fighting God Almighty directly. And whoever will challenge and fight God Almighty directly, will be unsuccessful and will face terrible retribution from God, right here in this world as well as in the next world - as did Pharaoh and his hordes during the time of Moses, may Allah bless him, and as did so many others throughout history.