Archive for July, 2009

Can Muslims be American

Can Muslims be Americans? They ask... By: Dr. Aslam Abdullah
Can Muslim Americans be loyal to America? She asked. The immediate response of the person to whom the question was addressed was a big no. It didn’t surprise many who were present during the conversation as many nodded their heads affirmatively. It was an ordinary discussion in a home setting where friends and relatives had gathered and some of them had raised the issue of loyalty of Muslim Americans. An elected public official from California, who chooses to remain anonymous, was also present at the gathering. She told the audience not to jump to conclusions and that she would present the questions raised at the gathering, to a Muslim who she knew. She forwarded me a list of issues that were brought up at the ...

Is being a Good Person the same in Every Faith

Is being a good person the same in every faith? A guiding light Rushdy El-Ghussein, former president of the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City: In Islam the good is to follow God’s commands as conveyed by his prophets and messengers, to accept and grow from everything that God sends, to establish right dealings among human beings, and to conserve and protect the environments we live in. Although I cannot speak for other faiths, I would consider that other God-revealed religions would agree on this. However, human beings have limited knowledge and experience to understand all issues concerned, so differences in interpretation and opinion develop. It is in the nature of human beings to revolt and doubt everything. Sometimes we heed the advice, and sometimes we ignore it. Our paren...

Islam, Muslims, and Reform

Islam, Muslims, and Reform By Dr. Nazir Khaja Board Member, MCA Chairman, Islamic Information Service, US The Turkish Government has recently launched a reform initiative, which is raising many eyebrows. With the view of modernization of Islam it has embarked upon the task of publishing a document that represents a revolutionary reinterpretation of the religion. A team of theologians from Ankara University has been assigned the task of revising Hadith, the second most important foundational basis of Islam. The Hadiths are a compendium of Prophet Muhammad's directives and sayings, which the Muslims hold to be authoritative in guiding them in their conduct in all matters. Its authority is next to the Qu'ran, which is God's revealed word to the Prophet, yet it also serves as the principal gui...

Empowering Islam in America: Political Guidelines

Religion is much in vogue nowadays. Most of the presidential candidates in the 2008 election cycle rely on niche politics, and most of them have been forced to pursue the niche of religiosity, because people seek religion in times of instability, doubt, and fear. None of the candidates, however, have done well in spelling out specifically what this means for issues of conscience in American domestic and foreign policy. Neither have Muslims. They follow specific niches that address their own narrow, special interests. Many have bumper stickers that read, “Islam is the answer,” but they need to spell it out both in theory and practice. What is the theory? The theory is simple. All the revealed religions contain a universal paradigm of thought. Muslims call this Islam. It is ba...

What Baptists Learned at ISNA Convention

What I Learned and Heard From Two Days Among American Muslims at the ISNA Convention Robert Parham The annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America was more like an annual convention of Baptists than most Baptists would want to know: leaders wrapped the will of God around appeals for funds; scripture citation was frequent; cell phones rang at inopportune times; participants were more interested in hallway fellowship than platform presentations; displays sold books, CDs, DVDs, religious trinkets and hair loss-prevention products. Some speakers were dynamic; others were pedantic. Some attendees were smartly dressed; others were casually clad. Unlike Baptist conventions of the South, the ISNA convention had more strollers, more teenagers and a lot more racial and ethnic diversity...

Responding to Islamophobia

Aslam Abdallah, Ph.D, Board Member of MCA
Islam bashing, Islamophobia and Hate Islam are a deliberate campaign led by some journalists, religious fanatics and liberal as well as conservative commentators. They want to denounce Islam as a barbaric religion promoting violence and hatred against non Muslims. Ironically, the campaign is centered in a country where Muslims have been the most peaceful citizens for the last several centuries despite the fact that they were subject to all sorts of persecution. African Muslim slaves were forced to convert to Christianity and many of them were killed for refusing to succumb to the wishes of their masters. Yet, none of the descendents of those persecuted Muslims ever indulged in reciprocating the acts of barbarism, their forefathers had u...

Are Muslims in America to be considered a Minority

Mohammad Akhtar, Ph.D, Chairperson, Muslims Council of America
It is estimated that 20 % of peoples’ parents in America are from foreign lands. The mid 1960s , seems to have witnessed the start of a strong wave of migrants from Asia because of liberalization of the laws such as the 1965 Immigration Act. A good number of Muslim immigrants came shortly after and probably peaked towards the end of 1970s. The majority of these immigrants came from South Asia, followed by the Middle East and then the Far East. A significant proportion of them were admitted -- not necessarily accepted, as immigrants on the basis of their professional qualifications. A point to note here is that these two differences are what set Muslims apart from Blacks, and tend to render their discriminatio...

American Muslims: A part of America’s pluralism

Dr. Souheil Ghannouchi
The United States of America is a pluralistic society par excellence. It is a country that does not have a state religion, and Americans do not constitute one race or one ethnicity. Immigrants have built the USA. Ever since Europeans began settling in what is now the United States by the 16th century, people from different parts of the world have migrated here. They have come from many different religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Most immigrants came voluntarily; but some were brought by force while others were forced to come. All groups have faced the challenge of preserving their identity through cultural practices, traditions or religious observances. Although many, initially, elected isolationism to preserve that cultural identity, they we...

Our Website

M.Akhtar,Ph.D, Chairperson, MCA Foundation
It is with humility and yet with great pride that MCA presents its website in the hope that it marks as a distinct addition to the profusion of websites of myriad kinds. Like the organization, the website also has a clear and sharp focus on serving Muslims of America with a distinct and contemporay view of Islam along with a clear and definite commitment to America. Blind adherence to centuries old rulings has to change and Islam needs to be reinterpreted to meet the emerging demands of the new world. In its pursuit we join Tariq Ramadan in his "call to reform Islam that goes beyond adaptation to envision bold and creative solutions to transform the present and the future".As regards our committment to America and how we feel, Ameri...

Muslim and Reforms

Nazir Khaja,MD, Board memebr of MCA
(This is to acknowledge the publication of this article in Pakistan links also.For the details on the move to ban Burqa in France, one may like to read go to News) President Nicolas Sarkozy recently told French lawmakers in a major policy speech that the burka is not welcome in secular France. Condemning the head-to-toe covering used by some Muslim women, he said, "We cannot accept to have in our countrywomen who are prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, and deprived of identity. That is not the idea that the French republic has of woman’s dignity. The burka is not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience", and, "It will not be welcome on...

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