Salafis to Hindus & Buddhists: Reconvert Back to Islam


Editor’s note:

‘Keep out of politics’ .. this used to be the golden advice most Egyptian parents hoped their youngsters would abide by in order to actually stay out of trouble in a country that never allowed dissent. But the kids never listen … they heed not the warning, It’s part of their nature I presume.

May be taking to the streets and occupying Tahrir square, mostly by the youths, is something new to Egyptians, and must have been the surprise of a lifetime for a lot of the elder generation. Throughout their long history and whenever things got so bad Egyptians would spontaneously dish out jokes about politics and policy makers.

 ‘Telling jokes’ has always been their way of voicing out their dissent. They would sometimes tell jokes about themselves exposing many negative aspects in their lives. Even after the 25 January revolution, and recognizing the bitter fact that things haven’t really changed that much, Egyptians are keeping this legacy of political satire alive … and hilariously entertaining.

Indian government comes under fire as Salafis turn their attention eastward

 

El Koshary Today, Cairo - The Egyptian Salafi movement has accused the Indian government of holding captive millions of Hindus and Buddhists who had allegedly been Muslims in a previous life.

“These people had converted to Islam at some point in the distant past and they are now being kept hidden inside Buddhist temples and ashrams all over South Asia,” said Salafi leader Mohammed Hareeqa- harreqa means fire in Arabic- while ominously playing with a box of matches.

“We have given the Indian government a one month ultimatum before we smoke these captives out and reclaim them as true, properly bearded Muslim men and properly veiled Muslim women,” Hareeqa told MSM, unaware that a small part of his own beard had caught on fire when he dramatically ignited a match while saying “smoke them out.”

Meanwhile, nearly two thousand Salafis are planning to travel to Bangkok next week to protest against the huge number of Buddhists who were allegedly Muslims in previous lives but now either don’t remember or don’t seem to care.

Interestingly, when a MSM reporter pointed out to Hareeqa that Islam does not recognize reincarnation, he contracted his eyebrows: “I admit I never actually read the entire Koran — have you seen how heavy that book is? — but if their own religion says reincarnation exists and they believe they were Muslims previously, then we have to respect … uhh, wait … oops.”

The Salafis’ shift towards Asia comes after two incidences where their members were incensed by separate rumors of Christian women converting to Islam before being abducted by reportedly Mossad-trained Copts and hidden inside churches.

Hosni Mubarak

During a rally earlier this week, Hareeqa had said: “Copts are trying to control their women and hide them, but they are forgetting just who invented the niqab and the burqa. The art of hiding women is our territory, not theirs!”

Hareeqa first rose to notoriety when he attacked the Dalai Lama at a UN conference in Geneva last year, grabbing the lama by his crimson/yellow galabeya-robe- and bellowing into his face: “WERE YOU MUSLIM IN BREVIOUS LIFE??”

The Dalai Lama reportedly had to meditate for ten days straight after the attack in order to regain the ability to smile again.

In related news, former President Hosni Mubarak is reportedly aiming to be reborn as the building of a Swiss bank in Zurich for his next life. He is widely believed to have been La Vache qui Rit’s iconic laughing cow in his previous life.

Ground Zero Mosque Opens Without Much Controversy


 

park51 Islamic community center

New York – The Islamic Community Center located blocks away from where the Twin Towers once stood, and commonly referred to as the ground zero mosque, has officially opened, celebrating the day with an art exhibit that features children representing 171 ethnicities.

The ‘NYChildren Photography Exhibition’ brought visitors instead of protesters to the opening at the controversial Park51 Community Center location.

Organizers said they hoped the exhibit would inspire diversity in the community and would be a catalyst to encourage New York residents “to meet and get to know their neighbors to build trust and friendship.”

The ‘Ground Zero’ mosque ignited a political firestorm when construction began last year. Blogger’s were divided on how to describe the project. Was it a mosque or a community center, and is it located ‘at ground zero’ or near it, on Park Avenue, over two blocks away.

The project drew harsh criticism from opponents who said they didn’t want a mosque anywhere near the site of the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of thousands of victims. Protesters lined the street in front of Park51 each day for weeks, verbally attacking Islam, Muslims and anyone that appeared to be of the Muslim faith. Islamaphobia was rampant at the loosely organized events that pitted supporters against opponents of the center.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg entered the heated debate on the ‘ground zero mosque’ by coming out in support of the Islamic Community Center, and said the city would not interfere with the construction of the controversial project.

President Barack Obama defended the Islamic Community Center at a White House dinner celebrating Ramadan saying, “I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground zero is, indeed, hallowed ground. But this is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are.”

Eventually the protests and the media storm died down and the officially opening came off without a hitch.

Developer Sharif El-Gamal told The Associated Press, “We made incredible mistakes. The biggest mistake we made was not to include 9/11 families. We didn’t understand that we had a responsibility to discuss our private project with family members that lost loved ones.” El-Gamal said they “never really connected with community leaders and activists.”

Today the vision of the completed project has changed, according to El-Gamal. He said, “the center is open to all faiths and will include a 9/11 memorial. It’s an Islamic community center serving all of New York, and based on pluralism and diversity. Any opposition to the center today would be part of a ‘campaign against Muslims.'”

Special thanks to Digital Journal

Exposé on Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion


Vanguard

By Douglas Anele

Richard Dawkins

Dawkins admits, for example, that Jesus’ doctrine of “turning the other cheek was” way ahead of his time, and anticipated Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King by two thousand years. Yet the family values Jesus exhibited sometimes were not worthy of emulation: his brusqueness to his mother and prescription that his disciples must abandon their families and everything else and follow him are exemplary in this regard (p. 284).

The author highlights and correctly criticised absurdities in the doctrine of original sin, and described the Christian notion of atonement as “vicious, sado-masochistic and repellent” (p. 287). Dawkins reiterates the point, often deliberately ignored by Christian apologists, that much of the moral consideration for others advocated in The Holy Bible was originally intended to apply only to a narrowly defined group. He acknowledges that there is some improvement in moral values globally, but attributes it not to a single factor such as religion but to the complex interplay of disparate forces.

Chapter 7 ended with the observation that religion has motivated so many brutal wars, whereas atheism, or absence of belief, hasn’t, because a more plausible motive for waging war “is unshakeable faith that one’s own religion is the only true one, reinforced by a holy book that explicitly condemns all heretics and followers of rival religions to death, and explicitly promises that the soldiers of God will go straight to a martyrs’ heaven” (p. 316).

Chapter 8 has the interesting title “What’s wrong with religion? Why be so hostile?” In it, Dawkins defends his anti-religious atheistic stance. He distinguishes between fundamentalism and passion. A genuine fundamentalist believes a proposition not on the basis of evidence but because the proposition in question is contained in a purported holy book. Dawkins attributes his passionate defence of evolution to the fact that religious fundamentalists are missing the impressive, awesome, evidence in favour of the theory because of blind adherence to antiquated ancient literature.

Moreover, anyone who accepts a proposition on the basis of scientific evidence knows what it would take to make him change his mind, and would readily do so if the necessary evidence were forthcoming. But a genuine believer can never do that. Hard core fundamentalist religion is antithetical to scientific education of the youth, by teaching children right from the beginning that unquestioning faith is a virtue (p. 323). On the dark side of religious absolutism, Dawkins points out that in Muslim countries conversion to another religion or making statements which religious authorities consider “blasphemous” is punishable by death. He cites the case of Sadiq Abdul Karim Malallah who, in September 3, 1992, was publicly beheaded in Saudi Arabia “after being lawfully convicted of apostasy and blasphemy” (p. 325).

Dawkins also acknowledges the existence of fundamentalist “Taliban mentality” in Christian countries, particularly the United States. He also refers to the fallacious arguments religious bigots marshal against homosexuality and abortion. One of such bad reasoning is the anti-abortionist argument (or Great Beethoven Fallacy) that abortion is wrong because it deprives a baby of the opportunity of a full human life in the future (p. 337).

According to Dawkins, Peter and Jean Medawar have blown the argument out of the water by arguing that, if taken to its logical conclusion, it means that we deprive a human soul of the gift of existence anytime we fail to seize an opportunity for sexual intercourse (p. 339). Dawkins condemned the so-called “moderates” in religion, on the ground that they see nothing wrong in teaching children the dangerous notion that believing certain propositions without question or justification but based solely on faith is good. He maintains, and I agree completely, that inculcating in children unquestioned faith primes them to grow up into potentially lethal weapons for future jihads, crusades and suicide bombers.

Having argued trenchantly in chapter 8 that indoctrination and brainwashing of children with dogmatic religious doctrines is a grievous wrong, Dawkins followed it up in chapter 9 with a dissection of religion-motivated child abuse and how the dangers associated with faith can be avoided. He tells the sad story of how, in 1858, a six-year old child of Jewish parents living in Bologna, Italy, named Edgardo Mortara was legally abducted by the papal police in accordance with orders from the Inquisition. The little boy was brutally taken away from his weeping mother and distraught father to the Catechumens in Rome and reared as a Catholic. Apart from occasional brief visits under close watch by priests he was never seen again by his parents (p. 349).

Dawkins highlights the physical and mental abuses children are subjected to in the name of religion, and decries the nonchalant attitude towards, and ignoble defence, by the clergy and some highly-placed individuals of those who committed atrocities against children in the name or religion (pp. 350-379). He criticises the hypocrisy of accommodating extremist religious absurdities and deadly practices such as human sacrifices in the name of “cultural and religious diversity”; he laments the wastage of human and material resources for religious purposes.

Dawkins highlights the dangers inherent in deliberately twisting ideas culled from science to suit preconceived religious beliefs. However, although he was highly critical of the complacency and mis-education of children in scientific knowledge by faith-based educational institutions, he acknowledges the educational benefits of studying comparative religion as a part of literary culture. On pp. 383-385, he lists some useful and handy phrases, idioms and clichés from the King James Authorised Version of The Holy Bible.

Surely, he says, “ignorance of the Bible is bound to impoverish one’s appreciation of English literature.” Thus, he concludes that an atheistic world-view does not justify abolition of The Holy Bible and other sacred books from the educational system. According to Dawkins, “we can retain a sentimental loyalty to the cultural and literary traditions of, say, Judaism, Anglicanism or Islam, and even participate in religious rituals such as marriages and funerals, without buying into the supernatural beliefs that historically went along with those traditions. We can give up belief in God while not losing touch with a treasured heritage” (p. 387).

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Pyramidion’s editorial policy.

Women under Sharia Law – The Dilemma of “Wife Beating Protocol”


By alfadi

" Aicha" Arabian Woman. A painting by Frederick Arthur Bridgman 1883

The Quran is the source of all personal status laws in Islamic countries. Therefore, the rules of religious jurisprudence concerning the position and treatment of women are also based on the Quran. In order to fully understand the position of women in Islam, one must first examine the Quranic rules concerning them. Our dilemma in today’s article has to do with the Quranic command for husbands to beat their wives.

A. Man’s Supreme Authority

The Quran gives a man complete authority in marriage: “Men stand superior to women…” (Q 4.34). The Quran justifies giving this authority to the man for the following reasons:

First, preference is given to him by the nature of his physical ability: “God hath preferred some of them over others…” (Q 4.34).

Second, preference is given to him by reason of his financial ability: “and in that they expend of their wealth…” (Q 4.34).

Apparently this higher position of man does not change even if “a woman has enough money to support herself without needing him to spend money on her, or even if she has so much money that she can spend it on him.”15 This preference is because a man has authority over a woman according to the Quran, the ultimate source of Sharia Law, regardless of his or her economic situation.

The leading authorities of Islam state that this ruling of the Quran is an everlasting one as reported by al-Aqqad:

It precedes the development of civilizations and general legislations and remains past them.”

B. Wife’s Relationship to Husband

In Islam, the wife is a slave to her husband. The Islamic traditions stress that a woman should obey her husband’s commands. The story is told of a man who ordered his wife not to leave the house while he was traveling. During his absence, her father became ill, so she sent to the prophet of Islam asking for permission to go to her father. The response she received was: “Obey your husband.” Her father died, so she then requested permission to go see her father’s body before burial. Again the response was: “Obey your husband.”  When her father was buried, the prophet sent her a message saying, “Allah [god] has forgiven her father because of her obedience to her husband.” In other words, once married, the woman’s complete emotional and intellectual abilities belong to her husband.

In addition to absolute obedience, a woman should revere her husband because Islam teaches that, “If a woman knew the right of a husband, she would not sit at his lunch and supper time until he finishes.” One time, a woman came to the prophet of Islam to ask about her obligations to her husband. He said, “If he had pus from his hair part to his foot [from head to toe] and you licked him, you would not have shown him enough gratitude.”

Obedience and reverence towards her husband are two of the wife’s duties. These duties form an element of worship for her. As the prophet of Islam once said, “If a woman prays her five prayers, fasts the month of fasting, keeps her chastity, and obeys her husband, she will enter the paradise of her Lord.” In addition, Allah will not accept the prayer of a woman if her husband is angry with her.

C. Husband’s Right to Punish His Wife

The Quran gives the husband the right to punish his wife if she goes outside the parameters that he draws for her. It provides men with instructions: “But those whose perverseness ye fear, admonish them and remove them into bed-chambers and beat them; but if they submit to you, then do not seek a way against them...” (Q 4.34).

In fact, in reading the verse above one will notice that these instructions were given to the husband concerning a wife whom he ONLY fears disloyalty, not a wife that actually committed a disloyal act. These instructions include the following step-by-step process:

1. Instructing

At the beginning of marriage, a husband reminds his wife about the rights that are given to him by Sharia Law. He can say to her, “Fear Allah! I have rights due to me from you. Repent from what you are doing. Know that obedience to me is one of your obligations.” If the wife refuses to fulfill the sexual desires of her husband, then he should remind her of his rights over her body.

2. Sexual Abandonment

The Arabic word used in the verse to describe abandonment (hajr) on the part of the husband can carry multiple meanings:

• Desertion

If a wife remains “disobedient,” her husband should ignore her. This means he abstains from sexual intercourse with her as part of this phase of punishment.

• Forced Sexual Intercourse (“tightening the bindings”)

While the word hajr is interpreted to mean “to refuse to share their beds,” the word hajr has several meanings. One of these meanings indicates the hajr of the camel when the owner binds the animal with a hijar, or rope. This disturbing interpretation means that the term used in Q 4.34 (“refuse to share their beds”) can actually mean to bind the wife and force her to have sexual intercourse.

This meaning is the adopted view of al-Tabari, a renowned classical Islamic commentator. Other scholars, who also support this interpretation, state “it means to tie them up and force them to have [sexual] intercourse.”

The Quranic principle of a man’s right to a woman’s body is not open for discussion. Regardless of her psychological or physical state, she has to obey the man’s command to lie in bed and have sexual relations with him. After all, the prophet of Islam repeatedly made statements advocating this view:

If a man calls his woman to his bed, and she does not come, and then he goes to bed angry at her, the angels will curse her until the morning.”

3. Beating

If the previous methods, including instruction and verbal abuse, fail to correct a wife’s behavior, then a husband is given the right to beat his wife. Even though verse Q 4.34 does not specify the mode or limit of the beating, it is believed that the prophet of Islam put a condition on the beating, classifying it as “not excessive.” As a result, when interpreting the phrase “not excessive beating,” scholars offer the following guidelines:

• Avoid hitting the wife’s face.

• Do not break any of the wife’s bones.

• Use nonfatal implements or physical force:

° Such as the use of al-siwak (a twig of the Salvadora persica tree), or shoe laces, etc.

° and the use of hand, etc. [hitting, slapping, punching the neck and chest, etc.]

The wife may receive a beating for every behavior that incites the anger of her husband or for every act that her husband does not like. Current Islamic literature supports the legitimacy of beating and its benefit for “upbringing.”

For example, the Egyptian scholar Muhammad Mitwalli al-Sha‘rawi (AD 1911-1998), who was considered among the top Muslim thinkers in the twentieth century, records his position:

Beating is not a sign of hatred. It could be a sign of love. As long as it is not excessive, it would only cause a small amount of pain. A person might resort to lightly beating the loved one due to desiring what is in the person’s [best] interests and due to caring about the person. A woman, by her very nature, understands that, coming from her husband. She knows that his anger at her and his punishing her…will soon pass away and with its passing, its causes will pass. Therefore, they remain in their relationship as if nothing happened.

Conclusion

Ironically, Islamic literature claims that Islam as a religion has improved the position of women and is the only religious doctrine that honors women. History shows that Islam did accomplish some limited advancement in the position of women during the seventh century in certain aspects such as, limiting the number of wives to four in comparison to the practices during that era in the Arabian Peninsula. Conversely, many of the changes implemented by Islam were not positive. The Quran permits men to beat their wives, making domestic abuse a divinely permissible act rather than just an individual behavior.

It is worthy to note that in various ancient societies and throughout human history, women have lived under the oppression of social injustice. However, our dilemma, when it comes to the position of women in Islam, stems from the fact that Islam is seen as the final religion and source of law by its followers. Hence, the position of women is fixed, and rulings, such as the beating of a wife, must remain in place as specified by the Quran. Though in modern society a woman may work and share in the financial burdens of life, she will still be deprived of equality because the Quran commands it so. Overall, the Quranic rules regarding the treatment of women can still be used today as tools of oppression in the hand of the Muslim man. Any effort she exerts other than that is of no value.”

About the author: Al Fadi is a former Wahhabi Muslim, originally from Saudi Arabia. He is a co-author and editor of the scholarly book entitled The Qu’ran Dilemma

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent Pyramidion’s editorial policy

How much do you know about religion?


And how do you compare with the average American? Here’s your chance to find out.

Take our short, 15-question quiz, and see how you do in comparison with 3,412 randomly sampled adults who were asked these and other questions in the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey. This national poll was conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life from May 19 through June 6, 2010, on landlines and cell phones, in English and Spanish.

When you finish the quiz, you will be able to compare your knowledge of religion with participants in the national telephone poll. You can see how you compare with the overall population as well as with people of various religious traditions, people who attend worship services frequently or less often, men and women, and college graduates as well as those who did not attend college.

For a full analysis of the findings of the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, read the full report.

Take the Quiz

Your responses on the quiz do NOT affect the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey’s results.

Ground Zero mosque is not at Ground Zero and not a mosque


By Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

After 9/11 attacks, islamophobia began to take shape in the collective consciousness of the American and western general public.

But for the American Muslims it was a lot more than viewing this antipathy on TV, they were living it, day in and day out. 

Islamophobia

 

Exchange among civilizations is a tremendous source for the creation of value and most of all, the value of diversity and tolerance.

 Human history is replete with disasters brought about by attitudes of arrogance and superiority complex based on race, color, language and religious affiliation. And the latter has been the example of the latest uproar over what is called Ground zero mosque in lower Manhattan, New York.

 The New York Landmarks Preservation commission on Tuesday denied landmark status to a building near the World Trade Center site, freeing a group to convert the property into an Islamic community center and mosque that has drawn national opposition.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 9-0, saying the 152-year-old building – two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -wasn’t special or distinctive enough to meet criteria to qualify as a landmark

Thus the Islamic community that hopes to build a $100 million mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero has cleared an important hurdle – the legal approval to build on the site. But they still have to overcome a fierce and seemingly insurmountable hurdle which is the growing American antipathy toward the so called Ground Zero mosque.

What makes the problem almost insurmountable is the deeply and painfully misconceived history upon which it has to stand.

 In the opponents view, building a mosque so close to the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center disrespects the memory of those killed. Supporters of the plan argue that building the center and mosque would be the ultimate test of the nation’s commitment to tolerance and religious freedom.

 Mayor Michael Bloomberg underscored this freedom in a passionate defense of the center this week: “The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan. Any way, the emotions this debate has ignited are intense and contradictory.

National and New York politicians and public protestors have come out in recent weeks against plans for the mosque, saying that pushing to build a conspicuous Muslim institution near this site demonstrates a profound lack of emotional intelligence and understanding of the raw emotions that are the legacy of the terrorist attacks.

Rationalization of bigotry.

Honest American citizens, who have come to know pure demagoguery when they hear it, have lately had, plenty of practice, listening to what opponents of the mosque project had to say.

First, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, have argued against a mosque being so close to the scene of the nation’s worst terrorist attack. And added that, it would only lead to unnecessary provocation.

Mark Williams, chairman of the Tea Party Express, blogged about the 13-story mosque and Islamic cultural center planned at Park Place and Broadway, calling it a monument to the 9/11 terrorists.

The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that battles anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, in a contradicting statement, is asking that the Islamic centre and mosque be built farther away from ground zero in consideration of families who lost loved ones during the Sep 11, 2001 attacks.

Meanwhile, in a statement that reflected the ultimate demagoguery, Republican running for Governor Carl Paladino released a video statement on Monday saying he would stop the mosque if he was elected.

The real reason behind the debate over Ground Zero mosque

 

 “We had Islamic fundamentalists who killed 3,000 people at the World Trade Center site and are trying to kill more since then, so to have a Mosque at that site will stir up feelings – and antagonistic ones,” says Douglas Muzzio, a professor of political science at Baruch College in New York. in this statement, Prof. Muzzio simply summarized the problem behind the furious debate on this mosque issue.

People are against this project, not because it is at Ground Zero, but simply because Muslims are behind it. And Muslims – in the back of the Americans` mind – are considered the perpetrators of the 9/11 atrocities.Terrorism is not an ideology, it is a tool; but the terrorists kill for an ideology. They call that ideology Islam. This is the direct message that the mainstream media insisted on delivering in the aftermath of 9/11.

9/11 terrorist attacks.

The American public did not bother to question this weird narrative. A terrified post 9/11 public needed a suspect, a villain to point the finger at, and that evil force that aimed to destroy America was already tailored and prepared- in the white house political kitchen – as Islam.

Thus with the 9/11 attacks a new era of growing antagonism to other creed began to emerge in a way never witnessed since the fall of communism, and islamophobia began to take shape in the collective consciousness of the American and western general public.

It is not at Ground zero and it is not a mosque.

 

To be accurate the Ground Zero mosque is not at Ground Zero. It’s near Ground Zero; leaving out the “near” clearly takes sides — against the “mosque” and against accuracy.

 And furthermore, it is not a mosque, it is designed and planned to function as an Islamic cultural center under the label of Cordoba House Islamic cultural center (which is to include a prayer room — not a single-purpose house of worship for Muslims, which is probably what we should reserve the word “mosque” for.)

There’s no good reason why Cordoba House should be misleadingly called a “mosque. . It is designed as a multi-use complex with a space set aside for prayer — no minarets, no muezzin calls to prayer blaring onto Park Place.”

The world Muslim community numbers about 1.57 billion people, roughly one-fifth of the world population.

 This community has to do their Friday prayer, gathered together in a house for prayer. Giving the knowledge that, an average mosque could accommodate around 200 people. How many mosques- in your opinion- should be built for the Muslims around the world?

 If we do math, we will find that the Muslims are in need of a scary number of mosques to enable them to perform their prayer. But honestly speaking, this represents no problem at all to the Muslims.

 For the Muslims, the earth is a big mosque, a Muslim can do his prayer rituals anywhere, in the open air or in a room, in land or at sea, standing or sitting and if he cannot move at all he could do it with his heart.

It’s not unfamiliar scene to watch the Muslims all around the world gathered in hundreds and thousands in the open air performing prayer and dispersing soon after they finish, leaving the place as it was before.

And if that is the case, then why the American Muslim community insists on building what the media called “Ground Zero mosque”. I think it is obvious now that they want to build something a lot more than a simple mosque, something they really need, something that is worth more than $ 100 million  and worthy of all the hardship they have to endure to make this dream like project come true.

The need to prove the obvious

 

The Manhattan project is being spearheaded by the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement. In other words, the American Muslim community.

The American Muslims were terribly affected by the attacks of 9/11; Muslims around the world had been troubled by the irritating and somehow indirect accusation of Islam, as a doctrine promoting terror and intolerance.

 All the world Muslim community could get a glimpse of that growing western antipathy toward them through reading the daily papers and watching the news on TV screens. But for the American Muslims it was a lot more than viewing this antipathy on TV, they were living it, day in and day out.

And though 40 to 50 of the 9/11 victims were American Muslims, and though Muslims in America grieved with their fellow Americans. Still they couldn’t escape the stereotyping of all Muslims that was underway.

What is also clear is that any personal antipathy toward any given person ought not predispose us to assume that he is guilty. But the American Muslims were predisposed to feel suspects ever since 9/11.

 The American Muslims knew for a fact, as president bush once said that, on 9/11, Islam had been high jacked by a bunch of crazy fanatics who happened to claim adherence to Islam.

The American community couldn’t live with this growing feeling of not belonging as they watched the post -9/11 proliferating xenophobia.

The address of the Cordoba center.

The American Muslims had to do something to change this negative attitude, they had to stand out from the mainstream and risk their comfort and maybe their reputation to defend what ought to be taken for granted, They had to convince the media and political establishment, and even the general public, that Islam did not attack the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, sick and twisted men did. They had to persuade them that it is unfair and even harmful to feel this antagonist way about a great culture and turn a blind eye to the valuable contributions of Islam to the world civilization throughout history.

 They had to establish this “Cordoba cultural center” to initiate an interfaith and intercultural dialogue aimed at redefining Islam to the Americans. And putting an end to the absurd and deliberate scheme that helped characterize and link Islam and Muslims to terror.

 And as Thomas L. Friedman, the New York columnist described opposition to this project as “resistance to diversity.”The proposed Islamic center should be considered as a symbol of tolerance in a free society. Only in such way, the building of the so called Ground Zero mosque could make a statement.

Civilizations have met, interacted and transacted with one another throughout history. The meeting of civilizations was not always a smooth phenomenon. But it always proved a worthy endeavor.