Saturday, August 21, 2004

The Two Faces of Islam In America

Update: Aug 22, 2004:
This posting is edited...the second article I originally referred to from the Triangle, is fake. I did not delete this post because I wanted to show two things: I will not hide mistakes, but will show them to you and explain how they were created; I did not want to delete the article from Mohammed Alo, which I believe gives an excellent explanation as to why many find Islam to be a scary specter in our communities and what a Muslim thinks his fellow believers should do to overcome that image.

Original Article:

In support of my most recent post, I wanted to give you two examples of Muslim's writing for two news organizations that reflect the two different views of Islam.

The Understanding Gap; Toledo Muslims By Mohammed Alo.

While most demographers talk about an age gap, or gender gap, or education gap, I am going to talk about the growing ‘understanding gap.’ Huh? What on earth is an understanding gap?

The Muslim community in the U.S. seems to be suffering from an understanding gap. While some Muslims are progressive and forward looking, others seem to be more prehistoric and arcane. The progressive Muslims view themselves as a part of America, vote in every election, have non-Muslim friends, and interact with the society around them. While the prehistoric faction seems to be bent on living their lives as if they are continually trying to safeguard their identity and hiding away from society at large.

Even a Muslim can recognize when people have "gone off the reservation", went to the dark side.

This following item was posted April 2, by Sheikh Usama ibn Akhmed is a professor of wahabbism at Drexel University and the president of Wahabbism Now for America.

America is corrupt! America is immoral! America is ruled by Satan, who employs the Jews to carry out his bidding! If you are still reading this, that means that there is still some hope for your soul. I, Sheikh Usama ibn Akhmed, am the president of Wahabbism Now for America. Our organization recognizes the massive moral shortcomings of this immoral culture and attempts to fix it by enforcing the purest form of Islam; this form of Islam, Wahabbism, is the law of the Holy Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and we will impose it on America and all its inhabitants.

When I first read this, I lauged and lauged. If you were trying to convince people your way was right and they should join you, you just told them they suck. Not a good idea.

Later, then I got a little irritated. I'm thinking, "ungrateful bastard" and "why isn't this guy on the first boat to the magical Kingdom of Saudi Arabia"? Then I got really angry becaue this damn letter is in the Drexel University school newspaper and this is what our children learn when they go to college.

You should read both sites carefully so that you can get the whole picture.

Update...never mind...don't read it. This last article was a fake.

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