- "President's Ramadan Message " (October 24, 2003)
- "BACKGROUNDER: THE PRESIDENT'S QUOTES ON ISLAM / In the President’s Words: Respecting Islam " (2001-2002)
I'll admit I'm biased. I want to believe that
- Osama bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are not the best that Islam has to offer
- Islam is not a bizarre, dangerous remnant from the days of the Frankish Kingdom, Beowulf, Prince Shôtoku and the Tang Dynasty.
Three OutfitsThe Free Muslims Coalition has a statement about terrorism which is refreshingly straightforward: "The Free Muslims Coalition believes that there can NEVER be a justification for terrorism." (from "Issues / Terrorism") They also have a remarkably perceptive view of the place of democracy in the Middle East: "The Free Muslims Coalition strongly supports the promotion of democracy in the Middle East. However, the Coalition cautions that imposing democracy on the Middle East without first promoting secularism and destroying terrorism may lead to the creation of Islamic extremist states that will ultimately reject the democracy that brings them to power." (from "Issues / Democracy")
Muslims Against Terrorism (M-A-T) claims to be the "First Anti-Terrorism NGO in the World for Global Peace and Justice / (Founded in Calgary on January 11, 1998) puts its Mission Statement right under the home page titles: "To be the leading Muslim organization in the world for creating awareness about the dangers of terrorism and it's various causes such as oppression, exploitation and injustice, and unite people to stop terrorism."
Sounds good. And, since M-A-T says "We Muslims strongly condemn the American aggression and cruelty in Iraq and elsewhere...." I'm a little surprised that we haven't heard more about this very socially-conscious organization.
M-A-T also should do its homework, though, when it makes statements about other religions. On the same FAQ page cited above, they say: "The difference between Islam and other religions is that the Islam provides complete and specific guidance to its followers in all possible aspects of life, while the other religions provide guidelines only in a few aspects of life."
start digressionI'm a devout Catholic, and have some familiarity with Church teachings. The Church doesn't cover details like how often to floss your teeth or whether cars are moral or not. On the other hand, there are rules for how to run your business and how to be an employer or an employee (2426-2436, a husband (1610, 1615, 1659), a wife (1605, 1659), a parent (2221-26), a child (2214-20). We're even told how to get ready for death (1014). The Catechism (official English edition) is a good starting point. Those four-digit numbers are paragraph references in the Catechism. Here are some more aspects of life that the Church spells out:
- Government of nations and other communities (1877-1927, 2213)
- Marriage (1601-1666)
- Family (1655-58, 1625-1666, 1914, 2201-2233, 2436, 2685)
- Education 1906, 2221-24, 2228-30
end digressionIslam for Today's "Muslims against Terrorism" makes the position of Islam for Today very clear.
Islam for Today uses quotes from the Quran and the Prophet Mohammed ("By God, he is not a true believer, from whose mischief his neighbors do not feel secure" and "Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds.") and a link to "Insights from Imam Tamman Adi of the Islamic Cultural Center of Eugene, Oregon."
There's more on that page, but what jumped out at me was a "memo to Usama bin Laden:" "'I would rather live in America under Ashcroft and Bush at their worst, than in any "Islamic state" established by ignorant, intolerant and murderous punks like you and Mullah Omar at their best.'" ("A thought-provoking, controversial, pre-war article by Muqtedar Khan, Ph.D., February 12, 2003")Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics," "follows moderate Muslims who have challenged the "Islamists" who espouse a more radical view of their religion. The film shows the Islamists advocating, among other things, the imposition of Sharia law on Muslims in the West, the stoning of women who commit adultery, and even violence and terrorism."
The Public Broadcasting System bankrolled the film. When they viewed it, it was taken out of their "America at a Crossroads" series. The PBS chiefs running "America at a Crossroads" told the filmmakers that the film, called "Islam vs. Islamists" at that point, was "alarmist" and "overreaching." PBS wouldn't run it.
I do see PBS's point. The film's producers, Martyn Burke, Frank Gaffney, and Islamism expert Alex Alexiev, tracked moderate Muslims in key positions:
- Denmark - Politician Naser Khader
- France - Filmmaker Mohammed Sifaoui
- Canada - Talk-show host Tarek Fatah
- Chicago, Illinois - Former Nation of Islam member Edmond Abdul Hafeez
- Flint, Michigan - Sheikh Kabbani, the imam
who warned State Department officials of Osama bin Laden's terrorism influence three years before the Sept. 11 attacks
A Wisconsin-born Muslim living in Arizona, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, says, "The cancer that is within our community is I don't believe the majority," in the film "I think it's a minority, it's a minor, minor, minor, minority that are radicalized or violent but the majority I believe look at the lens of politics through an Islamist lens.
"If we give them and let them handle the mantle of religion that they seek to exploit for their own geo-political issues all over the globe, then we are really going to lose this war."
Maybe the film is alarmist, after all. But there are times and places for alarm, and one of them is now.
I'm going to be watching "Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics" in a little less than two hours. It's airing at 9 p.m. ET today, on the FOX News Channel.
A DVD of the complete "Islam v. Islamist" DVD is available at www.islamdocumentary.com.Posts about "Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics:"
- "Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics" - This blogger's introduction (last section of "Muslims, Terrorism, Islam, PBS, and 'Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics'")
- "Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics:" Denmark
- "Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics:" Canada
- "Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics:" Canada - Women
- "Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics:" Chicago
- "Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics:" Michigan
- "Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics:" Arizona
- "Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics:" France
Related posts, on Islam, Christianity, Religion, Culture and the War on Terror.
Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred