Muslims are on the defensive. Imams, Muslim leaders, bloggers and others trip over themselves to tell the American public they are not terrorists. It will only be a short matter of time before Muslims begin introducing themselves as “hi, my name is Muhammad, and I am not a terrorist.”
These Muslims think if they constantly criticize other Muslims, even Muslims with absolutely no connection to terrorism, that they will immunize themselves against the Islamophobes. Some will say we are not extremists in a constructive way and then challenge the American definition of extremism and this is healthy to the dialogue or they will condemn actual extremists within the community. Others unfortunately, and many in the blogosphere, are using this opportunity to actually aid and assist in the persecution of fellow Muslims. They give the idea to the media, and law-enforcement, that those who they call Wahabbis, Salafis that is, there is no such thing as a Wahabbi, are all extremists and terrorists. Ok, it is fine to have a religious disagreement with Salafis, but why aid in their persecution and joy in their suffering? Is this not nifaq? Do you take joy in the FBI knocking on peoples doors repeatedly because “someone said you were a Wahabbi?”
While Sheikh Ali al-Timimi, May Allah bless him and grant him justice,
is incarcerated, do you feel the pain of your fellow Muslim? Or do you see “well one less Wahabbi to worry about.” If that is your attitude I ask you this; is that the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (s) did He (s) not say that “one does not fully believe until he wants for his brother what he wants for himself.” Do you only wish to honor the Prophet (S) through duah and praise or do you truly seek to follow his (s) Sunnah?
While Muslims are being slaughtered in Iraq, Palestine, Chechnya, Uzbekistan and throughout the world we have many Muslims who cannot even assert themselves to defend their fellow Muslims. Instead they reserve their energy to trash fellow Muslims and argue over minuet points of the deen in the case of some extreme Salafis and to obsess about the evils of so-called Wahabbis in many Sufi circles (therefore an issue like that of Mukhtara Mai, which I sympathize with, takes supremacy over 100,000 dead Muslims in Iraq and Muslims right here in America being persecuted).
The root of the problem is that Muslims are on the defensive. We have the deen of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger (s) and we are the Ummah of Muhammad(s); why should we be the ones who are on the defensive?
This defensiveness is largely coming from two camps. The first camp is a group of Westernized elite in the Muslim World who only wish they could return to their mothers womb and be born in Paris of London. They have an inferiority complex and they see all things non-western as backwards, including Islam, but due to cultural reasons they cannot just come outright and say they do not want to be Muslims in many cases (others are believing Muslims but conflicted). They seek to aid and assist the West at all times and to distinguish themselves from the unenlightened and ignorant Muslims who seek to follow a different path than that of the West.
The second group is in the West, and let us just now focus on America. Groups of mostly second-generation immigrant Muslims, and white converts, some of them are true and sincere Muslims, while others only have Muslim names and have no association with the practice of Islam.
This group grew up in middle-class or upper-class America, were educated in good schools for the most part, and are consumers of the American media and pop culture and they seek to be a part of this culture. They know that now Muslims are not a part of mainstream American life and that we as Muslims are sitting in the same boat is African-Americans and Latinos and they want to be in the same boat as the metrosexuals and Sex in the City crowd. This gives them the highest level of discomfort and they seek to distance themselves from other Muslims, or the great embarrassment of having been born into a Muslim family, by making fierce pronouncements against extremists and. To this end they launch Hug a Jew campaigns and pronounce their never-ending love for homosexuality (which only makes them look corny, not moderate).
In Islam, by any understanding, knowledge stems from the Quran and Sunnah, but for these defensive Muslims Quran and Sunnah are just litterateur that can be taken with a grain of salt and should only be used when it is in line with the rationale of Harvard and Yale.
They seek to omit the parts of Islam that embarrasses them around their non-Muslim friends or makes them uncomfortable at conversations at the coffee shop or the cocktail party. You see, they are more enlightened, in their minds, than Allah and the Prophet (s), May Allah guide them, and if Islam prohibits something, or calls for something, that is not accepted as a norm in Western minds then it will have to go.
What they do not realize is that no matter how much they apologize and condemn it will never be enough. The organized anti-Muslim lobby in America has no use for any Muslim and they do not care of you are a Sufi, Salafi, Shia or whatever. No amount of apologies can gain you admittance to white America if you are Muslim. Be as defensive as you want, I will not, but remember that a man who stands for nothing will fall for anything and as Tupac Shakur said “a coward dies a thousand deaths but a soldier dies only one.” Lest us be soldiers for this deen and defend it with our hearts, minds and our pens and instead of apologizing for the Sunnah, let us introduce the Sunnah to America.