Here is a comment from one who would describe himself as a moderate Muslim but I would describe as a transformative Muslim. Radical Muslims or Islamists or Salafis or Wahhabis are the purist Muslims seeking a reform back to the days of Mohammed’s initiation of brutal conquests. A transformative Muslim wishes to eschew the elements of Islam that underline violence as the primary theme of theology.
Ashraef Ahmed is primarily addressing fellow Muslims as in an open letter. As a Westerner the letter is awesome. As a Christian I still a bit of Islamic Supremacism; however I’m a Christian Supremacist in a New Testament kind of way. Thus, I can’t be too critical.
JRH 10/5/10 (Original Post Date)
Comment by Ashraef
Sent: Oct 1, 2010 at 10:38 PM
Comment: Ashraef Ahmed [to] Brothers and sisters,
The Islamic community in the West is suffering as a direct result of the radical elements within Islam that have hijacked our religion and turned it into a faith of terror. You make us look like barbaric uneducated uncivilised people. STOP!
The internet is full of Hate speeches by Islamic Clerics. The internet, media, press have exposed the weakness within Islam. We are unable to control Muslims perverting the Holy Koran; they have portrayed us as evil inconsiderate monsters. Our non-Muslim friends in the West have every right to be critical. It is time for us to be honest and reclaim and take ownership of our faith Islam. Why are we allowing radicals to destroy our image to the whole world? Where are our honest leaders? Where is the peace of Islam?
As you are all aware the spot light is now focused on Islam all over the world. Let’s be totally honest with each other, since 9/11 the West has become terrified of Islam, and rightly so… Muslims are NOT terrorists and we are good people wanting to live in peace. So why is only the modern-day terrorists threatening the world are radical Muslims? Why are we silent, while they totally shame our faith? I do not blame the West, America, or any one; I blame these radicals that have hijacked Islam and destroyed any notion Islam is a peaceful religion.
I find it incredible that our Islamic leaders cannot or will not recognize this and deal with it. As a group of Muslims in the West we have some basic questions to ask Our Islamic leaders, so they may understand our concerns and why there is so much hatred and annex towards Islam. Why is the Islamic community allowing terrorists to hijack their religion to justify hideous attacks on Western countries? What are the “moderate Muslims” doing to prevent abuse of their religion by their radical brothers and sisters in Islam? When the Muslim community continually does nothing except complain about the reaction of the West to the radical elements in Islam and labeling them “Islamophobics”, what do we expect them to do? Are we doing nothing about them? It is the responsibility of every moderate Muslim to claim ownership of Islam and openly denounce any Muslim abusing or using the Koran to ratify their evil acts. Do you agree that when civilized Muslims take control of Islam, people might view us in a different light? Do the Muslim nations agree it should not [be] up to the Western nations to clean up the mess left behind by radical Islamists? We totally accept that as a direct result of the inaction of the Islamic community, the West has no option but to protect ourselves? [Perhaps the author means themselves?]
We have failed to protect our religion! Are we aware everyone has the right of self-defence; this is not solely an Islamic or Koranic teaching? As true Muslims we feel ashamed and embarrassed by the 100,000’s of YouTube videos and internet sites where our religious leaders are promoting absolute vile barbaric and evil doctrines in the name of Islam. Shameful! What are our Islamic leaders doing to protect the name of Islam from these radicals? These people are the ones totally damaging the name of Islam and turning the West against Islam. What is the Muslim community doing about them or going to do about them and when? When is Islam going to accept responsibility for the evil actions of radical Muslims acting in the name of ALLAH? What does the Koran tell us Muslims about dealing with any Muslim perverting the word of the Koran?
You must be aware the world is now a very small place, due to technology we in the West “hear and see everything in the Muslim world via Internet, TV, media, etc”. Radical Islamists must realize their barbaric extreme actions are viewed with complete revulsion and disgust by Muslims and non-Muslims. No we have some young Muslims here wanting to follow in the footsteps of these evil people. These small but radical Muslims come across as barbaric uncivilized people much to the detriment of Islam. For example look at their reaction when one Pastor threatened to burn a Koran, the Islamic community went into a frenzy and mass demonstrations. It would have been better to show composure, maturity and simply issue a clear statement stating this act is unchristian and unhelpful in every way and will pray for him and leave it at that.
The West would have turned against him. By contrast the hypocrisy as countless of radical Muslims come out and threaten Western nations and post evil inciting speeches based on the Koran and calling “god is great” yet there is not a whisper from any Muslim, Moderate or otherwise.
You make Islam and the Muslim people look like foolish ignorant hypocrites. More so we ask, what are Islamic scholars going to do about the suras in the Koran that incite violence, call for the killing of Jews and Christians, and prohibiting people from leaving Islam, and condoning lying to infidels? Why does Islam feel the need to come out and attack our Jewish brothers and sisters and call for the elimination of Jews and Israel? This is only adding fuel to the fire, and it does make us look like an evil race of people following evil hatred.
Why does the leader of Iran come out and threaten Israel and the Jews in the most disgraceful inciting and hateful way? Can the Islamic community see – it is their Muslim brothers that are damaging the reputation and the name of Islam? Where is the voice of the civilised Muslim, the educated Muslim, and the peaceful Muslim? All the messages to the West are hatred, evil, violence, terror. Of course they are going to hate us, let us as a community become honest with ourselves? If the West does something we dislike, we must react in a civilised, diplomatic manner and not have mad men come out declaring war in the name of Islam?
Who is in control of our faith, our Leaders, Clerics, The radical elements and the terrorists? We do not have ONE voice to speak out on our behalf with reason, tolerance and as a role model for Islam. You have allowed barbaric terrorists to destroy our image, our reputation, our standing and our self-esteem. The Islamic communities in Islamic nations must understand, that 95% of Westerners are by far more highly educated, well read and liberal minded than they can ever imagine. They are not fools or stupid that will be swayed by threats of violence, terrorism, deception or lies.
How do we explain all the hatred and evil on the Net: look at You Tube? Clean yourselves up and stop self-destructing and blaming others. You are foolish for allowing this to happen in the first place. It is NOW, yes NOW, time for Islam to stop pointing the finger, claim ownership of Islam, control the Muslims and clean out own house, our image, our approach and our mindset.
The fact is if our Islamic leaders and community take direct and firm action against any radicals within the ranks of Islam, there would be no need for external intervention by any one. We would be viewed as truly a peaceful religion, not an unruly religion where everyone is free to do what they want in the name of Islam. It is time that Islam rescues its own reputation and uproots the core of the cause destroying the name of Islam. The Islamic leaders are fully aware of the problem, just as we are in the West. Our Islamic Leaders must immediately demonstrate to the world they are in control of the destiny of Islam and it is not in the hands of a minority radical element. They must condemn and excommunicate the entire “Islamic brotherhood” [Perhaps the author means the Muslim Brotherhood] in Egypt.
Everyone in the West, as you are aware, are the chief promoters of Jihad, Shariah and terrorism all over the world. It is no secret. It is all over the Net and the media and the latest report released in America on 15/9/2010 [I am uncertain of the report referred to by the author; however this report was produced circa 9-15-10].
Islam must stop thinking they can continue to wash their hands of the root causes and blame everyone else. No one is stupid. All over the world they are aware of the manner the Copts get treated. They [i.e. the West has seen] the reaction to comments by a Bishop [SlantRight Google Search: “Muslim Body Sets Conditions for Christian Citizenship in Egypt”].
What is the matter with you all? Do not react like animals: the Torah and Bible have been scrutinised, examined and debated for 2000 years. They [i.e. Jews, Christians and the West] don’t go wild. [The] “Da Vinci Code” [was written and made into a movie], not one demonstration or act of violence, we must learn from this. We as Muslims have nothing to hide; we are not scared to answer questions about the Koran. If someone says something or asks a question, we answer them and educate them. We don’t react like stupid fools unable to answer a question. In the West they see the way Muslims treat the Copts. That [is] image of Islam they get [and] makes them hate us and not trust us.
Everyone in the West knows the Copts are natives of Egypt. Islam, they see what you have done in Egypt and they believe we will do the same in their countries. Look at all of Europe everyday in the news because of Islam. How do you think the rest of the world views this?
Islam must show we can live in peace, tolerance, equality and love. I do not blame them, I blame the Islamic clerics that brainwash them and places hatred and evil in the hearts and incite them to commit evil acts. AT the SAME TIME these clerics live in safety and will not expose themselves to harm, prosecution or courts. This is wrong and madness. Again we remind you all the problem is within Islam not the West; especially after 9/11 it succeeded in turning the world focus on Islam and put us under the microscope. They have every right [to be upset]. If the same thing happened to us in an Islamic country, the Islamic community would have burned down their own countries’ in mass protest.
Finally the request for a Mosque at Ground Zero shows a complete lack of empathy, sympathy, consideration, remorse or respect. Do not add insult to injury. All it has done is increase the worldwide hatred and condemnation of Islam. Please have civilized educated people take control of Islam all over the world. It would be such a wonderful gesture if an Islamic Leader came out and said, “After due consideration, the Islamic community will not seek to build a Mosque on scared [I presume the author means “sacred”] ground where so many innocent people lost their lives at the hands of a foolish terrorists perverting the name of Islam.”
We as Muslims should let the Americans heal their wounds from this evil act. We as Muslims in an Islamic nation would [n]ever – ever – ever allow a religious building on a site where adherents of that faith committed a similar evil act. It is time to treat each other equally with respect, dignity, decency and consideration. I can only hope and pray.
NOTE: I have run a spell check. Also in places I added words in brackets that was not in the original. Also I placed some clarification in italics embraced by brackets. I also believe Ashraef Ahmed learned his/her (sorry about the uncertainty) English in a British influenced nation. Some of the words have a British spelling. I tried to leave those alone.