Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's Right With Islam IS What's Right With America

"If Americans cannot make peace with this man, we cannot make peace with Islam."
-- Stephen Prothero
My Take: Imam Rauf is Not a Moderate

And here is my two-cents worth:

No one can satisfactorily understand what Feisal Abdul Rauf's message is all about without understanding the underlying worldview that is common to the foundation of Islam and the Federal Republic of the U.S. Both Islam and the Republic were/are founded on the covenant/federal theology of Abrahamic monotheism, which postulates a primordial covenant between God and His creation, especially Adam, the Human Race. And what, concomitantly, ensues from that covenanted relationship by way of 'Rights and Duties' on all levels of life.

In our days of secular and religious fundamentalism, the fact that the founding generation of the American Republic were descendants of the Protestant Reformation, and that Protestantism was defined by federal theology, is not understood, to say the least.

To cut a long story short, a good start on the subject that may facilitate further understanding, of what Imam Feisal is trying to communicate for those concerned, is this book on the American monotheistic foundation:

"The Covenant Connection: From Federal Theology to Modern Federalism," Daniel Judah Elazar, John Kincaid (edtrs.)

May it be of help.



Friday, March 12, 2010

The American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA)

see flyer
"What's Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West"

By Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf


Publisher's Weekly, May 2004 Rauf, a Manhattan imam whose mosque is only 12 blocks from the World Trade Center site, argues that what keeps the Islamic world and America apart, and what fuels Islamic terrorism, is economics, politics, Muslim defensiveness—everything but religion.

In fact, Rauf believes that America best represents Islam's true values. His major theme is the existence of an "Abrahamic ethic" which undergirds all the monotheistic religions and extols equality and justice. If Muslims, especially American Muslims, harness this Abrahamic ethic, Rauf promises Islam will once again contribute to the universal striving for a better society.

In countering Bernard Lewis's What Went Wrong?, Rauf raises numerous valid points: the U.S. overthrow of democratic Islamic regimes in Iran and Indonesia; U.S. creation and sponsorship of Afghan mujahideen to fight the Soviet Union; the anti-Muslim bias of American media (a point echoed by Karen Armstrong in the foreword); the massive, debilitating effect colonization had on most of the Islamic world; and the "drawing [of] lines" in the Middle East and South Asia by European powers after WWI and WWII, dooming countries with wildly diverse populations to perpetual unrest.

However, Rauf presents these points sporadically and less eloquently than some previous commentators. The book's strengths include a concise history of Islam as well as brief but valuable insights into the American Muslim community. The few references to his own personal story also resonate: "Like many immigrants from Muslim lands, I discovered my Islam in America."


"This book shows that the only possible way forward is by the assiduous cultivation of mutual respect. It should be read, but then ~ even more important ~ it should be acted upon."

—Karen Armstrong, author of The Battle for God, from the foreword

"As someone with roots in both East and West, who has spent most of a lifetime attempting to build bridges between our cultures, I welcome this urgently needed book. An insightful examination of the universal values shared by the Muslim world and the West, it presents not just what is right with Islam, but what is right with America too. Imam Feisal speaks from the heart about the higher ground on which we can all unite. It is a book brimming with hope."

Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, author of Leap of Faith

"After two disastrous wars against Muslim countries, it is more than ever necessary to get objective and sympathetic information about Islam which is provided here by a very competent Muslim scholar living in the US. An excellent work of bridge building!"

—Professor Dr. Hans King, President, Global Ethic Foundation, author of On Being a Christian

"What's Right With Islam is a must read for anyone who wants to contribute to repairing our world post-9/11 - and that needs to be each one of us. Imam Feisal is a model religious leader for the 21st century -he combines passionate love of his own particular tradition with an openness and pluralism that flows from that very passion. This book overflows with the much needed faith that religion in general and Islam in particular can contribute to building a good society."

—Rabbi Irwin Kula, President, CLAL - The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

"An extremely important book for our day. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is to be congratulated for such a wise and well-written book. It is a 'MUST' for any thinking person who cares about our world."

—Lord Carey of Clifton, former Archbishop of Canterbury,
Chair of World Economic Forum's Council of 100 Leaders on West-Islamic World Dialogue

"At long last, a book that helps "us Westerners" to see Muslims as they wish to see themselves, and to see the West through Muslim eyes. A more urgent topic could hardly be envisioned post-9/11 and the war on Iraq. Here lies a coherent vision for a future when religions work for peace, and when what is right with Islam is right for Jews and Christians alike."

—Gunnar StÃ¥lsett - Bishop of Oslo, Lutheran Church of Norway, member of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Taking Back Islam : American Muslims Reclaim Their Faith

Michael Wolfe (Editor), Beliefnet (Producer)

Description from the publisher:

In the months after September 11, American Muslims heard the familiar sounds of Islam being defined by others. On television, from the Capitol, from the pulpit, in the classroom, and, worst of all, on videotapes from Osama bin Laden's cave, commentators, politicians, scholars, and wealthy terrorists were busily telling Muslims the "real meaning" of Islam.

Western Muslims knew something had to be done or Islam might be tarnished, even corrupted. In the past year, they have gathered informally to discuss the past, the present, and how things ought to be. Over time, they began to conceive, then voice, then, finally, put to paper ideas about how they might define Islam in this century. In the year since September 11, American Muslims began to do something extraordinary. They began to reclaim the core values of Islam.

Taking Back Islam is a bold collection of voices in the vanguard of the faith, voices of men and women who remain devout and utterly convinced of Islam's power to help create a just, ordered, and beautiful world but who are also unafraid to be critical of those who would distort Islam for violent or political ends. Many of these writers are American Muslims who benefit from a commitment to democratic pluralism as well as a commitment to Islam.

"I believe in Allah and America," writes Arsalan Tariq Iftikhar. "The Qur'an has a radical message of tolerance," says Kabir Helminski. "American Muslims have a special obligation," according to Ingrid Mattson. "Many Muslims suspect that Islam's 'traditional lands' have less to teach us than they claim," writes Michael Wolfe.

The unique nature and strength of these voices, fueled by a strong desire to tap the best traditions within Islam, offer hope for rescuing a faith that has been injured from within by extremists and demonized from without by Western culture.

Michael Wolfe is the author of books of poetry, fiction, travel and history. His most recent works are a pair of books from Grove Press on the pilgrimage to Mecca: The Hadj, a first-person travel account and One Thousand Roads to Mecca, an anthology of 10 centuries of travelers writing about the Muslim pilgrimage. In 1997, Wolfe hosted a televised account of the Hadj from Mecca for Nightline on ABC. He is currently at work on a four-hour television documentary on the life and times of the Prophet Muhammad. He lives in California.

Excerpt -

By Michael Wolfe

Taking Back Islam records the latest chapter in a centuries-long conversation that non-Muslims may never have heard. For Islam is surprisingly undoctrinaire and open to discussion. And as doctrines go, Islam's is simple--broad enough that 1.5 billion people around the world can agree on it. Only three things are really required to be a Muslim: belief in God, knowledge of his message, and respect for the prophets from Abraham to Jesus to Muhammad. Beyond that, quite a lot is up for grabs.

Muslims in general don't like the word "reform," with its various English connotations. Yet, as Salam Al-Marayati reminds us in "The Rising Voice of Moderate Muslims," a kindred word is found in the Qur'an. "In Arabic, it is called islah and is the root meaning of the word maslahah, which means 'the public interest.' Historically, Muslim intellectual leaders such as Farangi Mahall Wali Allah, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, and Muhammad Abduh . . . have used reason to create revivalist movements." Wali Allah of India helped to reaffirm the use of reason in legal interpretation and "condemned the blind imitation of tradition. Al-Afghani challenged Muslims to think of Islam as consistent with reason and science. Abduh believed in educational reforms throughout Muslim society." There is plenty of precedent, then, in Muslim thought for bringing Islam into close accord with people's present needs. Since September 11, however, a lot of American Muslims have begun to look beyond these classic independent thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to think and write on their own authority.

September 11 forced a reckoning of sorts, and it has led us to be more self-reliant. When any religion is new to a place, as Islam is new to America, the tendency to take one's cues from the Motherland is strong, wherever that Motherland is perceived to be. And then there comes a moment to grow up. For many American Muslims, that moment arrived in the weeks following September 11, when a substantial number grew disenchanted with the habit of looking abroad for leadership. The near extinction of Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban, the abysmal state of education in Pakistan, the murderous mullahs of al-Qaeda misquoting the Qur'an on video, along with a host of other glaring moral failures, have led many American Muslims to suspect that Islam's "traditional lands" have less to teach us than they claim.

Ten years from now, this period may mark the time when American Muslims found their real voice. Taking Back Islam is a book by progressive, mostly American, Muslims--people who are in love with Islam, who are proud of Islam, and who are confident enough in its strength to believe that it can stand up to honest introspection. "Speak the truth," the Prophet Muhammad said, "even if it hurts you." A sometimes-painful struggle of a faith in search of its soul informs this book. There runs through its pages an anxiousness for the life of a faith we love. This anxiousness is creative, giving rise to new formulations and fresh answers, and to a strong desire to tap the best traditions of Islam.

Many of the essays here are not about politics, and that in itself is significant. As their authors reflect on how to reclaim Islam, they often turn not to questions of power, but to matters of faith and practice and tradition. As Leila Dabbagh writes in "Muhammad's Legacy for Women," "My ancestors faithfully practiced the five pillars of Islam without losing sight of the fundamental requirements of everyday civil and compassionate living." Her words sound a theme we hear often in these pages, of "getting back to basics," of recovering the sweetness inherit in a religion that has been seriously injured from within by extremists and demonized from without. The Prophet Muhammad once was asked, "What is religion?" He answered, "One's regard and conduct towards others." That is the sort of vision American Muslims are trying, God willing, to reclaim.


The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists

By Khaled Abou El Fadl

Book overview

The preeminent voice for moderate Muslims, both an Islamic jurist and American lawyer, offers a passionate defense of Islam against the encroaching tide of fundamentalists corrupting the true faith. Books on Islam have proliferated in the marketplace recently, but none have answered the desperate need for a clear articulation of moderate Islam.

Khaled Abou El Fadl is uniquely qualified to write this impassioned defense against the threat of Muslim fundamentalism.Seduced by the lure of fundamentalism himself as a teenager in Egypt, he rejected that path once he began studying Islamic law. A longtime feminist and human rights advocate, since 9-11 Abou El Fadl has become increasingly active and outspoken in support of rescuing the Islamic faith from radicals.

Embraced by moderate Muslims everywhere as one of the only learned voices defending the faith, he has received death threats from extremists for that very same reason. As quick to criticize the failure of Islamic leadership in the U.S. as abroad, Abou El Fadl remains a brave voice against the pressures and threats of Wahhabi extremism.

The Great Theft will present the beliefs and practices of moderate Muslims, and identify the points of difference and disagreement with the fundamentalist-puritan practice of Islam. This book offers a vision for Moderate Islam- past, present, and future. Abou El Fadl is dedicated to providing the tools necessary to help readers reclaim an understanding of Islam that is grounded in the tradition's history and law.



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

As-Sunnah Foundation of America

Refutation of Umar Vadillo's The Esoteric Deviation in Islam - Dr. Gibril Haddad

Refutation of Shaykh Gemaldien of South Africa

Refutation of the Fatwa of Shaykh Abdul-Aziz bin Baaz of Saudi Arabia [Compiled by the Imam Ahmed Reza Academy in South Africa]

Wahabi Connections in America Unveiled

Dr. Gibril Haddad defending Scholars

The ongoing "debate" between ASFA and the "Salafis" of Sri Lanka...

Attack of a "scholar wanna be", and Response from our staff.

Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi Director, The Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community declares us Kafir, but look what he writes !!!!

"Unveiling the Controversy"
The State Department Speech of Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

Defining Tasawwuf - Fatawa Dar Al-Ifta' al-Masriyya, Imam Abdul Halim Mahmoud

On Tasawwuf - Imam and Khateeb, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Al-Quds

Salafis Unveiled

The Other Side of Salafism

Accepting or not Accepting Sufism

Why you need a Madhhab

Answer to the Ahbash accusations


Islamic Supreme Council of America

Since its inception, ISCA has been dedicated to differentiating the majority of peace-loving, moderate Muslims in the world from the handful of extremists who mar the beautiful image of Islam.


Testimony presented by the Islamic Supreme Council of America (ISCA) to the

Radical Movements

Islamic Extremism in America
Extremism in the Caucasus and Central Asia
Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda
Hizb ut-Tahrir

History of Extremism in Islam

On the Status, Method and Fallout of the Global Spread of Wahhabism
Excerpts from an interview with Professor Sulayman Nyang

Islamic Radicalism: Its Wahhabi Roots and Current Representation

200 Years of New Kharijism and the Ongoing Revision of Islam
A brief exposition of Wahhabism's false doctrines.

Ahl as-Sunna vs. the "Wahhabi-Salafi" Movement (Introduction and Forward)

"Salafis" Unveiled
The truth about Islamic radicalism.

The New Global Threat: Transnational Salafis and Jihad
By Dr. Quintan Wiktorowicz

Biography of Ibn Taymiyya
A major source for the Wahhabi/Salfi movement.

Additional Articles

Terror, Islam and Democracy
By Ladan Boroumand and Roya Boroumand

Somebody Else's Civil War
By Michael Scott Doran

The Fight Against Terrorism Must Begin with Education
By Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari

An Arab Diplomat Speaks: Replace Jihad with Social Development
Excerpts from a piece by Ahmad Mustaf

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