Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Moderate Islam in America and CAIR's Strategy

This morning, I happened upon a 2002 editorial in the newspaper Pakistan Today. The editorial was written by Tashbih Sayyed, a reporter who had left the Pakistan for the United States as he was coming under increasing pressure to conform his articles to hardline muslim fundementalist mores. Mr. Sayyed addressed in his article what he saw as wrong with Wahhabi / Deobandi Islam, and tells how he had hoped to find a practice of moderate Islam in America, only to find much of the Wahhabi poison already seeping into the fabric of America.

In this 2002 article, Mr. Sayyed forecasts precisely the strategy of the Wahhabists and CAIR that we see being played out today -- to claim leadership of all muslims in America, to silence moderate muslim voices, and to drive a wedge between all Muslims in America and all non-Muslims. This is a very important read, particularly coming on the heels of the the Flying Imams (here and here) and CAIR's attempts to silence and belittle the Secular Islam Summit (here).

It is to help people like this author, Mr. Sayyed, that we need to challenge organizations such as CAIR at every turn. And it is Mr. Sayyed's voice, like the voices of those who participated in the Secular Islam Summit, that we need to amplify until it reaches decibels exponentially above that of CAIR's.

The US, more than any Muslim country, understands the principles Allah values and protects them through the US Constitution. The Constitution proclaims that the US government is a creation "of the people by the people and for the people." Allah's will does not favor a particular faith, color or creed, and neither does the American constitution. Allah advocates the middle road hoping that every person will not only take care of themselves, but will work to make the lives of their community members better as well. American values teach the same, translating the idea of social justice into civil liberties principles like the right to privacy, and education without any prejudice or discrimination. Volunteering and charitable work are respected as well. One only has to demonstrate a will to perform.

Islamists know that if American values are allowed to spread in the Muslim world, it will help the evolution of a Muslim state of mind that believes in democracy, pluralism and social justice. The real Islam which, up until now, has lain imprisoned in books, can finally be set free. The US can help in the establishment of a democratic society in the Muslim world after fifteen hundred years of intellectual despotism.
. . . .
In a polarized American society, it will be easy for the Islamists to achieve their goal. It will create a sense of insecurity among Muslims. To make the Muslims feel insecure in America and to force them to join the radical Islamist groups, a deliberate attempt is being made by Islamists to drive a wedge between Muslims and non Muslims. Innocent incidents are being turned into events that cause non-Muslims to dislike Muslims. The non-Muslims are intentionally made to hate Muslims. Situations are being created under which a non Muslim is made to think that Islam is not a peaceful religion and Muslims are not law abiding citizens.

I urge you to read the entire editorial here (part 1) and here (part 2).

Mr. Sayyad has written numerous editorials for Pakistan Today since the two I have linked here, and all are collected on the newspapers archives. I have not read them all yet, but do intend to do so over the next few days. You can find the archives here.

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