Crossposted with permission from www.MuslimsForASafeAmerica.org

Osama Bin Ladin's 1998 fatwa says, “The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, 'And fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,' and 'Fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevails justice and faith in God.' This is in addition to the words of Almighty God: 'And why should you not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? – women and children, whose cry is: 'Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will help!'”

We now hear regular news reports of attempted attacks by Muslims against American targets around the world, including inside America.

The former head of the CIA's “Bin Ladin Unit,” Michael Scheuer, says there are two ways to prevent future Al Qaeda attacks in America. One way to prevent future Al Qaeda attacks in America is to improve security in America and militarily defeat Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere. America has been trying to do this since 9/11 with mixed results.

Scheuer says the other way to prevent future Al Qaeda attacks is to eliminate the Muslim grievances (relating to American foreign policy) that allow Al Qaeda to raise money and recruit fighters. The Muslim grievances that Al Qaeda has cited since the mid-1990s are (1) American support for dictatorships (e.g. in Saudi Arabia and Egypt) in the Muslim world, (2) American support for people of other faiths (e.g. Jewish Israelis) in their conflicts with Muslims, and (3) direct American military involvement in the Muslim world (e.g. the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq).

Polls show that most Americans realize that America is being attacked because of Muslim opposition to American foreign policy: “63% of Americans say a major reason why Muslims are unfavorable toward the United States is their belief that this country favors Israel too much in that country's conflict with Arab nations. Another major reason, according to 62% of the American public, is that Muslims perceive the United States as interfering too much in the affairs of Muslim countries.”

The 9/11 Commission received testimony from FBI investigators regarding Al Qaeda's motivation for the 9/11 attacks. During a 9/11 Commision hearing, 9/11 Commission Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton asked, “I'm interested in the question of motivation of these hijackers, and my question is really directed to the agents. What have you found out about why these men did what they did? What motivated them to do it?” FBI Special Agent James Fitzgerald responded, “I believe they feel a sense of outrage against the United States. They identify with the Palestinian problem. They identify with the people who oppose oppressive regimes, and I believe they tend to focus their anger on the U.S.” At the same hearing, the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, said, “The Al Qaeda leader wanted to punish the United States for supporting Israel.”

The 9/11 Commission concluded that the 9/11 attacks were motivated by Al Qaeda's hostility to American foreign policy. The 9/11 Commission Report provided information about the views of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (KSM), who has claimed to be the mastermind behind 9/11. The 9/11 Commission Report states: “By his own account, KSM's animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.” (Page 147.) Furthermore, the 9/11 Commission Report states: “American foreign policy is part of the message. America's policy choices have consequences.” (Page 376.)

In December 2004, the Defense Science Board (which is a Federal Advisory Committee established to provide independent advice to the Secretary of Defense) issued a report stating, “Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states.” (Page 40.)

The U.S. government prepared a summary, of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad's statements, for use at Zacarias Moussaoui's 2006 trial. “Sheikh Muhammad said that the purpose of the attack on the Twin Towers was to 'wake the American people up.' Sheikh Muhammad said that if the target would have been strictly military or government, the American people would not focus on the atrocities that America is committing by supporting Israel against the Palestinian people and America's self-serving foreign policy that corrupts Arab governments and leads to further exploitation of the Arab/Muslim people.” (Page 15 of Defendant's Exhibit 941, “Substitution For The Testimony Of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad,” in the criminal trial of Zacarias Moussaoui.)

In 2007, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad told an American military tribunal why he organized the 9/11 attacks: “I want to make great awakening between American to stop foreign policy in our land.” (Page 24 of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad's 3/10/07 statement.)

American political leaders occasionally discuss the fact that the 9/11 hijackers were motivated by hostility to American foreign policy.

Arguments By Those Who Believe That American Muslims Should Work Through The American Political Process To Try To Change American Foreign Policy Towards The Muslim World

1. American Muslims pay taxes, and we help elect American political leaders who decide how to use those tax dollars. When American political leaders use tax dollars to prop up Muslim and non-Muslim governments that oppress Muslims overseas, American Muslims have a religious obligation to try to convince American political leaders to change the way they spend tax dollars. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that if you see an injustice, you have to take action to change it; if you can't take action to change the injustice, you must speak out against the injustice; if you cannot speak out against the injustice, you must hate the injustice in your heart, and that is the lowest level of faith. The Prophet also said that all Muslims are like one body; if one part of the body is suffering, the entire body feels the pain. In the Qur'an, God criticized Muslims who refused to help the Prophet; God called such Muslims “hypocrites” (munafiqeen). American Muslims who refuse the Prophet's instructions to help oppressed Muslims today are also hypocrites.

2. Improving the relationship between America and the Muslim world is the only way to end this war. Al Qaeda cannot be defeated militarily. America has been fighting Al Qaeda for nine years, and Al Qaeda is growing around the world. Therefore, American Muslims have a patriotic obligation to help protect America by helping formulate an American foreign policy that reduces anti-American feeling in the Muslim world, and that reduces the chances of Al Qaeda attacks in the U.S. Al Qaeda has said that if America escalates the conflict, Al Qaeda will do the same; Al Qaeda has also said that if America reduces the conflict, Al Qaeda will do the same. If a change in American foreign policy convinces average Muslims overseas that America is not hostile to them, there will be no basis for a defensive jihad against America, and it will be harder for Al Qaeda to recruit operatives or raise funds to attack America. An improved relationship with the Muslim world will assist America in accomplishing its objectives around the world; sometimes you get better results with honey than with vinegar. An improved relationship with the Muslim world will also allow America to invest American resources in domestic growth and development, rather than in bombs.

3. If American Muslims work actively to make America safer, that will improve our image and our lives in America. If America is no longer at war with Al Qaeda, American Muslims (like other Americans) will be safer. In addition, American Muslims will be less likely to experience increased governmental scrutiny, hate crimes, discrimination, and bullying when there is no Al Qaeda threat to America.

4. If American Muslims work through the American political process to try to reduce oppression in the Muslim world, that will show frustrated young American Muslims that there are peaceful ways to fulfill our religious obligations. Alternatively, if American Muslims don't make a serious effort to work through the American political process, frustrated young American Muslims (like Faisal Shahzad, who pled guilty to plotting to bomb Times Square, and Zarein Ahmedzay, who pled guilty to plotting to bomb the New York City subway system) will continue to believe that there is no peaceful way to change American foreign policy, and more of them will become radicalized and get involved in violent plots against America. American Muslims must channel American Muslim concerns for the Muslim world into political action, not violence.

5. Changing American foreign policy is a huge challenge. But American Muslims don't have to change American foreign policy by ourselves. There are many other Americans who are concerned about America's current relationship with the Muslim world. We can all work together to improve the relationship between America and the Muslim world.

Arguments By Those Who Believe That American Muslims Should Not Work Through The American Political Process To Try To Change American Foreign Policy Towards The Muslim World

1. American Muslims' primary religious obligation is to help suffering neighbors (Muslim and non-Muslim) who are nearby, not Muslim strangers who live far away overseas. If Muslims overseas don't like their oppressive Muslim and non-Muslim governments, they should leave those lands, or they should overthrow those oppressive governments. In the Qur'an, God says that Muslims have no obligation to help other Muslims who have failed to leave the land of oppression; God also says that Muslims who have a treaty of mutual alliance with non-Muslims have no duty to help Muslims who seek assistance against those non-Muslims. (8:72) Because American Muslims have a “treaty of mutual alliance” with America, we have no religious duty to help Muslims being oppressed by America. Furthermore, even if American Muslims wanted to help Muslims overseas, American Muslims haven't reached agreement on what American foreign policy is best for the Muslim world. Should America totally disengage from the Muslim world? What if new Taliban-style Muslim governments oppress Muslims after the U.S. leaves? Should America play any role in promoting human rights in the Muslim world?

2. There's no need for American Muslims to try to protect America through a change in American foreign policy, because America will eventually defeat Al Qaeda militarily. Furthermore, Muslim and non-Muslim regimes that oppress Muslims overseas are American allies; America supports them because they cooperate with America. America benefits from the relationship. Maintaining American troops and relationships in the Muslim world allows America to quickly project American power as America sees fit. There's no guarantee that a change in American foreign policy will ultimately be good for America. What if America disengages from the Muslim world, and then a problem arises that requires the use of American power in the Muslim world? What if America disengages from the Muslim world, and then an unstable Middle East raises the price of oil? What if America disengages from the Muslim world, and then Al Qaeda sets up a caliphate throughout the Muslim world? What if such an Al Qaeda caliphate attacks America to try to establish Islamic law here? What if America disengages from the Muslim world, and then Al Qaeda obtains Pakistani or Iranian or Israeli nuclear weapons?

3. If American Muslims try to address Muslim grievances by trying to change American foreign policy, other Americans will view us as “outsiders” who care more about other Muslims than about other Americans. We will be accused of trying to “appease” Al Qaeda, and that will make our lives more difficult in America.

4. The political process works very slowly. If frustrated young American Muslims (like Faisal Shahzad, who pled guilty to plotting to bomb Times Square, and Zarein Ahmedzay, who pled guilty to plotting to bomb the New York City subway system) are inclined to use violence to try to change American foreign policy, they won't have the patience to work through the political process. They have waited a long time for American foreign policy to change, and they want change right now. Furthermore, some of these frustrated young American Muslims believe that it is religiously impermissible to work through a man-made political process. Their frustration cannot be channeled into the political process.

5. There's no point in trying to change American foreign policy, because there's no chance of success. The opposing forces (who want to maintain current American foreign policies towards the Muslim world) are too strong. It would be a sinful waste of our community's limited human resources and financial resources to try to change American foreign policy. We should use our limited resources to solve problems closer to home. Furthermore, there is no “Muslim community” to lobby in the U.S. The “community” is actually a combination of various different ethnic communities. Therefore, they will not unite to lobby the U.S. government on a common agenda. As has always been the case, Pakistani-Americans will lobby on issues related to Pakistan. Iraqi-Americans will lobby on issues related to Iraq. Afghan-Americans will lobby on issues related to Afghanistan. Palestinian-Americans will lobby on issues related to Palestine. Kashmiri-Americans will lobby on issues related to Kashmir. These small segments of the community will not work together, so there will be no impact on American foreign policy. Other American Muslims will continue to sit on the sidelines. Furthermore, there is no consensus among American Muslims about what type of foreign policy to pursue. For example, some American Muslims want American troops out of Iraq now; others want American troops to stay until Iraq is stabilized. Some American Muslims want American troops out of Afghanistan now; others want American troops to stay until Afghanistan is stabilized. Some American Muslims want America to push for an independent Kashmir; others want America to push for making Kashmir a part of Pakistan. Some American Muslims want America to totally disengage from the Muslim world; others want America to play at a least a minimal role when it comes to protecting the human rights of Muslims. Without consensus, American Muslims cannot change American foreign policy towards the Muslim world.

21 Responses

  1. MR

    American interests runs deep in the Muslim world. American Muslims can only do so much but it takes some brave moves in the Muslim world to really make some changes. Most of the Muslim governments have been the same government for the past 30 to 50 years. America does not want Democracy in the Muslim world, because it is not in their best interest. It’s easier to control dictators, monarchies and pseudo-democracies with 1 President always winning the election.

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  2. Mansoor Ansari

    American political leaders occasionally discuss the fact that the 9/11 hijackers were motivated by hostility to American foreign policy.

    Ron Paul & Dennis Kucinich are the exceptions to the rule and often called unpatriotic for even suggesting that America is responsible for the grievances these attackers had. And they don’t even believe these foreign policy are wrong to begin with, forget abt them being responsible for attacks on America.

    And as long as there r natural resources in Middle East, America will meddle in their affairs.

    America is a super power & wants to spread it’s ideology (democracy & secularism) all over the world (every super power wants to), USSR did so till it’s collapse. The only other ideology left that seeks to spread it’s way of governing is Islam aka Khilafa & shariah as the rule of land and America like any other super power will try to get rid of such systems & those who choose to propagate this way of life.

    Nabi (saw) was also offered to merge his deen with the deen of polytheists but he said no. Only one system could prevail and that will always be the case. The west & their allies want Islam to be diluted till remain as merely as label rather than a way of life. Not doing so in not in their best interest, why would anyone wish for a rival system to prosper & become a super power?

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  3. euromuslim

    @Mansoor Ansari: Spot on. It’s a simple case of not wanting any rivals. America thinks its Ideology is superior to everything else, and it seeks to implement it across the globe by any means necessary. I However, still think muslims in the West should try and influence the decision making process in any way they can. We should try to make a difference no matter how small.

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  4. Salman

    Not only is this article disingenous but the writer has clearly demonstrated a piss poor understanding of the issues at hand.

    1. There are many more reasons why people (both Muslim and Non-Muslim) choose not to engage into the political process

    a. For Muslims first and foremost would be Islamic ones is voting in elections something that is allowable under the shar’iah. (and NO a “fatwa” from a “sheikh” is NOT an evidence)

    b. for others (both Muslim and Non-Muslim) numerous others would include:

    the complete ineffectiveness of your vote to result in any meaningful change,
    how the system is rigged via the dominance of big money, special interests, lobbyists, the entire electoral college system, “superdelegates”,
    the fact that in the U.S. 2 party system exists to support a corporate dominated elite,
    and declining rates of U.S. political participation in EVERY election since WWII, etc.)

    2. Further, it seems that the most obvious and easiest to grasp issue seem to have escaped this writer.

    America IS an empire…please try and repeat and process that. This EMPIRE needs to occupy and colonize foreign lands the same way the British empire colonized the indian subcontinent and Middle East, the same way the Russian empire colonized Eastern Europe, etc..

    The open and clear nature of this was stated by George Kennan, Director of Policy Planning at the State Dept after WWII:

    We have about 60% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. In this situation we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction. We should cease to talk about such vague and unreal objectives as ‘human rights’, the ‘raising of living standards’ and ‘democratisation’. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”

    the ONLY time the “interests” of the people are invoked is to justify military/imperial actions:

    If war aims are stated which seem to be solely concerned with Anglo-American imperialism, they will offer little to people in the rest of the world. The interests of other peoples should be stressed. This would have a better propaganda effect.

    Private memo from The Council of Foreign Relations to the US State Department, 1941.

    3. The proper way to view governments in the Muslim world are NOT as sovereign entities which look after the interests of their own citizens (as most governments in the world do) but rather as permanent jails of which the governments, dictators, kings, etc. act as security guards while the U.S. acts as benefactor and jail warden. This was a system that the British built and maintained when they first colonized the Muslim world and said so openly:

    Our strategic and security interests throughout the world will be best safeguarded by the establishment in suitable spots of ‘Police Stations’, fully equipped to deal with emergencies within a large radius. Kuwait is one such spot from which Iraq, South Persia, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf could be controlled. It will be worthwhile to go to considerable trouble and expense to establish and man a ‘Police Station’ there.”

    British Foreign Office, policy memo, 1947

    What we want to have in existence, what we ought to have been creating in this time is some administration with Arab institutions which we can safely leave while pulling the strings ourselves; something that won’t cost very much, which the Labour government can swallow consistent with its’ principles, but under which our economic and political interests will be secure. […..] If the French remain in Syria we shall have to avoid giving them the excuse of setting up a protectorate. If they go, or if we appear to be reactionary in mesopotamia, there is always the risk that [King] Faisal will encourage the Americans to take over both, and it should be borne in mind that the Standard Oil company is very anxious to take over Iraq.”

    Sir Arthur Hirtzel, Head of the British government’s ‘India Office Political Department.’ 1919

    the only difference between the British and the Americans is that the American inherited the British apparatus after World War II and proceeded to put in their own employees/agents into these countries (via coups and colored “revolutions”), otherwise the setup has NOT changed:

    I want to be the bully on the block advise the globe there is no future in trying to challenge the armed forces of the United States.”

    Colin Powell testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on the early formulation of the Bush doctrine.

    4. This writer fails to understand that nationalism, patriotism, and other forms of subdividing people are NOT from Islam:

    The Prohibition of Nationalism in Islam

    secondly nationalism is inherently a PRIMITIVE bond, where people are classified like plants and animals i.e. based on their external appearance, skin color, land of origin, sounds they emit, or external features.

    Islam elevated human beings and classifies humanity on the bond of belief.

    5. the nation-state system in Muslim lands is a proven failure with every Muslim nation-state losing nearly every major war it has ever fought. the Israelis wiped the floor with the Arab nationalist states in every major war it fought with them, the exception being Hizbullah (a militia).
    In Asia, the Pakistani army proved its “Islamic” credentials and worth via its actions and behavior in Bangladesh as well as in the run up to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11.

    These states are artificial and would collapse, were it not for U.S. aid to the militaries that run them.

    This writer clearly needs to educate himself on Islam as well as the reality of what is going on rather than advocating for something that corresponds to neither.

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    • Saad

      Hey, some very good points. I think there are two things that you are missing in your analysis.
      1) The Americans do not feel the same way about imperialism and colonialism as the British people did. The British thought they had a mandate to rule the world because they were better. On the other hand, while the American foreign policy machine operates prima facie the same way as the British one did, they have to use different justifications for doing so.
      2) The political process in America is much more bureacratic than imperial; rational interests do not always prevail. If public opinion is strongly enough disinclined against what would be a more rational policy objective, the American army could never actually act it out, i.e. Vietnam.

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      • Salman

        1) The Americans do not feel the same way about imperialism and colonialism as the British people did. The British thought they had a mandate to rule the world because they were better. On the other hand, while the American foreign policy machine operates prima facie the same way as the British one did, they have to use different justifications for doing so.

        This is partially true. Many of the American people generally are ignorant of this and as a whole do not. This has a lot to do with the isolationism of American culture i.e. only 8% of Americans have a passport and have ever left the United States (probably even their own individual town or locale). This isolationist streak explains why amongst the fringe right wing types there is rhetoric and fear of all things foreign, the UN, “one world government” and immigrants. It also helps explain how media coverage shapes people’s opinions more in American society than it does in Europe or Asia.

        However the American establishment and military most certainly do. This also has a lot to do with culture as well. The British saw it as, (to quote that imperial chronicler Kipling) doing the “white man’s burden” by colonizing and enslaving Africa, India, and the Middle East.
        The American establishment touts it as “spreading freedom, liberty, and democracy” for their imperial actions (including most recently invading Iraq). If you study the patterns of actions they are identical. These books here do a good job of covering this:

        The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic

        Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire

        A People’s History of the American Empire

        Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War

        Moreover, this quote (probably by Karl Rove) stated to author Ron Suskind shows the view of the establishment on this:

        “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality … we’ll act again, creating other new realities … We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

        This is NOT simply a Republican view, but one of Democrats as well:

        The neocon Democrats adopt “a progressive strategy for defeating Jihadism and defending freedom,” as mentioned in the title of a book authored by the chairman of the Progressive Policy Foundation

        Source: Democratic Neo-Cons: Obama’s “Change” Team

        see also:
        Neo-Cons Part II

        This recent article in the Guardian by Seumas Milne provided a good context to view the midterm elections and Obama’s recent actions:

        Despite the obvious contrast in rhetoric and the crucial role played by his opposition to the Iraq war in his bid for power, it is the continuity rather than the contrast with the Bush administration’s foreign policy that has been striking in Obama’s presidency. Troop numbers have been reduced in Iraq, as agreed by his predecessor, but the occupation goes on. The military campaign in Afghanistan has been sharply escalated, as he promised, and the war on terror dangerously extended.

        US forces are now conducting covert operations in a dozen countries across the Muslim world, from Yemen to Pakistan, where Obama has this year alone authorised six times as many drone attacks as Bush did between 2004 and 2007. But when Obama gives the clear instruction that American troops will start to be withdrawn from Afghanistan in July of next year, he is openly defied by his generals, including the Republican-linked David Petraeus.

        It is a reminder that the US empire is a system, rather than a policy – and also of the limitations of the power of elected office in a corporate-dominated imperial state. There is an echo in Obama’s presidency of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, portrayed as an almost saintly figure in Ridley Scott’s film Gladiator, who waged endless war against the Germanic tribes, and Parthians in Iraq while composing Stoic meditations at night. A good emperor heads an empire nevertheless.”

        I will be busy and will address your second point at a later time.

        salaam aleikum

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      • Mansoor Ansari

        Good points… I have to agree with u completely on this.

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    • Amad

      a. For Muslims first and foremost would be Islamic ones is voting in elections something that is allowable under the shar’iah. (and NO a “fatwa” from a “sheikh” is NOT an evidence)

      The vast majority of Muslims are past this point… we believe it is permissible, and a fatwa from a scholar is sufficient for the layman. One of the roots for extremism in many matters, starting from the khawarij (and I am making a historical reference, not saying this relates to your comment in any way) is when they stripped away scholars from the texts, as if they were in a better position to make the correct interpretation of the latter.

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      • Uthman

        Br Amad, you speak on behalf of alot of people when you are say we are past this point.

        The reality is that many of us muslims are not past this point. There are many brothers and sisters who living here in the West who hold it impermissible to take part in the political process because of xyz reasons. And I very respectfully ask you how can we past this point?

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      • Reasoning!

        I guess it depends what you mean by scholars; are people who studied for a few years in a university in Saudi scholars in the sense that they are qualified to issue fatawa, especially in such complicated issues as this!

        From what I understand is that the difference with regards to voting here in the West is not in relation to whether it is halal or haram because I was under the impression that it is in it’s asl haram. The difference arises with regards to whether or not voting is something which may, in some situations, fall under the lesser of two evils.

        The proof is as they say in the pudding…

        …so those who voted for Obama and encouraged others to do so have to sincerely ask themselves whether or not their actions brought about a better situation for the Muslims (both in the USA and around the world), did it stay the same or did it get worse!

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    • Kamran

      Salam Salman. I think you’re being a teensy-weensy bit unfair. The article does address some of the points you raise.

      The issue of the impermissibility of participating in a non-Muslim political process:

      some of these frustrated young American Muslims believe that it is religiously impermissible to work through a man-made political process. Their frustration cannot be channeled into the political process.

      The issue of the difficulty of actually making changes through the American political process:

      There’s no point in trying to change American foreign policy, because there’s no chance of success. The opposing forces (who want to maintain current American foreign policies towards the Muslim world) are too strong. It would be a sinful waste of our community’s limited human resources and financial resources to try to change American foreign policy.

      The issue of the American Empire:

      Muslim and non-Muslim regimes that oppress Muslims overseas are American allies; America supports them because they cooperate with America. America benefits from the relationship. Maintaining American troops and relationships in the Muslim world allows America to quickly project American power as America sees fit.

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    • Kamran

      Salam. There is no connection between “Muslims For a Safe America” and “Muslims For Bush”; there has never been a connection between “Muslims For a Safe America” and “Muslims For Bush.”

      In my opinion, “Muslims For Bush” was established to encourage Muslims to work with the Republican Party. I had no involvement with “Muslims For Bush.”

      In contrast, “Muslims For A Safe America” was established (by a completely different set of people, including me) to educate American Muslims about national security issues, so that (1) American Muslims can resolve the tensions we feel because our country is at war with some of our fellow Muslims around the world, and so that (2) American Muslims can become informed, effective participants in the national discussion about what domestic policies and what foreign policies will make America and the Muslim world safer.

      Here’s an explanation of the work of “Muslims For a Safe America,” and some background information about me:
      http://muslimsforasafeamerica.org/?page_id=50

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  5. dave

    This post makes no reference to Qur’an or Sunnah on the discussion of legislation. Halal and Haram are primary criterion for action; benefit and harm follow them. First we should address the matter of whether the its Halal to become a member of the legislative authority in USA.

    Secularism (the premise for deciding legislation in USA) is flat out kufr. It denies Allah SWT the right he already has to legislate. Naturally, it follows that one shouldn’t not work as a member of the legislature. Find another solution.

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    • Amad

      the Halal/Haram part has been discussed ad nauseum on these pages before. So, people who believe that it is haram, you have a right to that opinion, but as far as we are concerned the assumption of it being halal is an apriori in this article and future articles. And we don’t intend to go through the same torturous arguments over and over again. Live and let live… don’t vote and let vote.

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      • dave

        The reality of US legislation is clearly as follows: It is passed _only_ by consensus, with 0% consideration for Islam. Surely no one thinks this is Halal?

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      • dave

        As for voting, thats a different issue. Its not the same issue as passing legislation. Different reality, different hukm, and off topic to this discussion.

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  6. Anne

    Salaam,

    We must be involved. Those who actively engage in voice and numbers can be heard. I think it was an article by Hamza Yusuf discussing becoming involved in how policy is shaped. At one point, he discussed libraries which often have more negative books about Islam/Muslims than neutral/positive ones. He stated that if a single negative slanted book about Jews/Israel were put on the shelves, the library would be flooded with letters/emails from people opposing it.

    Small scale thought: Here in Tucson our libraries have tons of hateful books towards Islam, not many that are even neutral much less positive. We have over 10,000 Muslims here. Even 1000 letters thoughtfully but firmly written may change how the library does business. This helps change public opinion in aa sure but steaady way. Also bookstores that highlight anti-Muslim books in prominent places could be boycotted. From libraries to writing letters to local/national politicians, supporting CAIR financially and following through on letter writing campaigns, there are ways to steadily make it known we will not be shoved into a corner and allow ourselves to conitnue to be oppressed by the current climate. But we have to work together despite theological differences.

    We spend a lot of time here arguing the halalness of alternative Halloweens or whether it is wrong to feed the poor on Thanksgiving to be focused on being political force. Other groups, however, run a tight ship and it works very well for them.

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  7. abdur

    Islam is the biggest threat to Western domination because Islam offers a completely different economic, political, and social system that is in conflict with Western goals and objectives. Therefore the West is trying to irradiate Islam and replace it with a moderate, fake version of Islam. No amount of voting and lobbying will change this reality.

    We as Muslims must support the jihad of the mujahideen and educate both Muslims and non Muslims about America’s unjust imperialistic goals.

    5:51 O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your allies & protectors: They are but t allies & protectors of each other. And he amongst you that turns to them is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.

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  8. Zakariyya

    Firstly, in point 5 for not working in the political process, “success” needs to be clearly defined. If it means, will shari`ah be instituted in America, then no I don’t think that’s practical or is likely to happen. However, what is possible is that through increased Muslim involvement in politics (I mean generally and not in any particular capacity), then there’s definitely potential to improve the situations of large numbers of both Muslims and non-Muslims across the country and internationally as well.

    Given this, then the question is, do we just become more discontent with how certain affairs are run while we abstain from becoming involved, or do we work to participate and have more Muslim perspectives heard and taken into account? In this case, simply resigning to the notion that change would take “a long time” is no excuse to do nothing and, a long time later, see nothing changed as a result.

    As for who to help, yes it’s important to help other Muslims, but that doesn’t preclude helping others as well. If an earthquake hit California, would we just seek the Muslims to feed and provide shelter for those affected? Of course not.

    As for Al Qaeda, this is perhaps one of the largest reasons to become more involved. If Al Qaeda isn’t even a well-defined organization, what is “defeating” them even understood to mean? What needs to be explicitly clarified for people is how these acts of terrorism being committed in the name of Islam do not represent the vast majority of Muslims’ views. And Muslims certainly aren’t immune to being affected by these acts either; about 10% of the World Trade Center victims were Muslims (although some may not want to admit that). If one of these misguided individuals succeeds in blow himself up and cause serious damage to the US, then everyone is in danger, but there could be serious backlash from different governments towards Muslims as a whole.

    That’s why it’s important for Muslims to become more involved politically.

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