By: Khurram Dara
As American Muslims, we find ourselves in a tough situation. Islam has never been under more scrutiny. Our image is tainted and our efforts to change our image thus far have been ineffective. More importantly, time is running out. Continued acts of violence and terrorism perpetrated by Muslims and growing concern among Americans about the religion that seems to be at the forefront of it all, has spurred a national forum on whether Islam, as a religion, fosters intolerance, hate, and violence.

This is a strategy proposed by an American Muslim for American Muslims. It is a strategy that American Muslims should employ, if it is the case that we wish to combat negative stereotypes and perceptions about Islam. If you do not think this is important (even though it is), then this is not for you. But if you have genuine concern about the image of Islam in America and have the foresight to picture what life could be like for us if there is another terrorist attack against America, then this is your handbook. The Crescent Directive explains how we can revamp some of the negative perceptions of American Muslims. It's the story of how PTA meetings, Thanksgiving dinner, and Little League baseball, with the help of Allah, can save the image of Islam in America.

It has several parts. First, we start with how the question about Islam has evolved over the last 10 years. After we narrow in on what the question is now, we discuss what our answers have been, and why they are not effective long-term solutions. Following that, we establish assumptions and outline the strategy of The Crescent Directive. The strategy will include a variety of specific, minor, and at times, seemingly facetious recommendations on changes we American Muslims can make in our everyday lives. The last section is an explanation of how these recommendations will change the image of Islam and closes with a few concerns and caveats.

To download the entire version of The Crescent Directive (for free), click here: you must have Kindle software. If you do not have a Kindle device you can download Kindle for Mac , Kindle for PC , or the Kindle app for your smartphone all free of charge for Muslimmatters readers til 3:00 a.m. EST  TONITE.

26 Responses

  1. BintKhalil

    Assalamu alaikum

    How to facilitate engagement of Muslims with their non-Muslim communities:

    Step 1: DO NOT require them to install a piece of software just to read an essay…

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    • Khurram

      You don’t need to download software, sorry for the misunderstanding…you can read the essay in your browser, buy clicking the “read in kindle cloud reader” all you need to do is be logged in on Amazon.

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    • Carlos

      That’s funny, BintKhalil. Thank you for the laugh. I never download anything from the internet either.

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  2. chuck hird

    The Crescent Directive may just be the most important document of the 21st century if its purpose is accomplished. I only wish I could find a hard copy version as I don’t do Kindle or Kindle wanabees.

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    • Khurram

      You don’t need a kindle or kindle-like device…you can read the essay in your browser, buy clicking the “read in kindle cloud reader” all you need to do is be logged in on Amazon.

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  3. Mansoor Ansari

    After reading the book, I have to ask this. Did the scholars of Muslim Matters go thru the complete book & agree with all the suggestions or do they have reservations abt some of them?

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    • Khurram

      This is in the cover page:

      *The views expressed in “The Crescent Directive” reflect the views of its authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of those at MuslimMatters.org. The views expressed on MuslimMatters.org do not necessarily reflect the views of those who authored “The Crescent Directive.”

      My understanding is that MuslimMatters is a forum for discussing various ideas in the greater Muslim community, both in America and globally, so promoting readers to consider this approach and the ensuing (hopefully) self-examination and internal dialogue that takes place among Muslims, is beneficial for everyone.

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      • none

        Before we starting endorsing of bashing the directive let us hope that its a start. We need bold people to present bold ideas inshaAllah. Even if someone has ideas that are incorrect, inappropriate, if they aren’t revealed then we can’t discuss and improve upon the work of those who came before. But they have to be presented. I have not read the directive YET, but for people who are concerned about establishing their progeny in this land, we need to go through these growing pains and create opportunities to grow as a unit (whether it be an individual, family, community, Ummah). Browser issues should not prevent us from this undertaking inshaAllah. The writers’ of the directive could in fact be open to new ideas and discussions. If they are not, then inshaAllah someone comes up with an alternate directive (the Solar Flare Directive, the Full Moon Directive, the Starry Night Directive, the “Mother of All Directives” Directive, the “It doesn’t matter what your directive is” Directive etc) which improves the original piece inshaAllah. Perfection is only for Kalamullah and wahy, everything else is in need of improvement. Allahu alim.

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      • Mansoor Ansari

        Jazak’Allah Khair,

        I first to commend on you the great initiative you have taken, I have two daughters who r toddlers & I worry abt what kind of America it will be for them by the time they grow up as it so drastically changed in the last 10 yrs. I do agree with most of ur suggestions but I don’t agree with some of them.

        The reason I had asked if scholars have approved of this is bcoz I see some suggestions which most of the general Muslim community & most of the scholars don’t approve of.

        One of this being the celebration of holidays like Thanksgiving, Halloween & New Years. While some scholars in America mite approve of Thanksgiving, from my observation of living in 3 different communities & in course of extensive travel due to my job I don’t see most of the Muslims approving of this esp the Imams. And when it comes to Halloween, I don’t see even the liberal Imams approving Halloween even though they approve of other holidays like Thanksgiving, Fathers & Mothers day etc. In you book you wrote that great many American Muslims already celebrate Halloween but my observation says the opposite. Were these observations based on the wide range of Muslim communities or a specific niche?

        Promotion of Music: Overwhelming of muslims regard Music as haraam even if they do listen to it. This is due to the fact that all 4 school of thoughts have that opinion & those that don’t follow a madhab also have the same opinion. In order to bridge gaps, we don’t & should not indulge in haraam & most importantly not promote it.

        The hot button issue: Terrorism
        It seems like the directive is over & over again blaming all issues on terrorism. Yes, terrorism is an issue & needs to be tackled. But we first need to start with defining it, there no agreed upon definition of terrorism. From my conversations with Muslims & non-Muslims… they both have different definitions of the word. I seriously think defining WHAT IS terrorism & WHAT IS NOT terrorism is very important & this has has to done before we start throwing this heavy word around.

        And to present it as if terrorism just came out of the blue & the west is free of any blame is presenting the issue in black & white when it’s not.

        I think to put so much emphasis on ‘terrorism’ & believing that eradication of it will stop them from hating Muslims is being naive. Looking at our history, we were hated even when there was no terrorism. Prophet Muhammed (saw) was preaching peacefully in Makkah & Muslim were hated and it continues to this day. My father comes from a country whr they were was no terrorism but Muslims were hated even then and yes they are r very much integrated & assimilated into the local culture that one can’t say tell the Muslim & non-muslim apart till the Muslim says he’s one. Bosnia is another prime example of how complete integration & assimilation was not able to save them. Hopefully, we don’t end like how Bosnian Muslims did or the situation of the Muslims of my dad’s country are in. I pray that my fears are just fears & don’t turn into reality.

        I hope you don’t take my criticism as an personal attack as they are not.

        Jazak’Allah Khair for your time.

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      • Abdullah

        So how does putting up a disclaimer make something Haram, Halal to propagate through an Islamic website? I’m quite disappointed that MM would allow such views to be expressed through here. MM admins: Wa La Taawanu Alal Ithmi.

        Also, if you felt that it was that important for everyone to read, why do you have to put it up for sale only? If you want to sell it on Amazon, that’s fine. But a free version of it should be available as well.

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  4. Tahmid

    http://www.halaltube.com/nouman-ali-khan-the-first-response-to-islamophobia-in-america

    Salam to the author of this article, May Allah(swt) bless you for your effort, I am having some difficulty reading it but will try to do so soon. This lecture by Brother nouman ali explains this well, If we muslims living in America want to improve our image just for the sake of being more liked in society and to avoid all the negative stereotypes then that’s the wrong intention to have as muslims. We should be projecting Islam in it’s true light for the sake of Allah and to show the people what Islam really is and if that’s our intention than InshaAllah we will be aided by Allah(swt).

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  5. Abdurrahman

    Salamalaikum wa rahmatullah

    Having used the Amazon account to try to access the document; I was denied access to anything beyond the preface – in spite of attempting to read it using the Amazon browser.

    wassalam

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  6. maryam

    The name ‘Crescent Directive’: why push the stereotype that indeed muslims believe in a moon god ? Muslims dont believe in a moon god rather believe God caused the moon to form.

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    • Carlos

      Maryam, are you a proponent of the impact theory of lunar formation or the co-formation theory?

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      • Maryam

        Well, I agree with mostly everything including evolution except the human evolution part that user potholer54 of youtube says. The point where cosmologists says we dont know, I assume the position of a theist.

        Potholer54 is an atheist, and I enjoy listening to his point of view.
        As far as I understand, you cant prove God, simply because he is in the unseen and outside of this physical world.

        As an atheist you may struggle with Islam a lot; as a muslim when I stepped out and tried to experience something non muslimish / something that an atheist would consider normal, the experience was yucky :) … but it made many things clear to me, why a muslim who understands Islam correctly chooses to live in Islam.

        I can understand your point of view very clearly but alas I really cant substantiate in any way to show you my point of way that is Islam and why it is correct. And I understand when choosing between Islam and atheism why you would choose the latter. :) …

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  7. none

    Ok so now we have a problem. If we only had till 3am last night to read the directive, perhaps you (Khurram) should just make a pdf file available if this idea will be discussed. Otherwise people won’t be able to read your directive. Perhaps do a google books sort of thing where you release some of the document but not the whole thing if you plan on selling copies. You’d put a couple of pages from the first part, middle, and last part of the document.

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  8. none

    So in addition to our imams being trained on these dawah based points. We should also have our masjids employ some PR people or train youth in PR so we can begin the process of at least EXPLAINING our community’s islamic identity. Allahu alim

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  9. Carlos

    Step 2: Don’t assume this is just a matter of PR, and that non-Muslim Americans are just a bunch of stupid, ignorant, decadent, bigoted rednecks.

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    • A. Seymour K

      The above person is correct. ‘PR’ is not a ‘solution’ to ‘Islamophobia.’

      A great number of people dislike the truth and justice that is inherent in Islam, for various reasons worldly or spiritually. Hindus dislike Islam because it rebukes them, liberal atheists (such as Carlos) dislike Islam for all manner of reasons (I think the only thing less compatible with Islam than liberal atheism is Communism, probably)… and so forth.

      The only way to get people such as Carlos to like you is to give up Islam or make it so that it doesn’t inform you in your life, morality, or sense of self in any way, which is the exact same thing.

      It is not a matter of ‘PR,’ because no amount of PR will erase the fundamental beliefs of Islam which are what many people have an issue with.

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      • Carlos

        Liking someone or not is something that goes-on on an interpersonal level. If you do not personally know someone, you cannot really “like” them. I like most people I know. Some people think I am naive in that sense. I have never personally met any of the Muslims who comment on this website, but, in so far as I do know them, I do like many of them, and many of their sentiments.

        Of the people I have met personally in my life, I like many who have starkly different philosophies than I do. There are not that many open atheists where I live, so, if I only liked other open atheists, I would like very few of the people I know.

        What is more important is that I love and respect all of my fellow humans, which I do. The only thing one needs to be loved and liked by someone like me is to be a human being, something for which we all qualify. I can see the good and the noble even in my worst enemies, the most awful haters and the most detestable criminals. When I think of someone I dislike, like a violent criminal I see on the news, I sometimes think of that person as an innocent child, and how much potential that child had to be a decent person. I think about the fact that the innocent child is still somewhere inside that person, and can still be reached, shown love, and made better.

        Muslim commentators of Muslim Matters, in so far as I know you, I like you. I have been very impressed by many of your comments, convictions and sentiments. I wish we could be closer. Even some who have said mean or stubborn things to me, I do not take it too personally, because I disagree with your negative opinions, including your negative opinions of me. More essentially, I love and respect you. I will never lose sight of your humanity and equality to me. You do not have to give-up your religion for me to continue liking and loving you.

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  10. chuck hird

    I very much would like to read the entire Crescent irective but have been unable to do so. I have tried Amazon cloud reader and unable to read there. I would be willing to pay for a hard copy if available. Not willing to buy a Kindle because I still wish to read from a paper page.

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  11. chuck hird

    I finally figured out how to get a copy of The Crescent Directive. Thank you all for your help. I now have downloaded the free Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader and paid the $0.99 for a copy. Now to get the time to read it.

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