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Nexus of Politics and Terror


This is quite awesome and covers a few topics discussed here, hat-tip to CAIR’s website.


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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").



  1. Joe P

    June 9, 2007 at 11:07 PM

    Dear Amad…I did watch the video you posted.

    I wasn’t sure where to post this question. I am not trying to attack you or your faith. I am simply trying to better understand your views. A recent study by the Pew Research Center revealed that One out of four young U.S. Muslims believe suicide bombings against innocent civilians are OK to defend Islam. The same study also found that Among the poll’s other disturbing findings was that only 40 percent of U.S. Muslims believe that Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks. Another 28 percent don’t believe it – and 32 percent said they had no view. Some of the findings were summarized in The overall study can be found at:

    Do you think this is an accurate reflection of the attitudes of young American Muslims? If so, what do you attribute that to? Do you and the participants on this blog agree that there are times when it is justified to conduct suicide bombings to innocent civilians in order to defend Islam?

  2. Ruth Nasrullah

    June 10, 2007 at 8:43 AM

    Hi Joe P. I’ve never heard a Muslim justify suicide bombing from an Islamic perspective. Farid Senzai, one of the survey leaders, notes that some respondents may have placed their answers in the context of oppressed people overseas, such as Palestinians. (In other words, as opposed to blowing something up in Iowa!) I think this is an emotional response, but I’d ask someone more knowledgeable than me to comment on whether Islamic law supports killing of innocents in circumstances such as the suffering and oppression that Palestinians endure.

    (BTW, I also found in the report that 15%, not 1 in 4, of surveyed Muslims age 18-29 felt that suicide bombing is justified.)

  3. Amad

    June 10, 2007 at 10:59 AM

    Hello Joe P… My thoughts on the Pew report can be found here:

    #1 & #2

  4. Ruth Nasrullah

    June 10, 2007 at 11:05 AM

    Oops, sorry, Amad, I forgot this was the report you had written about!

  5. Joe P

    June 10, 2007 at 4:29 PM

    Dear Ruth…Thanks for your response. I felt it would be more appropriate to post this question here as opposed to your thread. I try to only post things on your thread that are in some way related to what you or someone else said in order to avoid taking your blog in a direction that is different from its original intention. It is always great to hear from you.

    Dear Amad…Thanks for your very insightful responses. I read them all. I also appreciate getting a better understanding of where Muslims are politically. I had asked Ruth about that as well on her blog. I never knew that Muslims tend to support bigger governments but that makes a lot of sense to me. I figured that they would be more likely to support Democrats due to the Republican support of Israel and the war in Iraq.

    I also appreciate your fair and exceptional analysis of the survey results. As you mentioned, I can definitely see how the American Media can misportray Islam based on these studies (believe it or not, I think they do the same with people who are truly Christian). I was quite alarmed myself when I read the article (although the source in the New York post seemed biased against Muslims in his tone). My bigger concern was that this was a Pew study which tends to be pretty reliable. However, you accurately pointed out that the media portrayal did not give the big picture of Islam that the study did.

    As I said, my intention in bringing up the study was not to attack your faith. From our previous discussion, I had come to view American Muslims as not being as extreme as some of the people portrayed in the media from the Middle East. I had written to Ruth in an email that I actually learned a great deal from our discussion on the her blog even though it may have appeared contrary. My original perception was that the extreme Muslims in the Middle East were practicing the true teachings of Islam and that American Muslims were just sugar coating the Qur’an and not really following it (in America, there are a lot of liberal Christians who water down the teachings of the Bible and don’t really believe in the actual Christian teachings). I had expressed to Ruth that after our discussion on her blog, I really came to understand that it is the extremists who twist the Quran and the faithful American Muslims do try to sincerely abide by all of its teachings. That is why I found the statistics to be a little alarming. However, your analysis makes sense to me. I also agree that Americans should not be too quick to point fingers at Muslims for killing innocent lives when we are doing so in the war we are involved in.

    Thanks as always for taking the time to address my questions about your religion. I always find your insight helpful.

    Joe P.

  6. Amad

    June 10, 2007 at 8:05 PM

    Joe P… its always a pleasure interacting with you. Constructive discussion, not charged arguments, are the way forward, and we have always enjoyed the former with you.

    Umar Lee also wrote an article for Muslimlink (there isn’t a direct link, so you have to look for his name):

  7. Amad

    June 10, 2007 at 10:48 PM

    Here’s an interesting letter to the SF Chronicle that really sets the whole issue of “Muslims supporting suicide attacks” in a new perspective:


    Council on American-Islamic Relations-Bay Area

    Santa Clara
    Editor — I’m at a loss as to why The Chronicle chose to publish Carson Watson’s narrow-minded and misleading June 3 letter attacking Islam and American Muslims.

    Watson blames Islam for poll results that reveal that a small minority of American Muslims believes that suicide bombings can “sometimes” or “rarely” be justified — not “completely justifiable,” as Watson falsely claims.

    Perhaps Watson should compare such results with a 2005 Gallup poll that found that a solid majority of Americans to this day approves of the atomic bombing of Japanese civilians in World War II. I’m curious what simplistic conclusions Watson would be tempted to draw about our own “civilized” Judeo-Christian heritage given this data.

  8. hakim

    June 14, 2007 at 10:54 AM

    as-salaamu ‘alaikum,

    Amad, Professor Ihsan Bagby, University of Kentucky and statistician – known for his studies and census of American Muslims and Executive Director CAIR-Michigan also weigh in on this ‘hot item’, here and here, respectively.

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