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Innalhamdulillah. We’d like to thank Allah for giving us the opportunity to be part of a positive message about our positive religion. We also ask Allah to keep our intentions pure, and allow us to only speak the truth and nothing but the truth. There is nothing in this religion that calls for dishonesty or encourages any sort of injustice, and everyone who has studied it properly, knows it. We pray that all Muslims remain honest to this message.

Next, MuslimMatters would like to thank the organizers of Ilm Summit – AlMaghrib and The Freedom and Justice Foundation’s Mohamed Elibiary for helping set up our participation in the round-table discussion with CNN (a few minutes of which appear in the video below).

On a side note, this day marks the first time when “keyboard jihadist” (term coined first on MM) went mainstream!

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Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.



  1. Hassan

    August 12, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    Although there definitely exists keyboard jihadists and should be countered with websites like muslimmatters and academic institutes like Al-Maghrib, I am just thinking if government can use this term to start persecuting them? (meaning keyboard jihadists), Although they may have not committed any crimes

    • Amad

      August 12, 2010 at 3:21 PM

      There is no doubt quite a few Muslims have been caught up in entrapment and other injustices. Injustice cannot defeat injustice. It’s a vicious cycle. And the law enforcement in this country should also understand (and this is part of the discussion that is ongoing with F&J and others) that the same applies to them, i.e. don’t be unjust to beat injustice.

      I can’t think of a context where the term could be even abused to prosecute. There has to be some real underlying issues, even if protected by the constitutional right to freedom of speech (a right that is really in flux for Muslims these days).

      To be honest, I think there is a great benefit of such a term, as it reminds people that a lot of radicalization is in the basement, youth who are really harmless (or gutless), so let’s focus on them, but don’t over-blow the situation.

      • Hassan

        August 12, 2010 at 4:13 PM

        t reminds people that a lot of radicalization is in the basement, youth who are really harmless (or gutless), so let’s focus on them, but don’t over-blow the situation.

        Exactly well said

      • Baasel

        August 16, 2010 at 5:16 PM

        Aasalamu Aalaykum.

        I found an interesting comment from Br. Amad Shaikh’s old blog. Looking at MM articles today versus older ones, it seems there’s a difference in thought. I’m wondering, was there a shift in a way of thinking for some of the MM Writers? I especially noticed that Sh. Yasir Qadhi may have gone from agreeing Sheikh Al-Munajjid’s worldview to endorsing views of Zaytuna perhaps in recent years. I really don’t want to draw any conclusions but do feel there’s definitelt a shift in though for some Du’at, and feel left in the dark because there was never an official announcement or article by Sheikh Yasir openly stating that he has recanted some of his older views. If I’m wrong, where can I find out more about it, and what caused Sh. Yasir to evolve (or morph) from of his earlier views?

        “Have you ever wondered why Muslims are asked ad nauseam to condemn violence against innocent people?…NOW, it is our turn to tables a bit, and ask the Russians, the Israelis, the Indians, and all those who are torturing and killing innocent human beings around the world, why are you not condemning the actions of your fellow country-men/government? That these human beings are Muslims should not matter the least, even though I would be naive to actually believe that. Why are you not standing up against state-terrorism? And why limit it to these three nations, why don’t you (all the “enlightened” citizens of the West), who keep prodding Muslims to have a march to condemn what we have NOTHING to do with, stand up and condemn what these ruthless states are doing to Muslims? Don’t you see how these very real and sad images of inhumanity could be misused to feed the scourge of terrorism? On our part, we will continue to condemn the butchers who are acting in the name of Islam. But, the real question to our non-Muslim friends is, when will you condemn the terror in the name of States.” -Amad Shaikh, February 19, 2007

        • Amad

          August 16, 2010 at 7:59 PM

          Nothing here that has been recanted. There is a time for this and a time for that… not mutually exclusive.

        • AsimG

          August 17, 2010 at 1:06 AM

          With time comes wisdom.
          I think the du’at must never ever forget the injustices in the Muslim world and must continue to speak out against US/Israeli/Russian/Indian war crimes, but they must also look at what is happening today and engage in a proper and beneficial dialog without acting like a sell-out.

          A hard balance to find and may Allah make it easy for them.

          We as their students must learn from them, but also remind them not to get lost into the games of PR and PC censorship (or on the other end of the spectrum depending on the shaykh).

          But none of that is going to happen if we become enamored with their knowledge and or fame and act like yes-men around them.

          So jazakullah khair for the reminder.

          • Amad

            August 17, 2010 at 2:32 AM

            The problem is that CNN played only 30 seconds of nearly hour long conversations, so you only get one angle of the story.

            We are going to put up the entire conversation with the almaghrib scholars on MM inshallah…

            In most discussions, the issue of foreign policy was front and center, as the prime motivation for radicalism. Indeed, all polls point out that the majority of radicalism is politically driven, not religiously driven (see Dalia’s research on this subject). Most radicals have little training in Islam, other than picking up a bit here and there on the net, etc. However, this is an area we can’t directly control. That is why the MM poll didn’t have this question. Bad foreign policy as an impetus for anger is a given.

            The question then is, assuming bad foreign policy continues, how do we prevent youth from doing foolish things to channel their anger/frustration? It is this area we can affect more. How can the frustration be channeled into effective means of communicating change to policy-makers, and other areas of positive energy. Instead of thinking of loony schemes, think of becoming part of the local community networks, or city council, and so on. Only when we start affecting America positively, will our concerns of America’s unjust foreign policies be taken into account. For our voices to be heard, they have to be received first.

  2. Muhammad

    August 12, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    They spelled Sheikh Yasir’s name like five different ways :D

    • Youssef Chouhoud

      August 12, 2010 at 3:13 PM

      For that matter, who’s “Ahmed Shiakh”? :D

      Alhamdulilah, it’s the thought that counts :P

    • Sayf

      August 12, 2010 at 6:29 PM

      LOL – poor Amad.

      • Amad

        August 13, 2010 at 1:20 AM

        at least they fixed my first name… and Yasir’s last…

  3. AsimG

    August 12, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    A very important accomplishment, masha’Allah!

    Insha’Allah this will bring more non-Muslims to this site to see true Islamic orthodoxy written by real Muslim Americans and at the very least realize Islam has nothing to do with terrorism.

  4. iMuslim

    August 12, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    Masha’Allah – what a great Ramadan gift for MM & the Muslim community.

    It’s weird. I’ve been working on the site for three years, and this is the first time I’ve seen so many of my fellow staff members in the flesh. :)

  5. Al-Madarasi

    August 12, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    Alhamdhulillah, its so nice to see MM on CNN and the Media. May Allah bless everyone involved with MM.

    Also an oppurtunity to see some behind the scene faces of MM

  6. Pingback: Ify & MuslimMatters on CNN: Countering Extremism « Muslim Apple

  7. Marty

    August 12, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    LIKE!!! :D:D:D

  8. Justin

    August 12, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    Keep up the good work, MM.

  9. Ameera Khan

    August 12, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Alhumdolillah! Besides the obvious importance of this message reaching people, I am sure MM readers were also happy to see some of the faces behind the names here. :D

    May Allah keep us steadfast on the truth! Ameen.

  10. shehu

    August 12, 2010 at 10:59 PM

    salam alaikun, i am very happy to be part of this program, hope this will let non muslim know that islam about peace, that not all they hear about islam is true, here are the true muslims, am not an american but am a muslim living in europe, and i think this is a very good idea to showcase the true picture of islam.

  11. Musliman

    August 12, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    Allahu Akbar!

  12. Safia Farole

    August 12, 2010 at 11:41 PM

    Ma’shallah that was great! You all did a wonderful job, may Allah bless you! Ramadan Kareem everyone.

  13. Tuwaylib

    August 13, 2010 at 3:08 AM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli haal. Another beautiful show of ‘Amercan Islamism’.

    I do not know much about the organizational structure of OBL’s group and I have no problem stating that targeting civilians is haram however, did the ‘shuyukh’ forget scholars like Abdullah ibn Jibreen and his tazkiya for the man?

    Secondly, please define in clear terms what your scholars of the west mean by:

    arm chair jihadist

    Every so often a more disgusting article comes out of this website. I used to hold Yasir Qadhi in high esteem, however, ever since his return to America I have become disgusted with his pseudo-Ijtihad, his open alliance with the west and pseudo flag bearer of scholarship in N.America. I (somewhat reluctantly) wait for the day he and the other ‘scholars’ declare the scholars of old who have passed away in recent years such as ibn baz, ibn uthaymeen, ibn jibreen etc were on a khariji tip. -By Allah, these are times when Sh. Ali at-Timimi is really missed.

    It is because of this and other past blunders (meeting with Blair, natural allies of the West, understanding of diyar, wala and bara) I openly tell people to take your knowledge on issues related to the west from the likes of Sh. Haytham al-Haddad, Sh. Suhaib Hasan, Sh. Abu ‘Abdissalam and others who have not folded under pressure in the UK.

    May Allah give us thabat in the deen. Ameen

  14. Sofia

    August 13, 2010 at 5:36 AM

    MashaAllah! A great accomplishment indeed. It’s nice to see the Muslims on a positive manner in the media, especially on CNN.


    p.s. Ify…. YOU ROCK!

  15. Mahboob Hussain

    August 13, 2010 at 5:39 AM

    There are many positives to this no doubt. That is clear for everyone to see.

    But CNN and its ilk have an ideological element to their dawah to reform Islam. An Islam that fails to even attempt to challenge the injustices that the west is perpertrating day in, day out.

    I also have issues about their definitions of terms such as extremism and radicalisation. yes we as Muslims should be against all forms of violent and random murder but I just feel that the definitions they are going by are not the ones that our shoyookh are going by. Do they know that we also class extremism as laxity in ones religion? thought not.

    please dont take my comments as a rant but rather as a reminder that they are definately not singing off the same hymn sheet as us.

    Nice bit of PR though :)


    • Ameera Khan

      August 13, 2010 at 11:28 AM

      You are right, however, we see this as a positive portrayal of Muslims nonetheless. And the idea is not that the Muslim Matters team is in any way, let’s say “dependent” on air time such as on CNN but the fact that Muslim Matters was featured is still a welcome step. Like you said, “nice bit of PR”.

      It goes back to the same message in the youtube video “Injustice Cannot Defeat Injustice” – you and I agree that’s where we need to set our sights, and always aim to please Allah(swt), not any individual or organization. :)

  16. Faraz Omar

    August 13, 2010 at 6:08 AM

    Coooooolll!! Masha Allah. Congrats MM!!! :D

  17. Sami

    August 13, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    AMAD – You have an accent!!! Shocker.

    • Amad

      August 13, 2010 at 10:47 AM

      Thank god my full time job is not speaking :) the accent doesn’t show in my writings so I am okay!

      • AsimG

        August 13, 2010 at 11:17 AM

        I was shocked with the accent too!

        I always pictured you as a well-adjusted fellow ABCD lol

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  19. Junayd

    August 13, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    Aasalamu Aalaykum

    Ramadan Kareem to everyone. I have a question.

    I was listening to a fantastic lecture called “Refuting attacks against Islam” by Yasir Qadhi, Abu Sufyan, and Abu Aaliyah, which was recorded in Houston, Texas in 2001. One of the speakers during the lecture, responding to the allegation that Muslims are terrorists, said: “How many people have died from Muslim terrorism and how many people have died from Western attacks?”

    After watching Muslim Matters on CNN, it seems there’s been a shift in strategy in responding to allegations against Islam. It appears that some of us believe that responses such as these are no longer conducive. And that as Dr. Zakir Naik said in his Media and Islam lecture, that we no longer have the courage to allege that the West is the violent one.

    I wish our Muslim representatives and brethren on CNN would have at minimum, brought up the issue of the +700 Muslims killed in Northern Pakistan via U.S. drone strikes, 30,000 Afghans killed post 9/11, hundreds of thousands killed by U.S. sanctions against Iraq in the 90’s and post 9/11, and the United States’ unconditional support for Israel. And then finish that off with actual cases or detailed examples to re-humanize Muslim casualties which barely make American headlines. You could even state that “Muslim youth are turning to radicalization, because America has radicalized its population against Muslims by constantly showing images of U.S. troops being killed. Additionally, the media belittles Muslim casualties, causing Muslim youth to determine what’s actually going on.”

    I personally believe Muslim youth are becoming radicalized because we talk so little about what’s happening overseas and ignore chapters in the Qur’an like Surah Tawba or Surah Al-Anfal. And from the Seerah, we enjoy talking about “The Treaty of Hudaibiya” and “How Indonesia became Muslim.”

    I’m afraid that if I’m accused of being a thief over the span of years, and in response, all I do is say “no, I’m not!” what impact will my distancing myself from the allegation have?

    According to some studies in psychology, by constantly being defensive and trying to distance ourselves from an allegation, we can actually advance and strengthen that allegation. In this case, the allegation is that (some) Muslims are violent, and hence America in response feels justified in dealing with them with violence. My proposal would be is that Shayukh and Imams study Fiqh-ul-Waqi, both the armed and ideological warfare against Muslims, so they have some verbal ammo when they appear on CNN next time insh’Allah.

    Ramadan Kareem. Forgive me if I said anything incorrect. Allah forgive our sins, and plant the goal of Jannah in our hearts.

    • Hassan

      August 14, 2010 at 12:26 AM

      You could even state that “Muslim youth are turning to radicalization, because America has radicalized its population against Muslims by constantly showing images of U.S. troops being killed. Additionally, the media belittles Muslim casualties, causing Muslim youth to determine what’s actually going on.”

      Muslimmatters should have included that point in their recent poll. No doubt terrorism is wrong and should be condemned and fought against, but part of fighting is to eliminate root causes for it.

  20. Anonymous

    August 13, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    Aaasalamu Aalaykum.

    I tried looking for the video on YouTube. I found it, as well as this comment below (not my own):

    (I’ve edited it, if you don’t mind.)

    “Killing the innocent is WRONG, but CNN has an EVIL agenda which is to trick you into thinking that terrorism is caused by misguided Muslims instead of U.S. foreign policy. They also want you to spend your time condemning terrorist attacks instead of using your power to fight against the American government, its puppet regimes and its allies which is the cause of all the violence in the Muslim world and the terror attacks in the US & Canada.”

    “A real Muslim is always harsh towards the non Muslims and lenient towards the Muslims. These.. . Muslims [Muslim Matters] will condemn Muslims that attack the West yet will not condemn American terrorism even though America is the cause of much of the trouble we face today. Let’s not try to be like those who that try to please the disbelievers. ”

    I agree with this comment somewhat, but would add something. Muslim Matters, time after time, has claimed that they have condemned American terrorism committed in the Muslim world. However, when you look at such posts, they try to remain completely non-controversial, or say something which doesn’t stir up anything. MM has posted generic condemnations and posts on the Dr. Aafia case. But I also wish they would take a more recent atrocity committed by NATO and humanize those casualties, by talking about how those Muslims were killed, where they were killed, when, their names. It’s these factors that count. When you just make general condemnations, you’re not really empathizing with anybody or creating that love for the Ummah.

  21. Mohammed Buhari

    August 13, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    I was really impressed when I saw Ify Okoye on CNN. It immediately gave me a sense of belonging, that Islamic brotherhood that a woman from my country Nigeria is soaring high this time around not in CRIME but in VIRTUE.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Ameera Khan

      August 14, 2010 at 10:57 AM

      Brother, that is exactly the kind of message that needs to go out and did this time, Alhumdolillah. Ify represents countless other women like her who’ve made that struggle and are still doing so, for the sake of Allah(Swt) and through that, becoming model citizens for society. :)

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  23. Shumaila Siddiqui

    August 15, 2010 at 8:01 AM


    Alhamdulillah a positive achievement for the Muslim world..Keep up the good work MM ,May Allah bless u all (Aameen)

  24. Shumaila Siddiqui

    August 15, 2010 at 8:04 AM


    Alhamdulillah .. Excellent work!! MashaAllah keep it up MM..MAY Allah bless u all Aameen

  25. abu islam

    August 15, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    yes we need to fight extremism. i dont support suicide bombing and likes of it. we muslim should be away from name calling (keyboard jihadist)

  26. Mansoor Ansari

    August 19, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Keyboard jihadists – hahaha. Heard for the 1st time but it’s quite catchy!

    I think we can add keyboard activists & pacifists to the list too!

    There will always be keyboard jihadists, activists , pacifists… (at one time they were paper jihadists, activists , pacifists) & I would say that each side do need them as they have the capability to shift opinions using the 21st century media options. Don’t under estimate & belittle ur enemy, that’s could become the reason for ur loss & them to win!

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