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Friday Khutbah: In Response to Anti-Islam Rally in Phoenix

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This Khutbah was given on the same day the Anti-Islam rally was supposed to take place in Phoenix, Arizona.

Among other things, the Khutbah touched on the following:

1. The fact that everything in the universe is based on the Wisdom of Allah.  We have to trust that an unfortunate event, like armed haters intimidating worshipers in front of a mosque, will turn into something good at the end

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2. The “myth” of drawing the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and the “wise” way to respond

3. The two different approaches that the Quran recommends when it comes to people who are open-minded and people who are blinded by hateimage012

Sure enough, part of this came true the very next Monday when people of all faiths showed up at the very mosque that was under protest.  It was a breathtaking scene to witness over 800 people who all came in support of their Muslim neighbors.  Speeches were given, hugs were exchanged, and unity was affirmed.  Evidently, this show outnumbered the hate show of merely 200 people.  I will leave you with some pictures of this unprecedented event that took place at the North Phoenix mosque in the heart of Arizona:

 

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Born and raised in Lebanon, Hlayhel began attending study circles at his local mosque when he was ten. He came to the United States at 17 and studied electrical engineering at the University of Houston. At its MSA, he met Sh Yasir Qadhi and worked together to raise Islamic awareness on campus. Hlayhel studied traditional sciences of Aqeedah (Islamic creed), Fiqh (Islamic law) and Nahw (Arabic grammar) under Sh Waleed Basyouni and Sh Waleed Idriss Meneese among others. After settling in Phoenix AZ, he worked tirelessly, in the capacity of a board member then a chairman, to revive the then dead AZ chapter of CAIR in order to face the growing Islamophobia in that state and to address the resulting civil right violations. Today, he's considered the second founder of a strong CAIR-AZ. In addition, Hlayhel is a part-time imam at the Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley in Phoenix, husband and father of four. His current topics of interest include positive Islam, youth coaching, and countering Islamophobia.

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 11, 2015 at 12:08 PM

    All of you Muslims are being so darn HYPOCRITICAL!

    It is really, truly, and totally mind boggling!

    It’s like a never ending episode of Twilight Zone! (I know that you’ve maybe never watched it as it was made by white devils, but hopefully you’ve at least heard of it?)

    If you look up Double Standards and Hypocrisy in the dictionary, you guys will be there front and center!

    I have said this on other threads, and no surprise (duhhhh!), no one could address or counter my points…. And NOTE: I’m NOT a Zionist, an Israeli apologist, or a Christian… Heck I used to be pro-Palestinian (and probably still am… by default anyone who’s not a rabid, fanatical Zionist probably falls into this category, at least according to the Israel apologists)

    You guys are ALWAYS saying how you want non-Muslims/white people to respect your religion, correct????

    HOWEVER, and this is the kicker… You say that all white people are EVIL, and that all white people are DEVILS!!!!!!!!

    You say that all white people are DEVILS!!!!!!!!!!

    You say that all white people are DEVILS!!!!!!!!!!

    And I personally, and no offense, do not agree with the religion of Christianity and the confusing “Trinity” doctrine (although I totally, 100% respect people of this faith…) HOWEVER, at least they are NOT calling white people (or black people, or Asian people, or Latino people, etc.) DEVILS!!!

    At least they don’t condemn a whole race of people ONLY because of the COLOR of their skin!!!

    • Avatar

      ibn bello

      June 11, 2015 at 4:10 PM

      Hello ,
      Please Dont be offended by them
      Rather look at what the religion teaches instead;

      In the Qur’an, it clearly states:

      “Oh Mankind, We (God) created you from a single pair of a male and a female (Adam and Eve), and made you into tribes and nations so that you may know one another (not so that you despise each other). Verily, the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah (God) is he who is most righteous of you.”
      The Qur’an, Chapter 49, Verse 13

      The Prophet (pbuh) also reiterated this point in his last sermon to the people, as can be seen from the following excerpt:

      “O people, Remember that your Lord is One. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a black has no superiority over white, nor a white has any superiority over black, except by piety and good action (Taqwa). Indeed the best among you is the one with the best character (Taqwa).
      The Prophet’s Last Sermon as reported in Baihaqi.
      So please bro “Islam” and “muslims” are different.

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:12 PM

        Dear ibn bello,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. What you posted is nothing but the Truth. People of all races need to reflect on these words.

        Indeed, we all must look at the teachings and texts as far as this religion (and others), and NOT look at individuals, or what people may or may not say, or do and not do. It’s 100% clear that according to the teachings of Islam (including the Quran and the Sunnah) there is no room for racism, bigotry, or prejudice (this is basically true for the other Abrahamic religions as well).

        Again, please forgive me. And thank-you for writing me back, and for posting the beautiful text that you have posted.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

    • Avatar

      queenrafat

      June 12, 2015 at 2:05 AM

      who ever calls all white people devils is ignorant i don’t mean to be offensive so for you to think that majority of Muslims think white people are bad is unfair. there are so many white people who are Muslims and even those who are non Muslims there are a lot of them who are good. islam those not judge amyone base on skin color.

    • Avatar

      AbuYusuf

      June 15, 2015 at 11:20 PM

      Okay, now ConfusedGuy has got ME confused!

      Great post by the way. I do hope that Muslims throughout the country will remember this response from people of other faiths, and stand in support in others as well. Ultimately, anyone practicing any religion is simply trying to get closer to God. It’s not up to us to judge.

    • Avatar

      Faisal Abbasi

      July 8, 2015 at 7:34 AM

      You couldn’t be further from the truth. Islam is a religion that preaches equality for all people, and was the first religion to banish slavery over 1400 years ago. You are referring to The Nation of Islam which is a political movement in the US lead by Louis Farrakhan. The Nation of Islam was created in the days of the black Civil Rights Movement in America, which was fighting against slavery, and segregation of the African Americans. The founder of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, who had studied world religions was greatly impressed with the Islamic injunctions regarding the fair treatment of all races of people and the famous last sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) where he stated that a white person was not superior to a black person and a black person was not superior to a white person. Elijah Muhammad was so impressed with these words that he decided to name himself Muhammad and his political organisation, The Nation of Islam. Furthermore, history had shown that many black people that were shackled and shipped over to America from Africa by the white slave traders, were Muslims. But they were stripped of their original names and identities and were given Christian names like Thomas, Luke and Matthew. Because of the cruel history of slavery in America, African Americans took it upon themselves to form various movements, some more militant than others, to fight against the inhumane and unjust treatment of their people across America. This is why the Nation of Islam refers to whites as ‘the devil,’ as you have stated, and has adopted a fairly militant approach to dealing with the race issue in America, especially with its rhetoric. So you should not confuse the world religion Islam, which has over 1.7 billion followers across the globe with the Nation of Islam. They really have nothing in common with each other apart from their similar names and the fact that the members of the Nation of Islam refer to themselves as Muslims and quote from the Qur’an, often out of context. Just because you call yourself a Muslim, it doesn’t make you a Muslim. I hope you are clearer about the points you have raised. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

  2. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 11, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    What?????

    Your prophet was not a “white” man, or what you all refer to as “devils” meaning European!!!!! So spare me the BS, sorry to be blunt. You say don’t worry about what your people say??????? They see me as an evil devil, that was only on the earth to do evil, despicable, heinous satanic things… You believe that we are all evil, dirty and filthy, and you want us gone?

    You think all whites are evil devils!!!!

    And you people are always talking about killing whites and evil crackers, including BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    These are YOU MUSLIMS are saying this over and over and over and over and over and well you get the point…

    There are thousands of videos of this, as you know what you are saying…

    • Aly Balagamwala

      Aly Balagamwala

      June 12, 2015 at 7:40 AM

      Dear Confused Guy

      Please take some time out to learn Islam, not through random Youtube videos, but by going to the local mosque and talking to real muslims and asking the Imam of the mosque about Islam.

      Best Regards
      Aly

      *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:03 PM

        Aly Balagamwala,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart.

        Thanks for your advice. I know I can’t learn about Islam from random videos, or shaykh google. I think things can be enhanced to a certain extent, but at the end of the day, it’s nothing at all like going to a mosque/masjid and talking to someone in person, and learning from and asking questions directly to these people. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even of people have been Muslim for 50 years (regardless if they are converts or not), it’s always best to go to a person of knowledge to ask them in person, any questions that they may have.

        I again apologize to you, the MM crew and moderators, and everyone else, and I again want to thank the MM moderators for letting me post again, and letting me apologize to some of the posters here. Again thanks again for your comment.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  3. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 11, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    “Kill em all” – Khallid Abdullah Muhammad

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=biadSUyWr0A

    • Avatar

      queenrafat

      June 12, 2015 at 2:09 AM

      i just watched the video you shared for crying out loud if you watched the video you would know the man wasn’t talking about Islam he was talking from his own personal grief. islam has never supported racism .

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:04 PM

        Dear queenrafat,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. What you said was indeed very logical and basically “common sense.” I think that people act like this (as far as the guy in the first video) and have these kinds of beliefs because they have really been traumatized in so many ways (not that this necessarily excuses it though). I’m not a psychologist though, and I’m the one that maybe needs help, lol. But hatred and racism didn’t start 100 years ago. This is something we all as people of bani Adam have suffered from in various degrees, although we must do all that we can to try to not have it in our hearts (as hard as this may be).

        Again, please forgive me, and thanks again for your words.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

    • Avatar

      erap

      June 12, 2015 at 2:11 AM

      So now Khallid Abdullah Muhammad is your prophet ?

      There are others who said otherwise and yet you choose Khallid Abdullah Muhammad ?

      Now, that’s hypocitical and double-standard.

      Looks like to you ALL Muslims are hypocrites. That’s seems to be the thinking of a narrow-minded person.

  4. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 12, 2015 at 7:40 AM

    Well, he’s your Muslim brother!!!!!!!! Ohhhhhh, it’s okay because he was only talking about his personal grief!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhh, poor guy, as guess we all should feel sorry for him…..

    Your MUSLIM BROTHER is only talking about KILLING all white people (who you all hate), including BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And that white (DEVIL) woman are factories (when getting pregnant) for future evil WHITE DEVILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He even talks about digging up white DEVILS and killing them AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He is YOUR MUSLIM BROTHER!!!!!!!!!

    What kind of god do you worship that says you can slaughter ALL white people???????!!!!!! (i.e. DEVILS if course)

    You people are the must RACIST, HATEFUL people I have ever heard!!!!!!!!!! You want to kill ALL white DEVILS!!!!! Ohhhh, nothing “personal” right!!!!!!!

    Your Allah and you Muslims says to kill WHITE BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    There are a lot if videos just like this of Muslim preachers!!!

    But, uhhh, nothing personal right??????!!!

    • Avatar

      t

      June 12, 2015 at 3:11 PM

      Hey confused guy, I am white European and muslim. And not a self hating one at that!

      • Avatar

        Jerome Boulter

        June 12, 2015 at 5:08 PM

        I am a white Muslim, too.

        I am also a white Muslim

        Narrated by Hazrat Uns(RZ)
        “Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)’s complexion was glowing white”
        (sahi Muslim, kitab ul Fazail. no 2330)

        Narrated by Hazrat Ali(AS)
        “Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)’s complexion was a beautiful mixture of white and red color”
        (Masnad Imam Humbal, no 944)

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:13 PM

        t,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. Of course there are European and white Muslims and Muslims of all different ethnicities and colors.

        I think that in general many non-Muslims are not generally aware of this (I could be very wrong of course, and maybe it’s only a small number?). And I know obviously it’s not that the people that aren’t aware of this are bad or have negative intentions, it’s just that in many countries (especially in the West) the majority of the adherents, including converts, to Islam are people of color (although all people have colors, lol) or non-European derived people, so one can understand why many people may think this.

        I think that there are even less people that are actually aware of the fact that there are majority Muslim countries in Europe, made up of indigenous Muslims, including Albania, Kosovo (I guess now considered to be a country), Bosnia and Herzegovina (although maybe the Muslims are less than 50%), and Chechnya (which was never historically part of Russia or Tzarist Russia until being occupied in the mid/late 1800s (?), and they tried again to get their independence after the fall of the Soviet Union; of course most people in the world – including many Muslims – I believe are not aware of the mass expulsions and ethnic cleansing that they repeatedly suffered from at the hands of Stalin and others).

        Thanks again for writing back to me, and please again forgive me.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  5. Avatar

    mir

    June 12, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    verily those who do not understand the truth are misguided….

    • Avatar

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

      June 13, 2015 at 11:11 PM

      Jerome Boulter,

      Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart…

      Thanks for writing to me, and of course I know that anyone regardless of race or ethnicity can be Muslim, and I know that the Prophet (pbuh) was sent to the whole of mankind, and I believe also the jinns (what other religions would maybe call “spirits”), so it doesn’t matter how The Lord created us on the outside, all of that is so superficial, and unimportant, etc. He cares who we are on the inside, and how we feel, and what we believe in our hearts.

      And again, thank-you for writing to me.

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  6. Avatar

    Terry Heaton

    June 12, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    I don’t think Confused is as confused as he’d have us believe. Anonymous trolls are like that. He spews hatred, because we react, and that gives him/her the juice to carry on. The reality on the matter is that the American public wouldn’t broadbrush groups like the KKK, Westboro Baptist, the Oklahoma City bombers, and many, many others as “Christian,” because we know better. The same rules, however, don’t apply to Muslims, and this is the propaganda victory of Zionists and other profiteers who live off the confusion. Just because a visible leader calls himself Muslim doesn’t mean that he is, for only God/Allah looks upon the heart. It is sloppy thinking to postulate that all are guilty for the sins of the few. And don’t even get me started on the role our own government (CIA) has played in keeping the pot stirred.

    • Avatar

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

      June 13, 2015 at 11:05 PM

      Terry Heaton,

      I don’t blame you for thinking some of these things, because of my immature behavior, and my writing style, and I hope you and others can accept my sincerest apologies (and the same again to the MM crew who I am very thankful have allowed me to post again).

      I may not make sense but I guess I’ll try to kinda explain how I have basically proceeded on my small journey, although maybe it will after all make at least some sense. But that said, to explain all of my ups and downs and the various things I have learned would basically require essays, and as I am writing this I’ve seen other people, beautiful and lovely people indeed, also post, so I intend to follow up with them also… Btw, I’m not able to see the time stamps, although I can see the dates, at least from an iOS device, but I know that you were one of the earliest posts to write to me, so you will be one of the first people, although maybe not the first, I write back to…

      When you (or anyone) are doing research, there are many conflicting things as far as the basic subject(s) of my previous posts. Of course I’ve read about the specific subject matter, and Islam in general and some comparative religion here and there, and I kinda thought that if I did some more web searches (shaykh google right? I know it’s not the best way to learn though), that I would see a lot of very strong stances and refutations pretty quickly (and as far as general web searches, you do see them later on, but not near the top, and I’m talking about specific key words). That said, when doing a general web search, it depends on the search words of course, and I can tell you (or others) exactly the words I initially used. But as far as certain key words, I didn’t get to the first Muslim (orthodox) site until like the 3rd page or so of the Google search. But if you search with specific Arabic/Islamic words you can get more results, and again I can get more specific (something a lot of regular joes might not know necessarily, and there are some words that one “group” basically never uses… So for others including of course Muslims, it’s good to know, if they don’t already know, and I guarantee that if I told most Muslims, that they’d be like, “of course,” but I guarantee that 90% of non-Muslims probably don’t know these various Arabic/Islamic key words). And I did gradually get more results, but a lot of it is really confusing, and hard to decipher. But on a side note, it’s pretty messed up, at least IMO, that when you’re searching (including on google or youtube) that wow, there are A LOT of NOI and other similar (i.e. 5%ers), and “out there” stuff (including, the black Hebrew Israelites, and even debates between the NOI types and this one group…). And if you are confused or “somewhat” confused, seeing all of the info, well, makes you even more confused or at least unsure in so many ways.

      And no offense to anyone, but a lot of this is the fault IMO of Muslim preachers/dawah guys (I’m sure that they would very much agree though), and I’m sure it’s because they are maybe not totally aware of the NOI beliefs or similar beliefs that many “Islamic” groups seem to carry, or at least the percentage of the websites that actually are out there on the web that adhere to these beliefs (or even in the real world). And it’s also because I’m sorry to say, but, IMO many imams and shaykhs do not want to offend or whatever.

      And I know that obviously there are racist, KKK types of “Christian” groups out there also, such as the CI (Christian Identity) movement and others, but this is the most prominent white supremacist type “Christian” group. Of course I wasn’t specifically making searches for the white racist groups or using the keywords that would bring them up, such as whites are the real chosen, or True Christians are white, or true Jews are white, etc., as I was at this point only trying to research Islam or True Islam (of course I’ve heard of them in the past). And ironically they (the CI types) have VERY SIMILAR ideas that the NOI types and also the black Hebrew Israelites have (and I know there are black and/or African American Jews that are not at all racist but I’m referring to the one ‘notorious’ group/groups). I mean it’s really weird how all of these groups have almost the same exact beliefs down to a T! They (the CI, black Hebrew Israelites, and the NOI types) all seem to believe that they are the “real Jews” or the Chosen and/or children of God, have a lot of “hate,” and at least for the most part, do totally believe in the NT word for word and Jesus (the fact that mainstream Jews – minus “messianic Jews” – don’t believe in Jesus or the NT, but only the OT or the Torah notwithstanding). I mean, they really HATE other races (to varying degrees), and while you may know that the NOI really hate whites, they surprisingly really don’t like Arabs (at least the so-called lighter or “white” Arabs) too much, at least to a certain extant, although they may not call them “devils,” and strangely the black Hebrew Israelites for whatever reason seem to not like Asians or people from the Indian Subcontinent (if you have the stomach for it, watch one of their videos from one of the streets of downtown NYC… if nothing else it’s interesting, although it will disturb you), although they seem to give Latinos and Native Americans an important role as far as also being part of “the chosen,” even though many natives of the Americas are believed to have roots from Asia… and some of these “Latino” guys could definitely be mistaken for white/European guys, whether Southern Mediterranean or whatever, but these guys are supposed to be mostly indigenous blooded, and this group also calls whites/Europeans “devils”).

      But I think that most non-Christians, including Muslims (people can correct me if I’m wrong) would not confuse the CI loons with actual Christianity, and Muslims would also not confuse this black Hebrew Israelite group with the Judaism practiced by mainstream Jews (although there are obviously also hateful Israelis/Jews, and a lot of this is somewhat in the mainstream or known, but it’s not the same as these black Hebrew Israelites). And look, there are things that I may understand more (?) that maybe many Muslims (heck many or most Christians!) would not understand about Zionist Christians (or Protestant “Dispensationalist” Evangelical, Scofield Bible, Christians to be more precise) compared to mainstream Protestant and Catholic Christians. I didn’t come from this background myself, but if you’ve for instance, studied the Palestinian issue, and in general the right-wing, neocon (whom are not primarily Christian or even religious), and the Evangelical Christian movement (especially in the US
      of the past 25-30 years or so), and what the origins of the Zionist Christian movement (starting from the late 19th century) you will really see a lot of the different factors and reasons why it seems that no matter what, the US govt. and politicians will support Israel (or mostly support them), and of course there are other factors, and one could argue more significant factors even, like the various lobbies. And no, the fact that the US/UK may eventually go to war against Iran, is not because of “Oil,” as IMO many people seem to believe. Sorry to digress so much…

      Also, I took a brief look at your blog, and I noticed that one of of the main things you write about seems to be social justice, but also advertising and marketing (?). I would be curious if you have ever touched on the subject of so-called “conspiracy theories” (and I don’t look at it in a derogatory way, although most Americans and basically all of the MSM seem to) and/or false flags. Anyway, sorry to go on and on, but I hope that at least you can put yourself in my shoes, or at least maybe understand where I’m coming from, and I will answer any questions you or others would like to ask me, but really right now I do need to focus on one thing!

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

      Peace

  7. Avatar

    T.S

    June 12, 2015 at 4:00 PM

    I’m sorry but Guys his name says it all…

  8. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 12, 2015 at 5:42 PM

    Yes I am confused, and I guess of course my name is really accurate, really, really accurate right? (A little too accurate, I guess)

    If the moderators will please allow me to ask a few questions, as I have been trying to ask these for the last several hours, but I’ve been blocked, and it’s really my fault I know. I profusely apologize to the MM moderators and readers.

    I’m very sorry, because in the past several days (before posting here) I got emotional after just seeing a lot of the all whites are devils, ALL whites literally are “the devil,” whites can’t even be Muslims (if others see them as devils that would be hard) type stuff, and many other things related to that, as I had already mentioned earlier, so again please forgive me. I promise to be calm, collected and cool.

    You know what guys? I won’t bore you with a long story, but I have really thought a lot about being a Muslim… I grew up in a (secular) Christian household and as I alluded to before, for several years I knew in my heart that it makes no sense that god had a son… I mean it’s very ambiguous as Jesus never once said “I am God” or “Worship me.” The New Testament “Our Father” prayer says just that (meaning the “figurative” father to all of us, not the literal father; I’ve never heard Muslims mention this as a selling point, or Jews for that matter, although maybe Muslims/Jews have?), although it’s really a beautiful prayer, IMO: “Our Father who art in Heaven (…)” The bible is replete with son and father being used in figurative ways in many, many places, etc. Even in the OT, God is quoted in a verse as saying that Only God can be a Savior and no man can, I’m paraphrasing of course…

    So long story short, I’ve been I’m looking into Islam. But how can I accept that there are many(?) (or most, or a very small number?), that see me as a devil. One of the posters was nice (more than one), but how can I just not pay attention to it, or just brush it off as just his “personal grief,” (other that that, he’s a great guy! Lol) or something along the lines, and not worry about it? Can you please put yourself in my position, can you please try to emphasize with how I’m feeling???? I say this, ALL OF THIS as a potential Muslim. And when the last message was posted about God not guiding me, I really, really felt sad, and very, very depressed. The guy that wrote that (well intended or not), what if you were in my shoes, and the religion you wanted to maybe enter, made you not sure, because some called your race, only because of the color of you skin, literally the Devil? Please just try to related where I’m coming from…

    Here are my questions again:

    Is the guy in the video Muslim?

    Are the Nation of Islam (sometimes called black Muslims) Muslim yes or no?

    Are the Christians and the Jews of today believers? (I’m pretty sure they’re not, and that’s fine, nothing controversial at all; Christians world say the same about Muslims or Jews, and Jews about Christians, but it helps with my next question…)

    And to follow up, are the Nation of Islam believers? (if you want me to post their specific beliefs about God and His Prophets, etc., please let me know; and know again that they call one race literal devils)

    Thank-you and peace

    The Confused Guy ;)

    • Avatar

      THoltz

      June 12, 2015 at 7:29 PM

      Hi Confused Guy,

      I’m not Muslim but to answer your question about the Nation of Islam being Muslim or not, the answer is pretty much no. It is a black-nationalists religious movement founded in the mid 1900’s that is loosely based on Islam. One of it’s main difference with Islam is the teachings of race: In Islam all races are equal; in the Nation of Islam the white race is a devil race and colored races superior. Many African-Americans have left the Nation of Islam and joined mainstream (usually Sunni) Islam due to the racists philosophy of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X is probably the most famous.

      The Nation of Islam does continue to evolve, though, at times dipping into Scientology and at others appearing to go more mainstream Islam.

      Hope that helps to clear up the confusion a little.
      http://www.beliefnet.com/Freeform/Faiths/2002/10/Chart-Nation-Of-Islam-And-Traditional-Islam.aspx

      Have a good day all. :)

    • Avatar

      Michael

      June 12, 2015 at 7:51 PM

      As a Muslim I am not permitted to say if the man posting the video is Muslim or not. I do not know what is in his heart, or what he does at his home at night alone. He may have asked God for forgiveness for his hateful speech. What I can say that if he is calling for people to kill white people, and that white people are Devils he is not acting in an Islamic manner. Race, economic status, gender, or any other classifications make one person superior to another. In the eyes of God the only thing that makes one man superior to another is their level of faith.
      When one of the posters mentioned that no one can guide a person who is misguided and no one can misguide someone who is guided, I believe they were referring to the fact that God is the only one who can bring a person to Islam. We can tell people about the faith through words and actions, but God is the one who puts the love of Islam in someone’s heart. Hope this helps.
      I converted 3 years ago and feel so blessed to have been guided to Islam. The path was not easy and was not without growing pains, but through patience, support of the Muslim community (both converts and born Muslims), and the will of God I am still practicing today.
      May Allah forgive me for any mistakes or misinformation I may have inadvertently put into my reply. I pray that the one true God guides you to the path of Islam.

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:07 PM

        Michael,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart.

        Thank-you so much for taking the time to write to me. I really appreciate this. Thanks for sharing the the fact that you are also a convert.

        Can you, if you don’t mind, if you feel comfortable, tell me one of the hardest things that you have faced since becoming Muslim.

        And yes, I completely understand the issue of declaring that one is not a Muslim, and the serious ramifications of this. And of course I understand that no one can know what was in one’s heart before they departed the earth (and the guy in the video has since passed away).

        I have just learned that Muslims also will judge from the apparent, or what is outwardly visible and clear, etc., but of course this also means not looking into someone’s heart (only God can do this of course), or assuming so and so has such and such beliefs, etc., but if so and so is out in the open and says they have such and such beliefs then this is maybe a different issue basically.

        Again, thanks so much. I really want to thank-you for taking time to write to me, and I really believe what you have said has really helped me.

        Also thank-you so much for you prayers for me.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  9. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 12, 2015 at 6:51 PM

    Hello,

    The first guy in the video, I don’t even know his name. But I can tell you that I really, really love him. He is a beautiful Muslim brother. It’s as if he in his khutbah (Friday Khutbah, just like the subject of this article) spoke to my heart, like The Lord is guiding me. I love this guy! Please pray for him and pray for me…

    The one below it, is Khalid Yassin, and it’s also good, and saw this prior to the first one I mentioned.

    I really love this brother (still don’t recall his name, but I will try to get in touch with him). You are beautiful and I’ll pray for you, as I thank The Lord, as through him The Lord is guiding me, and I hope this beautiful person will also guide other people and also help other people who may have doubts…

    I again apologize to everyone. I hope the MM mods can post this. Please can you delete my other emotional posts, and leave this and the last one? If not that’s okay.

    Peace

    Nation of Islam (NOI) Vs The Muslims
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=72TmeZvc8dM

    Nation of islam are kuffar (disbelievers) not muslims – khalid yasin

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yHhM7QAi9xU

  10. Avatar

    THoltz

    June 12, 2015 at 7:42 PM

    Hi again,

    This looks like an older article but it discusses Farrakhan and his possible movement toward orthodox Islam as he ages. All people mellow out as they age, especially if they continue to seek and incorporate a spiritual practice into their daily lives. (I’m sure even Khallid Abdullah Muhammed isn’t the same guy now.)

  11. Avatar

    THoltz

    June 12, 2015 at 9:12 PM

    Dear ConfusedGuy,

    I have to apologize for not reading through your posts more thoroughly earlier. I know see more of where you are coming from.

    For starters, you may not be aware that in Islam, questioning the faith of other Muslims is generally frowned upon (see Michael’s post above) so even if a Muslim feels in their heart that a certain individual is in fact not a Muslim, they will generally not directly come out and say so. Such matters are between God and the individual. Different perspectives are tolerated.

    As I am not a Muslim (but more academically oriented in my studies of religion), I can say that the Nation of Islam is not orthodox Islam, but rather a black-nationalist movement that clothed itself in Islamic clothing. The Nation of Islam has only been around for a little less than a hundred years and it’s teachings on race are contrary to Islamic teachings on race.

    I think you might get a lot out of mainstream Muslim figures such as Hamza Yusuf, Yasir Qadhi, and Nouman Ali Khan.

    Here is a beautiful video titled “Islam Kills Racism” about Malcolm X and his journey to orthodox Islam. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MqeSPF48tg

    (Try not to cry when watching it. I can’t!)

    Blessings to you, ConfusedGuy, and to your journey to the truth.

    • Avatar

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

      June 13, 2015 at 11:07 PM

      THoltz,

      Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart.

      Thank-you so much for writing to me and taking the time to do this. I really do appreciate this. I think the fact that you are also non-Muslim really shows that people of different faiths (or no faith as it were) and backgrounds can and of course always have worked together for the betterment and progress of the human family. I’m sure everyone here regardless of what they may believe in, really appreciates what you have said, and the links you’ve provided.

      Yes, I have read before that the NOI are basically black nationalists, and that they throw in the garb of Islamic teaching, to go along with this, or to be more specific, have incorporated various quasi Islamic doctrines that put race at the forefront of their actual creed or beliefs. And of course one can say that one of their main beliefs that makes them believers (in their eyes) is their actual race, and of course with this comes things that don’t jibe with the religion of Islam, nor the majority of other religions in the world.

      And thanks so much for the links. I have read the first paragraph or so, in one link, but I intend to sit down, and read the rest of it and also watch the video (and other links that other people may have included). I don’t think Farakhan has changed his views, at as far as what he has said in various videos (from late 2014 and 2015) but maybe he has, and he has a right to believe whatever he wants, of course.

      And yes, as I had mentioned a while ago, I completely do understand the issue of declaring that one is not a Muslim, and the serious ramifications of doing this. And again, of course I understand that no one can know what was in someone’s heart especially before they died (only God knows for sure).

      And thanks you so much for the links. I definitely plan to read this and the other articles and links that people have posted.

      Again, thanks so much. Thanks again for taking the time out to write me.

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  12. Avatar

    Indah Yusuf

    June 14, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Qur’an 41:34
    “And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.”
    41:35) “But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good].”

  13. Avatar

    ymr

    October 11, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    Reminder that criticizing Islam is not being bigoted towards it followers. If Christianity can be criticized by muslims then they have the right to do so as well.

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#Society

Beyond 2020: Grounding Our Politics in Community

Kyle Ismail, Guest Contributor

Published

As tense and agonizing as these unending election days have been, it pales in comparison to the last four years.  I plainly remember how it all began on the night of November 07, 2016. I watched as the political map of the US became increasingly red late into the night. All the social media banter, conspiracy theories and left-wing critiques of candidate Hillary Clinton, formed an amorphous blob of white noise as I heard Trump announced as the next president. Now that Trump has run for re-election, half the country was hoping for a repudiation but will have to settle for the fact that despite a small margin, Donald J. Trump will not have a second chance to erode our democratic institutions and divide us. But we can’t move forward until each of us acknowledges our own pathological role in what we’ve become as a deeply divided country. 

We need to grapple with how we can gradually improve the circus-like reality that has become our ordinary, daily politics. We’ll relive more and perhaps improved “Trumps” if we don’t accept our own responsibility in creating a divided America. This starts with being better members of local communities. Here are a few of Trump-induced realizations that I’ve come to accept:

  1. Caring about our immediate neighbors and listening to their challenges and concerns is the part of political engagement that we all have to embrace above and beyond actually voting if we hope to be more than a 50/50 nation.
  2. Social media and its profit-driven algorithms are actually eroding how we see each other but could also be altered to help better educate us about our local social/political landscape.
  3. Local Politics has direct impact on our lives and is also at the heart our religious obligations to our neighbors. It also sets the tone for where the federal level derives policies that prove to be best practices (some examples are included below).
  4. Agitation and protest are not the same as being politically organized on a local level. Protest is sometimes needed, but it will never replace consistent and patient work. We learned this lesson with the Arab Spring as that movement failed to transform into a movement that was able to govern effectively. And the same appears to be true about the Black Lives Matter movement.

The voting is over for now. But voting is really the smallest part of being committed to bettering our communities. It was Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) who gave the most specific definition of community/neighbor and encouraged his followers to guard the rights of the neighbor:

“Your neighbor is 40 houses ahead of you and 40 houses at your back, 40 houses to your left and 40 houses to your right” Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)

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Why does this relate to being politically organized?? The need for political organizing comes when any group of people want to create change in accordance with their values. We’ve all watched protest after protest that change little to nothing at the neighborhood level. This will continue to happen without organization, which span school boards, block clubs, nonprofits, and religious community outreach.  How can Muslims enjoin right and discourage wrong in any meaningful way? It comes through having authentic relationships with neighbors and turning that into organized and engaged communities.

Rosa Parks

Nothing illuminates the value of such relationships better than the story of Rosa Parks in her role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. People often think that she was the first brave soul to defy the custom of allowing whites to sit before African-Americans could be seated on her city’s buses. Nothing could be further from the truth. The difference was that her sets of relationships were so interwoven into her local community that it forced a massive response. Park’s connections spanned socioeconomic circles as she had close friendships from professors to field hands. She held memberships in a dozen local organizations including her church and the local NAACP. She was a volunteer seamstress in poor communities and provided the same for profit in wealthy white circles. When someone with her relational positioning was able to leverage the political organizing ability of MLK and Dr. Ralph Abernathy, the Montgomery Bus Boycott was sparked.

When something happens to Muslims, who can we mobilize to respond? Who becomes angry? Who do we work with in our communities to create policies that reflect our values And what are our internal barriers to such cooperation?

“Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart—and that is the weakest of faith.” Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)

Our Predecessors Organized Locally

At some point in time voting became the sum total of political engagement in the minds of many and is now deemed by some as worthless. We quickly forget that the organizations that battled for voting rights were first locally organized to improve communities. SNCC, SNCC, CORE, NAACP, and the Urban League all formed to create change in various ways and the fight for voting rights was a component of these local agendas. So when we’re tempted to believe that voting doesn’t matter, it’s likely due to our lack of engagement in local issues that form the contours of our community life. If you’ve ever heard of Ella Baker or Fannie Lou Hamer (worth researching!), you probably never bought into this type of logic.

One of the many lessons we can pull from this rich history is that we cannot pursue policies, seek alliances, or negotiate a position with political parties (see Ice Cube’s debacle in negotiating with Trump) without first being organized from within. No set of friendships or outside philanthropic support can supplant the need for internal organization. This lack of organized political engagement has weakened Muslims in general but has fatally weakened African-American Muslims as voices within the larger Black community – a voice that gave Islam its first fully accepted and influential place in American society.

Immigrant-based Muslim communities could also benefit from a local approach because despite being several generations in America, their American bonafides are still not set in stone. Concerns about Islamophobia will not change outside of developing authentic relationships with non-Muslims.

This also pushes back against a culture shaped disproportionately by social media algorithms that promote isolation and division for the sake of profit. Our attention to the national news cycle also takes our attention away from local communities where our power is formed. In this type of political malaise, re-engagement in local politics and community relationships can bring us back to important principles that resonate with the values of Islam.

Local politics help shape federal policy

The final word on any law or policy rests with the federal government, but much of what becomes orthodoxy begins with a few concerned citizens in local communities. As with community policing, criminal justice reform, climate sustainability, or any issues that has not caught on, the federal government will often step back to see how a new law plays out at state and local levels. Illinois didn’t wait for Obamacare but has a well-established program to ensure that anyone 18 and younger in Illinois has health insurance through a program called All Kids . Colorado has, in the midst of protests against police brutality, altered their law of Qualified Immunity to make police more accountable. And California has advanced the conversation on reparations  by sanctioning a study to understand how the state could benefit by redressing the descendants of American slavery.

By advancing issues and electing representatives who support the causes we believe in, we insert ourselves into a narrative that would’ve otherwise been forged without us. There’s no shortcut in this process short of rolling up our sleeves to understand our local systems and existing organizations. Moneyed interests are prepare to control the narrative regardless of who the president is and we have to remake this system from the ground up. Our history provides us with a roadmap to do this and it goes far beyond being citizens who only argue over national issues while standing on the sidelines. Remembering our 40 neighbors as advised by the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is the best place to start.

Some helpful links:

Local Elections

State Legislatures

School Boards

County Prosecutors

Mayors

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#Current Affairs

Why Boycotting France is the Wrong Response

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“I don’t think it’s safe to come visit you in France with your Aunt…she wears a hijab, and she will have trouble getting around”, my mother nervously quipped as we discussed travel arrangements for their trip. 

“Of course it’s safe! How could you say that? There are women wearing hijab all over this country!”  I protested, as I tried to assuage her concerns.

I was living as an expat in France when my family was planning their visit to the country last year. I was surprised to hear the reservations from my own folk; it went on to highlight the pre-conceived notions Muslims often have about the French. “They hate Muslims!” “They are racists” “They insult our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)!”. The list goes on.  

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Having spent a considerable amount of time in France, Quebec and Suisse-Romande, I’ve developed an affinity towards the French culture, language and people. I’ve never felt marginalized in these lands because of my dark skin, my Muslim faith, or my never-ending struggle with French conjugation. Yes, I am privileged in many ways, but that doesn’t negate the validity of my experiences. 

I was thus naturally taken aback by the recent calls to boycott France in light of the opportunistic and contemptable actions of Emmanuel Macron. If these boycotts made me uncomfortable, I can imagine how much more offended the average French person would have been. Macron’s decision to first politicize an unspeakable crime, and then to insult our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was a deplorable move. It exposed his true colors and showed us that he is just another disdainful politician who seeks to divide, rather than build bridges. 

As pitiful as Macron’s actions are, is the Muslim response calling for boycotts of France justified? Is it fair to hold all of France guilty for the comments made by its President? Are we not only advancing the ‘Us vs Them’ narrative that extremists on both sides want? No one holds all of America responsible for the ridiculous comments that Trump makes – why a different standard for France? 

Collective guilt is a serious disease that we must overcome. We need to stop holding a people accountable for the actions of a few. We need to stop blaming a people for the actions of their ancestors. French corporations, that employ thousands of Muslims across the world, did not insult the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) – so why take them to task? French Muslims have not called for these boycotts, so why are we advocating for them?  If we collectivize and boycott all of France, how are we any different from those who hold all Muslims responsible for the violence perpetrated by a few? 

We need to abandon the ‘Us vs Them’ mindset; this parochial idea of ‘Islam vs the West’ or ‘Islam vs France’. We need to adopt a post-nationalist worldview where we look at all people as one, as our own. There is no ‘Them’ – it is all ‘Us’. It is ‘Us’ against hatred, bigotry, divisiveness, and racism. It is ‘Us’ against those in power, on both sides, who seek to exploit ‘Us’ for political and personal gain. 

As one people, we should never advocate for boycotts which seek to create divisions and animosity between ‘Us’. Blanket consumer boycotts are short lived and have a minimal impact regardless. What lives long past the boycott are the feelings of resentment, hatred and enmity directed towards an entire nation. Our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is a prophet to all people, to the French people – our people. We must not partake in actions which alienate our kin from being receptive to his message.  

Know that paltry cartoons will not take away from the rank of the Chosen One. One of his miracles in these modern times, is that those wishing to disparage him have been unable to succeed. His enemies have caricaturized him over and over again, but none of their images have stuck around or gained acceptance. Despite all of these attempts, the only descriptor with which he continues to be universally recognized is that of prophethood. You read a headline: ‘Artist makes images of the Prophet’, and you know instantly who ‘the Prophet’ refers to regardless of who you are. Unqualified, the word always brings to mind the thought of one man!   

Even those that don’t believe in him call him ‘the Prophet Muhammad’ – lips refuse to utter his name with anything other than his noble epithet. So, fear not about the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) rank – for the one being praised by angels in the Heavens cannot be belittled by lowly men here on Earth. 

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#Current Affairs

OpED: Sri Preston Kulkarni’s War on Facts

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“Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.” — Dorothy Allison (American Writer)

By Ghazala Salam, Founder & President, Muslim Caucus

Elections are a time when stretching the truth is the norm rather than the exception, and “fact checking” an imperative for anyone who wants to make an informed decision about their vote. However, nowhere has the narrative collided as head on with the truth as in the campaign of Sri Preston Kulkarni, Democratic candidate for the Texas Congressional District #22. Such is the brazenness of Kulkarni’s lies that multiple groups that have vowed to vote President Trump out of office believe it is in the best interest of the district and the country if Kulkarni loses his second bid for a place in the US House of Representatives, his purported commitment to the Democratic platform notwithstanding.

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Many are understandably curious about the reason for so many Democrats turning against a candidate from the party they normally support. To be clear, it is not so much Kulkarni’s campaign narrative, as the conflict between that narrative and the truth. To many voters of District 22, Kulkarni’s campaign ostensibly stands for human rights and religious freedom, and against fascism and nationalism. Unfortunately, and as multiple exposes that are now going viral have demonstrated, Kulkarni’s association with fascist and nationalist elements both in India and the US run deep, and indeed are the key drivers of his candidacy.

Kulkarni is no ordinary immigrant success story, having come from a family with deep connections to India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The RSS is one of the world’s largest militia, and the ideological fountainhead of Hindutva, a fascist and supremacist ideology that seeks to turn India into a Hindu state, where Christians, Muslims and other religious minorities are relegated to the status of second-class citizens with few rights. In the last two decades, front organizations of the RSS in America have fielded multiple candidates for political office, some of whom have gone on to make significant contributions to advancing Hindutva’s agenda in Washington, DC. It is no surprise therefore, that the RSS’s American affiliate, the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), are among the primary backers of Kulkarni’s candidacy. The irony of a man who claims to stand against racism, fascism and nationalism, being backed by the same forces that assassinated Mahatma Gandhi is something Kulkarni would prefer voters don’t pay attention to.

However, the connection with RSS is based on more than just mutual benefit. Kulkarni is the nephew of the late Pramod Mahajan, a highly influential Indian politician and minister, who was an RSS veteran and the BJP’s chief strategist. He held several important cabinet positions including Defense, and until his murder in 2006 by another uncle of Sri Kulkarni, Mahajan was considered the “heir apparent” to the Hindu nationalist Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee. Mahajan was among the key organizers of L. K. Advani’s Rath Yatra, a campaign that finally led to the criminal demolition of the Babri Mosque and the subsequent killing of over 3,000 people in sectarian violence across India.

What is striking about Kulkarni’s candidacy is not just these RSS connections that are now falling out of the proverbial closet, but Kulkarni’s silly attempt at feigning ignorance about the RSS, claiming he did not know it was an organization until two years ago. This is rich, coming from a man who claims to have been a career diplomat, and whose next posting before he quit the Foreign Service was going to be in New Delhi. Kulkarni has gone on record to say that Ramesh Bhutada, the Vice-President of HSS, was “like a father,” to him, and his son Rishi Bhutada was among those without whose support the campaign itself might not have been possible.

Another relative of Sri Kulkarni is the well-known Indian politician Gopinath Munde, who married Mahajan’s sister. Munde was a member of Modi’s cabinet before his death in a road accident, and was once in charge of the RSS branches in the city of Pune. Kulkarni’s cousin Poonam Mahajan, currently a member of the Indian Parliament, was once the national President of the BJP “Youth Wing” and the Secretary of the BJP in 2013.

Much to Kulkarni’s discomfiture, his fascist friends are actually flaunting their connection to him, starting with BJP ideologue Subramanian Swamy, hailing Kulkarni’s candidacy as “Hindutva’s hope in Houston.” Yet, Kulkarni wants voters to believe him when he claims ignorance about the RSS.

The struggle with facts continues, with Kulkarni claiming without proof, a lineage from the famed General Sam Houston. Short on facts are also Kulkarni’s claims of expertise on issues of national security, as he has provided almost no details of his tenure in the Foreign Service. Kulkarni’s complete refusal to acknowledge his campaign’s connections to RSS should also be seen in light of the fact that the RSS’s nationalist and Islamophobic agenda finds a natural ally in the Republican Party, particularly in Donald Trump. It is no surprise therefore, that Prime Minister Modi was welcomed in Houston by President Trump and prominent Republicans at a massive “Howdy Modi” rally in September 2019. The same Rishi Bhutada who helped Kulkarni launch his campaign was one of the main organizers and spokesperson for the event. Not to be outdone, Prime Minister Modi broke protocol in giving President Trump a rousing endorsement for reelection during the latter’s visit to India.

None of these would have been uncomfortable truths for Kulkarni, had he been running as a Republican. However, Kulkarni’s candidacy as a Democrat flies in the face of facts, and the support he is getting from many of the district’s Democrat voters is more the result of revulsion against President Trump than a proper vetting of Kulkarni’s politics.

If Kulkarni makes it to Capitol Hill, expect stonewalling on issues of human rights and religious freedom by right wing forces around the world. With Kulkarni as their representative, South Asian voters can forget about any accountability for India, for its egregious violations of human rights and religious freedom. In a “letter to the Muslim community,” apparently conscious of the growing disquiet about his candidacy among Muslims, liberals and progressives, Kulkarni brags about having taken a stand on the “violence in Delhi” and the “situation in Kashmir,” as evidence of his commitment to human rights and religious freedom. In truth, both statements by Kulkarni are ritualistic expressions of standing for peace and human rights, while failing to call out the role of ideologically driven violence against religious minorities. The perpetrators of such violence are widely known to be proponents of the same ideology whose affiliates in the US are among his donors. Such statements are actually a disservice to the victims of sectarian violence for they seek to obfuscate the role of Hindu nationalism in driving such persecution.

Kulkarni’s has apparently promised to take a public position against the use of India’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to strip citizenship away from India’s Muslim citizens. Absent from Kulkarni’s narrative is any mention of how the CAA and NRC are discriminatory in their essence against people of the Muslim faith, and a clear violation of India’s secular Constitution. Clearly Kulkarni is not on the same page as respected human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. How Kulkarni is expected to be vocal about civil rights in the US, while actively shielding those who are eroding these very rights abroad defies explanation.

Similarly, Kulkarni has issued a statement on the “situation” in Kashmir that does nothing to shine the light on the historic betrayal of the Kashmiri people represented by the revocation of Article 370, and the enormous human suffering caused by the Government of India’s tyrannical curfew and lockdown, imposed long before Covid-19. In this regard, Kulkarni apparently does not want to displease his RSS supporters by condemning the unprecedented human rights catastrophe in Kashmir, something many prominent Democrats have done, in the form of statements and House resolutions. For Kulkarni to call out the role of the India’s Hindu nationalist government in causing such suffering on Kashmir’s civilian population is unthinkable. In fact, Kulkarni is loath to even call out the Indian military’s tyranny in Kashmir, and instead prefers to advise the Indian government “behind closed doors,” through the “ladder of diplomacy.”

The truth about Sri Kulkarni’s campaign is closely tied to the money trail. Kulkarni has accepted in excess of $80,000 from just 10 families linked to RSS affiliates in the United States. Despite repeated demands by voters in his district to return such tainted donations, Kulkarni has instead doubled down, attacking those raising concerns as “nefarious actors,” while claiming he was unaware of the RSS as an organization.

It is possible that Kulkarni is genuine in his advocacy for the environment and his concern about gun violence. However, his janus-faced campaign is being weighed down by its own internal contradictions and his refusal to come clean on important facts that affect his prospective constituents. Among all the lies of the 2020 elections, Kulkarni’s claim that he is against fascism and nationalism must rank among the most brazen.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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