Four Dynamic Women Have Joined the MM Family of Writers

Four new writers have joined our team at Muslimah..er Muslim Matters. Please join us in welcoming aboard Nadya Aweinat of Batman & Ikhlas fame, Meena Malik her prose will amaze you, Kanika Aggarwal her passion for learning, teaching, and sharing all things Islam will motivate you, and Sarah Sultan (writing about marriage).

Fighting Back Against Terror & Ignorance

Many people have been lamenting the decline of public discourse in the West for some time. Perhaps, in reaction to the political correctness of the 90s and the post 9/11 reality we’ve found ourselves in, people of all faiths, Muslim and non-Muslim, have felt emboldened to make their bigoted claims louder and have found a receptive ear online, in living rooms, on street corners, in their workplaces, in houses of worship, and in mainstream media.

Remembering that Muslims are also terrorized by those who target the lives of innocent people

Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors. (Al-Ma’idah 5:32)

Stay tuned for an upcoming interview on Muslim Matters with Adam Motiwala featured in MPAC’s new video (noise alert, some sounds akin to music in the background) One Year Later American Muslim Survivor of Islamabad Terror Attack Speaks Out. (4 min, 2 sec)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQsGWhywoa0]

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. (Al-Ma’idah 5:8)

ABC’s The View: Bill O’Reilly as a guest on The View explained why Park51 should not be built, because “Muslims killed us on 9/11” much to the consternation of Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar who tried to debate with him (but one cannot reason with the unreasonable) and so they walked off stage in protest. O’Reilly did get one part right, though, Obama’s waffling and declining to comment on the “wisdom” from the iftar dinner to the tarmac was a disservice to the American people and harmed his credibility. (2 min, 45 sec)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp891YJw_VY&feature=player_embedded]

Keith Ellison opined in the Washington Post’s On Faith series: Should We Fear Islam?

The Old Man and Me

Two weeks ago, while driving home, I moved to the right to pass a slow moving car in the leftmost lane of traffic and then returned to the left lane in front of the car. The driver of the slower car was an elderly European-American man smoking a cigar who then proceeded to pull up right next to my car at each of ┬áthe next 5 or 6 lights and shout what I can only assume were some choice words at me. My windows were rolled up, I was listening to and reciting Quran, and I refused to turn my head and give him the satisfaction of any acknowledgement of his obnoxious behavior whatsoever. One, I didn’t want to lose the ajr of reciting the Quran and two, knowing that I’m not always one to successfully hold my tongue, I did not want to lose the reward of exercising patience.

This happened a day after the Faisal Shahzad sentencing. Any connection, maybe not, but it brings to mind a larger point of conversation, how should we as Muslims respond or proactively engage the wider community in this climate of hostility against our faith? We’ve seen various attempts at a response from concerned groups from Park 51 to Muslim Response to editorials to civic engagement but also there has been an almost stunned silence from some quarters of the community. However, there is a great danger in not responding proactively or at all, in that we cede the public sphere of debate to the voices of extremism, bigotry, hatred, and xenophobia.

How should we as individuals and as a community respond to terror and ignorance, how effective have the responses been to date, I think that remains to be seen.