Islamberg, valid concerns about the scary side of Islam, and how to offset them

Aug 09, 2010 Published under Global, New York City, OneVoice Movement, Religion, United States

I have written repeatedly to defend Muslims from being discriminated against, including most recently with the establishment of a mosque in downtown Manhattan (see here, here, and here).

This video I just got raises serious valid concerns about extremists using religion to further illegal activities, and of them subverting Islam to their purposes.

To my mind, it makes it all the more clear why we want to support moderate Islamic role models and why people like Imam Feisal, Naif al-Mutawa and countless others deserve all our support.  Muslims leaders like Imam Feisal should not be asked to “choose sides.”  Theirs is not a culture of division.  By being themselves, they will continue to win by building bridges, rather than burning them on either side.

Additionally, this article illustrates the frightening opposition that many mosques face as they attempt to build across the country, where more and more opponents are beginning to admit their discomfort with Islam itself.  In reality though, budding mosques have proven to quell many of the fears of radicalism, according to a recent study that the articly quotes.

Muslims, like all other human beings, are overwhelmingly moderate and kind.  Extremists with ideologies of supremacy and domination feed off of the divisions between cultures that they try to foster.  We would only grant terrorists a victory if we were to cower into painting all the “others” as our enemy!  That was the main goal of Osama Bin Laden! If we want to win, we have to do so not just with weapons but also with brains and souls – with an ideology of inclusion best represented by Western and Muslim leaders that offers a better vision than that of an eternal struggle of us vs. them.

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