In the Name of Almighty God, The Merciful, The Compassionate

بسم لله الرحمان الرحيم

Salaam Aleikum (Peace be with you)! I hope you may gain some insight from my work here. Remember, I'm not a scholar and don't claim to be. I only claim to be a person who has a passion for both Islam and this great republic in which I live and wish to share my thoughts with others. Remember that anything good you find in this blog is from Allah, and anything wrong or bad is from my own flawed self.

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The Holy Ka'aba

The Holy Ka'aba
The House of God built by Abraham (peace be upon him)

The Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance
take out the 9th line, and it would be haram (forbidden) to say this.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fitrah...The Natural State of the Human Being

In the name of Almighty God, Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. We live today in a world consumed with an imaginary view of what it means to be "human". An imaginary view fueled by deviant religious traditions and cult-like beliefs as well as years of over saturation of fantasy television and film. At the heart of every religious tradition is a quest for the truth of human existence. Why are we here? What is our purpose? These are questions that have consumed all elements of human civilization since the very beginning.

The prophet Abraham (peace and blessings be upon him), forefather of the three great monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, was the subject of one of the most profound and impactful stories of enlightenment and self-realization in human history. A story of one of the greatest human beings ever to live discovering the key to
human existence. The Holy Qur'an relates the story...

Thus did We show Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have Faith with certainty. When the night covered him over with darkness he saw a star. He said: "This is my lord." But when it set, he said: "I like not those that set." When he saw the moon rising up he said: "This is my lord." But when it set he said: "Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the erring people." When he saw the sun rising up, he said: "This is my lord. This is greater." But when it set, he said: "0 my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah. Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifan (Islamic Monotheism, i.e., worshipping none but Allah Alone) and I am not of Al-Mushrikeen (those who worship others besides Allah)." Surah 6: 75-79

In this story, we see that Abraham realized that the only thing that can truly be "the Almighty" is the unseen "mover and shaker" that is behind all that can be seen and experienced by man, rather than anything that IS experienced by man. In other words, he discovered Allah.

The word Allah, actually means something a little different than the English word "God". In English, the word "god" simply means something that is worshipped. It can be anything; a statue, a painting, a tree, a rock, a person, a supernatural being, or even just an idea or even one's self. Early English speaking Christians developed the concept of the capitol letter in order to distinguish the "gods" of their ancient pagan ancestors, and the "God" of Jesus Christ (peace and blessings be upon him) and of the Hebrew Bible. The word Allah is a very ancient Semitic word, possibly predating the Arabic language itself, which means "the originator, the creator, the only thing actually worthy of worship/ the only legitimate "god"" and was the word used for the Creator by Arabic and Aramaic speaking Jews and Christians before it was used by Muslims (and still is used by Arabic speaking Jews and Christians). When the Qur'an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) it was the word that the Creator Himself used to name Himself. It is for this reason that even us "English speaking Muslims" often use the word "Allah" rather than "God".

While their were prophets before him, their knowledge of Allah was not like that of Abraham. They were simply given knowledge of Allah, whereas Abraham discovered Allah through Allah's greatest gift to humanity; reason. He was able to reasonably deduce, before being given prophecy by Allah directly, the existence of Allah.

What then is our place in relation to Allah?

The Qur'an is, as we believe, the literal speech of Allah to his final prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). In it, Allah says,
"I only created jinn and man to worship Me" (Qur'an, 51:56)

This tells us more than it seems at first glance. When Allah says that He created us to worship Him, we must understand what "worship" means. It doesn't only just mean the stereotypical ideas of worship such as bowing, prostrating and invocation (although these are included), but it means obeying Allah's law (will) and serving Allah in the way He asked to be served. It means that we are created to serve Allah on His terms; NOT on OUR terms. This means that any religion created by man necessarily cannot and will not ever be accepted by Allah. Allah says in the Qur'an,
"And whoever seeks religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers" (3:85).

To clarify, the word ISLAM means "to submit to the will of Allah (God)". This does NOT refer exclusively to the religion of the followers of Muhammad (peace be upon him). Today, we as well as non-Muslims know the word ISLAM to be a proper noun referring to a specific group of people, but we must not forget that the word ISLAM is actually a verb in the Arabic language, not a noun. Therefore when Allah says this, He's referring to all human beings who recognize Allah, and strive, according to what knowledge they have, to live and worship on His terms; NOT their own. So this means that a Jew who knows nothing of Jesus Christ (p.b.u.h.) will not be judged for his ignorance nor would a Christian who doesn't know anything about Muhammad (p.b.u.h.). They will however be judged on what they DO know of the will of God. This is why Allah also says in the Qur'an,

"Surely those who believe (Muslims), and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians (don't exist today) -- whoever believes in God and the final judgment and does good (in this life), they shall have their reward from their Lord. And there will be no fear for them, nor shall they grieve" (2:62, 5:69, and many other verses).

In the verse, Allah mentions Jews and Christians because both of these religions were divinely revealed, meaning they originated with real Revelation from Allah (although they have deviated since then; actually not unlike many groups of Muslims as well). Then Allah also says "whoever believes in God and the final judgment and does good". The means that even an isolated jungle person who has never heard of the Bible or the Qur'an or any of these divinely inspired religions, they are still judged on what they DO know. This brings us to the issue of

The word "fitrah" means "disposition, nature, constitution and instinct". This concept in Islamic theology refers to a persons innate sense of longing for the divine. It is a fundamental part of every human being as Allah creates us strictly for the purpose of worshipping Him.

Our ability to reason, as I mentioned, is one of our great gifts, just as Allah gives great gifts of strength, speed, invisibility, and flight to jinn. And, just like those gifts, our gift of reason is one of our greatest tests in this life. It is our ability of reason that ultimately allows some of us to deny Allah's existence entirely. This is the ultimate miss-use of that great gift. Their are other miss-uses of the gift as well that ultimately result in the many varied religious traditions that we see across the human spectrum today. That ability of reason is what allows us to start making our own terms for worshipping Allah instead of submitting ourselves to HIS terms. It is why some people make statues or trees or rocks or even people to be intermediaries between them and Allah. That's why even polytheistic religions have knowledge of Allah. The Hindus call Him "Rahman" and the Native Americans called Him "The Great Spirit". However, in these religious traditions, they create systems of worship set around certain elements of their culture and surroundings that represent to them the various attributes of Allah. It short, they set up partners with Allah. This is how idolatry works. When left unchecked eventually it can lead to rejection of Allah altogether, or even the replacement of Allah with the self (as in traditional Buddhism).

Our proverbial "jungle man" who knows nothing of the Bible, the Qur'an or any divinely revealed religious scriptures or teachings, still, as all humans do, have the innate knowledge that SOMETHING beyond our physical realm and what we can experience with our senses does indeed exist, and they have the ability, through there capacity of reason, to understand the oneness or tawheed of Allah. Just as the prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) did.

We, as humanity need to get back to understanding our fitrah. It is only the return to this fundamental understanding of our existence that can save us from our social ills. However there are other elements of fitrah. All human beings are born with the fitrah of "submission to and worship of the Almighty". However we are also individually created with unique gifts and talents that make us, individually, who we are in society.

In the Muslim community, it is very common to see this scenario. You have one brother at the masjid who is...lets say....a mechanical engineer. He's a devout Muslim more or less. He makes all his prayers either right on time or within the window of time allotted for them. He fasts every day in Ramadan and whatever he must miss he makes up. He gives his required zakat. Sometimes a little more, sometimes not. He hasn't been to Hajj yet but intends to. He reads the Qur'an but not really as much as he should, and he mostly relies on listening to more qualified scholars when faced with uncertain religious-law questions. On the other hand, he is very successful in his work. He has a deep passion for what he does for a living and has for as long as he can remember, and couldn't imagine himself doing anything else.

Now, you also have another brother. This brother, masha'Allah, not only prays every one of the five fardh ul ayn prayers exactly on time but also makes every sunnah rakaat and makes countless nawafil rakaats throughout the day. Not to mention standing in Qiyam ul Layl every night for hours at a time. He not only fasts during Ramadan, not missing a single day, but also fasts every Monday and Thursday and fasts on other recommended days as well like Yawm ulAshurah. Whatever money he makes he gives most of it (save only what he absolutely needs to survive) to charity. He is seen day and night in the mosque praying and reading and reciting the Qur'an. He also spends countless hours studying tafseer and fiqh books written by the great Islamic theologians of the past, and even has memorized large portions of the Sahih ul Bukhari. He is consequently, someone who is often sought for advise on religious matters. As far as work, he isn't really skilled in any sort of field but works at a warehouse, packing boxes and often goes from one job to another due to layoffs and cut-backs. He is not concerned with this because for as long as he can remember all he's ever wanted to do with his life was devote it to the deen

Here's the question...which one of these brothers would most consider a better Muslim? Most people would consider the second of the two to be a better Muslim. Some might say the first brother as he is more likely to be taking care of his family. The real answer to that question is neither.........or maybe both. Neither one is necessarily better than the other because Allah creates us with unique inclinations to certain fields and careers in this life. In a hadith
narrated by 'Abdullah bin Mus'ud, the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him said, " a human being is put together in the womb of the mother in forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his/her deeds, his/her livelihood (what they will do for a living/career), when and how he/she will die, and whether he/she will be happy or miserable in this life. Then the soul is breathed into him."

So as the hadith mentions, when we are but babies in the womb, we are given the fitrah, of what we will do with our lives in terms of career. This of course explains why we all have certain areas of expertise or areas of interest in which we've always been incline to or in which we've always been naturally talented. Allah, in an indirect way, also mentions this concept of the idea of "specializations" in the Qur'an. Allah says in Surah at Tawbah, verse 122...

"And it is not for the believers to go forth [to battle] all at once. For there should separate from every division of them a group [remaining] to obtain understanding in the religion and warn their people when they return to them that they might be cautious."

Thus, in this verse, Allah creates the need for some to specialize in studying the deen (religion) so that they may warn the others. All Muslims are required to seek knowledge as it is reported by Anas ibn Malik that the prophet (p.b.u.h.) said, "It is the duty of every Muslim to seek knowledge", and knowledge of the religion is the best of knowledge as the prophet (p.b.u.h.) also said, according to the narration of Mu’awiyya bin Abu Sufyan, “The one for whom Allah wills good (khayr), He grants him fiqh in the deen.”

However, the truth is that not everyone can be a mujtahid or someone who devotes their life to the study of the deen and is qualified to give fatawa (legal rulings). If everyone did this, as the second brother in the above example, then who would be the doctors, engineers, journalists, artists and so on? Some use this as an argument for following a madhab or an established school of thought. I might cautiously agree but I feel it is extremely important that Muslims avoid taqleed or taking legal rulings from scholars without knowing anything of their sources. A good scholar of Islam, in giving a ruling, will always first quote the Qur'an, then the Sunnah, then the ijma' or consensus of previous scholars and THEN give his/her opinion. If a scholar only gives their opinion without quoting the Qur'an and Sunnah and without paying homage to the scholars of the past, I personally either don't listen to that scholar at all or take their opinion with a whole lot of salt (in other words I'm very cautious about their opinion).

But, inevitably, most of us will not be mujtahidoon or scholars of Islamic law. So, we inevitably turn to people who are mujtahidoon to learn our aqeedah or the "ins and outs" of our deen. But, "that's ok". We should not look to those with more knowledge of the deen as "better Muslims" than those with less. If you are one of those Muslims with more knowledge of the deen
, you should never look down on those with less knowledge as being "ignorant" or "less faithful". Also if you are one of those with less knowledge, you shouldn't feel yourself to be less of a Muslim than those who spend all their time in the masjid reading, reciting and praying, and nor should you look down on them as being backward or overly-zealous. We are all created for varied purposes in this life. By finding and fulfilling that fitrah, we who are not mujtahidoon are contributing as much to the ummah as those who are. Because, it is what Allah created us to do. A doctor contributes as much to the Ummah as a scholar of hadith does. A skilled artisan contributes as much as a skilled mufaseer, and a skilled musician or journalist contributes just as much as a skilled da'ee.

I bring this issue up because there tends to be quite an imbalance within the Muslim community in terms of what career fields you see most Muslims doing. Within mainstream Muslim communities you see an over abundance of doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc. If any of you have ever looked at the matrimonial ads in Islamic Horizons magazine you know the joke. Every single ad is a doctor, looking for another doctor, or a lawyer looking for another lawyer. This is very true of the immigrant Muslim community, and I understand why. I understand that most of those immigrants came to become doctors and engineers and such, pressure their children who are born American, to do the same, for the sake of being financially stable. Believe me I understand the importance of financial stability. However, we as the Muslim community in America, suffer severe deficiencies in media, arts, education, military and law enforcement and other "not so high paying" career fields. Those of you who are doctors ought to understand this. The prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) said, "The Muslim Ummah is like the human body, when one part of that body aches, the entire body aches". So comparatively, when a persons body gets A LOT of protein (which is a good thing) but not enough fruits and vegetables, it creates health problems due to the imbalance. We likewise as the Ummah, face problems due to imbalances in how we are not only enriching our own community, but how we are contributing to the larger American melting pot as well. We are slowly starting to see more Muslims in fields like TV and film, music (halaal that is not shake your booty, MTV stuff), journalism, literature, and also necessary fields such as the military and law enforcement, but we need to be encouraging more of it as parents, as community leaders and as brothers and sisters in Islam. May Allah guide us all towards the siraat ul mustaqeem and give us the hidayah to live in this life as a traveller....concerned for our surroundings and those we meet along the way, but always keeping an eye on our ultimate destination.

...And Allah Knows Best...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Memorial Day...What it Means (or should mean) To Muslims

In the name of Almighty God, Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This year, Memorial Day falls on May 31 (a day before my birthday). What do you know about Memorial Day? Memorial Day started as a day to remember those who died in the Civil War, and eventually it was turned into a day to remember all those who fought and died in America's wars, defending the freedom that you and I enjoy. Now of course many of my brothers and sisters in Islam will say things like "many of these American troops died killing our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Afghanistan", and subsequently will argue that we should not recognize such a day or if we do to only recognize it as some kind of day of protest.

We know of course that there is a mass propaganda machine within our mainstream media that is bent on portraying Islam and Muslims as backward, dangerous and un-American. It doesn't matter if your watching conservative leaning Fox News or liberal leaning MSNBC. Many conservatives seem to fear and dislike Islam and liberals just dislike religion in general. So we as Muslims are "damned if we do, damned if we don't". Almost all of us recognize this. However we don't tend to recognize that there are equally fervent propagandists in the Muslim world and some amongst the Muslim community here in the US, who want to portray America as an enemy to Islam. They often point to legitimate grievances that Muslims have with American governmental policy (especially foreign policy), and exaggerate them into this grand conspiracy theory in which the American government is waging a secret war against Islam itself and is purposely targeting innocent Muslims and are trying to undermine Islamic theological scholarship.

Our brothers and sisters who live in the Muslim world, don't have the luxury of free press. I know your saying "well our media isn't unbias" but I'm not talking about Fox News and MSNBC. I'm talking about the internet, books in the library and the ability to actually go to people and hear from them themselves what they think and believe. Muslims in today's Muslim countries don't have this because in most Muslim majority countries, the government controls all aspects of public "information", whether it comes from TV, radio, internet, newspapers and even books and public events. So we, who live in the US, have an advantage that they don't in that we can know the truth if we truly seek it, and have enough of an open mind and enough patience to accept it. We therefore have a responsibility to educate our brothers and sisters back in the Muslim countries about the things that they don't see on their state-run media outlets.

One of the main things they don't see, is the principals that America is founded upon. They are only exposed to skewed images and sound bites of America killing Muslims and others, and basically wreaking havoc in the rest of the world. They don't see that America is intended to be a place where people of all faiths, including Islam, are free to live as they choose and practice their faith without the interference of the government. They don't see that in one of the earliest formal encounters between America and the Muslim world, the founders expressly laid out America's position on Islam.

Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, 1797 c.e.
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

This law is still technically on the books. So, there you have it; the American government is restricted by law from engaging in any war against Muslim nations or people strictly on the basis of religious opinions. America is not, nor will it ever, be at war with Islam itself. Yes there have been those in the American federal government who have either made serious mistakes that have cost Muslim lives, or maybe a few that do actually hate Islam, but for the most part, America tries to do what is in the best interest of it's citizens and what is in the best interests of justice.

Why am I saying all this? I am saying all this because when it boils right down to it, America is the most just, religious (a varying religions), and charitable nations on Earth today. We as Muslims who live in this country, and who enjoy all of the freedoms of this country, need to be more keen to recognize that.
We may say, "Well America is a small percentage of the world's population, yet it consumes the most resources". We may also say "in America, anyone making even 30,000 a year is in the top 7% of the wealthiest people on Earth......spread the wealth!....America is greedy!!!....fat, rich, lazy Americans....raahhhh". Well lets talk about that. How much money did the US send to say Haiti, the western hemispheres poorest nation, in the aftermath of their tragic earthquake? The answer....two days after the quake, President Obama announced an aid package of over $100 million, not to mention we even deployed our military to help them. Okay now how much aid did Saudi Arabia send? $0. Other Muslim countries like the U.A.E. did send something like $500,000 and supplies as well as supplies from Jordan and Turkey and about $1 million from Kuwait. Does any of that even come close to equally what the US sent? No. Ok how bout how much money has been sent to Muslim countries. Egypt receives about $2 billion of American taxpayer dollars every year. Pakistan gets about $7 million annually not including money it gets to supposedly fight Al Qaeda. The US is the biggest giver of aid to Palestine. George W. Bush tripled aid to Africa during his time in office. With America being the most charitable nation in the world, should America then be punished on top of that for being prosperous? The prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said that wealth never decreases with charity. That being the case is it any wonder for us Muslims that America is the most prosperous nation on Earth.
America is also prosperous because of it's commitment to justice and rule of law. In many Muslim countries, corruption runs rampant in government. Elections are fixed, police consistently take bribes rather than uphold the law equally, and government officials consistently make laws and rules that inhibit basic rights of free speech, assembly and religion. In the US, this is not the case. If someone is discriminated against based on their ethnicity or religion, they can find legal recourse thru police and law enforcement no matter their socio-economic status, ethnicity, religion or political affiliation. The president himself is subject to the same laws that normal citizens are subject to and the transition between presidents have taken place peacefully, despite radical political differences, since the very first presidential election. Also America has the most diverse religious population of any nation on Earth. There is no nation on Earth today where people of so many different religions can live alongside each other peacefully as they do in the US. These things don't happen in today's Muslim countries.

So what does this have to do with Memorial Day. America is able to be the free, religious, law abiding and charitable nation that is exactly because of those men and women who have fought and died to keep it that way. They stood up to the oppression of King George of England and freed the "new world" from European tyranny by defeating the British Empire, buying France's claim to North America (thus kicking them out), and defeating Spanish interests as well. They fought both to end slavery and preserve the union on one side of the Civil War, and fought to limit federal power and stand up for states' rights on the other. They fought the Nazi Germans and the Empire of Japan against their plots for world domination and kept the world safe from their tyranny and oppression. They fought the evil ideologies of Communism in Korea and Vietnam which had those ideologies been successful, we certainly wouldn't be enjoying what we do today. Now, many of these soldiers and sailors fight, yes, Muslims, but Muslims who have forgotten or ignored the teachings of Islam, and kill and oppress countless thousands. Allah tells us to stand up for justice even when it be against our own selves. Al Qaeda and their ilk kill many many more innocent Muslims than the American military has. Also bear in mind that Muslims have served in every single American war including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Yes America has made mistakes. We made mistakes in not ending slavery earlier than we did. We made mistakes in our dealings with the Native Americans. We made mistakes against our Japanese citizens during WWII, and we've made mistakes in our dealings with the Muslims of the world, but that's what they were....mistakes; not evil plots of world domination; just mistakes albeit tragic ones that often cost innocent lives. Insha'Allah we will learn from our mistakes, however, the bottom line is that today there is no other country on Earth that I'd rather live. There is no other country on Earth where we can practice Islam as freely as we do here, and I challenge anyone who says otherwise.
We are blessed by Allah to live in this place at this time in history; not only because of the freedoms and liberty we enjoy, but because this is a pivotal time in both the history of America and the history of Islam, and we have the opportunity to positively contribute to both. Non-Muslim Americans can learn a lot from us if they are open, and we can learn a lot from our non-Muslim countrymen if we are open. Open not only to their ideas, but open to the call of Allah as it truly is, not as the "image" of Islam that we have, maybe in error, created in it's place.

Of course it's not necessarily Islamic to "celebrate" Memorial Day, however it wouldn't hurt us to maybe make our way down to the parade or attend Memorial Day ceremonies at local cemeteries to show our respect to those who have risked all and in some cases gave all to allow us to live as we do; as Muslims in America.

...And Allah Knows Best...

On the Birthday of Hajj Malik Al Shabazz (a.k.a. Malcolm X)

In the name of Almighty God, Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Today was the birthday of one of the most famous and influential American Muslims in American history. While most of his life was spent in the racist and frankly blasphemous ideology of the Nation of Islam, he did eventually come to true Islam after his trip to Hajj. Even though he didn't live all too long after that, what little speaking and preaching he did then was profound and contained a spirit of Islamic brotherhood that all Muslims can learn from. I thought I'd share his words from a letter he wrote just after his Hajj pilgrimage...

"There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and the non-white.

You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have been always a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth.

During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass and slept in the same bed (or on the same rug)-while praying to the same God with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of the blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the ‘white' Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana.

We are truly all the same-brothers.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Yet another potential Muslim Terrorist...

In the name of Almighty God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Last year it was a Muslim soldier who shoots and kills other fellow soldiers. Then it was a Nigerian Muslim college student who tries to detonate a bomb in his underwear last Christmas day. Now, here's a Pakistani Muslim man who is accused (innocent until proven guilty), of trying to detonate a car bomb in Times Square during it's most busy time of the week. As I watched the news just last night and they revealed that they had arrested this Pakistani man, I felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment and anger. I have no doubt that Muslim organizations such as CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) and ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) will release statements condemning the actions of this deranged radical and implore non-Muslim Americans to realize that the vast majority of Muslims do not support such actions. This has been the little dance that we do every time something like this happens. Does it help anything? No.
Is it true that the vast majority of Muslims do not support these actions? Yes, most definitely. However, I have experienced first hand that if you go into an average mosque either here in America or in Europe or in Muslim countries, and ask a handful of the average attendees about this phenomenon of indiscriminate violence committed by Muslims, you will hear a few common answers. One of them, is that "I don't really believe it's Muslims doing it". These folks are the conspiracy theorists who think that the Israelis or the American government are actually behind these actions in order to justify waging war on Islam. Another common thing you'll hear is "Yes it's wrong what they did, BUT you have to understand the oppression and despair of the Muslims of the world", "blah blah blah....Palestine", "blah blah blah Americans bomb houses in Iraq", "blah blah blah blah". Basically it's always, "yes it's wrong, BUT...." and fill in the blank. When are we as Muslims going to wake up and REALLY take this issue seriously?
The prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "support your brother whether he do wrong or whether he do right". After saying this, one of his followers asked, "oh prophet, we understand supporting our brother when he is right, but how are we supposed to support him when he is doing wrong?" Then the prophet said, "by preventing him from doing wrong". The prophet didn't say to make excuses or try to rationalize our brothers and sisters doing wrong just because they say they're doing it in the cause of Allah.
I know a lot of Muslims might cringe at this, but George W. Bush said it best when he said, "Those who kill innocents in the name of Allah, blaspheme the name of Allah". That is absolutely right.
The Muslim community has somehow developed this false sense of superiority over the past century or so. We have a victim mentality where we always try to find someone to blame for our problems, instead of looking at ourselves. We threaten to kill and mame anyone who dares insult the religion of Islam or our beloved prophet (peace be upon him). Now I know it's not the majority of Muslims who are actually committing these acts, but why aren't the majority of us doing more about it???? These stupid little 'statements' that Muslim organizations release don't do anything really. Why is it that the American military is having to deal with Al Qaeda and the Taliban when these deviant groups should have been dealt with but us, the Muslim Ummah, a long time ago. Why was the Taliban allowed to rule Afghanistan according to a such perverted "brand" of Islam? During their reign Muslims around the world knew how they were. Why don't we do anything? What are we doing today for Somalia? Why are the rich and powerful Muslim countries silent when Muslims are killing each other there? Is it just because its Muslims who are doing the killing? Because it seems they don't have any problem saying and sometimes doing something when its the non-Muslim American government or the Jews of Israel.

We, the Muslims people today, are kidding ourselves by not dealing with this blatant dhalaalah (deviant way) being practiced by some of our brothers and sisters. For those of us in America and the west in general, we REALLY need to recognize that there ARE Muslims among us who are capable and maybe even planning to do these terrible things. We need to make it very clear in our khutbahs, in our publications, in our halaqas, and in our day to day conversations in the mosques, halal spots, and work places that we as Muslims will NOT tolerate such deviance in our midst. It's one thing to be deviant in faith and tawheed (monotheism), and we need to deal with that too appropriately, but when it involves the lives of innocents (whether they be Muslims or non-Muslims) we need to have a zero-tolerance policy. We need to be willing to report people to the authorities who might be dangerous. We need to start putting threats into their proper perspectives. Yes of course I realize that there are some bad apples in the FBI and the government has not always done right by Muslims, but generally they are trying to protect innocent lives, even if they sometimes are stupid in how they try to do it. They're not going to get any smarter by us refusing to work with them or telling them to stay out of our mosques. Ultimately people like the Taliban and Al Qaeda have killed many more innocent Muslims then the American government ever has. We need to put pressure on our brothers and sisters 'back home' in Muslim countries to do the same there. We Muslims in the west, who are blessed with constitutional rights to free speech, should speak publicly against deviant policies of so-called Muslim governments in places like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and others. Why hasn't CAIR or ISNA scolded those governments for not doing more to crack down on violent extremists? We need to wake up and face the reality that this IS a real problem in our communities. Stop worrying about trying to convince non-Muslims that we are not violent. If we spent half the effort trying to stop these extremists as we do trying to convince non-Muslims that we aren't extremists we probably wouldn't be having these issues in the first place. Sorry for the rant but I am just disgusted and sick of seeing these Muslims doing or trying to do terrible things, and the rest of us just sitting there picking our nose saying "well but this, and but that".

...And Allah Knows Best...