Friday, May 20, 2005

An American Muslim calls hypocrisy where he sees it

As stated before American Muslims need to come to the aid of their religion by following the lead of their countrymen who moved away from extremism and exclusivity. We have our places of worship side by side, and do our best not to be too intrusive with each other.

IMAO, American Muslims are not quite there, yet, but there is a growing body of responsible Muslims that get it. Want to be Americans that happen to be Muslims; not the other way around.

In an outstanding piece on, Ali Al-Ahmed gets it. Director of the critically important Saudi Institute, he is a brave, confident, secure man in a brave, dangerous, and often I am sure, lonely fight. We need more of this man. An American who happens to have his Sabbath on Friday. A 21 Century Muslim. Just as I am not an 8th Century Christian, he is not an 8th Century Muslim.
His points are right on target.

As a Muslim, I am able to purchase copies of the Quran in any bookstore in any American city, and study its contents in countless American universities. American museums spend millions to exhibit and celebrate Muslim arts and heritage. On the other hand, my Christian and other non-Muslim brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia--where I come from--are not even allowed to own a copy of their holy books. Indeed, the Saudi government desecrates and burns Bibles that its security forces confiscate at immigration points into the kingdom or during raids on Christian expatriates worshiping privately.
Although considered as holy in Islam and mentioned in the Quran dozens of times, the Bible is banned in Saudi Arabia. This would seem curious to most people because of the fact that to most Muslims, the Bible is a holy book. But when it comes to Saudi Arabia we are not talking about most Muslims, but a tiny minority of hard-liners who constitute the Wahhabi Sect.
The Bible in Saudi Arabia may get a person killed, arrested, or deported. In September 1993, Sadeq Mallallah, 23, was beheaded in Qateef on a charge of apostasy for owning a Bible. ... As Muslims, we have not been as generous as our Christian and Jewish counterparts in respecting others' holy books and religious symbols. Saudi Arabia bans the importation or the display of crosses, Stars of David or any other religious symbols not approved by the Wahhabi establishment. TV programs that show Christian clergymen, crosses or Stars of David are censored.
Around 30,000 (Americans) live and work in various parts of Saudi Arabia. These people are not allowed to celebrate their religious or even secular holidays. These include Christmas and Easter, but also Thanksgiving.
The Saudi Embassy and other Saudi organizations in Washington have distributed hundreds of thousands of Qurans and many more Muslim books, some that have libeled Christians, Jews and others as pigs and monkeys. In Saudi school curricula, Jews and Christians are considered deviants and eternal enemies. By contrast, Muslim communities in the West are the first to admit that Western countries--especially the U.S.--provide Muslims the strongest freedoms and protections that allow Islam to thrive in the West. Meanwhile Christianity and Judaism, both indigenous to the Middle East, are maligned through systematic hostility by Middle Eastern governments and their religious apparatuses.

The lesson here is simple: If Muslims wish other religions to respect their beliefs and their Holy book, they should lead by example.
I want to share a lunch of tabouli and baba ghanoush appetizer with a BBQ beef rib main course lunch with this guy.

To the Honor Roll with you!

Hat tip
The Corner.

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