Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"I find the term “Islamofascism” to be quite accurate"

Unlike most Americans, Solomon2 grew up with Muslims as his next-door neighbors. Solomon2's memories of them are as good people and happy, generous friends.

About twenty years ago their humor took a darker turn. They told me their religion had moved in another direction and left them behind. They told me they were now proud to be considered "bad Muslims" by some of their co-religionists! At that time, long before 9-11 or even the 1993 World Trade Center attack, I was very puzzled by this response.

Without a doubt there are many such Muslims living in America today, though many may carry on in silence out of fear of ostracism, at the very least. I haven't contacted my old friends lately, yet I imagine that Doctor M. Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, here interviewed by National Review Online, does a great job of speaking for them and like-minded Muslims:

I have always been a devout practicing Muslim maintaining a central personal spiritual relationship with God in my life. I have also held true to the importance of spiritual practices in my life including fasting, daily prayer, scriptural recitation, charity, community worship, and personal integrity...I found myself frustrated by the politicization of many but not all of the Muslim communities in which I participated, I began to focus on the main problem I experienced — the harmful impact of political Islam upon the practice of Islam in America...[I] realized that at some point anti-Islamists were going to need to take them on to rescue our faith from their clutches...

...Islamists would rather continue wallowing in denial. They prefer to project responsibility for terrorism upon everyone else in the world, rather than placing the responsibility upon the ideology of political Islam and the toxicity of the dreams of an Islamic state. They would much rather debate non-Muslims or former Muslims, because they can change the debate focus to Islamophobia, rather than the central issue of Islamism...

...I’ve never been threatened physically. But if I allow such frivolous attacks or fear of them to modify the intensity of my work, I would dishonor the freedoms which our serviceman and women are fighting to preserve and I might as well take my family back to their motherland of Syria where there are no freedoms and the masses are silent out of fear of the ruling despots. If I stay silent I would no longer be an American...

When we Americans, regardless of our religion or creed, stay silent in the face of creeping fascism we may remain citizens yet lose what it means to be an American in our souls. Each time this happens America dies a little, for its beacon of freedom and justice dims. As Jasser says, America's "liberty-culture mindset is the greatest antidote to Islamist tribalism and collectivism." He concludes with a vision for the future that can be attained through the actions of Muslims like himself:
Once devout Muslims can deconstruct the goal of the Islamic state and prove to our fellow co-religionists that the most pious form of society is one where government and religion are separate and faith practice is allowed only to be judged by God in a laboratory of free will, Islamofascism will die in the dustbin of history.

I will finally add a caveat that my only fear is that many exposed to the term will have little prior knowledge of Islam or contact with Muslims and will carry away a belief that Islam as a spiritual faith is fascistic in its ideology. That cannot be further from the truth of the Islam which I teach my children and so many of the vast majority of Muslims teach their families. But that should stimulate Muslims to even more actively defeat the Islamists who have hijacked our faith for their own political agenda.

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