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Non-Muslims supporting Muslims: What do Divorce, Death & Deen have in common?

When I practiced law in a large firm, a mentor told me that death and divorce reveal a person’s ‘true colors’. I found this to be the case more often than not. Some people are magnanimous in the face of tragedy, thinking of others before themselves. Other people use the opportunity to vent their hatred and resentment, as if pain is an excuse to say or do as one wants. Recent events suggest that a third category can be added—namely, the deen.

Muslims refer to Islam as a “deen” not a religion. Deen is a broader term and has been translated as a “way of life,” based on submission and obedience to our Creator. Like death and divorce, the deen, or Islam, triggers a response in many. The mere mention of Islam today can reveal a person’s true colors.

Take for instance the now infamous and ongoing controversy over Park51, the proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan. It has allowed many closet Islam-haters to come out, believing that they now have a legitimate excuse to express their hatred, even if couched in what they believe are socially-acceptable arguments. Across this nation, mosques and other Islamic centers are being challenged, encouraged by the vocal and sometimes prominent opponents of the project. The controversy surrounding Park51 also has provided the impetus for hate crimes.

Yet, look at all the non-Muslims supporting the rights of Muslims to be guaranteed to the same rights as every other American. I personally have been contacted by several friends to let me know how “appalled” and “dismayed” they are over recent events. Many can’t believe this is America. Many do not like where the conversation is heading.

Where does the expression “true colors” come from? The answer may be found in the Qur’an. Several verses in the Qur’an mention the various colors of creation. For example,

And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors: verily in that are Signs for those who know. (30:22)

Seest thou not that Allah sends down rain from the sky? With it We then bring out produce of various colors. And in the mountains are tracts white and red, of various shades of color, and black intense in hue. And so amongst men and crawling creatures and cattle, are they of various colors. Those truly fear Allah, among His Servants, who have knowledge: for Allah is Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving. (35:27-28)

Islam teaches that God (swt) is unique and one but reveals Himself through His many names and attributes. And just as a rainbow reveals the many colors of light from the sun, each part of creation reveals aspects of our Creator and ourselves. In other words, although we originate from pure light, we each display our own true colors.

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Comments

  • Aisha Musa, Miami Religion & Politics 4 years ago

    Samia,

    Peace and Blessed Ramadan. You have hit the nail on the head:in identifying the what we are seeing in current debates " a legitimate excuse to express their hatred, even if couched in what they believe are socially-acceptable arguments." There are simply no arguments made against Park51 that do not rest on the underlying premise that Islam was the cause of 9/11 and all Muslims share collective guilt for that. Opponents of Park51 will repeatedly assert that this is not about freedom of religion, but that is exactly what it is about. They claim they are not attempting to deny Muslims their rights, which of course, they cannot do legally. However, they are attempting to coerce and intimidate Muslims into giving up those rights, just as others attempted to coerce and intimidate the NRA to do so in 1999, demanding that they not hold their scheduled conference in Denver, because it was too near Columbine. Charlton Heston eloquently pointed out that the NRA would not be forced to play the role of villian in American society. Now, it is Muslims that some people are trying to force into the role of villian. But like the NRA, that is not our role, and we must refuse to be forced to play it.

    If Park51's developers agree to move the location, or do not build at all, then America will lose and the terrorists will win because Americans will have subordinated our highest governing principles to fear and ignorance.

  • Raza Khan, 4 years ago

    Hi Julie

    Your article is timely as I have had so many people ask me about my views that I was forced to put up a comment on my facebook page. I am hopeful that you read my boring comments there but for the readership, I will paste it here as well

    There has been a huge debate in the media and even among people about why Muslims want to build a mosque near the Ground Zero in NY. It is a very delicate issue and one can see valid points from both the sides- both of them are very passi.........onate about their beliefs. I think more of it analytically rather than using passion. That is perhaps because of my area - chemistry :). We must all agree that two of the strongest fundamental principles are Freedom of Religion and Speech. It is very sad for me to personally hear that the religion is equated to terrorists. Now some thinking points for you and your friends:

    1. There were Muslims who were also killed on 9/11 who worked there. Most of them were not high paid wall street people but very low income cleaning crew who worked from 7 am to 9 am and most of their families were not compensated from the 9/11 funds. Who stood up for them? Most of them were naturalized Americans after living here for years and years.

    2. There was in fact a prayer area which we refer to "mosque" inside both of the WTC building as well that got destroyed as there would be every Friday prayers there in those two buildings. How many knew that? A mosque is a place to pray and interact with each other.

    3. 99% or perhaps 100% of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. So for God sake, stop pointing fingers at Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yeah, the media and blithering idiot politicians do not want to point to Saudi Arabia because they feed us oil (talk about a terrorist country getting us addicted) and Egypt ... well we literally put billions of dollars in the dictator’s pockets to ensure we have a say in Middle East policy which the British screwed up in mid 1900s.

    4. They are not building a mosque. They are building an Islamic Center. It is much more different. Mosque is equated with high rising minarets...

    5. If someone still says- no, let the whole Muslim burn in hell... fine... then be the FIRST ONE to object to have a church being present right now or being built near a children playground..... Get the message...if not... here is a hint... thousands of sexually abused kids by the priests / pastors.... well, you see the point. Actions of few cannot be put on the entire group. And in this case.... wow.... we do not even know where the 9/11 terrorists were TRULY from!

    6. If we need to ban any building, we should require that Embassy of Saudi Arabia and Egypt in DC and their consulate in NY should be demolished and those people sent home and make sure we never build THEIR building again....

    7. If you still believe that Afghanistan had to do anything, and then tell me why do you hear about executions by Talibans in Afghanistan....? Did you know that leaders of Taliban are FOREIGN fighter extremist who are NOT AFGHANS who were brought from..... you guessed it.... Saudi Arabia and Egypt (look at #1 and #2 person in charge) .... with funds from CIA..... wooooo..... ok.... Too much information, right?

    Truth is sometimes very bitter but be strong to take it and learn from our own mistakes to never repeat it again. We NEED TO CUT ties with Saudi Arabia and EGYPT. They have caused all the problems and why we are not liked in that part of the world by supporting ruthless dictators and ruthless mentalities and fundamentalism.

    Raza
    ________________________
    Raza Khan, Ph.D., P.D.

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