The Future of American Muslims - Is There a Vision?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Sunni Man, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    Last month in July 2009, Rick Warren, a popular evangelical Christian pastor was the keynote speaker at the ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) conference. Pastor Warren’s speech was welcomed by many American Muslim organizations, leaders and community members. This is because the expression of friendship by such a leader in a conference attended by 45,000 Muslims was first of its kind in America. His speech was perceived by American Muslims as a positive step in helping to bridge any misunderstandings between Muslims and Christians of America.


    However it can be easily argued that to many American Muslims, his coming to the conference signified a symbol of their acceptance in the American society. While Pastor Warren’s friendly presence may have sent that message, the contents of his speech underscored how American Muslims’ efforts to position themselves in the American society may have been falling short. This was clear from many of his comments. For example, during the past few years American Muslim leaders’ mantra has been to demand tolerance in response to the intimidation that Muslims have suffered on various fronts. However, Pastor Warren reminded Muslims that “Tolerance is not enough. People do not want to be tolerated, they want to be respected. They want to be treated with dignity. They want to be listened to.” This therefore was a clear wakeup call that American Muslims should not have merely stopped at demanding tolerance, whereas respect and dignity should have been a right that American Muslims should never have compromised on.

    American Muslims have also complained about the media’s bias toward them in recent years. While American Muslims have been trying to fix that image, their efforts surely have fallen short. Pastor Warren further validated this by stating “And since today much of the press is actually clueless of what you believe, and as to what I believe, and then there are frequent mischaracterizations in the media, frequent ignorant generalizations, generalizations are generally wrong, and frequent stereotyping, of all of us”. This told American Muslims and their leaders about how far they are from “clueing in” the media and others to prevent, or at a minimum curb such mischaracterizations and ignorant generalizations.

    Among other things, American Muslim leaders have also been focusing on “Interfaith Dialog” as one of the avenues to bridge gaps with other faiths in America. However, Pastor Warren’s suggestion that in such matters action goes further than dialog was more appealing. He commented: “And I will tell you that I am not interested in interfaith dialogue, I am interested in interfaith projects. There is a big difference. Talk is very cheap. And you can talk and talk and talk and not get anything done.”
    Finally, for those few American Muslims who have wrongly believed that assimilation within the American society can only be achieved by compromising ones Islamic values and principles, the statement by Pastor Warren “maintaining our separate traditions, maintaining our convictions without compromise” echoed what mainstream Muslims believe in but is doubted by a certain segment of American Muslims

    The above clearly highlights the need to fill the voids and gaps in the vision for American Muslims. Although American Muslim organizations have been undertaking a number of focused and proactive steps to better American Muslims’ positioning for the future, there are a number of questions that must be asked to gauge their efforts. Some of the key questions are as follows:

    1) Are American Muslims any closer to Islam and their mosques today than before?

    2) Are the outreach efforts and tactics of Muslims making a difference in clarifying the message of Islam?

    3) Does the Muslim leadership have a strategic vision to improve the relationship with the US government that is constantly being viewed by many American Muslims as challenging or are the efforts of American Muslims merely reactive and stop-gap in nature?

    4) Are the Islamic centers, mosques, masajids, etc. organized well enough to attract Muslims and non-Muslims alike for transparent dissemination of the message of Islam?

    5) Who are the Imams and leaders who American Muslims have put on the podiums and how effective have they been in uniting their local communities?

    6) And finally, what specifically is being done to get Muslims involved in the democratic process of America to be able for them to make their voices heard?


    These questions must be debated and discussed strategically to be able to craft a vision for the American Muslims for this century.

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  2. Sky Dancer
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    Sunni--

    What is your personal reaction to this? I don't think much of Rick Warren myself. Does he speak for you?
     
  3. JBeukema
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    Like how you accept and respect homosexuals and jews?

    Kinda like your stereotyping of and intolerance towards gays? You complain about people questioning your beliefs and the books you claim are your source of morality and justice, yet you discriminate against a person's ataure, when their sexuality has never harmed anyone?
    So you support getting the message out to educate people about homosexuality, yes?
    So you support bringing conservatives/reactionaries and ignorant bigots like yourself together alongside homosexuals to learn to live together and encourage respect and acceptance, yes?


    Which traditions are those? If you'
    re talking about praying five times a day, then fine, you're free to do that. If you're referring to sharia law, then fuck off and die- I hope you hang in a tree next to a torie on one side and a Bolshevik on the other.

    Really? How about were delete the word 'muslims' and pluralize American?


    Is it any of your concern?
    Replace 'muslims' with homosexuals and 'islam' with homosexuality and we'll see how tolerant you are. I recall a number of posts by you that show your true nature.
     
  4. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    It's just Muslims demanding that they be placed in their rightful place above all others.
     
  5. bodecea
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    bodecea Diamond Member

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    I'm confused. I thought our LMSM favored Muslims.
     
  6. Mr.Fitnah
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    Mr.Fitnah Dreamcrusher

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    Just not enough.
     
  7. Intense
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    Intense Senior Member

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    Has Islam Reformed?

    Has Islam renounced Slavery? People are not property.

    Has Islam accepted equality in justice? Without partiality?

    Does Islam respect Societies Law of the Land in general, or ignore it?

    My Issue is not the words one uses when in prayer, or by what name our maker is addressed, it is with the lack of that realization in relation to others.
     
  8. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    I thought Rick Warren was fair and did a good job with his speech.

    He brought up several points that the Islamic community needs to address and discuss.

    Most Islamic conventions I have attended were muslim scholars giving lectures to a muslim audiance.

    It was good to hear the views of someone from outside of the community.
     
  9. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    In technology, I agree muslims have fallen behind but are rapidly catching up.

    Morally and socially, muslims are WAY ahead of the West which has fallen into decadence and gross immorality.

    Style??
     
  10. mystic
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    mystic soul on legs

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    I take umbrage with that. :) Upon what do you base your assertion that Muslims are not competing with the west in decadence and gross immorality?
    Any examples that you give me, I can counter with some of my own. Whether gross immorality refers to a promiscuous teenager with many "baby's daddies" or a 60 year old man engaging in multiple marriages (marrying and divorcing to keep within the proscribed 4 limit) to brides sometimes no older then 12....neither has cornered the market on immorality.

    Decadence? Well, if you make the argument of sheer volume of material goods, then of course the "West" has more of a financial ability to indulge themselves. That doesn't mean that Muslims in the developing world don't hanker for and purchase iphones and nikes. The mentality is the same. Rampant materialism is an issue everywhere. Only the poorest people on earth are safe from it.

    Style? Well, Muslims have those nifty hats (I don't know what you call them) and thobes are pretty cool too. But we have Levis 501. Case closed. :lol:
     
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