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Muslim leaders in U.S. facing challenges inside and outside the faith

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  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    May 20, 2013 1:26 a.m.

    Religion is only what you do religiously. The expatiation's of what you do should be the same for every one. I can't repeat the 10 Commandments, nor do I know the all the laws of the land. All I can do is not lie cheat or steel and hope every one is the same on that exception, But the Golden rule is who has the gold makes the rules. It's about politics, since their who has the gold.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2013 6:52 a.m.

    The reality is that Islam has no central core that speaks for the religion, therefore each local group is autonomous and can preach what ever doctrine the leader(s) pull from the Koran. It is especially true in countries where the majority are illiterate and depend upon the imam to interpret the Koran.

    There is a history of violence associated with Islam. As I have read about Islam, subjection of those who do not believe to Islam is part of the basic doctrine: convert, or pay a tax or be killed.

    I think the frustration of Muslims may arise from seeing the the Western world's economic state while Islamic nations are somewhere between the 7th and 12th century culture wise, economically and socially. Couple that with the real possibility that leaving the faith can get you killed by family members can lead to severe depression.

    I am of the opinion that Islam will have a hard time assimilating into Western life, unless there is fundamental change in how its adherents behave. They, as a group, do not play nice with others and so far have shown a propensity to violence when they do not get their way.

  • Albert Maslar CPA (Retired) Absecon, NJ
    May 20, 2013 6:53 a.m.

    "Self-Radicalization" of Americans in particular, cannot excuse Islam of responsibility because "The Army of One" theory conforms to radical Muslim principles that promote this type of terrorism as it eliminates the threat of informants. Lone Muslim terrorists operate everywhere in the world espousing extremist views and calling for exacting revenge for injustices committed against Muslims. The troubling irony is that in the Middle East war-torn areas, Muslim suicide bombers bomb their own mosques and people as well. American mainstream media (MSM)whitewash all the Boston Marathon type terrorism in America as due to home-grown Self-Radicalized terrorists; even attributing the Fort Hood shooting assassinations of fellow soldiers by an Islamic American military officer to "Workplace Violence." MSM is either in total denial or on the wrong side of patriotism.

  • UtahVET1 Sandy, Utah
    May 20, 2013 7:03 a.m.

    far and wide we hear "Islam is a religion of peace." There are three main reasons that phrase is repeated so often. One is because of the religious duty of Islamists to deceive unbelievers. And the other is that Islamists have an entirely different interpretation of the the phrase "religion of peace" than the one that naturally occurs to people in free countries.

    And the third is that ignorant westerners, trying to be sensitive and multicultural, say Islam is a religion of peace because it is the politically correct thing to say. They are unwittingly helping the Islamists keep westerners in the dark while the Islamists advance their purposes (the overthrow of western governments in Europe and the USA).

  • UtahVET1 Sandy, Utah
    May 20, 2013 7:16 a.m.

    Don't forget the Muslim BrotherHood Founded in 1928 by the Egyptian schoolteacher/activist Hasan al-Banna (a devout admirer of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis), they joined with the Nazis when Kitler established them. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) -- a Sunni entity -- is one of the oldest, largest and most influential Islamist organizations in the world. While Egypt historically has been the center of the Brotherhood’s operations, the group today is active in more than 70 countries (some estimates range as high as 100+). Islam expert Robert Spencer has called MB "the parent organization of Hamas and al Qaeda." In 2003, Richard Clarke – the chief counterterrorism advisor on the U.S. National Security Council during both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations – told a Senate committee that Hamas, al Qaeda, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were all "descendants of the membership and ideology of the Muslim Brothers."

  • UtahVET1 Sandy, Utah
    May 20, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    MB was established in accordance with al-Banna’s proclamation that Islam should be “given hegemony over all matters of life.” Toward that end, the Brotherhood seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate, or kingdom -- first spanning all of the present-day Muslim world, and eventually the entire globe. The organization further aspires to dismantle all non-Islamic governments wherever they currently exist, and to make Islamic Law (Shari’a) the sole basis of jurisprudence everywhere on earth. This purpose is encapsulated in the Brotherhood’s militant credo: “God is our objective, the Koran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle [jihad] is our way, and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.”

  • UtahVET1 Sandy, Utah
    May 20, 2013 7:22 a.m.

    In May 1991, MB issued to its ideological allies an explanatory memorandum on "the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America." Asserting that the Brotherhood's mission was to establish "an effective and ... stable Islamic Movement" on the continent, this document outlined a "Civilization-Jihadist Process" for achieving that objective. It stated that Muslims "must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands ... so that ... God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions." Through stealth jihad, the Brotherhood would seek to impose Islamic values and customs on the West in piecemeal fashion -- gradually, incrementally gaining ever-greater influence over the culture. The memorandum listed some 29 likeminded "organizations of our friends" which sought to realize the same goal. These included:

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    May 20, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    Interesting post Utah Vet1. I would like to know more.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    May 20, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    I don't think you have to remind the Jewish people and nation of the nationalism of Germany's expansion to Spain, Austria, Poland, Russian, and even to the middle East. They had to fight those entities after WWII to get their own nation that had been taken from them. They lost over 6 million of their own in that process and they tried to be passive in that process as "first and second amendment" equivalent rights were withdrawn from them in the 1930s and 1940s to where the Jewish people were not able to defend themselves and families. It is sort of like the Missouri extermination order in the 1830s that caused a people to move to Illinois where they had sympathy from the people in Quincy. America is a nation of freedom but doesn't mean it is exempt from government initiatives to thwart that freedom, even through coercion and violence. Israel fights everyday for their freedoms against a world that is not supportive. However, a lot of those relatives in our country heavily supported for a second term a man who hadn't given or even been to Israel as President. Money influences and wins votes. Not integrity.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    Can you imagine if, instead of the Book of Mormon satire on Broadway, it was the Koran satire. Holy Smokes...it would have been carnage.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    If statistics are correct, there are 2.75 million Muslims in the US and 10% approve of terroristic violence then there are 275,000 potential Muslim terrorists in the US. The effort to educate away from jihadist terror is laudable, but the proof is in the results. When Wahabism is abandoned, the right to kill those who convert away from Islam is denounced, women are given equal legal status, sharia law is subservient to the Constitution, honor killings are condemned and the world is no longer theologically divided into the House of War and the House of Islam, citizens will not have prejudice regarding Muslims.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 20, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    @UtahVET1

    Excellent posts… thanks for the info.

    No doubt many Muslims are sincere in the efforts to promote a religion of peace, but their sacred books (Koran and Hadith) contain scores of totalitarian and violent prescriptions. We need only look at these books and their history to understand the true aims… and those aims do not appear to be peaceful co-existence and certainly not democracy and pluralism, as Europe is beginning to recognize.

    I think we ignore these facts at our peril…

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    May 20, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    Strider303 is correct, in that there is no central authority to Islam and each local group is autonomous. So one Islamic group might be peaceful, while another is extremist, and neither has any authority to tell the other group that it is wrong.

    Secondly, there has been a lot of misleading "politically correct" statements about Islam. Some have falsely stated that, "Islam is peace." The correct translation of "Islam" isn't peace, but rather "submission". By Islamic standards, peace only comes through submission, either as a Muslim member, or as a dhimmī. A dhimmī is a non-muslim to surrenders to Islamic authority and pays an excise tax for being non-Muslim.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    May 20, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    Maybe the problem with confusing moderate Islam and Islamic terrorism is that the bad guys get the press and the good guys do not. Compounding the problem is the seemingly always-on-TV Saudi Arabian dictatorship and a lack of women's and religious minority rights in that country. What comes to mind when you think of Islam? Of course it is going to be the big news makers not the average Muslim who goes about his/her business peacefully.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    @Strider303
    "The reality is that Islam has no central core that speaks for the religion, therefore each local group is autonomous and can preach what ever doctrine the leader(s) pull from the Koran. "

    It's not much different than Christianity in that regard.

    "There is a history of violence associated with Islam. "

    As there is with Christianity (consider all the Catholic vs Protestant wars in Europe over the centuries).

    @Hemlock
    "If statistics are correct, there are 2.75 million Muslims in the US and 10% approve of terroristic violence then there are 275,000 potential Muslim terrorists in the US."

    Define terroristic violence? No seriously, define it, because way more than 10% of Americans support drone strikes, and a lot of people in those nations we use drones on (like Yemen) consider that terrorism.

    @Shane333
    "By Islamic standards, peace only comes through submission, either as a Muslim member, or as a dhimmī. A dhimmī is a non-muslim to surrenders to Islamic authority and pays an excise tax for being non-Muslim."

    So, you agree with the idea that Islam doesn't have much of a central authority, and then you suggest this applies to 1.5 billion people?

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    May 20, 2013 12:04 p.m.

    @atl134

    The fallacy in your first point is that Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is a word that describes a collection of a large number of religions that believe in Jesus Christ, almost all of which do have a centralized authority and leadership. And the difference is not a matter of semantics - if Baptists were going around committing acts of terrorism, they (and not Christians in general) would be blamed.

    Strider's point about Islam and its lack of a centralized governing authority is spot on, and your apples-to-oranges comparison between Islam and Christianity does not change that.

  • Filo Doughboy Bakersfield, CA
    May 20, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    Strider and Shane get it, which is why Shock and Awe never works on the radical heart. American military will continue to suffer loss until the generals are trained in evangelism. Until soldiers pass out pamphlets and propaganda with their Uzis, you might as well find another profession in Islamic countries.

    Protection of innocents/ and American assets will always require force. But until the missionary can survive the mercenary, radical Islam will win every time. Afghanistan being prime evidentiary.

    If the radical enemy lives amongst Americans now, how about engaging them on a personal level? It can only help possibly sway another bombing...

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 20, 2013 1:09 p.m.

    @atl134 – “Define terroristic violence?”

    Please be careful to not paint with such a broad brush that words simply lose all meaning. To even begin to equate a good faith drone strike (good faith meaning despite the occasional collateral damage, your intent is to kill a bad guy) with blowing up random people at a public event is way beyond apples-and-orange.

    It is no doubt a definition of degrees, but I would say it starts with a mindset that believes killing in defense of the faith is OK, given how big an umbrella that is (e.g., a cartoonist, an author, etc.).

    This is certainly a conundrum for western society – how 21st century liberty and pluralism can co-exist with a value system straight out of the Old Testament, where killing your neighbor for any number of theocratic crimes is fully sanctioned and even commanded.

    Not sure what the answers are, but I don’t think burying our heads in the sands of blanket tolerance and multi-culturalism is the way to go.

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    May 20, 2013 4:38 p.m.

    @atl134

    Whether they be Sunni Islamists, or Shia Islamists, or Wahabi Islamists, or any other Islamists, they all agree on the Islamic doctrine that all mankind should become subject to Islam. Doesn't take a unified central authority for that mindset to exist.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    May 20, 2013 5:05 p.m.

    Two points:

    1. Those Muslims who don't believe Islam justifies violence have a responsibility to re-educate those who do. Nobody else can do it for them.

    2. The idea of "self-radicalization" is a crock. Somebody wrote the articles and created the websites that were the sources of those people's radicalization.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2013 5:41 p.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin
    There are a lot of different sects of Islam, much like there are a lot of Christian denominations.

    @Shane333
    "Whether they be Sunni Islamists, or Shia Islamists, or Wahabi Islamists, or any other Islamists, they all agree on the Islamic doctrine that all mankind should become subject to Islam. "

    I'm pretty sure most Christian denominations believe that one of the things we should be doing is spreading the Gospel to the whole world.

    @Tyler D
    Good faith means little to people who lost a family member due to a mistake or being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    A recent poll found that a large percentage of Muslims in various nations answered yes to a question that was along the lines of "are suicide bombings ever acceptable". Now the detail we don't know is... how many of them are thinking suicide bombings of civilians are acceptable vs how many are thinking only something like a tactical suicide bombing of some enemy's military units are acceptable (like the kamikaze attacks in WWII)? The former is support of terrorism but the latter is more like the drone strike matter.

  • Walter Balinski Orem, UT
    May 20, 2013 10:56 p.m.

    It will be very interesting to see how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is received by Muslims as The Church continues to grow and grow.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 21, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    @atl134 – “A recent poll found that a large percentage of Muslims in various nations answered yes to a question that was along the lines of "are suicide bombings ever acceptable".”

    There have been a number of polls like this over the last decade and they are actually quite scary.

    First, some Muslim countries won’t even allow the polling, so the data is skewed right out of the gate (i.e., the reality is likely even worse than the polls suggest).

    Check out the Pew Study done in 2008, in particular the answers to questions like “is it justified to kill those who insult Islam” or “will killing infidels or being a martyr for the faith get you to heaven?”

    When you map this mindset onto nations seeking nuclear weapons… well, all I can say is that it chills my spine in a way the cold war never did.

  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    May 22, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    I fear that religion will be the end of us all through self fulfilled prophecies.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 22, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    Organized corporate religion is one of man's worst inventions.