Can Muslims Be Good Americans?
A Muslim brother forwarded to me the following email written by an anonymous Christian. It seems that the email is being sent all over to create hate and misunderstanding about Islam and Muslims. Following are my answers in brief to the questions asked.
Question: This is very interesting and we all need to read it from start to finish. And send it on to everyone. Maybe this is why our American Muslims are so quiet and not speaking out about any atrocities.
Answer: Muslims individually and collectively have spoken against the terrorists. Muslim Americans are law-abiding citizens and have opposed any act of violence and terrorism. You should read the Fatwa of The Fiqh Council of North America against Terrorism available at www.isna.net.
Question: Can a good Muslim be a good American?
Answer: Yes, Muslim can and millions of Muslims are good American citizens. They are living here with their families and children and wish peace and prosperity for all. They are doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, professionals and common folks. They wish nothing but good for America and for all its people.
Question: This question was forwarded to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years. The following is his reply:
Answer: Sadly, this person did not learn much about Islam. His answers are full of ignorance and hate.
Question: Theologically - no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, The moon God of Arabia.
Answer: Allah is the Arabic word for God. Arabi- speaking Christians also say, ‘Allah’ when they speak about God. One can check any Arabic Bible, it has the name Allah on almost every page. Muslims’ allegiance is to Allah who is the Universal God, the same God recognized by Jews and Christians and all monotheists.
Allah is not the moon god. Allah is the creator of sun and moon and the whole universe. It is totally false to claim that Muslims worship moon. Muslims worship One and Universal God, Allah.
Question: Religiously – no. Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam ( Qur’an, 2:256)(Koran)
Answer: Muslims believe that Islam is the true religion. Christians believe that Christianity is the true religion and they say that ‘no one can be saved unless he/she believes in Jesus as the Son of God.’ Jews believe that Judaism is the true religion. An American does not have to be a Christian. In this country every person has a right to believe in his/her religion. So a Muslim could be as good American as a Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, theist or atheist could be. There is no provision in the American Constitution that says that only Christians can be Americans.
Question: Scripturally - no. Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Qur’an.
Answer: Five Pillars are our act of worship and Qur’an is our Scripture. Jews have their Scripture and their ways of worship and Christians have theirs. Jews and Christians have many denominations and groups. No one says that only one group’s scripture and worship is American and others’ way of worship is not American. It seems to me that the person does not understand the American system.
Question: Geographically – no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca , to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
Answer: Makkah, Madinah and Jerusalem are our holy cities and we respect them and honor them. We worship towards the direction of Makkah. Jews turn to Jerusalem in their prayers. Every person is free in America to worship the way they like. Why one way is American and the other way is not?
Question: Socially - no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.
Answer: Muslims are not only allowed, they are urged to be friendly towards all people. The Qur’an says that ‘God does not forbid you to be kind and benevolent towards those who do not fight you because of your religion and do not expel you from your homes… (See Surah 60:7) We have many Jewish and Christian friends and we care for them and respect them.
Question: Politically – no. Because he must submit to the mullahs ( spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America , the great Satan.
Answer: There are all kinds of Mullas and all kind of priests and rabbis. Not all Muslims are supposed to follow all Mullas or to accept everything that every Mulla says. It is like saying that a Catholic cannot be trusted because some of their priests were involved in sex scandals.
Question: Domestically - no. Because he is instructed to marry four women and beat/scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Qur’an 4:34 )
Answer: No Muslim is instructed to marry four women. Marrying four wives is not a duty of Muslims and among them there are very few who practice this all over the world. Muslims are allowed to have more than one wife, on the condition that they must treat them equally and fairly. However, if they live in a country where polygamy is forbidden by the law, they must respect that law, because in this situation if they have more than one wife they shall not be able to treat all their wives equally. They will declare one legal wife and they shall hide the other wife’s identity. This is not fair and equal treatment.
Islam teaches respect of women and love and kindness between spouses (Surah 30:21). The writer misunderstood the verse 4:34. The Prophet – peace be upon him - gave the best explanation when he said, “The best of you are those who do not hit their wives.’ The objective of the Qur’an is to save families, not to destroy them with abuse and violence.
The Bible says that parents should have their children stoned to death if they are stubborn or rebellious. (Deut 21:16-21; Exodus 21:15-17; Leviticus 20:9) Does it mean that Jews and Christians cannot be trusted as good parents and good Americans?
Question: Intellectually - no. Because he cannot accept the American
Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
Answer: There is nothing in the American Constitution that is against the teachings of Islam. Whatever Biblical principles are incorporated in the US Constitution are also Islamic. The Qur’an and the Bible have many common teachings.
Question: Philosophically - no. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Qur’an do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
Answer: Islam gives full freedom of religion and full freedom of expression within the limits of decency and morality. It is not correct that every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic. Muslims have recovered from Western colonialism recently and they are struggling to establish their democratic governments. Governments like Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and many others have succeeded very much in establishing democratic system in their lands.
Question: Spiritually - no. Because when we declare 'one nation under God,' the Christians’ God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Qur’an's 99 excellent names.
Answer: In the Qur’an God is called ‘Wadud’ which means the most Loving one. We believe in the Loving and Merciful God. The most repeated names of God in the Qur’an are ‘al-Rahman and al-Rahim, meaning the most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. Compassion and mercy are more comprehensive than love.
Question: Therefore, after much study and deliberation.... Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. - - - They obviously cannot be both 'good' Muslims and good Americans. Call it what you wish it's still the truth. You had better believe it. The more we understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future.
Answer: This is only bigoted propaganda. For centuries some Christians had similar propaganda against Jews. Now they have started this against Muslims, because they know that anti-Semitism is illegal in this country. Unfortunately, Muslims have become an easy target for some people.
Question: The religious war is bigger than we know or understand.
Answer: We should not have religious war. Religions should teach peace and respect of each other. Religious people should not bear ‘false witness’ and should love their neighbors.
Question: Footnote: The Muslims have said they will destroy us from within.
Answer: You should not generalize the statement of one or two persons as the statement of all Muslims. We condemn those who excite hate, war and violence. There are some Christians who said that they would burn the Qur’an and destroy Makkah and Madinah. We condemn them, but we do not blame all Christians because of the statements of some people among them.
Question: SO FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.
Question: THE MARINES WANT THIS TO ROLL ALL OVER THE US.
I doubt that this is written on behalf of all Marines. It may be the opinion of some hateful and angry ones among them. Most of the Marines are honorable people and they serve America and its Constitution. They help in the protection of our country and all its citizens of all faiths and races. We respect them and honor them.
Question: Please don't delete this until you send it on.
Yes, please send it with my answers.