The Crescent Report

April 14, 2010

Muslims Are Here to Stay: A Reply to Brian Fischer and the American Family Association

Filed under: From the Desk of Imam Mahdi Bray — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 11:00 am

Just when you think that the bigots and Islamophobes have reached an all time low, they manage to sink lower into the mire of depravity, ignorance, and intolerance. Check out the piece below. – Imam Mahdi Bray

Quote of the Day: “Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around. Gonna keep on talking, keep on walking, keep on marching, marching up to freedom’s way.”

Muslims Are Here to Stay:  A Reply to Brian Fischer and the American Family Association

Ibrahim Ramey

I’ve heard some bizarre, offensive, and wacky things said about Muslims in America, but the recent comments from Brian Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, just about takes the cake: it seems as if Mr. Fischer is beneficent enough to feel that Muslims should be allowed to stay in America-but only if, as he says, we “renounce Islam, Allah, Mohammed, and the Koran (sic) so that “we can not only become good Christians, but true Americans”.

Let me see if I have this right.  Mr. Fischer thinks that Muslims must renounce our faith in order to become “good” Americans, although, last I heard, neither Christianity nor faith were requisite requirements for citizenship.

But it gets even deeper.  Mr Fischer is quoted as saying that “the current objective of Muslim activists is to create a brand new Islamic state-meaning a state like New Jersey of Montana.”  Not California or Florida, Mr. Fischer?  We’re not demanding some sunshine and beachfront property as part of the deal?

It would be convenient to dismiss this latest rant as the product of a depraved, xenophobic mind.  But that would be wrong, because a great deal of Evangelical Christians in America do listen to the pronouncements and opinions of the American Family Association, and presumably, their Director of Issues Analysis carries some clout in the formulation of the group’s policies.  So when a large Christian organization claims that Muslims must “convert” in order to be “allowed” to stay in America, Muslims-and anyone with a modicum of respect for religious freedom and pluralism-should wake up and take serious notice.

As a 16th-generation American citizen of African ancestry who accepted Islam in 1993, I might know a few things that Mr. Fischer and his friend seem not to be aware of: First, that Muslim are an authentic part of America, and that our roots in this nation go back even before the arrival of Muslim captives from Africa in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Second, that there is no “un-American” religion, and that Muslims have the legal and moral right to practice our religion freely, and without hindrance.  And third, that peaceful religious co-existence and the mutual respect of religious differences are values that reflect the best of this society, and ones that are shared by a great majority of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and others who make up the diverse mosaic of the American religious landscape.

There is no litmus test for the proper religious identity of a “good” American.  But there certainly is a litmus test for xenophobic ignorance and intolerance, and sadly, Brian Fischer and company seems to fail it miserably.  And if Mr. Fischer is looking for religious fanatics who threaten domestic tranquility in this nation, he might want to start with the nearly 1,000 identified American militia and racial supremacist groups-made up mostly of white, Christian men-who defy the legitimate authority of the U.S. government, and in some cases, take up arms or plot to attack it.

So, if it’s all the same to you, Mr. Fischer, I think that I’ll stay right here in the land of my birth.  After all, my ancestors-all 16 generations of them-contributed both slave labor and underpaid labor to build this society, and in some cases, they fought fought to defend the best of this nation.  The the current population of more than eight million Muslims in America includes some of the most brilliant and dedicated men and women who carry on that tradition of service to our diverse and plural nation.  And we don’t need the permission of anyone to be here.  We will be here, with full belief in the Creator of the universe (Allah, Most Exalted and Glorified), His messenger Muhammad, and the sacred, revealed text of the Holy Qur’an.

The American Family Association may not want Muslims to be here.  But while some men plan against Muslims, God plans for us to not only be present in this nation, but to thrive, serve, and lead here as well.

And God Almighty is the best of planners.

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4 Comments »

  1. As a minister of the Christian religion in the Baptist tradition I am outraged that anyone claiming to speak as a representative of other Christians would suggest that a person must be a Christian to be a good American. I fully support Ibrahim Ramey and all others who would oppose Brian Fischer’s statement. That statement, fortunately, is not the prevailing view among the Christians that I know. May God’s peace and blessings be upon all Muslims and Christians and Jews who desire to live in peace with one another and to build a better world together for all of us.

    Comment by Michael J. Watts — April 14, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

  2. Keep up the inclusiveness in American society… Being a moslem will not only be a good citizen, but a good human for the whole world. Siiru a’la barakatillah.

    Comment by Khairul — April 14, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

  3. Unfortunately, Mr. Fischer’s comments are probably a pretty accurate representation of the opinions and views of most “average Americans”. Very few people in this country, seem to have any respect, anymore, for what were once considered “basic American principles”.

    However, “the right to religious freedom”, is not the ONLY freedom that seems to be falling by the wayside, recently. (actually, our Constitutional rights and freedoms have been gradually degrading, over a period of many years, and I don’t for one minute, believe this has been “accidental”) This current issue, in regards to the treatment of Muslims in this country, is just “the tip of the iceberg”. Just a minor symptom, caused by a much LARGER problem. (the larger problem, is the dismantling of ALL our Constitutional rights, which certain people in power, WANT to happen, because it benefits THEIR INTERESTS)

    I feel we mainly have George Bush to thank, for all this current hatred and blame being directed towards Muslims. More than anyone, he is the one national leader, who went to the greatest lengths to “demonize” Muslims. (one can only guess his reasons for doing so. I would guess they were two-fold – he needed to do so, in order to help justify his illegal invasion of Iraq, as well as other acts of aggression against “Muslim countries”, and also because he himself comes from a southern-Baptist area of the country, where “extreme Christian views” are often held by a majority of the population) With lots of help, of course, from an American media which has obviously been “bought out”, and will promote ANY ideals (good or bad), depending on what their PAYMASTER requires of them!

    I don’t see any indication that the nationwide hatred and suspicion of Muslims, is going to subside, any time soon. It is especially evident to me, as a result of living in a “military town”, where it’s quite clear, the attitude of ALL American military personnel, is that ALL MUSLIMS ARE POTENTIAL TERRORISTS, AND THEY ARE FIGHTING A WAR AGAINST MUSLIMS AND ISLAM!

    Of course, this attitude, in itself, is COMPLETELY UN-AMERICAN, and it flies in the face of EVERYTHING America is SUPPOSED to stand for! (yet, these people have the nerve to claim, they are “fighting to protect America” and/or “uphold the US Constitution”. If anything, they are actually doing quite the OPPOSITE, if they are using their positions in the military, to wage a war against people of any particular religion, and/or commit HATE CRIMES and/or WAR CRIMES against those people!)

    The level of hatred towards Muslims, is quite obvious, everywhere I go, and the reasons for it, are also quite obvious. Americans have been utterly indoctrinated, by the media and their government, into believing that all Muslims are “potential terrorists”, and are THE ENEMY!

    I am to the point of believing that every act committed against Muslims in this country (and abroad, by Americans) is nothing less than a HATE crime, and should be treated, as such. This includes illegal, and/or unjustified surveillance, invasion of their rights to privacy, etc…)

    I think every Muslim in America should be compensated, to the tune of MILLIONS for these violations of their rights.

    Comment by GT — April 15, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

  4. There is one God. Those who believe in the one God are brothers. It is written in The Qu’ran: “If a man believes there is one God and prays and practices charity, he is your brother.” (cf. Surah al Bakhara, The Heifer, 2nd Chapter). The Ten Commandments are the law of all three faiths. A Muslim follows the teachings of all prophets. Jesus (May peace be upon him.) was a Jew. There is nothing but harmony in the teachings of the faiths. There should be nothing but harmony among the followers of the faiths. It is because of ignorance of God’s guidance that there is animosity. Anyone who uses terror is serving the enemy of Mankind. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it. I have found this is true af all people of faith. A true follower of Judaism, Christianity and Islam make the best friends a person can have. They are model citizen’s and I thank God they are my fellow citizens.

    Comment by Steve Henshaw — April 16, 2010 @ 8:47 am


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