I was sick of the extremists among Muslims hijacking Islam, and the long battle to wrest public relations out of them continues till this day, the American Muslims have nearly succeeded and a few more steps are needed to be
taken to be a free people. American Muslims take pride in living in the land of the free and the brave.
Freedom is the center piece of our civilization, the American civilization, and we will fight tooth and nail to preserve the freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom to assemble. We believe it is our inalienable right.
The moderates in all religious groups are aligning themselves with the common values of America by honoring life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and continually appreciating the hospitality and encouragement from fellow Americans to be one nation.
That is normal people in normal circumstances. However, there are some who are not normal beings and our freedom nourishes them as well. The ‘hijacking’ business and the battle to wrest control out of the extremists continues not only in Islam, but in all faiths and politics as well. I pray for the moderate majority of Republicans to reign in on the extremists among their party or drown their voices with common sense.
Who are the extremists? It is those who disdain reason and logic and consider these two values as the useless crutches of the weak. Facts don’t matter to them. So, here comes John Findlay, the executive director of the Virginia State GOP and makes the following statement.
“The Republican Party of Virginia does not object to politicians visiting mosques, in fact our own Chairman visited a Muslim house of worship quite recently,” John Findlay, executive director of the state GOP, said in written statement. “However, the Party does object to Mark Herring holding an event at a center with an extensive and well-documented history with anti-American terrorists.”
This defies common sense.
The Dar al Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church is a place of worship that welcomes people of all faiths regardless of their race, gender or religion. Places of worship are visited by great people as well as scoundrels, so this place of worship is no exception.
A place of worship does not become sacred because a saint visits, nor does it get desecrated because a criminal visits the place. Indeed, all criminals should visit and seek repentance and forgiveness in the house of God. Anwar Awalaki was the man who visited this Mosque and gave a few sermons, he was not a criminal then, but when he left the Mosque and got brainwashed by Al-Qaida gang elsewhere he became radicalized and thanks to Obama for taking him down without any collateral damage.
What I suggest John Findlay is to visit the Mosque and listen to the sermons. I visit this Mosque a few times a year, and enjoy listening to the pluralistic inclusive sermons delivered by Imam Johari and others. They also hold frequent interfaith luncheon meetings and I love the diversity of people who join in for lunch. This is the kind of teaching we want in the places of worship. They don’t teach chaos, they teach how to integrate and build a cohesive America, so the job of Governors, Mayors and Police Chiefs becomes easy.
The American Muslims have nearly succeeded in getting rid of extremists from among them, and they need encouragement and not disparaging remarks from fellow Americans. American Muslims have the lowest crime rates of any kind among them and eventually they will be one of the few exemplary communities to model after. They will be the greatest contributors towards the safety and security of every American.
It is not what John Findlay says that matters, but what the majority of GOP does that matters. Would they slap on his wrist and discourage that kind of talk? Would Findlay apologize to Mark Herring, the Attorney General and the congregation at Dar al Hijrah in particular? In the Islamic faith, the dearest person to God is the one who forgives and the one who seeks apology. As Muslims we would welcome our brother John Findlay to repent by attending a Friday sermon along with the President and key members of the Virginia GOP. We will embrace him.
I further urge to win the support from public by bringing good things to America and by forging alliances to build that one nation under God. We cannot go back to the medieval times by creating chaos and spinning our wheels in managing it. We need to learn to live with others and respect the otherness of others and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of us.
Dr. Mike Ghouse is President and Executive Director of the Center for Pluralism committed to building a cohesive America where no American has to live in tension, apprehension or fear of the other. He is a pluralist, thinker, writer, activist, motivational speaker and a news maker. He offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.
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