Dear America, “Let My Mosque Go”
According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), “American mosques and Islamic centers have been the targets of vandalism, harassment and anti-Muslim bigotry at least 63 times this year”. So many Americans mistake mosques for churches; Mosques aren’t churches, and they don’t function like one. Mosques are open for everyone, no membership or affiliation required, they don’t check your id at the gate. On Sundays mosques unlike churches, are the most divers place in America. US Today reported that according to a census of U.S. mosques the overall number of mosques in America are 2,106 in 2010 … the study also found that:
“•States with the most mosques are New York (257), California (246) and Texas (166).
•Most mosques are in cities, but 28% were in suburban sites in 2010, up from 16% in 2000.”
Any group or Imam can open a mosque if they let them. If you don’t like a mosque you simply go to another one or build your own. Imams build their own mosques not to breach jihad but to ask for money to fix the roofs or bathrooms! One mosques here, runs by a group of Imams that are interested only in dead Muslims than lives one. They run the biggest Muslims cemetery in the state, and charge $5000 for a head, for them a good Muslim is a dead one. The role that mosques play in Muslims’ lives and belief system is way overstated.
I go to mosques periodically and I have never seen such a bunch of bored Muslims as those who are exposed to the so called jihad preaching. If America has the “born-again Christians,” Islam has the “bored-again Muslims.”
Imams, for the most part, are unqualified self-appointed preachers, not well versed in religion or in effective communication. And here is a tip that may help Islamophobes: Nothing disperses a crowd of Muslims’ like an Imam’s sermon. People carefully plan their Friday prayers to miss the sermon. More Muslims meet after Friday prayers for social gatherings than actually during the prayer. Americans have a medieval views of the mosque in this country. Washington Post reported that according to Philadelphia police “… after early-morning prayers at the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society were disrupted by the discovery Monday of a severed pig’s head on the mosque’s doorstep.” The same thing crusaders done more than a 1000 year ago. So why so many Americans are terrified of mosques? Most mosques in this country were at some point churches or schools that closed down. Very few mosques are actually built as mosques. I went to a federal trial of a Somali American who was accused of recruiting young Somalis to go and fight with Al Shabab. The prosecutor asked him: “When you go to mosques, didn’t you recite ‘jihad verses’ with your friends (conspirators).” I have no idea what those “jihad verses” are. The only jihad I have when I go to the mosque is trying to do “Wudu” pre praying wash without falling on the bathroom floor. Muslims come from all over the world with different personal hygiene customs that often require specialized devices. Most bathrooms in America aren’t equipped with the right devices such as feet-bath or “Shattaf” bidet toilet. Washing your private parts is a must before praying and shouldn’t be taken lightly, and toilet paper wont cut it. (Pun intended). Here is an Islamic toilet etiquette about washing Muslims private parts beautifully articulated in Religion is Islam website “when cleaning the private parts after answering the call of nature, men should wash them from the back to the front. Women should should wash them from the front to the back. Thus, the genitals will not be smeared with filth, nor will it be cause one to be sexually aroused by the stimulation of fingers” there is a reason for everything. No improvisations are allowed to accomplish such ritual. Washing your feet in the bathroom sink is very hard task specially for Muslims wearing ropes “Jilbabs”; once you left your foot into the sink, the robe will drag the standing one and you are left cold flat on the bathroom floor. More Muslims fall in bathrooms during “Wudu” than in any other places. (I’m the source) Then comes the biggest jihad of them all at the Mosque; finding my own shoes after prayer. Muslim seem to always be in a hurry when coming to prayer, then to keep their hands cleans, they insist on taking their shoes off without using their hands. Shoes end up scattered everywhere losing their paring system, people will spend more time looking for their shoes than actually praying, some will end up wearing wherever shoe they can find or fit. At the Mosque there are so many jihads a Muslim go through, but none of them is the one that Donald trump and Fox News are spewing everyday.
Dear America, “Let My Mosque Go”
Ahmed Tharwat is host and producer of the Arab-American TV show BelAhdan, TPT Mondays, 10:30pm. On twitter @ahmediatv.