Tag Archives: Mosque

Obama’s visit to the Mosque was more exciting than mine!

obama-mosque taking his shoe

 

It is ironic that while Obama is sending drones to kill Muslims abroad, an Islamophobe like Ronald Trump calling just for banning them.

 

Obama Visit to the Mosque was more exciting than mine!

I’ve got the feeling that Obama’s recent visit to a mosque in Baltimore is kind of too little, too late. (“In mosque visit, Obama decries anti-Muslim bias,” Feb. 4). It is ironic that while Obama is sending drones to kill Muslims abroad, an Islamophobe like Ronald Trump is calling just for banning them. While Republicans think Muslims just don’t fit in the U.S., Obama, on the other hand, Obama thinks Muslims fit right in here in America–once they make it alive to enter this country.

“Let me say as clearly as I can as president of the United States: you fit right here,” Obama assured thousands of Muslim Americans at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, who came to listen to the first black president of the United States. This was probably not the first time Obama had visited a mosque His father was a Muslim, which has been a scar that has followed him all of his life.

According to a September CNN poll, 29% of Americans believe Obama was a Muslim, including 43% of Republicans. Obama joked about such notions in his mosque visit, saying the same rumors had stained Thomas Jefferson. “I am not the first,” he said. “I am in good company,” he added.

This business of visiting a mosque to talk to Muslims is in itself an indicator of a kind of Islamophobia. Besides Obama’s recent visit, Bush visited a mosque after 9/11 to talk to Muslims. However, a mosque is not the only place you can meet Muslims, and not everything a Muslim does is Islamic. Why couldn’t Obama meet Muslims in a non-religious context at a community center, at schools, shopping malls, restaurants, or even a sporting event?
Continue reading Obama’s visit to the Mosque was more exciting than mine!

Share

Dear America, “Let My Mosque Go”

Mosque atatcked 3

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.” Continue reading Dear America, “Let My Mosque Go”

Share

My Mosque, My Imam and Me

My-old-house-Medium.jpg
  

according to the Washington research center New America.
“In America, the mass shooting in San Bernardino has further radicalized anti-Muslim feeling. If only people felt as passionately about all the domestic terrorism and mass shootings. Since 9/11, more people have been killed by white supremacists and right-wing extremists than by jihadists in America,”
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. That’s the highest number since CAIR began keeping track in 2009 and a threefold increase over last year.”

In a time of crisis and in the absence of rational thinking, people express grievances differently. American fixation with attacking mosques is puzzling in a country that prides itself on the sanctity of private property. Angry Americans attack and burn mosques — Muslim place of of worships — while angry Muslims attack and burn, not churches, but the American flag, which is a political symbol.

President Obama assured us that America is not at war with Islam or Muslims, that this is a war on ISIL, or Daesh. So why don’t angry Americans burn ISIL flags instead of mosques?

Well, let us seek enlightenment from the “American Thinker,” a daily internet publication that is, as it claims on its website, “devoted to the thoughtful exploration of issues of importance to Americans.” In an article written by Carol Brown titled “Mosques on the front lines in the war against America,” she explains: “Mosques pose a dual risk to Americans. First there is the nature of what is preached inside the walls of the mosque. Second is the nature of the walls themselves.”

I have no idea what she means by “the nature of the walls themselves.” Most mosques in this country were at some point churches or schools that closed down. Very few mosques are actually built as mosques.

Here is the scary thing. According to Brown, 80 percent of these mosques “preach jihad,” as she puts it. 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 role that mosques play in Muslims’ lives and belief system is unlike the role of churches, and 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 “born-again Christians,” Islam has “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.

When I was growing up in Egypt, most people went to the mosques for the indoor plumbing. In countries where secular dictators like Ben Ali, Gaddafi, Al Assad and Mubarak ruled, mosques were the only places the dictators couldn’t control. So the only things that grew in those countries were corruption and beards.

Mosques played a major role in the Arab Spring, however. Mostly it was led by young seculars who probably never visited mosques before the revolution, and whose main chant was for “bread, freedom and social justice.”

As Charles B. Anthony wrote in “Middle East Eye” magazine: “Militant political Islam was midwifed in the dungeons of Nasser’s Egypt, aided by the CIA as counterweight to Pan-Arab nationalism, then raised in Afghanistan as a proxy force for fighting Russia, with our stalwart allies the Saudis sowing the seeds of Wahabi ideology from Peshawar (Pakistan) to Tunis.”

Radicalization among Muslims is driven mostly by socioeconomic conditions and local politics. People in Muslim countries express their political grievances in religious rhetoric. But the biggest issues that drive terrorism against the West are political, not religious — the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the support for Arab dictators and for Jewish state atrocities against Palestinians.

The only religious war we have is Muslims fighting among themselves in sectarian wars in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere after Western interference broke down social institutions.

According to the latest Gallup Poll released Monday, Americans’ concern about terrorism has increased five-fold in the past month alone, surpassing the economy as their most important concern. Presidential candidates are taking notice.

Lots of pundits are trying to figure out Donald Trump’s outrageous, racist statements about Muslims. As Chauncey Devega succinctly stated in Salon: “Racism, bigotry and xenophobia are a core part of America’s national character.” And it is as old as apple pie. The GOP debate is nothing but hate speeches. As Devega stated: “83% of American history was a history of slavery and exploitation of non whites to reinforce white supremacy.”

The night of the 9/11 attacks, I was asked by Charlie Rose in a TV interview how that terrible tragedy was going to affect Muslims in America. I quoted Winston Churchill: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they’ve tried everything else.”

It seems the learning curve is longer than I thought.

Ahmed Tharwat is host and producer of the Arab-American TV show BelAhdan, TPT Mondays, 10:30pm. On twitter @ahmediatv.
 
 
 
 
 

Share