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A Muslim's Perspective Addressed To Mr. Pipes

Reader comment on item: The Islamic States of America?

Submitted by Shawkat Kabbara (United States), Dec 24, 2005 at 06:53

Dear Mr. Pipes,

Islam is a religion of peace. Unfortunately today Islam is perceived as being a terrorist machine that is fueling hatred and preaches to destroy civilized nations. There are a couple of reasons why this is happening, mainly inflicted by Muslims. There are no leaders in the Middle East or in Muslim countries that are practicing true Islam.

The first types of leaders are the so called "Arab Dictators" that are not religious ruling a dictatorship regime (Egypt, Syria, and Iraq...under Saddam's rule...etc). These groups of leaders are not just; their main goal is to increase their personal power and wealth. They have used various methods of torture and thus are not peaceful in any way. They have isolated their regimes and used thug like tactics to stay in power.

The second type of leaders are Kings (Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, UAE...etc) although those leaders might be more religious they tend to care more about their family's power and wealth instead of justice. Saudi Arabia.... is definitely not a Muslim country. God created us and gave us the choice, the choice to believe, the choice to choose a religion or a belief. What right does the Saudi regime have to force women (Muslim or non Muslim) into wearing headscarf's or to prevent Christians from practicing their beliefs? Just to clarify Islam during the days of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was living closely with Christians and Jews. Islam respects other religions and their beliefs. This is reflected in the Quran, Al Maida: 69:

"Those who believe (in the Quran), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians and the Christians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness,- on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. "

Note that Allah is the Arabic word for God.

Even if you lived with atheists they should have their own respect for what they do or don't believe in.

The last set of leaders ... are the worst. They are the leaders that appear to be very religious preaching something that is not even close to Islam. Examples are.... terrorist org's, Al-Qaeda, Al-Zarqawi in Iraq, people who blow themselves up and end up killing civilians in Israel, Iraq, Jordan...etc. In the Quran it's very clear that you can not kill yourself. Killing yourself does not provide justice to anything; God gave us life thru his love, Compassion and Mercy. No one has the right to take his/her life for this does not serve justice. I talked to a Palestinian once, and was very curious to understand his situation. This person has thrown stones at Israel's Army. His friend has died in front of him and he has lost family. When I talked to him over coffee he was drinking alcohol (prohibited in Islam). He didn't know a lot about the Quran but told me that those people in Palestine would do anything to the point to commit suicide to get a peace of land... this does not have to do with religion its psychological suicide! They are so depressed to the point that they would do such an act. Also they have a group of people that are telling them that if they do that they would go to heaven with lots of virgins... for them it's a bonus. But of course this is not true. In the Quran if you are at war with another country for example you can only attack soldiers not civilians. You can not attack or kill any women or children. Also if you raise your white flag to stop the fighting you can not deceive them and strike at them when they think you are at peace, it is stated that anyone who does that will go to hell just by deceiving the enemy. Unfortunately the people who end up committing those suicide attacks haven't read the Quran. In the Quran it also states that you should not kill a human except if there is a just cause. Note that you can only do that in the state of war or conflict in a just cause and they can't be civilians, women or children. Also you can't transgress or start wars, God does not like the people who transgress or start a fight or war. So an example of just cause would be if a country attacks you then you can attack them back.

I just wanted to give my point of view of the current leaders of the Middle East. In some cases Muslims have supported some of those leaders unfortunately. In other cases those leaders have been support by western governments for financial/political reasons. Those types of regimes have proven to be disastrous for the people living in those countries. It would be very troubling if any of those regimes plan to expand their practice into the US & Europe. As a Muslim I wouldn't vote for any of those leaders for they lead for power, wealth not for justice or Islam. One leader that I respected was Rafii Al-Hariri in Lebanon but of course he was assassinated by the Syrian Regime.

I hope that we will see an example of a true Muslim country in the Middle East that is based on a democratic rule, which is just and respects minorities. I do support the Sharia law in such a country however there should be also respect to minorities who don't believe in the Sharia Law.

People have tendencies to care about other people. The US government is interested to democratize the Middle East or this is what they say they want to do. The people in the US support this effort because they are great people who are kind and care to bring peace in the Middle East. Currently the reality is that the US & Europe has already expanded into the Middle East, rather than Islam expanding into US & Europe. There are some positive aspects of this expansion in my view that improve the Middle East. Like Education/knowledge, human rights, organization and order in life, justice (in the case of Saddam and his prosecution)...etc. But currently I see more negatives than positives. Iraq and how it has been handled is an example of a negative... the support of the US to the Saudi Government is another negative (although I agree that we don't really have a choice its either the Royal Family or the crazy terrorists) ...etc.

If after a couple of hundred years... the Muslim people live according to the True Islam and if their culture and belief ends up expanding into Europe and the US.... I would regard this similar to the current expansion of the US into the Middle East... However I would hope that there would be more positives than negatives. This example will not happen except if people in the US & Europe end up embracing Islam... What I am trying to say I guess is that it's your choice and the choice of the people living in the US or Europe. I don't see that such an extreme case would happen anytime in the near future. Plus I don't think that it's an objective for Muslims to turn the US or Europe into a Muslim Nation applying the Sharia Law. We have to fix Middle East governments and learn from the US and Europe!

I do support the respect for minorities in western governments that believe in the Sharia Law. I would support a law that would be applied only to Muslims where the Sharia law would apply. The Sharia in my point of view is just. I wouldn't mind discussing my arguments for this in another article. Ontario in Canada is an example where they have done that. I do know that you disagree with this, but the question that I have for you is to imagine you were living in a Muslim country and they where applying the Sharia but you believe in something different wouldn't you expect to be judged based on what you believe in and be respected as a minority living in that country? What I truly believe in is respecting other's beliefs not imposing what you belief on others.

Islam is a religion of Peace. Unfortunately the people have failed Islam, they have not acquired knowledge and they have not practiced what is written in the Quran. Dear Mr. Pipes I ask that you please don't confuse the acts of today's leaders=terrorism with Islam. I also ask you to read the Quran.

Peace Be Upon You,

Shawkat
Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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