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What are you trying to accomplish?

Reader comment on item: My Disrupted Talk at UCLA

Submitted by ~JehanZeb~ (United States), Jun 3, 2007 at 15:19

Salaam alaykoum Daniel Pipes, peace be unto you

I've heard much about you and I've visited your website a few times in the past, but I never took the time to comment. As you may have guessed already, I am a devout Muslim who lives in the United States and I can't help but wonder what people like you are trying to accomplish with your arguably anti-Islamic speeches. How can you demand for UCLA to take legal action against the protestors of your speech when you yourself are preaching that Islam is a threat to the west and that we must defeat "Islamists" in the "classrooms of UCLA"? Do you expect no one to say anything or protest?

There are millions of Muslims in the United States and we're living here peacefully, obeying the laws, going to school, making a living, raising a family, how can you expect people to be silent when you make statements that promote hate and separation? By the way, what exactly did you mean when you said we must defeat "Islamists" in the "classrooms of UCLA"? Are you suggesting that every Muslim (or Muslim-looking) student be pulled aside and questioned? Are you suggesting to non-Muslims that they should be extremely cautious and suspicious of their Muslim friends?

You may be insensitive to the rising number of hate crimes that are committed against Muslims in America (or you may dismiss them as being false), but regardless what you think of them, racisim and prejudice still exists in this country and in the world. If you aspire to make the world a better place, then why are you intensifying the stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam and preaching it to a non-Muslim majority who don't know anything about Islam except for what they see in the media?

I saw one of the comments posted here with the statement "Infidels are cool" - I mean, I doubt many of your readers have any real or personal contact with Muslim people. Have you ever visited a Mosque? Have you ever had Muslim friends? I'm an aspiring filmmaker and I made a film last semester about the challenges Muslims face in post 9/11 America. Most of the people I've shown the film to were non-Muslims and they were very appreciative of our efforts to dispell the stereotypes about Islam. To me, THAT is progressive, to show non-Muslims that Muslims are NOT that different, because ultimately, we are all human beings and we all share the same values.

To be progressive is to help create understanding, establishing peace with one person at a time, and not resorting to racial slurs or insulting statements towards another person's faith. I have Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist friends and we share the belief that every religion carries the message of PEACE. Religion is to ultimately help us become better human beings, and being brought up as a devout Muslim has helped me be a tolerant and peaceful person towards all religions.

So why be regressive and promote separation when the world is already being divided? Do you have children, Mr. Pipes? If so, do you want to teach them intolerance towards Muslim and Middle-Eastern people? I'm sure that even you cannot deny the fact that the community facing the most adversity right now is the Muslim community, so why go off in these anti-Islamic speeches when you can be helping the community? There are many Muslims out there who are working very hard to improve their image, in every Mosque, you see this, in every Muslim Student Association or inter-Faith event, you hear about this. You cannot turn a blind eye and not give them credit for their efforts. If you go out and ask any Muslim about how they feel about Islam, they'll tell you how much it means to them. If you want to learn about Islam, then talk to someone who really FOLLOWS it. The Holy Qur'an speaks of tolerance and peace towards all of God's creations and Muhammad, peace be upon him, was a compassionate and divinely inspired man. I suggest you read "No god by God" by Reza Aslan if you want to learn more about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and the religion of Islam.

Sadly, due to the negative image being depicted of Islam, many people are not informed about the Islamic contributions to the world. Have you heard of Jalaluddin Rumi, Mr. Pipes? He was a 13th century Persian and Muslim poet who shared some of the greatest verses of Love and Beauty the world has ever seen. According to his translator, Coleman Barks, Rumi is America's most read poet and I'm sure that if many of your readers would read his work, they would be surprised it was written by a Muslim. But Rumi is not alone in the Beauty of Islam - there is also Rabia al-Adawiyyah, Hamid al-Ghazzali, Avicenna, Averroes, ibn al-Arabi, Allama Iqbal, Mirza Ghaalib, and of course hadhrat Ali - the Prophet's cousin, and many more. What would you readers think if they were to read of these brilliant figures in Islam?

Islam is here to stay (and no, that is not a threat, lol. I said that to someone before and they thought I was threatening them!) and we will see more American Muslims in the future. And this is nothing to fear because like Christianity and Judaism, Islam stems from the Middle-East and it is making its way in the West. As you know, Islam is not exclusive, it is for all people, not just the Arabs. So as Islam grows in the west, my question to you remains: What are you trying to accomplish?

Thank you for reading,

Salaam (it means Peace)

~JehanZeb~

My blog: http://mastqalander.spaces.live.com

Submitting....

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".

Daniel Pipes replies:

<How can you demand for UCLA to take legal action against the protestors of your speech when you yourself are preaching that Islam is a threat to the west and that we must defeat "Islamists" in the "classrooms of UCLA"?>

The writer, clearly, has yet to hear of the First Ammendment.

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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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