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7 reasons why America is 'muslim nation'!

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    7 reasons why America is 'muslim nation'!

    Islam: The next American religion?
    By Michael Wolfe

    The US began as a haven for Christian outcasts. But what religion
    fits our current zeitgeist? The answer may be Islam. Americans tend
    to think of their country as, at the very least, a nominally
    Christian nation. Didn't the Pilgrims come here for freedom to
    practice their Christian religion? Don't Christian values of
    righteousness under God, and freedom, reinforce America's democratic,
    capitalist ideals?

    True enough. But there's a new religion on the block now, one that
    fits the current zeitgeist nicely. It's Islam. Islam is the third-
    largest and fastest growing religious community in the United States.
    This is not just because of immigration. More than 50% of America's
    six million Muslims were born here.

    Statistics like these imply some basic agreement between core
    American values and the beliefs that Muslims hold. Americans who make
    the effort to look beyond popular stereotypes to learn the truth of
    Islam are surprised to find themselves on familiar ground.

    Is America a Muslim nation? Here are seven reasons the answer may be
    yes.

    Islam is monotheistic. Muslims worship the same God as Jews and
    Christians. They also revere the same prophets as Judaism and
    Christianity, from Abraham, the first monotheist, to Moses, the law
    giver and messenger of God, to Jesus - not leaving out Noah, Job, or
    Isaiah along the way. The concept of a Judeo-Christian tradition only
    came to the fore in the 1940s in America. Now, as a nation, we may be
    transcending it, turning to a more inclusive "Abrahamic" view.

    In January, President Bush grouped mosques with churches and
    synagogues in his inaugural address. A few days later, when he posed
    for photographers at a meeting of several dozen religious figures,
    the Shi'ite imam Muhammad Qazwini, of Orange County, Calif., stood
    directly behind Bush's chair like a presiding angel, dressed in the
    robes and turban of his south Iraqi youth.

    Islam is democratic in spirit. Islam advocates the right to vote and
    educate yourself and pursue a profession. The Qur'an, on which
    Islamic law is based, enjoins Muslims to govern themselves by
    discussion and consensus. In mosques, there is no particular priestly
    hierarchy. With Islam, each individual is responsible for the
    condition of her or his own soul.
    Americans, who mostly associate Islamic government with a handful of
    tyrants, may find this independent spirit surprising, supposing that
    Muslims are somehow predisposed to passive submission. Nothing could
    be further from the truth. The dictators reigning today in the Middle
    East are not the result of Islamic principles. They are more a result
    of global economics and the aftermath of European colonialism.
    Meanwhile, like everyone else, average Muslims the world over want a
    larger say in what goes on in the countries where they live. Those in
    America may actually succeed in it. In this way, America is closer in
    spirit to Islam than many Arab countries.

    Islam contains an attractive mystical tradition. Mysticism is
    grounded in the individual search for God. Where better to do that
    than in America, land of individualists and spiritual seekers? And
    who might better benefit than Americans from the centuries-long
    tradition of teachers and students that characterize Islam.

    Surprising as it may seem, America's best-selling poet du jour is a
    Muslim mystic named Rumi, the 800-year-old Persian bard and founder
    of the Mevlevi Path, known in the West as the Whirling Dervishes.

    Translators as various as Robert Bly, Coleman Barks, and Kabir and Camille Helminski have produced dozens of books of Rumi's verse and have only begun to bring his enormous output before the English-speaking world. This is a concrete poetry of ecstasy, where physical reality and the longing for God are joined by flashes of metaphor and insight that continue to speak across the centuries.

    Islam is egalitarian. From New York to California, the only houses of
    worship that are routinely integrated today are the approximately
    4,000 Muslim mosques. That is because Islam is predicated on a level
    playing field, especially when it comes to standing before God. The
    Pledge of Allegiance (one nation, "under God") and Lincoln's
    Gettysburg Address (all people are "created equal") express themes
    that are also basic to Islam.

    Islam is often viewed as an aggressive faith because of the concept
    of jihad, but this is actually a misunderstood term. Because Muslims
    believe that God wants a just world, they tend to be activists, and
    they emphasize that people are equal before God. These are two
    reasons why African Americans have been drawn in such large numbers
    to Islam. They now comprise about one-third of all Muslims in America.

    Meanwhile, this egalitarian streak also plays itself out in relations
    between the sexes. Muhammad, Islam's prophet, actually was a reformer
    in his day. Following the Qur'an, he limited the number of wives a
    man could have and strongly recommended against polygamy. The Qur'an
    laid out a set of marriage laws that guarantees married women their
    family names, their own possessions and capital, the right to agree
    upon whom they will marry, and the right to initiate divorce. In
    Islam's early period, women were professionals and property owners,
    as increasingly they are today.

    None of this may seem obvious to most Americans because of cultural
    overlays that at times make Islam appear to be a repressive faith
    toward women--but if you look more closely, you can see the
    egalitarian streak preserved in the Qur'an finding expression in
    contemporary terms. Islam shares America's new interest in food
    purity and diet. Muslims conduct a monthlong fast during the holy
    month of Ramadan, a practice that many Americans admire and even seek
    to emulate. I happened to spend quite a bit of time with a non-Muslim
    friend during Ramadan this year. After a month of being exposed to a
    practice that brings some annual control to human consumption, my
    friend let me know, in January, that he was "doing a little Ramadan"
    of his own. I asked what he meant. "Well, I'm not drinking anything
    or smoking anything for at least a month, and I'm going off coffee."
    Given this friend's normal intake of coffee, I could not believe my
    ears. Muslims also observe dietary laws that restrict the kind of
    meat they can eat. These laws require that the permitted, or halal,
    meat is prepared in a manner that emphasizes cleanliness and a humane
    treatment of animals. These laws ride on the same trends that have
    made organic foods so popular. Islam is tolerant of other faiths.
    Like America, Islam has a history of respecting other religions. In
    Muhammad's day, Christians, Sabeans, and Jews in Muslim lands
    retained their own courts and enjoyed considerable autonomy. As Islam
    spread east toward India and China, it came to view Zoroastrianism,
    Hinduism, and Buddhism as valid paths to salvation. As Islam spread
    north and west, Judaism especially benefited. The return of the Jews
    to Jerusalem, after centuries as outcasts, only came about after
    Muslims took the city in 638. The first thing the Muslims did there
    was to rescue the Temple Mount, which by then had been turned into a
    garbage heap. Today, of course, the long discord between Israel and
    Palestine has acquired harsh religious overtones. Yet the fact
    remains that this is a battle for real estate, not a war between two
    faiths. Islam and Judaism revere the same prophetic lineage, back to
    Abraham, and no amount of bullets or barbed wire can change that. As
    The New York Times recently reported, while Muslim/Jewish tensions
    sometimes flare on university campuses, lately these same students
    have found ways to forge common links. For one thing, the two
    religions share similar dietary laws, including ritual slaughter and
    a prohibition on pork. Joining forces at Dartmouth this fall, the
    first kosher/halal dining hall is scheduled to open its doors this
    autumn. That isn't all: They're already planning a joint Thanksgiving
    dinner, with birds dressed at a nearby farm by a rabbi and an imam.
    If the American Pilgrims were watching now, they'd be rubbing their
    eyes with amazement. And, because they came here fleeing religious
    persecution, they might also understand. Islam encourages the pursuit
    of religious freedom. The Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock is not
    the world's first story of religious emigration. Muhammad and his
    little band of 100 followers fled religious persecution, too, from
    Mecca in the year 622. They only survived by going to Madinah, an
    oasis a few hundred miles north, where they established a new
    community based on a religion they could only practice secretly back
    home. No wonder then that, in our own day, many Muslims have come
    here as pilgrims from oppression, leaving places like Kashmir,
    Bosnia, and Kosovo, where being a Muslim may radically shorten your
    life span. When the 20th century's list of emigrant exiles is added
    up, it will prove to be heavy with Muslims, that's for sure.

    All in all, there seems to be a deep resonance between Islam and the
    United States. Although one is a world religion and the other is a
    sovereign nation, both are traditionally very strong on individual
    responsibility. Like New Hampshire's motto, "Live Free or Die,"
    America is wedded to individual liberty and an ethic based on right
    action. For a Muslim, spiritual salvation depends on these. This is
    best expressed in a popular saying: Even when you think God isn't
    watching you, act as if he is. Who knows? Perhaps it won't be long
    now before words like salat (Muslim prayer) and Ramadan join karma
    and Nirvana in Webster's Dictionary, and Muslims take their place in
    America's mainstream.

    #2
    Reminds me of what my nana, a deeply religious guy told me a few years ago. That from what he can see, US is closer to Islamic principles of justice, welfare, charity, opportunity etc than any muslim nation. It was a bit strange to hear that from him since he is a very nationalistic type of person. But I guess he is right.
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

    Comment


      #3
      very interesting article, but I wouldnt get any warped ideas of Us suddely becomming pro Islamic. Just a point, isnt Mr Wolfe a muslim by conversion-I'm quite sure of it.

      Comment


        #4
        nice article, I wonder why such articles don't show up in Dallas Morning News... the only articles show up in this newspaper are anti-Islamic.

        Comment


          #5
          Hmm.... This would certainly make the US war against Islam more difficult to plan and pursue. I guess the last battle will be self-immolation.
          "I met the surgeon general - he offered me a cigarette. " --Rodney Dangerfield

          Comment


            #6
            Here is the URL where Michael talks about his feelings about being a muslim.

            http://www.beliefnet.com/story/87/story_8772_2.html

            amazing that he should quote Gandhi so effortlessly.

            I guess that is one of the things that American Muslims might bring to the table: freedom of speech and freedom to choose without danger of blasphemy laws, etc.

            Comment


              #7
              I think freedom of speech is one thing and blasphemy is another.

              Comment


                #8
                Any Texas Muslim would have to read an Austin paper to get a more progressive slant on these issues. In the West, freedom of speech will be different from that in the Muslim world proper.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Interesting Analysis Bluebell

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Bluebell:
                    I think freedom of speech is one thing and blasphemy is another.
                    Blasphemy is simply a person exercising his/her freedom of speech to express a negative opinion about a person or thing that someone else believes to be worthy of exalted esteem.

                    Freedom of speech does not exist as a right in any society or civilization that makes and enforces laws against blasphemy.
                    "I met the surgeon general - he offered me a cigarette. " --Rodney Dangerfield

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Bluebell:
                      I think freedom of speech is one thing and blasphemy is another.
                      Technically yes. But without freedom of speech you cannot blaspheme safely. The reason for separation of state and church in the founding of USA was precisely this issue, and you may want to read the background for the 1st Amendment. That is why just recently, the Atheist father won the case for removing "God" from the pledge of Allegiance.
                      That is precisely why as an American, I will stand by and defend the right of my fellow citizens to speak freely against my religion. I will defend my religion not by collecting a mob and burning and lynching and shooting to show how emotionally charged I can become, but by my actions and by the good and humane qualities of my religion. And so one more time, I find myself agreeing with myvoice that freedom of speech does not exist where there are laws against blasphemy.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        although the freedom of speech needs to be used in a responsible manner otherwise you would get people on your case.

                        already we have censor boards rating movies, music and games due to what society considers abuse of this freedom of expression.

                        lawsuits for defamation and libel are another aspect.

                        Anyways, I think what people are missing here is the point that US is closer to the ideals of a progressive muslim state than any musim state out there. Individual respect, ability to advance, equal opportunity etc etc etc.
                        The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Fraudz:
                          although the freedom of speech needs to be used in a responsible manner otherwise you would get people on your case.

                          already we have censor boards rating movies, music and games due to what society considers abuse of this freedom of expression.

                          lawsuits for defamation and libel are another aspect.

                          Anyways, I think what people are missing here is the point that US is closer to the ideals of a progressive muslim state than any musim state out there. Individual respect, ability to advance, equal opportunity etc etc etc.
                          Well said, Pir Sahib. I agree.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Bush running for Caliphate?

                            "US is closer to the ideals of a progressive muslim state than any musim state out there. Individual respect, ability to advance, equal opportunity etc etc etc. "

                            One reason for this, ironically, is because our forefathers were smart enough to know that church and state shoud be separate institutions.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Bush running for Caliphate?

                              Originally posted by Stu:
                              "US is closer to the ideals of a progressive muslim state than any musim state out there. Individual respect, ability to advance, equal opportunity etc etc etc. "

                              One reason for this, ironically, is because our forefathers were smart enough to know that church and state shoud be separate institutions.
                              Please remind the ultra right elements in our political scene of that. Thanks

                              at the same time can you also remind the whole taxationw ithout representation issue ...
                              The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

                              Comment

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