Monday, May 30, 2005

Whither Progressive Islam?

Not necessarily.

Actually, we can do away with the labels because all they do is set up boundaries and cause conflict. With the shenanigans of the PMUNA and MWU.com, many Muslims shrink back from using the word "progressive." Not because of the word itself but because of the baggage that comes along with it. Not too many Muslims want to be associated with the media antics, the badly written porn or slams on Islamic activists. In fact, unlike the PMUNA counterpart, we would rather work with other groups for the improvement of our communities rather than following through with the RAND report.

They (the unofficial spokepeople for the enlightened, progressive Islam) have let us down tremendously. They can pull a fast one on unsuspecting non-Muslims but we educated Muslims know better. Then again, their Islam was never for us in the first place so we shouldn't feel too bad. Who wants to rub shoulders with anti-Palestinian activists or former RAND employees?

Not me and I don't think you want to either.

So what do we do? How do we empower ourselves as a community? How do we get a chunk of this media that so desperately wants to paint the picture of the liberal, non-practicing Muslim as good verses the believer, the mu'min as the evil, al-Qeada-loving terrorist?

How do we become more progressive as Muslims?

Well, it depends on your goal. Is your goal to sell books or to be accepted by Allah subhana wa ta'ala? Is it to be accepted by the ignorant neo-cons who bomb innocent civilians or is it entry into Jennah? When you speak, defend or write about Islam, is because you want glory for yourself or do you want to glorify your Lord? If you've answered in the latter, then, insha'Allah, we are on the right track.

God has commanded us to establish and teach others Islam but we haven't done as good of a job as we could have. In fact, some would argue that we (American Muslims in particular) are still in the pioneer phase though there are 6 to 8 million of us. Where's the local Islamic newspapers and magazines? Where are the charitable Islamic organization established in your neck of the woods? Where are the women's clubs, the men's clubs, youth groups, etc? Where is Islam in America beyond ISNA, ICNA, MAS, CAIR? What about small local groups working within their own communities?

Here are some better questions. What are you doing? Do you write, design websites, build houses, cook well, design clothing, speak well publicly? Are you using your God-given talents to serve God? I know some of us are thinking that 9-11 will blow over and that with time, Americans will get over it. Well, that's just wishful thinking. September 11th is still fresh in my head and if we don't get to work (I mean really get to work) we might live in a nation that will not be so accomindating to our religious beliefs.

At least 25% of the American population thinks that our masajid and organizations should be monitored for terrorist activity. Call me paranoid but the rhetoric that we are hearing, and Muslims that are speaking for us in the media...doesn't it remind you a little Judeophobic Germany before the rise of Hitler? We shouldn't be too naive to think it can't happen to us.

So get busy. Be progressive, but not in the PMUNA way. Write articles to your local newspaper. Start a women's group to address the gender injustice that goes on in some of our masajid. Invite your neighbors to the masjid so that they can see average, ordinary Muslims living Islam. Start a website or a newsletter (No, I'm not letting the website/newsletter idea go). Put on a food drive, art show, cultural fair, lecture, or interfaith dialogue session. Don't be afraid. There's no where to hide away. The PMUNA and MWU aren't afraid to spew all kinds of muck. You're armed with the truth so why should you remain silent.

Please give us some feedback about your Muslim community and what you guys are doing for God and Islam. May Allah ta'ala strenghten us.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Islamicity Article on Iman Muhanna Mohamed

Salaam alaikum,

Our dearly departed sister, Iman Muhanna Mohamed, has gotten some of the recognition she and her family deserves. Islamicity, the most popular Islamic e-zine despite others making that claim, was kind enough to publish my article.

It's not much but insha'Allah, the Muslims of America will know who she is and what she meant the Muslims of New Orleans. Our ethnicities, religious leanings and politics might divide us, but you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn't want to live a world free of war and violence. I hope this will wake us up so that we can focus on what really matters--the safety, securtiy and peace of our communities.

You can read the article here entitled "The Real Issues for Women."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Powder Keg of War

By Risama, with Umm Zaid

"There go dem crazy Moozlims again! Getting all riled up over the Kore-ahn!"

Really?

Is that the only reason why Muslims in Afghanistan might have rioted? I don't know about you but hearing about a Qur'an being flushed down a toilet didn't really surprise me. How could it when we already know about allegations of sexualized abuse at Gitmo? Or what about G.I. Jane and her cohorts' idea of fun--random acts of sado-maschocism? Whether the story of the desecration of the Qur'an is true or not, we know that these things are taking place in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo. So why is the American media treating these riots as if the possible desecration of the Qur'an is the only thing that could possible have Muslims in some countries (particularly Afghanistan) ticked off?

Because, see, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, is saying that he believes the allegations of the desecration of the Qur'an are not the primary reason for the rioting in Afghanistan. Myers says that a report from U.S. Army Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, who is the commander of the Combined Forces in Afghanistan, indicates that the political violence has nothing to do with the Newsweek blurb. Instead, both are saying (as are many others) that the violence has more to do with the ongoing political reconciliation process than the allegations from Newsweek.

So, the question really becomes why isn't anyone in the American media reporting on myriad of other reasons why the Afghans might be rioting? Why isn't anyone reporting on what General Myers, and General Eikenberry, who's actually on the ground over there, believe is going on? Not a single major media outlet has reported on Eikenberry's report or Myer's comments. Not a single one. How ironic is it when a branch of our own federal gov't is willing to report on these developments, but the corporate, profit driven media is not?

Why doesn't anyone point out that all the other protests around the world were peaceful? How is it that one instance of violent rioting in one place -- Kabul, Afghanistan -- is being represented as "unrest" and "violent rioting" all over the Muslim world, when no reports of violence have been connected with any other demonstration?

And why is the nature of Newsweek's retraction being misrepresented by the media? Newsweek is saying now that some say the allegations are not credible, and that their source may have misquoted which report he read it in, not that he didn't read it, and not that the government did not publish the allegations in any report. But that's not what CNN, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and the rest of them want you to believe. They're making lots of money off of the false image of Mozlems around the world going berzerk over this story and killing one another. The truth might hurt their bottom line and other things -- just as it did with the false allegations of WMD that they all faithfully and unquestioningly reprinted in the fall of 2002 and the spring of 2003.

So why are people calling upon the editor of Newsweek to resign for allowing this story to go to press? They claim it's because the story was directly responsible for the deaths of 15 Afghans during rioting, but no one calls for the editor of Newsweek or any other publication to resign after they reprinted the false allegations of WMD made by the Bush and Blair administrations that caused some Americans, Britons, Australians, and others to support the 'Iraq invasion and has led directly to the deaths of more than 1600 American soldiers, 180 coalition troops, 236 foreign civilians, and an estimated minimum of more than 21,000 'Iraqis, as well as the wounding (physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally) of more than 12,000 American soldiers and untold numbers of 'Iraqis.

Furthermore, this is not the first time that allegations of the desecration of the Qur'an by US forces in charge of Muslim prisoners has surfaced. Similar allegations have been reported in the American and Muslim media since at least March of 2003. Yet there have been no other reported large scale demonstrations and no violence directly attributed to these previously reported claims.

Everyone else around the world, particulary in the Arab world, is seeing the daily carnage in Iraq. Muslims are being fed a steady diet of murder, bombings, rapes and explosions. While our American media is scared to show the hundreds of flag-draped coffins of our American dead, many around of the world are hearing stories of gang rape, mosque desecration, child prostitution, and every other horror story you can imagine.

Yes, desecrating the Qur'an is a tremendous sin but the American media cabal must be foolish if they think that that is the only thing that has any Muslim anywhere rioting. Automatically, the accusations are being made that Muslims place religion above human rights. I do believe that with so much anger and injustices left unchecked, people who are disrespected and abused on a daily basis will rebel in the most violent and desperate of ways (ex: the widespread rioting and looting that occurred in Los Angeles and elsewhere across the United States after the Rodney King verdict, rioting that left 58 dead and more than 2300 injured in Los Angeles alone).

The possible desecration of the Qur'an was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back for a group of people in Afghanistan. If this imperialist attack against "Third World" lands continues unabated, so will the growth of senseless acts of violence from those who are so disenfranchised, frustrated, and desperate that they end up destroying their own communities and hurting, even killing, innocents.

It all makes me think of a verse of the Qur'an:
"O you who believe! Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice.Be just: that is next to piety, and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do."(Al Ma'idah, 8)

It would be wise for us to reflect on these words.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

What Defines a Muslim?

I had to write this post in response to the comment left on Dr. Maxtor’s entry on Hussein Ibish. Appartently, the poster believes that we are guilty of bashing the PMUNA because they have a different interpretation or definition of what it means to be a Muslim. The commentor incorrectly pointed out that our major beef with them is that they do not follow our line of thinking.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

There are many sects and pseudo-sects claiming that they are the righteous followers of Allah subhana wa ta ‘ala but making the assertion means nothing if you don’t follow the established criterion. Yes, Islam has established criterion to determine who and who is not a Muslim. Of course, to be a Muslim is to state and believe with all sincerity that there is no God but God and that Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) is His messenger. The PMUNA seeks to eliminate even this distinction amongst other established beliefs and obligations. Why would someone want to call him/herself a Muslim but reject the shadada is a mystery to me but it seems to make sense in their world. There is also an established belief criterion known in this formula as,

“Amatu billahi wa mala-ikatihi wa rasulihi wal youm ul akhiri wal qadri, khayrihi wa sharihi min Allahi ta’ala wal ba’ith be’ed al mowt.”

This phrase is the seven main beliefs or Iman ul Mufassal.

“I believe in Allah (praise is due to Him alone), His angels, his books, his messengers (may they be blessed), the Last Day, Measurement (sometimes translated as pre-determination or destiny), both the good and the bad are from Allah the Exalted, and in life after death.”

This is not the rules and standards established by the writers and editor of Living Tradition. This was established in the earliest days of Islam, as the example of our Prophet (may God bless him), all for the glory of Allah subhana wa ta’ala. Unlike the PMUNA, we have the Qur’an and Sunnah as our foundation, whereas they are following 20th century secular humanist values and cafeteria-style, new-age spiritualism.

While we find the aims, objectives and interpretations of the Progressive Muslim Union very problematic and lacking in any substantial, authentic Islamic tradition, that is not our major and only concern with them. If that was the case, we could just easily go after Qadianis, Ismailis, 5% percenters and members of the Nation of Islam. The problem is that Muslims who do not fall in line with their agenda are labeled as fanatics and extremists. The PMUNA has no problems cozying up with those launching violent and decisive policies against Muslims overseas. They invite well known neo-cons, who actually think that bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan are “good” things, on to their board of directors. They go on television and the internet attacking other Muslims groups and organizations who don’t agree them, even going as far as impersonating well known Islamic-American activists as some kind of a sick joke.

Hey, you have to call a spade a spade. The truth is supported and documented through every entry of this blog. Our purpose is to point out their hyprocrisy and corruption so that everyday Muslims can know who is behind this fitnah and how to keep these people from creating further division in the umma.

Or maybe we’re just uptight conservatives who can’t hang.

Allah ta’ala knows best.

Friday, May 13, 2005

On the latest media stunt...

Hussein Ibish is not your typical “progressive” Muslim. He actually has a real background in civil rights, in addition to solid credentials in the Arab-American community. Unfortunetly as an ardent secularist, Ibish has internalized the “progressive shahada” that states that a Muslim is simply anyone who claims to be one. This is what being an “organic” member of the community means in his view i.e. having a soft spot for hummus or biryani is enough to make you one of the gang.


The focus of this post is not Mr. Ibish himself, but a couple of articles he recently wrote for MWU regarding Kamal Nawash, of “Free Muslims Against Terrorism” (FMAT) fame, and his planned "anti-terror" rally this weekend. Nawash is rightly exposed for the charlatan that he is: a disgraced former member of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), a failed politician, and, worst of all, a lowly opportunist selling himself to Zionists, Christofascists, and pretty much any outfit which is hostile to Islam and Muslims in order to promote himself.

In the first article, Ibish presents what he calls the good, bad and the ugly of new Muslim groups to the reader. The bad being FMAT, the ugly being the neocon Center for Islamic Pluralism, and the good, of course, being the Progressive Muslims Union of North America (PMUNA). While the information on the first two groups is relevant and informative, Ibish performs a whitewash of his own organization, the PMUNA.

He states that the PMUNA has received no funding whatsoever from the notorious Rand Corporation, whose report calling for “civil democratic Islam” should be required reading for all Muslims. (ed. note: There is no proof that PMUNA has received funding from this outfit. However, as noted earlier, Aiman Mackie, who is on PMUNA's board of directors, has worked for Rand in the past, and MWU, the mouthpiece of PMUNA has steadfastly remained silent on "Civil Democratic Islam"). However, he also claims that PMUNA is "transparent and straightforward," when past events and inquiries have shown that this isn't exactly the case. He also uses the example of Daniel Pipes calling him names to bolster PMUNA's credibility, as if all of us aren't considered "the bad and the ugly" by Pipes.

The report, by Cheryl Bernard, wife of Muslim neocon Zalmay Khalizad openly calls for creating divisions within the ummah, and for the pitting of “progressives” against practicing Muslims. Interestingly enough, MWU has an interview with Bernard, a disgustingly flattering puff piece where no real questions are asked. At one point, it seems as if Nassef is asking her for tips.

Maybe there's no cash involved as Ibish states, but encouragement is a 110%. Has it ever crossed Ibish’s mind that there might be something odd or amiss about Nassef’s appearances and statements on FOX and other neocon-friendly media outlets slamming Muslim civil rights groups? You don’t have to be a detective to figure out that Nawash is simply doing what the MWU topdog has done, and continues to do so.

In his follow up article, Ibish gives us an exhaustive list of those who have “endorsed” Nawash’s little march. It's quite informative and rather amusing too, reminding me of all the anti-Muslim propagandists in Europe and the US who gave Amina Wadud their collective blessings in leading phony Friday prayers. My concern is why Nassef is being excluded from this list, considering that it was he who gave Nawash the red carpet treatment in the past on MWU. Does Ibish know that his boss at PMUA gave Nawash a free ride ?

While I feel that Ibish is ignorant on matters of religion, I’m fairly certain his heart is in the right place. It’s a pity this can’t be said for the majority of those identify themselves as “progressives.”

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Dr. Lings: Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Raji'un

Friday, May 06, 2005

Hardliners in Search of Moderate Muslims

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Risama's Thoughts on Muqtedar Khan's Article

As someone mentioned in the last entry, Khan’s recent criticism of MuslimWakeUp.com is a little weak. He does make some valid points but he is also a board member of the Progressive Muslim Union. I get the feeling that he wants to express his point of view but also protect his position on the board. I have edited and inserted my own thoughts within the article. I also highlighted some comments that I thought were very problematic. You can read the whole article at his website.


KHAN: Muslimwakeup.com [MWU], a very popular Muslim e-zine has definitely enriched and shaken up the American Muslim public sphere and is also being noticed by Muslims overseas. Along with the book Progressive Muslims, edited by Prof. Omid Safi, Asra Nomani’s mosque protests, and Amina Wadud’s leading of Friday prayers, MWU is easily one of the key Progressive Muslim moments in the history of American Islam. Thus MWU has clearly carved a place for itself in the American Muslim public sphere.

RIS: I have to disagree. I think that MWU.com has carved out a place within the American mainstream media, but they haven’t made any significant changes within the American Muslim community. The Progressive Meetups in most cities across America do not get off the ground. New Orleans is a good example of this. Dr. Max wrote a scathing review of one meeting he was fortunate enough to attend. But as far as for the foundational efforts of building schools, interfaith and charity work, it’s the average Muslim who does not have the media connections to get any credit for his/her work in the community.

KHAN: Before I make my arguments, I would like to state in the interest of disclosure that I am connected with both the Progressive Muslim movement and with Muslimwakeup.com. I am on the advisory board of PMU and several of my articles have been published by MWU in the past.

RIS: As I stated before, that might all change once they decide that Khan’s dissent is a liability. The PMU/MWU can dish out criticism but as they have proven in the past, they obviously can’t take it.

KHAN: This article should be read as advice from someone invited formally to sit in an advisory position and be read and engaged in the spirit of constructive criticism. I am essentially reporting, with some analysis, the criticisms of MWU that I receive. There are other nasty and eminently false allegations being made by some mainstream Muslims about MWU being a conspiracy of Rand Corporation and Neoconservatives in the US. I ignore them. There is no room for rational discourse with those who subscribe to conspiracy theories. For them their own imagination serves as evidence and it is irrefutable.

RIS: Oh how I wish that their connection to the RAND Corporation was just some horrible nightmare! But what else I am supposed to think when one of their board members, Aiman Mackie, is a former employee of the RAND Corporation. There’s also the fluff piece on MWU.com with Cheryl Bernard where they let her run the show. No tough questions about the RAND report for the woman who is arrogant enough to think that she can change Islam. I wish that the PMUNA were a bunch of plucky Muslims with really strange ideas about Islam rather than an arm of the puppets who are manipulating foreign and domestic policy to change Islam and to divide Muslims.

KHAN: The conclusion that I can draw from all these debates and discussions is that while majority of Muslims sympathize and may even endorse the agenda of Progressive Muslims (1) seeking gender justice, (2) struggling for social justice, (3) advancing a moral inclusivist theology, and (4) opening the doors of Ijtihad for reinterpretation of Islam in the contemporary context, they strongly oppose the method and style of MWU. I repeat, most American Muslims seem to sympathize with the causes that underpin the philosophy of Progressive Muslims, but they strongly disapprove of MWU’s style. This raises the question, will MWU in the long run undermine the very movement, the Progressive Muslim movement that it seeks to promote.

RIS: Okay, I can agree that their style, if you can call it that, is appalling but I don’t think that’s why many Muslims are put off by them. Islam already promotes gender and social justice so why is any reinterpretation needed for something that can already be used for good. The Qur’an admonishes us to care for the poor, oppressed, and weak so why do we need ijtihad when we can simply start living according the Qur’an and Sunnah? I think Muslims are put off by the MWU because they want to “change” or “reinterpret” Islam when many of us believe that Islam is fine the way it is. All we need to do is to learn it and practice it in our daily lives and then we will see improvement within our communities.

KHAN: Style--There are several aspects of style that seems to bother average Muslim readers. The tendency to immediate mock and ridicule prominent American Muslim leaders and organizations – a song that calls Siraj Wahhaj a f*g is often cited. Most people have no problems with criticism, but they object to the complete lack of Islamic adab. Regardless of what ploy MWU editors may use to defend this – “oh it is under the section satire, or humor “ – the distasteful content speaks or rather stinks for itself. This is not the Islamic way.

RIS: I second that. Don’t mess with the shayukh, imams and teachers who have been establishing the deen of Islam long before Islam was a blimp in the media radar. They could imitate the Sunnah by getting their point across with adab but they aren’t exactly pro-Sunnah anyways.

KHAN:--Islamic content: The manner in which many articles on MWU approach debates on Islamic theological issues are also an issue with many readers. Remember these are not complaints from fans or regular readers. These are complaints from most mosque related mainstream Muslims who have visited MWU once or twice to gauge what progressive Muslims are up to and have been turned off.

RIS: Not exactly. The aforementioned complaint has been made by those who were frequent readers of the e-zine, myself included.

KHAN: The most commonly cited examples of this flaw in MWU articles are Hussein Ibish’s responses to Hina Azam and Louay Safi. They are read as insulting and above all completely and absolutely devoid of any Islamic content. They seem to be written by someone who knows nothing about Islam and on a more scary level, does not really care for Islamic sources at all. Many Muslims also seem to recall that Ibish had declared on national TV that he was an agnostic and did not practice Islam or something to that effect. I agree with the traditional Muslims’ argument that Progressive Muslims are methodologically weak, essentially because the progressive Islamic jurisprudential tradition has yet to begin.

RIS: But Farid Esack is considered a progressive Muslim scholar so what’s all this stuff about progressive jurisprudential tradition not having any beginnings? And if they care to start a progressive madhab of sorts, why put a self-proclaimed arch-secularist on your board. No one on the PMU has any training in Islam outside of the American university structure so obviously, the creation of progressive “fiqh” is not one of their concerns.

KHAN: Sex--This is a source of great contention. Many Muslims have a problem with the discussion of sex itself, others have a problem with how some prominent Islamic personalities have been dealt with in some of this sex columns. I think the sex columns do more to establishing the personality of MWU with their fan base and may not directly undermine the progressive Muslim movement as long as they do not seek to reform theology through fictionalized discussion of sex.

RIS: The sex column DOES undermine the progressive Muslim movement because it portrays as them as sexually immature adults who think that placing scholars in their erotica is the height of wit.

KHAN: Intolerance--This is the irony and tragedy of the Progressive Muslim Movement, that it is accused of intolerance. Most Muslim readers argue that MWU while preaching loftily for tolerance and inclusion are vociferously intolerant towards Muslims who disagree with them.

RIS: BINGO!

KHAN: Progressive Muslim Union and Muslimwakeup.com do not have any formal relationship.

RIS: I refuse to believe that Mr. Khan is that naïve. It is no coincidence that some of the writers of MWU.com are on the PMUNA. Or that many of the contributors of Omid Safi’s book Progressive Muslims have written for MWU.com. The fact that Ahmed Nassef is on the PMUNA establishes the connection whether Mr. Khan wants to acknowledge that or not. Or let’s put it like this. Amina Wadud is a board member of PMUNA. Amina Wadud’s prayer service was promoted by MWU.com. Ahmed Nassef is the editor of MWU.com. His media consulting firm promotes the media stunts and books of Asra Nomani who is a contributor to MWU.com.


Nomani’s pseudo-feminist struggle against the Morgantown masjid has been covered by MWU.com. Asra Nomani has a group called Daughters of Hagar where Saleemah Adbul-Ghaffur, former managing editor of Azizah Magazine, is a member. Saleemah Abdul-Ghaffur is also a member of PMUNA.

Sarah Eltantawi, former member of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, is a Daughter of Hagar, MWU contributor and PMUNA member. Michael Muhammad Knight, imitator of Ibrahim Hooper (CAIR), taunter of Siraj Wahhaj, and friend of Asra Nomani, is a frequent writer for MWU.com and a member of the PMUNA. Mohja Kahf, erotica writer for MWU.com is a member of PMUNA. Subhan’Allah, do you need more proof?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Iman Muhanna Mohammed & Mukhtar Mai Updates

Salaam 'Alaikum

At the Sunni Sister blog.

Updates on Iman Muhanna Mohammed & Mukhtar Mai

Muqtedar Khan Questions MWU

Is MuslimWakeUp.com undermining the Progressive Muslim Movement?

That is the question that Muqtedar Khan is asking from his website, ijtihad.org. My question is this, "Isn't Mr. Khan still a board member for the Progressive Muslim Union?"

Do I see mutiny in the ranks? Be careful Mr. Khan. You know what happened last time you dared to question their motives.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Silent Non-Movement

For those of you have been with us since the beginning of this blog, you might remember us mentioning the blossoming of a particular non-movement. The reason why we can’t call it a movement is because it has no self-appointed leaders or specific headquarters. It does not require membership fees to join or hold affiliations with larger umbrella groups. And while they do not have a specific agenda laid out on a sleek website, they, nonetheless, have a goal of bringing the blessings of Islam to the world.

This non-movement operates under the probing eyes of the American government which has decided to violate its own much tooted right of the “separation of church and state.” Under the auspices of the RAND Corporation, fundgelicals, right-wingers, extremist secularists, radical feminists and rabid Zionists, they have decided to join hands for this one moment in history to see about the alteration, assimilation and subsequent destruction of Islam. But the non-movement continues to grow. While the MWU-PMU crew holds press conferences, the members of the non-movement silently meet in mosques, homes and yes, sometimes coffeehouses. While the progressives have meet-ups (ie: hook-ups), these silent folks have Qur’an and Arabic classes.

They understand that having a bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies, or being raised in a Western country, does not automatically give you de facto leadership of the umma. They are not afraid to admit that they don’t know everything and they are willing to seek knowledge from those who know despite the accusations that going to a learned person with a beard or in hijab is intellectual backwardness. This non-movement is sweeping the globe. It’s tired of racist rhetoric against the West as much as it is tired of blind admiration of the West. It is not afraid to say that America is successful in many aspects but in others, there is much room for improvement. The members of this non-movement are not afraid to challenge the ideologies of today for if your measure any of them against Islam, you will find them severely wanting.

It is because of the non-movement that Civil Democratic Islam and Progressive Islam will fail. Learned Muslims don’t care too much for arrogant media stars who have just recently decided to start taking part in “helping the umma.” Some of us have been in it for years, striving against the gender injustice with the Qur’an and Sunnah before they even thought of female imams. Some of us have taken time to learn the deen and ask Allah subhana wa ta’ala for understanding. The deen of Islam will be established in America and around the world whether I, you, or anyone else likes it or not. Those two million odd pilgrims in Mecca each year are not there not their health—at least not their physical health. Cheryl Bernard can write as many reports as she wants to; they make for good reading and a good laugh. Irshad Manji can continue touring the world looking for a few good fatawas so that one day she could join the ranks of other famous apostates for who many Muslims have forgotten and only our enemies seem to care about.

The non-movement is silent but effective. I have seen with my own eyes reverts and converts who could care less about what anyone thinks, they just want to be nearer to their Lord. We will continue to do dawah, build masajid, create schools for our youth free of drugs but filled with taqwa. But as Asra Nomani has pointed out in a review by our own Living Tradition editor, and what RAND and PMUNA have made clear, is that this is going to be a long, hard battle.

They scream about the influence of Islam in government but when the government decides to step into the masjid, there’s nothing but silence in their corner. Who knew that the biggest enemies of the American umma would be other Muslims? Ahmed Nassef wants the FBI to check our houses of worship for terrorists. Michael Muhammad Knight, while claiming to be so gay-friendly, calls anyone who doesn’t agree with him a “f$gg*t.” Why so many people are enamored with this group with their obvious hypocrisies really boggles the mind. The non-movement is not about slogans, media stunts, slander, second-rate erotica or press releases. It’s about establishment. It’s about establishing Islam as a force for positive change in the community so that when people look at us, they see success, integrity and honor. They see people of faith putting their money where their mouth is by giving to the poor, fighting against oppression, and yearning for Jennah. We haven’t made it there yet but are slowing waking up to those who want to put us to sleep.

Muslim Wake Up! Ummah Wake Up! Wake up to the Akhirah!

Wake up to The Reality! It’s time to join the non-movement!

It’s time to purify our hearts and prepare for Yaum al Qiyamah.

It’s time to strive for Islam in America.