In the Name of God, the Kind, the Beautiful
As the furor over the proposed mosque (that is not really a mosque) at Ground Zero (which is really not at Ground Zero) continues to rage, our enemies overseas are attempting to seize an opportunity to justify further attacks against our people. Reporting in the Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Weisman wrote:
Islamic radicals are seizing on protests against a planned Islamic community center near Manhattan’s Ground Zero and anti-Muslim rhetoric elsewhere as a propaganda opportunity and are stepping up anti-U.S. chatter and threats on their websites.
One jihadist site vowed to conduct suicide bombings in Florida to avenge a threatened Koran burning, while others predicted an increase in terrorist recruits as a result of such actions.
“By Allah, the wars are heated and you Americans are the ones who…enflamed it,” says one such posting. “By Allah you will be the first to taste its flames.”
White House homeland security adviser John Brennan told reporters Friday that he had seen no evidence that the debate over the proposed Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, other mosque protests or the planned Koran burning had affected U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
Now, I absolutely agree with Jon Stewart: “We don’t give a F*** about what they think…” I could care less about what the criminals who murder in the name of Islam think about this debate over the proposed Islamic community center in Manhattan.
Truly, we should worry more about damaging our principles that we hold so dear in America, principles for which scores of America’s bravest men and women have died defending. If Muslims are prevented from building a mosque in Manhattan today, then other religious groups will be prevented from building their houses of worship tomorrow; then other citizens will be prevented from protesting against their government the next day; and before you know it, America will not be America anymore.
Yet, when I read Weisman’s article, I could not help but say something to myself: “We don’t need your ‘defense.'”
The article continued:
Jarret Brachman, director of Cronus Global, a security consulting firm, and author of the book Global Jihadism, said al Qaeda and other groups have long used imagery from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to recruit new members. But the U.S. position has been that those wars are not against Islam and that the U.S. has Muslim allies in the fight.
Anti-Muslim rhetoric in the U.S is different, since jihadists can use Americans’ words to make the case that the U.S. is indeed at war with Islam. The violent postings are not just on al Qaeda-linked websites but on prominent, mainstream Muslim chat forums, Mr. Brachman said. “We are handing al Qaeda a propaganda coup, an absolute propaganda coup,” with the Islamic-center controversy, said Evan Kohlmann, an independent terrorism consultant at Flashpoint Partners who monitors jihadist websites.
One Jihadi, identifying himself as “Abu Dujanah,” wrote:
“Now, I wish to bomb myself in this church as revenge for the sake of Allah’s talk. And here I register my name here that I want to be an intended-martyr.
I say: we don’t need you to “defend” our honor here in the United States.
Indeed, it is hurtful to see our neighbors come out against the building of a community center (that also happens to have a prayer room) near Ground Zero. It is hurtful to see people continuously attack our faith as violent and murderous, when the truth is completely different. It is horrifying to see innocent Muslims be attacked for no other reason than they are Muslim.
Yet, that does not mean that we welcome your death and destruction. It does not mean we want you to go and bomb yourself in a church and kill other innocent people. We don’t want you to carry out suicide attacks in Florida because of what this woefully misguided pastor wants to do with the Qur’an. You are no friend of Muslims. You are not defenders of our faith, but rather, you are defamers of our faith, and we want nothing to do with you.
Our response here in America will be patience and good will. We are the true followers of the Qur’an, which says:
[But whatever they may say or do,] repel the evil [which they commit] with something that is better: We are fully aware of what they attribute [to Us]. (23:96)
We are true followers of the Qur’an, which says:
You shall most certainly be tried in your possessions and in your persons; and indeed you shall hear many hurtful things from those to whom revelation was granted before your time, as well as from those who have come to ascribe divinity to other beings beside God. But if you remain patient in adversity and conscious of Him – this, behold, is something to set one’s heart upon. (3:186)
We are the true followers of the Qur’an, which says:
O You who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of any-one lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being God-conscious. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do. (5:8)
We are the true followers of the Qur’an, which says:
And do not take any human being’s life -[the life] which God has willed to be, sacred-otherwise than in [the pursuit of] justice. (17:33)
We never think that killing innocent people ever constitutes “the pursuit of justice.” We never let the hatred of some people toward Islam move us to commit injustice. We never let the hatred of some people toward Islam move us to kill in cold blood and destroy innocent life. And anyone who does, betrays the spirit and letter of our faith.
We will continue to persevere and show our neighbors the truth about our faith. Much of this anti-Muslim hysteria is out of fear, and that fear is generated because of a lack of understanding about Islam. We will do things like what this Chicago-area non-profit plans to do: give out 50 free copies of the Qur’an for every one copy burned by the pastor in Florida.
That is the proper response: peace and goodness, not violence and murder. We don’t need your “defense.” No, we don’t need anything from you at all.