The problem isn’t with Islam, but with wackos

March 30, 2006

I wish every Christian in America could have heard what I heard the other night. Two of the nation's most learned and respected religious scholars came to Memphis to talk about Islam and civic responsibility, two topics that don't always seem to go together. Honestly, don't you sometimes wonder — even the most open-minded and big-hearted among you — if there's some inherent flaw in Islam?

Honestly, don't you sometimes wonder — even the most open-minded and big-hearted among you — if there's some inherent flaw in Islam?
Something in the Koran that turns devoted believers into homicidal maniacs? Something about "Allah" that turns faithful followers of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, into terrorists and suicide bombers and angry mobs?

"There are a lot of crazy Muslims out there," one of the scholars acknowledged the other night.

"Wacky" was the word the other scholar used.

Such comments might have seemed inflammatory, except that they came from Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir, both American-born converts to Islam, now two of the West's most influential Islamic scholars.

Before 9/11, both men were outspoken critics of American policy. Since then, both men have become two of the strongest and sanest Islamic voices for peace and civilized discourse.

Yusuf, 45, who grew up as Mark Hanson, a Greek Orthodox kid in suburban California, has become an adviser to President Bush.

"We Muslims have lost theologically sound understanding of our own teaching," Yusuf told The Guardian during the recent cartoon controversy.

"Islam has been hijacked by a discourse of anger and the rhetoric of rage. We have lost our bearings because we have lost our theology."

Shakir, 49, who grew up Baptist in inner-city Atlanta, served four years in the Air Force before his conversion.

"If we Muslims are going to contribute to changing how Islam and our Prophet are viewed in the West, we are going to have to change what we ourselves are doing to contribute to the caricaturing of Islam," Shakir wrote last month in a widely distributed essay.

"That change can only be affected by sound knowledge coupled with exalted practice, and reviving the lofty ethical ideal of our beloved Prophet."

Both men spoke extensively about the ethics of Islam the other night at the program sponsored by Muslims in Memphis.

They said the Prophet Muhammad would abhor the violence that is committed in the name of Allah. They called on true believers to defend the faith with love, compassion and humility, not anger, hatred and violence.

"The disgraceful behavior of many Muslims is a failure of adherence to the faith, a failure to live up to the true ideals of Islam," Yusuf said.

They referred often to the sayings of Muhammad, which include: Love for humanity what you love for yourself.

That's how most Muslims here and around the world practice their faith. There are more than a billion Muslims in the world. Nearly all of them are good, decent, kind, sane, faithful and law-abiding folks.

Yes, there are some crazy, wacky Muslims out there. The world has known more than a few crazy, wacky Christians, too. So-called Christians who sicced dogs on black children or lynched black men, who burned crosses or fellow Christians at the stake, who massacred Jews or annihilated native civilizations.

The inherent flaw in Islam is the same inherent flaw in all religions.

Divine instructions must be interpreted and applied by mortal beings.

(David Waters: Commercial Appeal) 

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10 Responses to “The problem isn’t with Islam, but with wackos”

  1. dawood Says:

    Dude, theres no link to the whole article. And yes, sometimes I do, then I turn to my books. I told my Shaykh once that my books is th eonly place I see actual Islam around me, and he laughed.

  2. molvi Says:

    oops, fixed.

    A long time ago, probably near the time of the tabieen, someone asked someone learned about Islam. He responded: ‘the muslims are in the graves and islam is in the books’

    i paraphrase and butcher the original quote but i think you get my drift.


  3. canadians like to bite off of americans

    heh, jk

  4. molvi Says:

    yo amir, whats ure msn

  5. dawood Says:

    I’m an amir now? jks. 😉


  6. HAHAH @ dawood’s comment

    take a wild guess wat my MSN is. (you already messaged me on there)


  7. whoa thats strange? double post, but the 2nd one has the rest of what i said in the comment.

  8. Sulayman F Says:

    Seems like the link is now broken again.

  9. molvi Says:

    I just pasted the article. Thanks Sulayman.


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