The American Muslim Identity: Speaking for Ourselves
Thus far, Islam is defined to the American public by non-Muslim pundits, public officials, and talk show hosts. Alternatively, it is defined by a small group of foreign Muslim extremists, whose actions and rhetoric are taken to represent the teachings of Islam. It is now time for American Muslims to speak for themselves -- and they have two main messages.
First, Islam is not an "alien" or hostile religion. It is an indigenous part of the American pluralism, with long historical roots in the United States. In Part I of this book, the American Muslim identity is defined. The basic tenets of Islam on the issues of human rights and democracy are thoroughly explored, and juxtaposed against the founding principles of the United States. The authors demonstrate why the ideals of Islam are conducive to a strong sense of patriotism.
Second, patriotism to American Muslims does not mean automatically supporting the policies of whatever administration is in power. Rather, the political obligation of American Muslims is to provide an honest, ethically based critique of our nation's policies. The chapters in Part II address this theme and explore the grievances of the American Muslim community. These include American support of dictatorial regimes in the Muslim nations, foreign policy issues such as Kashmir and uncritical U.S. support for Israel as well as domestic issues like the threat to civil liberties inherent in the Patriot Acts.
The reader of this book will come away with a much deeper understanding of who American Muslims really are and what they really think.
"For anyone who wants to understand the post-9-11 world... this book is a stimulating read." -- The Rev. Ed Bacon, Rector, All Saints Church (Episcopal and Anglican), Pasadena, California"This is an important contribution to the debate about Islam in America after September 11, 2001." -- Professor Akbar S. Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, D.C. is author of Islam Under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor World, Polity Press (2003). Dr. Aslam Abdullah is the editor in chief of the Minaret magazine and the Muslim Observer. He is well known for his published books and articles pertaining to Muslims and Islam, his involvement in relief activities and student training programs. Dr. Gasser Hathout attended college at Harvard University majored in Economics, and edited the Harvard International Review. He graduated from UCLA Medical School. He is an associate professor of neuroradiology at UCLA. He has authored several books and articles.
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