Islam Under Fire: Origins of Wa Salaam, A Muslim-American Journal

September 20, 2006 § 25 Comments

Ya Allah... man?Make no mistake about it, Islam is under attack. For Muslims this means our values, morals and sensibilities are under-fire. It appears that no matter what we write or how we position ourselves as a community, the actions of misguided Muslims give Islam’s enemies enough reason to feel justified in their attacks.

Furthermore, I think that there are powers in Washington who believe drawing lines in the sand and asking the world, “are you with me?” will identify friends and foes; allies and enemies. On the contrary, I am of the opinion that this will backfire, particularly on the American people, pitting Americans against each other.

Therefore the problem is as much a social problem as it is political in that Americans of all backgrounds can live with these deep-seated resentments for long periods of time, as Blacks and Whites did during the Civil Rights Movement. Similarly, there are still racial tensions between blacks and whites today, although their manifestations often come in the form of social subtleties.

The worst case scenario for the U.S. with respect to its Muslim citizens is that non-Muslims may learn to live with the disgust and/or distrust they feel toward us and manage it reasonably well, for a long time. While underneath the mask of civility is a festering hatred.

For Muslims the obvious struggle lies in simply being a Muslim. As Islam is dragged through the mud by both Muslims and non-Muslims, being a Muslim is becoming stigmatized. As a result many Muslims have wrestled or continue to wrestle with their religious and cultural identities, which would otherwise be very secure.

For example, NPR published an article which interviews young Muslim teens and discusses their struggle with their identity here in the United States. The teens are two sisters who are Muslims, living in the suburban Chicago area. These teenage girls find it unbearable to be ostracized in their community for wearing a hijab. She talks about her frustration concerning the hijab when she says,

“I’m proud to be Algerian, but it makes me mad when people think just because you have a scarf on, you can’t be American.” (J. Woodruff, NPR)

These feelings and other circumstances eventually led the young woman to abandon the hijab. She informs NPR of her decision in an email which followed the interview several months later and it read,

“Since we last spoke in June, I’ve gone through with my decision to no longer wear hijab. The decision has been a year in the making, and it’s been quite a deliberate and introspective personal journey. Hijab is and will always remain an internal spiritual force within me; it goes to say that hijab isn’t a mere external covering.” (J. Woodruff, NPR)

The young woman’s family supported her decision, yet it is unfortunate that a young woman who has yet to settle into womanhood should face such a dramatic decision concerning her identity. It is hard to imagine exactly what she is going through as I am a man, but as a man I too have experienced these kinds of societal pressures.

For instance, after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, I felt extreme social pressures around me. I resisted, but eventually I cracked under all of the pressure. Afterward I slowly began to hide my Islamic culture and Muslim identity out of fear. I became overwhelmed by these feelings and began to dress differently. I attempted to look as “normal” as I could, I no longer wore Islamic regalia but fashioned myself after the trends of that period, as much as I could without violating Sunnah (at least in my mind at the time). I only went to the masjid on Fridays, although I regularly made the salah at home. Islam was now becoming my personal religion, hidden from the world.

I continued this shameful charade for nearly a year of my life, until I just could not take it anymore. It was the worst mistake I have ever made, during this period I suffered both emotionally and spiritually. My wife began to lose respect for me, although I believed that I was protecting her. I soon realized that for a Muslim hiding your religion is not advisable, it is just not natural for Islam. The truth of Islam is not a secret, and believing in these truths should not be either.

After a while I began to loose interest in what others thought of me, except those who I could respect; those whose character I felt was honorable. It was around this time that I started to only affiliate myself with Muslims. It just seemed safer, I felt that I did not have to watch my back. Overtime things changed and I have eased up on some of my harsher criticisms of being Muslim in the West. Consequently, these experiences materialized as this blog, Wa Salaam and the mission behind it.

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§ 25 Responses to Islam Under Fire: Origins of Wa Salaam, A Muslim-American Journal

  • Dirty Butter says:

    I can only imagine the kind of mental, spiritual, and emotional conflicts you have been through since 9/11. Much of what you described as you tried to “hide” your Muslim identity reminds me of the way “Colored People” used to “pass” in the South. If successful, you cut yourself off from your own people and heritage, and lived a lie. Something you obviously realized. Surely you have found some non Muslim friends with whom you can be yourself.

    I agree with you totally that the end result of all this turmoil is going to a be large segment of a generation that is civil on the surface, but seething underneath.

    When I used some of the information the Kashmiri had found for me in my Sunday School class, as an introduction to a new unit of Bible study, one member of the class made it extremely clear that he did not want to hear anything about “those Muslims.” While others were interested, I had not expected that antagonistic a response from anyone in my class.

  • Salams
    Jazakallah for this insightful post. Whilst I am a Muslim living in the West, Alhumdulillah it is so easy for me to live openly as a Muslim where I am situated and so it is educational and eye opening to read about accounts and experiences such as you have shared.
    Jazakallah

  • sheila says:

    I find your thoughts interesting as I try to understand this whole tension. First off, I believe most Americans have a distorted picture of what being Muslim is all about. Our family only knows a few Muslims and we are only closer friends with one couple. They, however, are very “Americanized.” I feel awkward inquiring about their personal beliefs. I’m a Unitarian and not used to quizzing folks about what they believe. And my mom taught me that politics and religion were best left untouched if you were with strangers.

    I also think that many Americans feel that once you come into this country you must shed your culture, traditions, traditional dress and be discrete in any activity that sets you apart from the herd. Many hold very dear the whole “Melting Pot” idea.

    So, I can see your dilemma. I wish we all could be more understanding and appreciative of other people and their beliefs and traditions. I live in Alabama and at times I keep my beliefs and ideas close to my chest since we have a lot of narrow-thinking and conservative minded folks. My teenage son is another case. He’s always alienating someone or the other.

    Regards,
    Sheila

  • Abu Sahajj says:

    “I find your thoughts interesting as I try to understand this whole tension.”

    Thank you… it is my intention to post thought provoking articles on this blog… I pray that I have accomplished this, inshaAllah.

    First off, I believe most Americans have a distorted picture of what being Muslim is all about.

    We agree there… maybe I should make a few posts to clarify some of the more basic tenets of Islam… rather than addressing some of the more complicated arguments against ideologies such as the Creed of Nicaea.

    “I also think that many Americans feel that once you come into this country you must shed your culture, traditions, traditional dress and be discrete in any activity that sets you apart from the herd.”

    I was born in the US and I live in New York City… I found this true from time to time in my youth but more than ever after September 11.

    “I live in Alabama and at times I keep my beliefs and ideas close to my chest since we have a lot of narrow-thinking and conservative minded folks.”

    It is funny because the real issues come to light for Muslims when you take a deeper look at politics. I say this because for the most part, Islamic teachings align Muslims with right wing Conservatives. But yet right wing Conservatives are doing all of the Muslim-bashing! And it is the Liberals that are supporting activism against the occupation of Palestine for example. This is what Americans really need to look at, the political agenda of right wing Conservatives and more importantly the infamous Neoconservatives like Bill Kristol.

    “My teenage son is another case. He’s always alienating someone or the other.”

    Don’t worry he is a teenager. Teenagers will only be teenagers… if you stick by him and support him he will develop into a good man, inshaAllah. Thank you for your comments, wasalaam.

  • Abu Sahajj says:

    wa ‘alaik as-salaam,

    Jazakallah for this insightful post. Whilst I am a Muslim living in the West, Alhumdulillah it is so easy for me to live openly as a Muslim where I am situated and so it is educational and eye opening to read about accounts and experiences such as you have shared.

    Keep in mind, that I live and work in New York City. At the time of September 11th I worked in the Financial Industry, needless to say I no longer work in finance, wasalaam.

  • Interesting thoughts and story. It is inspiring too. May Allah help us all in our struggle.

  • Abu Sahajj says:

    “I agree with you totally that the end result of all this turmoil is going to a be large segment of a generation that is civil on the surface, but seething underneath.”

    However, I feel that it does not have to be this way but in order to change the momentum of things there must be a message which is championed by what I have termed a Rose Among Humanity, wasalaam.

  • Abu Sahajj says:

    “Interesting thoughts and story. It is inspiring too. May Allah help us all in our struggle.”

    Thank you sis… jazakallah.

  • Khalilah Sabreen says:

    I live in a midwestern city, home of two major universities. Over the past twenty years I have seen a vast increase in Muslims. I am an American of African descent and Muslim for 42 of my 52 years of life, having converted from “The Nation of Islam” ideology to more “orthodox” Islam. I don’t wear hijab but my daughter does. We compare notes. The Muslim sisters are decidedly unfriendly, sometimes hostile. Just day before yesterday I was nearly run over (I was on foot) by a “hijabi”, I made eye contact and mouthed “as-salaam-alaikum”, slightly spreading my hands, palms up and smiled at her. She gave me a cold stare and smirk and, I’m sorry to say, I returned the All American digital salute. I felt ashamed of my self, shocked at her and me and resolved to file this with other dismissive and rude contacts I’ve had with “Muslim” women. I will never hurt anyone but I will basically ignore them as they do me. Combine this with the media attacks and general misconceptions of Islam you talk about, it’s a wonder Islam can spread in this country. These sisters add a new dimension to the American view of Muslim women as oppressed non-persons.

  • Yashvant says:

    Dear Sir,

    I fail to understand this. Muslims hate USA. But the number of Muslims immigrating to USA is always on the rise. USA offers them what they are denied in their country. Sounds very hypocritical of them…isnt it ?

    Thanks,
    Yash.

  • Abu Sahajj says:

    “I don’t wear hijab but my daughter does. We compare notes. The Muslim sisters are decidedly unfriendly, sometimes hostile.”

    Have you considered the hijabi’s position? Would you be on the defensive as a hijabi or on the offensive. Your gestures may not have conveyed the message that you thought they did, these are not exactly friendly times and from your response who am I to say that the Muslima could not recognize something that is hidden due to the nature of this exchange.
    With all that said, I fail to see the relevancy between this and my post. But I will give you some advice… since you are making reference to perfect strangers… try donning a hijab for 2 weeks, greet a Muslima with your entire hand and not just one finger and see if you get the same response and please let us know of any progress, wasalaam.

  • Abu Sahajj says:

    “I fail to understand this. Muslims hate USA.”

    If that were true Muslims would not be here. Me personally, I was born here in the United States… and I love the people of the United States, I do not like the actions and selfish policies of rich, white men who manipulate the people of this country and others as a means to a capitalist end.

  • Khalilah Sabreen says:

    Brother Sahajj, I did smile at her, greeted her and offered what I took as a friendly gesture with my hands as I greeted her in response to her almost hitting me with her car. She had ample time to see me and stop. She stopped within a foot of my body yet, when I saw she was Muslim I offered this gesture as greetings and to say, “it’s ok.” She was close enough that I looked in her eyes. It was in response to her returning this gesture that I reflexively gave her the finger. I admitted my shame and shock and myself but I was shocked, too, that she reacted hostily. No apology for almost having hit a human being muslim or not, black, white, male, female. You don’t have to tell me these are not friendly times, as member of a community that has lived under “unfriendly” times in this country for over 400 years, I know a little bit about what’s that’s like. That’s another reason why I offered the smile and humble greeting.

    And, sir, I wore hijab as a teenager before the vast increase in Muslim population in this country. Now as to relevance to your post: “It appears that no matter what we write or how we position ourselves as a community, the actions of misguided Muslims give Islam’s enemies enough reason to feel justified in their attacks.”

    This incident of almost being hit is just one of many encounters where even my daughter in hijab at the masjid, in the community, at the university has looked to sisters for friendship and welcoming but gotten the cold shoulder. This is misguided. Ok, so be cautious in the supermarket but why give someone seeking the truth the cold shoulder right inside the masjid. It is misguided for many Muslims to not return friendliness and efforts to get to know real Muslims and Islam, not the hyped up lies we get from the media.

  • Abu Sahajj says:

    Sister… this is not the first time I am hearing something like this… I wonder sometimes what it is like to be a Muslimah because UmmZaid has shared stories about the poor adab of Muslims, that I could not believe. You are right in saying,

    “It is misguided for many Muslims to not return friendliness and efforts to get to know real Muslims and Islam, not the hyped up lies we get from the media.”

    I offer my sincere apologies if I failed to understand your original point. You are right, it is misguided and even though Muslims are Muslims we Muslims know that there are divisions, foreign and domestic, that exist within the Muslim Ummah. But where do we go from here? Well there is a circle of Muslims in the blogosphere that are working diligently to offer dawah to non-Muslims, work on positive group projects and address community issues. Keep in touch with me and visit other blogs on this sidebar and if you are ever in New York, my wife and I will be happy to show you some of the beautiful masajid in the city, wasalaam.

  • Khalilah Sabreen says:

    Thank you, Brother, for listening. I will continue to visit your site and will explore some of the other sites and blogs. The whole human family has work to do to “know one another, not despise one another.” I am glad to have found your blog and am hopeful that it is one of many real voices from the Muslim community on the internet. God knows we need you! I hope to find a role in the effort you describe above. Thank you for a gracious invitation and Blessed Ramadan to you and your Mrs.!

  • Omar AmericanLivingAbroad says:

    WOW!!! I am so glad my aunt Khalilah emailed me about this blog and gave me the link. I’m wondering if many others of the ones she told of her communicae’ w/U have actually look into this site. I tend to hesitate (or even avoid) taking of my precious time to read such, but am glad I took this time. The reason for my hesitation is due to the fact that a LIFE in ‘education’ has shown me that regardless of the number of difference between people, the reasons for these differences, and the possible resolve for living with and growing from these differences seems to be out of our reach as human-kind. NO, I have not given up on mankind, but I must say that after trying to move a seemingly immovable object once, twice, three time plus more, then eventually you have to decide whether or not you’re wasting valuable time that could be put to better use.
    I don’t want to spark confusion and get a negative or misconstrued response Khalilah like Khalilah did from your initial response, so let me clarify… (BTW b4 clarifying let me say that I really commend Khalilah for responding so well to your first response to her. I was shocked at your first response, then pleasantly surprised and her response to that, then relieved, and impressed btw, with all that you share in your response following that.)

    A LIFE in ‘education’:
    The Quran, Bible, Torah and many other religions holy books or scribings state in different ways that we should seek to learn from birth to death, from the cradle to the grave, and many other ways this can be put. The reason for my quotes around the word education is that I’m speaking of my formal education. I was born to a mother who in her love of learning and teaching has now who retired from an exemplary career in the field of education (school teacher & principal), and that I now also am quite successful in my career in the same field as both a teacher and principal. Hence, my LIFE in ‘education’.

    DIFFERENCES:
    Until a person has done something at least similar to the saying of walking a mile in the other’s shoes it’s very difficult to understand their plight. I’ve ALWAYS felt that I was not TOTALLY understood, accepted, and appreciated in my own country, my own hometown, and even my own extended family.
    1. I was born during that period Khalilah spoke of when my mother (her eldest sister) and father were making the transition from ‘The Nation of Islam” to TRUE Islam. Imagine the DIFFERENCES and/or conflict between we have had with our fellow Black Americans then and ever since PLUS the DIFFERENCES and/or conflicts between we Muslims born in America and those migrating to America from Muslim countries.
    2. I was raised hearing the personal stories from my grandparents who personally experienced having to look down and/or cross the street when Caucasians were present and many other atrocities. I’m a Black man who later, multiple times, in my own life was accosted and sometimes abused by the police (both Black and White… note that my ENTIRE full name is Arabic so I’m therefore assumed to be Muslim by so many who think so negatively of Muslims). These incidents w/police were regardless of being a law abiding, contributive member of society pursuing an education. Imagine the DIFFERENCES and underlying inner conflictual feelings when still dealing with the racism.
    3. I withstood a lot to maintain the fortitude to acquire what formal education I have, yet in addition to the positive comes the majority of the people I grew up with INCLUDING the majority of my cousins who view me as not understanding them or appreciating the less educated and hence putting me down and treating me as less-than in their eyes. MOST of these cousins AND most of my siblings instead of searching for truth as I did in my adolescents and learning personally about Islam were so strongly influenced by our surrounding environment and society that they don’t even practice Islam any further than we all greet each other with “As-Salaamu-Alaikum & Wa Alaikum-Salaam”. See how extreme DIFFERENCES are even without addressing how some Muslims are giving responses to fuel the negativity towards Islam?
    4. I’ve moved to the other side of the globe to live abroad working at International Schools. I have learned that even though I now live in a “Muslim” country that people are people. The Muslim majority here live right and wrong just as the Christian majority does back home. Just as many claim Christianity in America but don’t practice living as Jesus did, many here claim Islam but don’t practice living as Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did. DIFFERENCES DIFFERENCES DIFFERENCES… These differences without truly understanding and appreciating those different than us are what keep us from achieving the ‘peace’ mankind has been in search of since mankind evolved.

    Last but not least:
    EACH country I’ve visited in S.E. Asia responds totally negatively upon seeing me as the views of people of African descent are very noticeably evident throughout the majority of the world. In addition to my travels internationally I’ve met and shared with, and listened to many others who have also traveled and imagine the despair I feel when I hear how even in Mecca and Medina during the holy pilgrimage, segregation is evident with people of one race treating those of another race as if they are not truly Muslim just because of their ethnicity and/or nationality. I’m quite frankly disgusted with what so many of the human race has become and how we think regardless of how much and how often I overlook these small-minded people. The problem is that even many of the ones we don’t recognize as small-minded truly are deep within.
    I’m living and traveling abroad primarily to personally show individuals around the world that people of African decent are not automatically what the western media (which is worldwide) presents us as. I left wanting to find out first-hand what and how others see America by getting a look from the outside in AND by living a lifestyle other than w/all the advantages we (in general) don’t appreciate living our entire lives in America. Living abroad and visiting various countries throughout Asia I’m first looked at and assumed to be African. Then once it’s learned that I’m American it’s assumed that I’m other than Muslim. Then once it’s learned that I’m Muslim it’s assumed that I converted to Islam upon moving here. Then once I destroy that thought it’s assumed that I convert before moving here. Over and over it’s proven that the same consecutive assumptions are made.
    My secondary reason for now living abroad in addition to earning my income at U.S. Dollar rates in countries with MUCH lower costs of living than back home, is to learn more of others cultures and ways of living personally. On top of learning first-hand about others cultures and ways of living I’m getting to see and experience things I’d only seen and heard about in books and on TV. Sorry to have gone on and on, so long, but I hope it was worth reading.

  • Abu Sahajj says:

    “WOW!!! I am so glad my aunt Khalilah emailed me about this blog and gave me the link.”

    Salaam… thank you brother for you kind words. Your aunt and I had a nice exchange, you both have introduced a fresh and new voice to this blog as well as a difference of opinion and for that I am grateful.

    “I’m living and traveling abroad primarily to personally show individuals around the world that people of African decent are not automatically what the western media (which is worldwide) presents us as.”

    Could you tell us in detail what you mean when you say,

    “…people of African decent are not automatically what the western media (which is worldwide) presents us as.”

    How does Western Media portray “people of African decent”? This is an interesting topic and should be discussed.

    “Living abroad and visiting various countries throughout Asia I’m first looked at and assumed to be African. Then once it’s learned that I’m American it’s assumed that I’m other than Muslim. Then once it’s learned that I’m Muslim it’s assumed that I converted to Islam upon moving here. Then once I destroy that thought it’s assumed that I convert before moving here. Over and over it’s proven that the same consecutive assumptions are made.”

    Although, you may dislike the assumptions… those assumptions are correct. Unless you are against the act of assuming, what else would you expect people to assume? Yes it is true that for Muslims in America, Blacks are a majority, however for Blacks in America, Black-Muslims are a minority. Therefore, all of the “assumptions” that you described are reasonable. You and I are alike, you are abroad showing Muslim countries what an African-American Muslim is like. Likewise, I’m in the states showing non-Muslim Americans what American Muslims are like. The synergy is good, and good for Islam, jazakallah kheir. However, keep in mind that discussions like the one your aunt and I had are good, they are somewhat counter productive for my agenda.

    “My secondary reason for now living abroad in addition to earning my income at U.S. Dollar rates in countries with MUCH lower costs of living than back home, is to learn more of others cultures and ways of living personally.”

    If I were you and I were examining contempt among my associates, fellow travellers or during my travels… this is the first area I would examine prior to racial issues. I am sure that if find hostility from Muslims, it is probably firstly because of your status of employment. It should raise feelings in the hearts and minds of any people when a foreigner comes to town and is able to sustain a better quality of life than most of its citizens, that is one of the many problems that the Muslim world has with the US. I enjoyed your comments… wasalaam.

  • Omar AmericanLivingAbroad says:

    I’ll do my best to be brief this time as opposed to my last post. In response to your question about how people of African descent are portrayed: It’s the same as what I witnessed my whole life in America, NEGATIVE. By watching the new it would seem that minorities are criminals by nature as the actual facts of who commits the most crimes is not obvious. Just as the color white is used to describe purity in the dictionary, red anger, etc… black is portrayed as the opposite of white and thus the same in race in that black represents evil. One sad thing is that many of us give reason to perpetuate the sterotypes. What’s even worse is so many people believing people fit sterotypes until otherwise proven and even then still often don’t really believe their own eyes.
    Secondly, let me share that you’re right in your stated problem that the Muslim world has with the U.S. I, however, regardless of being Muslim am American and feel quite rewarded to not let only the descendants of the slave owners reap the benefits of prospering where possible but to better myself as well. ONLY Allah (SWT) can judge the difference in the heart of one who works abroad for purely personal benefit without respect for the people of the country they work in and the one who does so with then intent to help by educating as a teacher as well as individual educating those I meet daily about the positive differences I am and have to offer. Though I know myself to have been blessed w/my upraising, deep down inside I will always have the heart of the kid who grew up poor (financially poor that is). Truth be told… I earn less than half of what I was earning in Michigan. Ones earnings simply go a lot further the lower the cost of living. This same thing applies in the cost of living differences between states in the U.S. as well as communities/areas within states. I just had the whatever-ya-wanna-call-it to go further than state-to-state.
    ONE LAST THING… Don’t think of the conversation w/my aunt as counter-productive at all. When you reach out with a blog you need to be prepared to learn of all sides affected by the points you make as sharing her points was sparked by reading YOUR points. It could be productive in that perhaps some Muslimah may read that conversation and say to herself, “hmm, maybe I am responding a bit harshly to some who don’t mean ill-will towards me”. We all need to step back and take a look at our own behaviors and the reasons why we have them sometimes. How about reponding to my points made about the DIFFERENCES. My main point was to share how DIFFERENCES are the root cause for the problems between those of different religions just as with different races, different cultures. All else that I share was foundational to that/those point(s). TRUST me… I’m in 100% agreement that Islam IS under attack. It’s another BIG part of why I desired leaving the my own country where I was frowned upon for being Muslim. Like you said… I’m over here doing what I can to make a positve difference and you’re over there doing the same. Each in our own way, but hey… We’re each our own person, right?
    All the best to you and your intent w/this site. Wsm.

  • Abu Sahajj says:

    “It’s the same as what I witnessed my whole life in America, NEGATIVE. By watching the new it would seem that minorities are criminals by nature as the actual facts of who commits the most crimes is not obvious.”

    This is a half-truth as it depends on location… As a Muslim and activist we need to be concise about our arguments. Our opponents are very intelligent, for example Bill Kristol is someone I would call an opponent. I have yet to agree with his opinions and for the most part his ideas threaten what I feel is Freedom. The same goes for John Hagee and others, therefore with opponens of this degree it is necessary to raise issues that are tangible and can be debated intelligently. Trying to change the Western consciousness of the World about darker skinned people is noble but inneffective. Because the West has a sickness and it is in pain. For example, trying to tell a man the proper way to raise his children while his child is dying will be inneffective. The best thing to do is try and cure the sickness and then work on proper adab. This sickness is a matter of the heart…

    Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful He Who taught (the use of) the Pen taught man that which he knew not. Nay, but man doth transgress all bounds, in that he looketh upon himself as self-sufficient. Verily, to thy Lord Is the return (of all). (96:3-8)

    Materialism (Capitalism) has corrupted the hearts and minds of the people and there are no opponents of this, save Islam. There was a major shift in the way Europe and the US does business during WWI, this method of business has inspired the greatest atrocities and largest number of casualties by man, in human existence. This needs to be addressed and inshallah things will go smoother for you in terms of effecting Western mind’s opinions of darker skinned peoples.

    “ONLY Allah (SWT) can judge the difference in the heart of one who works abroad for purely personal benefit without respect for the people of the country they work in and the one who does so with then intent to help by educating as a teacher as well as individual educating those I meet daily about the positive differences I am and have to offer. Though I know myself to have been blessed w/my upraising, deep down inside I will always have the heart of the kid who grew up poor (financially poor that is).”

    This is your way of justifying your situation, however it is better for you to be honest with yourself about the reality of these conditions, instead of creating personal testaments to your success. The reality is that the US as a global super-power has ballooned the value of its currency by using trade as value, military as value, protection and arms as value. What does the US produce? What does it export? What resource is funding the US Government, right now? Your answers will be the reason the US’s dollar value will rise or fall; be over or above another country. Just to give you a hint, the country’s most financially successful period in history was after WWII, hence the Baby-Boom! I’m not condemning your work or the fact that you make money, what I am doing is showing you that the truth is not something that can be overshadowed by your personal intentions.

    And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression. (2: 193)

    As for your last point…

    “Don’t think of the conversation w/my aunt as counter-productive at all. When you reach out with a blog you need to be prepared to learn of all sides affected by the points you make as sharing her points was sparked by reading YOUR points.”

    I understand the possibilites that you are speaking of… however what I said was,

    “However, keep in mind that discussions like the one your aunt and I had are good, they are somewhat counter productive for my agenda.”

    That is not to say that I do not want to engage Muslims on the contrary… however, my main audience is not Muslims but non-Muslims and therefore when engaging a Muslim, I consider my position in this blog as if I were engaging a Family member at the dinner table with mostly non-Family. Thank you again for your insightful comments… please come back, waslaam.

  • Omar AmericanLivingAbroad says:

    I feel U on each point u’v made. “The truth is not something that can be overshadowed by your personal intentions.” Here’s some truth: Truth #1 – International Schools throughout the world are very short on teachers for certain subject areas. Truth #2 – When a job is offered, SOMEONE who w/the desired qualifications WILL get the job. Truth #3 – I could go on and on w/more truths but my continuing this will not help either of us.
    I’ll leave this the non-Muslims U were looking 2 get responses from and wish U the best. The next time my plans are 2 visit N.Y. 4 more than a day or 2, I’ll be sure 2 visit this site and perhaps we can someday meet and chat. Until/unless then, Wsm.

  • Abu Sahajj says:

    “Here’s some truth: Truth #1 – International Schools throughout the world are very short on teachers for certain subject areas. Truth #2 – When a job is offered, SOMEONE who w/the desired qualifications WILL get the job. Truth #3 – I could go on and on w/more truths but my continuing this will not help either of us.”

    JazakAllah kheir… I mean that from my heart. We need more people like you, we really do.

    “I’ll leave this the non-Muslims U were looking 2 get responses from and wish U the best.”

    I’m not sure what you mean here.

    “The next time my plans are 2 visit N.Y. 4 more than a day or 2, I’ll be sure 2 visit this site and perhaps we can someday meet and chat.”

    I would really like that… wasalaam ya Omar.

  • […] 1. Abu Sahhaj in Islam Under Fire expresses concern about the social forces exerted upon Muslims as extremists have emerged from among Muslims. I begin with Abu because he is the founder of this carnival. […]

  • I have always found it curious how one can hold to ideas and concepts that are completely alien to the country in which you live.

    I think the best way for me as a non-Muslim to compare it, is if i walked the streets of Saudi Arabia or Iran half naked with a can of beer in my hand, and at times flipped through a porn mag and had to jerk off 5 times a day.

    It’s indeed a very difficult thing to simply give up what you believe to be right when all of society is at odds with those believes.
    But you can’t change who you are, perhaps it would give you peace of mind to live in a Islamic country where people accept your ways and do not look upon them as odd or wrong.

  • Abu Sahajj says:

    “I have always found it curious how one can hold to ideas and concepts that are completely alien to the country in which you live.”

    Actually… most Islamic values are more like traditional “American” values than modern values in this country. For example, our religious beliefs are called ‘aqidah (ah-kee-dah) and are as follows:
    We believe in God
    We belive in the Angels
    We belive in the Revelations of God (All Books)
    We believe in the Messengers of God(All Prophets)
    We believe in the Afterlife (Heaven & Hell)
    We believe in Destiny (Qadr), its good and bad

    I think these values are the same as the fundamental religious beliefs of this country. I think the real problem which you may not be aware of is in Washington.

    However, that is beyond the scope of this article and comment. Let me suggest the following author, David Fromkin is a well respected author who wrote a book called, “A Peace to End All Peace“, it is a great book, you should find it very educational.

    wasalaam

  • Markus

    It was quite useful reading, found some interesting details about this topic. Thanks.

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You are currently reading Islam Under Fire: Origins of Wa Salaam, A Muslim-American Journal at SEYFETTİN.

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