Statement On Combating Ethnic and Religious Intolerance, and Defending The Continued Building Of Mo

Statement On Combating Ethnic and Religious Intolerance, and Defending The Continued Building Of Mosques In America

by the Majlis Ash-Shura of Metropolitan New York


In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful


We, the undersigned leaders and representatives of the Majlis Ash-Shura of Metropolitan New York, do hereby declare our firm belief in the following principles, in support of the continued building of mosques in our city and throughout the United States of America. Further, we call for the combating of ethnic and religious bigotry directed against Islam and Muslims in American society.

1) We believe in the Oneness of Allah (God) and in the oneness of humanity and that all the Messengers of God, including the final Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

2) We believe in peaceful coexistence, dialogue, bridge building, and cooperation among all faiths and people for the common good of humanity, and affirm the sacredness of life.

3) We denounce the Crusader-spirited hate-speech that has been mainstreamed in American society over the past 2-3 decades , denouncing Islam as “a very evil and wicked religion” [1] and “the religion of the devil” [2], slandering Muslims as “worse than Nazis” [3] and “the modern-day equivalent of the Evil Empire” [4] , seeking to discredit the validity of the Qur’an and calling for public burning of its copies [5] , and mocking, ridiculing and defaming the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a “terrorist” [6]  who was a “demon-obsessed pedophile” [7]. Such vile and slanderous characterizations of our faith ourselves,  and our prophet are without precedent in American society.

4) We recognize that as a result of such hate speech, from New York to Milwaukee, from Tennessee to California, mosques and Muslim community centers are meeting a fierce and swelling resistance from an increasingly vocal minority of local citizens’ groups, instigated by bigots seeking to engineer public opinion.

5) We recognize that such bias leads to lynching, pogroms, ethnic cleansing and genocide, as we have seen in American history, and recently in Bosnia, Rwanda, and elsewhere. There is no place for it in America.

6) One third of the American Muslim community are African Americans, who have contributed greatly to American advancement by fighting in defense of its freedoms, reforming hundreds of thousands of lost souls, the production of cultural icons such as Muhammad Ali , and inspiration and guidance of millions of hard-working, law abiding and dignified citizens. The current effort to prevent Muslims from erecting Mosques throughout the country, where racist bigots exploit the pain and emotional suffering of unsuspecting citizens, seeks to resurrect the Jim Crow conditions of the segregated South. This is a situation that should be unacceptable to all Americans

7) We reject racist, revisionist interpretations of both recent and remote history that negate the presence and contributions of people of various ethnic groups and religions to the building and enhancement of the best of American society. Examples in New York City include documented early Muslim presence in lower Manhattan of the once hallowed 6 acre territory called “The African Burial Ground”. A national monument now marks at least part of the area as sacred [8]. No small number of Muslims is buried there, Further a neighborhood “wedged in between the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the World Trade Center site” was once so densely populated in the late 1800s by Syrian immigrants, that it was called “Little Syria” [9]. Most of those new citizens were Christians, but some were Muslims.

8) In the modern world, Muslims of various nationalities worked and died in the Twin Towers. The victims worthy of sensitivity and compassion even now include those who are Muslims, the remains of many of whom were never recovered after the destruction. A reading of the list of 9-11 victims reveals several names that are clearly identifiable as Muslim in origin. Muslim responders who were policemen, Emergency Medical Technicians, firemen, relief and disaster workers, sanitation workers and chaplains, labored on or near the site of the tragedy. We declare un-ethical, insensitive and inhumane , the notion that our co-religionists are not entitled to the respect of a place of worship according to their faith, near the location where men and women of our religion worked, lived and died - just like other people.

9) The Islamic Leadership Council of NY strongly affirms our belief in assumption of personal responsibility for both good and evil deeds. W reject the assignment of collective guilt, and call upon all Americans to repudiate the public relations crusade and hate speech of those who would demonize Islam and Muslims, block construction of our places of worship, burn copies of our scripture, foment an irrational fear of our faith and people, and exploit the psychological, emotional, and spiritual trauma of American citizens, for political gain.

10) We both thank and salute the principled stances taken by elected officials, media columnists and religious leaders in various parts of the country, who have defended the civil and human rights of Muslims in the best American tradition. We extend our hands to you in peace.

SIGNED THIS DAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2010 :
The Majlis Ash-Shura of NY, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA-NY), The Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), the Muslim American Society (MAS-NY), The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), North American Imams Federation (NAIF), Center for American Muslim Research & Information (CAMRI), The Iqaamatudeen Movement, Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), The Association of African Imams, Women in Islam, the Muslim Foundation of America, Masjid At-Taqwa, The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood, The Muslim Center of NY, The Tawhid Center for Islamic Development, Masjid Omar bin Abdul-Aziz, the Hillside Islamic Center, Masjid Alhamdulillah, Masjid Arqam, Masjid Sabur, Masjid Khalil Rauf Abdullah, Masjid Iqamat Ad-Deen, Masjid Al-Hamdulillah, Masjid Al-Abidin, Baitul Ma’mur Masjid, Young Muslims, Islamic Mission, Muslim Consultative Network, Brooklyn Eid Council, Masjid Allahu Akbar, Masjid Omar bin Abdul Aziz, Masjid Al-Farooq, Masjid Al-Hira and Masjid Darul Qur’an, The Muslim Consultative Network (MCN), Masjid Imam Ali, Masjid At-Taqwa, the House of Peace, the United Muslim Alliance (UMA), Arab Muslim American Federation.

(Masjid=Mosque)

Notes:

1 Rev. Franklin Graham, With God on their Side, Esther Kaplan
2 Rev.Terry Jones, http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/07/29/florida.burn.quran.day/index.html
3 Rev. Pat Robertson, With God on their Side, Esther Kaplan
4 Rev. Richard Cizik, Vice President of the National Association of Evangelicals, With God on their Side, Esther Kaplan
5 http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/07/29/florida.burn.quran.day/index.html
6 Rev. Jerry Falwell, With God on their Side, Esther Kaplan
7 Rev. Jerry Vines, With God on their Side, Esther Kaplan
8 “ Bones & Bureaucrats”, http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/afrburial/index.html &#822,0;The African Burial Ground, Return to the Past to Build the Future”, http://www.africanburialground.gov/ABG_History.htm
9 “New York’s Syrian Quarter”, NY Times, Aug. 20,1899, “When Lower Manhattan was ‘Little Syria” http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_207/tourguidelootsto.html &#822,0;Tour guide looks to save remnants of ‘Little Syria’ “ by Skye H. McFarlane


Majlis Ash-Shura of Metropolitan New York
Islamic Leadership Council
88-29 161 Street, Jamaica, NY 11432


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