Natalia J. Garland
Perhaps the easiest way to access essays written by
Abdal-Hakim Murad is to go to Masud Ahmed Khan's Homepage on
the internet. There are several essays at this website,
written by Muslim thinkers. Non-Muslims might find that these
works deserve prime importance in attempting to understand the
Muslim perspective on religion, terrorism, politics, and
secular society. Murad, for example, has written on Islam as
well as on topics such as "Diana and Dionysus,"
(an essay on the death of Princess Diana), and "A Muslim
Perspective on the Trinity." The essay that I wish to
discuss is "Recapturing Islam From the Terrorists."
the September 11th attacks. He states that terrorists are not
Muslims, and that true Islam "has produced much of the
world's most sensitive art, architecture and literature, and
has a rich life of ethics, missionary work, and
spirituality." Rather than killing innocent civilians,
real Muslims prefer to "make friends of our
neighbors." Murad compares Islam to Christianity in this
respect. When extremist groups such as the Branch Davidians
claim to act in accordance with Holy Scripture, mainstream
Christian churches are quick to distinguish themselves and
defend true Christian beliefs, values, and lifestyle. Murad
encourages Muslims to find their voice and do likewise on
behalf of true Islam.
Murad also asks
that bewildering question: Why do people hate Americans enough
to kill them? His personal answer, however, seems to be found
in corporate America's monetary power and in American-Israeli
foreign policy. Corporate America. Political America.
Please take a look at the average American who is not
geopolitical by nature.
A few years
back I was fortunate enough to take a vacation to Egypt. This
area is mostly Muslim, with a Coptic Orthodox minority. What
I learned during this vacation is that the average Egyptian
Muslim is very much like the average American Christian. They
are trying to make a living, to survive, and to take care of
their families. I found most Egyptians to be friendly and
honest. The average Egyptian Muslim is not involved in
terrorism any more than the average American Christian is
involved in geopolitics.
If anyone hates
Americans for geopolitical reasons, then they are really
ignoring a greater reality: American art, literature,
morality, and philanthropy which has been influenced in a
positive way by Christian values and democratic ideals. The
average American also needs to find a voice and claim back
true Americana. It is because of our democratic foundation
and equal opportunity that many others want to live in this
country, including Muslims.
continues, "The controls of two great vehicles, the State
Department, and Islam, need to be reclaimed in the name of
sanity and humanity. It is always hard to accept that good
might come out of evil; but perhaps only a catastrophe on this
scale, so desolating, and so seemingly hopeless, could provide
the motive and space for such a reclamation." Christians
and Muslims have much in common which was not so apparent
before September 11th. The commonality is the preservation of
family, community, and culture in the face of hatred.
Theological differences might have to be set aside as a luxury
which we presently are not able to afford.
Stand: hardworking Americans from all walks of life, also
making friends of our neighbors. In the 1960's there used to
be a slogan: Power to the People. It was this kind of
grassroots empowerment that enabled the civil rights movement
to succeed. Even in those days, however, there were
extremists who would have interpreted that slogan to suit
their anarchist tendencies. People do not need excuses to
hate. They only need targets to take their hatred out on. It
is up to us to recycle that grassroots energy and let the
terrorists know they cannot destroy our highest values and
ideals. (Written 04/15/02 - Revised 12/01/03: bibliography available.)
Until we meet