by Bahlul 9/26/02
This has been a very rough week for me. My mind and soul have been in such turmoil. Extended friends and family of various backgrounds and faiths ranging from Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Puerto Rican, African American and European American's have been in severe danger. Not all of them have been accounted for. So, with each passing minute, I begin to fear the worst. I am Muslim, and a member of the Hip Hop generation. We Hip Hoppers will inherit what a happens from this situation. All of it. The good, the bad and the ugly. Right now, it is very ugly. So I hope we get involved as best we can to promote peace and understanding.
I can tell you as a matter of fact that of all the Muslims I know.....Arabs, Native Africans, Pakistani's, Latino, African Americans and White American Muslims that- NONE of them rejoiced at the horror of Tuesday morning. Not one. The truth of the matter is that no God of any righteous people would sanction, condone or encourage the carnage of September 11th. First, suicide is illegal in Islam. Second, killing Muslims is illegal in Islam (I heard an estimate that between 1000-1500 Muslims were in the building when the terrorists struck). Third, neither the Prophet Muhammad, nor the Holy Qur'an encourage behavior like this.
War in Islam has a code of ethics, much like the Japanese code of the samurai's Bushido. To give you insight into the nature in which human rights are of strict observance in true Islamic warfare, I will quote a companion of the Prophet Muhammad's named Abu Bakr. He stated "Remember that you are always under the gaze of Allah and at the threshold of your death, and that you will account for your deeds on the Last Day...When you are fighting for the glory of Allah, aquit yourselves as men, without turning your backs; but let not the blood of women, children, or the aged be a blemish on your victory. Do not destroy palm trees, do not burn houses or wheat fields, never cut down a fruit tree and do not kill cattle unless you are forced to eat them. When you grant a treaty, take care to fulfill their conditions. As you advance, you will come across religious men who live in monasteries and who serve Allah in prayer, leave them in peace, do not kill them and do not destroy their monasteries...."
In the Holy Qur'an it states plainly in chapter called Al-Ma'idah verse 8, it explains that Allah holds those who defend His path accountable for their deeds on the battlefield. "O you who believe! Stand out firmly to Allah as a witness; and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just; that is nearer to piety; and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is well aquatinted with that you do."
So, you can see now that these men violated some basic rules in Islam. Rules that guarantee respect for others, even in times of conflict.
It is important to note however that Islam, is in truth a peaceful religion rooted in refining human character, and cultivating spiritual enlightenment. It is the worlds fastest religion, with many converts coming from Europe, and North America. It has been said that 40% of the America's Muslims population is from the African American community, with a slow but steady increase of American Muslims from Latino and White Americans of various ethnic backgrounds.
It is really important to me that the rest of America understand that every so many years America will have issues with other countries. Germany, Italy, Japan, Iran and Russia have all at some time or another been viewed as enemies of America. I hope this country has learned form it's past bigoted violent ways and will not brand all Arabs or Muslims as terrorists. Do not treat your Arab and Muslim-American citizens with malice. Our brothers, fathers, mothers, cousins and friends died in the rubble to. We are mourning with you, deeply.
If I told you that after the Oklahoma City bombing I began to view all lanky white males with crew cuts as mass murderers and baby killers, you would certainly think me unfair. What if I told you that since KKK members light crosses and kill Blacks in the name of being "good Christians", I don't trust Christians? Again, you would again think me unfair and unreasonably bias. So, I will ask that you don't to the same to the Arabs and Muslims of this country, because of terrorism that appears to be based in Islamic belief.
Recently American news polls show about 2/3rds of our citizens want "tough military action"....However, please understand that this will not be the regular "Send our boys to go get 'em" war. Judging from how this has started, we are looking at taking SERIOUS civilian casualties. I don't think that if we could assess similar casualties on American soil happening every 4-6 months for the next 3 years, that everybody would be so gung-ho on the war tip. Personally, experiencing something like that might stretch my soul beyond it's limits. I do not ever want to endure what happened on Sept. 11th again. I am in no way suggesting that America just let this go...But America will need to be sure that it connects all the dots in their investigation before it runs out and does irrevocable damage to innocent people. I saw a man on TV say the other night that he hopes that America does not become terrorists in pursuit of terrorists. That is an important thing we need to keep track of in the coming years.
Also, I'd like to encourage the local, national and international Muslim community leaders to take a more proactive, long term role in engaging the media. Minister Farakhan, did a good job in bringing clarity to last weeks events. Additionally, Sheik Hamza Yusuf was the first person I saw here on the local KNTV Channel 11. He did a fantastic job in helping the Muslim and non-Muslim alike come to a greater assessment of this situation. We need much more of that kind of activity on a national scale. I hope the news media will invite more Muslims onto CNN, Fox News and other TV shows to help bring more positive dialogue to the nation.
I encourage people unfamiliar with Islam to learn it's precepts, from the people who know Islam the best. Part of the problem in America is that not enough people understand what it means to be a Muslim. And up till now terrorism has been seen as naturally islamic, when in fact it is just the opposite. Don't let your disdain for the terrorist keep you for learning the true essence of Islam. Please pick up the following books in the order you choose:
1. The Prophet Muhammad: His Life Based on the
Earliest Stories- Martin Lings
Also, please visit www.latinmuslims.com, www.zaytuna.org, and www.islam-online.net for up to date spiritual, historical, cultural and current event info in the Islamic community. I will not try to predict in any way shape or form what might happen in the U.S., or abroad in the coming weeks, months and years. What I can say however, is that if this planet is to move forward progressively, we will need to exercise a compassionate heart, head and ear all around. Please be sure to give blood where ever you live and be sure to pitch in at your local community in any way you can to help others. Let us all pray for a peaceful solution, soon.
"Never obey that which is created, if it means disobeying the laws of the creator". - The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam)
Respond to Davey D at: Mrdaveyd@aol.com
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