Monday, August 13, 2012

Can Muslims shape the world?

Can Muslims shape the world, or sit back and let others do it as they wish?


Muslims have an opportunity to shape the world, instead of getting shaped. All it takes is initiative; here is a note from Ruby Amatulla. If you have the skills and wherewithals or funds to make this happen, give a shout to Ruby

Mike Ghouse

A New 'Leadership Generation' of Muslim Americans

A recent Gallup poll has indicated that most Muslim Americans do not feel they are represented by existing Muslim organizations in America. The highest approval rating any one of these organizations received was only 12%. While we must assert that all of these existing organizations do extremely valuable work, we also understand that there exists a huge gap between the sociopolitical aspirations of Muslim Americans and the previous achievements of Muslim American organizations. In order to address these issues, we must consider the following:

1. American Muslims are a unique minority. The famous Pew survey several years ago revealed that 65% of Muslims in America were born in other countries. These first-generation immigrant peoples are on the one hand well-connected with the societies in which they came from and on the other hand well-adjusted and acculturated American citizens. This group has enormous potential to build bridges between oft-confrontational societies. In fact, Muslim Americans are common denominators between two of the most polarized camps of the world today. Thus, a visionary leadership must emerge to arouse a popular movement from among Muslims in this country towards a paradigm shift between America and Muslim-majority societies.
2. America is not only a superpower and influential nation in our time, but also a democratic country that provides an impartial rule of law and a pluralistic and conducive environment for citizens to engage with society and government to raise a voice for change. There is no leadership as of now that has taken full advantage of this unique opportunity that American Muslims have. Of all American civil society players, American Muslims have unparalled abilities advocate to American policymakers - as a unified bloc - for more open and pluralistic societies in their respective countries of origin.

3. Neither the American people nor the American government is monolithic. At any given time on any given issue, diverse or opposing forces work towards a resultant outcome. We often see negative outcomes, but we fail to see the multiple forces, including our civil society and government allies, working behind the scenes. If Muslim Americans are relatively united and can align with like-minded American civil society and political groups, the balance of power would change. There are about 6 to 7 million Muslims in America who came from 56 Muslim majority societies around the world. Many Muslims were the cream of the crop of those lands. The PEW exposes that the American Muslims are more well-educated and well-to-do than average Americans, and they are moderate in their ideological views. These predispositions are positive elements that can magnify their efforts towards becoming powerful catalysts of change. And if we can help to change the way in which America engages with the Muslim world, the Muslim world would also change its attitude towards America and American democratic values. We need to work from both sides to bridge the gap.

4. If a visionary American Muslim leadership could promote constructive engagements and a change in mindset towards these aspects of American foreign policy, it could bring about enormous welfare to the Muslim world and American society as well as self-empowerment to all of the American Muslim organizations that currently exist. That could help to overcome Islamophobia and other hurdles in the shortest possible way. This is a win-win situation. Muslim Americans must engage intensely and consistently with American foreign policy - including American policymaker attitudes towards new developments such as the Arab and North African revolutions - if they want to achieve this empowered status.

5. By remaining fragmented, afraid, reactionary, and distant in our attitudes and activities, we have ‘shot ourselves in the foot’ and done a tremendous disservice to our cause. This must change and can change. A capable leadership can offer effective agendas to work towards this paradigm shift, and this leadership is what we urgently need today.
We sincerely invite you to respond with your thoughts, as well as advice on how you can help our community towards these goals. I can be contacted via e-mail:-


Ruby Amatulla, Executive Director,
Matthew Cappiello, Outreach Director
Dr. Edip Yuksel, Mike Ghouse, Dr. M. Khan Kharoti,
Bill Aossey, Joe Aossey, Dr. Ahmed Mansour….. Board Members
Muslims for Peace, Justice and Progress

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.