Monday, October 16, 2006

On the Issues

On Islam
"To more than a billion Muslims worldwide, Islam is a religion that teaches tolerance, freedom and compassion. Those who understand Islam and know Muslims as friends and colleagues realize that Islam is one of the three Abrahamic faiths and that Muslims are contributing members of societies around the world.”

On Interfaith Respect
“Like the Caliph Umar who refused to pray in a Jerusalem church because his followers might then be tempted to turn it into a mosque, Muslims have a religious duty to respect and protect all houses of worship.”

“It is time for the majority of Muslims, Christians and Jews to stand up and say they will not let the fringe of any faith group dictate how they view and interact with each other.”

On Praying for Others
“We call on all people of faith to pray for …the health and safety of all those worldwide who are suffering as the result of natural or man-made disasters.”

On Dealing with Detractors and Hatred
Citing Prophet Muhammad’s example: “When he was attacked personally and abused by people who ridiculed him, when he became powerful he forgave these people. He counseled his companions not to punish and not to torture.”

On Al-Qaeda
”In light of the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we feel the need to once again condemn and repudiate Al-Qaeda and its myopic worldview…For the last five years, Al-Qaeda has offered nothing but a future filled with endless violence and division.”

"…we will not allow terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda to be the voice of Muslims or the representation of Islam to the rest of the world.”

"Al-Qaeda's worldview is a complete distortion of Islam because Islamic teachings clearly state that the killing of one innocent life is the moral equivalent of the killing of all humanity.

"As Muslims, we will continue to condemn Al-Qaeda and ensure that the rest of the world learns the true message of Islam and its teachings of peace, justice and compassion for all."

On Terrorism
"Notwithstanding the fact that there are legitimate political grievances in the Muslim world today, Islam has never, and will never, justify the killing of innocent civilians in order to achieve political or religious goals.

"My position and CAIR's position is extremely clear - we condemn suicide bombings."

On Building Bridges
"CAIR and other national American Muslim groups stand ready to help build bridges of understanding between America and the Islamic world."

On the 2006 Lebanon Conflict
"How many more innocent lives must be lost before America acts to reign in Israel's brutal campaign of state terror in Lebanon. Our nation's uncritical and unjustified support for Israeli attacks on civilians in Lebanon and Gaza is beyond all moral bounds and is out of sync with American public opinion."

On the Holocaust
“I think we have to honor the memory those who were killed and persecuted regardless of the victim and regardless of the vicitimizer. I think the Holocaust is a lesson for all of us to learn and we cannot mock it, we cannot deny it.”

On Sectarian Violence
“The atrocious attack on the Askariya shrine [in Iraq] is an obvious attempt to incite sectarian violence. The Iraqi people, and Muslims worldwide, must not fall into the trap set by those who seek division and mutual hatred.”

On FBI-Muslim Community Relations
“[A meeting with FBI Deputy Director John Pistole] offered an opportunity to improve lines of communication and to increase mutual cooperation on issues related to national security and the prevention of hate crimes,”

On Public Service
“We have to serve the public. Allah (swt) described the Prophet (s) as a public servant to mankind: ‘We have not sent you except as a mercy to mankind.’ It is a strategic obligation on Muslims in the West to prove that they are a mercy and blessing to Australia, to America, to Europe because you are there and you have to touch people’s hearts through your service. We say in the West ‘if you would like to be a leader, you have to be a servant’ because leadership is service. We cannot just ask people to be sympathizers and understanding of Islam if we ourselves do not live Islam and touch people’s hearts as a neighbour, as a classmate, as a co-worker, as friends around us.”


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