From Basic Islam to 9/11: Muslim Woman in Baltimore addresses non-Muslims

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From Basic Islam to 9/11: Muslim Woman in Baltimore addresses non-Muslims
10/26/01 at 23:08:06

Jamaat al-Muslimeen International Press Release

Non-Muslim Audience Amazed at Muslim Woman's Honest Talk on Islam
Constant Brainwashing by Major Media has left Americans Ignorant of Islam

"For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him who created the
heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah." (6:79)

(Sis. Yasmeen is a university student, a hijabi Muslimah,  well-versed in
Islam and in modern social science. Her father is Pakistani and her mother
White American. Widely travelled, she is fearless in her expression of the
truth of Islam. The following is a summary of her presentation to non-Muslim
teachers and students at a school in Baltimore, Maryland.) (We present it as
a good example for those who want to inform Americans who are interested in
the truth of Islam.)

Sis. Yasmeen began by letting the audience know who she was, and where
shecame from, and what she is doing now.  She also told them that she was
just going to speak from the heart (because in fact she hadn't formally
prepared anything to say.)  She also invited questions, which she got,
immediately into the session so it turned into more of a question answer

Here are the main points  discussed:

1.  She provided some background information on the religion, and the fact
that it is not confined to one hour of prayer on Friday, but that it is a
system of living  multidimensional  that encompasses and regulates daily
activities, economic, political, and social.  This includes all human
interactions: how we treat our parents, how we treat our neighbors, and how
we treat non-Muslims.  Definition of Islam: Peace through submission to God.
Definition of a Muslim. Etc.  That she finds it strange when the news labels
something "Islamic terrorism"  - that it is an oxymoron: "Peaceful terror."
2.  She then went on to discuss fundamental pillars of Islam, basic beliefs,
etc.  She emphasized the fact that we accept the long tradition of prophets
that started with Abraham, (and even before him Adam), to Prophet Muhammed
(pbuh)  whom we consider as the Seal of the Prophets.  She also went over
the basic sources of Islamic law and Jurisprudence (Al Quran and the
3.  She briefly touched on the extraordinary levels of tolerance in Islam 
that if Islam was not tolerant, we would not see pockets of Christians and
Jews in predominantly Muslim countries today.  She gave the example of the
Indian subcontinent, which was for centuries ruled by Muslims but remained
Hindu.  She also gave the example of the Jews that were taken in by Turkey
when Ferdinand drove them (along with all the Muslims) out of Spain during
the time of the Spanish Inquisition.  Conversion by the sword is a myth, and
not true conversion  there is no compulsion in Islam.  Where Muslims are
fighting in the world today, they are fighting for the right to
self-determination, freedom of religion, etc.
4.  She then dived into Jihad  - mainly providing an idea of the scope of
jihad and the importance and significance of jihad.  She told the students
that Jihad has been mis-interpreted as "Holy War"  - when in fact, if we
to take Holy war and translate it back into Arabic we would have "Al harbu
mussadaqatu" not Jihad.  Jihad is struggle of any kind in the way of Allah
(SWT).  This can mean struggle against temptation (such as Prophet Abraham
experienced by Satan), or armed struggle (such as in defense of home land,
for basic religious freedoms, against general oppression.)  She gave the
example of Palestine  struggling against the oppressive and well-armed
Israeli government.  Chechnya  where chemical weapons, such as blister
agents- have been used by Russia against a population struggling for
self-determination.  Kashmir  struggling against the oppression and
aggression of the Indian govt.  etc.  She also stated that Islamic
involving warfare are very specific: and that women and children and the
elderly are not to be targeted, nor are trees to be disturbed, or plants or
animals harmed.  That even in the case of warfare, restraint is encouraged,
and considered an expiation of a person's individual sins.  Furthermore, she
said we have in the example of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) a guideline for
dealing with oppression: migration, and then when migration is not enough,
armed struggle.  But even in armed struggle, the Prophet (pbuh) who is our
model forgave a woman (Hind) who ate the heart of his uncle on the
battlefield, and Salahuddin Ayubi, who allowed the Latins to leave Jerusalem
peacefully after taking the city.  So, it is in our tradition to show
justice, and strive towards a just peace.
5.  Then she discussed Sept 11th raising the following points:
i.  Nothing happens in a vacuum.
ii. We need to understand "why" critically
iii.    While the losses were considerable  we (Americans) have been
directly involved in the loss of human lives in Iraq (over a million
in the past 10 years), indirectly in Israel (weapons turned against
defenseless Palestinians), and have sat and watched as atrocities have
out in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kashmir, and Chechnya.  She raised the point that
8,000 women and children were killed in Sbrenicia by Serbian troops wearing
crosses, and we never held a candle light vigil for them and their families.
She expressed concern over our sense of humanity  particularly in light of
the starvation death of over a million children in Iraq.  Innocent children.
Dead.  And when asked about this  the gross effect of sanctions, Madeline
Albright said that "it was a difficult choice to make, but I believe it was
the right one."
She also spoke of the Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon and the mass
murders that occurred there  also predominantly women and children and the
elderly  over 17,500.  I said that this is the perception of the US in the
Muslim world.  The US is not a power that fights for enduring freedom, but
is a power that fights for its own strategic and economic goals.
iv. She emphasized the need to look at a broader picture, and place things
perspective.  She was asked about the Palestinians celebrating after the
World Trade Center bombing, and she said that they probably felt, "For the
first time, maybe the US will understand the terrorism that we go through on
a daily basis."

Main questions asked:
1.  How does Islam justify the events Sept 11 if it is a religion of peace?

2.  Are there different interpretations of the Quran?
3.  Are their contradictions in the Quran?
4.  What about the different Qurans found in Yemen; is the Quran truly
5.  What do you think about Osama Bin Laden's statement that all Americans
are legitimate targets?
6.  What does Islam say on a woman's role in society?  What about the
Talibaan?  What about hijab?
7.  What do you think about the Quran justifying the killing of Jews?
8.  How are you treated as an American Muslim abroad?


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