March 17, 2006

Why Use "Muslims Against Terrorism" Graphics?

American Muslims against TerrorismI got an e-mail today by a Muslim brother who asked about the "Muslims Against Terrorism" graphics that appear in the side columns of my blogs, and I felt that his letter and my response were important enough to be published. His letter appears in blue below.

"Muslims who follow Quraan and Sunnah are not in support of terror activity, period. No muslim who knows anytthing about Islam or has any fear of Allah (swt) should be involved in terror activity like we see today. The Quraan tells us clearly who we can wage war against and so does our beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Do we really need to say muslims from so and so against terrorism?"

I completely agree with your first three sentences. I would like to agree with your question, but I can't. I'll explain below.

"Should it not already be clear to all muslims and the world that real muslims would never attack women and children for no reason."

I believe this is clear to all Muslims, at least those who haven't fallen into errant thinking. Unfortunately, I can't say the same regarding the rest of the world. There are far too many non-Muslims who don't understand this, who tarnish all of us with their overbroad generalizations. I view my two graphics (the American and Singaporean Muslims Against Terrorism) as one educational method I can use for those non-Muslims who visit my blogs (and I do get many non-Muslims visitors). That's one of the reasons why those two graphics are so prominently placed, as close to the very top of the side column as I can put them so that they will be one of the first things people see when they pull up my blogs. In that regard, I do believe that using these graphics is beneficial in improving relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.

"I think we are implying that SOME muslims are for terrorism and i think this hurts Islam and muslims."

Without getting into the side argument of who is and isn't a Muslim (an issue that only Allah (swt) can properly judge), can't we say that those people who actually conduct the violence are "for terrorism?" Certainly they believe they are Muslim, as does the non-Muslim world. Yes, Islam and Muslims are being hurt, but this is due to *their* actions. You and I both know that Islam is a religion of peace, and we keep telling the non-Muslim world that this is so time and time again, yet our words become meaningless every time these people - whom the rest of the world perceives as being Muslim regardless of whether they really are Muslim or not - violate the tenets of Islam with their terrorist violence.

"I agree that sometimes Muslims do things that are wrong but i don't think we should use titles that divide us. We should all be known as MUSLIMS.... NOT American muslims or Black muslims or Arab muslims but simply muslims.."

Good point. Ironically, the man who came up with these graphics (another Singaporean Muslim) has not created a "generic" Muslims Against Terrorism graphic for anyone to use. Each of his graphics lists a specific country. Insha'allah, he'll create one that everyone can use, regardless of where they are in the Ummah.

Thanks for writing!


George Carty said...

I'm not convinced of the value of "Muslims Against Terrorism" graphics. After all, its not as if either the terrorists or the Islamophobes will take any notice...

b. said...


I have to agree w/you here, JD.

It's not about convincing anyone, really. Especially not terrorists or Islamophobes, two extremist groups who already have their minds made up. It's not an instant da'wah sticker (see and believe!). It illustrates the viewpoint of the particular blogger, and cannot be taken as more than that.

I don't know how many non-Muslim visitors I get to my own blog. Probably a fair share, though, since my blog is linked on my sister's blog (she's not Muslim). These are the people I want to communicate with -- ordinary Joes and Janes who have, perhaps, not exactly realized that Muslims are not a monolithic organization and/or are capable of independant thought and action. The degree of misinformation out there is truly staggering. I can't change much, but maybe I can add just the tiniest push in the right direction.