| ||Dear Respected Sir/Madam:|
As a concerned citizen, I would like to take a few minutes and share my views on the film Third Jihad and the response of Clarion Fund to the NY Times Article. I acknowledge the strong possibility that the people in this organization may not be open to a point of view other than their own or the one established by your organization, but I encourage anyone reading this to honestly consider my response.
Raphael Shore said that "Those that have blasted the film are attempting to stifle an important debate about the internal state of the Muslim community in America, and whether politicized Islam and indoctrination pose tangible security threats."
There is no stifling of any debate by "blasting" this film, there is only a continuation of it. There is a stifling however, when one source and only once source (i.e- this film) is used, and in secret, to indoctrinate hundreds of police officers. The very police officers who are supposed to be protecting the rights of all citizens, Muslim citizens included. How will the rights of Muslim citizens be protected if the security forces are trained to find us all suspicious?
Numerous psychological experiments have shown that mere exposure to a stimulus, positive or negative, will create a permanent impression on a person and that decisions are made with little or no cognition, only personal feelings of "like" or "dislike" that cannot be rationalized or moved once an impression has been made (Ref: Robert Zajonc). So that begs the question, were the NYPD officers even given the chance to understand mainstream Islam, as practiced by a majority of Muslims in NYC before or even after watching this film? Was there even a consideration of the possible psychological effects this would have on the officers?
There are so many different ways Islam is practiced. This has mainly to do with the ongoing debates on theological jurisprudence, something that only scholars of Islam have the intellectual right to debate because these people have been studying the religious texts for their entire lives, something even the most devout Muslim cannot begin to compare to. A layperson can accept or reject the different understanding of Islam using their own ability to rationalize the arguments if they have the ability to do so OR by following Islam the way it is practiced by their family, imam, or community. Politicized Islam exists only in the minds of those who perceive Islam to be a political movement. The only two groups that perceive this are either (a) a group of Muslims so small they should be trivialized unless provoked (for obvious reasons) (b) corrupt politicians from countries where the majority of the population is Muslim (only because they benefit from this ideology in this world at the cost their own souls in the hereafter) or (c) the Americans/Europeans who believe this small group to be a threat because of the widespread circulation of fear. All three groups actively practice ignorance.
Islam is NOT a political movement. Islam is a guide for those who need spiritual uplifting, for those who seek to live a life of moderation, for those who want to worship their Creator appropriately. But don't take my word for it, actually try to read the Quran, even if it just means skimming through. If someone is concerned about the "violence" in Islam, I encourage them to actually look into the Quran and the translation. There is no need to buy the actual text, one can simply go to www.quran.com and search the word "kill" to see where the word comes up and what context it is used in. I also encourage taking a look at all the translations available in order to get a thorough understanding. Slight variations occur due to scholarly debate about the meaning of the ancient Arabic dialect, but it all essentially means the same thing. Additionally, I hate to repeat rhetoric, but the truth is that all three Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity, Judaism) have some mention of violence, some mention of domination, some mention of spreading the religion. But if the most radical, least practiced view of any religion is viewed under a microscope and perceived to be a threat, it will be a great tool of paranoia and fear.
All the money and energy being spent into this movie, training the officers, and the ongoing "War on terrorism" is being terribly misplaced. The likelihood that a terrorist attack taking innocent lives will occur is so minute, and yet there is very little time and money being spent on things that really kill people, like heart disease and diabetes which could be prevented if (for example) we subsidized organic food instead of genetically modified corn or made films that encouraged young adults to exercise regularly/moderately (and then played them on a loop in offices and classrooms). Of course, I also understand that this organization and many others like it may be the only source of revenue for the people in it, and in this economy, anything that puts bread on the table (or a yacht in the bay) will suffice regardless of the questionable morality.
The last point I want to make is that there cannot possibly be a debate on the "internal state" of the Muslim community without violation of their right to practice Islam freely, and their right to privacy. I don't think there is a debate on the "internal state" of Christian, Jewish or Hindu communities. If you want to know about Muslim communities, then maybe people should watch "All-American Muslim" or "Little Mosque on the Prairie" or poll people who have Muslim friends on how much of a threat they think their Muslim friends are or honestly befriend real life Muslims from various backgrounds without the intention to create a bomb and then frame them for it. So please stop spreading the message of the minute threat of extremist Islam as if it was a huge issue and let American Muslims practice Islam in peace. We're not bothering anyone except the people that are haunted by your message. Most Americans don't even live near Muslims to feel threatened by their presence in America without the help of propaganda, so why are people like you making things difficult for your fellow law-abiding, neighbor-loving, family folk by encouraging Americans to hate us for no reason except fear?
With all that said, I can only hope that my response has made a dent in the fixed hearts and minds of some while encouraging the open minded. I honestly can't say it pleases me to write any of this, but as a Muslim, when I see something wrong I have to try my best to fix it. As a Muslim American, when I see my communities rights being violated and misconceptions being circulated, it is my duty to speak up.
Thank you for your time and patience.
City College '13
Assalamualaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuhu(May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be with you)
I wrote this email to email@example.com after reading their response to the NY Times article about the Islamophobic propaganda film they made called "Third Jihad" which was screened for over a 1000 NYPD personnel.
| ||Posted 1/26/2012 1:43 PM - 56 Views - 0 eProps - 0 comments|
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