On Friday, February 12, 2016, Al-Talib Newsmagazine held a panel discussion that addressed ways different groups both within and beyond the Muslim community can unite to combat Islamophobia and discrimination. The guest panelists present included Qasim Rashid and Amatus Sami, both of whom represent minority groups within the Muslim community. Below are 11 key points that were shared with the audience, each of which is a powerful assertment in reclaiming the narrative of American Muslims. The 11 points along with their descriptions are annotated from the original list found on www.trueislam.com. Please check out this website and endorse the points!
True Islam is a religion that:
- Wholly Rejects all forms of Terrorism
True Islam rejects all acts of terrorism. The Holy Quran forbids Muslims from creating disorder in the world: “Do not go about committing iniquity in the earth and causing disorder” (29:37); “They seek to create disorder, and Allah loves not those who create disorder” (5:65); “Seek not to create disorder in the earth. Verily, God loves not those who seek to create disorder” (28:78).
- Believes in Non-Violent Jihad of the Self and of the Pen
True Islam recognizes that jihad means to struggle and strive in good works to attain nearness to God. True Islam teaches that violent jihad has no place in today’s world. The Holy Quran declares, “…whosoever killed a person…it shall be as if he had killed all mankind” (5:33). The Holy Quran explicitly places equal value on all human life.
- Believes in the equality, education, and empowerment of women
True Islam recognizes the equity and spiritual equality of men and women. The Holy Quran declares, “But whoso does good works, whether male or female, and is a believer, such shall enter heaven…” (4:125). According to true Islam, the most important goal and greatest objective of a human being is to attain righteousness and nearness to God—and both men and women have equal capacities in achieving this goal.
- Advocates Freedom of Conscience, Religion and Speech
True Islam teaches that every human being has the right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion without the threat of coercion or punishment. This understanding stems directly from the Holy Quran, which clearly declares, “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:257).
- Advocates for the Separation of Mosque and state
True Islam teaches that Islam advocates separation of mosque and state. The Holy Quran does not endorse a specific form of government, but instead requires that justice oversee whatever form is used: “Verily, God commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that, when you govern between men, you judge with justice” (4:59).
- Believes in Loyalty to your Country of Residence
True Islam requires a Muslim’s loyalty and obedience to their respective country of residence and laws. The Holy Quran states, “O you who believe, obey God and obey the Prophet and obey those in authority from among you” (4:60).
- Encompasses the Universal declaration of Human Rights
True Islam values all human life, recognizing universal human rights as a fundamental tenet of Islam. True Islam emphasizes that mankind’s equality derives from man sharing a Single Creator and rejects any notion of racial or ethnic superiority. The Holy Quran states, “O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and we have made you tribes and subtribes that you may know one another. Verily the most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely Allah is All Knowing, All Aware” (49:14). Therefore, true Islam rejects any concept of inequality in mankind, and instead encompasses the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Believes in All Verses of the Qur’an and Forbids Lying
True Islam teaches that every verse of the Holy Quran is valid and that there are no superfluous or contradictory verses. The Holy Quran states it contains “no excess” (6:39)
- Recognizes No Religion can Monopolize Salvation
True Islam recognizes that no one religion holds a monopoly over salvation because God is most Gracious and ever Merciful. The Holy Quran clearly supports this belief as it declares, “Surely, those who believe and the Jews and the Christians and the Sabians—whichever party from among these truly believes in God and the Last Day and does good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve” (2:63).
- Believes in the Need for Unified Muslim Leadership
True Islam believes in unified spiritual leadership to peacefully guide Muslims. Indeed, the Holy Qur’an implores Muslims to promote peace by remaining united, “Hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah and be not divided; and remember the favour of Allah which He bestowed upon you when you were enemies and He united your hearts in love, so that by His grace you became brothers; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire and He saved you from it.” (3:104)
- Wholly Rejects the Concept of a Bloody Messiah
True Islam rejects the concept of a bloody Messiah. The Holy Quran states that any “Messenger is only responsible for the clear conveying of the Message” (29:19). This verse demonstrates that each prophet is sent to simply convey a message and cannot resort to force. Throughout the history of mankind, no prophet of God ever engaged in the bloody feats that extremists attribute to the second coming of the Messiah. The real task assigned to the awaited Messiah in this prophecy is to lovingly guide mankind away from inhumane behavior and toward guidance.
Thank you to those who came out to this event. Please do not forget to visit trueislam.com and endorse all of the 11 points; and most importantly, share them with our fellow community members to educate them on the true narrative of our faith. Jazakallah khair!