For Muslims , the whole post 9/11 era has been one of immense stress and trauma, with a well-orchestrated Islamophobic campaign demonising and maligning them and their beloved religion.A more worrying factor, however, has been the damage caused to the spirit and soul of the Muslim Ummah as a consequence of the post 9/11 era. It has engulfed us in a defeatist, apologetic mentality. It is saddening to note the effects on our ability to engage in reflective thinking, on how it has muted our voices against oppression and injustice and our sense of apology has deprived us of the courage to project a positive image of Islām in a world depleted of good morals. The world has begun to expect Muslims in general to assume collective guilt and offer an apology for any act of violence committed by persons or groups purportedly sporting a Muslim name, regardless of their character or lifestyle.
O Muslims!!No matter what the disbelievers may do or say,don’t fear and feel embarrassed or awkard. Stand up and be strong men and women! Be glad of our beautiful deen, which is the religion of Allah and the religion of truth.
Allah has said in the Holy Qur’an,
“This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islám as your religion.” (Qur’an 5:3)
And Allah says,
And believe in what I have sent down confirming that which is [already] with you, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And do not exchange My signs for a small price, and fear [only] Me. (Qur’an 2:41)
I do not wish to insult or hurt anyone. What I want is to encourage all of us in this difficult time to be strong, to remember our priorities as Muslims, and not to be afraid. Do not be discouraged. Let us hold our heads high and our shoulders straight. Let us be happy that Allah has blessed us with Islam. Let us fear Allah more than we fear the people.Islam is a religion of peace. Everything in Islam centers around submission to God. We practice brotherhood and sisterhood, and we work on our spirituality. We believe Islam is the true religion. It promotes justice and equality for human beings everywhere. There is nothing in our Islam of which we are ashamed of or anxious about defending.Don’t Apologize for Islam.You may think you are doing something good by apologizing, but the disbelievers will presume that you are guilty.We have done nothing wrong. We have nothing to apologize for. We have nothing to be ashamed of..!!!
The World Trade Center was not attacked by Islam, it was attacked by individuals. Their religious persuasion is irrelevant. Does Christianity apologize for Timothy McVeigh? Does Christianity apologize for the Reverend Jim Jones, the KKK, Nazism, colonialism, or slavery? Christianity does not apologize for these atrocities because Christianity did not commit them, individuals committed them.
• Don’t apologize for the Taliban, because the Taliban have nothing to do with our practice of Islam in the West.
• Don’t apologize for “Islamic fundamentalism,” because there’s nothing wrong with practicing the fundamental tenets of Islam.
• Don’t apologize for the Palestinians, because the Palestinians are our brothers and sisters who we love and who have been horribly oppressed.
• Don’t apologize for Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Libya. In every case what was done to these nations by the West is far out of proportion to any wrongs they may have committed.
This need to apologize stems from a deep inferiority complex which binds many Muslims. Most of the Muslim world was colonized by the West after the collapse of the Khilafah, and many Muslims still harbor the inferiority complexes that are typical of colonized peoples. The hallmarks of that inferiority complex are shame of one’s own religious background, despite for one’s co-religionists, and pure admiration of the colonizer. The inferiority complex expresses itself in a pleading tone of voice: “See Mr. Westerner, I’m not a bad, religious Muslim like those people, I’m a good, westernized Muslim! I’m not a crazy fundamentalist, I’m a secularist like you. Pleaaaase, Mr. Westerner, approve of me…”.Trust me,they will never truly approve of us, nor will they ever fully accept us. As Allah says in Qur’an,
And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion. Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance.” If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against Allah no protector or helper. (Qur’an 2:120)
So,stop defending Islam, as if ISLAM is a criminal and needs a defense attorney. I realize that those who are doing this have the best of intentions, but when we continually defend a thing, people come to believe that it is culpable. When we constantly proclaim our innocence, people begin to suspect our guilt.Instead of defending Islam, promote it. Discuss the beauty of Islam, its power, and its truth. Be positive, not negative. Be self-assured, not defensive.
However, if we present an image of strength and confidence, and if we express the truth of Islam in our actions, I guarantee that even if they do not approve of us, they will respect us.Prominent Islamist thinker Syed Qutb condemned this apologetic discourse as defeatist and equating those who apologised for Islām with Orientalists, Crusaders and Zionists. He says,
‘There is nothing in our Islam of which we are ashamed or anxious about defending; there is nothing in it to be smuggled out the people with deception or do we muffle the loud truth which it proclaims . This is the defeatist mentality , defeated before the West, and before the East and before this and that mode of Jahiliyyah.’
Thus, in order to inspire the regeneration of the Muslim Ummah, it is imperative that Muslims free themselves entirely from the spirit of apology for their dīn and take time to reflect without reacting in ways which will further aggravate the situation. We must confront ‘alternative views’ intellectually, be proud of our rich Islamic legacy and should endeavour to preserve this difference as a precious quality and pronounce it boldly to the world. No civilisation can prosper, or even exist, after having lost pride in itself and the connection with its own past, let alone commit the folly of destroying their own social institutions in order to imitate a foreign civilisation – foreign not only in an historical or a geographical sense but also in a spiritual sense. The European Renaissance is one prime example. Europe did accept Islamic/Arab influences in the matter and method of learning, but it did not imitate the outward appearance and spirit of Arabian culture and nor did it sacrifice its own intellectual and aesthetic independence.
More than anything, though, we should be putting our trust in Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) Who has promised help to those who struggle in the cause of truth, justice and against oppression. Mūsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) relied on Allāh’s help when being confronted by Pharaoh’s army at the Nile and our Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) too acted similarly in Cave Thaur during his Hijrah to Madīnah. Of course, Allāh has also warned that He will not change the condition of a people until they change themselves.
Muslims should shed the victim mentality that holds them back from taking practical steps towards reforming the societies they live in. Islām can no longer afford to remain an empty form under the impact of new ideas and conflicting cultural currents. We Muslims must regain our lost confidence, connect to our greater Islamic vision, join with people with common goals and work towards a world free of hate and social injustice. Islām expects nothing less.The apologists and defenders expend all of their energy proclaiming what Islam is not, while never bothering to explain what Islam is.I don’t think I need to elaborate too much,because we all know what is beautiful, powerful and wonderful about Islam. Present these aspects of Islam in your talks with the non-Muslims. Talk about such issues as:
- The importance of worshipping Allah alone.
- Commandments and Message of Qur’an to Mankind.
- The forgiveness which Allah offers to all his servants.
- Honoring all the Prophets, including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).
- The noble character of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).The incredible changes that Islam brought to the jahiliyy Arabs.
- The miraculous nature and beauty of the Holy Qur’an. Islam’s golden history and its influence upon the modern world.
- Brotherhood and sisterhood in Islam.
- Islam’s emphasis on justice, fairness and racial equality.
- The importance of mercy and forgiveness in Islam.
- Sincerity in Islam.
- The significance of prayer, fasting, Zakat and Hajj.
- Your personal experience with Islam and what it has done for you.
Let these issues define Islam in the minds of your listeners. Remember, don’t apologize or defend. Rather, control the forum and present a beautiful picture of Islam.
And may Allah guide us to the best of deeds at all times.