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We often here some non-Muslims rant on about how Muslims are not doing enough to fight against terrorism and extremism in their communities. However, this has no basis, in fact, Muslims are doing a lot of work in this area but the media refuses to cover it. Following are just a handful of examples:
- On November 30, 2007, leaders from the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities launched the United To Protect campaign at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington D.C. The partnership is grounded on an interfaith condemnation of terrorism and an affirmation of the need to protect the United States and its people.
- Al-Maghrib Institute’s theme for their annual event, called Ilmfest, last year in 2010 was ‘religious extremism’ where the speakers talked openly about jihad and how the extremists misunderstand it and Shaykh Waleed Basyouni gave a beautiful lecture on what the scholars of the past said about it. And this is something that they have done persistently, for example, they also had two talks by Shaykh Waleed in their 2009 Ilmfest event two years ago entitled, Reclaiming Islam From The Extremists and Violence In The Name of God. Both of these videos are available on youtube.
- Yasir Qadhi wrote an article for Muslimmatters.org entitled The Lure of Radicalism and Extremism Amongst Muslim Youth, which caused quite a stir among radical websites.
- The website here lists over a 100 links to Muslim scholars, activists and organizations condemning and speaking against violence in the name of Islam as a response to non-Muslim claims that Muslims are not doing enough to condemn terrorism. And according to CBS News article entitled, Muslim Scholars Condemn Terror, that the Muslims have consistently condemned terrorism and disassociated themselves with it.
- Imam Magid, current ISNA president from the ADAMS community in Sterling, VA, spoke out against religious extremism and those who call to it among Muslims in the youtube video entitled American Muslim Scholars Speak Out. Imam Magid also wrote a neat article for Huffington Post entitled Muslims Must Stand Up Against the Horrific Attacks Against Christians in Nigeria.
- On September 10, 2011, a group of Muslim scholars, intellectuals and activists did a large conference in Washington D.C. They talked on issues of extremism and what American Muslims should be striving for as citizens of the United States. The conference was entitled United For Change and you can view Yasir Qadhi’s excellent speech during it attacking extremism entitled Mobilizing the Muslim Youth: Strengthening Faith, Fostering Action.
- The ICNA organization responded to Anwar Al-Awlaki’s radical remarks in an article entitled ICNA Shariah Council Responds to Al Awlaki directing it towards the Muslim youth. And if you see the comments below it from readers, it is clear that the radicals did not appreciate the response very well.
- Dr. Essam Omeish, a surgeon and Islamic activist in Northern Virginia who also served as the President of the Muslim American Society (MAS), took part in a MAS organized press conference on July 25, 2005 on the Muslim response to terrorism.
- Shaykh Salman Al-Oadah, a prominent preacher in Saudi Arabia with a large following in the country and outside, delivered an open and blunt address to Osama bin Laden live on MBC, a widely watched Middle Eastern television network, on September 14, 2007. The whole text of the address can be read on Islamtoday’s website. In it, Salman Al-Oadah condemns Osama for his actions and his use of violence against innocent civilians. It is important to note that Shaykh Salman is also an ex-mentor to Osama bin Laden as indicated in the New York Time’s piece on his address entitled His Mentor Turns on Bin Laden.
- Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf Islahi, a chief patron of Project WhyIslam from Pakistan and a very well known writer and orator of Urdu language, strongly condemned violent actions from terrorists in this message and pointed out that Islam, “condemns this act and sees this is as a wounding scar on the face of humanity. I appeal to Muslims to strongly condemn this act, express unity with the victims’ relatives, donate blood, money and do whatever it takes to help the affected people.”
- CNN posted an article entitled Study: Threat of Muslim-American terrorism in U.S. exaggerated. The study showed that “Muslim-American organizations and the vast majority of individuals that we interviewed firmly reject the radical extremist ideology that justifies the use of violence to achieve political ends.” The article also quotes Charles Kurzman, professor of sociology at UNC, stating, “Muslim-American communities have been active in preventing radicalization.” Also “it is the Muslim-American communities themselves who play a large role in keeping the number of radicalized members low through their own practices, according to the study. Leaders and Muslim-American organizations denounce violent acts, for instance, in messages that have weight within communities.”