It's become quite popular to brand Islam a backward and evil religion spawning all manner of violence and barbarity. Neocon pundits have pushed the idea of the "clash of civilizations" between the enlightened West and backward Islam.
Over the holidays, I was fortunate enough to be able to relax at Myrtle Beach with my family. Walking along the beach on Christmas Eve, I looked up and saw Venus shining brightly very close to the crescent moon. This, I had heard, was the Muslim symbol of peace. Somewhere, centuries ago, someone a half a world away looked up at this same sky with the same desire for peace. A small, quiet moment of shared brotherhood across time and space.
Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to be a part of an interfaith delegation for peace meeting with Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, my Congressman. One of my fellow committee members, Recco El-Amin of the Masjid Al-Inshirah, wrote a small message describing the Islamic viewpoint for world peace. I thought it powerful enough to scan and post here.
"In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
January 12, 2004
Interfaith Coalition for Peace
Nuclear Weapons Policy
Surah 99, Ayat 7 and 8. "Whosoever performs an atom's weight of good deed will see it (rewarded accordingly). And whosoever performs an atom's weight of evil shall see it".
Over 1400 years ago, the Holy qur' an had already discussed the weight and size of an atom in relationship to man's good deed. On the contrary, if one performs an evil deed compatible with the weight of an atom, one will be rewarded accordingly. It is the responsibility ofthe international community to research the mysteries of (atoms) atomic energy Inuclear energy and to discover their positive and negative effects and to implement its positiveness to the benefit of mapkind and not for their destruction.
Man should put in every effort within his capability to ensure total peace, happiness and prosperity of mankind based upon the fear of G-d and of course, rid the world of atomic and nuclear warfare. In their endeavor to establish this noble command of the Almighty G-d and should they put in an effort compared to the weight ofthe atom, they will be rewarded accordingly. This is the practical solution to the World's problems and crisis. What does Islam say on using weapons of mass destruction in combat? As I know, our religion is peace and it never encourages such brutality to be displayed during warfare. Remember the atomic bomb was what had 'earthquaked' Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We want to say also that Islam cares for keeping mankind, and the environment clean and pure so that man can lead a better natural and healthy life free from any diseases or illness that this calamity might bring.
A Security Perspective
Surah 16, Ayat 126. "And if you catch them out, catch them out no worse than they catch you out: But if you show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient."
It may be that each country, has it's own sets of controversies, human right struggles, disputes and fights, coupled with their international differences. But we believed that each country should take the best course that G-d has set with the strictest equity, that you are not entitled to give a worse blow than is given to you. But those who have reached a higher spiritual standard do not even do that. They restrain themselves, and are patient. Lest you should think that such patience only gives an advantage to the adversary, you are told that the contrary is the case: the advantage is with the patient, the self possessed, those who do not lose their temper or forget their own principles of conduct in war. It is those positions that we take that is known best to G-d. ."
Representative of the Office of
Iman Mutee Mulazim, of Masjid Al- Inshirah, Inc.
The Mosque Cares"
Thanks to Recco El-Amin for permission to post this.