Mr. Daniel Pipes recently in his papers: “The Danger Within Militant Islam in America” [published in Commentary of November 2001] and “Fighting Militant Islam, Without Bias” [published in CITY Journal, Autumn 2001, Vol. 11, No. 4] and latest in his Middle East analysis [published in New York Post of November 12, 2001] has allegedly pinpointed that persons like Imam Zaid Shakir, Imam Siraj Wahaj and the undersigned [Shamim A Siddiqi] are working to bring Islamic revolution in the USA through peaceful process and hence they are no better than persons like the [respected] Br. Omar Abdur Rahman [who is suffering a life long sentence for no fault of his own but for the prejudices prevailing in the Jewish lobby against Islam and Muslims]
From the aforesaid writings of Mr. Pipes, it appears that perhaps he is suffering form some kind of “determinism”. He thinks that he and his Jewish community is the sole proprietor of the USA and the rest are the “Goyim” and hence they have no right to exist on this earth. He forgets that all citizens of the USA have equal rights, irrespective of the fact whether he is a Jew, Christian or a Muslim. From the very outset he takes Islam as a “Militant” religion and hence when if it is established somewhere in this world, it would bring forth nothing but tyranny, oppression and a closed theocratic state. This is the creation of his imagination and the reflection of his prejudiced mental horizon that is surmounted with ignorance about Islam and the history of Muslims. He talks whimsically without logic and giving any substantial evidence as why Islam is so bad [in his opinion] and the Islamic system of life is not better than the lost communism or the prevailing capitalistic system or the liberal democracy? He is making a lot of hue and cry about the Islamic system of life even without making a comparative analytical study of capitalism, socialism and Islam, pinpointing the superiority of one over the other. This is the least that we expect from a learned scholar like Mr. Daniel.
Mr. Daniel forgets that Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed were all the Prophets of Islam. Prophet David, Solomon and Muhammad [Peace be upon them] established nothing but the Islamic State of their time. Islam is the common heritage of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim community of America and establishing the Kingdom of God on earth is the joint responsibility of all the three Abrahamic faiths. Islam [obedience to Allah] was the Deen [the way of life] both of the Jews and Christians but when they lost their Deen [system of life] through human innovations, they forgot their original name “Muslim” [who follows Islam] and preferred to be called as Jews and Christians. Now the Muslims want to remind their Jews and Christian brothers and sisters their original Deen, Al-Islam and their commitment to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. These are the facts of history. Can Mr. Pipes or anyone else deny these hard facts of our common heritage? If it were denied, it would be out of prejudices or out of ignorance about Islam and its continuous history from Adam down to Prophet Muhammad [Peace be upon all of them].
The Existing Human Condition:
Islam and the Islamic system of life or in other words the Kingdom of God on earth is the supreme need of time. Human problems are surmounting by leaps and bounds. There is no peace any where in this world. The human abode is full of thorny and ever increasing issues of global magnitude. Fundamental needs of man — food, drinking water, shelter, basic education and medical necessities, especially of the poor and downtrodden countries and regions of the world are lying unattended. More than two billion people of this globe are practically starving, hardly getting one meal a day. There are more than 32 million people in the USA alone who are poor by our own standard. The rich is getting richer and the poor is getting poorer day by day. Human rights are just for the privileged people of the liberal societies but are denied one way or the other to the vast human societies of Asia, Africa, Europe and America. Communism, capitalism and the liberal democracies of the world, in spite of their tall claims, have failed and failed bitterly in getting any of the human problems resolved. Rather, they have become an instrument in augmenting these basic problems manifold. Entire mankind is crying for peace, justice, equal opportunities and a world free of exploitation, hate and discrimination on account of color, race, language and geographical bounds but it is no where visible even on the horizon. Not a single cause of human anxiety and tension could be removed. These man made systems have filled the earth only with greed, exploitation, unethical morals unacceptable to the Abrahamic norms and imposition of the will of the haves over the have-nots. How long the scholars like Daniel Pipes would prefer to prolong the game of subjugation [neocolonialism] in different forms of human exploitation and the hegemony of remote control modern slavery through international financial institutions, WTO, multinational corporations and NGOs, socially, economically and politically? The time has come that this proxy game of socio-economic-political domination of the fortunate few over the unfortunate billions must come to an end. But the question arises: When and how?
In the present context of the world, Islam is the only alternative left with the suffering humanity to try its luck as all the secular man-made systems have failed to deliver good to mankind. But how and when it will be available? It is difficult to pronounce outright. It would come into existence through a long drawn out and a well-articulated peaceful process that I have discussed in detail in my different books that is now being misinterpreted by Mr. Daniel Pipes to suit “his Jihad“ against Islam and the Muslims of America. He has given a totally wrong turn to the tragic episode of September 11. In order to mislead the American people not to point their fingers towards the Jewish lobby of America and the Jewish State of Israel, he is unashamedly accusing Muslims and Islam to bear the burnt of it. He has used accusative language whimsically without any proof. This is called the travesty of the facts and I hope he will apologize for his concocted references and irresponsible allegations against the Muslims of America and our common heritage Al-Islam.
I would like to share very briefly the salient features of the Abrahamic faith with readers in order to remove the misgivings created, if any, by the writings of the scholars like Daniel Pipes and give an idea to the people of the land as how peacefully the establishment of the Kingdom of God proceeds and progresses in an evolutionary process.
Fundamentals of Abrahamic Faith
Islam at the very outset invites the people to accept the authority of their Creator and Sustainer, feel accountable to Him on the Day of Judgment for all their actions and deeds on earth, follow the pattern of life as demonstrated by the prophet of the time [now Prophet Muhammad as the model till eternity], take everything that humans possess as trust in their hands, remodel their character, moral behavior and individual life based on these concepts in order to fill the earth and the society in which they live with piety, kindness, compassion, care and concern for human beings and their sufferings. This approach creates a responsible, dependable and trustworthy character that human society needs in the present context of the world and not the irresponsible, reckless and selfish characters, the products of the materialistic systems of life that prevail around us.
Islam gives due emphasis on building human character and it is done on person-to-person basis. It builds the human society on dependable and trustworthy characters that Islam produces. Such society becomes a boon for mankind. It is a matter of freewill not of coercion and compulsion. If individuals by free will and free choice change themselves, who can stop them? It may take decades if not centuries to build such a benevolent human society based on Abrahamic faith and why persons like Daniel Pipes who should be an integral part of this process feel averse to it? How they will face their Creator and Sustainer is a big question for each of them to think before they breathe their last.
Working through this peaceful and constitutional process, inviting the people to the fold of their Creator and Sustainer for a considerable long time, the people of the land may prefer the Islamic way of life as a boon for the society and may resolve by themselves sometime in future to adopt it as a system of life, thereby paving the way towards establishing the promised Kingdom of God on earth.
Compatibility of Values:
The fundamental values of the USA’s individual human rights, family values, democratic process, religious tolerance, promoting social and economic justice at home and abroad, free market values, caring for the oppressed and the deprived, rendering services to the suffering humanity – and that of Islam, more or less, coincide with each other. If the concept of monotheism [oneness of God], the accountability on the Day of Judgment and that of Amanah [trust] and the life pattern of Muhammad as the model are accepted by the people of the land through peaceful persuasion, knowledge and understanding in depth the objective behind the creation of man and this universe, the American people by their own free choice may prefer one day to transform themselves as the most obedient to the will of God. It would be a turning point in the history of America and that of the world. With this transformation, the USA will stand for justice to all, uphold the human rights both at home and abroad, promote the Abrahamic family and moral values and fight for human rights at each level of human society. It would be a red-letter day for America and its people. The entire world, especially the downtrodden people and nations, the have-nots will love America and Uncle Sam will be greeted everywhere with open arms. That would be the zenith of American rise and fame in the community of nations. The golden era of the USA will dawn at that time. It is yet to come.
This is in brief the process through which the USA can repair its tarnished image; a nation that has double standard – one for the rich and one for the poor; a nation that stands for human rights but supports the undemocratic regimes throughout the world for the sake of its political and economic expediencies; a nation that correctly and justifiably condemns terrorism but connives with state terrorism of its close allies; a nation that loves freedom and liberty but keeps silence when the oppressed people fight to come out of their subjugation. The list of these anomalous situations is quite long and painstaking to elaborate. The establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth is the only way now to correct this situation. Will Mr. Daniel Pipes, instead of criticizing the emergence of Islam as a political entity, not help, work and cooperate with his mighty pen for the emergence of the era that would be a boon for the humanity, especially for the Jewish community that had enjoyed the golden period of its safety, peace and growth only when and where Islam was the system of the day. In its wake, terrorism will die its own death when the USA will deliver justice to the suffering humanity.
May God bless America and give its people courage and foresight to work hard for the establishment of the Kingdom of God. It is an obligation of the entire Judeo-Christian-Muslim community of America and they are to work together hand in hand to save their skin from the wrath of their Creator and Sustainer on the Day when each of us will be accountable before Him.