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I’ve signed this “Muslim American Declaration” as a statement of principles.
Arwi, aziz, and svend are discussing. Toggle Comments
@zack_a and @thabet1979 dismissed it “weird” and a “loyalty test”. I don’t see it as a loyalty test, I see it as a much needed affirmation driven by genuine civic pride and nationalism. Given the different milieu that muslims experience in the US versus the UK, I suppose it’s not surprising that the reasoning behind teh declaration might be foreign to a UK-based muslim, but from our perspective it’s really quite simple: we are under attack by a concerted and well-funded smear campaign, and we must respond.
Pretending that we don’t have a PR problem on principle alone will only widen the gulf. We must act in good faith. And we do.
I’ll admit that I’m of two minds on this. I certainly get tired of indulging misinformed (or even outright bigoted) perceptions of Americans Muslims as disloyal or extremist with endless reaffirmations of basic human (to say nothing of American) values, but however one feels about the fairness of the MSM/Beltway conversation about Muslims and Islam there are undeniably serious perception and communication gaps that ultimately threaten us all (Muslim Americans by depriving them of equality and non-Muslim Americans by dumbing down the political process in ways that encourage self-defeating choices domestically and internationally).
With all the misinformation that’s out there I think it’s often necessary to do the opposite, unapologetically turning the tables and debunking misconceptions, but there’s no getting around the necessity of addressing (and periodically re-addressing, sadly) the concerns that normal people have, rightly or wrongly. There are some people who’ll never be satisfied and who’ll idiotically label this as “taqiyya” (or as Lady Macbeth protesting too much), it’s true, but this isn’t about them. This about reaching the many well-meaning people who have reached a point where they instinctively distrust Muslims because all they ever hear about us is negative. You’re unlikely to plant the seeds of dialogue with them by being defensive, even if it’s eminently justified in many cases.
Yasir Qadhi also has a piece that might also be uncharitably called a “loyalty oath” (we are muslims, we are safe, harmless, etc). It’s a good piece. See:
The mention of Muslims in teh Civil War made me curious, and a few clicks away I discovered Hadji Ali aka Hi Jolly.
I think the Hi Jolly Statement of Principles would be more appealing. Truth, justice and Camelmania, perhaps?
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