Ramadan: The Best Time To Discuss America’s Growing Anti-Muslim Sentiment

ramadanThe holy month of Ramadan represents the time when Muslims rededicate themselves to their faith and the practice of Islam (the religion of peace, “Islam” means “Peace” in Arabic). It is also a time to educate the world on what Islam is about.

Propagating one’s faith is the American way. Americans invoke God in everything they do, whether they believe in a supreme being or not. The real reality is that America is not a Christian nation. America has no national religion. The Constitution bans a national religion.

Christianity is the dominant religion in the United States, in its various strands, but less than a majority of the nation’s population practice any form of Christianity. America is supposed to be a nation that espouses religious tolerance to practice (or not to practice) one’s religious beliefs. Only two-thirds of the nation practices any religion at all.

Most cultural practices in America go against the seven things God hates, revealed to us in Proverbs (6:16-19);

  • Arrogant eyes,
  • A lying tongue,
  • Hands that shed innocent blood,
  • A heart that plots wicked schemes,
  • Feet eager to run to evil,
  • A lying witness that gives false testimony and
  • One who stirs up trouble among his brothers.

The promotion of violence, sex, materialism, truth relativism and false witnessing puts American culture in direct opposition to the will of God and it has produced the manifestation of God’s seven deadly sins, also known as “capital vices” or what we call “Cardinal Sins:” Greed, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth, Pride, Lust and Wrath.

Greed is considered the mother of all sin, but wrath (revenge) is the center of most dissent. God’s wrath is different from man’s wrath. God’s wrath comes from abundant sins against society. Man’s wrath is often sin committed against another (revenge). Religious warfare is the biggest sin against society as man’s constant battle to insist “Who has the biggest God?” causes societies to fall over their insistence that no other belief exists other than their own.

The more interesting reality about religion is that when it comes to beliefs outside American’s dominant belief, all other beliefs are not protected against persecution in the same way. An act of a single so-called believer indicts the whole group. America is becoming more and more anti-Muslim because of this mindset. The demonization of Muslims in America must stop. Ramadan can serve as the teaching moment now that another anti-Islamic conversation is talking place.

Never was anti-Muslim sentiments more evident than the recent conversation around building a mosque near the New York Twin Towers site (so-called 9/11 site…but there were several sites attacked on 9/11). Detractors have almost called the construction of the site sacrilege, an attack on the memory of those who died on that fated day in 2001.

But the mosque isn’t being built on the site, or even across the street from the site. It’s being built a couple blocks from the site. It’s almost like there is some sort of “no Muslim zone” being created. How close is too close? Moreover, how far is too far? Six blocks? One mile? The island of Manhattan?

Pushing a Muslim mosque out of the vicinity of the twin towers will do what? Just as Christians are allowed to pray anywhere, Muslims should be allowed to do so also. President Barack Obama said as much at a White House Ramadan dinner.

The problem is that the whole 9/11 conversation has become about “Muslims trying to change our (American) way of life.” Thus, Muslims are not to be trusted in American society and to be verbally attacked whenever possible so that Islam never becomes an acceptable religious practice in America.

You have ideologues like Newt Gingrich saying building a mosque near the twin tower site is tantamount to building a Nazi building next to a Holocaust site, or building a Japanese memorial at Pearl Harbor. The intent here is to create a permanent stigma against Islam. Islam scholars and believers have repeatedly stated that those involved in the 9/11 killings were not Muslims, because Muslims do not shed innocent blood.

It’s like a person who calls themselves Christian and commits a murderous act. Are all Christians now to be distrusted because one committed an act fraudulently in the name of Jesus (it has happened)? No, they’re not. So why should Muslims continue to be persecuted for something non-Muslims, acting in un-Islamic ways, have done. Only ignorance allows it.

Yet, the political right is trying to ratchet up the religious rhetoric and force another confrontation over religion by further antagonizing Muslims. This coming September 11th, a right-wing fringe pastor named Terry Jones, over some deomination called “The Dove Church” is calling for an international “Burn The Qu’ran Day”, which he will host and call on others worldwide to do the same. He even had a churchmember post instructions on how and why to do it (burn the Qu’ran).

This, of course, will incite Muslims worldwide and wrath will run amuck. Everyone will lose their religion (grounding for religious beliefs) based what we know God hates. Hopefully, this will not occur and September 11th can be used as a day to promote greater religious tolerance.

An effort to push a proposed mosque out of the site of the twin towers will not push anti-Muslim sentiment out of the minds of Americans. Now is the time to have this conversation. Not when something happens at the urging of anti-Muslim ideologues.

Anthony Asadullah Samad

Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., is a national columnist, managing director of the Urban Issues Forum and author of the upcoming book, REAL EYEZ: Race, Reality and Politics in 21 Century Politics. He can be reached at www.AnthonySamad.com.


  1. Joe says

    Any American citizen, ANY American who has watched the 9/11 documentaries anywhere and can still condone a Mosque anywhere close to the Towers which were destroyed by Muslims, radical or otherwise, does not have the interest of the American way of life at heart. Maybe not in my lifetime, maybe not even in my grand-daughters lifetime, but rest assured, if the Muslim Faith is allowed to flourish and populate in the United States as it is currently doing in Europe, the USA will be ruled exactly like the Muslim dominated countries of the Middle East…………..one day.

  2. Marshall says

    To mr. Samad, your point about some Christians doing something that Christ would not do but do it in his name is valid only if no one speaks out against it. The Christians do speak out, more so than do the moderate Muslims, and that is where your point fails. When one lives in Rome one lives as the Romans, when one live in America, one lives as we do. I think moderate Muslims should give America credit for allowing them to live as they do and speak out often against the acts of the radicals. I was not allowed the same right when I lived elsewere, I lived as they lived.
    Do we allow those of the Muslim faith:
    To take more than one wife?
    To treat their wives and daughters as chattel?
    To select the husbands of their daughters?
    If so, we have to allow all of us to live like that.

  3. Marshall says

    Great job on the history lesson. We need to add that the Muslims even killed each other so the last one alive could declare himself the grand leader. Some parts of Islam allow those of the book, that would be the Jews and Christians, to live in a Muslim nation and not be forced to convert to Islam, or die, but would need to pay a tax. We should also understand a true Muslim nation is one where the religion is also the form of government. What fun, we all should live in primaitve Baptist country. We could pratice passing vipers around during services where only the faithles will be bitten. My thoughts are I can not find a Muslim nation that excelled in the arts, they kill off those that think different thoughts. If they were in charge here, they would find many with variant thoughts and only those who spoke pusillanimously would live. The premise of Islam is that it should spread through out the world, by sword if need be, until all other religions are gone.

    If we adpot Islam as our faith, we can stop worring about gays, marriage or otherwise, but we can then have several wives but not several husbands. It makes for a simple court system just ask the local pastor.

    The poster Allen used words like, “collosal ass, morons, witch doctors, fearwongering, and murder in behalf of God” as traits that applied to some Americans. How will words like that gather new converts to his view? Free speech allows him to to that but I have lived where such speech could bring a knock at the door. Everyone states the educaion level is lax here so it seems American edcation has finally gone to hell in a hand basket.

  4. Sue Demarest says

    Kudos to Histroscoper and Jay Levenberg for clarifying once for all the reality of Islam, especially for the benefit of so called tolerant americans. Being a New Yorker I can forcefully say most NY’er are not anti-muslims. What we are opposing is the site where muslims are hell bent on erecting their mosque. why this particular site ? And they are carrying on about people being anti-muslim – what about muslims showing sensitivity to majority of New Yorkers? If they are so peace loving – why is the developer not even ready to sit with Governor Patterson who has the logical solution? Mayor Bloomburg and other politicians including the President are all playing a political game by siding with the mosque developer. Muslims have an agenda – they destroyed Twin towers and now they want to leave their mark of victory – nothing that any of the muslim imams or scholars have to say otherwise will convince me. The President wants us to understand islam – what about muslims understanding the rest of the world !

  5. marie says

    When the Islamic countries will start showing tolerance for practitioners of other believes, then they can start criticizing other countries about lack of acceptance of the Muslim-ways. Not before.
    America is not anti peaceful praying people of other believes; but America is anti the inhumane, medieval practices that the Islam shows in his own countries. Their total disrespect for the life and wellbeing of anyone who is not complying to the Muslim-ideas.
    And we don’t want that same to happen in our USA. As it is we have already enough other negative matters to deal with.

    • Donna says

      So if I understand your comment, you’re saying that in order for us to act like grown ups the Muslims must grow up first?

  6. Jay Levenberg says

    The American people would feel much better about Muslims if the more moderate ones would come forth and condemn the radical element within the religion. After all, we see pictures all the time of the harshness of the religion as it concerns women who are treated like chattel, gays who have their hands cutoff or worse, intolerance toward other religions and I can go on and on but I don’t want to make matters worse. It has been the lack of moderate Muslims speaking out that is frightening and giving the right a platform that resonates with the American people. Now is it the religion that allows these horrendous practices seen in Middle East Countries or some radical form of it? I think we all could use a lesson about the religion itself because Islam appears to be poorly represented by it’s spokespersons at this moment in time.

  7. says

    Sorry, but the word Islam doesn’t mean peace, it’s a combo word of the Hebrew word for peace and the Arabic word for submission, signifying that Islam’s entry to the world of non-Muslims was a declaration of war, promising no peace until the entire world submits to Allah, after which then alone will there be peace, under their terms of Muslim Sharia, which makes Muslims superior to non-Muslims in all ways and destroys every basic freedom America fought for. Muslims like this writer who quote sanctimonious-sounding sections of the Quran always fail to mention that they only apply to Muslims, just as Muslim charities only give to Muslims. It’s a closed Borg Hive that is totally intolerant of your views and always tries to absorb you, like in Star Trek. After it was launched in the 7th cent., it destroyed all the cultural and religious diversity in the Middle East to this day, and created a huge territory where all the freedoms we enjoy here are taboo, and where daily horrors and oppression make world news. Only recently have Western govts. made the mistake of opening the gates to Muslim immigration, and now act clueless when they bring the superiority mentality with them, refusing to assimilate and angling toward future Sharia throughout the American continent. As long as this political aspect of Islam remains and Islam doesn’t experience a reformation like Christendom and Judaism, it excludes itself from the same protections as other religions that accept the Constitution, sorry. Why does the U.S. want Muslims from Muslim countries with Sharia to immigrate here while treating our next-door neighbors in Mexico as subhumans unfit for citizenship, even when they migrate on their own? Why don’t the people of the rest of the continent have the right to have a say about Muslim immigration, particularly South America, whose ancestors spent almost 800 years repelling their horrible bloody invasion of the Iberian peninsula and oppression of Christians, whom they consider blasphemers for claiming that God had a son? Answer: most people are Islam history ignoramuses, and don’t know about the intolerant supremacist roots that are forever enshrined in the Quran and Hadith with the authority of Allah to back them. Try the Historyscoper’s free online Islam history course and catch up at your own pace.

  8. Pat Allen says

    Newt Gingrich is such a collosal ass … it is hard to believe that people of this nation listen to some of these morons but sadly that is the case. Saying that the 9/11 attackers represent the Islamic religion as a whole is the same as saying someone who murders in the name of their Christian God represents Christianity as a whole. How can we as a nation be so gullible is what I wonder? Too many of us listen to these witch doctors like Beck and Gingrich. Amazing! I don’t know, maybe Gingrich and Beck are saying that it is ok to murder when you think you are speaking on behalf of your God which makes them no better than the 9/11 attackers. Let the Community Center be set up. Require them to set up ecumenical services. Perhaps it will actually turn into a center that opens the eyes of ignorant Americans who listen to fearwongering witch doctors. Time to educate ourselves and this would need to include the families of those who were deceased at 9/11. Those families are being suckered into the Beck/Gingrich cycle of perpetual fear and ignorance.

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