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Qasim Rashid: Do You Even Hear Muslims When We Condemn Violence?

23 April 2013 Huffington Post 42 Comments Email This Post Email This Post


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Do You Even Hear Muslims When We Condemn Violence?

It took 9,000 officers, five days, and roughly $1 billion in lost revenue for Boston, but suspect one is dead and suspect two is in custody.

So let me start with the standard roll call: As an American Muslim, I condemn all violence in the name of religion. Terrorism has no religion and Islam is no exception. If the Tsarnaev brothers are guilty of the Boston bombings, then I hope they are brought to justice.

Is that condemnation clear enough? Because I’m pretty sure a whole lot of people instead read blah blah blah blah blah.

Here’s the deal. It is a shame that we had to employ 9,000 officers, put our lives on hold for five days, and sacrifice $1 billion in Boston revenue to catch these culprits. It is a shame that Muslim women were assaulted in retaliation, and that’s even before we knew who the suspects were. And it is a shame I received threats of anti-Muslim violence and that even my non-Muslim but non-white friends called me, fearing for their safety.

And now the public lynching and double standards against Islam begin. Mental illness was the culprit during Newtown, Conn., Oak Creek, Wis., and Aurora, Colo. More than 70 percent of America’s 64 previous mass shooters were white American men. But not one pundit, nor any politician, nor any Muslim has ever asked why White Americans or Christian Americans are not aggressively condemning these acts of terror. After all, why ask such a ludicrous question? Anyone with a functioning cerebrum could comprehend that these terrorists represent only themselves.

But why do our brains shut down when the slightest indication exists that the culprit might maybe possibly be Muslim? No sooner did the Boston tragedy occur — and even before the slightest indication emerged regarding who perpetrated the attack — but I received dozens of emails and messages asking why “moderate Muslims” aren’t condemning the attack?

This was my initial reaction to such demands for condemnation.

Muslims condemned 9/11, we condemned 7/7, we condemned the Fort Hood tragedy, we condemned the underwear bomber, we condemned the Times Square bomber, and now yet again we find ourselves condemning the Boston Bombers on the mere suspicion that they were “motivated by Islam.”

And this is why I am unsure if people hear Muslims when Muslims declare — in response to every violent act or attempt at violence — that Islam condemns all forms of religious violence and terrorism. Because even after condemning the Boston bombers, I receive messages that the condemnation wasn’t “loud enough” or “clear enough” or passionate enough.” ” In other words, all they heard from me was blah blah blah blah blah.

And the fact is Muslims have gone far beyond mere condemnation but taken action. The Muslims for Life campaign has raised over 25,000 blood donations in the past two years to honor 9/11 victims. The #MyJihad campaign serves to demonstrate Jihad’s true meaning. The Muslims for Peace campaign champions true, peaceful Islam. I could go on but hopefully you get the picture.

America is not under threat from radical Islam, but it is under threat from radical ignorance. This ignorance is a far more powerful and far more destructive force than any act of terror. I speak having experienced the horrific after effects of such ignorance.

Some 40 years ago, Pakistan decided to succumb to such ignorance and direct its wrath against my peaceful and pluralistic Muslim sect — the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. What began as passive discrimination advanced to laws banning our freedom of expression and worship, to now open violence against all religious and belief minorities in Pakistan — Ahmadi Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Shiite Muslims, Baha’is, and atheists. Pakistan went from a relatively peaceful nation entirely alien to terrorist attacks, to one that suffers through 3,000 civilian deaths from terrorists annually and now devoid of religious freedom.

If Americans have any hope of winning the “war on terror,” it won’t come from demonizing American Muslims, or Islam in general. It will come from education through interfaith dialogues, joining together in service of humanity, and recognizing that we are all equal human beings in search of similar goals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It will come from all Americans rejecting ignorance and uniting even stronger against extremism that tries to divide us.

The path of radical ignorance is a one way street; if we go down this path, don’t expect to come back so easily. As I said, I’ve tried reasoning with extremists in Pakistan to give up discrimination and favor tolerance.

But all they seem to hear is blah blah blah blah blah.




  1. I have gotten you as many new followers as I can, especially non-Muslims. I think it is important that no matter what our background, we all LISTEN to and SUPPORT each other. Peace and <3.

  2. Amen

  3. Word.

  4. Ain’t that the truth?! We Muslims vividly denounce religious violence, not least because we’re its main target group, but mainly because Islam so clearly forbids it. It’s a nefarious evil, even worse than killing, called oppression.

  5. I hear it. Some people refuse to hear it, even when presented with evidence.

  6. Peace and love to you too and to all who seek it.

  7. agreed.

  8. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. <3 my brothers and sisters.

  9. When Muslims condemn these acts of terror and hate, people don’t listen. The news media doesn’t pick it up because, hey, it’s all about ratings, and Muslims pushing for peace and rejecting evil doesn’t make headlines. Simple as that.

  10. I her you guys!

  11. @heather, why dont news.like that make headlines?

  12. The point of Americans Against Islamophobia wants IS FOR EVERYONE TO DEMONIZE THE DISBELIEVERS as the islamanazi masters in Saudi Arabia’s OIC DEMAND.. RESEARCH THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS in THE HOUSE OF ISLAM ,,,

  13. Islamic law is like Jim crow laws except that Muslims are the racist whites and non muslims are the persecuted black people.. that’s the reality research it for your self you better start saying yes sir master muslim because they will settle for nothing less..

  14. You stated your point so well. I believe it is a shame that so many people do not hear the voice of reason, and even fewer have heard of Muslims who are working for peace. This is why I have made it a point in recent days to quote famous Muslims who work for peace on my profile. Thank you for stating your point so well. Let us hope that this be a beacon of hope and that we stop fearing that which we know so little about.

  15. I do!

  16. Even the most knowledgeable Americans realize that moderation and moderate Islam is facing an uphill struggle…

  17. okay don’t come here —go have fun in saudi arabia or Lybia–they are fun places for you–you will like them

  18. Well said.

  19. The demonizing of Islam, a truly peacful religion, has to be understood, then stopped. People fear what they dont (want) to understand. Notice how not too many people hate the Irish who are the ones who INVENTED the car-bomb, NOT Muslims. Or the Tamil tigers who created the explosive vest. NOT Middle-Easterners who sought out these crude methods of attack because they had no advanced military. Its all so simple, yet not. LOVE is the answer. Even an atheist realizes this. 🙂

  20. I do believe Ms Wiebe has spent far too much time listening to right wing radio, and is no longer able to think for herself!!

  21. Excellent article – thank you.

  22. Oh wow another coulter ! Who did your lobotomy lady. You could sue him for a hefty sum for leaving that shit for brains!

  23. Nah I don’t believe your for real. You can write; that means you have some vestige of a brain left… but has Fox made mush of it so it can’t think anymore?? Yes that MUST be it. Sue lady sue.

  24. Islam is a simple religion, not teaching politics or technology. It is a faith. It is there, in your mind, not about mathematics, or any others. All other things outside religion of Islam can be used to testify Islam as the truth. It is about your soul and to your Creator. Just one thing that Islam demands, “All Humans recognize they have their Creator and None can say Better than the Others. In that way, No Pointless Talking-Talking More On Racism, Sexism, Secularism, Stupidism, Awkwardism, Nudism, Oh-Oh-ism, and other Ism-s.” When all Humans realize that it is their Creator that creates Them with Brains to Think, then there must be no reasons people say, “Oh, we did that because we are smart?” Islam said, “Hold on… What makes you smart? Teacher? Laptop? Books? Parents? Country? Blood? No… Something Divine in You that is connected to Your Creator….” And, Allah SWT said in Al-Qur’an, “Most Humans are so Ignorant and easy to Neglect.” All stories in Al-Qur’an are Signs for its Readers to See that What happened today had been revealed years ago… Wallahu ‘alam

  25. No, and again, this sounds too apologetic to me. I save my apologies and explanations for times when I really have something to be sorry for.

  26. This is a country for ALL people with FREEDOM OF RELIGION. How dare you speak to someone that way? Of course you do have freedom of speech, but you sound like a fool. Why don’t you go back to live with the wolves, Ms. Wolf?

  27. Your rant is incoherent.

  28. I heard it on NPR, and I felt ashamed of my fellow non-Muslim Americans that such an apology was needed BEFORE we knew who had done it and why. And then I heard someone on Talk of the Nation today complain that Muslims hadn’t come out against the violence. (Face palm)

  29. If someone asks Carol to go back to where she came from, well she will be lost. All it takes is 1 native Indian to shake these people back to their senses if they got any.

  30. DEE. Do you know any muslims.

  31. A very good question .

  32. glad this conversation is off the peace love and freedom of religion stuff- because what Islam wants is everyone to convert to Islam- Islam calls everyone else infidels- read what the Babbary Pirates did to all they could get their hands on – ruthless slavery, torture, and child prostituion- which led isolationists America to create the Marines

  33. Intrafaith dialogue is required more than interfaith dialogue.

    Peaceful imams should openly challenge the radicals for debate to prove that violent interpretation of Islam is incorrect.

    Radical Islam is more of a danger to Muslims than non Muslims.
    Just look around, large no. of Muslims are dying everyday in the hands of jihadists. Non Muslims casualties are negligible in comparison .

  34. Slavery, torture, child prostitution!!!! Oh yeah..Muslims totally have the corner on those markets!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Christians and Jews brought slavery to this country, tortured and murdered Natives and Africans!! Child prostitution?? How many Christian men and women frequent child prostitutes here in America? How many men from Christian nations “travel” to countries where child prostitutes are known and public. How many of our Christian politicians stand by and continue to do business with countries where child prostitutes are legal?

  35. are you suggesting Saudia Arabia or Lybia are awful places – they are full of lovely Islamis things to do- colorfull shifting sands- modern buildings and educationall opportunities- going on vacations or even immigrating to Muslim countries would be grand for Muslims especially

  36. Excellent piece سلام

  37. There you are — the Native American is now over 1 million strong and getting stronger– Yeh! Living with wolves ? Splendid

  38. well said

  39. As long as ppl think only their religion is right such steps are futile,whats causing all this intolerance?lets go to the root ,treat the disease not just the symptoms

  40. What a powerful and honest plea for peace an understanding! As a Christian for over 50 years, I implore all to read and understand this message from Qasim Rashid!
    He speaks from a solid, honest and respectful pulpit!
    Qasim, you have my respect and support!

  41. @John no one here, or anywhere else, has presented any evidence that all Muslims are terrorists.

  42. […] Qasim Rashid: Do You Even Hear Muslims When We Condemn Violence? | Islamophobia Today eNewspaper. […]

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