September 27th, 2007 14:00 EST
Fight Rising Islamophobia
Congressman Peter King (R-NY) recently said there are too many mosques in America. Really? The last time you visited an Islamic center you probably complained about parking and prayer space. So if anything, there are too few mosques in America!
Rep. King serves as one of the key advisors to presidential candidate and Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani. Now you know where Giuliani gets his advice as he misguidedly criticizes other presidential candidates for not using ill-defined terms like "Islamofascist," "Islamic radical" and "Islamic terrorists."
Islamophobia is on the Rise
With opinion-makers like these leading their bigoted charge, no wonder Islamophobia is alive and well.
Certainly actions by extremist groups are a contributing factor. But it is also undeniable that some opinion-makers are deliberately fanning the flames of Islamophobia and exploiting public anxiety to drive votes and money.
But we need not accept or acquiesce to their shameful tactics.
We, the American Muslim community, must do what our Holy Quran teaches us - "Invite all to the way of your Lord through wisdom and beautiful exhortations." (Quran 16:125)
We Call a Spade a Spade
CAIR has consistently favored principle over convenience:
- We help defend and protect our country through cooperation with law enforcement and through anti-terrorism campaigns.
- We stand against injustice, whether it is the Iraq war or the occupation of Palestinians that continues to be funded by your tax dollars.
- We defend the image of Islam from smears.
- We protect your rights so you may enjoy the same civil liberties as any other American.
- We challenged the government on citizenship delays, yet whenever an opportunity presents itself, we do not shy away from helping our public and law enforcement officials by providing diversity training and expressing our views on important issues of the day.
It is not unheard of in human history that those who took such principled stands were vilified by those who were inconvenienced.
The story of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph, pbuh) inspires us. He was right all along, for he chose principle over convenience. He was wrongfully maligned by the authorities of his time. This did not make his cause less righteous or his stand any less worthy. Those who committed injustices against Prophet Yusuf were on the wrong side of history despite their bravado, wealth and power.
It is through these stories that God Almighty nourishes our souls and inspires us to stand for justice and fight back.
And we are doing just that - but we cannot do it alone. We need you by our side.
Remember, our successes have not diminished our challenges. People like King and Giuliani will fan the flames of hate and they will not give up until people like you stand up for dialogue and dignity for all.
Standing up to attacks on Islam and Muslims is your responsibility. Just look around and see which organization is at the forefront of fighting this battle on your behalf. We are sure you will agree it is CAIR. The overwhelming majority of our operating budget comes from donations from our grassroots supporters like you.
Now more than ever we need your support to continue our important work.
Our fellow Americans need to hear our voices in clear, unequivocal terms - not only condemning those who kill innocent people in the name of Islam, but also challenging those U.S. policies that have resulted in America being perceived as being "at war against Islam."
More than ever, America needs our principled voices. We need to work together to stop the growing calls for a clash between civilizations.
Can I count on you to respond to this fundraising appeal? Good deeds in the blessed month of Ramadan earn greater rewards.
Will you help us to attain our goal of raising $2 million? This will help us to fund the work of a dedicated team of CAIR staffers who go to bat for our community each day so you can be more secure and more free.
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