American Muslim Leaders Condemn Bush Islamic Facism Statement
On August 10th, President George W. Bush, responding to the arrest of several Muslim citizens of the United Kingdom on charges of allegedly plotting terrorist activities against civilians utilizing air traffic between the United Kingdom and the U.S., blamed “Islamic fascists” for the foiled terrorist plot and commented that the subsequent arrests “are a stark reminder that this nation (the United States) is at war with “Islamic fascists” who will use any means to – to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation.”
The Muslim American Society’s Freedom Foundation (MAS Freedom) in response to these remarks, issues the following statement:
MAS Freedom Foundation, representing the Muslim American Society, condemns the remarks made by President Bush and his unfortunate and misleading characterization of “Islamic Fascism” (also Bush-coined the term “Islamo-Fascism”) as a motive for the alleged plot by a handful of Muslim citizens of the United Kingdom to carry out criminal acts of violence against civilian aircraft.
We, as peaceful and justice-loving Muslims, deeply resent the implication that “fascism” is an integral part of our faith tradition, or that it is condoned by those of us who practice the religion of Islam. In fact, there is absolutely no evidence that supports the legitimacy of any form of state-sponsored violence and injustice, either in our revealed text, the Holy Qur’an, or in the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, Peace be Upon Him.
The Muslim American Society, while completely and unalterably condemning any and all acts of religious extremism in the name of Islam, or any other faith, strongly believes that any attribution of wrongdoing or violence cannot, and must not, stigmatize any particular faith, including the religion of Islam. There are extremist elements in virtually all religious communities, and we must all work resolutely to uproot and end all forms of violence and hatred by any individuals who carry out reprehensible deeds in the name of God.
While cautioning the public not to condemn the alleged conspirators from the United Kindgom “until there has been a complete investigation and all of the facts are determined”, MAS Freedom Foundation Executive Director, Imam Mahdi Bray, noted that “Islam is constantly referred to by the international news media as the theological basis for terrorism and now, fascism.”
“But the same media never associated the Catholic faith as a root cause of Italian fascism under Benito Mussolini in the 1930’s, or the Jewish faith as a religious motivation for the violent, anti-Palestinian conduct of many Israeli settlers in the West bank and Gaza. Islam, alone among the three major Abrahamic faiths, has been tarred with the brush of legitimized extremism and violence in the name of God. “This is an association that has no basis in our faith, and an association that we vigorously reject,” Imam Bray added.
Bray continued, “The Qur’an is explicit in it’s call for justice for oppressed people, but never at the expense of the deliberate taking of innocent lives. The misdeeds or alleged misdeeds of some Muslims cannot be used to stereotype a community of more that a billion believers and President Bush should retract his unfortunate and selectively damaging use of the term ’Islamic Fascism’.”
The Muslim American Society and MAS Freedom Foundation encourages all Muslims, and people of faith and good will, to protest the mischaracterization of Islam and the association of our faith with fascism or any other form of oppression. MAS Freedom Foundation is currently coordinating a joint-statement by American Muslim leaders condemning this unfortunate misrepresentation by President Bush and calling for its retraction.
The Freedom Foundation is the public affairs arm of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a national grassroots religious, social, and educational organization. MAS is America’s largest grassroots Muslim organization with over 50 chapters nationwide. Learn more at www.masnet.org. Support our work at MAS Freedom Foundation by mailing a check or money order payable to “MAS Freedom Foundation” at the address below.
MAS Freedom Foundation
1050 17th Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 496-1288
Fax: (202) 463-0686
Email: [email protected]