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Email: "Can Muslims Be Good Americans?"

December 01, 2009 2:19 pm ET

The following email has been widely forwarded and has been reposted numerous times on conservative blogs.  Media Matters Action Network has written a response to the text below.  Please feel free to copy and paste it and send to your friends.

"Can Muslims Be Good Americans?"

[note - all mistakes below are original to the text]


Hey, thanks for forwarding this.  I tried to read this with an open mind, but came out rather dismayed by the level of hatred and lack of understanding that the writer of this screed exhibits.  It is clear that whoever wrote this is very hostile towards the Islamic faith, and so, it would appear, makes an argument solely out of emotion. 

Let's try to separate the arguments.  First, the email refers to Allah as the "moon God."  In Arabic, the world Allah means God.  Before Islam, Arabic speakers referred to Allah as their main deity, and so, with the establishment of Islam, the same name was used because, again, Allah means God.  This is the reason why Arabic-speaking Christians also use the world Allah to refer to God.

The claim that Muslims actually believe in a moon deity is an oft-repeated, yet demonstrably false statement.  In fact, the Quran says: "And of His portents are the night and the day and the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or the moon; but prostrate to Allah Who created them, if it is in truth Him Whom ye worship." Quran 41:37

American Muslims are in fact vocal in their repudiation of terrorism, as are Muslims around the world.  Here is a short list which is by no means exhaustive.

But it should be noted that Muslims in the United States are expected to condemn things that occurred in other countries.  Imagine if American Christians had to apologize for the actions of Ugandan Christians.  We don't expect that of Christians, or any other group, so why of Muslims?

Muslims add to the diversity of America and are among the most educated segments in our country.  Certainly, the success of American Muslims is testament to the fact that someone can be both a good Muslim and a good American.

Now, on to the most important point.  People who have a gripe with Islam point to verses in the Quran that they object to.  They often take these verses out of context in order to portray all Muslims as bloodthirsty barbarians.  But the act of copying and pasting, while easy to do, is dishonest.  Imagine if Christianity were discussed in the context of the following verses.

"For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him." Leviticus 20:9

"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.  I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent." 1 Timothy 2: 11-12

Again, I think that this email is rather hateful and seeks to foment mistrust amongst Americans.  At a time like this, we need to work together to make our country stronger.  This sort of hate will not make us any stronger, that is certain.

I hope to hear from you soon.



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