From a circulating e-mail:

Can Muslims be Good Americans?

Can a devout Muslim be an American patriot and a loyal citizen? Consider this:

  • Theologically, no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.
  • Scripturally, no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran).
  • Geographically, no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
  • Socially, no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.
  • Politically, no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.
  • Domestically, no, because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34). Religiously, no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256)
  • Intellectually, no, because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
  • Philosophically, no, because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression.
  • Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
  • Spiritually, no, because when we declare “one nation under God,” the Christian’s God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as our heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran’s 99 excellent names.

Therefore after much study and deliberation….perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both good Muslims and good Americans. Call it what you wish…it’s still the truth. If you find yourself intellectually in agreement with the above, perhaps you will share this with your friends. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country.

Pass it on. The war is bigger than we know

Perhaps one of the more grossly xenophobic chain e-mails that I’ve seen in a while. Let’s take a look.

Theologically, no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia. I assume when they say “theologically,” they mean that a Muslim can’t be loyal to the American government because he is loyal only to Allah. Of course, this begs they question: Can a Christian or Jew be loyal to American government if their primary allegiance is to God? There’s certainly enough people decrying government because it’s so Godless, so if people like Ken Hovind claim to be independent of the government because they think God is telling them so, does that make them traitors, too?

Scripturally, no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran). This is basically just a rehash of the above item. Does believing in the Bible or the Torah somehow negate a Christian or Jew’s citizenship?

Geographically, no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day. You’d better tell all those Christians who visited Jerusalem that they can’t acknowledge the Holy Land.

What does “allegiance is to Mecca” even mean? My guess is that if a Muslim is living in America, it’s because he wants to live in America.

Socially, no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews. I’m not 100% of the origins of this. My guess is that someone is reading too much into a very cursory summary of the Muslim faith. Regardless, you’d better tell my friend’s practicing Muslim father that he can’t talk to me any more, and that he has to divorce his Catholic wife. Maybe he didn’t get the memo.

Politically, no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan. Some of them do, yes. And Pat Robertson teaches the destruction of Pennsylvania and Hugo Chavez. That doesn’t mean that anybody but the most extreme of fundamentalist Muslims would commit violence against America.

Domestically, no, because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34). Once again, you’d better tell my Muslim acquaintance that he needs to get himself three more wives. Despite his familiarity with the Quran, I’m guessing he didn’t get the memo. Come to think of it, though, I think I remember something in the Old Testament about concubines….. naw, must be thinking of something else.

Religiously, no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256). And this is different from every other religion how?

Intellectually, no, because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt. The Constitution is based on Biblical principles? Wait, I’ve heard this canard before, and it’s no more true now than it ever was. The Constitution is based on a rich philosophical tradition (to wit: Locke), previous legal documents, and common sense. Nobody at the Continental Congress stood up and said “Wait! Maybe we should include something in there about ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill,’ or else they might murder each other willy-nilly.” Even if I were to accept that the Constitution somehow derives its text from certain Biblical precepts, they are so broad as to be effectively nonreligious.

Philosophically, no, because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Tell the next person who objects to Piss Christ that if s/he doesn’t shut up, we’ll consider her/him a terrorist. Remember, a Muslim in America has the same freedom of speech that everyone else has. Whether or not he practices all of those freedoms is up to him, and I don’t give a damn if Muslims don’t have depictions of Mohammed like Christians have paintings and statuettes of Jesus.

Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic. This is true. It is also a strawman. We don’t have a Muslim government here in America; we have a democracy. The fact that Muslims can peacefully live in this democracy is pretty much proof positive that this particular item is flat-out wrong. When a Muslim comes here or continues to live here, s/he recognizes the authority of the United States government. If they don’t, well, then like Australia, they are free to get the fuck out. Nobody’s making them stay.

Spiritually, no, because when we declare “one nation under God,” the Christian’s God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as our heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran’s 99 excellent names. What does spirituality have to do with being a loyal American? Oh, that’s right: it has nothing to do with being a loyal American. I will point out once again that “one nation under God” was added in the 1950s as a symbolic gestures against the Communists. Also, that when you declare “one nation under God” to be referring only to the Christian god, you’re implying that Jews, atheists, Zoroastrians, pagans, &c. are inherently treasonous as well, and you’ve just completely missed the point: America has always been about religious freedom. If you don’t accept anybody but Christians as being valid Americans, then you can get the fuck out.

Therefore after much study and deliberation… Oh yeah, somebody put a lot of thought into this marvel of logic.

…perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both good Muslims and good Americans. And you apparently can’t be a good Christian and a good human being. This whole “Sorry, but it’s the truth!” crap that this person is shovelling is a mask for a much deeper loathing of people who are different from him/her. Nobody likes fundamentalist Islam, me least of all, but I also realize that fundamentalist Islam isn’t winning many hearts and minds in America. The sentiment here—”Watch out for all Muslims: they’re probably terrorists”—is frightening: an unapologetic incitement to violence against otherwise peaceful citizens, or Manzanar Pt. II.

I find it so bemusing when Christians whinny about the oh-so-dangerous minorities, or when they bitch about persecution by the secret cabals of Gay Atheist Secular-Jew Communists. Modern-day American Christians know nothing about persecution, and it shows when worthless gasbags like the author of this e-mail open their ignorant mouths.

§1093 · April 17, 2006 · Tags: , , ·

19 Comments to “Can Muslims Be Good Americans?”

  1. ffanatic says:

    *applauds*

    An excellent post, good sir. Thinly veiled xenophobia is still xenophobia.

  2. Lina says:

    Please say this email didn’t find its way to you via your mom.

  3. Ben says:

    Actually, it was sent to her, and I saw it as I was updating her software. She didn’t pass it on to me, although that doesn’t necessarily preclude her agreeing with it.

  4. metin says:

    I enjoyed your post. Theoretically, the question should be Can Americans be Good Muslims?

    I differ with many regarding the ‘organized’ religion’s followers (especially in the stereotypical typecasting of sorts) are to blame for the religion’s misinterpetations and fundamentalistic angles.

    The non-allowance of multiple interpretations of Islam in itself is a fundamentalist interpretation, as well as pointing out the ‘technical’ associations of the religion vs the spiritual non-organized aspect of a religion. Does God really care what direction we face when we pray or is the issue whether we should pray . . .

    I do not eat pork, not necessarily because Islam doesn’t allow me, but of my own choice and for personal reasons. However, I do drink and against Islam interpreters’ wishes. According to Islam, the reasons behind committing the offense is the real justification for the forbiddance of the offence and for the offender. The religion should not punish the one who drinks but in the Islamic ‘state’ versus the rights of the individual, it is the state that is guilty of the availability of the offending item.

    Even here in America, we punish the end user. We need to go after the availability of the drug and those who make it available for the people to get addicted in the first place. However, the simple available-ness of a certain forbiddance does not necessarily indicate a forceful punishment of those individuals who abuse the priviledge instead of ‘religious’ therapy of tolerance and acceptance and the rights of each and every member of a true Islamis society to do as they choose. In fact, the American and the western methods of how we deal with one another and how we live our life maybe more Islamic than those of the ‘Islamic’ countries.

    If I don’t eat pork, I cannot and should not force you not to eat the same, nor should you have the ability to force feed me to eat what I choose not to. That is the true definition of fundamentalism in all religions. As such, the middle eastern, et al peoples believe (wrongly so but maybe justifiably a little bit) that the Western and American ways are being ‘force fed’ to their people and corrupting their culture and embedded religio-cultural assimilated value systems through press, media, entertainment, etc. However, it is their peoples who are the ones seeking out for those same values and ‘misdeeds’ that their governments and leaders are objecting to.

    On my blog, I have a post entitled “Islam: No Muslims Allowed – Save Islam from the muslims,” that some in your audience may enjoy.

    Thanks again for your highlight of the Islam xenophoby issue.

  5. Brady says:

    There are so many things wrong with that e-mail that even as long and detailed of a treatment as you gave it can’t cover everything. In addition to the many logical fallacies, it shows quite a bit of ignorance about the tenets of Islam.

    1. Allah is not “the moon God of Arabia”. Allah is the same God of Abraham that the Jews worship, interpreted differently.

    2. Muslims are ENCOURAGED to have only one wife, but are ALLOWED to have four.

    3. Muhammed and the Qur’an actually do encourage religious tolerance (e.g. Sura 2, Verse 62) and religious freedom (2:256) at times. Muslims are encouraged to coexist peacefully with Jews and Christians, and even be friends with them, unless their way of life is threatened. Of course, there are places in Qur’an that say the opposite as well, but it wouldn’t be the first holy book with contradicting messages, would it?

  6. Great post – and a very well thought out response to the typical knee-jerk xenophobic drivel that is being generated in the US these days by ignorant thugs who are spoiling for a fight, but know not why.

    Islam *does* need reform, and the religion needs to return to its roots. Most muslims, sadly, have as misguided a view of the teachings and rules of Islam as the creator of this bogus email.

    Fourteen hundred years of cultural ignorance, and personal agends has warped the message from what was revealed. It is time for muslims to think, read, and understand for themselves.

  7. Jerry says:

    1st of all, I strongly disagree with this topic about beating women. Whoever submitted this article did not finish the verse. In 4:34 the translation reads:

    “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allâh has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allâh and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allâh orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property). As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (LIGHTLY, if it is useful); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance).”

    Once again, when you said religously no, you never finished the verse. Here’s what come next in the translation:

    “Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path.” [2:256]

    And like one of responsers said:

    Allah is most DEFINETLY NOT THE “MOON GOD OF ARABIA!”
    Allah is just one god alone without any partners and is the same god of Abraham. Whoever/Whatever told you Allah is the moon god of Arabia is incorrect. Also, like Brady said, “there are too many errors in this e-mail which would take too long to describe and fix. Too bad the person who typed the e-mail wasted so much time…

  8. Awais says:

    Great post, as a Muslim myself, I appreciate you taking the time out to go against an inaccurate representation of what we believe in. I’m American, and I’m loyal to America, but I would definitely consider myself a practicing Muslim. Thanks again.

  9. Mike Mayo says:

    AMERICA IS NOT A DEMOCRACY. Please stop calling it that. Article 4 section 4 of the US Constitution cleary state that it is a REPUBLIC. If you don’t know the difference, then shame on you.

    And to the republic for which it stands…

    Mike

  10. Ben says:

    You’re right, but what significance is that supposed to have in this particular context?

  11. Scott says:

    The e-mail is probably not the best as describing the issue, however, some points come close. A better question might be – Can a good muslim support the ideals of America? For example, can a good muslim support the freedom to be wiccan, satanist or militant athiest? Can a good muslim support freedom of the press to allow pornography? Can a good muslim support blasphemy of the prophet in free speech? Can a good muslim vote against what the koran teaches? Can a good muslim prosecute another muslim for beating his wife, when that is what the koran says is okay? The issue with catholics is no different. Can you be a good catholic and support pro-abortion laws of the land? The answer is no. I fear a hardcore, fundamentalist christian country as much as a muslim one. I believe that both would weaken american ideals for religiously bad ones.

  12. Frangelica says:

    In response to Mike Mayo, our system of government is a democracy; our state (or country) is a republic (defined: state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch).

  13. Mark says:

    In the Name of Allah the most Gracious the Most Merciful.

    I want to clarify a few MAJOR points within that email.

    1. We do not worship a moon God. This was a propaganda by chic publication and other bible thumping co-religionists who, instead of discussing and reflecting upon the true theology and nature of Islam decided to insult it and bring about a dirty campaign masking the truth with ridiculous lies.

    2. The Prophet (S) was originally from Mekkah as were the campanions. When they made hijrah to Madinah they were originally very sad and the transition was very difficlut because MEKKAH was their home land despite the fact that it was a lnad full of kufr and shirk. Therefore it is not against our religion to care and miss our homeland…and many of our cases it is this country.

    Now in direct response to the claims of the email. FIrst you need to understand it is clear propaganda.

    1. Allegiance to Allah: This is one hundred percent correct our allegiance is primarily to Allah and all other allegiances fall under that. If we were asked to do anything to disobey Allah, we are to avoid doing such a thing unless we have been coerced into it in which different rules apply according to the situation.

    2. Religiously: Ofcourse our allegiance is to Islam. But I never thought America was ever a Theocracy. Infact it is not, it is a secular society so there is no conflict in having our allegiance to our religion and to our nation.

    3. Scripturally? What the heck does that mean. America isn’t based on a scripture per se. The constitution is mentioned later.

    4. Geographically: Geography has ABSOLUTELY no play in our religion. The Prophet made hijrah to MADINAH but never moved back to Mekkah even after opening it from the mushrikeen. Likewise Islam spread to the rest of the world and we find the Muslims were from many geographical locations. If you look at the names of our great scholars we see such names like Imam Al-Qurtubi (From CORDOBA SPAIN in arabic it is QURTUBA) and many others from different locations. In fact the Islamic capital changed many times during the Islamic history and I don’t think it was EVER mekkah.

    5. Socially: Quite clearly this is the oft most repeated misunderstanding of Islam that we are not to take jews and christians as our friends. This is not to say on an individual basis. This from what I understand refers to the Muslim community taking jews and christians as ALLIES and PROTECTORS. Because history tells us that as a group they are not to be trusted. But in regards to individual friendships ofcourse we are to take the most Pious as our companions according to many ahadith. But the question of taking jews and christians as indvidual friends is not forbidden. We see even in the time of the Prophet they had a custom that when an individual wanted to enter mekkah they often needed protection from an individual or tribe. Abu Bakr once sought out the protection of a mushrik man in order to enter. If this was done with a clear cut mushrik and not one from ahl ul kitab than obviously ahl ul kitab have a higher rank. 2ndly we see other hadith in which the Prophet (S) made reference to a peace treaty (before prophethood) in which their was an agreement among the mekkan tribes to establish justice and peace. The Prophet (post prophethood) said if such a treaty was to be established today I would again be at that meeting.

    6. Politically: We never submit to a human being. We submit to Allah alone! that is the beauty of our religion which makes it unique from ANY other.

    7. Domestically: In regards to the beating and scourging of the wife. First of All it is the last of an entire process set down by Allah in regards to deaing with a domestic issue in which the wife is causing disturbance. The first step is to avoid talking to her. 2nd is to remove yourself from her bed and lastly is the physical contact which can NOT be considered abuse or beating. If you look at the laws of child abuse. A punishment can only be considered abuse if there are physical marks left by the beating or an instrument is used that may cause marks. In islam the physical reinforcement established forbids any force that may cause any physical signs of punishment. 2ndly often times these christians talk alot about women. But ask them “do you have a single chapter in your bible called ‘the women’?”

    8. Constitution: Haha the constitution was built upon christian principles. Once again this nation is a secular nation. secondly, Islam and christianity and judaism have alot in common in regards to our PRINCIPLES of ethics, values, and morals. Where we differ is in our Aqueedah and Shariah. In fact Allah orders us to say to the jews and christians to come together with all that we agree and to worship one Lord.

    9. Islam doesn’t allow freedom of religion: We have the UTMOST freedom of religion within our shariah. Infact, tell me ONE state where we as Muslims can have our own courts according to our Islamic law, have our shariah established and be able to practice our religion freely. ZERO!!!! If you look at the time of the rightly guided caliph (khulafa al-rashidun) You see that the Christian lands had their own court systems where they would establish the law of their religions. THEY WERE EVEN ALLOWED TO DRINK ALCOHOL!

    10. Dictatorship: Haha every muslim land is a dictatorship and NONE of them are ISLAMIC nations. Infact it is THIS government which has established and strengthened these dictatorships. Islam has come to remove dictators and allow the free choosing of the one who is MOST befitting of the job. These dictators are preventing the Islamic Movements from taking power because they don’t want ISLAM to spread.

    11. Names of Allah: Haha ofcourse Allah is not our heavenly father…THIS IS SHIRK! Allah’s 99 names all incorporate the concept of Love. The Most mericiful. The Most Beneficient. The Most Generous. THE PEACE, the Provider….all 99 names incorporate the true definition of Love. And this BIblical concept of LOVE and such things. These people are hypocrites. If you look and their description fo Prophet Jesus even in THEIR corrupted book we see a man who would never write such an email about 1.5 billion members of the world. He would be kind and loving and love to guide them NOT insult them and be suspicious of them.

    Lastly,

    This is clear christian propaganda that has no basis in our religion. Look at the expansiveness of our beautiful religion. Our religion has even developed Fiqh Ul Aqalliyat (Fiqh of Minorities). If Muslim American was an oxy Moron than such a fiqh would be irrelevant. Instead we have a religion with expansiveness thru its maqasid to incorporate all times, lands, and situations. There is NO religion like this at all.

  14. Ben says:

    Mark,

    Thanks for the lengthy feedback. As a point of contention, I would offer that “Allah qua moon god” likely has far less to do with propaganda and more to do with simple misinformation. The author of this ridiculous e-mail was likely not a insidious propagandist; rather, s/he was likely some inbred putz who got the information thirdhand.

    My guess is that the whole “moon god of Arabia” thing came about because the التقويم الهجري (the Islamic calendar) is lunar in nature. As for the rest of the e-mail, well, it’s pure nonsense.

  15. mike says:

    to your theology comment which is all i read cuz that was filled with bull spit. yes they can be loyal to the american goverment. jesus says give to cesar what is cesars and to gods what is gods!

  16. Ben says:

    “Your” theology comment? If you’d bother to read past the first sentence, you’ll see that this post is debunking the e-mail forward.

    Illiteracy = fail!

  17. michele says:

    All this talk about religion, who’s right, who’s wrong? It seems to me that religion is the cause of more arguments and wars etc than anything else. How about being a Humanist, someone who believes in doing good for the sake of it, instead of because he or she has been told to do so by this or that God. Do we need religion to lead a good and happy life?

  18. James says:

    Hi,

    There are many things wrong with Islam, but there is often various views, e.g. please see http://www.Quran434.com and http://www.Learn-About-Islam.com

  19. Justin says:

    This got emailed to my wife this week, so I’ve been hoping around the Internet debunking. It was written by a doctor at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy. The version floating around via email fails to include the last line:

    “No honest study about any faith on earth can lead to such distortions about the religious and cultural “other.” Muslims like any other peoples who inhabit the USA can love this country or any other country where they settle, without hating others.”

    The whole thing was intended as an intellectual exercise to show how easy it is to distort the beliefs of others. Pass on the truth!

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