Hey what a pleasant surprise!
Longtime, no write! It's Nouri, now in Boston and still writing. I stumbled across this passage from your response to Ibn Kafka:
What we really need to focus on is Muslim organizations that constantly politicize Islamic affairs on behalf of all Muslims and tell them to shut up already or mind their own business. Organizations like CAIR and the The Muslim Council in Britain for instance, do more harm than good in representing Muslims. It is because of their ilk that we now have Islamofascism Awareness Week and the Stop Kuffarphobia! Demonstration.
I agree with your position here. And I think that if you have not already, you should get in contact with the people at the American Islamic Congress, because they are working to create a kind of organization that will fight for human and civil rights for American Muslims and Muslims in the "old" countries, while standing by civilized values and without making judgments as to the "quality" of this or these Muslim or Muslims.
For example, they just put out a press release on the Teddy Bear Muhammad nonsense (you can see it at my blog).
I'm plugging it to you just in case you haven't seen them or are interested in getting involved with them.
Sounds like music to my ears!
Sounds like they're doing all kinds of great things in terms of building bridges, human rights and interfaith exchange. Too bad they don't get much media coverage.
Their following statement says it all for me:
* Interfaith dialogue is not about politics. Interfaith exchanges sometimes also become an excuse for advancing political agendas. Muslim spokesmen sometimes use events to push foreign policy positions on Iraq, Israel, Kashmir, and US influence abroad. When this happens, Islam is not engaged on its own terms, but rather becomes a platform for politics - as if all 1.2 billion Muslims share the same political views.
Their mission statement:
The American Islamic Congress (AIC) is a social organization dedicated to building interfaith and interethnic understanding, and supporting freedom. Our organization grew out of the ashes of September 11, 2001. The vicious terrorist attacks in New York and Washington made many American Muslims realize that we had been silent for too long in the face of extremism.
The AIC was started by Muslims in the New Haven area in October of 2001, but then quickly spread to include activists across the country. After several months of grassroots outreach and volunteer work, we launched in January with a dynamic website, an op-ed in the Boston Globe, and an appearance on National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation." Our directors have appeared on CNN, Fox News, ABC's 20/20, MSNBC's Hardball, CBS Morning News, NPR, C-SPAN, and more.
We believe American Muslims must take the lead in building tolerance and fostering a respect for human rights and social justice. We have a responsibility to help our country rebuild from this attack, and to our religion to reassert that we are moderate and peace-loving people.
We are dedicated to representing the diversity of Muslim American life. Our members come from an array of ethnic, racial, religious, and professional backgrounds. Members and activists come from the across the United States (Arizona, Tennessee, Nebraska, Vermont, Oklahoma, and beyond) and around the world (Egypt, Malaysia, Nigeria, Kuwait, Morocco, and beyond). Many non-Muslims are also enthusiastic about our efforts, and have joined in solidarity.
We have helped organize and participated in numerous interfaith events, including a memorial vigil for Daniel Pearl, panels with Church Women United, and an interfaith tour with an imam, a minister, and a rabbi from the Middle East.