Do American Muslims Have a Duty to Their Country?

Suggesting a somewhat different tack than CAIR, in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Khurram Dara says they do:

It isn’t enough to condemn radicalism—we must actively engage in counter-extremism messaging. We must build an intellectual and theological case against radicalism. Our religious leaders must educate and warn our youth about the dangers of searching for spiritual guidance on the Internet. And we have to be vigilant. When someone stops coming to mosque and disappears from a community, abruptly after marrying a Pakistani woman in Saudi Arabia whom he met online, it shouldn’t take two years and 35 Americans getting shot (including one from that very congregation) before we notice.

There is a war going on that extends beyond Syria, and American Muslims are under siege. Not by a fringe group of bigoted Americans, but by a fringe group of Muslims abroad who seek to tear our Western communities apart. They are trying to target the disaffected among us, hijack the mosque pulpit, and convince us that we’re unwelcome in our own country.

But in order to lead this fight with unified support, certain things will have to change. We can’t call out prejudice against our faith without also calling out the gender inequality and homophobia that we find in some of our communities. We can’t be champions of our own religious freedom without also championing the rights of all traditions across the globe that wish to peacefully practice, including other Muslim sects we may disagree with doctrinally. We have to change the way we think about Islamic law and vilify the medieval judicial practices that persist in the Middle East. And we must have uncomfortable but necessary conversations about where much of the funding for this cancerous supremacist ideology is coming from—Saudi Arabia.

We carry with us a responsibility to our country, our faith and our children. The majority of us are here because our parents or grandparents emigrated from oppressive and illiberal nations for the promise of a better life in America. But the way things are heading, our children may grow up with less opportunity and freedom than we did. I can think of no greater defeat and surrender to radicalism than that.

I think that’s right, it’s what President Obama has asked for, and, as a matter of practicality, it’s the best way for us to increase our security here at home. I hope Mr. Dara can convince his fellows. The money is pushing the other way.

1 comment… add one
  • ... Link

    Here’s a thing. Despite the breathlessness of the story, I think this indicates there isn’t all that much of a problem. After all, these are the numbers put together by an organization that has a vested interest in claiming the problem is a vast problem.

Leave a Comment