One Family a Month
by Dr. M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.
Muslims in America have a duty to try to make Islam acceptable and Muslims respectable. Let us make a goal of achieving this within the next 10-12 years. It can be done because the Muslim community has both required resources, money and manpower.
The first step is to make Muslims understand that reaching out to the American people for Islam is a priority work of spending our material and human resources. Most importantly, the Muslim community must be convinced that it is an achievable goal to pursue. I believe that the Muslim community does not see this work as a priority because they think that the goal is not achievable. Therefore, they are resigned to live with anti-Islam propaganda like incurable cancer with which a patient has become resigned to live with. Muslims have developed complacency and indifference toward the disease of Islamophobia in their environment; you may call this indifference, complacency or apathy, it is all the same. Muslim leadership, intellectuals and thinkers must come up with a strategy for convincing Islamic organizations and the Muslim population for establishing active Da'wah committees. Reaching out to the non-Muslims is a top priority.
One of the actions to be taken is to reach out to the media, cultivate friendships with their editors, reporters and columnists at the personal level and use personal contracts to publish favorable articles and reports to develop a positive understanding of Islam and Muslims. Such an approach has proven successful whenever it was tried at the local level.
Another step to be taken is for those Muslims with wealth to join hands in starting the ownership of radio and TV stations and run them as businesses but use them for the dissemination of correct information leading to the understanding and appreciation of Islam and the Muslim Community in North America. Let's make a start somewhere and our experience will be our guide.
Another step is to reach out to educators at the state and local levels to sanitize curricula and text books from anti-Islam propaganda. This would have the effect of future non-Muslim generations raised as neutral towards Islam. This has proven very successful in California let us expand this work nationwide.
Let's mobilize every Muslim man, woman and school child to reach out to a designated minimum number of people every month to educate them. Brochures are needed to guide Muslims how to reach out and what to tell and teach the non-Muslims. This Institute has published a number of them and they are available to those who need them.
There are many more things which we must do together, and these details can be worked out once we have resolved to embark upon this long range project.
Spreading out the work
We must embark upon a plan to mobilize one million Muslims towards reaching out with the message of Islam to the American population of 280 million over a period of ten years. This number converts into reaching out to 28 persons per year or twelve families in a year, that is, one family or three persons (a couple and a child) per month for a Muslim worker. Reaching out to one new non-Muslim family once a month, every month, should not be a difficult task. I would like to caution against becoming ambitious and inviting many people at a time. When you invite one family or 3-6 persons you talk to them. If you invite too many people, say more than six, they talk to each other and you defeat the purpose. Inviting to your home is important because you open your home to them, they see your home environment and believe that Muslims are human beings too. This is the message you want to convey that goes contrary to the media image that Muslims are terrorist beasts and demons.
You may invite two to three families together as follow up meetings to reinforce their neutralization about Islam and pull them closer. You may want to meet some of them repeatedly and develop closer relationships with them.
A question may be what to talk about. In the first meeting let them know that you are a Muslim and your family would like to live like Muslims in peace and harmony. So do not get ambitious by pushing Islam down the throat of the people. If they ask questions answer them to the point and try to satisfy them. You may ask them about how they feel about you as a Muslim neighbor or a colleague. In the follow up meetings you may talk about Islam, Islamic culture and history in an interesting manner without giving any hint of trying to convert them because you are not. Our main goal should be to neutralize them towards Islam and make them our friends. Your goal should be for them to understand our apprehensions, our problems and appreciate them. Conversion is between them and Allah. Let us not worry about it.
Spreading out the cost
In the III&E experience, it costs approximately 3-10 dollars to reach one person depending upon our approach. A Muslim worker who commits himself for reaching 26 persons per year would pay $80 to $260 per year or the meager amount of $7 to $22 per month for this important work. In terms of time you may spend no more than three hours per month. Don't you think this is worthwhile to spend a little money and time for this work?
We may need five years for planning, recruiting, training, mobilizing the Muslim community and organizing the campaign. Once the plan is in place, it can be completed within the following ten years. The total time needed is fifteen years. You should not wait for starting this work. You should begin your contribution today. The mobilization and recruitment work will run parallel with the work of reaching out.
Anti-Islam forces in the West have planned to get rid of Islam from their countries and fight Islam in the Muslim-majority countries. This long range plan is to be completed in 70-80 years, or even if it takes one hundred years. They want to defeat Islam as they have defeated communism in seventy years. Their minimum goal is to render Muslims secular people like those who belong to other religions. On a larger scale the result would be the removal of spirituality from the people's lives. This will give total freedom to mankind to live like animals having no clothing requirements, nothing unlawful in sexual affairs, the term incest will be history, nothing will be right or wrong, nothing will be evil or virtuous except what the majority agrees to. The last of the great religions which stands in their way is Islam. This is the challenge to the Muslim leadership whether they want to give-in or give genuine and stiff resistance to anti-God forces for Allah and for humanity.
A Narrow Window of Opportunity
The American government, led by the Zionists, Christian Fundamentalists and Secular Fundamentalists, has already started the work. Five years since 1993 were spent on passing appropriate legislation to enable the FBI and local and state authorities to harass Muslims at airports, restrict immigration of Muslims, seize properties of Islamic organizations without charging or proving any crime. The media, with the cooperation of the Zionists, Christian Fundamentalists and Secular Fundamentalists, is demonizing Muslims and Islam to stop its propagation. Added to the confusion is active and passive support of pseudo-Islamic cults and Muslim groups who live and promote only a fraction of Islam. Muslims have a window of opportunity of 10 - 15 years before the lives of Muslims become difficult, mimicking those of the Jews under Nazi Germany and Muslims in Algeria, Tunis, Morocco, Syria, Iraq, Libya and other totalitarian states in the 1990's.
If the Muslims succeed (Insha-Allah, they will) in educating America about the truth of Islam and opening the door for the entry of a few million middle class Americans into Islam, the anti-Islam forces will be disarmed. This will open the door widely for the spread of Islam in America bringing acceptance of Islam and respect for the Muslims.
Time is short. Muslims must unite, organize and go out to spread the message of Islam. Never rest until every home in America is reached with the message of Allah.
May Allah bless you for your sincerity, which is evident from your reading this material. I pray to Allah for His help in all our righteous endeavors.
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This proposal, in part, was presented at the "Two Day Seminar on The Future of Muslims in America: Requisites of Dignified Presence" held on October 18-19, 1997 at East West University, 816 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60605, U.S.A.