The Challenge Before the Muslim World
A Desire for Change in Policies of the American Government and the Media
By Dr. M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.
I recognized the beginning of an organized hate campaign against Islam in 1979 and diagnosed that it had an excellent chance of success in America due to the ignorance of Islam in the masses. Ignorance is the mother of prejudice, hate and fear. This Anti-Islam campaign had much support in the American masses. It was reorganized and began new coordination in 1993 under the eyes of Al Gore, then Vice-President of the United States and a dedicated anti-Islam Zionist. There are other groups who joined the anti-Islam campaign, such as Secular Fundamentalists (Atheists and agnostics), who took up the work of attacking Islam's political system, economics and culture academically using Muslim sources. Christian Fundamentalists (Christian Zionists) took up the work of attacking the religious aspects of beliefs and practices using the Bible as well as the Qur'an and Hadith. American Jewish Zionists began the work of coordination among all anti-Islam groups, working behind the scenes in support of the news media and the entertainment media. Hindu Fundamentalists joined all anti-Islam forces world-wide and began their own campaign of terror and program of ethnic cleansing in India. Slavs that include Russians and the Serbs began their own ethnic cleansing in their respective countries, Chechnya, Bosnia and Kosovo. The "democracies" of the West sat back and watched but did very little except tokenism to protect Muslims. Now, in the name of "War on Terrorism" the U.S. has unleashed its mighty power in the War on Islam world-wide. The brainwashed ignorant masses of North America are supporting the anti-Islam policies of their government either actively or passively through their silence.
Failure by Default
Islam-hate material has been in existence in the West since the Crusades of the 11th century CE. In the 1880s the embryonic Zionist movement brought a large number of European Jews to the U.S. These new immigrant Jews acquired land and businesses and began making friends in the media and politics. By the late 1940s the Zionists had amassed enough wealth and power to convince President Harry Truman to engineer the acceptance of the State of Israel by the United Nations and much of the West. Once their influence entered the White House, they made encroachments into the Congress and spun the national web of influence that caught every powerful group in it. The Jews raise their children with the idea ingrained in their heads that they are the "chosen" people, which meant that they are born to rule the world. They give their young the best of education and through their job training and job placement centers, using their internal network of influential Jews, find jobs where they can peddle influence. In addition, the Jews helped the rise of Christian Fundamentalism, aka (also known as) Christian Zionists, as their allies in the Christian community.
On the other hand, Muslims began to migrate to the U.S. in significant numbers during the 1970s through 1996 when their entry was checked by the amendments to the Immigration Act. These Muslim immigrants had no political agenda but education and a better material life. Only in the 1990s did a tiny minority of Muslims become active in politics but without any long term vision or plans. In the year 2002 the situation has not changed much. Strangely, even the September 11, 2001 terror did not do much to the Muslims for real thinking and development of any long term vision. The Muslim American "leadership" remains leaderless and is suffering from a severe case of myopia.
The only solution was and remains the education of the American masses. In 1979 with the help of four local Muslims I founded the American Islamic Affairs Committee in Chicago and published two brochures which were distributed by the thousands. But the committee was disbanded because all five members left Chicago for jobs elsewhere.
During 1980 to 1985 I thought much deeper about the problem of hate against Islam in the West, and consulted many learned people. In 1985 I founded the Institute of Islamic Information & Education in Chicago with the help and advisement of many internationally well-known people. This Board was later joined by Dr. Maneh Hammad Al-Johani (rahimahu-Allahu), then Secretary General of WAMY, Riyadh, Dr. Muzammil Husain Siddiqi of Orange County, California and Dr. Jamal Badawi of Halifax, Canada. The first meeting of the Board of Trustees took place in 1987 in Chicago and Dr. Maneh Hammad Al-Johani was elected as Chairman. The Board was later joined by Imam Siraj Wahhaj of Brooklyn, New York and Dr. Muhammad Yunus of Bonifay, Florida. Since the passing away Dr. Al-Johani in August 2002, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi was elected as new Chairman in the September 2002 meeting of the Board of Trustees.
Progress of the Work
The Institute has published over fifty titles of brochures; many millions of them have been printed and distributed reaching out to over twenty million American people effectively removing their prejudices, fears and hates against Islam. In addition, executives of the Institute have been busy addressing American audiences in churches, schools, colleges, universities and civic organizations educating thousands of Americans directly. As a result of this work, it is estimated that over forty thousand American people have embraced Islam directly due to the III&E brochures and the number is growing.
The effectiveness of the work of the Institute may be seen in the American people's reaction to the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993 compared with the terror of September 11, 2001. In 1993, after the bombing at least three masajid were burned down to ashes, three Muslims may have died as a result of hate attacks on them, over 25 Muslim owned stores were destroyed or burned down partially or completely. Islam was equated with terrorism and Muslim with evil, yet not a single politician stood up in support of Islam or Muslims. The September 2001 terror was at a much greater scale than in 1993. Over 3,000 people died. Muslims were blamed for it, yet President George Bush came in support of Islam and Muslims separating terror and evil as a phenomenon confined to a few. Likewise, the governors in many states and mayors of numerous cities came out in support of Islam and Muslims. There were many ignorant hotheaded Americans who came to destroy Masajid and Muslim properties but the local police provided security services. In addition, thousands of liberal Christians and Jews visited Islamic centers in large groups to express their support and stood by the mosques in vigil. Since 9-11-01 the media in general has avoided equating terror with Islam and evil with Muslims; however there are some exceptions. As a result of Islamic Da'wah and Interfaith outreach work we are seeing pro-Muslim organizations being organized in America, such as the Jewish group Not In My Name (www.nimn.org) in support of Palestinian rights , Not In Our Name (www.notinourname.net) against the planned American war in Iraq, and Council for the National Interest (www.cnionline.org) in Washington DC for the purpose of educating America about the Middle East. Even a once anti-Islam organization dominated by the Jews, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has made a complete turn around and is supporting American Muslim demands for justice for the accused Muslims and welfare organizations. However, Da'wah and Interfaith work has not gone far enough to influence the media and the government to change their policies towards the Muslim world because there is not enough support in the American masses.
Opposition to Islam Stiffening
There is an effective opposition to Islam in America in the political arena. Extremist Anti-Islam bigots and demagogues are very much disappointed with the lukewarm support for their cause in the White House and the media, in general. Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Robert Morey, Daniel Pipes, Joshan Katz, Bill O'Reilly, Steve Emerson, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Bernard Lewis, Samuel Huntington, Henry Kissinger and hundreds of other lesser known enemies of Islam including a few senators and congressmen are very active in creating hate against Islam and Muslims, without much resistance. Fox News is dedicated to a full-time anti-Islam campaign.
The Muslim agenda should not be and cannot be to work against these bigots because it would fail. The real goal should be to remove their audience so that there is no one listening to them and they will talk only to the walls. This can happen only when the American people have been educated by the Muslims so they can discern the false propaganda. This is the kind of work not being done by Islamic organizations, except for the Institute of Islamic Information and Education (III&E), with the help of many cooperating Muslim individuals and a few Da'wah oriented Islamic organizations. If Muslim Americans and their organizations work together to educate the American people, America will change within the next ten years. See my articles: THE VISION and ONE FAMILY A MONTH on the web site www.iiie.net.
The work of Think Tanks and Foundations against Islam
In addition to the anti-Islam individuals mentioned above, there are several Think Tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) of New York, Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) in Philadelphia, John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies in Cambridge, the Rand Corporation, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC, Cato Institute in Washington DC, Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) in Washington DC, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) in Washington DC, American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington DC and others. The work of anti-Islam forces is supported by a number of multi-billion dollar foundations, such as the Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc in Greensboro, North Carolina, John M. Olin Foundation in New York, The Sarah Scaife Foundation, Scaife Family Foundation, Allegheny Foundation, Carthage Foundation, all four located in Pittsburgh, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc. of Milwaukee and many Christian Fundamentalist Church related organizations. According to some estimates, anti-Islam groups are spending as much as three billion dollars annually to fight Islam intellectually, theologically, socially, economically and politically. Hundreds of Islam-hate flyers, brochures, tracts, booklets and books are being distributed free by the millions all over the U.S. and abroad. There are over 1,000 anti-Islam web sites, some of which are supported by multi-million dollar budgets annually. In addition, there are over 200 Christian organizations spreading their own Islam-hate material worldwide.
American Think Tanks develop foreign and domestic policies which are generally adopted by the U.S. government, Republican as well as Democrat. In fact, many high level appointments by American presidents are drawn from the officials, committees and board members of these Think Tanks. Numerous Secretaries of various departments, Directors of the CIA and the FBI have been supplied by the Think Tanks listed above.
Muslims are Handicapped
Muslims do not have one-thousandth of the vision, organization, scholarship, analysis, foresight, planning, project development capability, money or manpower to fight this war as compared to anti-Islam forces. Rich Muslim individuals and Muslim world governments are complacent and do not have any sense of priorities besides being tight-fisted with Allah-given wealth to them. Muslims do not have a single Think Tank for themselves or to advise the U.S. government; this is due to the absence of vision and lack of understanding of their own priorities. The Muslim American leadership of all colors and shades is in a deep sleep. Concerned Muslims must come up with multi-million dollar projects for the establishment of Muslim Think Tanks to advise the media and the government and to develop strategies for winning American public opinion. AMC, MPAC, ISNA, ICNA, MAS and all other Muslim American organizations will fail if they do not have goals and plans for educating the American people and turning American public opinion 180 degrees around from anti-Islam to neutrality, if not pro-Islam and Muslims.
George W. Bush deceived the Muslims by promising that he will help to remove the Secret Evidence Law. He did worse by issuing unconstitutional decrees of No Evidence Law, racist anti-Islam decrees, and passed the unconstitutional Patriot Act. Muslims must establish a multi-million dollar legal fund to challenge all the Bush and Clinton era laws in the Supreme Court to have them removed from the books. In addition, there should be class action law suits against George Bush, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld and others in the government.
In the political arena, anti-Islam forces can organize money and manpower to defeat any politically neutral candidate for any office who may have some resemblance of neutrality towards Islam and Muslims. Anti-Islam forces have been able to move in force and defeat such candidates as Senator William Fullbright, Senator Charles Percy, Senator James Aburezk, Senator Abraham Spencer, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Congressman Pete McClosky, Congressman Tom Campbell and Congressman Paul Findley (who is fighting back through his writings and speeches in support of Arab and Muslim causes). Some of these defeated politicians have established CNI and this organization deserves Muslim help with money and manpower.
Failure of Muslim Organizations
Muslim's lobby organizations, American Muslim Council (AMC) and MPAC have failed in getting anything of value done except tokenism and a pacifier, such as prayers before an opening session of the House and Senate and a few Eid and Iftar parties in Ramadan in the White House. Muslim organizations have not been able to influence American government policies, domestic or foreign. These organizations have made no impact on the American media. This failure is built into the system. A lobbying effort without the support of the masses is doomed to failure and Muslim organizations like AMC, MPAC and other such organizations of Muslims have no work in the masses. American Zionists mobilize masses, Christians, Jews, Secular and others in their support before going to the Administration, Senate or the Congress with their agenda. When they get to these government agencies, they find that the media and the masses were already supporting their causes and they get what they want. Muslim organizations have nothing comparable in the American masses except a few Fax messages and Email messages sent only to Muslims; these messages are motivated mainly for fund raising. Outreach to the non-Muslim population is not in their plan or agenda because they do not understand how the American political system works and they have no realistic long-term vision.
American Government Policies Towards Muslim World
The American government, Administration and Congress, totally disregard the aspirations of the Muslim masses worldwide and pursues its own interests. If the Muslim masses do not like American policies, the American government engineers a military coup and a military dictator is appointed who fulfills the wishes of his masters, the Americans. Israel disrespects dozens of UN Security Council resolutions and the American government does not care, whereas Saddam Hussein faces daily bombings and there is a threat of American-British invasion. Saddam is an evil person who must be removed but that would not be possible without destroying what remains of Iraq and killing of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Iraqi people. Bosnia and Herzegovina belonged to the Muslim majority but the West allowed the Serbs to murder hundreds of thousands of Muslims and dislocate hundreds of thousands of other before dividing this small country into three parts. In Kosovo the U.S. and NATO waited until thousands were murdered and many thousands of others were dislocated before the Serbs were checked. For 54 years India disregarded the UN Security Council resolution for the plebiscite yet the West did nothing. When Kashmiris resorted to war for freedom, the West labeled them terrorists. The Israelis have resorted to military suppression of the freedom movement of the Palestinians. The Muslim world sees Israeli terror against the Palestinian as American terror by proxy because America pays the salaries of Israeli soldiers and provides all armaments which are used against the people of Palestine. In the Philippines Muslims have been fighting for their freedom and they have been labeled terrorists. East Timor, a Christian majority island, began a war of freedom and the West immediately pressured Indonesia into holding a referendum and giving them statehood. The Muslim masses are frustrated, sick and tired of hypocrisy and the double standard of the West, particularly the U.S. government. Muslim masses are sick and tired of American appointed and supported dictatorships all over the Muslim world. Muslims want the freedom enjoyed by the West and they want to build their own country and bring Islamic rule rather than the hegemony of the capitalists of the West. Muslim masses are frustrated and angry but they are helpless because they lack power to throw out the burden of indirect slavery of the West.
European and American Media Policies
The European media shows some objectivity and fairness in reporting news from the Muslim world. This has resulted in developing some understanding of the Muslim world by the European masses. But the situation in America is different due to the bias of the American media. In the sphere of foreign policy, especially towards the Muslim world, the American media has become the fourth branch of the U.S. government. The media keeps American masses ignorant of the truth; misinforms, disinforms and poisons people's minds into blindly supporting government policies, even when such policies are harmful for the U.S. except for a few capitalists. This situation frustrates and angers Muslims all over the world.
Violence vs. Education
Naturally, some Muslims out of frustration have taken up arms and adopted the path of violence to throw out the American appointed dictators and despotic rulers. Also, they want to remove foreign forces from their lands. I personally do not believe that any of these groups have attacked the U.S. mainland. In the opinion of this author, violence is not the right method to bring about change in the American government and the American media policies. The violence is counterproductive. Muslim Americans can contribute a lot to bring about a desired change through launching their own campaign of massive education of the American masses. If only one billion dollars are invested in this effort, within ten years the policies in America will change from anti-Islam to neutrality, if not becoming pro-Islam.
The Institute of Islamic Information & Education in Chicago (III&E) has developed projects for this education but lacks funding. These projects may take a few hundred million to a billion dollars, which is not a large amount of money as the Muslims have many billionaires and numerous multi-millionaires. Only one billionaire like the Saudi Sheikh Walid bin Talal Al-Saud and others like him can easily finance this project. There are many billionaires and hundreds of multi-millionaire Muslims around the globe who can finance the "Educate America" project. The III&E Projects include the "One Family a Month" approach to every home in North America; "Seminars for the American Leaders" in business, media, politics, churches and community organizations; "Integration of New-Muslims" into the Muslim Community at large through welfare, education and training projects; establishment of "24-Hour Radio and Television Networks" throughout North America, and much more. This is an opportunity for all sincere Muslims to participate through their heads, tongue, pen, feet, hands, and, very importantly, money to the best of their abilities. American people are good people who want to support the truth and the underdogs when they know it. Unfortunately, these good people have been kept ignorant about the Muslim world and are brainwashed into supporting evil labeled as good. It is the duty of the Muslims to remove their colored glasses from their eyes, remove their hoods as they have been hoodwinked and let the people see the truth. I am sure they will rise in support of the truth and the good things Muslims have to offer to the world.
Please contact this writer at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (773) 777-7443, fax (773) 777-7199. Please visit our web site www.iiie.net. Address: III&E, P.O. Box 410129, Chicago, IL 60641-0129. Bank and Investment account numbers are available upon request. The III&E is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under the IRS Code (501)(c)(3).
November 22, 2002