[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]


The United States of America is a vast country inhabiting people of almost all regions, languages, races, culture and religions of the world. It is a heterogeneous country and everyone who is living in this land of opportunities feels proud of calling him or her as “American.” Every community is flourishing with pride and honor of its own legacies, heritage, customs and traditions in the midst of ever-growing and all enveloping free-for-all American culture. Each one feels free to observe their respective feasts and festivals and national days with pomp and shows. The growing American civilization has a generous room for all these variations in cultures, religions and life styles. The Muslims of America are also an integral part of this process and have been enjoying their life pattern till lately with much fanfare.


But American Muslims are different from their erstwhile contemporaries living in the USA. Whereas each community is gradually being absorbed in the melting pot of America and fast adopting its culture but the Muslim Ummah is an exception to this rule. Its formation and characteristics are different from others. It is a “nation” that is not build on the basis of race, language or ethnicity as others are but on the basis of an ideology – One God, one universe, one Kalama, one Deen [way of life] and one Ka’ba to which every Muslim/Muslimah faces in his or her prayers, irrespective of the fact where he/she is. Their “nation” is Islam. Their model is the life pattern of Rasulullah (S). They are always to be obedient to Allah in every walk of life. Islam is their creed. They are thus unique people on the surface of earth, quite different from others who are stretching in the vast tract of America. As such, the Muslims will never be able to loose their identity even in the gloomiest circumstances, worst than what they are facing today. This condition of Muslims has very correctly been pronounced by Iqbal:


“Apni millat per qayas aqwame Maghrib ka na kar >< Khas hai tarkeeb mein qawmey Rasule – Hashmi” [Translation: Don’t behave with the Muslim Ummah on the pattern of Western nations; The Ummah of Rasulullah (S) is quite especial (unique) in formation]     


This “specialty” of the Muslim Ummah equally demands different behavior and a character that is unique too. The tragedy of Muslims lies in the fact that they are claiming as Muslims in their name and nomenclature but not acting and behaving as a Muslim should. As such, they have become a symbol of misnomer not only in the special context of America but every where on the surface of the earth. They do claim that they are obedient to Allah alone but unfortunately they are obedient to everyone but not to Allah. They profess that they are holding the rope of Allah [the Qur’an] but in fact they have left it far behind. They repeat like parrot: O Allah, we seek help only from thee, but in fact they are wandering in this world with “beggars bowl” to everyone, to their adversaries but not to Allah Whose promise always one can find in waiting in the horizon. They commit every now and then to follow the life pattern of Rasulullah (S) but in fact their models are the people sitting in the Whitehouse, 10 Downing Street and Elysees Palace. Whatever the Muslims are facing today in the USA or elsewhere in the world is nothing but the direct outcome of their own negligence of their faith, their commitment to their Allah and eagerness to make this worldly life [“mataun qaleel” – the valueless world] happy and prosperous. They are reaping the harvest of neglecting on one side their Deen and on the other not undertaking to be worthy of the “expectations” that they were supposed to act, behave and profess like truthful Muslims and Muslimah wherever they are and whatever they are doing.


In the American context, they have to prove to their neighbors and the common folk of this country that they are “the salt of the sea and lamp of the mountain”. Through their behavior, trustworthiness, honesty at work, service to the people, they are to be recognized in the society as men of words, dedication and humble to the cause of the people who come to their contact. They are to show their worth as good neighbors, honest citizens, promoting the values that are akin to Islam too more than the American people love and promote them in their homes, society and work places.


But it would be possible for the American Muslims to attain this “loveable” status only when they resolve to be the integral part of the political process of this country. Muslims have neglected this phase of life so far out of “hesitation” and taking extraordinary “care” that they do not become part of a “Batil” system. Prima facie, their hesitation was not baseless. Their “care” was not unfounded. But, so far Muslims are concerned, the situation has changed and the political atmosphere in the country has taken an outright turn of 180 degrees. They are now the pinpointed targets of “doubt, distrust and disloyalty” and the Zionist dominated media is promoting it day in and day out. The tragic “drama” of September 11 was staged by those who were scared of the increasing numerical strength of American Muslims. These vested interests accomplished their “objective” and made the Muslims “shaky” and somewhat “uprooted”. It is my well considered apprehension that the same “people” may sometime in near future play another violent “game” and cause severe damage to this land, “pinpointing” immediately towards Muslims, their scapegoats as President Bush did within a couple of hours of the great tragedy of September 11. That will be a death knell to the Muslims of America. The Jewish lobby and persons like Daniel Pipes are “eager” to create such situation sooner than later.


This is an eye-opening scenario for the American Muslims to envision forthwith. They have no time to waste. They have to give up the mantle of hesitancy immediately, decide on community level to jump into the political process of this country as a “lesser evil” in comparison to sit like a spectator at the “outskirts” of the political arena of the USA. This is an election year. When the annihilation of the community is involved as a whole, Muslim leadership cannot sit idle but should jump into the process. Seven to eight million Muslims live in the USA and they can easily muster about three million Registered Voters to play an important decisive role as who comes to power and who supports the Muslim’s cause with dignity and justice not only in the USA but abroad too. American Muslims hold the balance. They must now act before “someone” else acts against them. Let us destroy our declared enemy’s “game plan” in its bud.


This unavoidable approach will bring the Muslims in the forefront. Muslim leaderships, our Imams and Muslim communities have to play dominant role in getting the Muslims registered as voters, building a team of volunteers [political workers] and raising special funds to cater the essential needs of the Ummah at this critical juncture, failing which the “enemy”, waiting in hiding behind the scene, will act and act ruthlessly with horrible consequences on our very existence on the soil of America. Let the American Muslims work fast as time waits for no body.



Shamim A Siddiqi

Dated: February 14, 2004