June 13, 2011

From: Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia
To: Dr. Sanisyanain Khan

Dear Doctor Saheb,

As-Salaam Alay-Kum

I am delighted to hear that your beloved father, Honorable Maulana Wahiduddin Khan will be addressing the ISNA Convention to be held in Chicago between July 1st through July 3rd, 2011.

Without an iota of doubt, many distinguished Islamic scholars will attend the ISNA Convention. I must honestly admit that the compilation of “Short Biographies” of those who will be attending is quite impressive indeed. As you well know, I am an ordinary Muslim, therefore, cannot contribute much to the discourse on our great religion of Islam. However, I can only watch from the sidelines and see where the on-going discussions, dialogues and debates lead to?

Maulana Wahiddudin Khan being a genuine Islamic scholar has always interpreted the message of Islam in a purely puritan context. Of course, there are many who do not endorse his viewpoints, nevertheless, he has a right to his own opinion which I happen to endorse. Surely, many Muslims attending the ISNA Convention will graciously welcome Maulana Saheb and I am more than confident that his presence will help pave the way for the better understanding of the “Dawa Work.

Doctor Saheb, what we Muslims fail to grasp is a harsh reality that it is almost next to impossible to promote the Islamic “Dawa Work” in a highly educated country where many learned men and women have studied the religion of Islam at length and have expressed their respective opinions in various media channels. It will be a sheer stupidity on our part to ignore the voices of reason by continuing to label their attitude and/or reaction as Islamophobia. I only request you, Maulana Wahiddudin Khan, Khaja Kaleemuddin, Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, National Director – Office for Interfaith & Community Alliances, Islamic Society of North America and Mukhtar Ahmad, Director of Programs & Educational Services to click and listen very carefully to the two very powerful videos as follows:

Three Things About Islam

Islam is NOT peaceful, but is very hostile and violent

We should all know that those Muslims who are involved in any kind of terrorist activities, would, as per Quranic teachings, easily fall in the category of incorrigibly misguided people as Holy Quran declares them as: “They are utterly deaf, dumb, and blind; they can no longer recover, Surah Al-Baqarah or The Cow (Chapter 2 – Verse 18). Well, having said this, then what about the majority of our “Muslim Intelligensia” who will be gathering at the ISNA Convention? Certainly, the educated class are neither deaf nor dumb so to speak. So may I humbly ask, “What is holding them up from addressing the burning issues of the day?” One has to be “Intellectually Honest, and as such, must start to get educated as to what the people of other religions are thinking about Islam. In order to take a first step forward we must earnestly start by acting as “Almighty Allah’s Ambassadors” and begin to rectify the image of Islam which has been distorted by many which include some of our very own Islamic scholars too.

A single Quranic verse comes to mind, “Qad A’Flaha Man Tazakka” means, “Prosperous indeed is he who purifies himself” as pointed out in Surah Al-A’la or The Most High (Chapter: 87 – Verse 14). At this crucial juncture of the Islamic history, we must collectively apply “Purified Thinking” into all that we do from here on. Polluted conspiracy theories must be shed away once and for all. By continuing to dwell on the false theories will portray us as nothing but a bunch of “Intellectual Deceits” not worthy to be the true followers of our Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) whom our Holy Quran proudly claims as: You are surely of a sublime character, and do act by a sublime pattern of conduct. Surah al-Qalam or The Pen (Chapter 68 – Verse 4).

Furthermore, kindly allow me to pinpoint a few more websites that may be glanced at during the ISNA Convention. Though, many attendees might not prefer to browse through these websites, nevertheless, it will make us much more wiser to get to know about the prevailing debates raging about Islam in the western media. Otherwise what is the point in talking about Muslims as the followers of the peaceful religion of Islam? From these websites you will notice that some of the contents are thought-provoking and some are outrightly provocative, nonetheless, it should compel all Muslims to take the contents of these websites seriously and for once ponder over the possible implications if we continue to discard the concerns of those who are busy questioning about the religion of Islam. As a Muslim layman, I feel that all such issues must be openly addressed and the responsibility squarely falls upon the Muslim religious leaders as well as the intellectual class and no one else. The four websites are as follows:

The Religion of Peace

Act For America

Creeping Sharia

Bare Naked Islam

Maulana Wahiddidun Khan in his book, “Islam and Peace” wrote, “the need of the hour is to awaken the missionary spirit in these Muslims settled in foreign lands, so that they may effectively communicate the message of Islam – a task of universal magnitude made incumbent upon them by their new sets of circumstances.” Mark the four key words, “new sets of circumstances” which is what I personally pointed out to you during our recent phone conversation. Believe it or not, there are plenty of new websites that are hell bent on undermining the good name of Islam and are continuing to do so on a daily and weekly basis. In this hostile circumstances what can “A Daee” convey to the “People of the Book”? Yesteryears Daees possessed a “Noble Character” and operated in a world without terrorism, unfortunately, today’s Daees are certain to be faced with answering the inquisitive questions as to what went wrong with Islam, and also, about the flaws in the Sharia Law. After all, no Muslim should ever forget that the world changed from the tragic day of September 11, 2001. As far as I am concern, I am probably one of the few Muslims who wholeheartedly believe that it was the Islamic terrorists that caused the deaths of close to 3,000 Americans on that fatal day. Hallucinating every time when asked about 911 that it was a so-called “Inside Job” is nothing but an “Intellectually Dishonest” statement.

Honestly speaking, with little that I know about Islam, nonetheless, I am acutely aware that the “Moderate Muslims” will continue to remain silent as always, and I also know that only a fraction, if any, will ever bother to respond to my email messages. Of course, chances are that the majority of my Muslim brethren will conclude that my thoughts are “Anti-Muslim, thereby, probably labeling me as “An Enemy of Islam. What else is new? No matter what the case be, it is high time to speak out, or else, all the future generations of Muslim youths will be go astray, or should I say, they will be lost in the wilderness. If we the Muslim elders, do not set things in order by intelligently correcting those who have mocked the religion of Islam, and at the same time, fearlessly questioning our Islamic scholars who were and are responsible for grossly misinterpreting some of the verses of our Holy Quran regardless of their stature in our Islamic society, then we are doomed for sure and likely to be persecuted around the world. Lest not forget that “Freedom of Speech” is protected by the “First Amendment” to the United States Constitution, henceforth, American Muslims from all walks of life must make it a regular practice to question the authorities who claim to represent the common interests of Muslims in America.

For now, I strongly recommend the worldly wise Muslim leaders who will be attending the ISNA Convention to listen and ponder over the concerns expressed by a man who was born a Christian, converted to Islam and became a reborn Christian – Dr. Udo Ulfkotte’s interview is unarguably alarming. We as Muslims must make a note of his valid concern.

All in all, many of my fellow Americans believe that “There is a Muslim problem in the world,” one amongst them is none other than Mr. Bill O’Reilly of Fox News whom American Muslims are not too fond of, though I do admire the man. His interview with Deepak Chopra who recently penned the book “Mohammed – A Story of the Last Prophet” is noteworthy. I say, let our “Muslims Intellectuals” stop spinning any more of the weird conspiracy theories around that does not seem to end. Instead, we must all be bold enough to carry on an “Intellectual Dialogue” with the likes of O’Reillys and Chopras. They both are fine gentlemen and we need not discard their respective point of views either.

Very respectfully yours,

Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia

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