New Jersey Jihad Mosque Trustees Change Story, Now Say Duka Brothers "Were Angry and Frustrated by Iraq and Afghanistan"
June 7, 2007
New Jersey Jihad Mosque Trustees Change Story, Now Say Duka Brothers "Were Angry And Frustrated By Iraq And Afghanistan"
By Beila Rabinowitz and William Mayer
June 7, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews - Since the arrest of the Duka brothers in the Fort Dix jihad plot, spokesmen for the Islamic Center of South Jersey [ICSJ] which they attended have been feigning ignorance as to the motives behind the planned attack. Specifically, on March 14 ICSJ trustee Ismail Badat and his wife Naseem made the following comments on the Duka's motivation, "I don't know what triggered this action. They were not the radical type at all."
Two weeks later on May 30 the Badats suddenly recalled that the Duka's had shown anger over U.S. foreign policy, telling NPR that the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq may well have been a trigger, "All I can think of is their aggravation and frustration because of Iraq and Afghanistan" adding "It is the only reason I can think of. Otherwise, there is no reason whatsoever, no reason why they would be involved in such things."
This reversal - going from no motive to one completely in line with grievances stated by other Islamists - seems calculated, a pr move anticipating that the first cover story was unsustainable in face of the truth. It also suggests that the political viewpoints of the Duka brothers were well known at the Islamic Center.
Badat's statements portray him as being more concerned with the disruptive effect the Duka brother's plot is having on his mosque, rather than the fact that the Islamic Center of South Jersey seems to be terror friendly, "the attention the alleged plot has brought to his congregation is much more of a burden than other problems he has had to deal with, such as disputes over parking near the mosque."
Especially revelatory, Badat feels trapped by the incident, "Day in and day out, it keeps holding you all the time," he said "You can't get rid of it."
Perhaps one of the reasons why the plot keeps "holding" him so that he "can't get rid of it" is because even post the arrest of the Dukas, the ICSJ continues to distribute pamphlets and books which call people to jihad and its website provides links to hard core radical Islamist websites.
In a previous article [Duka Brother's Mosque - Islamic Center Of South Jersey Promotes Jihad At Open House] the authors showed that at the open house which was held on March 18, pamphlets and books were available which openly preached jihad. It is more than ironic that such material was in full public display at an event which was represented as delivering "a message of peace."
One of the texts provided to event goers was "Towards Understanding Islam" by Jamaat-e-Islaami ideologue Abul A'la Mawdudi and produced by ICNA, was promoted as being "beneficial to Muslims and non Muslims alike" adding that "To Muslim youths and adults it serves as a reminder of their fundamental obligations..."
In the chapter headlined "Jihad" we read that:
"Jihad is part of the overall defense of Islam. Jihad means to struggle to the utmost of one's capacity. A man who exerts himself physically or mentally or spends his wealth in the cause of God is engaged in jihad. But in the language of Divine Law this word is used specifically for the war that is waged solely in the name of God against those who perpetrate oppression against the enemies of Islam. This supreme sacrifice is the responsibility of all Muslims. If however a section of the Muslims offers themselves for participating in jihad the whole community is absolved from responsibility. But if no one comes forward everyone is held guilty. This concession vanishes for the citizens of an Islamic state when it is attacked by a non-Muslim power. In that case everyone must come forward for jihad.
Despite Ismail Badat's later claims that the Duka brothers hadn't expressed radical beliefs, indicating he had a relationship with them intimate enough to know how they felt, his previous statements to the press made it appear that he was not at all familiar with the Dukas.
"Ismail Badat, a trustee of the mosque, and his wife, Naseem, said they knew the Dukas worshipped there in recent years but didn't know the brothers well." [source http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1178865586289360.xml&coll=1]
Badat's statements are inconsistent to the point of absurdity; they hardly know them, but are sure they aren't radical, they are "well-behaved, well mannered", the mosque doesn't preach hate etc., etc.
"These were religious kids. They were hardworking boys. They were very friendly, well-behaved, well-mannered. There was nothing to indicate they were going off the path…We don't talk about hatred at our mosque. We come to pray. Islam denounces terrorism." [source Philadelphia Daily News, "Brother-in-law speaks of the Dix 6" May 10, 2007]
Badat's disingenuousness on the matter begs the question of how widespread was knowledge of the Duka's radicalism within the Islamic Center.
Post the Ft. Dix bust, Badat's action plan now seems to involve bringing in law enforcement and public officials to present a sanitized version of the Center's dealings with the Duka brothers, as Naseem Badat states, "We want to put out a true picture of this place…This is not a place where terrorism is taught."
Elemental in evaluating the Badat's claims of the Islamic Center's moderation, a review of the sites linked to by the ICSOJ website present distinctly the opposite picture, one which actively preaches jihad and religiously sanctioned terrorism. http://www.islamiccenterofsouthjersey.org/information/other/main.html
It is also not surprising that the Duka brothers found succor within the walls of the Islamic Center of South Jersey, though congregants including mosque trustees Ismail and Naseem Badat have skillfully used local media coverage to create a false impression of moderation, an in-depth examination of both the materials available at the mosque as well as links to radical Islamist organizations from the Center's website, send a very different message.
MIM: The websites which are linked to by the Islamic Center of South Jersey are all hardcore radical sites with cross which contain information or cross links to the Al Qaeda sites such as Islam Awakening and Qoqaz . Below are some excerpts from the information which is to be found on their websites.
Islamway Under attack
The story links Islamway.com to the case of Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian living in Montreal, who was arrested on the Canadian border with Washington state carrying explosives. The report states: "Terrorist organizations have been making increasing use of the Internet to further their violent agendas. They use computers to communicate, spread propaganda, fundraise and organize operations. Canada may be becoming a base for such cyber-terrorism because of its technological advancement, refugee policies, diverse immigrant population and weak counter-terrorism laws."
No representative from Islamway.com or the Islamic Assembly of North America was contacted for comment, and the only quote in the story is from the executive vice-president of the B'nai B'rith organization in Canada, saying "It is a very frightening thought that there is a Web site situated in Canada that is recruiting for people to participate in jihad."
The entire story is based upon a posting by a private individual on Islamway's English language discussion board, in the context of an ongoing dialogue between two individuals. There are over 28,000 postings on the discussion board, with more than 34,000 visitors to the page everyday, and over 4,000 active members. Islamway is in no way responsible for the content of postings by private individuals, anymore than CNN.com or Yahoo! are responsible for the postings found on the discussion boards on their sites.
The B'nai B'rith met with Canadian authorities today to take action against Islamway. A reporter from an Ottawa television station conveyed to Islamway staff that the Canadian authorities have dismissed the issue as baseless, and B'nai B'rith has refused any further comment.
We urge all members and supporters of Islamway to forward the included letter to the editor of the National Post, criticizing the paper for its negligent approach to this story; relaying, without any investigation, charges made by the highly subjective B'nai B'rith organization against Islamway, and not seeking any contact or interview with the staff of Islamway itself.
We cannot allow these kinds of attempts to restrict our da'awah and slander our website. Please support Islamway's effort to correct this situation. http://english.islamway.com/bindex.php?section=article&id=110
Fatwa Online: www.fatwaonline.org
A page of 28 Fatwa's headlined " Worship/Jihad/Terrorism/Suicide Bombings" includes:
Muslim Community Support Services:
Since September 2001 we have made great efforts to protect the rights of Muslims in United Sates and to help those who were detained by the government. We work with a number of attorneys all over the country to help provide legal support, arrange for bail money and pay for other legal costs.
We provide financial assistance to the affected Muslims brothers and sisters by paying for the unforeseen and unexpected expenses, like overdue rental payments, utility bills etc. which may occur sometimes.
Workshops / Seminars:
We arrange educational seminars and workshops to inform, educate and prepare Muslim communities in dealing with new socio-political developments in the country. These programs also serve to raise awareness amongst Muslims about their rights and responsibilities towards each other and the society at large.
We provide Islamic literature to various educational institutions, organizations, detention facilities, etc. as needed and when requested.
We serve to co-ordinate for foster-care and adoption of Muslim children by Muslim families, arrange for arbitration of business dispute between Muslim-owned businesses and mediate marital and family disputes under the Islamic laws.
style12" align=justify>Our organization is working to establish medical clinics in parts of the country to provide medical care to those who need it the most. We can also assist in providing medical assistance in emergency situations by utilizing the physicians in our network around the country.
A new and innovative idea in Islamic organizations, we serve to match Muslim donors with projects of their choice. This is done by identifying projects in Muslims communities which need funding and listing them in our newsletter and website, thereby allowing the donors to select and interact with the recipients and know exactly how their donations are being utilized. This allows quicker availability and better utilization of resources for worthy projects.
MIM: Ali Al -Timimi gave this talk at Purdue University during Islam Awareness Week.
Muslims in America in the Face of Accusations of "Fundamentalism" and "Terrorism"
Dr. Ali Al-Timimi
All praise belongs to God and may His blessings and peace be upon the Messenger. The topic that I have been asked to address is of immense personal interest. For it pains me to see Muslims en masse, without any qualification, vilified with labels of "terrorist" or "fundamentalist," as is so often the manner of our portrayal in today's media. It pains me even more when Muslims commit in the name of their religion acts which Islam condemns. Before addressing these two labels, terrorist and fundamentalist, I would like to preface my remarks begin with a brief historical introduction to the portrayal of Islam as violent.
The spread of Islam by the sword First we need to recognize that there is a certain historical context that has caused much of the confusion regarding the Islamic religion. This historical context is centered on the notion that Islam was spread by the sword. Initially, this allegation was employed by certain European Christian authors in their polemical works against the Islamic religion. Their argument was that Islam could not be a true religion since it was spread by the sword and further how could the prophet Muhammad truly be God's prophet while his message contains warfare or jihad? I am amazed to see such an argument while in the Gospel of Matthew ‘Isa ibn Maryam, Jesus the son of Mary, is reported to have said: Think not that I have come to send peace on earth, I have come not to send peace, but a sword. So even with such a clear statement where Jesus Christ describes himself that he has not "come to send peace on earth, but a sword," that is war; these authors conveniently overlooked this to lay a charge against Muslims because there are certain Islamic rulings regarding warfare or jihad; and they then further argued from this that Islam is a false religion and that the prophet Muhammad is a false prophet not truly sent by God.
Validity of the prophet Muhammad's claim As I have remarked in an earlier lecture that entire validity of Islam centers upon the claim that Muhammad was truly sent by God for humanity's guidance. This is true irrespective if we are investigating Islam's beliefs, practices, manner of dealing with others, moral code, view on women, or whatever. There would be no validity to any of Islam's positions regarding these or other issues unless we accept that Muhammad was God's messenger. If we reject such a claim then in reality Islam is no longer worthy of our investigation, as the foundation for its teachings would be inherently false. For this reason, any debate or discussion regarding the validity of Islam's view regarding a particular topic should be preceded with a discussion on the validity of the prophethood of the Muhammad. Was he, as he claimed, truly a prophet sent by God for the guidance of all of humanity? Thus implying that anything he said and did true? Or was he not a prophet sent by God, but merely an imposter? And if the latter then whatever is attributed to the Islamic religion can be have little value at best.
Europe's "enlightenment" The second factor in this historical context is what occurred in Europe during what was known as the age of enlightenment. This period followed the Renaissance when Europe shed what it viewed as the yoke of an oppressive church. As an alternative to religious teaching, a philosophy developed in Europe known as humanism which in turn had a certain political ramification known as secularism. Now since the Islamic world, or we should say at least as how it should be, according to its teachings makes no distinction between personal religious belief and societal practice. For Muslims believe humans have been created to worship God and further they believe that this worship of God extends to all spheres of life. Hence modern Western authors, who tend to look at the Islamic world from the backdrop of their civilization, find it something medieval, backwards, oppressive. They derive such ideas from their civilizational experiences with the Catholic Church and what subsequently happened during the Protestant reformation and the age of Enlightenment. Thus with Western civilizational embrace of humanism and secularism, in addition to old religious prejudices that stemmed from the historical conflict between the Islamic world and Europe; certain perceptions of Islam are found in the modern West as these societies are still Christian in nature or at least have their roots in Christianity. It is not uncommon therefore for certain individuals nowadays to employ certain expressions to describe Muslims. Among these are the labels of fundamentalist or terrorist. However, before I address these two terms specifically, it would be instructive to first see how Muslims look toward unbelievers.
Viewing ‘the other': classification of non-Muslims under Islamic law Obviously when a Muslim looks at the world he will see coreligionists who embrace the central tenet of Islamic faith by their recognizing that only God is to be worshipped and none other besides Him neither prophet like Jesus Christ or the prophet Muhammad or anyone or thing else. These individuals will also believe in the finality of the prophethood with the sending of the prophet Muhammad. A Muslim will also recognize that there are individuals outside of his community. There are people who adhere to other religions whether those religions Muslims would believe were originally rooted in the revelation sent by God, and subsequently corrupted only like Judaism and Christianity; or they believe that these religions have no basis from God and were invented by their peoples like the various pagan religions. These non-Muslims according to Islamic law fall into two major categories: (1.) unbelievers with whom Muslims are at war, and (2.) unbelievers with whom Muslims have a treaty.
 Unbelievers with whom Muslims are at war The first category of unbelievers, we said, are those non-Muslims with whom Muslims are in a formal war setting. For example, let us imagine two countries at war: one Muslim and the other non-Muslim. These non-Muslim combatants are referred to in the books of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) as al-harbiyun (combatants). With regards to these specific individuals, clearly Muslims would not show them gentleness, as they are enemy combatants during a war. Muhammad is the messenger of God. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. (The Qur'an, 48:29)
Non-combatants during war Yet at the same, it must be emphasized that Islam has prohibited under all circumstances the intentional taking of the lives of non-combatants. The Prophet has instructed: Do not kill a decript old man, or a young infant, or a woman. Based on this and similar statements by the Prophet, the Muslim scholars are in agreement that it is forbidden to kill the children and womenfolk of the unbelievers so long as they themselves do not participate in the war. Thus innocents, like women, children, elderly men who are incapable of participating in warfare, and likewise by the prophet Muhammad's instructions, those religious monks who are typically pacifists and hence do not engage in warfare; regarding all these people, the prophet Muhammad has forbidden us under any circumstance to deliberately take any of their lives. On one occasion during the lifetime of the prophet Muhammad, the Muslims attacked an inhabitation and during the heat of battle entered into a household and killed some women and children. When the Prophet came to know of this, he became angered and remarked that God has not sent us to kill the likes of these persons.
The application of weapons of mass destruction upon civilian populations Also if you look at the books of fiqh written in earlier centuries a question appeared concerning the use of catapults and cannons against civilian populations. As at the time of the sending of the prophet Muhammad, the weapons employed in Arabia were simple sword, javelin, arrows, and so forth. It was only much later that the use of the catapult and the cannon became prevalent in warfare. The Muslim scholars writing at that time were in agreement that it was impermissible to use the catapult or the cannon against civilian populations. Their reasoning was that when laying siege to a city and you bombard it with catapults and cannons, this would necessarily result in the death of non-combatants. So therefore the Muslim army when laying siege to a city of a country to which they were at war, they should not use these weapons that in the modern times we would equate with weapons of mass destruction. Such attitudes show how Islam values the sanctity of life and only permits the taking of the lives of those specific individuals who are actually engaged in warfare on the battlefield.
The rules of war The point here is that the rules of war have been unambiguously laid down in Islam. Among these rules, as we have mentioned, is that Islam does not permit the taking of innocent life even when you are at war. Interestingly, some researchers into the code of conduct during war have shown that a large part of the modern rules of engagement were actually adopted by West from the very rules of engagement applied by the Muslims during the wars between the two civilizations in the Middle Ages.
Unbelievers with whom Muslims have a treaty Islamic law recognizes three forms of treaties with the unbelievers. 1. A treaty for protective status, or, ‘aqd adh-dhimma 2. A treaty for cessation of hostilities, or ‘aqd al-hudna 3. And a treaty for safe passage, or ‘aqd aman Let us separately investigate each one of these three treaties.
Unbelievers under protective status The first form of treaty regards unbelievers, who are known as ahl adh-dhimma. They have been given a covenant that God's judgment and that of His messenger will be applied to them in perpetuity as they have decided to live on a permanent basis in a land governed by Islamic law. They are allowed to remain upon their religion and in return they pay a tax that is known as the jizya.
Unbelievers under a treaty of cessation of hostilities The second type of treaty covers unbelievers who have agreed to refrain from warring against the Muslims. They are referred to as either ahl al-‘ahd, or ahl as-sulh, or ahl al-hudna. They differ from the previous group, ahl adh-dhimma, as they reside in their own lands. Hence Islamic law does not extend to them. The main stipulation for this treaty is that they will refrain from in engaging in any act of warfare against the Muslims. With these unbelievers, God instructs us in the Qur'an with the following: So long as they are true to you, be true to them. (The Qur'an 9:7) In other words, so long as these unbelievers observe their part of the treaty, observe your part of the treaty. The verse then concludes with the following exhortation: Lo! God loveth those who keep their duty. So here in this verse, God teaches us that God loves for the Muslims to uphold their treaties with the unbelievers and that so long as the unbelievers uphold their treaty with us, we are obliged to uphold our treaty with them.
Unbelievers under a treaty of safe passage The final treaty covers unbelievers who find themselves in an Islamic land for a short period of time. Here Islamic law recognizes four groups of unbelievers who would fall under this treaty, namely: (1.) emissaries; (2.) traders; (3.) individuals seeking shelter; (4.) and finally individuals in need. In all these cases, these individuals known as al-musta'minun have come to an Islamic land without seeking permanent residence. Again these individuals have asked for safe passage through Islamic lands because they are traders, or members of a diplomatic delegation, or merely just individuals who need to pass through a Muslim land as they seek to go from one end of the earth to another. Regarding these individuals God has very clearly stated: And if anyone of the idolaters seeketh thy protection (O Muhammad), then protect him so that he may hear the word of God, and afterward convey him to his place of safety. (The Qur'an 9:6) In other words afford him the opportunity to be invited to the religion of Islam, and then deliver him to wherever he has asked you to take him. This is a very clear verse in the Qur'an. Based upon this, it is clearly forbidden for Muslims to take the lives of diplomatic embassies, businessmen, individuals passing through Muslim lands, and likewise people in transit that are going from one point of the earth to another point and are required to pass through an Islamic land.
Acts of violence perpetuated by Muslims So these are the categories of unbelievers as viewed by Islamic law. If you consider this, then we can frankly say that certain acts of violence perpetrated by Muslims against non-combatant unbelievers over the last ten or fifteen years clearly contradict Islam. It is exceedingly important that Muslims are the first and foremost to condemn and reject such actions.
Violence against diplomatic missions Among the directives given by the Prophet was his prohibition that emissaries be killed. The Prophet, likewise, forbade that emissaries be imprisoned. Thus the taking hostage of the US diplomatic mission to Iran some fourteen years ago is an act that the Prophet himself forbade. Unfortunately, it was perhaps this specific act that perhaps began the recent cycle of labeling Muslims as terrorists. All diplomatic missions are considered by the Islamic law to fall under the category of those individuals who have come to the Muslim world under a guarantee of safety, or an aman. Hence they are given safe passage and permitted to remain in a Muslim land for some temporary period of time without fear of any harm to their persons or property.
Violence against tourists Similar to the prohibition of violence against diplomatic missions would be violence against tourists as is with the recent events in Egypt. Like diplomats, these people have entered the lands of the Muslims assuming that they will be unharmed. Now whether certain forms of tourism are approved by Islam or not is not the issue here. The issue is that these individuals have come to a Muslim land under the assumption that while in these lands both their person and property will be unharmed. Therefore to take their lives is a breach on our part of that agreement.
Hijacking of airplanes Individuals in transit, like passengers on an airplane that either originates in a Muslim land or happens to stop in a Muslim land, also fall under the category of al-musta'minun. We are required to provide them all assistance they require while they are in transit from one point to another. Consequently, hijacking passenger airplanes is forbidden according to the religion of Islam. If this is the case with merely hijacking an airplane and diverting it from its course, then how much greater would the prohibition be if the hijacking entailed blowing up the airplane resulting in loss to either person and/or property.
Deliberate killing of non-combatants To intentionally kill non-combatants (like innocent women and children) would be under any circumstance forbidden irrespective if those women and children are citizens of a country with which Muslims are at war with the Muslims or not and irrespective if there exists an actual formal declaration of war or not. When we witness any of these or similar acts perpetrated by some Muslims, we must condemn these acts. It is very sad to see Muslims ignorant of their religion and not adopting the guidance of the prophet Muhammad. Due to their ignorance they commit these acts assuming they have religious sanction justifying such acts. They therefore smear the religion of Islam by their ignorance. In no way are we trying to be apologetic for our beliefs, however when we find something that our religion forbids we must clearly declare that it is forbidden without any hesitation. These acts when perpetrated by Muslims have led to the perception of Muslims as terrorists in addition to the prejudices that were derived from the historical context to which I alluded.
Muslims living in non-Muslim countries The next matter I would like to discuss is with regards to Muslims living under non-Muslim rule. This is the case with Muslims currently residing in the United States, Europe, Australia, or for that matter anywhere in the world where Muslims reside in a non-Muslim country. First it should be pointed out that according to Islamic law, Muslims in general should not seek to live among non-Muslims. This is the ruling of Islamic law even though many Muslims seeking to better their economic fortunes have become lax with regards to this ruling and have chosen to permanently reside among non-Muslims. And yes of course, there are those Muslims, like students, persons seeking medical care, and the like who are in non-Muslim lands only on a temporary basis. These individuals among others would be exempted from the prohibition of residing among non-Muslims. Nevertheless whether Muslims find themselves in a non-Muslim land on a permanent or temporary basis they are required by Islamic law under all circumstances to uphold their contracts with the unbelievers. When God instructs us by saying: O ye who believe! Fulfill your contracts! (The Qur'an 5:1) This means with everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. So therefore any Muslim who, for instance, comes to the United States and then in order to facilitate his entrance lies, then that individual would be sinful for breaching his contract. Similar in sinfulness to the Muslim who comes to this country on a false pretense, would be, for example, that Muslim who stays in this country illegally after he has given his word that he will remain only for that specific duration allotted to him and then subsequently leave. So if only by such minor breaches of contract a Muslim would be considered sinful, then how much more sinful would a Muslim be if he not only commits such acts but then further proceeds to takes lives that are inviolable by Islamic law. Regarding the taking of any innocent life of an unbeliever, the Prophet has said: Whoever kills an unbeliever protected by a treaty (mu‘ahad) that person would not smell the scent of paradise even though its scent will be smelt from a distance of forty years. This means such individuals who unjustly kill non-Muslims will face the threat of a great punishment on the Day of Judgment of being barred from paradise. I hope this clears up the accusation that Islam condones, let alone promotes, terrorism. Muslims categorically say that what is done by our fellow Muslims from acts of terrorism is indisputably contrary to our religion.
The World Trade Center bombing I remember that when I was told that some Muslims were implicated in the World Trade Center bombing. I was very saddened. At that moment, I jotted down on these two sheets of paper some thoughts that came to my mind that illustrate that this act is forbidden in Islam. The first point I wrote was that this act of bombing the World Trade Center, if Muslims did do so, would be counted among the great sins and falls under the category corruption upon earth that God has forbidden. Those who break the covenant of God after ratifying it, and sever that which God has ordered to be joined, and (who) cause corruption on earth: Those are they who are the losers. (The Qur'an 2:27) That was my first point. I also wrote nine other points that are perhaps not directly relevant to our topic. What I would like to emphasize is that according to Islamic law, this act perpetrated by those Muslims is forbidden. It is exceedingly important that we Muslims have no hesitation in declaring that. Yes we should be strict with our religion. And yes we should hold firm to it. But at the same time, when a Muslim does something criminal we Muslims will all say that it is immoral without any uneasiness on our part to assert that.
Fundamentalism The next matter that I will discuss concerns the accusation of fundamentalism. The question of fundamentalism really stems from an issue that it is significant to Protestant theology. Specifically, that following the period referred to as the Enlightenment a debate arose in European Protestant circles as to whether the Bible should be viewed as the literal word of God? In other words, are the events mentioned in the Bible, and in particular those found in the Old Testament, like the creation of Adam or the flood of Noah, are these stories to be taken literally? Or are these stories simply a reflection of the ideas held by the individuals who authored these books. On this matter, Protestant theologians basically divided into two groups: those who accepted these stores as literal and those who did not accept them as literal. The former came to be known as fundamentalists in opposition to those who were more liberal in their views. However, if we were to adopt this original definition of fundamentalism and then attempt to apply it to Muslims, we would find it to be completely without foundation. Why? Because all Muslims believe the Qur'an to be the literal word of God; meaning Muslims believe that God actually spoke the words of the Qur'an to the angel Gabriel who then transmitted it to the prophet Muhammad who in turn proclaimed those very words to all humanity. So since Muslims hold the Qur'an to be God's literal words, every Muslim would be by the very definition of fundamentalism a fundamentalist! And hence to say "Muslim fundamentalist" is a misnomer as the term fundamentalist in its original context is not really applicable as the question of the validity of the text of the Qur'an is inapplicable. So any Muslim by virtue of being a Muslim is a fundamentalist. You can see that this misconception that there are certain Muslims who are fundamentalist, and therefore necessarily backward in their views, and other vulgar portrayals, is really a problem dealing with their doubts regarding the validity of their own religious beliefs. These doubts that they harbor have caused them this bias against religion as a whole and specifically their own religion. They have then reassigned these biases to the Muslim faith. Again the issue of fundamentalist vs. non-fundamentalist Muslim should not be an issue that needs to be addressed for as we have said every Muslim is a fundamentalist in the sense that he believes the Qur'an to be God's literal word. This is a stipulation for faith regarding which there is no difference of opinion
. Now if the charge of fundamentalist is used to describe how certain Muslims deal with the modern world, as opposed to another group of Muslims who are referred to as modernist; then in actuality, those Muslims who are labeled as fundamentalist often do not differ greatly from what would be considered as proper conduct for change by secular norms. For example, the Algerians who sought to reform their society did so via elections and what would be called here in the US as the democratic process, irrespective if secular democracy is permissible by Islamic law or not. When the military junta in Algeria decided to cancel the elections, usurp the process and further imprison, and then torture the leaders of the FIS there was no uproar or condemnation by anyone in the "Democtratic" West. Unfortunately where the media emphasis is upon is on that minority who commit acts outside the law. In summary, we may say these accusations of terrorism and fundamentalism have an historical context: ancient Christian intolerance against Islam that was then amplified after the period known as the European enlightenment due to the West's subsequent adoption of humanism as its philosophy and secularism as its political system. It is in this light, that the West continues to look at the Islamic world. These prejudices have been compounded by acts of certain Muslims who regrettably adopt as a method for effecting political change in their society the guidance of Marx rather than that of Muhammad These Muslims engage in activities that are very clearly according to Islamic law– again this is not just one interpretation of some Muslim scholars – against Islam as those acts entail the taking of life forbidden under these circumstances. With this I will conclude my remarks and open the floor for questions and comments.
 The Qur'an is clear on this subject: There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. (The Qur'an 2:256) The biographical works on the life of the prophet Muhammad, or sira works, provide us with a background to the revelation of this verse namely that when some of the companions of the Prophet became Muslim they then attempted to force their new faith upon their children. God revealed the instructions that there can be no compulsion in religion.
 Ibn al-Qayyim (died 751 A.H.), Ahkam Ahl adh-Dhimma, Vol. 2, p. 475.
 Reported by Abu Dawud.
 Ibn Rushd (died 595 A.H.), Bidayat al-Mujtahid, vol. 1, p. 383.  Ibn al-Qayyim, Vol. 2, p. 475.
 Reported by Abu Dawud and Ahmad. See Mishkat al-Masabih, Vol. 2, p. 847. Ibn Jama‘ah (died 733 A.H.) remarks that in addition to the Prophet's specific prohibition, the general welfare prohibits such acts. See Tahrir al-Ahkam fi Tadbir Ahl al-Islam, p. 184. Within Islamic law we find a strong tradition of what we would today refer to today as diplomatic immunity. This practice traces back to the direct instructions of the Prophet. These prophetic directives form a nucleus for the rules governing diplomatic missions that were subsequently elaborated upon by scholarly works and the conduct of Muslim rulers during war and peace.
 Reported by Abu Dawud. See Mishkat al-Masabih, Vol. 2, p. 847.
 The embassy takeover occurred in November 1979.
 Reported by Al-Bukkhari.
 The World Trade Center bombing occurred in March 1993.
 Sins in Islam are two categories: greater and lesser. Adh-Dhahabi (died 748 A.H.) does not distinguish between murdering a believer and murdering an unbeliever protected by treaty in his book on majors sins. See al-Kaba'ir, p. 43.
 In his work Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, George M, Mardsen (1991) writes on the origin of the term fundamentalist: "The vast cultural changes of the era from the 1870s to the 1920s created a major crisis within [the] evangelical coalition. On the one hand were theological liberals who, in order to maintain better credibility in the modern age, were willing to modify some central evangelical doctrines, such as the reliability of the Bible or the necessity of salvation only through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. On the other hand were conservatives who continued to believe the traditionally essential evangelical doctrines. By the 1920s a militant wing of conservatives emerged and took the name fundamentalist."
 It should be noted that in addition to the Qur'an, Muslims also view the words and deeds of the prophet Muhammad as authoritative.
ARE WE READY TO ANSWER TO ALLAH - ON THE SITUATION IN CHECHNYA ?
1. True that the Muslim Ummah is like a one body. If one part of the body feels pain, rest of the body suffers that pain?
2. If part of a body is suffering due to an injury caused from an attack by a wild animal a normal human being will not sit and do nothing about that injury.
3. If we are Muslims our actions must reflect our believes otherwise there is no way to tell any difference between a true believer or a Munafiq (Hypocrite).
4. A person who compromises his or her Imaan (Religious Faith) by not speaking against evil be it oppression, killings of innocent people, occupation, usurping of people's rights of freedom and basic human rights just because it may damage their business, commercial, military trade prospects. Such a person, or the government has traded their Imaan for worldly benefits. They may have business, trade or commercial interest in mind but by compromising with the evil by not forcefully standing up against it they have removed themselves from the Muslim Ummah as described above. They will earn Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala anger and no material benefit will come their way which they hope to get by remaining silent or not coming forward in complete and full unqualified support of the Oppressed Muslims.
5. Now what we see today happening in the Muslim land of Chechnya before our eyes is that Russia is violating the Geneva Conventions and committing a Genocide against innocent people, killing old people, women and the Children through the use of indiscriminate massive force and genocide.
6. We all need to ask ourselves: Are we acting as part of the Muslim Ummah or one who is not? If not then Why? Are we ready to Answer before Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala for failing to step up to the plate and give our life and wealth to help the suffering brothers and sisters in Chechnya against this massive war of aerial bombings, missile attacks, and leveling of entire villages and cities throughout Chechnya in the most vicious and barbaric way to annihilate a nation completely that no one has ever seen in the recent history.
7. If we do not have an Answer to give to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala that is accepted by Him, then the necks of all the Muslims in the Ummah will be in a state of big trouble and there will be no one to help them at the time of Punishment of the Grave and the Punishment of Hellfire!
8. Having said that we must get down to do our own individual and collective evaluation (or Tazkia) to evaluate our standing and lack of efforts and help the brothers and sisters in Chechnya with our time, money and Jihad.
9. We all learn from Quran that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala tests the believers with various tests to see the level of their belief. Is it superficial, real, little or strong and unshakeable, responds to all the challenges, or does not respond fully to all the challenges?
10. Look at the Islamic Countries responding to the Call of Chechnya. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kuwait, Palestine, Libya, Egypt, Iran, Iraq and all the rest, including OIC (the Organization of Islamic Countries) keeping a deafening silence, and acting as accomplices of the Russian Crimes, or Keeping Silence because they fear a loss of technical commerce and military technology if they speak against Russia. This is like selling off their Imaan for a small gain, and is an act of Munafiqs - for not acting as part of Muslim Ummah that physically act to relief the aching part of one body. Those countries who fear a loss of military commerce and technology from Russia will not get the practical benefit of transfer if they displease Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and make Him Angry, Insha Allah by trying to stay silent, or not practically helping the Mujahideen ,and the brothers and sisters in Chechnya in the face of killings, and the massive use of force by Kaffir Russians.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala give those Kaafirs a humiliating defeat. (Ameen).
Praise be to Allah who grants dominance to whom He wills and deprives it of whom He wills. He is the Enricher and the Preventer. He the Almighty Says:
Peace and blessings upon His servant and messenger who was sent as a mercy to this world. He sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Verily, this matter (i.e.. this Religion) will reach what the night and the day has reached (i.e. the whole earth). Allah will not exclude an urban nor a nomad household without which this religion would have entered" [Reported by Ahmad].
During these times when the affliction upon the people of Islam is exacerbated, Islam continues to suffer ruthless attacks by its cunning enemies. These are the times of hardship and agony when the Muslim struggles to convince himself about the reality of the inversed facts. This is expected when polytheism becomes religious monotheism, when adulation of the enemies of Allah is regarded as wisdom and craftiness, when slackening to support and defend the oppressed Muslims is a sign of intelligence and aptitude. In short, when truth becomes falsehood and falsehood becomes truth. Living these critical times, one feels the urgent need of those honest and trustworthy people of knowledge and religion who are sincere to Allah, His Book, His Messenger and to the Imams of the Muslims and their common folk.
Unfortunately, we observe that many of those who claim to have knowledge are negligent in declaring the truth and in inviting people to it. Instead they garnish the falsehood and dissolute its identity in order to justify their negligence while accepting the transient adornments of this world. This lead the ignorant blind-followers to regard the statements made by these false men of religion as true evidence to dismiss them from preparing for revival.
One of the consequences of this chronic disease that was caught by the Muslim Ummah is the content and approval of our people when the infidel rulers of today held a permanent accord with the Jews. Those who did not approve this accord were nevertheless influenced by the fabrications made by those rulers and said: "The presence of the Jews on the land of Palestine has become an unavoidable reality that we must accept. The Ummah must now be prepared to deal with it !!". There are also those poor and defeated people who thought that this cursed accord will relieve their difficulties. The best of those people were crying: "Land in exchange for peace". All those people overlooked the fact that this is a matter of Kufr and Iman and that it is a trial from Allah to test His servants and to distinguish the wicked from the good, and to witness those who will give victory to the religion by sincerely fighting for Allah's Cause, as He the Most High said:
Indeed it is a trial and an affliction by Allah who promised to give victory, honour and consolidation to the believers. There is no doubt that disbelief and falsehood will be abolished, in particular the state of the Jews who earned Allah's Anger, the murderers of the Prophets and the enemies of the Messengers. The termination of this state is announced in the Book of our Lord and proclaimed by our Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.
Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala states: "And we decreed for the Children of Israel in the Scripture, that indeed you would do mischief on the earth twice and you will become tyrants and extremely arrogant! So, when the promise came for the first of the two, We sent against you slaves of Ours given to terrible warfare. They entered the very innermost parts of your homes. And it was a promise (completely) fulfilled. Then We gave you once again, a return of victory over them. And We helped you with wealth and children and made you more numerous in manpower. (And We said): 'If you do good, you do good for your ownselves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves'. Then, when the second promise came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to make your faces sorrowful and to enter the mosque (of Jerusalem) as they had entered it before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that fell in their hands. [And We Said in the Taurat (Torah)]: 'It may be that your Lord may show mercy unto you, but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our Punishment). And We have made Hell a prison for the disbelievers" [17:4-8].
In the previous verses, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala mentions how the Children of Israel rebelled and disobeyed the Command of Allah, and how they became extremely arrogant. The Qur'anic Mufasiroon (commentators) - may Allah have mercy upon them - have lengthily described how the Jews did mischief on this earth twice. Most of them report that the doing of mischief twice had passed when the Jews killed Zachariah 'alayhis salaam and then killed Yahiah (John) son of Zachariah 'alayhis salaam. However, the scholar Al-Shinqeety -may Allah have mercy on him- says in his Tafseer (Adwa'ul-Bayaan), that their conclusions were based on Israi'liat (Jewish reports). Al-Shinqeety in commenting on the verse 'But if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our Punishment)', says:
"The Most High explains how he decreed for the Children of Israel in the Scripture, that indeed they will do mischief on the earth twice. When the first promise came, He sent against them slaves of His given to terrible warfare who occupied their homes and tortured them. Then, when the second promise came to pass, He sent to them a tribe that made their faces sorrowful and who entered the mosque (of Jerusalem) as they had entered it before, and who destroyed with utter destruction all that fell in their hands. He subhanahu wa ta'ala also explained that if they return to doing mischief for the third time, then He will return to take revenge from them by subjecting their enemies upon them 'but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our Punishment)'.
Moreover, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala did not explain here whether they have or have not returned to mischief for the third time. However, He did indicate in many other verses that they have returned to mischief by disbelieving in the Messenger [i.e. Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam], by covering his characteristics that are mentioned in their books, and by breaking their covenant with him and supporting his enemies, and many of their other hideous habits. So Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala has retaliated to fulfil 'but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our Punishment)' by sending His Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and the Muslims upon Bani Quraitha and An-Naddeer, Bani Qainuqa' and Khaybar where they were killed, made captives and expelled, and those who remained were forced to pay the Jiziah, so that they were deprived and dishonoured. Among the verses that prove their return to mischief is the Sayings of the Most High:
'And when there came to them (the Jews), a Book (this Qur'an) from Allah confirming what is with them [ Torah and the Gospel], although a foretime they had invoked Allah [for coming of Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam] in order to gain victory over those who disbelieved, then when there came to them that which they had recognised, they disbelieved in it. So let the Curse of Allah be on the disbelievers. How bad is that for which they have sold their ownselves, that they should disbelieve in that which Allah has revealed (the Qur'an), grudging that Allah should reveal of His Grace unto whom He wills of His slaves. So they have drawn on themselves wrath upon wrath. And for the disbelievers, there is disgracing torment' [2:88-90], and His Saying:
'Is it not (the case) that every time they make a covenant, some party among them throws it aside?' [2:100], and His Saying: 'And you will not cease to discover deceit in them..' [5:13], and His Saying:
'And those of the people of the Scripture backed th(the disbelievers) - Allah brought them down from their forts and cast terror into their hearts, (so that) a group (of them) you killed, and a group (of them) you made captives. And He caused you to inherit their lands, and their houses, and their riches, and a land which you had not trodden (before)' [33:26-27]". [ Adwaa' ul-Bayaan 3/408]
It is evident that Allah has Promised to subject upon the corrupted Children of Israel His believing servants who will afflict them with a horrible torment. And here they are today, they have became tyrants and extremely arrogant, they have spoiled the tillage and the progeny and caused mischief on earth. We ask the Almighty to hasten His Promise for He has Stated:
Commenting on this verse, Ibn Katheer reports how Mousa 'alayhis salaam forced the Jews to pay land tax, then they were conquered by the Greeks, the Kashdanies and others, then they were surmounted and degraded by the Christians, then when Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam came, they were under Islam's subjugation and custody, compelled to pay the land tax and Jiziah. Finally, their end will come when they emerge as supporters of Ad-Dajjal (Anti-Christ), who will be killed by Eesa bin Maryam (Jesus) 'alayhis salaam and the Muslims. This battle will take place at the end of time. [Tafseer Ibn Katheer 2/288]
The Praiseworthy Said: "The Jews say: 'Allah's Hand is tied up (ie. He does not give or spend of His Bounty)'. Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered. Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends (of His Bounty) as He wills. Verily, the Revelation that has come to you from Allah increases in most of them their obstinate rebellion and disbelief. We have put enmity and hatred amongst them till the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindled the fire of war, Allah extinguished it; and they (ever) strive to make mischief on earth. And Allah does not like the Mufsidun (mischief-makers)" [5:64].
In this verse, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala revealed how their Kuffr, extreme envy and departure from the truth, led them to deceive the believers. He subhanahu wa ta'ala further revealed that He will defend His believing servants and will repel the conspiracy of the Jews in two ways:
Firstly, He subhanahu wa ta'ala has put enmity and hatred amongst them till the Day of Resurrection, they will never agree upon the truth so long as they deny and disbelieve in the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.
Secondly, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala has promised to extinguish every fire of war they kindle. Hence, every time they betrayed the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and the Muslims or continue to contest the religion of Allah, He the Almighty abolishes their cunning ambitions.
It is important for the Muslim to know the characteristics of the Jews that are mentioned in Allah's Book because it will be these characteristics that will initiate their downfall and humiliation. Some of these distinctive characteristics of the Jews are explained below:
If one is to follow the stories of the Jews in Surat Al-Baqarah, Al-A'araf and others, and how they treated their prophets, one would find wonders. Their disbelief and rejection of the Message of Allah with utmost arrogance is the true nature of the Jews. That is why no deviant nation has been Cursed by Allah more than that of the children of Israel. They truly earned the Wrath and Resentment of Allah, and thus they have lost all the factors of survival and existence.
As for the glad tidings of the Sunnah which were articulated by the trusted and the trustworthy Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, Ibn Umar radiallaahu 'anhu narrates that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "The Dajjal (anti-Christ) will appear behind the city, then Allah will exploit the Muslims to kill his followers, so that the Jew would hide under a tree or (behind) a stone, and that tree or stone will say to the Muslim: 'There is a Jew (hiding behind me)! Kill him' " [Reported by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad].
The Prophet's sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam saying, 'You will fight the Jews' is addressed to the Companions; however, within the context it intends those who come after them. The above mentioned Ahadeeth and others confirm the occurrence of a battle with the Jews wherein they will be killed. Those Ahadeeth embody great tidings for this Ummah, which are the continuity of the religion of Islam till the time when E'esa bin Maryam 'alayhis salaam descends and the continual existence of the Supported Group (At-Ta'ifah Al-Mansoorah) which will continue to fight till he 'alayhis salaam descends as stated by the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam:
"There will always remain a group from among my Ummah who will continue to fight by the truth, they are apparent to those who oppose them, until the last (followers) of them fight the Maseeh Ad-Dajjal" [Reported by Ahmad and Abu Dawood].
The Ahadeeth that describes At-Taai'fah Al-Mansoorah are famous and numerous in both of the Saheehs and other compilations. Many of the Sahabah radiallaahu 'anhum narrated the descriptions of this group which include the fact that they establish Allah's Commands, and that they are supported and upheld by Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.
The above mentioned sacred verses and narrations indicate that this Ummah has been promised victory and consolidation when it abides by the prerequisite causative means, ie. when it arms itself with steeds of war and prepares itself to fight for the Cause of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. Thereafter, the State of the Jews will perish.
Fatwa page from Salafipublications.com
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MIM: Below are the transcribed remarks of the politicians who were at the ICOSJ open house event which each outdoing themselves in dhimmitude.
Mayor of Palmyra John Gural remarks at Islamic Center of South Jersey Open House May 18th 2007
Thank you very much. We have a big crowd is here this evening Id like to thank everybody for coming coming here for and attending this important event. I would be less then truthful if I didn't say that I wasn't afraid and I think many people are. We see on the news every evening the atrocities that are committed overseas and our heart goes out to the men and women who protect our country and lay down their lives every night. We have a fine police department here in Palmyra who do the very same thing.Including that we have excellent law enforcement personel at the federal level the FBI who Ive been in contact with and they are doing everything in their power to enact justice in this particular case which ladies and gentlemen doesn't have anything at all to do with this mosque. As you've heard from previous that those men chose to worship here does not mean that everybody associated with this mosque is in any way associated with those men.
The Constititution the First Amendment provides freedom of speech, religion, press, and assembly quite obviously all of those civil liberties are being exercised here this evening. The preamble to the Constitution also states that "We the People of the United States in order to a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure and tranquility, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and for all posterity. What those words mean to me in one aspect ladies and gentlemen is that nothing is more important then the national security of this country and in my particular case the health and welfare of the residents in the borough of Palmyra. And I believe that everybody in authority is doing everything they can to ensure the health and welfare and the protection of our residents both here and on a large scale.
It's a difficult time to raise a family and as I said at the top of my statements I am afraid. But a lot of my fears are based in ignorance. I do not consider myself a prejudiced person in the least I believe I don't have a prejudiced bone in my body but I don't have any Muslim friends. It's ignorance ladies and gentlemen I think many times that created divisiveness and ignorance in my particular case could not be any more obvious,this evening because I am wearing one black and one grey sock. Palmyra represents the epitome of small town America. Our children go door to door on Halloween we have block parties. I have lived here my whole life and the gentlemen I am with have lived here longer then that. We really represent whats best about America I think. This will allow me to talk about diversity. And its quite a diverse community. We're a progressive community,we're a tolerant community and I could not be prouder if I were mayor of diversity (unclear) or Paris France,and it's a great place to live. I am happy and grateful for the people who live in this community who Ive had the opportunity to befriend and serve and I think that moving forward we will all have a greater understanding of what it means to be a part of the community learn to live together and do whats right for the greater good of the community as whole.
Again I want to thank everybody and take the opportunity for being here this evening.
Speech by Congressman Robert Andrews at Islamic Center of South Jersey Open House: May18th 2007 Thank you. Thank you very much. On behalf of the one hundredth and tenth Congress of the United States of America I bring you a message of humility ,thanksgiving and hopefulness. Im humbled as your friend and (unclear) to be invited to this special place tonight to be with my neighbors and friends. And I count it as a personal priviledge to be with so many friends from over the years and to be with you on such an important occasion. I'm thankful that we are gathered here tonight as neighbors, as fellow Americans,and fellow citizens of the world. There are so many places in our world where we could not have a gathering like this in a room where people trace their roots to every continent on the face of the earth, trace their faith to every faith known to man and woman in the world, every ethnicity. We couldn't gather and have a peaceful and joyous discussion as we will tonight. I am very thankful for that. And I am thankful for this center and for facilitating such an opportunity tonight. I am very proud to be here. I am very proud that this center is in our Not only for the men and women and the families that have built it and who give it life but for the neighbors who sustain it Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, I am proud that this is facility has a welcome place in our neighborhood and our hearts. I am thankful that we have law enforcement personeel in our country although not perfect, no one is perfect, even members of Congress.That are law enforcement personeel defending people not based on where they worship but on their duty as sworn officers of the law.
And I express my thanksgiving to the local police for the great job that they do and I know the mayor supports them completely. The FBI US attorneys, investigators for the vigilant work they do for all of us in the community. I am thankful for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States of America's military. Who come from every walk of life and every faith. And I am thankful that that their lives are being safeguarded not only with our law enforcement rules but with our prayers and with our aspirations. And I acknowledge the fact that those who wear the uniform of this country come from every faith, come from every ethnicity,and are united by a common love for and a devotion to our country. And I am thankful that there is a legal system in our country where there is a presumption of innocence and I acknowledge that presumption tonight.
We are gathered here not out of a conclusion about what has happened but out of a conviction that people understand what has not happened. I know you are here tonight because this is a place where peace,not violence is taught and practiced. I know we are here tonight because this is a vital part of the American community, not an enemy of nor opponent to the American community. I am thankful we live in a country where the rule of law prevails over any prejudice and any passion of the moment. We are not perfect althought that is our objective. And I am hopeful that tonight we will be able this evening to have a beginning for some and a continuation for others in the education process. As our speaker so eloquently expressed already tonight that we are united by love for our country not divided by our differences as to how we worship or were are families came from.
We are united by a common desire that the peaceful practices that we heard about tonight become our aspirations and that will be true of every aspect of every community, No American should ever be subjected to discrimination, hatred or violence because of how he or she worships or where his or her family came from. But every American has the responsibility to speak up against hatred and violence from wherever it emanates even if it emanates from one who is from our own ethnic or religious community. I think that the speakers tonight have spoken powerfully and eloquently of their love for our country and their devotion to peace. Their devotion to be sure that the words of their sacred religious texts that they quoted are not simply words but convictions that are part of their daily lives and Im inspired by what I heard from our speakers tonight but not surprised.
I am gratified by what I heard tonight but not at all not at all unexpected what we heard tonight.Less then 24 hours ago I was doing the job that you actually pay me to do in Washington standing on the floor in the House of Representatives, and the podium before which we speak has carved into the phrase E Plurbius Unum. It is a carving that I look at every day when I am priviledged to serve in the United States of America. And it is more then just a carving on a piece of podium.Its an expression of why we are here tonight. E Plurbus Unum means out of many one. There are few places on the face of the earth as diverse as the United States of America. It is the secret to our success that we have always been a place where people of different ethnicities and backgrounds come and try and contribute. It would be the cause of our failure should we ever turn our backs on that tradition. We share our out of many one pain as well as progress. When an American solder dies the sacred texts of the Hindus and Buddhists are read as is the Jewish Torah as is the Christian Bible as is the holy Koran of the Muslim faith. We are united in our pain but we are are also united in our prospects and our aspirations.
I don't want to leave this place tonight without feeling a sense of hope and optimism that our darkest passions that sometimes dominate our discussions are the exceptions in America not the rule.The rule is cooperation love for ones neighbor and devotion to ones country. I am humbled to be a part of tonight's discussion and I thank you and each and every one of my neighbors for taking part.