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retread| The Jewish Mirror 24 February 2007

Posted by EDITOR in History, MOZAFFAR, Politics, Theology.
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Retreads are quality posts from yesterweeks that are given a second run on Saturdays. This piece was originally posted by MOZAFFAR on 2 Jun 2006.

It’s very simple.

If the Prophet -p- has been reported to have said that we (Muslims) and they (the Jewish people) are so alike that we are like two shoes of a pair, then what does that tell you?  Further, look at al-Baqarah; our Blessed Creator speaks to us by way of speaking to the Children of Israel, and then (almost immediately afterwards) speaks directly to us.  He even repeats some of the same things that He says to them.  What does that tell you? 

As a community, explore all the different personality types we have.  Look at our community aspirations and concerns, successes and mistakes.  You'll see the exact same thing among the Jewish people.  Compare histories; you will see amazing similarities. 

That means that just as there are bad Muslims, there are bad Jews.  Just as there are good Muslims, there are good Jews.  But, perhaps equally important, the badness and goodness will parallel each other when we compare the two communities. 

Even that dichotomy is too simplistic.  Take it deeper.  If there are Jews seeking a religious version of the State of Israel, you will find the same thing among Muslims.  If there are Jews seeking a political Jewish entity, you will find the same thing among Muslims.  And, if there are Muslims against either of these, you will find Jews against either, and for parallel reasons (either because they favor secularism, or because they are concerned that faith is getting ignored in such efforts, or because they are deep in their materialist endeavors, or just because they have other views).

If 'the Jews control the media', and if that means that the Muslim voice is getting silenced (or if the voice of justice is getting silenced) in favor of sympathetic Jewish concerns, then, if/when 'Muslims control the media' you can expect the same thing.  But, in terms of the media, Jewish individuals are employed by it (even if there are Jews in positions of leadership), just as more and more Muslims are employed by it; there is, however, one different body, one different outlook that controls the media (to be discussed at the end).

In looking at the future of the Muslims in America, you need only look at the Jewish people and their experiences in America.  Is America a better place because of the Jewish people?  I have no idea.  But, I do know that many people are hoping that the Muslims will fix the problems of America, and I intend to be one of them. 

Thus, there are a few fundamental differences, not the least of which is the presence of indigenous African American Muslims.  As much as many of us would like to argue that the immigrant Muslim community is holding the African American Muslim populations down, I don't think that's the case at all.  Nobody owns Islam, especially in America, but again, that is another discussion for another time, because — by and large — the immigrant Muslims aren't doing much to help the picture.  Even then, what is the cause?  It's not bigotry; it's materialism.  As a result of the rampant materialism — giving power to the haves over the have nots — those among the immigrants are indeed causing problems.

The other significant difference is that Jewishness involves a mix of religion and ethnicity.  You can't ethnically be a Muslim, yet.

Thus, in terms of Muslims and Jews, we have that collective commonality as two shoes of a pair.  Mirror images of each other.  If you as a Muslim really want to see yourself, take a good honest look at the Jews.  Like it or not, that's the reality.

Now, at the individual level, or in terms of the nature of our faith, our parallel is the Christian community, to be discussed at another time.

Use this information as you will, but I hope at least that you don't buy into the notion that "the Jews are the enemy."  Rather, the 'enemy' that is destroying the Muslim community, that will render any new Islamic state (including Iraq, if it goes in that direction) absolutely null, is the same enemy that is steamrolling through the Jewish people, and will steamroll through Israel.  It is the same enemy that is destroying the earth.

That enemy is a particular worldview – unrestrained global materialism – which translates into a seemingly unstoppable economic order:  capitalism.  The response to capitalism is not, as history once attempted to tell us, socialism.  It's something far deeper, beginning with the core elements of our Iman (our faith).  But, that is another issue for another discussion. 

For now, don't get suckered into believing that the Jewish people are the enemy (any more than Muslims themselves may be). 

And, I am not calling on any Muslim to start bad-mouthing any other Muslim.  And, I am not calling any Jewish individual to start bad-mouthing any Jew.  Rather, I'm calling on all to stand for justice, as according to the dictates of their own religious traditions.  Muslims:  you start first.

You may find the above to be hard to swallow.  Maybe it sounds too apologetic for you.  Maybe it doesn't sound apologetic enough for you.

But, I find the above to be quite liberating. 

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