Islamic Terror: What Muslim Americans Can Do

A Muslim American activist, author and attorney, explains why it is Muslim Americans who must take the lead in identifying and combating Islamic extremists within their communities.

Comments (25)

(17) Carole, April 25, 2016 6:48 AM

MEANING OF JIHAD

I think one of the main educational points to make is the true meaning of JIHAD. The first and primary goal of Jihad is to overcome the evil inclination within oneself, much like the concept of Yetzer Tov and Yetzer Hara in Judaism. Jihad has many meanings. Linguistically speaking Jihad means struggling or striving. To practice self-control and betterment. You can google the Islamic Supreme Council of America for more info on Jihad. Often it is translated as "Holy War" but this is not a good translation as really there is no such thing. Jihad can also be equated to the Just War concept in Christianity, but individuals would not be able to proclaim any type of Just War against anyone. I would translate the way groups like ISIS are using the world "JIHAD" as "CRUSADE" because that is what they are; Crusaders on a crusade to accomplish their own agenda and put themselves in power. But just educating other Muslims under this gentleman's idea may not end up being as successful as he and many would hope as there are too many Christian leaders teaching hate towards Muslims and insisting they worship a different G-d, even to the point that they will insist also that Jews worship a different G-d than the G-d of Abraham. Now how Christians can turn the page from the Old Testament of their Bible to the New Testament and suddenly G-d is different I don't know, but it is happening. So where does that leave the propaganda war this man is suggesting? And as far as ISIS goes, it appears they are too far gone for words of wisdom to reach them. I support the man in his work but the Muslims of the Middle East are not that easily educated or enlightened and I think many might ignore any American Muslim attempts to change their world view and pass it off as Western influence on their views.

(16) Anonymous, April 12, 2016 4:53 PM

Thank you very much

I wish to thank the young man for standing up for all of us, Moslems, Jews, Others, identifying terrorism for what it is, and for proposing a solution. This took courage. One is reminded of Balam who came to curse and instead blessed us. May Hashem guide and strengthen his efforts at getting the word out

(15) Anonymous, April 11, 2016 4:29 PM

What American Muslims Must Do

I found this to be a refreshing comment on how the American Muslim Community should act in the face of some of their community member's extremism. The Muslim community has, for the most part, been silent in the face of Muslim extremism and this has to stop and this young man has said it eloquently.

(14) Larry Snider, April 9, 2016 11:30 AM

Solution to too many problems

I found the talk to be valuable to a point. I think the speaker made a good point about taking responsibility. But the threat of Muslim Extremism must be answered first without asking members of a mosque or the Imam to speak against all the evils that are being practiced in Muslim run countries. If you make the challenge so large that it is bigger even than standing up to Islamic Extremism in the mosque then I believe you are asking American Muslims to do more than they can and as such you will lose their cooperation on fighting back against incitement and indoctrination.

(13) Anonymous, April 8, 2016 2:55 AM

Don't hold your breath

For those of you who really want to know what is going on with Muslims in the U.S. Shoul go to the Center for Security Policy website (centerforsecuritypolicy.org). They conducted a survey of American Muslims and found that a full 50% would rather be governed by sharia law and be able to go to sharia courts. Twenty five percent thought it was ok to be violent towards anyone disrespectful of Islam or their prophet. Finally, twenty percent thought it is ok to violently bring sharia law to the U.S.
One guy making you feel good is all nice and cozy, but I bet the jihadi leaning ones will prevail if only because there is only one Muslim guy speaking out against them.

(12) mgoldberg, April 8, 2016 1:19 AM

He might be a fine man... but

Khurram Dara may indeed be a fair minded sober and peace loving person. The fact is there are no muslims storming the mosques and demanding the trials of the hating preachers and hating teachers of Islam, and they will never do so. They do know that they will be on the slaughtering plate and that would beg the question: why is it that Islam makes homicidal killers out of so many ot it's adherents? The answer is that this was the Jihad of Mohammed and that can never be changed. The 'peacefull' verses have all been abrogated and all others on the planet are forever 'abrogated'. Yes there can be very nice people who are muslim. But Islam is supremicist and must forever be so, and be at war with all others. The few who might indeed wish it otherwise have no power whatsoever.

Anonymous, April 17, 2016 8:32 PM

Stop Ignoring the Obvious

mgoldberg has it right; for all the rhetoric being spouted about how Islam is "peaceful", at it's core teachings it ultimately relies on threat, force, and death to "win" adherents. This has played out repeatedly throughout history, and it's only a matter of time before we experience a bloodbath on a level no-one wants to think about. People and nations need to step up to the inevitable truth: As long as there exists an ideology of hatred and bloodshed that's willing to act on its beliefs, you're going to have to deal with it. Whether at it's current source or in your own backyard, you will have to deal with it. Better to kill a viper's eggs before they hatch, or the death and destruction will unimaginable of you wait.

(11) Rafael, April 7, 2016 7:43 PM

What a Mensch !

This fellow didn't where a beard or a cap . He is well integrated into our society . If he is the poster boy of ASSIMILATION then I would think that beards and Yamulkas should be worn strictly for Temple .
Personally I like practical rationalizing over religious dog fights
where truth and righteousness is written in stone . People who rationalize while maintaining faith will inherently discard or make metaphor of violent passages in the Koran or Torah . This is good because common ground between Humans can be reached where blind faith would have us turn on each other .

(10) duPont, April 7, 2016 4:32 PM

One small step for mankind

This is a well thought out, articulate presentation by an obviously exceptional young man that should be presented in every mosque and school in the US. This is a first step and hundreds more young Muslim Americans need to step up to the plate and express their allegiance to the US, the need for respect and tolerance of other religious beliefs and their horror at radicalism. Vigilance is necessary. American Muslims, I ask you- if not YOU, WHO?

Anonymous, April 7, 2016 5:49 PM

One small step for mankind

I agree with duPont. This is a clear, intelligent and rational presentation that should be required viewing for Imams, Muslim educators, parents, the Muslim community as a whole. Why they haven't been more active and vocal is a question on a lot of peoples minds and unfortunately that silence only adds to the Islamophobia.

(9) Marie, April 7, 2016 4:09 PM

FREEDOM

I totally 100% agree with this statement. It is Muslim who must reach out to their own for their sake and if they truly care about America they will stand up not tear down the society that allowed them the FREEDOM they now posses.

(8) Memsy, April 7, 2016 4:04 PM

Meh

This young man seemingly doesn't understand that the problem isn't "radical" or "extreme" Islam; rather, the problem is Islam itself. Of course many Muslims don't seek to carry out jihad personally -- but so what? Not every Jew keeps Shabbos either, but would anyone deny that Judaism forbids work on Shabbos? Islamic law imposes an obligation of jihad, even if many Muslims do not obey. And that is the root of the problem.

Rachel, April 8, 2016 12:15 AM

Don't criticize what you don't understand

Jihad means struggle. While there are those who use it in the sense of a holy war aka terrorism, the majority of Muslims define it as self defense, and even the internal struggle to lead a good life.

There are apparently contradictory things in the Torah. That's why Christians should stick to the New Testament instead of cherry picking the mitzvot to keep what suits them and tossing the rest.

Thank you to Mr Dara for the courage to make this presentation, and thank you to Aish for publishing it. We need more understanding of other communities.

Memsy, April 8, 2016 1:58 PM

wake up, Rachel

Instead of listening to facile claims about "what jihad really means," try looking it up in THEIR reference book of Islamic law. Its English title is "Reliance of the Traveler," and it's available on Amazon for not much money. Check out what THEY say Jihad means: the killing or subjugation of all Christians and all Jews. Period. Not self-defense. Not self-improvement. Just plain ol' genocide. Wake up, Rachel.

Rachel, April 10, 2016 4:28 AM

I've studied Islamic law

I'm wide awake. Like all books containing law, some of it applies only in a specific time and place, I.e. 7th century Arabia. There are Muslim scholars who admit this. I will continue reading, but just bc you can find something on Amazon doesn't mean it's definitive. I imagine you can find Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion, which is an outright forgery.

(7) allah, April 7, 2016 3:37 PM

what american muslims can do

I would assume that moderate muslims reject the more violent and hateful parts of the Koran, or have not read or understood them. Probably fewer have read the hadiths. Although Muslims claim the validity of all the prophets I doubt that any have ever read the Torah or the new testament. For Muslims to have a reformation they would have to revise or reject the Koran and other writings. This can't be done since according to Islamic scholars the Koran is a perfect reflection of God or should we say Allah. Comparing the Medina writings of Allah to the latter writings in Mecca by Allah I would have to ask , how is it that Allah got it wrong the first time and Mohamed had to supercede it by the writings of Mecca? Are we to assume Allah is fallible and not all knowing? I sympathize with all secular Muslims, who like most western people, have been able to get on with what is important- education, family and building a future, rather then destroying .

(6) Joshua, April 7, 2016 3:12 PM

Well said, but is it possible?

You should be commended for your courage. I don't blame American Muslims for not speaking out. I have four small children, I'd worry about their safety if I spoke out if I was Muslim. I think about Germans in Berlin - ordinary people who were afraid. And think about how easy it was for them to identify a Brown Shirt. How much more afraid would an ordinary, peace-loving family when the enemy is disguised? When the enemy is psychotic? When the enemy plans to and wants to die?

I also wonder whether a propaganda campaign would have the opposite effect? There's something else going on - it can't be simply a lack of information about Islam.

Regardless, I believe that a high visibility, sustained effort to send anti-radicalization messages would go a long way toward forming a unified front with other Americans.

(5) Jonathan, April 7, 2016 2:49 PM

Moving toward an Islamic Reformation

In essence Mr. Dara is looking toward a reformation of Islam. He said as much in this video. Muslim clerics will need to find new theological interpretations for the Koran much as the Catholic church has done over the past 500 years. Mr. Dara says these changes will have to take place here in the US by and for the American Muslim community. I would ask Mr. Dara who is the Imam of his Mosque and is he on board with all he suggests. It will be a long hard fight for them but it must be done.

(4) Valerie-Jael, April 7, 2016 2:07 PM

A lone voice speaking the truth

I hope and pray that more will have the courage to speak out like this courageous young man.

Sue, April 7, 2016 2:38 PM

I agree with you. However, whilst I am sure that not all Muslims want to rape, enslave and murder all of us of different faiths, my concern is that the vast majority will remain silent and tacitly acquiesce. This may be through fear of their more radical co-religionists or simply through ignorance. Either way, not very helpful !

(3) William Barrocas, April 7, 2016 1:52 PM

Only Muslims can help themselves solve the issues

It sure is true that not all Muslims are practicing the terrorist part of their Islam.So they must try bring together their community elders all to resolve the situation wherein all are become suspects because some perpetrate criminal activities.

(2) Anonymous, April 7, 2016 1:45 PM

Excellent video statement...but Sharia Law and Koran statments must be addressed

As a Jew...we live with Talmudic interpretations of our Bible. Sharia Law under the Koran remain the source of all truth. Unless Sharia Law and the Koranic verses are addressed by Muslim leaders, Islamism remains as the source for ongoing evil.

(1) Dr Alex Pister, April 6, 2016 6:55 PM

good always overcomes evil

Where'd U get this guy? He's fantastic. It's part of a trend I'm noticing that more and more Muslims are coming out of the woodwork and standing up for themselves. I applaud them. It's physically dangerous and takes courage. But the energy it takes to perpetuate the evil of Radical Islam is going to run out sooner or later. Those that stood up and opposed it will be hailed as the Moral Torch bearers of our time. All great evils eventually ended. All with tremendous death and destruction. Be it the Romans, the Greeks, the Egyptians, Nazis etc etc. The extent of the evil is inversely proportional to the opposition. Hashem runs the whole process and will never allow evil to eradicate the world or the Jewish People. But Hashem expects us to do our parts. We must stringently adhere to the Truth of Torah and its Universal values. From Truth comes our self composure and confidence. Then comes inner strength. And finally firm convictions. This young man has all the above. Hence his courageous Stand that he's taking. I'm truly inspired by him!! We all should be!!

Anonymous, April 7, 2016 12:39 PM

Who is hearing this? Is his message reaching the right ears?

Posting this at Aish is truly encouraging but doesn't this message need to be heard by a much broader audience? How is it getting there?

Alan Carpien, April 7, 2016 1:20 PM

It's unfortunate.

Unfortunately, the reformers are not getting fair hearings very often. Witness Brandeis University's revoking an honorary degree for Ayan Hirsi Ali. So often these courageous people are rejected by the very people who should be listening to them -- Jews included. Ms Ali even compared herself and people like Zuhdi Jasser and Racheel Raza (my spelling may be off) to the people of the Protestant Reformation.

 

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