GlocalEye
Muqtedar Khan's Column on Global Affairs

  GlocalEye is an analytical column on global affairs. 
It seeks to understand the  simultaneous political
impact of globalization and localization.

Editors: This is a self syndicated column.  If you wish to publish this column in your newspaper, magazine, journal or on your websites please click here:Syndicate

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Dr. Muqtedar Khan is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Adrian College in Michigan.  He earned his Ph.D. in International Relations, Political Philosophy, and Islamic Political Thought,  from Georgetown University in May 2000.

Dr. Khan's column has appeared in The Wall Street, Dawn International (Pakistan), Daily Times (Pakistan), Outlook India (India), The Muslim Gazette (India), Nagasaki Post (Japan), The Daily Telelegraph (London), Manila Times (Philippines), Jordan Times (Jordan), Aljazeera (Qatar), The Daily Telegram, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Muslim Democrat, I Theglobalist.com, Beliefnet.com, Arabies Trends (France), Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), Lebanon Daily Star, and many other periodicals world wide.

For a comprehensive resume click here: Resume

Recently Posted Articles

I am happy to announce the publication of my first book -- American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom For more details about the book go to: Book



TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Islam in America
2. American Muslims and American Politics
3. American Muslims and American Foreign Policy
4. American Muslims and American Society
5. American Muslim Perspective
6. Reflections on Islam and Democracy
7. The Attack on America ands its Aftermath
8. An American Muslim Perspective of the Muslim World

FOR MORE DETAILS CLICK BOOK

To Place an order with the publisher call Amana Publication: 1-800-660-1777
or Click Here:
Amana

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American Muslims:
Bridging Faith and Freedom

January 20, 2003

Washington's Nuclear Policy: Moral Clarity or Double Standards

Dec. 31st, 2002

Global Shift to the Right?

The Threat of American Wahhabis 

 



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THE THREAT OF AMERICAN WAHHABIS 

Muqtedar Khan, PH.D.

Article was featured in San Francisco Examiner (Nov 11, 2002), 
Detroit News (November 26, 2002) and the Muslim Observer.

The tragedy of September 11 has now become an opportunity for political entrepreneurship. More and more people are using it to advance sectarian interests that are often at odds with America’s national interests. One group, more than anyone – American Wahhabis – is using September 11 to push its own fundamentalist politics with a vengeance.

The word Wahhabi essentially identifies a rather narrow and bigoted interpretation of Islam. The Wahhabis are (1) oppose civil rights and justice for women and other minorities (2) are anti-secular and in favor of imposing religious law on others by force (3) and extremely intolerant of “others” who do not share their specific religious beliefs. Wahhabis, because of their intolerant outlook and allergy to liberal values and institutions, constantly indulge in a theology of hate.

Unfortunately there is a similar group of bigoted religious fundamentalists in America who are undermining the secular character of America, subverting the peaceful message of Christianity and polluting the socio-cultural environment of America.  These American Wahhabis like their Muslim counterparts are intolerant of homosexuality, feminism, civil rights (ACLU), do not believe in the separation of Church and State and hate people of other faiths. Rev. Jerry Falwell, Rev. Pat Robertson and Rev. Franklin Graham are three of the most prominent, powerful and vocal representatives of American Wahhabis.

Readers may recall that in the immediate aftermath of September 11, Reverend Jerry Falwell blamed abortionists, homosexuals, and the ACLU for angering God and indirectly causing the attacks of September 11. He later apologized for his statements when there was uproar from all sides of the political spectrum, including the President who called Farwell’s comments as “inappropriate”. His statement was a shameless and insensitive example of political opportunism that sought not only to politicize the tragedy of September 11 but also to incite hatred towards the groups that Rev. Falwell and his associates habitually target. If he was not strongly rebuked by nearly everyone who mattered, his crusade against ACLU, gays and feminists would have fed on the emotions related to September 11 and gained significant momentum.

In the past few weeks American Wahhabis have unleashed a verbal assault on Islam and its religious symbols unmindful of the hate it is inciting against Muslim in America and the anti-American sentiments it is generating in the Muslim World. Rev. Falwell and Rev. Pat Robertson have called The Prophet of Islam a terrorist and argued that Islam and its teachings itself are the sources of violence. Rev. Franklin Graham has announced that Islam and its teaching are evil and wicked. Between them they have maintained a continuous discourse of hate against Islam and Muslims for the past few months. The refusal of American leadership, especially the President to rebuke them, has emboldened them to ratchet up the decibel levels of their theology of hate.

Their comments have caused anger among Muslims worldwide, including religious riots in India that have led to five deaths. Many Pakistanis have reacted angrily and expressed their dismay by voting strongly in favor of a pro-Taliban and anti-American alliance in the recent elections in Pakistan.

The problem with the American Wahhabis is not just their ideas and their hate mongering but the fact that they have a reasonably large following – sufficient to influence the electoral outcomes in American elections. By virtue of their votes and their fund raising capacity they exercise more power directly on American Congress and the President than the Mullahs of Saudi Arabia can over the decisions of their King.  Furthermore the close relationship between the President himself and Rev. Franklin Graham and other members of his administration, such as Attorney General Ashcroft, is extremely disturbing. It is not a coincidence that the first group to financially benefit from George Bush’s impulse to finance faith based programs was that of Rev. Pat Robertson. Is it possible that the very purpose of the Federal initiative to support faith based programs is to allow the American Wahhabis to intertwine its operations with those of the Federal government?

Osama Bin Laden attacked America hoping to incite a massive retaliation against Muslim nations to actualize the false prophesy of a clash of civilizations. He was hoping that by inciting a brutal response from the US, he would succeed not only in uniting the 1.4 billion global Muslim community, but also winning them over to Wahhabism and its anti-western, anti-Christian posture.

It seems that the American axis of hate – Revs. Falwell, Robertson and Graham – by repeatedly making hateful and abusive comments about Islam and Prophet Muhammad are determined to precipitate an Armageddon between America and the Muslim World.

When Yigal Amir shocked the Western World by assassinating Israeli Prime Minister Rabin, American media and American leaders repeatedly emphasized that violence was the natural cause of hateful statements. They were all referring to the environment of intolerance that had been created in Israel by Jewish religious zealots who are opposed to peace. Their hateful comments eventually incited Yigal Amir to assassinate Rabin. We seem to have quickly forgotten that painful lesson and the memory of Rabin.

It is only a matter of time when the repeated anti-Muslim and anti-Islam statements by the preachers of hate in America will result in some form of egregious violence against Muslims. Already there have been two instances where the police (California and Florida) arrested heavily armed would be terrorists planning bombing campaigns against Muslims. It seems that the American leadership, specially the President is waiting for something horrible to happen before he can reprimand Revs. Falwell, Robertson and Graham for their “inappropriate comments”.

We live in very sensitive times. People’s insecurities are extremely heightened and their capacity to suffer pain, bigotry and injustice is being severely tested. We are facing the possibility of a global war between America and the Muslim World. And the primary cause for such a war, God-forbid, would not be oil, geopolitics or regime changes, but the intolerable and vicious hate speech unleashed by religious bigots who confuse self righteousness for righteousness and demonization for devotion.

Since September 11 many Americans, including the author, have condemned the extremism of Muslim Wahhabis. It is time that America, especially President Bush, does the right thing and condemns the hatred preached by American Wahhabis.

 

 
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