www.masud.co.uk > Shaikh Abdal-Hakim Murad

Tradition or Extradition? The Threat to Muslim-Americans

© Abdal-Hakim Murad

Is American Islam inevitable? Until recently we scarcely asked the question. We assumed that the demography of the East, and the expanding economies of the West, made nothing so certain as continued Muslim immigration to the United States, and the progressive entrenchment of Muslim believers in the diverse American socio-economic reality.

The rise of Al-Qa‘ida has now placed that assurance in question. An ever-increasing number of scholars and politicians in the West are voicing their doubts about the Muslim presence. Citing the Yale academic Lamin Sanneh, the right-wing English journalist Melanie Phillips suggests that the time has come to think again about Muslim immigration to the West.[i] Sanneh, whose views on Islam’s reluctance to adjust to the claims of citizenship in non-Muslim states seem very congenial to right-wing theorists, is here being used to reinforce the agenda that is increasingly recommended on the far right across Europe, with electrifying effects on the polls.

Cooler heads, such as John Esposito and James Morris, reject the alarmism of Sanneh and Phillips. Contrary to stereotypes, they insist, Islam has usually been good at accommodating itself to minority status. The story of Islam in traditional China, where it served the emperors so faithfully that it was recognised as one of the semi-official religions of the Chinese state, was the norm rather than the exception. Minority status is nothing new for Islam, and around the boundaries of the Islamic world, Muslims have consistently shown themselves to be good citizens in contexts a good deal less multiculturalist than our own.[ii] The Hanafi school of Islamic law is particularly insistent on the sacrosanct nature of the covenant of aman (safe-conduct) which Muslim minorities enter into with non-Muslim governments. It is forbidden, even in times of war, for Muslims living under those governments to commit crimes against non-Muslims, even when those powers are at war with Muslim states.[iii] The jurists note that Ja‘far, the Prophet’s cousin, had no objection to serving in the army of a Christian king.[iv]

The anti-Dreyfusard charge against the Muslim presence, knows nothing of this. In consequence, where a hundred years ago the cultivated Western public problematized Jews, it is now Muslims who are feeling the pressure. Antisemites once baited the Jews as an alien, Oriental intrusion into white, Christian lands, a Semitic people whose loyalty to its own Law would always render its loyalty to King and Country dubious. Christianity, on this Victorian view, recognised a due division between religion and state; while the Semitic Other could not. There was little wonder in this. The Christian, as heir to the Hellenic vision of St Paul, was free in the spirit. The Semitic Jew was bound to the Law. He could hence never progress or become reconciled to the value of Gentile compatriots. Ultimately, his aim was to subvert, dominate, and possess.[v]

Few in the West seem to have spotted this similarity. One of the great ironies of the present crisis is that many of the most outspoken defenders of the State of Israel are implicitly affirming antisemitic categories in the way they deny the value of Islam. Pim Fortuyn, the Dutch anti-immigration politician who proposed the closure of all of Holland’s mosques, published his book Against the Islamisation of our Culture to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the creation of Israel. Yet his book is filled with characterisations of the new Muslim presence that fit perfectly the categories of antisemitism. The Muslim Other is irrational. He mistreats his women. He follows primitive dietary laws. He is driven by the Law, not the Spirit. He must, therefore, be always the same, a single phenomenon, incapable of reform. His intentions are not to enrich his country of adoption, but to overcome it for the sake of a transnational religious enterprise of domination and contempt. [vi]

We are, in a sense, the New Jews. An odd transposition has taken place, with one religious community ducking from beneath a Christian yoke, which then found Muslim shoulders to rest on.[vii] We have little time or inclination to contemplate the irony of this strange alteration, however; since we cannot forget the fate of the prejudice’s earlier victims, and its current prospects. The road from Auschwitz to Srebrenica was not such a crooked one; and the new rightist politicians in the West are surely positioned somewhere along that road.

Given that Al-Qa‘ida, or its surrogates, have massively reinforced this new chauvinism, it is depressing that its roots and possible entailments have yet to be assessed by most Muslim advocates in the West. But we need to look it in the eyes. We are hated by very many people; and cannot discount the possibility that this hatred will spill over into immigration filters, mosque closures, the prohibition of hijab in schools, and a generalised demonising of Muslims that makes the risk of rioting or state repression against us uncomfortably great. Liberalism, as the Weimar Republic discovered, can be a fragile ideology.

Nevertheless, the charge requires a frank response. Was our immigration purely economic? Or did we arrive to take tactical advantage of liberal press laws in order to launch a subversive internationalist agenda that will be profoundly damaging to our hosts? Are we Americans, or Canadians, or Britons, simply by virtue of holding a passport and finding employment? Or is this our emotional home?

Traditional Islam has been expert in adoption and adaptation. The new antisemitism makes not the slightest headway against it. It is also manifestly the case that moderate reformists have produced many American Muslim communities that are sincerely American, and speak frankly against extremism. Yet it needs also to be recognised that a growing number of scriptural-literalist community leaders, particularly those funded by Middle Eastern states where the language of sermons is violently anti-American, are sceptical of the kind of versatility offered by traditional Islam or by the reformers. For them, we will always be a kind of diaspora, with roots in an Arab elsewhere.

An inference needs to be squarely faced. Those whose belongingness to their adopted countries is only about economics cannot blame the host societies for regarding them with dislike and suspicion. For if we are suspicious of non-Muslims in Muslim majority countries who fail to acclimatise themselves to the ambient values and sense of collective purpose of their countries of citizenship, then it is unreasonable that we should demand that they behave differently when it is we who are the minority. A country that accepts migrants, however conspicuously economic their primary motives, has the right to expect that they engage in some form of cultural migration as well. No Muslim would deny that multiculturalism must always have some limits.

It is time to realise that if we are here purely to enhance our earning power, then our sojourn may prove short-lived. It is annoying that the new kind of sermonizers who are loudest in their demonizing of Western countries are often the slowest to grasp that those countries might turn out not to tolerate them after all. The greatest irony of our situation might just be that our radicals end up on the road to the airport, astonished at the discovery that their low opinion of the West turned out to be correct.

A major shift in our self-definition is therefore urgently required. This may be hard for the older generation, most of which is embedded either in regional folklorisms which have no clear future here, or in a Movement Islam of various hues. But we need some deep rethinking among the new generation, that minority which has survived assimilation in the schools, and knows enough of the virtues and vices of Western secular society to take stock of where we stand, and decide on the best course of action for our community. It is this new generation that is called upon to demonstrate Islam’s ability to extend its traditional capacities for courteous acculturation to the new context of the West, and to reject the radical Manichean agenda, supported by the extremists on both sides, which presents Muslim minorities as nothing more than resentful, scheming archipelagos of Middle Eastern difference.

Like all ‘hyphenated Americans’, US Muslims should be alert to the longstanding ambiguity of a country which used Ellis Island not only to welcome immigrants, but also to deport them when they proved ideologically unsuitable.[viii] Current Islamophobic hostilities are not so different from the popular American response to events as distant as the 1886 Haymarket bomb outrage,[ix] or the assassination of President McKinley by ‘a ragged, unwashed, long-haired, wild-eyed fiend’.[x] The resident alien, and the naturalised American with the foreign accent and appearance who was implicitly in solidarity with murky European comrades, furnished for much of American history the lightning-rod for a host of suspicions. Anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism, culminating in the Red Scare of 1919, quickly triggered a host of restrictive laws and inquisitorial procedures, including summary deportation of aliens and the denial of access to legal counsel until a very late stage of the judicial process. Two years after McKinley’s assassination, the 1903 Immigration Act applied ideological filters to immigration applicants for the first time. For their part, radicals such as the socialist leader William Haywood made matters worse by insisting that ‘no Socialist can be a law-abiding citizen’, and refusing to condemn violent action against governmental or plutocratic targets.[xi] In 1906, a new Naturalization Act obliged candidates to swear that they were not anarchists, while the Bureau of Naturalization pronounced that ‘As long as the advocates of these malignant and un-American doctrines remain aliens, they may be deported and their gospels may be overthrown at their inception, but once they succeed in obtaining their citizenship, this method of purging our country becomes more difficult, if not impossible.’[xii] The ‘treasonable ingrates’ defended themselves on habeas corpus grounds, only to be thwarted by the use of military rather than civil detention.[xiii] In 1917, over a thousand were rounded up and deported to a remote stockade in New Mexico.[xiv]

Anarcho-syndicalism lost its edge, but the underlying energies of American nativism were undiminished. The Ku Klux Klan continued to demand a white, Protestant normalcy in the Southern states, occasionally targeting Arabs as well as Jews, Catholics and African-Americans.[xv] And the same New Deal bureaucrats who had resolved many of the resentments of the labour movement were soon rounding up the Japanese-American population amid the confusion and xenophobia that followed Pearl Harbor. Long before the war, the mayor of San Francisco had announced that ‘the Chinese and Japanese are not bona fide citizens. They are not the stuff of which American citizens can be made […] They will not assimilate with us and their social life is different to ours.’[xvi] The bank accounts of American citizens of Japanese descent were frozen, and detention camps were set up, with anomalous legal procedures ensuring that appeals against the sentencing were held long after the incarceration began. Replying to liberal protests against the FBI’s draconian methods, Chief Justice Harlan Stone explained that ‘because racial discriminations are in most circumstances irrelevant and therefore prohibited, it by no means follows that, in dealing with the perils of war, Congress and the Executive are wholly prohibited from taking into account those facts […] which may in fact place citizens of one ancestry in a different category.’[xvii]

After the war, the nativist inquisition again exhausted itself, only to be revived by the anti-Communist mood of the 1950s. The Emergency Detention Act of 1950 was deliberately modeled on Roosevelt’s anti-Japanese measures, taking advantage of the fact that the Supreme Court had already ruled that these had not infringed the Constitution.[xviii] Again, the nation watched the establishment of detention camps, and the reactivation of the principle of holding hearings after, rather then prior to, incarceration.

What Richard Freeland describes as ‘cycles of repression in American history’[xix] surfaced again at the end of the 1970s, with the rise of Islamic militancy in the Middle East and nervousness about naturalized and alien individuals of Middle Eastern origin within the United States. Although the Emergency Detention Act had been shamefacedly repealed in 1971, and official contrition for the Japanese-American detentions was now longstanding, the Carter administration considered interning Iranians as a result of the 1979 Tehran hostage crisis.[xx]

The events of 11 September placed Islamic alienation under a spotlight. Shortly before, one observer had predicted that ‘an event of catastrophic terrorism will bring with it the danger of precipitous action that is detrimental to other social values, such as civil liberties.’[xxi] The immediately resulting legislation, including the Patriot Act and the creation of a Department of Homeland Security, empowered by a remarkably broad definition of domestic terrorism which may be invoked by FBI investigators armed with new powers of search and surveillance, has been built on genuine fear of further ‘Islamic’ acts of terrorism. Not far away, however, are much older themes in American nativism, including biblically-based denunciations of ‘foreign’ creeds, racial insecurities, and polemics against the allegedly high birthrates of the suspect population. As a result, in the words of the Center for Constitutional Rights,

In the weeks after September 11th, hundreds or perhaps thousands of individuals were rounded up as suspected terrorists […] They were held without criminal charges, and often with no access to an attorney. […] The ordeal many endured was harrowing and counterproductive. There have been numerous reports of beatings, and many more of less serious mistreatment.[xxii]

Faced with this incipient inquisition, the community must face the realisation that the future of Islam in an instinctively nativist land will be a genuinely American future, if it is to happen at all. As the ‘war against terrorism’, with all its clumsy, pixellated violence, and cultural simplifications, gathers momentum, it is likely that there will be further events and atrocities which will render the current social and psychological marginality of the community still more precarious. Unless American Muslims can locate for themselves, and populate, a spiritual and cultural space which can meaningfully be called American, and develop theological and social tools for identifying and thwarting local extremism, they will be increasingly in the firing line. Only a few of the ultras in the mosques would welcome such a showdown; most would be appalled.

Regrettably - and this is one of its most telling failures - our community leadership has invested much energy in Islamic education, but has spent little time studying American culture to locate the multiple elements within it which are worthy of Muslim respect. Too many of the extremists activists dismiss their new compatriots as promiscuous drunkards, or as fundamentalist fanatics. Movement Islam, with its often vehement dislike of the West on grounds that often in practice seem more tribal than spiritual, and rooted in various utopian projects that seldom seem to work even on their own terms, often seems little better. All too frequently it provides ammunition to chauvinists allied to the stance of Daniel Pipes, for whom all ‘Islamists’ are a fifth column to be viewed with unblinking, baleful suspicion.

The new generation will be well-advised to take some courageous steps. Firstly, it needs to acknowledge that furiously anti-Western readings of Islam are unlikely to serve Muslims in the dangerous context of modern America. It is already clear to many that Mawdudi and Qutb were not writing for 21st century Muslim minorities in the West, but for a mid-twentieth century struggle against secular repression and corruption in majority Muslim lands. They themselves would probably be startled to learn that their books were being pressed on utterly different communities, fifty years on. Yet our tradition has been diverse in its response to the scriptures, and other, less ideological readings of our tradition are readily available. As Sachiko Murata notes:

The fact that so many interpretations of Islam have now been narrowed down to fit into ideological frameworks is simply a reflection of modern Muslims’ ignorance of the Islamic tradition and their sense of impotence in the face of the impersonal forces of modernity. It says nothing about the rich resources of the tradition itself.[xxiii]

As well as ‘de-ideologising’ Islam, we need to turn again to the founding story of Islam for guidance on the correct conduct of guests. An insulting guest will not be tolerated indefinitely even by the most courteous of hosts; and pulpit broadsides against Western culture have to be seen as at best discourteous. A measured, concerned critique of social dissolution, unacceptable beliefs, or destructive foreign policies will always be a required component of Muslim discourse, but wild denunciations of Great Satans or global Crusader Conspiracies are, for Muslims here, not only dangerous, but are also discourteous - scarcely a lesser sin. This must be made absolutely clear to organisations who visit communities with a view to offering funding from totalitarian states.

Imam al-Ghazali provides us with some precious lessons on the conduct of the courteous guest. He cites the saying that ‘part of humility before God is to be satisfied with an inferior sitting-place.’ The guest should greet those he is sitting beside, even if he should privately be uncomfortable with them. He should not dominate the conversation, or loudly criticise others at the feast, or allow himself to be untidy. Ghazali also tells us that he should not keep looking at the kitchen door, which would imply that he is primarily present for the food. It is hard to avoid thinking of this when one contemplates the loud demands of many Muslims, particularly in Europe, for financial payouts from the state. If we wish to be tolerated and respected, one of our first responsibilities is surely to seek employment, and avoid reliance on the charity of our hosts. Reliance on affirmative-action policies, or outright sloth, are likely to provoke a backlash.[xxiv]

Some hardline scholars of the Hanbali persuasion took a narrow view of the duty of guests. Imam Ahmad himself said that if a guest sees a kohl-stick with a silver handle, he should leave the house at once, on the grounds that it is a place of luxurious indulgence. Yet for Imam al-Ghazali, and for the great majority of scholars, one should always give one’s host the benefit of the doubt.[xxv] And in the West, our neighbours usually fall into the category of ahl al-kitab, for whom certain things are permissible that we would condemn among Muslims. Resentment, contempt, hypercriticism, all these vices are discourteous and inappropriate, particularly when used to disguise one’s dissatisfaction with oneself, or with one’s own community’s position in the world.

The refugee, or migrant, is therefore subject to the high standards that Islam, with its Arabian roots, demands of the guest. Discourtesy is dishonour. And nowhere in the Prophetic biography do we find this principle more nobly expressed than in the episode of the First Hijra. Here, the first Muslim asylum-seekers stand before the Emperor of Abyssinia to explain why they should be allowed to stay. Among them were Uthman and Ruqaiyya, and Ja‘far and Asma’, all young people famous for their physical beauty. Umm Salama, another eyewitness, narrates the respect with which the Muslims attended upon the Christian king. They would not compromise their faith, but they were reverent and respectful to the beliefs of an earlier dispensation. Their choice of the annunciation story from the Qur’an was inspired, showing the Christians present that the Muslim scripture itself is not utterly alien, but is beautiful, dignified, and contains much in common with Christian belief. Stressing what they held in common with their hosts, they made a hugely favourable impression, and their security in the land was assured.[xxvi]

Today, we seem less inclined to use the Chapter of Mary as the basis for our self-presentation to the host community. Instead, we create lobby groups that adopt provocatively loud criticisms of American policy, thereby closing the door to any possibility that they might be heard. Many of our sermons pay little attention to the positive qualities in our neighbours, but instead recite dire warnings of the consequences to our souls of becoming ‘like Americans’. Again, the danger is that the cumulative image given by angry American Muslims will result in our being treated as cuckoos in the nest, stripped of rights, and even ejected altogether. In the long term, the choice is between deportment, and deportation.

Faced with this new nativist inquisition, American Muslim communities need a new agenda. This need not be defined as an Islamic liberalism. Liberalism in religion has a habit of leading to the attenuation of faith. Instead, the surest option seems to be a return to the spirit of our tradition, and quarry it for resources that will enable us to regain the Companions’ capacity for courteous conviviality.

One step forward will be the realisation that Islamic civilisation was a providential success story. Salafist and modernist agendas which present medieval Islam either as obscurantism or as deviation from scripture will leave us orphaned from the evolving and magnificent story of Muslim civilisation. If we accept that classical Islam was a deviant reading of our scriptures, we surrender to the claims of a certain type of Christian evangelical Orientalism, which claims that the glories of Muslim civilisation arose despite, not because of, the Qur’an. We are called to be the continuation of a magnificent story, not a footnote to its first chapter.

A recovery of our sense of pride in Islam’s cultural achievements will allow us to reactivate a principle that has hardly been touched by most Muslim communities in the West, namely the obligation of witnessing. It is evident that da‘wa is our primary duty as a Muslim minority; indeed, al-Mawardi considered it a valid reason for taking up residence outside the House of Islam;[xxvii] and it is no less evident that this is impossible if we abandon tradition in order to insist on rigorist and narrow readings of the Shari‘a. Our neighbours will not heed our invitation unless we can show that there is some common ground, that we have something worth having, and, even more significantly, that we are worth joining. Radical and literalist Islamic agendas frequently seem to be advocated by unsmiling zealots, whose tension, arrogance and misery are all too legible on their faces. Few reasonable people will consider the religious claims made by individuals who seem to have been made miserable and desperate by those claims. More usually, they will be repelled, and retreat into negative chauvinism.

The believer’s greatest argument is his face. True religion lights up the face; false religion fills it with insecurity, rage and suspicion. This is perceptible not only to insiders, but to anyone who maintains some connection with unsullied primordial human nature in his heart. The early conversions to Islam often took place among populations that had no access to the language of the Muslims who now lived among them; but they were no less profound in consequence. Religion is ultimately a matter of personal transformation, and no amount of missionary work will persuade people - with the occasional exception of the disturbed and the desperate - unless our own transformation is complete enough to be able to transform others.[xxviii]

Rigorism, discourtesy and narrow-mindedness, the tedious recourse of the spiritually inadequate and the culturally outgunned, end up reinforcing the negative attitudes that they claim to repudiate. Conversely, a reactivation of the Prophetic virtue of rifq, of gentleness, which the hadith tells us ‘never enters a thing without adorning it’,[xxix] will make us welcome rather than suspected, loved and admired rather than despised as a community of resentful failures.

Again, the story of the Migration to Abyssinia provides the key. This was the plea of the first Muslim asylum-seekers to be faced with deportation:

[Our Prophet] commanded us to speak the truth, be faithful to our engagements, mindful of the ties of kinship and kindly hospitality, and to refrain from crimes and bloodshed. He forbade us to commit abominations and to speak lies, and to devour the property of orphans, to vilify chaste women. […] Thereupon our people attacked us, treated us harshly […] When they got the better of us, treated us unjustly and circumscribed our lives, and came between us and our religion, we came to your country, having chosen you above all others. Here we have been happy in your protection, and we hope that we shall not be treated unjustly while we are with you, O King.’ […] Then the Negus said: ‘Of a truth, this and what Jesus brought have come from the same niche. You two may go, for by God, I will never give them up to them, and they shall not be betrayed.’[xxx]

The early Muslims spoke well of the Christians of Abyssinia. More generally, we look in vain in the scriptures for a polemic against Christian life. While unimpressed by Byzantine rule, the Companions refused to demonise their citizenry. In one account, ‘Amr ibn al-As describes them as follows:

They have four qualities. They are the most forbearing of people during tribulations. They are the swiftest to recover after a disaster. They are the best at returning to the fray after having fled. And they are the best to paupers, orphans and the weak.[xxxi]

Such charity deserves to be emulated, to replace the self-indulgence of hatred and self-exculpation. It will not come easily until we reconnect with the religion’s history of spirituality. No other religious community in history has produced the number and calibre of saints generated by Islam. Jalal al-Din Rumi has now become America’s best-selling poet,[xxxii] an extraordinary victory for Islamic civilisation and the integrity of its spiritual life which our communities are scarcely aware of. Our spirituality is the crowning glory of our history, and the guarantor of the transformative power of our art, literature, and personal conduct. Once we have relearned the traditional Islamic science of the spirit, we can hope to produce, as great Muslim souls did in the past, enduring monuments of literature, art and architecture which will proclaim to our neighbours the quality of our souls, and our ability to enrich America.

The task may seem daunting; but the new generation produces more and more Muslims eager to reinvigorate Islam in a way that will make it the great religious success story of modern America, rather than the plaintive sick man of the religious milieu that it currently seems to be. Increasingly our young people want passionately to be Muslims and to celebrate their uniquely rich heritage, but in a way that does not link them to the desperate radical agendas now being marketed in a growing minority of the mosques. As those young people assume positions of leadership in their communities, and proclaim a form of Islam that is culturally rich and full of confidence in divine providence, Islam will surely take its place as a respected feature on America’s religious landscape, and begin the process of integration here that it has so successfully accomplished in countless other cultures throughout its history, and which is a condition for its continuing existence in a potentially hostile place.


[i] Melanie Phillips, ‘How the West was lost’, The Spectator, 11 May 2002. Speaking to an Anglican conference in New Zealand, Sanneh remarked: ‘It is only a thin secular wall that prevents the Islamic tide from sweeping over the west […] Islam might be called a religion that has almost no questions and no answers […] That revelation is externalised and fossilized. Islam is a set of immutable divine laws […] Islam is a religious imperialism […, but] God delights in our freedom and not in our enslavement.’ (www.latimer.org.nz, accessed on 3 April 2003.) The replication of traditional antisemitic language is striking, and it is unsurprising that it should find echoes in the thinking of the new Right. Modern studies of European Fascism increasingly identify classical readings of St Paul as one strand in its composition. For Nazi enthusiasm for Paul, see for instance Frank Thielman, From Plight to Solution: A Jewish Framework for Understanding Paul’s View of the Law in Galatians and Romans (Leiden, 1989), 6-7, 8-9. For the still inadequately addressed question of Lutheran theological support for Nazism, see Robert P. Ericksen, Theologians under Hitler: Gerhard Kittel, Paul Althaus and Emmanuel Hirsch (New Haven, 1985); p.67 for the Jews’ ‘rigid legalism’; p.68 for the universalism of Christianity as opposed to the text-based particularism of the Semite; p.163 for ‘Christianity as the only religion based upon a free, personal, individual relationship to God;’ p.165 for the separation of faith from politics; etc. Cf. also Robert P. Ericksen and Susannah Heschel (eds.), Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust (Minneapolis, 1999), for instance p.16, where the ‘religion of the heart’ is contrasted with ‘the religion of the Pharisees’ which ‘consisted almost exclusively in observances’. The work of Thielman, Longenecker, Parkes and others has done much to blunt this traditional polarisation; as yet, however, the old categorisations are still regularly applied to the ‘other Semites,’ with serious political consequences.

[ii] John Esposito, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? 3rd ed (New York, 1999), 233-40. ; ‘The Unique Opportunities & Challenges Facing American Muslims in the New Century,’ The American Muslim, vol. 12 (2002), 17-26. For Chinese Muslim integration see Sachiko Murata, Chinese Gleams of Sufi Light: Wai-Tai-yü’s Great Learning of the Pure and Real and Liu Chih’s Displaying the Concealment of the Real Realm (Albany, 2000); P.D. Buell, ‘Saiyid Ajall (1211-1279)’, in E. de Rachewiltz, Hok-lam Chan, Hsiao Ch’i-ch’ing, and P.W. Geier (eds), In the service of the Khan: eminent personalities of the early Mongol-Yüan period (1200-1300) (Wiesbaden, 1993), pp.466-79. For the theory see Tim Winter, ‘Some thoughts on the formation of British Muslim identity’, Encounters 8 (2002), 3-26; Khaled Abou el-Fadl, ‘Striking a Balance: Islamic Legal Discourses on Muslim Minorities’, in Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and John L. Esposito (eds.), Muslims on the Americanization Path? (Oxford, 2000).

[iii] Shams al-Din al-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut (Cairo, 1324 AH), X, 88; cf. Abou el-Fadl, 59.

[iv] Sarakhsi, X, 98.

[v] Rosemary Ruether, Faith and Fratricide: The Theological Roots of Anti-Semitism (London, 1975), 241 and passim; compare the views of Serbian nationalist scholars of Islam as ‘totalitarian’: Michael Sells, The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia (Berkeley and London, 1996), 202, to which Sells comments: ‘If the term “totalitarian” is to be applied to Islam because the religion is not restricted to private life, then it must also be applied to Halakhic Judaism’.

[vi] For Fortuyn, see Angus Roxburgh, Preachers of Hate: The Rise of the Far Right (London, 2002), 158-78; Andrew Osborn in The Guardian, 9 July 2002.

[vii] Cf. Nick Ryan, Homeland: Into a World of Hate (Edinburgh, 2003), 294: ‘“Is Islam a greater threat than international Judaism – especially after 11 September?” […] “The enemy is changing,” he says.’ (Interview with Christian Worch, German neo-Nazi leader.)

[viii] Preston, 190.

[ix] Malwyn A. Jones, The Limits of Liberty: American History 1607-1992 (Oxford and New York, second edition 1995), 323.

[x] William Preston Jr., Aliens and Dissenters: Federal Suppression of Radicals 1903-1933 (Cambridge MA, 1963), 26.

[xi] Preston, 49.

[xii] Preston, 64.

[xiii] 106. The restrictions against Communist immigration were not finally lifted until 1990 (Jones, 628).

[xiv] 93.

[xv] See David M. Chalmers, Hooded Americanism: The History of the Ku Klux Klan (Durham, 1987), 71, for the expulsions of Syrians and Lebanese from a town in Georgia in the 1920s.

[xvi] Roger Daniels, Prisoners without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II (New York, 1993), 9.

[xvii] Daniels, 60.

[xviii] Daniels, 110.

[xix] Richard M. Freeland, The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism: Foreign Policy, Domestic Politics, and Internal Security, 1946-1948 (New York, 1972), 4.

[xx] Daniels,. 112.

[xxi] Ashton B. Carter and William J. Perry, Preventive Defense: A New Security Strategy for America (Washington, 1999), 156.

[xxii] Center for Constitutional Rights Fact Sheet: Beyond September 11th: balancing security and liberty interests (New York, 2002).

[xxiii] Murata, 7.

[xxiv] The recent revival in KKK fortunes may be partly the consequence of affirmative action policies (Chalmers, 435).

[xxv] Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din (Cairo, 1347 AH), II, 11-15.

[xxvi] See e.g., Ibn Ishaq, Sira, tr. A. Guillaume as The Life of Muhammad (Oxford, 1955), 146-154; the annunciation is described in Qur’an, chapter 19.

[xxvii] Abou el-Fadl, 49.

[xxviii] For the continuity between classical and modern patterns of conversion to Islam, see my ‘Conversion as Nostalgia: Some Experiences of Islam,’ in Martyn Percy (ed.), Previous Convictions: Conversion in the Real World (London, 2000), 93-111.

[xxix] Muslim, Birr, 78; cf. Qur’an, 3:159: ‘Had you been harsh and hard of heart they would have scattered from around you.’

[xxx] Ibn Ishaq (Guillaume), 151-2.

[xxxi] Muslim, Fitan, 10.

[xxxii] Alexandra Marks, Christian Science Monitor, November 25, 1997.

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