Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Comments on Executive Director's FOX appearance

Here is a Link to some comments regarding the Progressive Muslims Union, North America's Executive Director, Ahmed Nassef's appearance on FOX.

On his web site Muslim Wake Up

also see Living Traditions

Friday, December 24, 2004

Executive Director of PMUNA appears on FOX

The Executive Director of PMUNA, Ahmed Nassef, appeared on the right wing Fox Network - and announced that "not all, but many mosques are run by people who have extremist views on women etc..." (emphasis added).

Previously, the Executive Director has used the word "extremist" to identify those who hacked his web site, and sent him death threats. So, now he appears to have lumped "many mosques" in the US with those who sent him death threats (both, according to him, being "extremists").

Earlier, Naasef had stated that the critics of PMUNA are "neo-salafis" - and, as the Living Tradition Blog reported, a member of the board of directors - Tarek Fatah - has also (mis)stated that the critics of PMUNA "desire an Islamic Theocracy as a desirous solution to the world's problems."

There appears to be a pattern appearing in the way PMUNA officials are conducting themselves.

The PMUNA founders in their formal launching stated: “PMU will defend the Muslim community from the calumnies of those who seek to insult and degrade Islam and/or the Muslim community, in particular the relentless campaign of defamation from some evangelical preachers, like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, or from supporters of the extreme right in Israel, like Daniel Pipes.”

If indeed the PMUNA intends to be an organization that will defend Muslims from insults etc. - Then, why would Ahmed Nassef , who is the Executive Director of this organization, use the label "neo-salafi" against his critics? And has now pronounced "many of the mosques run by people with extremist views..." Why would board member, Tarek Fatah hurl such loaded accusations as he did?

While not entirely in agreement with the Living Tradition Blog - they do have a very valid point in their post on the "neo-salafi" comment - the same can be applied to the (mis)use of the word "extremist" - that is often used as a polite substitute for the word "terrorist."

Everyone who hasn't been living under a rock since late 2001 knows what it means to call your opponent (or any Muslim) a Selafi or Wahabi. Lump your critics (or all Muslims) in with the likes of Osama and Zarqawi, and it means you don't have to address their complaints and issues. The accusation that one is financially or ideologically aligned with "Selafi / Wahabi terrorists" has been used to harass, detain, arrest, and deport Muslims in North America and Europe. It's also been used as an excuse to launch a wars and offensives in Iraq, Palestine, and Chechnya. Why would anyone then want to sling such a loaded accusation against someone who professes similar political and social beliefs, let alone common religious beliefs?
Meanwhile, Omid Safi, who is Chair of the Progressive Muslims Union, North America, and teaches Islamic Studies at Colgate University - remains quiet - and does not even bother to distance himself from such atrocious behavior. Why?

Seel also Living Tradition Blog's comment on Nassef's cuddling up with Fox

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Ghazali on the PMUNA

"Moderate Islam is a buzz word these days to reform the Muslim society. Many Muslim rulers as well as Muslim and non-Muslim experts/intellectuals/scholars are calling for ‘moderate Islam’. President General Parvez Musharraf of Pakistan is for Enlightened Moderation in Islam while Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is promoting Islam Hadhari (contemporary Islam).

To promote moderate Islam in North America, Progressive Muslim Union (PMU) was formed on November 15, 2004 by some professed moderates who embrace the simple proposition that “you are a Muslim if you say you are a Muslim -- for whatever reason or set of reasons -- and that no one is entitled to question or undermine this identity.” Ironically, the PMU has drawn bitter criticism from both the staunch advocates of moderate Islam, who do not find them moderate at all, and also the mainstream Muslims and scholars who see them as publicity monger perverted Muslims who may prove a Trojan horse, by design or default, for the Rand Report - titled "Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, and Strategies" – that calls for revamping of Islam by, among other things, encouraging moderate Muslims to counter what it described as fundamentalist and traditionalist Muslims."

Click here to read article