In an era marred by the shadows of mistrust and ignorance there lie a people so misunderstood that abuse and aspersions are cast upon them with not much more then an apathetic response. International condemnation of Islam and Muslims has become a common place in the media where apologists seeking to pacify the general populations offer the meekest defenses for who and what we are.
We come from the four corners, we are Arab and Asian, we are European and American, we are white and black, we are Sunni and Shiaa, we are male and female, we are Muslim. We are those who follow the path of Allah as laid before us in the miracle of miracles, Al Quran. What is it that makes men from America, Russia, Egypt, and Pakistan brothers? Islam.
Regardless that there is currently between 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide the larger portions of non-Muslim societies remain ignorant of Islam and Muslims. What have we done as Muslims to allow them access to view us as more then the sensational headlines they read? Why do we sit as the stoic observer as their politicians use us as a political publicity tool?
We should not sit idly by allowing others to define who we are; we should stand up and let them see what a Muslim really is. So let us ask ourselves – who are we? Are we the crazed terrorist, rifle in one hand and bomb in the other? Or are we the UN loving apologist desperately seeking to just “fit in”? Do we need to present a bland subdued version of Islam, or is it the firebrand version of Islam calling for Jihad that we should hold up for all to see?
Islam is the perfect middle path as Allah has made clear - “Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves” Surah Al Baqara (2:143) - we have a balance between the extremisms of reckless immorality and overzealous prudence so we should not allow others to so easily pigeonhole into one category or another. Surely we have the best example for us - "Verily you have in the prophet of Allah an excellent model." Surah Al Ahzab (33:22) – so why don’t we follow this model? Until we as both individuals and as an Ummah can realize what Allah commands we will never be successful; until we know Islam we will never know ourselves.
"You are the best people ever raised for the good of mankind because you have been raised to serve others; you enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in Allah." Surah Al Imran (3:111)