‘Violent Reaction has no place in
Islam’, says Dr. Fazlur Rehman Madni:
As long as Islam
is concerned it has nothing to do with violence or any kind of
terrorist activities and it has been reiterated ample number of
times. The Holy Quran clearly declares that killing an innocent
person is equivalent to killing the whole humanity......
Mosques and Islamic organizations across the United States regularly
issue statements rejecting violence and fringe ideologies, but after
the arrests of five Americans in Sargodha, Pakistan, on
terror-related charges, Muslim leaders in the country have been
scrambling to fill what they describe as a gap in their connection
with young people.
According to the Washington Post, they
are searching for new ways to counter the influence of the
extremists whom young people might encounter, especially online.
Till now, many Muslim leaders have
focused on what they considered external threats to young people,
such as Islamophobia or the temptations of modern, secular life.
Now, they say it is time to look inward, to provide a counterweight
to those who misinterpret Koranic verses to promote violence — and
to learn what rhetoric and methods appeal to young people.
“I’m really concerned about what the
Internet is doing to my young people. I used to not be worried about
the radicalism of our youth. But now, after this, I’m worried more,”
said Mohamed Magid, imam at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in
Magid said he has met in recent years
with other Muslim leaders to talk about social networking to counter
radicalism in Europe, “but we never thought about it for here.”
Now, Magid said, “I have to be a
virtual imam,” meaning that Muslim groups need a larger and more
effective online presence. Referring to extremists, he said:
“Twenty-four hours, they’re available.
I want to be able to respond to that,” he added.
Radicals “seem to understand our youth
better than we do,” said Mahdi Bray, executive director of the
Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation.
For some, a new approach cannot come
too soon. Zaki Barzinji, 20, a Sterling native and former president
of Muslim Youth of North America, said mosques are “sort of in the
Stone Age when it comes to outreach. Their youth programs are not
attractive, not engaging. . . . They’re shooting in the dark because
it’s always adults who are planning this outreach.”
Barzinji said, adding that groups of
“traveling Muslim proselytizers” sometimes appear at Virginia Tech,
where he is a senior, often attracting foreign students, who tend to
be more socially isolated.
“They go to the dorms, look for
Muslim-sounding names, knock on the door and say, ‘Hey, we’d like to
talk to you about hellfire and how you’re heading that way,’ ”
Barzinji said. (ANI)