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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Speaking against wrongs, all wrongs

In response to my comment entitled "Why do some people insist on spreading hatred?", I received a comment from a local gentleman in which he states:
"The hatred you mention, while again blaming Christians, are more effectively laid at the doorstep of Islamic radicals who carry out the murders, and mass demonstrations of hatred - so clearly revealed in their faces. No wonder Islamophobia exists."
Here is my response to such views.

First, I do not blame Christians, nor any one single group. I strongly oppose the generalization of any one group. As for blaming Muslims for Islamophobia, that's a wrong argument. A whole group can not be held responsible for the actions of a misguided minority unless that group is supporting or condoning such actions, which is not the case for Muslims.

The greatest majority of Muslims have been and continue to be speaking against those who attempt to misuse the name of our religion to advance their extremist agendas. But we also are speaking against our government's policies which are facilitating the work of such extremists.

There are people who want a naive approach to combating extremism. They demand that we just criticize terrorists and not those who facilitate them recruiting efforts. They demand that we remain silent when we witness policies and actions that help radicalize young people. They criticize our demands that we fight the root causes of terrorism and not just its effects.

I am sorry. It does not work this way. My religion teaches me to speak against all forms of injustice and oppression, regardless who the perpetrators and victims might be.

I will continue to reject and speak against those murderous frauds who falsely misuse the name of my religion, but I will also continue to speak against policies and actions taken in my country's name and which spread division, violence, and injustice in other places of the world.

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