Monday, May 2, 2011
By LORA HINES and DUG BEGLEY
The death of Osama bin Laden offers American Muslims a chance to further distance themselves from terrorists and live peaceably after years of misunderstanding about their religion, Southern California imams and mosque leaders hope.
For the last 10 years, bin Laden's actions have been denounced by many Muslims, claiming he was not a Muslim leader and did not represent Islam. Now, with bin Laden gone, the country can move on, said Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, and "start acting in a way to being more conciliatory...
Qazi, whose organization is the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, and other leaders said bin Laden's death brings partial justice, because those who were killed in the September 2001 attacks cannot be brought back to life.
"I pray for the victims of 9/11 and their families and all of those who have lost their lives the last 10 years," Siddiqi said. He also is former president of the national Islamic Society of North America.
Despite bin Laden's death, the fight will continue against al-Qaida and other extremist groups, said Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini, founder and religious director of the Islamis Educational Center of Orange County in Costa Mesa.
That ongoing fight will always put Muslims in an occasionally uncomfortable spot, some said. But education and a change in rhetoric can improve relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.
"Whoever takes his place, I hope he does not become seen as a Muslim leader, but as an extremist," Ayloush said.
- Hussam Ayloush
- 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