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Where Are the Imams?

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Peace and Freedom

Having lived among Muslims and learned about their ancient religion, I have the utmost respect and admiration for the Holy Teachings of the Quran, Islam (which means, "Submission to God") and the faithful who diligently strive to follow their faith's teachings.

Today we are looking for The Imams: the real leaders of Islam. Imam (In Arabic: ...ãÇã , In Persian: ÇãÇã ) is an Arabic word meaning "leader". The ruler of a country might be called the Imam, but in the Shia tradition, if we recall correctly, The Real Imam has important connotations. Imam can refer to the Caliph in both Sunni and Shia religious text. To me, The Imam is the BIG religious leader.

I want him, or them, to step forward and tell the people of Islam to stop this madness. Or to explain to the rest of the world what we need to know to undestand all this.

On September 11, 2001, souls I had worked with and among, died in the terrorist attacks which made innocent civilians the targets of some perceived or real need to strike at symbols of American power: the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon.

Like many others, I have grappled with many questions in order to try to make sense out of the seemingly senseless attacks. For the first few years after the 9-11 attacks I could not see the logical flow of reasoning that might drive even the most radical men among us to carry out such criminal activity against their fellow man in the name of Allah.

That's because I have been trying to place my own system of American logic and reasoning, my own "construct," upon a culture, a people and at least a segment of a great religion that has been hijacked, twisted and distorted.

Today, we find, almost anywhere we look in the media, even in much of the so called "liberal media," evidence that there is a large segment of the Muslim world that is not now and seems not inclined in the future to become ready to listen to reason and logic.

There are several troubling conclusions informed men might make after extensively researching the current state of "radical Islam."

*Muslim insurgents, separatists and terrorists are currently at work fomenting terror and war in Thailand, Somalia, Iraq, Lebanon, the "Tribal Areas of Pakistan" (where even the Pakistani Army fears it cannot go), Afghanistan, China (The East Turkestan Islamic Movement, located in the Pamir mountain region bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan), the Gaza Strip, the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere.

*The segment of the world's population currently most associated with selling children for profit is the Muslim world. On January 7, 2007, Peter Beaumont of The Observer-Guardian (UK), wrote about girls sold into lives of subjugation by their Muslim mothers.

"While prohibited by both Afghan civil and Islamic law, arranged marriages have long been a feature of Afghan life, particularly in rural areas. What is unusual is the age of some of the girls. And the reason: to buy food to survive," wrote Mr. Beaumont.

"'Many families are doing this because of the drought,' Sahatgul said. 'Our daughters are our only economic asset. We will have the marriage ceremony at puberty," Mr. Beaumont reported.

Sadly, this is not an occurrence isolated to this region or these people.

Small boys from Pakistan, Sudan and Bangladesh are frequently sold to Middle East Emirates to work as camel jockeys to the amusement of their Arab masters.

*Muslim extremists encourage the killing of innocent women and children and place no value on their own people by encouraging and promoting the use of suicide bombing.

*Muslims place such a low value on human life that they are provoked to commit murder over cartoons they view as offensive. The murdered are not cartoonist or the editor who chose to print these cartoons but innocents who are not involved.

*Much of the Muslim news media feel no obligation to provide a balanced view of the world and so distort much of the "news" they provide that they assist in the brainwashing and misperceptions of the Muslim community.

*Muslims use Imams and other "holy men" as well as the Mosques and "holy places" to spread a message of hate and murder and separatism. The "hate speech" of Saudia Arabian "madrases" is legendary.

*Muslims use their schools to spread a message of hate, murder and separatism. Sadiq N. Awan wrote in the Journal of The Canadian College of Teachers in September, 2005, that "The history of Islamic schools can be traced back to medieval Iran, especially Eastern Iran. The schools were called Madrassa ...The word Madrassa is composed of two parts: mad =mind and rasa = rope (in Arabic) or rasa= relationship(in Persian).

In short, Madrassa means 'a place of mental exercise.'"

On National Public Radio last May 24, reporter Vicky O'Hara wrote, "In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States pressured Saudi Arabia to reform its educational curriculum by eliminating educational material that demonizes Christians and Jews or that urges holy war on "the unbelievers." Senior Saudi officials have assured the United States that the reform has been completed, but a new report by the human-rights group Freedom House suggests otherwise.

*Many students of Islam are left with the impression by their teachers and religious leaders that Muslims, Jews and Christians are totally incompatible and unable to live peacefully side by side. This goes against 2,000 years of world history which has witnessed many examples of Muslims, Jews and Christians peacefully coexisting and thriving as mutually supporting neighbors. On January 9, 2007, Serge Berdugo of Casablanca, Moracco wrote in the Christian Science Monitor that, "there is a risk that today's youth will grow up believing that Arabs and Jews were simply not meant to coexist, let alone thrive together. That idea conflicts with history - and is a falsehood today. My country, Morocco, illustrates the viability and vitality of a Jewish community - my community - in an Arab country. It's a model of harmony other Muslim nations should follow."

*Women in the Muslim world remain among the most abused and restricted in any society on earth. Says Dr. Donna M. Hughes of the University of Rhode Island, "A measure of Islamic fundamentalists' success in controlling society is the depth and totality with which they suppress the freedom and rights of women. In Iran for 25 years, the ruling mullahs have enforced humiliating and sadistic rules and punishments on women and girls, enslaving them in a gender apartheid system of segregation, forced veiling, second-class status, lashing, and stoning to death."

Dr. Hughes adds, "Joining a global trend, the fundamentalists have added another way to dehumanize women and girls: buying and selling them for prostitution."

I have seen this practice tolerated and even encouraged in some of the richest of the Muslim oil Emirates on earth. Young women are brought into the master's family home, with a story that they are there to do chores like cooking or cleaning. The rich Arab master really wants young women from the poorest places in Pakistan, Bangladesh and elsewhere so that he has a never ending supply of pleasures that he can control. A young woman who escapes from such a household will have her picture placed in the newspaper along with a statement like: "This young woman (name) is from Pakistan and has no right here in (nation). She has run away from her legal job and has no legal papers or rights. If found contact (some police group or government agency).

*Finally, some national leaders of Muslim nations feel no restrictions about spreading their message of hate even at places like the United Nations, which the U.S. funds with heavy subsidies. The overwhelming majority of Iranians-at least 90 percent of the total population-are Muslims who adhere to Shia Islam. Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has frequently and repeatedly made bold and ugly assertions once thought completely unacceptable in the world diplomatic community. His rantings remind one of the likes of Adolph Hitler.

And Ahmadinejad has real power: long range missiles already demonstrated and the potential to reach the sought after climax of all second string dictators wanting the status of a superpower: nuclear weapons.

Ahmadinejad has stated that "Israel must be wiped from the map," that the Holocaust was an "Invention of the Zionists," and that the "Zionist state is illegitimate." He has also made no secret of his nuclear ambitions.

We recount this information here for one overarching reason: we wonder why the moderate leaders of Islam, and The Real Imams, have not stepped forward and spoken out more against the inhuman behavior emanating like a foul odor from some of their neighbors' homes, families, schools, halls of government, news media and churches?

Where are The Real Imams?

John E. Carey is the former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc. and a frequent contributor to The Washington Times.

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John E. Carey is the former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.
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