Islam · Life in America

To Condemn or not to Condemn

Being the president of the Muslim Students Organization (MSO) at my university I was approached by some American Muslim students telling me that the MSO should write a letter of condemnation about the shooting spree which took place couple of days ago in Fort Hood, Texas. While discussing the matter with some other American Muslim Students regarding what to write and what not and getting some feedback, some of them were against writing such letter. Just to be clear, they were not against condemning what happened they were just against writing the letter and post it on the MSO website. Their reason is that they don’t think whenever a Muslim does something bad that the entire Muslims should be held responsible for it.

In my opinion, I see no reason for Muslim organizations in America to hold press conferences and post press releases on their websites to condemn the act of a single mad Muslim. What happened was very terrible and unfortunately is not helping the Muslims image, especially in the United States. Nevertheless, we should continue with our life.

p.s., we wrote a condemnation letter and posted it in our website.


4 thoughts on “To Condemn or not to Condemn

  1. I’m in support of writing the letter. Of course you don’t have to, but unfortunately there is still a lot of ignorance around and silence could very easily be interpreted as complacence by the muslim community.

    Also, it’s important to build good rapport in our communities and increase the sense of unity between us (muslim communities) and member of the larger community we’re part of (campus/town/etc)-that’s something that sadly we’re lacking.


  2. Jaraad, I’m glad you did. No other Muslim is guilty of the crime this one committed, but the effect of one bad apple WILL ripple to tarnish the reputation of all. Yet identifying with the suffering, and condemning the act, does put fearful hearts at ease.

    We Christian evangelicals, during the time of the abortion clinic bombings in the 90s, learned this lesson. Murdering abortion providers is completely contrary to to our faith and cause, hinders it, stains it. Nine killings labled every pro-lifers as blood thirsty murderers. Most pro-life groups condemned any and every act of violence done in our name to reclaim our honor, not to take responsibility.

    I am thinking through a big topic right now, that being the clash of cultures in this whole ‘condemnation’ thing. When honor/shame (with a tendency to hide negative) collides with guilt/innocence (with a tendency to expose negative) we get into huge clash that incidents like this fuel.

    As Asoom said, silence can be seen as complicit approval, especially in a guilt/innocence society.


  3. assom, regard building unity among Muslims in the community I am sad to say it is shameful at the level of even one Masjid. I can’t believe I am saying this but when governments, (like in the Arab countries) control Mosques it performs better than when it is managed by people. Humans perform badly without leadership. Regard the lack of building rapport with other communities has to do with the lack of unity within.

    Deena, thanks for the article it was a good read. I stayed away from reading the comments 🙂

    Kinzi, what is sad is that people, in general and everywhere, exploit bad behaviors more than the good ones. We have an example here, an American Muslim killed 12 Americans this week but there are many American Muslim Medical Doctors who save the lives of tens or maybe hundreds of American people daily. I know those MDs are doing their job but they are doing a great job and there are many of them in the U.S.
    We, Muslims, are no exception; we blame a group of people for the behavior of one. We blamed the whole country of Denmark because the action of few of its citizen. And we got angrier when they refused to condemn it. I guess, writing your big “clash of culture” topic won’t be easy 🙂


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