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The leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, recently issued a decree to its supporters: Kill at least one American in the next two weeks "using a sniper rifle, explosive or whatever the battle may require."
Well, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, I am an American too. Count me as the one of those you have asked your supporters to kill.
I am not alone. There are thousands of Muslims with me in Las Vegas, and many more millions in America, who are proud Americans and who are ready to face your challenge. You hide in your caves and behind the faces of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq. You don't show your faces and you have no guts to face Muslims. You thrive on the misery of thousands of Muslim youth and children who are victims of despotism, poverty and ignorance.
During the past two decades, you have brought nothing but shame and disaster to your religion and your world.
You said "not to drop your weapons," not to let "your enemies rest until each one of you kills at least one American within a period that does not exceed 15 days."
But I invite you to surrender, to seek forgiveness from God almighty for the senseless killing you and your supporters are involved in and repent for everything you have done.
You say that the word of God is the highest. Yes, it is. But you are not worthy of it. You have abandoned God and you have started worshipping your own satanic egos that rejoice at the killing of innocent people. You don't represent Muslims or, for that matter, any decent human being who believes in the sanctity of life.
Many among us American Muslims have differences with our administration on domestic and foreign issues, just like many other Americans do. But the plurality of opinions does not mean that we deprive ourselves of the civility that God demands from us. America is our home and will always be our home. Its interests are ours, and its people are ours. When you talk of killing Americans, you first have to kill 6 million or so Muslims who will stand for every American's right to live and enjoy the life as commanded by God.
BY GROWING a beard, shouting some religious slogans and misquoting and misusing some verses of the divine scriptures, you cannot incite Muslims to do things that are contrary to our religion. Yes, you even fail to understand the basic Islamic principles of life and living. Islam demands peace in all aspects of life. Islam demands respect for life. Islam demands justice.
What you are doing in Iraq, Afghanistan, India or other parts of the world is anti-human and anti-divine. You are an enemy of Islam as much as you are an enemy of America. You must understand that God who entrusted you with life is the same God who spelled His spirit in every human being regardless of his or her religion or ethnicity or nationality or status. You are violating Him.
We feel totally disgusted with your action and we condemn you without any reservation. Don't come to our mosques to preach this hatred. Don't visit our Islamic centers to spill the blood of innocents. Don't think that just because we share the same religion, we would show some sympathy to you. You are not of us. You don't belong to the religion whose followers are trying to live a peaceful life for themselves and others serving the divine according to their understanding. In our understanding of faith. You appear as anti-divine and anti-human. We reject you now as we rejected you yesterday.
There is nothing common between you and us.
We stand for life, you want to destroy it.
We accept the divine scheme of diversity in the world and you want to impose conformity.
We respect every human being simply because he or she is a creation of the divine, and you hate people based on their religion and ethnicity.
We support freedom and liberty and justice, and you promote bigotry, murder and strangulation.
You will never be able to find a sympathetic voice among us. Our differences with others will never lead us to do things that are fundamentally wrong in our faith, i.e. taking the lives of innocent people and killing others because they are different.
Last September 11, when you were hiding in your caves, we were out in the streets paying tribute to those whom you killed because you failed to see the beauty of life. We will condemn you once again the same way we have been doing ever since 9/11 because we are Muslim Americans.
The writer is director of the Islamic Society of Nevada. Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, US Department of State.