The End - 2000 to 2009

Dr. Esam Omeish of MAS & Islam Haters

Umar Lee has written about the recent Islam haters attack on Dr. Esam Omeish and MAS. He said:

Within the past few days the President of the Muslim American Society Dr. Esam Omeish, a Northern Virginia-based surgeon and well-respected brother in American-Muslim community, has come under attack. He was forced to resign from a Virginia State Immigration Commission because of a video leaked by “terrorism-investigators” and then picked up by right-wing bloggers, newspapers and talk-radio.

Who is Dr. Esam Omeish? On his own blog, he writes:

In 1982, I migrated from Libya…I did not speak English upon my arrival to this country….

…graduating from JEB Stuart High School with honors, I gained admission to…..Georgetown University. Upon graduating with a double major in International Relations and Biology in 1989, I gained admission to the Georgetown University School of Medicine….

…I was able to help successfully start the first chapter of the Muslim Students Association at Georgetown…….helped establish and chaired the MSA Council for the Washington DC metropolitan area…..the emergence of the Muslim American Society (MAS) in 1993…and I served as the first chairperson of its youth department…

….Chief of the Division of General Surgery at INOVA Alexandria Hospital….

Dr. Esam Omeish did not mention it on his blog, but he is currently the President of MAS. May Allah (swt) bless him and reward him for all his efforts for Muslims in America.

Why is this important to us?

Look at his background! He came to this country without speaking English and graduated from high school, university, and med school. He helped start an MSA chapter at his university, later became a doctor, held the position of Chief of General Surgery at a hospital and is currently the President of MAS.

Dr. Esam Omeish is taking heat from these Islam haters now, but who will be there next victims? Umar Lee writes:

Today it is Dr. Esam and MAS; but tomorrow it could be the leader of your masjid or you and therefore it is a must that the community rallies around our brother in Islam and defend him, and MAS, against the vile attacks of those who would seek to destroy any Muslim with a voice.

I know most of the readers on my blog are young people, mostly students (shout out to the aunties and uncles who read my blog). Most of us are really into seeking knowledge from the scholars via AlMaghrib, SunniPath, Zaytuna, etc. Many of us are not as concerned with issues like this as we should be. We are worried about graduating, going to grad/med school, finding a job/spouse, etc. My point is that in reality, without organizations like CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, MAS, MANA, etc. or activists like Ahmed Bedier (CAIR), Dr. Esam Omesih (MAS) or Dr. Sayeed (ISNA), we would not have AlMaghrib, SunniPath or Zaytuna. My proof would be to ask the founders. They saw the need for education after major conferences like ISNA, ICNA and MAS were not enough for Muslims and local halaqahs and classes were not as effective. In other words it was these organizations that started the trend of seeking knowledge in which Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Shaykh Muhammad Alshareef and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani established there instututes.

Together as Muslims, we need to understand that these Islam haters, the bigots of LGF, Robert Spencer, JihadWatch, the racist Dave Gaubatz, and our former Muslim sisters (now sisters in humanity Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji and Wafaa Sultan) want Islam to perish.

Wallahi, it seems to me that these people breath, eat and sleep hating on Islam. I wonder if these people have a family life or a life in general. Seriously. I can imagine Robert Spencer on his computer all day just searching for ‘jihad’, ‘kill’, ‘behead’, ‘suicide’, etc. completely ignoring everything else in his life. I wonder if their family lives are intact, how spiritually fulfilled they are, do they go to sleep at night happy or angry. Are they angry that Islam is alive, well and spreading without the sword or any other violent means or happy that they are making tons of money from writing BS posts about Islam? I wonder…

Take action brothers by making dua during the last few days of Ramadan and pledge to your own local community to support them by any means that you can. Support CAIR, MAS, ICNA, MANA, ISNA, etc. If they are doing something that you have an issue with, contact them instead of condemning them.

Lastly, give dawah, brothers and sisters. Dawah by action. Dawah by action!


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  • 17 Responses for "Dr. Esam Omeish of MAS & Islam Haters"

    1. Yaser October 10th, 2007 at 12:03 pm

      Good post. Very informative and useful.

    2. Yaser October 10th, 2007 at 12:06 pm

      I hope we all make du’aa in shaa` Allah. This is an important issue for all to keep in mind

    3. jinnzaman October 10th, 2007 at 12:20 pm

      Assalamu alaikum

      What type of action is being requested?

      Also, it doesn’t seem like he’s in any trouble. He just had to resign for a comment he made. He’s not being charged with a crime.

      This wouldn’t be a problem if American Muslims didn’t misrepresent the meaning of jihad. The right of resistance and revolution exists even within the American historical tradition.

      This is where apologeticism gets you.

      masalama

    4. Dawud Israel October 10th, 2007 at 12:42 pm

      You had Malcolm X who could say whatever he wanted and no one arrested him. NEVER did they charge him. They killed him yes, but that was his own people–not the gov’t. And now…

      I wrote something about the psychology of Islamophobes here:
      http://muslimology.wordpress.com/2007/07/18/beyond-the-infinite-border-of-islam/
      “It’s obsessed these haters. Islam is simply too powerful for these people to just forget about it. Like having a friend who does so much for you and makes your life so comfortable that you begin to hate him, resent him. Because even the simple things they did for you, made a big impact in your life–and you believe you will never be able to pay them back.”

      Make duaa for our bros, especially right at Iftaar and late @ night when duaas are accepted. May Allah protect the Believers against the Oppressors. Ameen.

    5. Mujahideen Ryder October 10th, 2007 at 12:45 pm

      jinnzaman on October 10, 2007 at 12:20 pm said:

      Assalamu alaikum

      What type of action is being requested?

      Also, it doesn’t seem like he’s in any trouble. He just had to resign for a comment he made. He’s not being charged with a crime.

      This wouldn’t be a problem if American Muslims didn’t misrepresent the meaning of jihad. The right of resistance and revolution exists even within the American historical tradition.

      This is where apologeticism gets you.

      masalama

      The action of being more active and aware of Islam haters. Taking action by participating more in our communities.

      In all honesty, you are one of the few who are doing a lot, mashaAllah. This is message is for people like me and other inactive young Muslim community members but who are active MSA students and active seekers of knowledge.

      For example the vigil for Abeer Hamza. You organized and started the idea and it spread slowly, but not enough young Muslims took it up upon themselves to do it.

      This is the action I’m talking about. The action of the young Muslims are actively seeking traditional sacred Islamic knowledge who are not as active in there communties or with organizations like CAIR, MAS, ICNA, MANA, etc.

    6. Mujahideen Ryder October 10th, 2007 at 12:48 pm

      Dawud Isreal said:

      You had Malcolm X who could say whatever he wanted and no one arrested him. NEVER did they charge him. They killed him yes, but that was his own people–not the gov’t. And now…

      That’s deep. Malcolm X had so much power and respect without money. That’s hard to find these days.

    7. jinnzaman October 10th, 2007 at 1:08 pm

      Meh, the proper way to respond to Islam-haters is intellectual and clear cut, straightforward arguments. Apologetic arguments aren’t going to get us anywhere but in trouble.

    8. Mujahideen Ryder October 10th, 2007 at 1:17 pm

      jinnzaman on October 10, 2007 at 1:08 pm said:

      Meh, the proper way to respond to Islam-haters is intellectual and clear cut, straightforward arguments. Apologetic arguments aren’t going to get us anywhere but in trouble.

      Yes, no offense to our elders, but some of the younger professional Muslims have the capability to do this. This is what I mean.

      In other words: seekers of knoledge and activists.

    9. Zaki October 10th, 2007 at 2:31 pm

      jinnzaman on October 10, 2007 at 1:08 pm said:

      Meh, the proper way to respond to Islam-haters is intellectual and clear cut, straightforward arguments. Apologetic arguments aren’t going to get us anywhere but in trouble.

      Jinnz, I’m wondering what exactly you mean by apologetic arguments. Sure we have the right to “revolution” and big shows of bravado, massive protests, sign-rattling, slogan-slinging, etc.; but what is the practical outcome of that?

      The most effective means of raising your voice is do it with rationality and creativity; reactionary movements stemming from emotional discord get us nowhere. Protests and demonstrations do little but make us feel good. Muslims need to adopt a method of expression that’s unique and powerful. Just take the cue of other effective advocacy groups: http://www.whudafxup.com/, http://www.theyesmen.org, http://www.invisiblechildren.com, http://www.invisiblechildren.com/displaceMe/ .

      We get so wrapped up in serving Islam, that we forget to serve God. The reason non-Muslims aren’t aware of our true nature is that we don’t ever get involved in our greater communities unless it directly affects us.

      If your only reason behind going to a community/campus event is to spread da’wah and fight for Islam, you will make few friends. Represent yourself first, your deen will come naturally. Get involved with whatever interests you on campus and in your community, step outside your little MSA box, forget “islamic causes”, and you’ll be surprised how fast change comes about.

    10. Zaki October 10th, 2007 at 2:35 pm

      Argh, the links got messed up:
      http://www.whudafxup.com/
      http://www.theyesmen.org
      http://www.invisiblechildren.com/displaceMe/

    11. jinnzaman October 10th, 2007 at 3:54 pm

      Zaki,

      Firstly, I never made the assertion that the proper remedy to this type of scapegoating was protesting and what not. In fact, I specifically stated that the proper way to respond is through the sheer force of intellectual argument. Thats the absolute opposite of how being emotional and protesting.

      Secondly, what I mean by being apologetic is presenting Islam in a misleading way. Instead of talking about jihad in a manner that is patently false (i.e. its about the qalb and not anything else) is a disservice to both Islam as well as our dawah efforts. My point was that we can explain the concept of jihad in a format that will be digestible to the average American. For example, we can talk about how jihad is analagous to St. Augustine’s theory of the just war. We can use international law as well for this purpose. We can even argue that the resistance that the Palestinians are engaging in is similar to the American revolution. We can analogize Islamic law to the Anglo-Saxon common law tradition. We can compare the current Constitutional framework of the US to the system of Shura and Khilafah of the early generations. My point is that instead of lying about different aspects of our religious traditions, we should openly and unequivocally discuss them and focus on getting the reader to understand it instead of twisting our faith to get them to understand it. Dr. Esam mentioned the term “jihad” in the context of the Palestinian struggle. It would be extremely insincere and childish to argue that he was referring to anything but armed struggle. The problem is that there is a hegemonic discourse in America where those in power have one moral standard for everyone else, a higher moral standard for Muslims, and no moral standard for themselves. We should point out the contradictory aspects of American foreign policy. My point is that we need to escape from this passive ‘don’t make waves or attract controversy’ discourse and speak truth to power. That can be done in a variety of ways including essays, conferences, and yes, even protesting and what not.

      I also think its naive to think that Muslims aren’t interacting with non-Muslims enough. We are definitely interacting, the problem is that we don’t have a coherent vision of Islam and we can’t explain our faith to people of a competing civilization. Instead of ducking behind clever slognas like “Peace not Prejudice” which means absolutely jack crap and doesn’t address the attacks being presented against Islam and Muslims, lets deal with the substantive issue. Lets go on the intellectual offensive.

      The problem is that people don’t want to do that and then they get caught in their own contrarian propaganda.

      It was inevitable.

    12. Dawud Israel October 10th, 2007 at 6:52 pm

      Creativity = ineffective. Proof: http://www.aerosolarabic.com/v2/index.php
      Feel good?

      Is protesting, petitioning, doing vigils even something that Muslims have ever done historically? Is it effective? Is it bidaah? I think we might have to go back and see how Bani Israel dealt with this.

      Is Jihad the only way?

    13. An Intellijunkt Person October 11th, 2007 at 12:20 pm

      Does protesting work? Will a gathering of 300 people in a public place change government policies? Will signing petitions change social perspectives?
      Also, as a community, are we only focusing on Muslim-related issues? Are we less involved in mainstream causes such as global warming, animal rights, peace activism? Do we take our civic responsibilities seriously? Am I asking wayy too many irrelevant questions?
      Yes.
      Btw, MR, [i]very[/i] relevant post. I couldn’t agree with you more! :)

    14. M October 11th, 2007 at 3:17 pm

      Muslims should seek justice for all people, not just Muslims. Maybe we need to get our own voice before we can provide one for others, or maybe it’s the other way around. Perhaps we must show we care about other issues as well and get involved.

    15. Saad S. October 11th, 2007 at 11:35 pm

      Making dua is good when our faith is put to the test. Knowing and Talking to mis-guided people is also good. However, these are different times. It will require us to speak out aganist the negativity and venom that comes from the “Islam Haters”. It seems that they have made it a mission to preach their hatred no matter what. They have media forums, who are salavting to relay their hate speeches on television, newspapers, radio, and Internet.

      One can learn from the African American community on how to approach hatred. They are organized. They rally & provide support to each other to fight against racism & hatred towards them.

      We should be “organized”. Exactly How? I’m not sure… But when stuff like this happens, muslims will know what to do and how each one us can contribute in our way instead of feeling ‘lost’ or helpless.

    16. Asim October 14th, 2007 at 1:41 am

      hey bro dont hate on aerosol arabic. hes mad sick. dont forget his interview with christianne amanpour abt his birmingham mural.

      but anyway i feel u mr. we def need to step up our game as young muslims. if were a bio major and someone asks us the citric acid cycle, we gotta know that stuff. at the same time were muslims and when someone asks us a basic question we can barely answer that..

    17. Asim October 14th, 2007 at 1:43 am

      speaking of which…how about each MSA organize something BIG against that Islamo-Facism week garbage thats goin on on over 200 college campuses??

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