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|Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi Response to Washington Post|
|10/04/01 at 21:16:05|
Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi Response to Washington Post
Thursday, October 04, 2001
Reported by: Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi
Garden Grove, CA, USA, 10/4/2001 (ISOC/ISNA) :: October 3, 2001
Hanna Rosin and John Mintz’s article in your esteemed paper (“Muslim Leaders Struggle With Mixed Messages,” October 2, 2001) quotes me out of context and gives a very distorted view of my position.
The rally referred to in the article was entitled “Solidarity for Jerusalem.” The rally was in support of the Palestinian people’s struggle for justice and particularly for Muslims’ rights in the City of Jerusalem, the site of the Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock. The rally was not in support of any particular group or party in the Middle East, as the article suggests. The organizers did not approve any slogans or banners except those calling for peace and justice in Palestine and Jerusalem.
In my speech at the rally, I did mention that injustice has been suffered by the Palestinian people. I did say that certain U.S. policies in the Middle East were not just. I did remind the audience of the warning of the wrath of God against those who do injustice or those who support injustice, a warning which was given by many prophets of God, including many of those mentioned in the Bible. But I also said that we wished the blessings of God for America, and not the wrath of God. I also said that we want God’s blessings for all people and wish to awaken the conscience of America.
I am sad to see that the authors of this article attempted to distort my honest criticism of a specific U.S. foreign policy (which criticism is shared by many patriotic Americans, of all faiths) into a condemnation of America itself. The authors mentioned the warning about wrath but ignored the rest of my speech and, specifically, my prayer for blessings upon America. Honest reporting demands giving the whole story. Even if you disagree with someone it is important not to misrepresent and malign that person.
I do not feel I need to prove my love for America and my fellow Americans. My record speaks for itself. I have supported and worked for interfaith relations for more than 30 years. I have given numerous speeches and participated in many discussions in churches, synagogues and mosques, calling for good relations among all people regardless of race, color and faith. I have received support from people of all faiths. I am pleased to have many good friends in the Jewish and Christian communities. I want nothing but peace and justice for America and all people in the world. I abhor and totally reject and condemn all terrorism in any part of the world.
Muzammil H. Siddiqi
Former President of the Islamic Society of North America
Director, the Islamic Society of Orange County
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