American Muslim Scholar Urges Muslims to be Self-Critical

November 26, 2003

Source: United Press International

On November 26, 2003 United Press International reported that "an American Muslim scholar finds it 'condescending' to dismiss hate speech from Muslim leaders as 'rhetorical' while holding Christian and Jewish leaders to higher standards of discourse. 'For a long time, Muslim American organizations have been allowed to get away with all kinds of hate speech against the U.S., against Jews, against Christians -- all forms of anti-Semitism -- and somehow it's been accommodated within the whole program of multiculturalism,' Ahmed al-Rahim told a forum at the Ethics and Public Policy Center this week. Al-Rahim, born in Beirut to an Iraqi Shiite family and raised in Texas and New York, is a founding member of the American Islamic Congress, an organization formed after Sept. 11, 2001, in the belief that American Muslims should take the lead in rejecting Muslim extremism and promoting democracy in the Muslim world. It claims 1,000 members across the country. Its mission, al-Rahim said, is a broad definition of Islam that includes all American Muslims, engagement in the political process, and 'to be self-critical.'"