Editorial: Islam and America

December 12, 2002

Source: Los Angeles Times


On December 12, 2002 the Los Angeles Times printed an editorial by Salam Al-Marayati, director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. He stated, "when... violent Old and New Testament verses are quoted, they usually are put in proper historical context. Yet the same standard of interpretation is not applied when the Koran is quoted... Because of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, there seems to be open season on Muslim history and sacred texts... rather than dealing with the complex realities of the world by oversimplification of Islam and Muslims, we need to adhere to a common standard of measuring religious attitudes and combating religious extremism from all quarters. There have been several new books and television shows on topics involving Islam and Muslims. Some of this is testimony to the curiosity and goodwill of the American people, who want a more educated perspective on issues affecting the United States and the world. If we want progressive Muslims to be listened to in the Muslim world, we need to stop making them seem like puppets of American authoritarianism. As an American Muslim, I call on other moderates to talk about the national security interests of our country and to end the counterproductive verbal and political assaults on Islam."