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What Ramadan Is Really About: Atonement and Renewal
Family Security Matters ^ | October 12, 2007 | M. Zuhdi Jasser

Posted on 10/20/2007 6:02:10 AM PDT by nuconvert

What Ramadan Is Really About: Atonement and Renewal

By M. Zuhdi Jasser

In honor of our Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month in the Muslim lunar calendar, the U.S. Congress passed H.R. 635 on October 2, 2007. The bill was introduced by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and co-sponsored by thirty other House Democrats including Keith Ellison, Gregory Meeks and Dennis Kucinich. The legislation passed unanimously with a vote of 376-0.

The legislation was met with effusive congratulatory remarks from CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council), and the State Department. CAIR has been working on this resolution for years, with a notably aggressive and failed effort in 2005. This year, with the election of Mr. Ellison, the Democrats couldn’t resist and the planets were aligned. MPAC executive director, Salam Al-Marayati, said, "It’s definitely a milestone for America and a positive reinforcement for the tradition of religious pluralism in our country." The State Department proclaims on its information site featuring Congressman Ellison, “A resolution recognizing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and expressing the ‘deepest respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world’ was adopted in the U.S. House of Representatives, October 2, by a vote of 376-0.”

Forty-one Republicans and one Democrat refused to approve the resolution and voted “present.” Congressman Mike Pence told the media, “I voted ‘present’ because I read somewhere that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.” While national American Islamist organizations continue with the backslapping congratulations culminating years of effort to pass this superficial resolution, the rest of the Muslims in America should be asking whether such resolutions and discourse, when all is said and done, help America or our faith community.

The resolution certainly falls into the group of feel-good symbolic legislative resolutions often written and passed by Congress in order to acknowledge something or someone of great import. For those who cherish the separation of religion and state, such official recognition of a spiritual holiday for Muslims is not necessary – and actually crosses the line of religion and state that Islamists love to cross and the Left crosses only when it suits its own minority politics.

This is not in any way to devalue the spiritual import of Ramadan for Muslims. It is our holiest month of the year. It is a devotional month of self-reflection, renewal of faith, and a general strengthening of one’s relationship with God. Like all faiths which encourage some form of fasting, the daily fast from sunrise to sunset from food and water for Muslims during the month of Ramadan provides for a different spiritual accomplishment for every Muslim. Some learn about the blessings of health and wealth. Many read the Koran nightly and reflect in conversation with God upon our need for atonement of our sins.

These themes are about a personal journey during Ramadan between an individual and God, a virtual resetting of one’s spiritual clock during a month long personal fast. Ramadan is not about government, nation, or non-Muslims recognizing our faith. Such resolutions from the government simply politicize Islam and are equally toxic to the faith and to government. To say that there were no political motives in the discussion and passage of this resolution from any of the parties involved is to be naïve. For other than Christmas, official recognition of religious holidays in America is virtually unheard of. There is a good reason for that. In order to be “fair,” Congress should now acknowledge every other spiritual major holiday of every other faith group in the United States .

This is not to say the month of Ramadan is not a celebration or a holiday. It is a month of daily devotional practice and focus upon God, our blessings on earth, atonement, and renewal. The first day of the following lunar month (Shawal) marking the end of the month of Ramadan is one of Islam’s greatest annual holidays – Eid al-Fitr (Holiday of the Feast).

With efforts by CAIR and other Islamists dating back years to get this type of symbolic legislation passed, it poses the question: why and wherefore? Why have the Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews, and Hindus not lobbied for similar legislation? One would be hard pressed to find any such legislation or recognition for the other squares of America ’s interfaith quilt. Could it be their self-esteem as a faith community in America is not in need of such trivialities and collectivism to sell to their communities as successes? Perhaps their activists understand the slippery slope of “government establishing religion” so they keep their distance even when it involves their own self-interest and celebration?

Let’s look at what was actually passed. The House stood resolved:

1- Recognizes the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world.

2- Expresses friendship and support for Muslims in the United States and worldwide.

3- Acknowledges the onset of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and conveys its respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this occasion.

4- Rejects hatred, bigotry, and violence directed against Muslims, both in the United States and worldwide; and

5- Commends Muslims in the United States and across the globe who have privately and publicly rejected interpretations and movements of Islam that justify and encourage hatred, violence, and terror.

Many will attempt to reiterate that this is a harmless legislation giving American Muslims and the world a “sense of the Congress.” So why obsess over mosque and state issues? The fifth resolve finally begins to get into the ideas that a government based on freedom should endorse. But note the absence of any discussion of the real enemy of Islamism (political Islam) or Wahhabism and Salafism. Note the naïve focus on violence, terror and hatred, which are only tactics in a war based upon a conflict of ideologies. A failure of our political leadership to know and state the true ideological conflicts in this war will continue to enable the enemies of freedom at home and abroad. Our political leadership seems unable to foster or demand real accountability within the Muslim population who enjoy America ’s liberty, but would rather shirk their duty to treat the cancer within our own Muslim faith community’s ideologies.

Ultimately, when this legislation is placed next to the remainder of the agenda of the American Muslim Islamist organizations, the agenda of Congressman Ellison, and the supporting victimization machinery of the Left, it only highlights how absent these groups have been from our real responsibilities as Muslims and as Americans in leading a counter-Jihad against Islamism.

Moreover, if we as Muslims were to truly honor the spirituality and purity of Ramadan, American Muslims should not be asking for symbolic patronizing niceties from Congress but rather asking for their real assistance in a counter-Jihad against radical Islamism.

Rather than Congress issuing patronizing proclamations, American Muslims should be issuing proclamations during this month of atonement recognizing all of the heavy lifting we have not done and yet must do within our own house of faith to deconstruct political Islam and its root cause effect upon terrorism.

Let’s be realistic: the only reason the media, Congress, and the State Department are so anxious to advertise this legislation is because of terrorism committed by Muslims and the weight of its threat upon the collective mind of America and the world. Thus, the response to terrorism committed by radical Muslims is for Muslims to take back the mantle of our faith and defeat political Islam. It is not for non-Muslims to recognize platitudes about Islam. They falsely believe that such feel-good language will soothe the collective soul of a nation in interfaith harmony.

What many of those 42 members of Congress who voted “present” understand is that this legislation not only crosses the line of mosque and state, but in fact when put into the context of today’s ideological conflict between the west and political Islam, it is actually insulting to Muslims who are focused on defeating the radical Islamists, Wahhabists and Salafists. Congress, State, and media are only feeding into the Islamist agenda. Congress should stay out of the business of recognizing days or months with religious significance and get back to the business of recognizing and empowering those individuals and communities, Muslim and non-Muslim, who are truly working to spread the ideology of religious freedom in America and around the world against the Islamists, who threaten liberty.

At the end of the day, as beautiful as this resolution sounds, and as much as my family and I as Muslims honor our own holy month of Ramadan in all of its deep messages, HR 635 is but a piece of paper in the archives of the Congressional Record – as inappropriate as Congressional recognition of a religious holiday may be.

Real, lasting, recognition of Islam on the frontlines of America ’s neighborhoods outside the sterilized walls of Congress will only come when real Muslim moderation is manifest. It is insulting to assume that such moderation is only demonstrated by Muslims who are non-violent. Real moderation is rather manifest by American Muslims willing to take on the ideological battle against political Islam, especially those from within the devotional faith community trying to rescue spiritual Islam from political Islam.

Last month the American Islamic Forum for Democracy enumerated ideological standards which should be manifest by Muslim leaders and organizations gaining acknowledgement from media and government. Platitudes and turning a blind eye to our Establishment Clause will not win this war or achieve real lasting interfaith harmony. All those Muslims around the world who are seeking real reform and security against the ideologies which threaten our Constitutional republic deserve the attention of our leadership. We do their work a disservice by soaking up America ’s bandwidth of attention to Islam with trivialities.

Let us not forget that our American motto is e pluribus Unum – “out of many one.” It is not the converse – “many out of one.”

# #

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor M. Zuhdi Jasser is the founder and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix Arizona. He is a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, a physician in private practice, and a community activist.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aclumia; aifd; cair; congress; islam; islamiclaw; jasser; ramadan; ronpaul; salamalmarayati; unconstitutional

1 posted on 10/20/2007 6:02:11 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert

I am not sure this is appropriate in the current situation. Sorry.


2 posted on 10/20/2007 6:04:53 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys--Reagan and Bush)
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To: yldstrk

“I am not sure this is appropriate in the current situation. Sorry.”

Then you must not have read the article


3 posted on 10/20/2007 6:05:49 AM PDT by nuconvert ("Terrorism is not the enemy. It is a means to the ends of militant Islamism." MZJ)
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To: yldstrk

What I mean is for Congress to issue this goofball sttatement is not appropriate.


4 posted on 10/20/2007 6:05:49 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys--Reagan and Bush)
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To: nuconvert

Would the vote the same resolution for Christianity? Or Judaism?


5 posted on 10/20/2007 6:06:36 AM PDT by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: nuconvert

Isn’t Ramadamadingdong over already?


6 posted on 10/20/2007 6:08:08 AM PDT by shankbear (Al-Qaeda grew while Monica blew)
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To: yldstrk

ah. sorry I misunderstood you.


7 posted on 10/20/2007 6:09:26 AM PDT by nuconvert ("Terrorism is not the enemy. It is a means to the ends of militant Islamism." MZJ)
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To: svcw

“Would the vote the same resolution for Christianity? Or Judaism?”

That gets to his main point


8 posted on 10/20/2007 6:11:18 AM PDT by nuconvert ("Terrorism is not the enemy. It is a means to the ends of militant Islamism." MZJ)
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To: nuconvert

No prob-I wasn’t very clear.


9 posted on 10/20/2007 6:13:49 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys--Reagan and Bush)
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To: nuconvert
Let us not forget that our American motto is e pluribus Unum – “out of many one.” It is not the converse – “many out of one.”

Well it is the converse according to Sir AlGore.

Of course virtually everything is the converse of reality to Sir AlGore.

10 posted on 10/20/2007 6:21:38 AM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: nuconvert

Easter is about atonement and renewal.

Has Congress ever passed a resolution proclaiming that?


11 posted on 10/20/2007 6:24:01 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: nuconvert

Coming next February:

A Congressional resolution that:

1- Recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world.

2- Expresses friendship and support for Christians in the United States and worldwide.

3- Acknowledges the onset of Lent and Easter, the Christian holy season of fasting and spiritual renewal, and conveys its respect to Christians in the United States and throughout the world on this occasion.

4- Rejects hatred, bigotry, and violence directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and

5- Commends Christians in the United States and across the globe who have privately and publicly rejected interpretations and movements of Christianity that justify and encourage hatred, violence, and terror.


12 posted on 10/20/2007 6:28:21 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: nuconvert

A political death cult with a 1400 year of bloodshed, confiscation, terror, and oppression is NOT “a great religion”.

Nor is their fake holy month of Ramadan worth a Congressional resolution.


13 posted on 10/20/2007 6:38:03 AM PDT by exit82 (Major General, Armchair Warriors USA)
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To: silverleaf
It is a devotional month of self-reflection, renewal of faith, and a general strengthening of one’s relationship with God. (from the article)

The big difference between Islam and Christianity is that true faith comes from God, not from man and reconciliation never involves the reconciliation of God to man, but rather man to God. Per the second chapter of Ephesians, Christianity is the only true faith which provides peace and removes the barrier between God and man.

If a Muslim is searching for the religion of peace, he needs to read Ephesians Chapter 2. Besides, it was written 600 years before Mohamed ever lived.

14 posted on 10/20/2007 6:39:33 AM PDT by Cvengr (The violence of evil is met with the violence of righteousness, justice, love and grace.)
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To: nuconvert
Forty-one Republicans and one Democrat refused to approve the resolution and voted “present.”

So what we have, that we know for sure, is at least 42 closet sympathizers, without the cojones to even post a "yea" vote for something they probably thought was a good thing.

Congressman Mike Pence told the media, “I voted ‘present’ because I read somewhere that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.”

Now we know of at least one dumbass in this gaggle of fools, who, rather than vote his conscience and perhaps his convictions, simply posted a "present", and therefore took the safe way out.

We are surrounded by fools...the majority of them are occupying space in our Congress.

15 posted on 10/20/2007 6:41:50 AM PDT by OldSmaj (Death to islam. I am now and will always be, a sworn enemy of all things muslim.)
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To: nuconvert
The “congratulatory remarks from CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council), and the State Department” (foggy bottom) for their efforts to undermine the greatest country on earth!
16 posted on 10/20/2007 6:53:04 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto)
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To: facedown
Of course virtually everything is the converse of reality to Sir AlGore.

He went" Through the Looking Glass" with Alice and never returned.

17 posted on 10/20/2007 6:59:43 AM PDT by Don Corleone (Leave the gun..take the cannoli)
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To: nuconvert

What Ramadan Is Really About: Resupply and Rearm.


18 posted on 10/20/2007 7:05:14 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Illegal Immigration, a Clear and Present Danger.)
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To: silverleaf

Oh, but that would somehow violate the separation of church and state if they passed a resolution in support of Christianity.


19 posted on 10/20/2007 7:07:27 AM PDT by rdl6989
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To: silverleaf

Ron Paul (L-RINO) the man who opposes every bit of “feel good” symbolic legislation voted FOR this.


20 posted on 10/20/2007 7:14:37 AM PDT by weegee (NO THIRD TERM. America does not need another unconstitutional Clinton co-presidency.)
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To: OldSmaj

ONE LONE CONGRESSMAN voting NO to this legislation would’ve been authorizing a fatwa for his own assassination by the Religion of Peace TM.

There is strength in numbers; weakness in the face of international terrorism.


21 posted on 10/20/2007 7:16:59 AM PDT by weegee (NO THIRD TERM. America does not need another unconstitutional Clinton co-presidency.)
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To: shankbear
Isn’t Ramadamadingdong over already?

Yes. Ramalamawhizbang ended last weekend. Eid al-Fitr went though Tuesday.

22 posted on 10/20/2007 7:34:56 AM PDT by Allegra (Greetings from a kinder, gentler Iraq. God bless US and Coalition Forces.)
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To: yldstrk

Wimpitywimpwimpwimpwimpetiywimpwimp!

No wonder Congress is at 11% approval now.
(And on the fast track to ZERO!)


23 posted on 10/20/2007 7:35:57 AM PDT by Flintlock
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To: weegee; lormand; mnehrling
Ron Paul (L-RINO) the man who opposes every bit of “feel good” symbolic legislation voted FOR this.

Ron Paul tends to support anything for the good of our enemies. He's the Al Qaeda Candidate.

24 posted on 10/20/2007 7:38:41 AM PDT by Allegra (Greetings from a kinder, gentler Iraq. God bless US and Coalition Forces.)
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To: nuconvert

Now then they can get down to the business of crafting a resolution about Lent.


25 posted on 10/20/2007 7:41:44 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Moveon is not us...... Moveon is the enemy)
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To: nuconvert

Ping


26 posted on 10/20/2007 8:17:40 AM PDT by angelsonmyside
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To: Allegra
Considering all the symbolic resolutions that congress pushes through, I wonder how fast we can find if Paul opposed similar resolutions for Easter, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc....
27 posted on 10/20/2007 8:22:47 AM PDT by mnehring (Who is Chris Peden? http://www.chrispeden.org/)
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To: lonevoice

“HR 635 is but a piece of paper in the archives of the Congressional Record – as inappropriate as Congressional recognition of a religious holiday may be.”

This resolution sure came in under the wire, didn’t it? More evidence of the left working under the cover of darkness to erode the doctrines outlined by our Constitution. It is shocking that so many spineless Republicans signed onto this.


28 posted on 10/20/2007 8:44:33 AM PDT by Pride in the USA
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To: Allegra
He was the ONLY congressman to vote against the ‘Good Friday’ agreement, HR222. This recognizes the Peace Accord in Northern Ireland on Good Friday and the symbolism of that holiday.. only symbolic.

Lots of interesting votes here. It is amazing how often he votes with the left.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes.xpd?person=400311

29 posted on 10/20/2007 8:45:31 AM PDT by mnehring (Who is Chris Peden? http://www.chrispeden.org/)
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To: nuconvert

Congress has time to extol a false religion, while writing threatening letters to real Americans.

What a steaming pantload.


30 posted on 10/20/2007 9:05:38 AM PDT by reagandemocrat
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To: nuconvert
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
31 posted on 10/20/2007 9:25:00 AM PDT by Bon mots
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To: silverleaf
Has Congress ever passed a resolution proclaiming that?

Christianity is implicit in Western Civilization. They might just as well issue a proclamation about the existence of gravity.

It's who we are. If only we'd live like it.

32 posted on 10/21/2007 7:38:30 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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