Imam Mohammed Addresses International Conference On Jihad In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Prepared by W. Deen Mohammed for submission at the Convention on Jihad, February 19, 1991, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at the Imam Mohammed Bin Saud Islamic University.)
Dear Custodian of the Hara-main. Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz and highly respected Saudi officials; Excellencies: Dr. Abdullah Turki, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Baz; Distinguished Scholars and 'Ulema; Dear Muslims, fellow Americans. Honorable People: Heartfelt thanks to King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz upon the timely occasion of this august conference on Jihad.
It was on January the fifteenth, also the Birthday of one of our most lauded-American heroes in this half of this Century, our Delegation of twenty from the United States received a royal invitation to meet with high officials for a briefing on the situation in the Gulf.
It was the hope of our Delegation to visit the front lines in the Gulf, meet newly declared Muslims in the army. give a strong salute to all forces on the side of justice, especially fellow Americans in uniform. Regretfully war started.
My spirit got an added lift because our son Wallace Deen was among our Delegation. We are here in beautiful Riyadh a month later, and our next eldest son Sadrud-Din is sharing this very important opportunity extended to our Delegation of Muslim Americans.
It is not easy to forget the racially hostile and brutal circumstances which were a noose ready-to-be tightened on our necks and on our life in the United States prior to the Seventies. Even if the external circumstances could have been restrained for the purpose, our internal sensitivities would have disallowed that we join in support of Saudi people/American people friendship, A bridging interest of respect for wealth and justice may be developing as a new basis for international cooperation. Changes occurring for the better in White America's sense of its obligation to Democracy grew during the Sixties.
We will be the losers if we do not acknowledge real progress for our people in American history. To pretend there has been no change for the better is to take from our militant heroes. Our struggle was to get justice by the Justice System and to see the United States live up to the promises of Democracy. Had we Muslim Americans not found something convincing in the life of Americans to make us hopeful of realizing investment opportunities and an American future for ourselves, we would not be here in this very important Conference today.
My concern is not to give an apology to you for the behavior of White Americans. My concern is that we Muslims don't be intimidated by America's self-purging moral and commercial system. America's Democracy is indeed morally peculiar. My concern is that we recognize this peculiarity as something a planned Islamic life need not fear. We are by virtue of our religion situated to be protected and to go after opportunities opened to citizens and to nations. We can profit along with others and profit honorably. Citizenship is to produce for us as it does for others. Muslim governments (nations) should not fear international cooperation by parties promoting wealth and justice, the virtuous life and material excellence.
We have a real hope and a determination that our country's image at home and in the international circle will grow consistently more just, more honorable. The common life of the international community is pleading for emphasis on content importance over mere name importance. We are needing badly this change from promoting our names to promoting contents. Life content is intelligent behavior: individual intelligent behavior, racial group intelligent behavior. "Intelligence" cannot stay intelligent if it ignores moral obligation, and moral virtue cannot stay virtuous if it ignores rational obligation.
The Prayers and the Peace be upon him, Allah's Messenger to all people said, "Say, 1 have accepted faith, and afterward, be upright."
And again, Allah's Messenger said: "Whoever adopts behavior other than our behavior, he is not one of us." Thus, believers in "Islam" are to be identified by their, Muslim behavior. We Muslim Americans have not grown soft as our respect has grown for the place and for the authority of the Qur'an and Mohammed's tradition in our lives. With "Islam" we grow more clearheaded.
"The believer is not one to be victim of the same trap twice. "Who would want Saudi Arabia to leave her camel untied, to leave herself to be made the second loot package of Mr. Saddam? Mr. Saddam cruelly aggressed upon, occupied and looted Kuwait. How can so much sympathy be given to "Muslim" head of government who buys huge stockpiles of mass destruction weapons from non-Muslims, uses them on his Muslim neighbors, and then gets Muslims to think he does not have non-Muslims fighting on his side against his Muslim brothers?
We growing minorities of America do not have establishment in Islamic knowledge as you. However, we have a record since the opening of the Gulf crisis for being morally and Islamicly against Mr. Saddam's aggression. We hold to our position and we are against Ba'ath Party's oppressive presence in this area.
Lastly, we Muslim Americans dread the thought of maybe one day having to choose between American Democracy and Ba'athist "Democracy". We dislike having to put down our nationalist Arab Muslim brothers. We feel that we must condemn giving prominence in-the life of Muslims to an ideology conceived by a non-Muslim. Prominence is only given to the Qur'an and the Prophet's tradition.
We ask Allah's forgiveness, mercy and guidance to come to all parties in this painful conflict. In addition, we will stand solidly beside all Muslims and all decent people of the world community in urging our government to sound the same horn of commitment to democracy and justice: to sound it in the ears of the oppressive Israeli regime.
We pray Allah help us to be honorable.