Video: Awad on C-Span Discussing Muslim Voter Poll
You can see the video here.
The segment begins around 36:26 on the feed.
This is the web log of Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
You can see the video here.
By Nihad Awad
(Note: This article was originally published September 23, 2003. To see it in its original context click here.)
The quest for world peace is a shared responsibility. No one can deny the fact that official relations between Western countries and the Muslim world have reached a heightened pitch.
It is not a "clash of civilizations" but reluctance on the part of the majority - on both sides - to be involved in honest discourse.
The result of this reluctance leaves the outcome of the relationship to the whims of a few; principally, those who desire to promote a "clash of civilizations".
It is in the best interests of Western countries to recognize that there are unresolved problems in the Muslim world. Both East and West must actively participate in the resolution of these issues.
The major obstacles to this resolution include the lack of freedoms and independence in the Muslim world and the inability of Western powers to acknowledge and reform certain unjust foreign policies.
These obstacles manifest themselves most vividly in the occupied territories of the
Failures on both sides have allowed fringe elements in the East to manipulate and exploit the forgotten elephant.
After the tragic attacks of 9/11, the world's remaining superpower moved into action in an attempt to deal with the elephant's shadow, but not the elephant itself.
Reform in Islam
When we now cast our critical eye eastward, there are those in the Muslim world who have not come far enough in condemning some of their brethren who illegitimately use their faith to attack innocents.
Courage is needed in the Muslim world to stand up and declare that acts of political violence are completely antithetical to the teachings of Islam.
Such a stance is not a "reform" in Islam; it actually comes directly from the heart of the Koran.
The idea of mutual respect towards humanity is not a product of modern-day liberalism - it is a clear text from the Koran itself.
The Koran tells us that: "O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other and not that you may despise each other." (49:13)
In sum, both the Western powers and the Muslim world have the obligation of addressing their own shortcomings.
A brighter future?
As Americans, we must urge our country to act in our own self-interest and not succumb to the influence of special interest groups who negatively influence an otherwise even-handed approach to policymaking.
For the sake of humanity, we cannot surrender our destiny to those leaders and individuals who see only darkness ahead - those who see heroism only in the use of force; not in the power of reconciliation.
Only when we venture on the path towards cooperation and responsibility will we be able to offer ourselves and our posterity a brighter future.
"To more than a billion Muslims worldwide, Islam is a religion that teaches tolerance, freedom and compassion. Those who understand Islam and know Muslims as friends and colleagues realize that Islam is one of the three Abrahamic faiths and that Muslims are contributing members of societies around the world.”
On Interfaith Respect
“Like the Caliph Umar who refused to pray in a
“It is time for the majority of Muslims, Christians and Jews to stand up and say they will not let the fringe of any faith group dictate how they view and interact with each other.”
On Praying for Others
“We call on all people of faith to pray for …the health and safety of all those worldwide who are suffering as the result of natural or man-made disasters.”
On Dealing with Detractors and Hatred
Citing Prophet Muhammad’s example: “When he was attacked personally and abused by people who ridiculed him, when he became powerful he forgave these people. He counseled his companions not to punish and not to torture.”
”In light of the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we feel the need to once again condemn and repudiate Al-Qaeda and its myopic worldview…For the last five years, Al-Qaeda has offered nothing but a future filled with endless violence and division.”
"…we will not allow terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda to be the voice of Muslims or the representation of Islam to the rest of the world.”
"Al-Qaeda's worldview is a complete distortion of Islam because Islamic teachings clearly state that the killing of one innocent life is the moral equivalent of the killing of all humanity.
"As Muslims, we will continue to condemn Al-Qaeda and ensure that the rest of the world learns the true message of Islam and its teachings of peace, justice and compassion for all."
"Notwithstanding the fact that there are legitimate political grievances in the Muslim world today, Islam has never, and will never, justify the killing of innocent civilians in order to achieve political or religious goals.
"My position and CAIR's position is extremely clear - we condemn suicide bombings."
On Building Bridges
"CAIR and other national American Muslim groups stand ready to help build bridges of understanding between
On the 2006
"How many more innocent lives must be lost before
On the Holocaust
“I think we have to honor the memory those who were killed and persecuted regardless of the victim and regardless of the vicitimizer. I think the Holocaust is a lesson for all of us to learn and we cannot mock it, we cannot deny it.”
On Sectarian Violence
“The atrocious attack on the Askariya shrine [in
On FBI-Muslim Community Relations
“[A meeting with FBI Deputy Director John Pistole] offered an opportunity to improve lines of communication and to increase mutual cooperation on issues related to national security and the prevention of hate crimes,”
On Public Service
“We have to serve the public. Allah (swt) described the Prophet (s) as a public servant to mankind: ‘We have not sent you except as a mercy to mankind.’ It is a strategic obligation on Muslims in the West to prove that they are a mercy and blessing to
CNN (Video): Is Congressman Peter King Exploiting Anti-Muslim Bias
Nihad Awad is executive director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest non-profit Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the
Since CAIR’s founding in 1994, Awad has worked to empower American Muslims, fight discrimination and foster positive interfaith relations in
In 1997, Awad served on Vice President Al Gore’s Civil Rights Advisory Panel to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security.
A few days after
In 2004, National Journal listed Awad among “people whose ideas will help shape the debates over 10 important issues of the day.”
Awad is a member of US Institute of Peace (USIP) Advisory Committee on US-Muslim world Relations. Awad is the
Awad has testified before both houses of Congress. He has met with officials at the highest levels of our government. Awad has spoken at prestigious educational institutions including Harvard, Stanford and
Awad is routinely interviewed by national and international media such as CNN, BBC World Service, PBS, C-SPAN, National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Voice of America and Al-Jazeerah.
Awad is a regular participant in the U.S. Department of State’s “International Visitors Program,” which brings foreign dignitaries, journalists and academics to learn about the
Awad has conducted hundreds of seminars across the country, training Muslim communities in communications techniques. He has been a leader in helping Muslims assert their civil rights and their rights in the workplace.
Under Awad’s leadership, CAIR has conducted diversity training on Islam and Muslims for the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, US Armed Forces, several local and state law enforcement agencies, Fortune 500 companies and many
CAIR regularly meets with law enforcement officials at the national, state and local levels. After the August 2006 arrest of men accused of planning bomb attacks on US bound airliners the FBI invited CAIR along with other Muslim organizations to participate in a joint press conference. In 2003, CAIR officials spoke at a joint press conference with the FBI in