View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

Amer Aziz: Fourth of July has meaning for those who found freedom

Posted: July 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

As a Muslim-immigrant to the United States of America, I find special meaning in the Fourth of July, an occasion symbolizing the struggle for freedom.

As testimony to our nation’s commitment to freedom, I often reflect upon how Americans have upheld freedoms for Muslims in the aftermath of 9-11 — despite the negative stereotypes.

Such commitment to freedom commands loyalty to our great nation.

This sense of loyalty is further accentuated for me as I reflect upon and seek to follow the example of the founder of my faith, Prophet Muhammad.

Muhammad endured severe persecution for declaring his monotheistic faith in a polytheist society. When the persecution became unbearable, he took it upon himself to migrate for the sake of maintaining his beliefs and practices.

His migration to the city of Medina was precipitated by an invitation from the leaders there to mediate among the city’s feuding tribes.

As a staunch monotheist and a believer in the biblical prophets, it was thought he would curry favor with the Jewish tribes.

And as an Arab, it was believed, he would succeed with the polytheists too. They were not wrong.

Muhammad immediately set to the task of drafting accords, agreements and reportedly the first constitution to guarantee the freedom of conscience.

He upheld the injunction of the Quran that there can be no compulsion in religion (Chapter 2, verse 256).

In time, he would even take up armed conflict to defend freedom.

This commitment to freedom is one reason cited by historians for the early Islamic Empire’s expansion at exceptional speed, finding favor with newly acquired citizenry.

Later, after Muhammad made his mostly bloodless conquest of his hometown of Mecca, he returned to Medina as an example of his sense of loyalty to the city that had adopted him and permitted him to practice his religion.

However, he also warned that a time will come in the distant future when his followers will misinterpret and misrepresent these great teachings.

Today, the values of freedom and loyalty are very precious to me as an Ahmadi Muslim.

As Ahmadi-Muslims, we believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who lived in 19th century India, was the messiah that Prophet Muhammad prophesied would come to restore Islam’s true teachings.

Ghulam Ahmad shunned the belief-system of aggression and violence in the religious injunction of Jihad — which literally means “to strive.” And that these contemporary notions cannot be reconciled with the conflicts in Muhammad’s era.

This belief, which runs contrary to notions extremists held, has brought severe persecution upon Ahmadi Muslims in some Muslim countries. Many Ahmadi Muslims have lost their lives to extremists.

Some are able to escape and migrate to the United States in search of freedom. Those who cannot, nevertheless, uphold their beliefs even under mortal threats.

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t feel a sense of appreciation, gratitude and loyalty for the freedoms I have in the United States of America, including the freedom to practice my religion.

Please join me in celebration of this Fourth of July in honor of our nation and the indispensable freedom of conscience it upholds.

Amer Aziz is a member of the West L.A. chapter of The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. He is also a member of The Muslim Writers Guild of America. He lives in the Santa Clarita Valley and has written several opinion columns on Islam.

Comments

Nitesho: Posted: July 4, 2014 9:20 a.m.

Lol. Whatever.

Islam is the true war on women. Until they have freedom, you have no right to celebrate anything.

You never answered my other questions in the last diatribe you wrote.

I'll try this again....

Do you recognize Israel's right to exist?

Are you against female circumcision?

Do you denounce Hamas and all terrorist organizations?

Do you feel women have the same rights as men?

Do you denounce honor killings?


chefgirl358: Posted: July 4, 2014 9:15 p.m.

All good questions Nitesho. I too wonder how the Muslims feel about women, genital mutilation, honor killings, etc.


CaptGene: Posted: July 4, 2014 9:39 p.m.

Should be easy to answer; yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. I expect you will either get no answer, or a bunch of double talk.


sohaibawan95: Posted: July 5, 2014 11:58 a.m.

1. Yes: http://muslimwriters.org/2012/12/04/israel-palestine-must-take-the-high-road-to-reach-a-successful-recovery/

2. Yes: http://muslimwriters.org/2014/03/09/fgm-is-an-act-of-terrorism-not-an-act-of-islam/

3. Yes: http://muslimwriters.org/2013/04/23/do-you-even-hear-muslims-when-we-condemn-violence/

4. Yes: http://muslimwriters.org/2011/04/07/islam-and-the-quran-require-us-to-honor-not-abuse-women/

5. Yes: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/faheem-younus/acid-attacks-are-not-islam_b_1856007.html

I think the Muslim Writers Guild of America, to which Amer Aziz belongs to, has passed your questions. With proof.


Nitesho: Posted: July 5, 2014 12:21 p.m.

Last time I asked him these questions, I got round about answers that didn't answer my questions. Just a lot of double talk.

You posting links means nothing. I know people who are in the Republican Party but support illegal immigration. Saying he's a member of some group and that the groups web postings are his believes means nothing.

Here was the original thread so you can educate yourself.

http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/119022/


Nitesho: Posted: July 5, 2014 12:24 p.m.

Oh and noticed....he still never answered my questions. Just double talk and then ignored simple yes and no questions...


tech: Posted: July 5, 2014 12:57 p.m.

Do the Ahmadiyya Muslims reject this Hadith?

The Prophet, Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him, says: “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’ except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim).

http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/1609.htm

There are, of course, other questions to be asked.

http://quotingislam.blogspot.com/2011/06/muhammad-says-that-one-day-very-trees.html


Indy: Posted: July 6, 2014 6:40 p.m.

Nitesho wrote: Do you feel women have the same rights as men?

Indy: Do Christians believe in equal pay for equal work for women?


Indy: Posted: July 6, 2014 6:42 p.m.

Nitesho wrote: You posting links means nothing. I know people who are in the Republican Party but support illegal immigration. Saying he's a member of some group and that the groups web postings are his believes means nothing.

Indy: So by your logic, grouping all Muslims into terrorist is wrong, no?


Nitesho: Posted: July 6, 2014 7:20 p.m.

Indy. This isn't your fight. But, since you stuck your nose into this...

In case you didn't notice, I didn't lump him into anything. I asked HIS believe and stance. Not once. Not twice. But several times.

I don't care what the group of who he is a member believes. I am asking what HE believes.

Oh and by the way....Islam is the true war on women. From female circumcision, to honor killings for being seen with a man not of her family, being raped, being Christian, driving,..

Spare your retort. They, like you, mean nothing to me.


AlwaysRight: Posted: July 7, 2014 10:51 a.m.

www.thereligionofpeace.com

Eye opening...


17trillion: Posted: July 7, 2014 3:09 p.m.

Nitesho, you are way out of line. Nobody has been more critical of Islam than I have but acting like an ignorant jerk towards someone who shares your beliefs, at least I assume you share the writer's beliefs about this country, isn't going to influence anyone. And furthermore, give your rants and hysterics about Betty a rest. What are you, 8 years old? Your kid may have been in the right, MAY, but I'm guessing she's witnessed a lot and she probably has a point about speeding in general on her street.


Nitesho: Posted: July 7, 2014 3:48 p.m.

17

Nothing about Betty in this at all and she didn't witness anything.

As for this story...

I've been asking for them to outlay their believes and have yet to do that.

Until that happens, how do I know what his belief is and if it's shared?


17trillion: Posted: July 7, 2014 4:37 p.m.

He wrote a letter didn't he? A response from someone with the handle of sohaib answered your questions, all in the affirmative, so what more do you want? As for Betty, your rants are all over the Signal. I get it that it was your kid and I get it that she may have been wrong, may, but attacking her repeatedly over a legitimate issue seems to be a bit much.


Nitesho: Posted: July 7, 2014 4:51 p.m.

17

I like you, so this is why I'm being thoughtful on my responses.

He did write a letter. I'll give you that. My points were from a previous article he wrote where he never answered simple yes or no questions. If he is to write a letter about freedom, isn't it ok to challenge him on his personal believe for women in Islam?

Also, Shohaib answered what a group he's a member of believes. "I think the Muslim Writers Guild of America, to which Amer Aziz belongs to, has passed your questions. With proof. "

I've been asking Amer Aziz for months to answer what HE, as a person, believes. Not an affiliated group or someone speaking for him. What he believes.

I think that's fair game.


17trillion: Posted: July 7, 2014 5:04 p.m.

Fair enough....


Indy: Posted: July 7, 2014 5:18 p.m.

Indy wrote: Nitesho wrote: Do you feel women have the same rights as men?

Indy: Do Christians believe in equal pay for equal work for women?

Indy: So by your logic, grouping all Muslims into terrorist is wrong, no?

Indy: Can’t you just discuss my questions?

If you don’t just say you don’t . . . I don’t need the partisan jibber jabber . . . and I don’t know who you are . . . this is just a discussion forum.


Nitesho: Posted: July 7, 2014 5:37 p.m.

Indy wrote: Nitesho wrote: Do you feel women have the same rights as men? Yes

Indy: Do Christians believe in equal pay for equal work for women? I don't know if they do. I'm Roman Catholic. but personally yes, I do. Does Obama? http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/08/us/politics/as-obama-spotlights-gender-gap-in-wages-his-own-payroll-draws-scrutiny.html?_r=0

Indy: So by your logic, grouping all Muslims into terrorist is wrong, no? I wasn't grouping him in a terrorist bucket. I was asking him his believes.

Indy: Can’t you just discuss my questions? Your questions are irrelevant to me however I answered them anyway.


timothymyers02: Posted: July 7, 2014 7:39 p.m.

As a former resident of the SCV and relatively new resident of South Orange County I now see that a place can never truly be "fancy" unless it has a Muslim-American population of at least 10%.


Indy: Posted: July 7, 2014 11:45 p.m.

Nitesho wrote: Indy: Can’t you just discuss my questions? Your questions are irrelevant to me however I answered them anyway.

Indy: Thanks anyway . . . but I’m always curious if ‘all’ Muslim are considered terrorist by conservatives . . . just like ‘all’ Christians could be considered fundamentalist although they are not.


tech: Posted: July 8, 2014 3:14 a.m.

Islamic Hadith

Bukhari (49:857) - "He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar."

Translation: Dissembling is permitted when the end justifies the means, i.e. advancing Islam by deception. --edited.


Nitesho: Posted: July 8, 2014 11:39 a.m.

Indy: Thanks anyway . . . but I’m always curious if ‘all’ Muslim are considered terrorist by conservatives . . . just like ‘all’ Christians could be considered fundamentalist although they are not.

No. but that's what the left media want's everyone to believe.
Just like the right media want's everyone to believe that liberals are just as looney on the opposite side.

The arguments liberal make against fox news are the same arguments conservatives make against MSNBC. They are the flip coin to each other.

I don't watch or follow either. I choose to read unfiltered news from Europe and asia pac. The media is either in bed with Obama (you know that's true) or they are against him so the media is filtered or bias either way.

impartial media died in the 80's. --edited.


Nitesho: Posted: July 8, 2014 4:09 p.m.

Indy...

Indy: Do Christians believe in equal pay for equal work for women? I don't know if they do. I'm Roman Catholic. but personally yes, I do.
Does Obama? http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/08/us/politics/as-obama-spotlights-gender-gap-in-wages-his-own-payroll-draws-scrutiny.html?_r=0


look what just came out today. Care to comment?

http://www.businessinsider.com/female-white-house-staffers-got-smaller-raises-than-men-2014-7


17trillion: Posted: July 8, 2014 4:26 p.m.

Nitesho,

Don't you understand by now it's "do as I say, not as I do"? The hypocrisy of liberals never ceases to amaze me.


Nitesho: Posted: July 8, 2014 5:25 p.m.

oh I know 17.

Figured I would just do what he does and for giggle to see what he would do. But typical, it's just ignored.


Indy: Posted: July 8, 2014 9:23 p.m.

Nitesho wrote: The arguments liberal make against fox news are the same arguments conservatives make against MSNBC. They are the flip coin to each other.

Indy: I realize that the ‘values’ that are ‘framed’ on Fox are conservative while the ‘values’ on MSNBC are progressive.

The problem, however, in both cases is the ‘values’ aren’t mapping to the reality.

As we saw in the President’s SOTU address, he promised as do republicans, unlimited growth on the ‘fixed rock in space’.

This assertions is founded in ‘folklore’ not reality.

The problem is that most of the media is lacking in objectivity and dealing with reality . . . but keep in mind that it’s far easier to sell ‘beliefs’ than making Americans face up to the real challenges they face.


Indy: Posted: July 8, 2014 9:34 p.m.

Nitesho wrote: look what just came out today. Care to comment?

Indy: Can you give me the root document that Target Point used to cite the statistics?

But to give some preliminary remarks:

“While the average man promoted at the White House received a 24.4% raise, Target Point found the average raise for a promoted woman was 18.5%.”

What we don’t know is whether the jobs ‘were equal’.

Mathematically, giving a worker at $10.00/hr wage an additional $1 give him a 10% raise.

Give somebody else working at a higher wage say $20/hr, the same $1 gives that person a 5% raise.

That’s the issue without having the ‘root data’ . . .

“Target Point also found 46 men were promoted at the White House between 2013 and 2014 compared to 41 women.”

This depends on the number of each sex working there.

If there were say 100 men, then 46 promoted would be 46%.

If there were say 50 women, then 41 promotions would be 82% . . . now the data ‘framing’ is different but without having a better understanding of the data, we don't know if the conclusions are good or not.

That’s why I suggest being cautious when reading these Op-eds to which the writer is often time not really even aware that these types of things are in play . . . so the conclusions by the conservative think tank VP can be misleading for partisan political gain but you really can’t tell.


emheilbrun: Posted: July 9, 2014 9:49 a.m.

From Indy, but first the simple math: "Mathematically, giving a worker at $10.00/hr wage an additional $1 give him a 10% raise.
Give somebody else working at a higher wage say $20/hr, the same $1 gives that person a 5% raise."

This should, once and for all, lay to rest any doubts about the validity of Indy's academic credentials.


Nitesho: Posted: July 9, 2014 10:52 a.m.

I actually agree 100% with this...


Indy: I realize that the ‘values’ that are ‘framed’ on Fox are conservative while the ‘values’ on MSNBC are progressive.

The problem, however, in both cases is the ‘values’ aren’t mapping to the reality.

As we saw in the President’s SOTU address, he promised as do republicans, unlimited growth on the ‘fixed rock in space’.

This assertions is founded in ‘folklore’ not reality.

The problem is that most of the media is lacking in objectivity and dealing with reality . . . but keep in mind that it’s far easier to sell ‘beliefs’ than making Americans face up to the real challenges they face.


Nitesho: Posted: July 9, 2014 10:55 a.m.

Well..I gave two for you to review. I noticed you didn't comment on the one from the New York Times though.

I wish I worked at a place that gave a 24.4% raise. Or for that matter, an 18.5% raise.


Indy: Posted: July 9, 2014 9:53 p.m.

Emheilbrun wrote: From Indy, but first the simple math: "Mathematically, giving a worker at $10.00/hr wage an additional $1 give him a 10% raise.
Give somebody else working at a higher wage say $20/hr, the same $1 gives that person a 5% raise."

This should, once and for all, lay to rest any doubts about the validity of Indy's academic credentials.

Indy: Gee, giving a $1 raise from $10 to $11 is 10%.

Giving the same $1 raise from $20 to $21 is 5%.

But as you can see here, the poster ignores the problem with comparing inappropriate data and just ignores the ‘context’.

This contextual problem is sadly all too common to conservatives that simply can’t understand same . . . and sadly makes the poster look silly . . . but I’m sure he thinks of himself as ‘clever’!!!!


Indy: Posted: July 9, 2014 9:55 p.m.

Nitesho wrote: Well..I gave two for you to review. I noticed you didn't comment on the one from the New York Times though.

Indy: I’ll go look at that as well but seeing the guy from Target Point using the data to make a partisan political point . . . well, do you get why he does that?


Indy: Posted: July 9, 2014 10:02 p.m.

Nitesho wrote: Does Obama? http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/08/us/politics/as-obama-spotlights-gender-gap-in-wages-his-own-payroll-draws-scrutiny.html?_r=0

Indy: From the article: “Even as Mr. Obama seeks to make an issue of the gender gap in compensation across the country, however, his own hiring is facing some scrutiny. The recent study, by the conservative American Enterprise Institute, showed that the median annual salary for women in the White House last year was $65,000, while the median annual salary for men was $73,729. The study was based on White House salary data.”

Comparing the ‘median income’ apart from the job classifications doesn’t provide an appropriate comparison of ‘equal pay for equal work’.

And the article said as much: “He said that the 88-cent statistic was misleading because it aggregates the salaries of White House staff members at all levels, including the lowest levels, where women outnumber men.”

From the article: “The pay in the White House most likely mirrors the situation across the federal government, Ms. Hartmann said. “Women still tend to have lower pay grades than men do, because the men, on average, have more years of experience.””

In this situation, people with more experience in their jobs do earn more money . . . but that again, isn’t ‘equal pay for equal work’ since those with more experience have greater work productivity.

So what do you think?



You need to be a registered user to post a comment. Please click here to register.

The Signal encourages readers to interact with one another, following the guidelines outlined in our Comment/Moderation Policy. Click here to read it.

To report offensive or inappropriate comments, e-mail abuse@signalscv.com. The content posted from readers of signalscv.com does not necessarily represent the views of The Signal or Morris Multimedia. By submitting this form you agree to the terms and conditions listed above. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...