Tag Archives: John Esposito

Do Muslims have equal rights? John Esposito confronts rising Islamophobia!

*A Must Read Article by John Esposito

By John Esposito

In recent weeks, Republican politics and attempts across America to block the building of mosques have underscored the impact of Islamophobia in American society.

Republican candidates have jumped on a bandwagon, appealing to racist attitudes towards Islam and Muslims as a political wedge to gain electoral votes in the coming November elections. Bogus charges in 2008 that Barack Obama was a Muslim, as if that should discredit him, is an example of an Islamophobia which is still being used as a political strategy today. This form of political hate speech was addressed by Colin Powell in his endorsement of Obama when he asked:

“Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? … I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, ”He’s a Muslim and he might be associated [with] terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.”

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, desperately seeking to recapture his national Republican leader role, tried this past week to create a bizarre national threat about the implementation of Islamic law, shariah, that doesn’t even exist:

“One of the things that I am going to suggest today is a federal law which says no court anywhere in the United States under any circumstance is allowed to consider sharia as a replacement for American law. Period.”

Republican Rex Duncan of Oklahoma followed suit, warning there is a “war for the survival of America,” to keep the sharia from creeping into the American court system. In California, a Tea Party Rally in protest of an Islamic Center Continue reading

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Muslim 500 – A Listing of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World

An amazing book has been released entitled “The 500 Most Influential Muslims-2009.” Its the first edition and chiefly edited by American Professor John Esposito and Professor Ibrahim Kalin along with other editors and scholars.

Its available online for free and soon it will be available in Print in the United States. A fascinating new book issued by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center (in Jordan) in concert with Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (Muslim Observor).

The book lists the 500 most influential people in the Muslim world, breaking the people into several distinct categories, scholarly, political, administrative, lineage, preachers, women, youth, philanthropy, development, science and technology, arts and culture, media, and radicals.

Before this breakdown begins however, the absolute most influential 50 people are listed, starting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. The top 50 fit into 6 broad categories as follows: 12 are political leaders (kings, generals, presidents), 4 are spiritual leaders (Sufi shaykhs), 14 are national or international religious authorities, 3 are “preachers,” 6 are high-level scholars, 11 are leaders of movements or organizations.

The 500 appear to have been chosen largely in terms of their overt influence, however the top 50 have been chosen and perhaps listed in a “politically correct” order designed not to cause offense. For example, the first person listed is the Sunni political leader of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah. The second person listed is the head of the largest Shi’a power, Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei. As these are not the two Muslim countries with the largest populations, and do not even represent the two countries with the most spiritual or religious relevance (Saudi Arabia yes, Iran no) therefore clearly the decision of spots one or two appears to have been motivated by a sense of political correctness.

There are in total 72 American Muslims in the 500 Most Influential Muslims.

The entire book is available online (here: http://www.rissc.jo/muslim500v-1L.pdf) and we hope that it will be available for sale soon inside the United States. Currently it is not available.

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