Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Browsing in a Mosque

Gary Fouse

This past Sunday, as reported, I attended a town hall event at the Islamic Center of Orange County. Prior the start of the event, I had a chance to drop into the mosque book store and do some browsing. My time was limited, but I did happen find an interesting book called "West vs. Islam" by Margaret Marcus (aka Mayam Jameelah). The entire text of the book can be accessed at the below link.

Marcus was born to a Jewish family in New York in 1934. As a young woman, she converted to Islam and moved to Pakistan, where she lived with the family of the famous founder of the Islamic party Jamaat e Islami, Maulana Abul Ala Maududi. Eventually, Maududi arranged a marriage for her. She became a prolific writer on Islam and is a well known figure in Islamic literary circles, Much of her writing reflects a condemnation of Western society and a strict interpretaion of Islam. Below is her Wikipedia entry

A critical book about Marcus and her extremism was written by Deborah Baker. It is called, "The Convert"

Below is a wikipedia entry for Maududi, which includes his views on Jihad and Sharia.

Below is a wikipedia entry for Jamaat e Islami. The article appears to be written by a non-English native speaker and seems favorable to the party.

If I may summarize, the writer of "West vs Islam" is a woman who apparently had psychiatric problems in her life, converted to Islam, moved to Pakistan and holds very negative opinions about Western culture. I noted in one part of her book while I was in the bookstore that she does not believe that Muslims in the West should adopt Western ways in areas such as dress and others.

Maududi's version of Islam was very strict in terms of Islam ruling Muslim countries, Sharia, and status of non-Muslims. The party he founded reflects those views. Marcus apparently does as well.

To sum up, I ask myself, why the Islamic Center of Orange County, whose imam, Muzammil Siddiqi, is a well-known religious figure in the American Muslim community, would have this book in their store? This is hardly a book that encourages American Muslims to assimilate into Western society.

Is the ideology that Muzammil Siddiqi subscribes to? Is this something that is compatible with American society, pluralism, liberty, and our Constitution? On that day, I heard a lot of speakers proclaim that Sharia law is perfectly in harmony with the US Constitution. I suggest that the non-Muslim speakers who participated in Sunday's event do their homework.

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