August 13th, 2010
01:04 PM ET

Opinion: Why we needed an Imams' declaration for peace

Dr. David Liepert
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/08/13/liepert.imams.declaration/tzleft.liepert.david.courtesy.jpg caption="He says declaration repudiates anyone who seeks to use Islam for any purpose but peace" width=300 height=169]

Immediately before 9-11, al Qaeda was considered almost below most Americans' notice. One Washington Post/ABC News poll found that in early 2002, only 14 percent of Americans thought Islam encouraged violence.

These days, the popular perception of Islam is dominated by al Qaeda and its radical agenda. Al Qaeda has grown into a monster that dominates the American psyche, and many non-Muslims fear that the majority of Muslims are bent on violent takeover.

Throughout the last decade, the mainstream majority of Muslims have seemed almost silent, but today that all changes.

As of this writing, 38 of the 50 Islamic scholars who make up Canada's Muslim mainstream leadership have signed the Canadian Council of Imams Declaration, released today. More names will follow. These signatories will lead Muslim communities onto a path of active engagement, taking back Islam and claiming it for multicultural peace.

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Filed under: Islam • Opinion
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    Hey I have an idea.
    A lot of Americans tolerate the extreme types of christian beliefs
    So the first step is tolerate the nasty part of Islam, and the healing comes from within Islam not by force from without, because then Jihad becomes somewhat justifiable, depends on interpretations of the Qu'ran.
    And therefore when America behaves nicely, cordially, and friendly to Muslims that becomes the first step towards the toleance of intolerance on both sides. Those adjectives( nice etc) are not a one sided deed but a mutual need then we can work toghther to fix the problem with mutual respect.
    The real problem as of now is two Texan congress persons ranting about terror babies, who will come to kill Americans 20 years from now
    emotions like fear only lead to Ignorance and pre-emptive strikes.

    August 14, 2010 at 3:27 am |
  2. David Bucher

    One point about Islam that needs to be kept in mind is that apostasy is punishable by death. How many Muslims are voluntary Muslims, and how many are so from fear? Dealing with Muslims is like dealing with either slaves or with true zealots. The true zealots need to be dealt with actively. The rest probably just want to live a decent life. But it may be difficult to tell them apart.

    August 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  3. Augsbee

    I think it begins with each Muslim learning to be nice, cordial, friendly with others. You can say all you want, write all you want, sign all the declarations for peace that you want but if all that is contradicted by the behavior of the Muslim people in everyday life towards others then you've accomplished zero.
    People judge other people by their daily behavior in everyday things not by writings, speeches, declarations, etc....

    August 13, 2010 at 1:27 pm |

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