Opinion: "The Perspective of an American Muslim"

February 9, 2006

Source: Chicago Tribune


On February 9, 2006 the Chicago Tribune ran an opinion piece by Ahmed M. Rehab, director of communications for the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Chicago. Rehab comments, "As a Western Muslim who fully identifies with both worlds, I have watched the Danish cartoon fiasco unravel with shock and dismay. Is this a manifestation of the clash of civilization that political scientist Samuel P. Huntington has predicted for so long? Or is it precisely the opposite: a clash of the uncivilized? Both parties at the root of the controversy are making a mockery of their own values as they purport to expose the shortcomings in one another--and they are dragging all of us in with them... These cartoons have been exploited--if not devised--as agents to drive a wedge between a predominantly Christian Western society and Muslims in the West and around the world. Those who classify themselves as civilized should play no part in condoning or perpetuating this scheme, rather they should champion a dialogue of understanding between the Muslim world and the West. Both civilizations have contributed much to our world, each can offer much to the other. In the recent past, leading Muslim organizations in the U.S. have repositioned themselves to assume that role. They are willing and able. It is time they be fully engaged."