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A message to American Intellectuals and Scholars

A paper prepared by the Center for American Values entitled "What
We're Fighting For" and signed by sixty Western intellectuals has been
circulating throughout numerous intellectual quarters and in the
A Letter to American Scholars and Intellectuals

A paper prepared by the Center for American Values entitled "What
We're Fighting For" and signed by sixty Western intellectuals has been
circulating throughout numerous intellectual quarters and in the
media. Among those that the paper addresses are the scholars and
thinkers of the Muslim World. The website IslamToday has taken a
partial step in responding to this paper by publishing a
counterstatement entitled "How We Can Coexist", which has been signed
by a number of leading thinkers in Saudi Arabia. The statement begins
by defining the Islamic values that govern the relationship Muslims
have with others. It goes on to analyze the events of September 11,
rejecting the hasty conclusions that have been made regarding the
motives of the perpetrators. It poses the questions: Why did the
perpetrators not choose another country besides America that adheres
to the same Western values? Why did they not choose to target one of
the pagan societies in Africa or Asia? Why shouldn't we assume that
the perpetrators felt they were justified in what they were doing
because of the decisions made by the United States in numerous places
throughout the world? Who can deny that Israel's existence and power
is supported by the major nations, at the forefront of which is the
United States?

The signatories see that though the United States is a founding member
of the United Nations and vocally promotes human rights, it is at the
same time among the most antagonistic nations to the objectives of
these institutions and to the values of justice and truth. This is
clearly visible in America's unwavering support for the Zionist
occupation of Palestinian land and its justification of Zionist
practices, no matter how unjust, while providing Israel with the most
advanced weapons with which they kill women, children, and old men and
topple down people's homes. At the same time, we see the Bush
administration mobilizing its military strength and preparing for war
against other countries like Iraq, justifying its actions with the
claim that these countries are perpetrating human rights abuses and
behaving aggressively towards their neighbors.

The statement affirms that secularism is an unacceptable option for
the Muslim World, because it denies Muslim people the right to apply
the general laws that shape their lives. Though it does protect the
rights of minorities, it does so by violating the rights of the

The paper goes on to discuss the idea of a just war, rejecting the
idea that radicalism is exclusively a religious phenomenon and
asserting that it manifests itself in politics, economics, and the
media, and that all of these forms of radicalism should be given the
same attention. It invites the West to become more open to Islam, look
more seriously at its own programs, and behave more mildly with the
Islamic world. It asserts that the majority of Islamic movements
around the world are essentially moderate and they should be allowed
to stay that way.

The signatories conclude their statement by asserting that nothing
good will come from creating conflicts and that the use of force can
never give a true guarantee for the future. Therefore, we must create
more avenues for dialogue as an alternative to violence and

It should be mentioned that there are over 150 signatories to the
paper from a good cross section of society, including scholars,
intellectuals, judges, attorneys, academics, media figures, and
businesspeople. The statement expresses the thoughts of all sectors of
society, and its signatories include names of intellectual and social
significance representing both sexes and all the country's regions,
universities, and institutions.

Some of the more notable signatories are:

Sheikh Abd Allah b. Jibrin
Dr. Sa'ud al-Funaysan
Dr. Nasir b. Sulayman al-Umar
Dr. Safar b. Abd al-Rahman al-Hawali
Sheikh Salman al-Oadah
Dr. Ahmad al-Tuwayjiri
Sheikh Muhammad b. Salih b. Sultan
Dr. Ruqayyah al-Muharib
Dr. Muhammad Sa`id Farisi
Dr. Muhammad Sa`id Tayyib
Dr. Mansur al-Hazimi
Professor Ibrahim al-Bulayhi
Dr. Ibrahim al-Duwaysh
Professor Muhammad Salah al-Din
Dr. Nurah al-Sa`d
Dr. Suhaylah Zayn al-Abidin
Dr. Nasir al-Rashid
Dr. Hamzah al-Fa`r
Dr. Muhammad Ahmad al-Salih
Dr. Mani al-Juhani
Dr. Umayyah al-Jalahimah
Dr. Khadijah Abd al-Majid
Dr. Muhammad Umar Zubayr
Professor Abd al-Karim al-Juhayman
Sheikh Sulayman al-Majid

We must mention here that the paper entitled "What We're fighting For"
that was signed by sixty American thinkers and adopted by the Center
for American Values is for the most part a justification for the
American War that they call the "War on Terror". They take a single
event that should be understood as being the activity of a political
movement that resorts to force to realize its objectives, and they
turn it into a sort of clash of civilizations involving the entire
Muslim World.

This is why the matter has gone beyond the politicians to a group of
intellectuals who give their full support to the American government
in its bloody military campaign that takes the slaughter of innocent
civilians in Afghanistan as if it is but the first step for what is to

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Australian Muslim Public Affairs Committee (AMPAC)
PO Box 180
Email:  info@muslimaffairs.com.au
Web:  http://www.muslimaffairs.com.auhttp://www.islamtoday.net/english/showme.cfm?cat_id=29&sub_cat_id=469

homepage: homepage: http://www.muslimaffairs.com.au