As the US elections heat up and focus on a President Donald Trump to ban Muslims from entering America, Islam has always been a part of America’s story.
The first nation to recognize the United States was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, the second ever American President, John Adams wrote, "The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims."
Since the founding of America, American Muslims have won Nobel Prizes, built the tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend the Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of the Founding Fathers of the United States — Thomas Jefferson — kept in his personal library.
Indeed, the United States elected as President, as the most powerful man in the world, the son of Muslim, a man named ‘Hussein Obama’.
Indeed there is one American who has saved more Muslim lives than any other human in history. One individual who without fear or favour has been singularly responsible for why there are more followers of the Faith today than any other man since the Prophet.
One man who could rightly be called Defender of the Faith. No, it is not Saladin nor Nasser, nor the physician in the Middle Ages Ibn Al-Baitar, nor is it the discoverer of pulmonary circulation – Ibn Al-Nafis or the botanist Al-idris.
The name of the man, a Christian, is Norman Borlaug and he died in 2009. Borlaug moved governments to use his invention of high-yield varieties of grains. Before him it was said India would never be able to feed itself. He is credited with having saved one billion souls.
Put aside your religious leaders, your gurus, popes, rabbis, imams, kings and presidents. This man saved one billion lives.
In America, the 7 million American Muslims enjoy income levels higher than the average American. Imagine that – flourishing in the home of what the Iranian leader called the Great Satan. As that man, President Obama said, ‘The enduring faith of over a billion people is so much bigger than the narrow hatred of a few. Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism — it is an important part of promoting peace.
I heard of a year ago 24 Egyptian Christians beheaded by ISIS for being Christians. Thousands marched in London against the deaths of Muslims in Gaza. But why not against the killing in Syria, or of Christians, or of Hindus in Pakistan? There is not the same outrage. It was the West, not Turkey or Saudi Arabia that backed action in Syria. Or what about Muslim deaths in Bosnia – it was Nato jets protecting Muslims then.
Everywhere in recent times, Islam has both flourished under, and been protected by, the flag of the West.
Now at last, Egypt, Jordan realise there will be no peace until their own house is in order. This is a clash of civilisations – the clash of the civilised against the uncivilised.
An England cricket player wears a protest band on his wrist against what is happening in Gaza, but not in Syria. Truly the concept of Islamic Brotherhood can be so much more greater than this, to enforce the peace, that ‘Islam’ means around the world.
The Holy Koran tells us: "O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another."
The Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace."
The Holy Bible tells us: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.