Muslim Leadership Training Program

In The Australian today, Dr Ameer Ali says enough is enough and it’s time Australians got to see an alternative to the Muslim fanatics.

“Right now, the moment you say Muslims, people tend to think these guys are fanatics who are always praying and have beards. That’s wrong because the majority of Muslims are not like that. We have to demolish this image – the stereotyping of the Muslims who are currently all seen as religious people.”

To order to combat the destructive stereotypes identified by Dr Ali — beards, praying, etc. — young Muslims might consider attending an exciting new Muslim Leadership Training program in order to attain the necessary skills and experience to operate under the proposed model. Here is a short promotional video for the program:

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#1 JDsg on 03.12.08 at 10:42 pm

“…the stereotyping of the Muslims who are currently all seen as religious people.”

That sounds a bit like Andre Carson’s description of himself: “an Orthodox, universal, secular Muslim.” (Carson won a special election for a seat in the US Congress, replacing his grandmother who was a Congresswoman for Indiana, and will now be the second Muslim in Congress.)

As far as I’m concerned, “Orthodox Muslim” and “secular” is a contradiction in terms. A Muslim is religious; otherwise, you are not.

#2 Eudaemonion on 03.13.08 at 11:55 pm

I loved the Chasers.

#3 Umm Yasmin on 03.14.08 at 11:43 am

Hmmm.. perhaps we should all get together and write a letter to Dr Ali to gently suggest that there are many of us who pray and wear beards and hijabs, and we are not fanatics, and we are normal Muslims too.

#4 Irfan Yusuf on 03.14.08 at 6:35 pm

Ameer Ali’s wording is, as always, clumsy. But his point is that outwardly observant Muslims are not necessarily representative of the 300,000-odd people who tick the “Muslim” box on their census forms.

Of course, he and his organisation can hardly tell us who are representative of these people. Despite having ample resources, AFIC has never bothered to conduct a survey or social map of Australian Muslims.

#5 George Carty on 03.14.08 at 7:28 pm

JDsg, “secular” is not the same as “atheist”. I think “secular Muslim” means “Muslim but not Islamist”.

#6 JDsg on 03.15.08 at 1:34 pm

George: I didn’t say “secular” was the same as “atheist.” For me, a “secular” person is a non-observant, non-practicing person of their (nominal) faith. A “cultural Muslim” is like the “cultural Christian” I was criticizing in my post last month that we’ve been discussing.

In that case, the questions for the likes of Andre Carson and the “Muslims” whom Ameer Ali wants for this advisory board are: “Do you practice the five pillars and follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) to the best of your abilities? Do you make Islam a significant part of your life?” If the answers are “yes,” you are, insha’allah, an observant Muslim. If not, you are a secular person.

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