The Battle for the Soul of Islam
I have received many questions about Rania al Hussaini, a character in our book, Mystery at the Thirteen Sycamores. She declares that she is a Muslim, and even though her mother was a Christian sold as a slave to her father, she will not abandon her Muslim faith. She states firmly to her father and brother that she does not support the madness of Jihadism that she experienced in Sarajevo during the Balkan Wars where she saw her mother killed by an assassin sniper's bullet.
She declares, at the peril of her own life and her fiancé’s life, that she rejects Salafism, Wahhabism, and Shariah Law; she turns her back on all forms of radical Islamic Jihad and embraces the peaceful movement of Islamic reform that allows democratic principles prevalent in the West, and particularly the separation of religion from state. She wants equality and individual freedom of thought and choice where women can pursue their own destiny with courtesy, honor, and respect and be treated equally with men in the pursuit of their happiness. She expresses to her father and brother that slavery should be abolished from the planet and women should be allowed to vote, be treated with dignity, and obey the laws and follow the customs of the country where they live!
In my travels throughout Africa and the Middle East, I heard those same dreams of Rania that some women in those countries expressed to me.
The Beginning of an Islamic Reformation Movement
Recently, I have become aware of an Islamic reformation movement throughout the Western world, and more specifically here in America, that espouses the modern enlightenment principles expressed in our United States Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
I saw Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser speak on television about his movement. He is an American patriot and a devout Muslim who served in the United States Navy as a lieutenant commander and answered the question, “Can a good Muslim be a good American as well?”
His answer was a resounding, “Yes!” And he proved it in his hard-hitting book, A Battle for the Soul of Islam.
He founded the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) to begin the long march for Muslims in America to emerge into the Twenty-First Century as the third part of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic monotheistic faith, abandoning the political theocratic principles of a backward looking Salafist Islamic radicalism which breeds Jihadism, death, enslavement, and destruction around the world, preventing a peaceful and loving Islam from rising into the modern world.
He explains in his book that the seeds for the reformation needed for the soul of Islam are rooted within the plea of America's Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States which separates state and religion and promotes peace, harmony, goodwill, and the individual pursuit of happiness.
Dr. Jasser, who is a nuclear cardiologist who was born, raised, and educated in Wisconsin and is a consultant to the United States Congress, sums up this philosophy in his book. He explains in his own words, “All these years after 9/11, it's time for us to understand the true threat of Islamism. It is a Muslim problem that needs a Muslim solution, and A Battle for the Soul of Islam builds a solid, balanced, and imperative must-read foundation for the fight.”
The Pathway to Peace
As a physician, healer and warrior who has served his nation, he knows the tribulations, dangers, and suffering of warfare, and in a calm, determined manner, he pursues a well-thought pathway for peace and healing of centuries-old wounds.
Rania, in the book Mystery at the Thirteen Sycamores, echoes his plea for sanity and reason to prevail in this struggle to reform Islam! She expressed the same feeling for the battle for the soul of Islam when she defied her Jihadist father and brother at the peril of her own life.
William J. Bennett, the New York Times best-selling author has said, “Dr. Jasser is an American hero in the war radical Islam has declared upon us. Whether we prevail in this long war may very well depend on how closely we listen to him.”