Over the years, Muslims in the United States and perhaps people in the
Muslim world have looked at the United States as immoral, just as many
Americans have looked at Muslim society and judged us for our lack of
technological progress as a backward people.
The people of both civilizations have suffered from an imbalanced
perception of life that led to immense human suffering. The West caused the
people to believe politics and science could have nothing to with religion,
and that religious people could not lead a nation to material prosperity.
In the East, many of us have not enjoyed the progress and freedom in some
areas, because the people felt religious piety was opposed to scientific
progress and economic and social development.
Now, today, we are poised for changes in the East and the West. The issue
of moral values reportedly played a role in determining the president,
which is a good development.
The people of the Bible have revived the belief that you can gain the
entire world and still lose your soul, and have nothing. Meanwhile the
people of the East are reviving God's word in the Koran that says "Who is
forbidding the good things that I have created for my servants? I created
it for them in this life, and my bounties are solely for them alone in the
This timely reunion, or meeting, of East and West, of the teachings of God,
is creating a common moral ground for human progress.
The world is perhaps ready to move beyond the violence and strife that
characterized the previous century to create a century of peace, achieved
through cooperation to destroy poverty, illiteracy and all types of immorality.
Muslims in the United States must find our place in this new moral mission,
and make our voices heard. Our activism should contribute to the
restoration of a moral and diverse United States where citizens enjoy
freedom, including the freedom of religious expression, and choice.
Then we will use our moral voice to call for change in the Muslim world,
for justice for the oppressed and freedom for those who have materially,
spiritually and psychologically enslaved.
Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi heads the Islamic House of Worship in Dearborn Heights