we think of Islam, we think of a faith that brings comfort to
a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort
and solace and peace. And that's made brothers and sisters out
of every race - out of every race.
"America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and
Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country.
Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military,
entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be
treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans
must treat each other with respect.
"This is a great country. It's a great country because we share
the same values of respect and dignity and human worth. And it
is my honor to be meeting with leaders who feel just the same
way I do. They're outraged, they're sad. They love America just
as much as I do."
President Bush at the
Islamic Center in Washington, DC. September 17, 2001.
greetings to Muslims across the United States as you celebrate
the Eid al-Adha holiday and join in spirit with the millions gathered
in Mecca to uphold the traditions of one of your most sacred feasts.
"America was built on a strong spiritual foundation, and the celebration
of faith is central to our lives. As you celebrate the annual
Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, your honor the great sacrifice
and devotion of Abraham as recognized by Judaism, Christianity,
and Islam. By educating others about your religious traditions,
you enrich the lives of others in your local communities.
"The variety of nations and cultures represented by those who
travel to Mecca each year, and the varied ways in which Muslims
contribute to American life across the United States, are powerful
reminders that ethnic and racial differences need not divide us
when we share common values and purposes. By building strong foundations
of mutual respect, we can achieve peace and reconciliation in
Bush, Greetings on Eid al-Adha, 2001.
"I don't view
myself through separate identities. The yardstick I measure by
is my faith; everything else falls into place. My identity is
an American Palestinian who is a Muslim."
Laila al-Marayati, Member U.S. Commission on International Religious
"I feel not
only proud to be an American - to carry an American passport and
travel worldwide - I feel that I can be myself, a fully practicing
Muslim, particularly in America. This means I wake up in the morning
without fear and come home at the end of the day without fear."
Imam Yahay Hendi, Chaplain at
flag symbolizes all of our Islamic values: freedom, civil liberties,
and respect for human life."
Shaher Elsayed, Secretary General
of the Muslim Society.
"The U.S. Constitution
describes the perfect Islamic state. It protects life, liberty
Muhammed Muqtader Khan, American
over the world are looking with high expectations toward the ummah
community in the United States and Canada. Its dynamism, fresh
approach, enlightened scholarship and sheer growth is their hope
for an Islamic renaissance worldwide."
Wilfried Hofmann, retired German diplomat and Muslim jurist.
are not only centers for spirituality, they are also bases for
political and social mobilization, focal points for Muslim life
in a way they may not have been in more traditional Islamic societies.
Muslims believe that by involvement with the larger society, they
can do service to America."
Awad , executive director of the Council on American-Islamic relations.
they [Muslims] are going to be claiming a place in the public
square. They still see themselves as an 'out' group rather than
a 'core' group in American life right now, but that is going to
change as they move into positions where they can assert their
heritage.... It's a red-white-and-blue pattern in American history
as each immigrant group has developed a congregational, organizational
life different from their home countries. Their houses of worship
are more than just houses of prayer, but centers for a whole range
of fellowship and community programs just as the German Lutherans,
the Irish and Italian Catholics and the Dutch Reform did in centuries
Roozen , Hartford Seminary.
"Eid mubarak," or "May your religious holiday be blessed," is
the message on the Eid stamp, honoring the two important Muslim
festivals - Eid al-Adha marking the end of the hajj, the annual
period designated for Muslims to make their pilgrimage to Mecca;
and Eid al-Fitr celebrating the end of the Ramadan fast.