By Susan Smith
Rabia Terri Harris, Muslim Peace Fellowship founder and author of Reclaiming the Prophet’s Jihad: A Primer on Islamic Nonviolence, spoke on the centrality of mercy and justice to Islam at the the WISE Up “Knowledge Ends Extremism” Summit at the Carnegie Institute of Science in Washington, DC on October 26th 2017. A contributor to the WISE Up Guide launched at the summit, and part of a panel discussing the emergence of extremist ideology, she explained that the concept of Jihad is a greatly misunderstood and certainly misapplied by those who perpetrate violence in the name of Islam. She explained that “achieving justice in the world requires an accountability to Allah, the Creator, Whose attributes are a keystone to social change. It is not hatred and violence, but mercy and compassion that reaches and changes people’s hearts and creates changes in behavior. The meaning of justice is about the restoration of wholeness, and if we believe it is about the obliteration of our enemies, then we fall into the trap of the devil.” To listen to Rabia on the panel discussion, visit the 47 minute time mark at http://www.wiseupreport.org/summit/
Hosted by the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality, the event marked the public launch of WISE Up, a 400-page resource guide authored by a diverse array of 72 Islamic scholars and community leaders, and edited by Daisy Khan. The book is a compilation of 40 articles that educate against Islamophobia and extremism by factually, systematically and comprehensively by delinking extremist ideology from the peaceful religion of Islam. Endorsed by 100 mosques, 50 interfaith organizations and Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the launch of the book marked an historic moment in which the American Muslim community collectively spoke out against all forms of hate, including Islamophobia and terrorism.
More than 300 faith-based, academic and political leaders from across the country convened to support the amplification of an authentic American Muslim narrative and presentation of the book to 535 members of Congress. For more information on the WISE Up campaign, visit http://www.wisemuslimwomen.org/projects/wise-up/
or watch the videos below.