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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

May 14, 1993

Muslim Journal

Fundamental: "Let's Get Back To Basics"

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

Actually fundamentalism is to me a frightening word. But the word "fundamental" is not. 1 think to many Muslims of the world "fundamentalist" is a good word. They are confused and ask, "Why don't they accept us being fundamentalists?" When we hear the American expression, "Let's go back to basics," this is what they are saying. That is all. That is what it means in Islam, to go back to those basic beliefs that established Muslims.

First of all, it is fundamental to follow the Qur'an in its purity. It is not always how some sect or some school of thought wants to present it. Muslims want to go back to the Qur'an's purity and to the Prophet's teachings. Muslims do not want to see these teachings twisted or shaped to serve someone's special interest. This is what is meant by being "fundamental" or being a "fundamentalist" in Islam.

It is very important in America that we influence the media to know that there is a problem in the language. When Muslims of the world hear us condemning fundamentalism, they think we are condemning them for believing in the Qur'an and for believing in Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him.

I don't think I am fanatic. I don't think I'm a drunken minded person or a foolhardy person. I think I am a sensible sober-minded course-charting person. And I have read the Qur'an and studied the life of Muhammed and looked at what it has produced. It has produced a pretty good American. So if it can do it for me, it can do it for many others. Don't be afraid of the Qur'an and the life of the Prophet. That did not hurt me; that helped me.