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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

May 21, 1993


Addressing The Interfaith Roundtable A Closer Look

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


If Muslims just look at America, its government and its present administration as the answer to problems faced by Muslims, that will not work.

We are Muslims. People who are in positions to make decisions that affect the lives of Muslims around the world, they have gotten acquainted with Muslim principles and Muslim ideals. They are acquainted also with Muslims' behavior and are saying, 'These people do not even deserve anything."

When people are forced by material interest, which is pressing on them, they will be looking for excuses. They may be strongly moral people, but when money is a big issue most of us will want to find an excuse not to do what is morally right. So if we look bad in the eyes of the world, it invites people to mistreat us, especially when we are shaming the standards that we claim.

As Muslims we have to do two things at the same time. We have to make a strong appeal to the nations that are behaving wrongly. Tell them, "Please, check yourself. Please, respect the great religion that you have. Respect your people. Respect the world community of man." We have to make a strong appeal to them, and at the same time stress upon our government to do what is just.


Q: Would you address the treatment of the Muslim woman in Islam?


IWDM: The treatment of the Muslim woman is to be understood in the light of what was revealed to our Prophet Muhammed, peace and blessings be on him, in the Qur'an. And it should be understood in how he (the Prophet) himself, treated women and how Muslims in the early days treated women.

We should understand that that was a world that had just emerged out of darkness. That man back there was not in a situation to accept as much enlightenment and as much reform in his own life regarding the treatment of women as we are today.

So we are to study the Qur'an and study the life of the Prophet and then apply it as it should be applied today. If we do that, we will get rid of this mistreatment of women. We should first as Muslims educate the non-Muslim community on what Islam has as a role for woman.

The women and the "Blacks" have been put in the same situation. The "Blacks" were looked down on and not treated like non-Blacks. Men looked at women and said they were feminine and not to be treated like men and not to have an equal place in the world. Blacks were denied an equal human station and women were denied an equal human station.

What God wants us to know is that the Black man is inherently equal; he is the same man in his originality that any other man is. The woman in her originality is the same human being that a man is. I know some men will be a little irritated with that. Again, the woman in her originality is the same human person that we men are.

She has the same potential. But as God intended the roles to evolve, the man evolved with muscles and went out from the home. The woman because of her physiology had to stay in the home and take care of the children. So over a long period of time, for generations and generations, we will have an inequality. But in our original forms we are equal. There is no difference between a man's intellect and a woman's intellect, between a man's soul and a woman's soul, between a man's moral nature and a woman's moral nature. There is no difference.

"You are mates of each other. "And note, also, "We created you from one soul... "And again "Men have rights over women and women have rights over men."

Note The Qur'an references were added and some editing was made since my comments at the Detroit Interfaith Roundtable were given without prepared notes or a written presentation. We thank the Muslim Journal for the opportunity to share with the readers revised improved upon presentations.