Open Letter to Representative Biedermann”Rock Solid Conservative for Texas House”

Texas House

The following open letter was written in response to a highly inflammatory, survey Texas Representative Biedermann sent to Muslim leaders in his community. Biedermann’s actions were called “xenophobic and nonsense” by numerous lawmakers.

Note: Islam is not a monolith and as with other religions, there exists a variety of ways to practice the faith. I do not claim to speak for all Muslims, but hope to bridge a gap.

Dear Representative Biedermann,

Good afternoon. I read through the letter/poll you sent to various Muslim leaders around Texas. Although I am not a Muslim community leader, I am a Texas university Muslim student. I wholeheartedly support the points included in the Muslim Reform Movement and would never condone violence (physical or verbal) against people who choose to leave the faith. 

All men and women have every right to follow their own chosen paths (without fear of repercussions) in search of their own individual truths, as long as the process does not harm others. Apostasy in Islam, while generally looked down upon, carries no earthly punishment.

Texas Muslims

However, certain countries do condemn apostates to death or throw them in jail. Such actions are not in line with the Qur’an and the Hadith that are cited as evidence that apostasy should be met with the death penalty or imprisonment are generally viewed as unreliable.

Similarly, homosexuality does not have any specified worldly punishment – I personally believe love is love and do not see homosexuality as a sin.

Although I believe it is safe to say that you do not have a favorable impression of Islam, efforts to uphold the ideas in the Muslim Reform Movement are present in every country where Muslims are present.

The ideologies expressed in the Muslim Reform Movement are nothing new and conversations concerning reform are ongoing. Many are unaware of these global efforts because they are frequently overshadowed by alternative and negative media coverage that portray Islam as a violent, unforgiving, and backwards religion.

Although I believe it is safe to say that you do not have a favorable impression of Islam, efforts to uphold the ideas in the Muslim Reform Movement are present in every country where Muslims are present.

It would be intellectually dishonest to pretend that violence is not committed in the name of Islam, but it is equally as intellectually dishonest to offer this violence as proof that Islam and Muslims are uniquely and inherently a destructive force in the world.

If you wish to educate yourself concerning these ongoing discussions on reform, please reference works by Khaled Abou El Fadl, Amina Wadud, Fatima Mernissi, Reza Aslan, and Irshad Manji; and this just scrapes the surface.

These authors do not agree unanimously with one another (quite the contrary actually) but instead offer a diverse array in thought and reform. The book “Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender and Pluralism,” edited by Omid Safi, would also be a good place to start.

Often, people forget that Islam is a continuation of the Judeo-Christian story and on a side note, the Bah’ai faith should be included in this continuing narrative of Abrahamic faiths. I will say this: Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam is not a religion of violence.

Like Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc., it is simply a religion. It is the people who color their faith with their own intentions and objectives, which in turn shapes their truth – in other words, their Islam, in this case.

I won’t spend much time on this next point: Implementing Sharia as a form of governance in the United States is unconstitutional and therefore impossible; a fact I trust you already know, given that you work in government.

I will say this: Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam is not a religion of violence. Like Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc., it is simply a religion. It is the people who color their faith with their own intentions and objectives, which in turn shapes their truth – in other words, their Islam, in this case.

The separation of Church and State is highly valued, but I couldn’t help but notice the religiosity present on your government homepage. I embrace secularism in governmental affairs, pluralism, gender rights, racial equality, and other progressive values that ensure equality between all human beings.

My question for you is: “Do you?” And because the letter/Muslim Reform Movement document you sent included a point stating that “Muslims don’t have an exclusive right to heaven,” I in turn ask you, “Do you as my Christian brother, do you believe that I, your Muslim sister, have a chance of entering paradise if this exists in the afterlife?

I, a Muslim woman, do not claim the exclusive right to entering Paradise – good people will go to a good place and if there is nothing after death, then our destinations will be the same.

When terrorists launch an attack, the bullets do not discriminate between Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, etc. Additionally, the majority of victims of Daesh, who are desperate to escape certain death, are themselves Muslim.

This is not a war of “us vs. them”, “Muslims vs. the infidels” or “the West vs. Islam.” Only those lacking proper analytic and critical thinking skills would boil these complex issues to simple dichotomies.  

When terrorists launch an attack, the bullets do not discriminate between Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, etc. Additionally, the majority of victims of Daesh, who are desperate to escape certain death, are themselves Muslim.

Salaam aleikoum.
Peace be upon you.

Cordially,

Khadijah

Texas biedermann

Editor’s Note: This open letter to Texas Representative Biedermann, “Rock Solid Conservative for Texas House,” was written under a pseudonym for security precautions due to the current political circumstances in America. Numerous other Muslim-Americans in Texas have spoken out against Bidermann’s actions.

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2 Comments
  1. Sugarcoating Islam will help only with those kafirs too lazy to read about it. Best of luck with your takiya quest to impose Islam on the USA.

    1. The only quest we are on is to bring people of different religions and backgrounds together in order to achieve peace. The U.S. is a country filled with many different religions. We do not believe that one religion is more important than another. No one should be harassed or assaulted because of their religious beliefs, especially when they are doing no harm to anyone else.

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