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Best of Both the Worlds

 by Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph. D. 
Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.
7102 W. Shefford Lane
Louisville, KY 40242-6462, U.S.A.




Recent news reports indicate that there are 15 million new STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) cases each year in the United States; teenagers account for a fourth of them. As Muslims constitute two percent of the US population the STD cases among the Muslim adults must number 300,000 and for teenagers the figure should be 80,000. But in actuality, how many Muslim adults and teenagers suffer from STD.? In Kentucky during the year 2002 there were 88 cases of syphilis, 3,722 cases of gonorrhea and 8,755 cases of chlamydia. Accordingly given their percentage of the population, there should have been two cases of syphilis, 74 cases of gonorrhea and 175 cases of chlamydia among the Muslims. But in reality this was not the case.

Do you know that every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted in America? In 2000, there were 261,000 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. [2000 National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics]. Of these, 114,000 were victims of sexual assault, 55,000 of attempted rape, and 92,000 of rape. [2000 NCVS.].

The April 1991 issue of “Free Thought Today” reported that every three days one clergyman or church leader in the US was charged last year with criminal sexual abuse of children or young teenagers. Most of the men received light sentences enabling them to return to the pulpit - and continued sexual abuse of children - quickly. Churches are not only failing to check ministers’ records, but in some instances, are knowingly hiring convicted child molesters. The journal clarified that it was not a complete survey of clergy sexual abuse cases from 1990 - merely a study of 106 criminal cases coming to the attention of Free Thought Today from reports in the daily press. There are 216 lawsuits against Church priests in Louisville for sexually molesting the children. The question is how many Imams and how many Muslim teachers are accused of such crimes?

Islam asks its followers not to wear provocative dresses. It does not prohibit make-up but makes it clear that its purpose should not be to entice the opposite sex indiscriminately. Islam advises its followers that no two non-Mahrams (persons who are lawfully permitted to marry each other) of the opposite sex should meet in private except in dire necessity.

An article titled “ SOCIETY: Is There a Way Out of the West’s Cultural Crisis?” written by Francis Fukuyama (Professor at the International Institute for Advanced Studies at the Johns Hopkins University) was published in the 2 December, 2000 issue of the Wilson Quarterly. An excerpt: “All of the industrialized countries outside Asia experienced a massive increase in social disorder between the 1960s and ‘90s - a phenomenon that I have called the Great Disruption of Western social values. Indeed, by the 1990s Sweden, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand all had higher rates of property crime than the United States. More than half of all Scandinavian children are born to unmarried mothers, compared with one-third of American children. In Sweden, so few people bother to get married that the institution itself probably is in long-term decline”.

The US has a 50 per cent divorce rate. Since this is the highest rate of divorces, one can suspect there is something very wrong with US weddings. Islam permits the termination of a wedding contract, yet the divorce percentage is negligible among US Muslims compared to others.

An American Researcher, Edwin J. Feulner, PhD, president of The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based public policy research institute wrote in an article titled ‘Whistling In The Dark’ dated September 28, 1995 and available on line at

“Congress is crashing head-on into the devastating problem of illegitimacy, and balking. Decades after liberal ideology declared marriage obsolete and liberal welfare policy discouraged it, America has reaped a bitter harvest: Millions of children growing up without dads, and moms struggling through life without much hope for the future. Congress is now trying to hash out the differences between House and Senate versions of a comprehensive welfare-reform bill….Taxpayers will continue to subsidize out-of-wedlock births. Yet, the numbers are stark and incontrovertible. We are becoming a nation of fatherless children. And fatherless children grow up to commit more violent crime, take more illegal drugs and become statistics in more social pathologies than any other group. Unmarried mothers gave birth to 80 percent of all black children born in the inner city in 1994. But the problem goes far beyond the inner city. In 1965, when a worried young strategist in the Johnson administration’s War on Poverty warned of the end of the black family, 25 percent of all black births were to unmarried mothers. Today, nearly 30 percent of all births in America -- regardless of color -- are to unmarried mothers. …. America must stop providing a financial incentive for women on welfare to have children out of wedlock. The only way to do that is to cut off additional payments to those who have more babies while on public assistance, and to deny benefits to girls under 18 who give birth to illegitimate children. “

Every year in the United States, one million teen-age girls give birth to children out of wedlock. This is scary, but the question is how many Muslim teen-age girls give birth to children out of wedlock?

According to estimates, 2 per cent of one million that is 20,000 Muslim teen-age girls should give birth to children out of wedlock in the whole of the United States. Kentucky is one of the 50 states; so Kentucky’s share comes to 400 Muslim girls. Almost one-third to one-fourth of Kentucky’s population lives in Louisville. Hence Louisville should have at least 100 Muslim teen-age girls giving birth to children out of wedlock per year. This is a rough estimate, because the population of US is unevenly distributed. The Northeast, Chicago, California have very high density population.

So what is the inference or conclusion? The result is zero, which means we are adhering to our Islamic values. We are following the commands of Allah (SWT) as revealed in the Qur’an and practiced by Prophet Muhammad (SAS), which is the Sunnah.

We should get a pat on our backs and we should say “Alhamdulillah” Praise be to Allah. This is a blessing. This is a great achievement and we are an excellent example to the non-Muslims. This is an example of Da’wah work. Slowly American will appreciate the Islamic values and the Islamic way of life. Insha’Allah, the Muslim population in America will grow and it is already growing. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and in the world.

The May 1979 issue of Life magazine had an article on prison life in a San Francisco jail. The emphasis was on the Muslim inmates. What attracted the attention of the Magazine was that all the Muslim inmates were free from homosexuality and drug abuse and drug addiction.

About 10 years ago, The Christian Science Monitor made a couple of documentary films on Muslims in America. They showed how Muslim inmates, on their release from correctional institutions, lead honest lives and practice Islam - sincerely and faithfully. To the extent the Christian building owners, whose lawns the Muslim inmates mow, give them the keys of their buildings in complete trust.

We see the bright side of America and also the dark side of America. We need to enjoy the best of both worlds. What I mean is we can lead our lives as Muslims and at the same time enjoy the bright side of America.

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