"A cat can have kittens in the oven but that doesn't make them muffins," Malcolm X famously said in describing the treatment of citizens of color who were demanding justice and equality in America.
While citizens of color can rightfully claim to be American citizens, with all the rights, duties and advantages of that claim, Malcolm's quote also speaks directly to the odious, aggressive actions of ISIS.
The savage litany of rapes, murders, abductions, beheadings and forced conversions are absolutely against Islamic or any religious teachings, ideas or precepts. ISIS, by attempting to cloak its outlaw actions with a religious covering, has done violence to the deeply held Islamic beliefs of all observant Muslims.
The sordid actions of ISIS have caused revulsion in Muslims around the world who are united in horror at the raw hatred and disregard for humanity meted out by these armed thugs.
As Muslims are make statements, produce videos and take other overt actions to let our fellow citizens know that these monsters do not represent our religion, our resolve grows to continue to struggle against the cancer of ISIS and its "thought partners."
For the second year, I am honored to be a presenter for the Friends of Encore Learning at Richard Stockton College in a class titled "Islam: Misunderstood and Misrepresented." In this course I attempt to present the true principles of Islam, the practices of pious Muslims and the implementation of Islam by national American Muslims.
I am also president of the Bridge of Faith organization founded by my long-time friend, Rabbi Aaron Krauss. Bridge of Faith is a group of Christian, Jewish and Islamic leaders and lay persons who interact with each other to share their voices on various issues and topics from their religious points of view. We are planning a community seminar on "Islam and Terrorism" that will give local residents an opportunity to hear from a learned responsible Imam, Amin Muhammad of Atlantic City, about the Muslim response to ISIS and other terrorist organizations.
As president of Masjid Muhammad of Atlantic City, I have coordinated an open-door policy at our weekly Jumah Prayer service for the outer community. We continue to extend an open invitation to all to attend this prayer service at 1:15 p.m. Fridays. The service is for one hour. Masjid Muhammad is located at 300 N. Albany Ave., Atlantic City.
President Barack Obama has correctly stated that we have a long struggle ahead against ISIS and those who have extreme, radical and violent misunderstandings and misapplications of what they brand as Islam.
Responsible Muslims are standing with the president and other people of faith and good will to fight against ISIS and all related poisonous teachings. Responsible Muslims are ready to model their behavior as mainstream citizens who correctly practice and represent their religion. Responsible Muslims are committed to working with people of "like minds" as Imam W. D. Mohammad, a progressive American Islamic leader for 33 years, did to help advance an agenda for human growth and development.
And finally, responsible Muslims are firmly of the belief that, together, we shall overcome.
Kaleem Shabazz, of Atlantic City, is president of the Masjid Muhammad mosque and president of the Bridge of Faith organization.