THE BLOG

A Muslim's Duty to Society: The Time to Step Up is Now

01/18/2011 01:00 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Recently, Representative Peter King (R) NY announced his decision to hold hearings on the radicalization of Islam among American Muslims. I gave the matter some thought, captured in an article published by The Wall Street Journal. My thanks to the editors at WSJ. You can read the full op-ed here and an extract is published below, with the Journal's permission.

Muslims have a commandment to fulfill duties to the societies in which they make their home. Counter-terrorism and Homeland Security experts, take note of the Islamic scriptures supporting this to help augment your efforts to collaborate with the Muslim Community towards safeguarding us all. Many Muslims themselves are unaware of this responsibility, and so, therefore are the communities within which they live. Without question, a Muslim better educated about Islam is de facto a better American. Part of that education is understanding our obligations to America.

Meanwhile, I am stunned by the level of vitriol in the comments generated on the article in the Wall Street Journal's OpEd forum, but perhaps I have been spoiled by the camaraderie of the Huffington Post readership. I leave you to draw your own comparisons and share your own observations on the Representative's controversial, yet I believe, very brave decision.

While Rep. King has a reputation for adopting polarizing positions--particularly when it comes to immigration--his hearings deserve serious consideration. "There has to be an honest discussion of the role of the Muslim community--what they are doing, what they're not doing," he explained to the New York Observer in a Nov. 30 article. "I talk to law enforcement people across the country; they will tell me. . . . They don't feel any sense of cooperation."

These concerns are reasonable ones. Histrionic objections to them only deter Muslims from fulfilling a fundamental Islamic obligation: Meeting our duty to the society in which we live.