In a circle of people, religion and politics tend to become the elephant in the room that no one wants to approach. Even in the new millennium, the same myths, misunderstandings and misnomers exist about Islam and the people who practice it as they did in the 20th Century. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Rufus and Jenny Triplett, owners of Dawah International, LLC, are devout Muslims. They live, work and help to make America a better place every day but experience all of the prejudices America has to offer, not only because they are African-American, but also because they are Muslim.
Islam, the religion practiced by over one billion people worldwide, and has become the fastest growing religion in the world, is a religion of peace and discipline. The Quran, which in its purest form in Arabic, details the same stories from the Bible and the Torah, for those who know. Unless you have read the Quran in its entirety, one can only judge it by the biased media reports giving it credit for the actions of a few extremists. For those who study and live it, the mannerisms speak for themselves.
Jenny Triplett, co-editor-in-chief of Prisonworld Magazine says, “I was born in Detroit and grew up Baptist. I never knew anything about Islam or a prophet named Muhammad. My mom knew church and that is what she taught us girls. I am thankful for my Baptist upbringing because it helped me understand Islam, easily. I always felt like something was wrong, like something was missing. When I learned Islam and embraced it by becoming Muslim, everything became clear. I didn’t lose my knowledge of the Bible. It actually became clearer. What is amazing is that I have found that I know more about the Bible than most Christians. When you actually do the research for yourself you can’t help but gain knowledge. I do not discriminate nor does our business. That is not what I learned from the Bible, or the Quran.”
Generalizing to some degree, America, American Media and American people have tried to make it hard for Muslim Americans and the practice of Islam in America. Muslims contribute positively to America in all areas and are constantly put on the defense or are being attacked or discriminated against for what they believe. The struggle to live, breathe and exist in a country that prides itself on religious freedom and was founded on the principles of free worship, is an everyday struggle for Muslims.
“I find it funny that people like Bill O’Reilly, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh as well as others, speak of that which they do not know. I am Muslim 24/7. I wake up Muslim and I go to bed Muslim. I go to the grocery store as a Muslim and I travel as a Muslim. I would not blow myself up for anything in the world. That is not what the Quran teaches. No one with a PhD, or any other letters behind their name can substitute for my daily experiences. To hold an entire religion accountable for the actions of a few is ignorant. When Timothy McVeigh, David Kuresh, Charles Manson and even some of these other psychos on a smaller scale who professed that they were following Jesus went off the deep end, Christianity was not persecuted as a religion nor the followers of the religion. I am glad that I take a higher road.” says Rufus.
It will be interesting to see who throws their hat in the ring for the 2012 elections. A select few have spent a large portion of President Obama’s term trying to prove that he is a Muslim. With the prospect of him winning another term, the right wing radicals are once again trying to associate ties to Islam as if that is such a bad thing. America has yet to elect a woman president which puts it behind some third world countries. America has yet to elect a Jewish or Muslim president. America wants to be a superpower but cannot get beyond its pettiness of the need for a Christian to run the country. The message is clear. You can be born in America, you can live in America, you can work in America, you can worship in America, but you just cannot run America; especially if you are a Muslim.