The Muslims of the Western Hemisphere, especially those young men and women who dwell in remote and distant comer of the world, do face complex problems. All the surrounding circumstances are unfavorable as far as Islam is concerned.
Radio comments and television shows, news items and magazine articles, motion pictures and even school textbooks, all seem to misrepresent Islam and distort its image. Besides, innocence is not always lacking.
In addition, certain ecstatic sects try to exploit the condition of these Muslims in the hope that they may become converts to this denomination or that.
On the other hand, there are many temptations in life to divert the attention of people and, turn their concern away from the straight and fair course of religion.
This is harmful enough; but it is more so in the case of the young Muslims and is still much more in the case of Islam, the religion that is greatly misunderstood in this part of the world. It is true that some Muslim parents try to provide their children with religious guidance and instruction; but of what good are these limited efforts and how effective can they be in this high-pressure environment?
What happens then? What are the consequences of this difficult situation? It must be honestly admitted that the picture looks gloomy but not hopeless. Some Muslims who are innocent victims of their high-pressure conditions, become indifferent and self-contained. They feel ashamed, afraid, or suspicious of what surrounds them.
Consequently, they cannot possibly make any valuable contribution to their society or attain any significant benefit from it. Others flow with the stream of society to become fashionable and acceptable.
These, too, will neither contribute to nor benefit from the society in which they live.
Such “Muslims” may even become destructive and disgraceful, for they will be with no real effective religious morals.
Muslims have good reasons to believe that their Book, the Glorious Qur’an, is the Master Book of Revelation and the Standard of Religious Truth.
They also believe that Islam has come to reaffirm the Eternal Divine Message and settle the previous and old religious disputes so that man may embark upon creative constructive activities in all aspects of life.
This does not mean that Muslims should set themselves apart from or above the rest of mankind. They try neither to impose Islam nor to classify the human race into inferior and superior ranks.
They do not entertain the concept of favored and condemned nations or endorse the doctrine of the Chosen and the Gentile.
Rather, they are commissioned to convey the Divine Message to the whole mankind and to make their absolutely essential contribution to humanity. In other words, Muslims cannot afford to be indifferent, exclusive, or arrogant. It is their solemn duty to open wide their minds to all the realities of life and stretch far their arms to all people of whatever class, creed, race, or nationality.
The good that they can do and the services they can render will fully materialize only when they practice Islam and associate with other people in the kind, humane spirit of Islam.