See video of my recent appearance on CrossTalk North – The Boundaries of Belief, Part 1 on UpNorth Media in Traverse City, Michigan.
Since the shocking tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, there has been much discussion about the need for stricter gun control laws, and I believe that American Muslims should be supporters of those who call for sanity pertaining to our gun laws.
The 2nd Amendment is an important part of the U.S. Constitution, which I uphold. The absolute right to bear all types of arms is not sacred; however, the protection of human life is a sacred responsibility.
I’m down with citizens owning handguns to protect their domiciles and businesses. I’m also cool with folks owning shotguns and rifles for the purposes of hunting dove, quail, deer, etc. Assault rifles be they Bushmasters/AR-15′s and AK-47′s that can be outfitted with 75 round drums to Calico M960′s with 100 round drums are not suited for home protection nor for hunting wild game. In our towns and cities, they continue to be used for hunting people.
America is one of the most armed nations on earth, which also has the most violent crime of any Western nation. We have a culture of violence here, and the easy accessibility of assault weapons is nothing but a tool to perpetuate violence with mass casualties.
Yes, I know that people kill, not guns, blah blah blah. If violence is like a car and a violent person is the driver, I don’t want him with an assault rifle, which is like a set of full new tires. While we address the systemic nature of violence in American culture and mental health issues, I’d prefer that the car of violence to have flat or at least bald tires driven by the violent person.
From a religious perspective, the Islamic shari’ah (path towards faithfulness) holds as its number objective the preservation of life. All other objectives such as the preservation of religion, preservation of intellect, preservation of wealth and preservation of posterity are secondary if one cannot live in safety and security. In fact, there is no preservation of the others without the ability to live. Thus, I believe that it is incumbent upon me according to the shari’ah to try to thwart the usage of or limit the accessibility to weapons that have the capacity of inflicting mass casualties. This principle just doesn’t apply to ending the use of White Phosphorous in Gaza or drone strikes that kill children in Afghanistan and Pakistan; this principle also applies to the easily availability for troubled people to obtain assault weapons, which kill innocent people be they in the Southside of Chicago, the Westside of Detroit or in Newtown.
I’m for bringing back the ban on assault weapons in America. I hope that you are as well.
Today’s khutbah was given at Masjid As-Salam in Detroit, Michigan.
Speech given today at Al-Ikhlas Training Academy in Detroit.