The government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing. We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk. They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret.
Shouldn't the American leadership be addressing what is happening in America, with its domestic policies on racism, discrimination, illegal monitoring, solitary confinement, torture, Guantanamo Bay and any other social and political issues related to the American society not directly connected to Islam? American Muslims must speak out and be involved as well in international policies and, through their institutions, they should raise their voice. This is the way you serve the community.
Many years later, after Niemöller had been imprisoned for eight years in concentration camps as the personal prisoner of Adolf Hitler, he penned these infamous words: First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionist, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew. And then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.
I wish to preface my reflections by saying that I am conducting this prayer service and am speaking to you now with great reluctance. I did not seek to enter any controversy and I don't relish being part of one. But I have given this matter a great deal of thought and prayer, which has led me to the conviction that God is calling me to speak out and conduct these prayers.
The poor are always prophetic. As true prophets always point out, they reveal God's design. That is why we should take time to listen to them. And that means staying near them, because they speak quietly and infrequently; they are afraid to speak out, they lack confidence in themselves because they have been broken and oppressed. But if we listen to them, they will bring us back to the essential.
We have to speak out now on behalf of our community and on behalf of the land and say they're the same thing and say No, we are not rolling over and No, this is not a corporate enterprise. This is democracy in the fullest sense and we must have regard and reverence and those are the cornerstones of a just society.
I am no theologian. I am a layman. I am among those who are preached to, and who listen. It is not for me to preach. I should not willingly forego being a listener, a man who reads the Gospels and then listens to what others say that our Lord meant. But sometimes a listener speaks out, and listens to his own voice.