Muslim Communities Association of South Florida (MCASF)

organization

Overview

  • Affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America
  • Seeks to present a positive image of Islam to the American public

The Muslim Communities Association of South Florida (MCASF) was established in 1973 in Miami. Five years later, the organization purchased a small Miami Gardens church and converted it into a mosque where its members could worship. In 1991 MCASF broke ground on the construction of a new mosque, which was completed in 1997.

An old MCASF website indicates the organization’s “association with the ISNA (Islamic Society of North America),” as well as its “good relationships with other Muslim organizations such as ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America), the CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations), AMANA (The American Muslims Association of North America), and so forth.”

Claiming that its members hail from “almost every Muslim country” in the world, MCASF describes itself as “an association of Muslim individuals” who “seek the pleasure of Allah through establishment of the Islamic system of life as spelled out in the Qur’an and the Sunnah”; who “provid[e] a common platform for presenting Islam as taught by our beloved Prophet Muhammad”; and who strive to “suppor[t] Muslim communities, develo[p] educational, social and outreach programs, and foste[r] good relations with the South Florida Muslims and society at large.”

Another of MCASF’s primary objectives is to present a positive image of Islam to the American public. Toward that end, the MCASF website features a section titled “About Islam,” which asserts the following:

  • “Islam greatly values peace; in fact the traditional Muslim greeting is ‘Salaam’ which means ‘peace.’”

  • “The basic teachings of Islam are similar to those of Christianity and Judaism. Islam teaches the belief in one God, the Angels, the Day of Judgment, Heaven and Hell, Adam and Eve, Prophets, Prayer, and Equality.”

  • “[The Prophet] Muhammad became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, earning the title of ‘al Amin,’ the trustworthy one.”

  • “Before the Prophet died at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and within a century of his death, Islam had spread to Spain in the west and as far east as China.” (No mention is made of the fact that this expansion took place by means of armed conquest, or jihad.)

  • “Islam does not support terrorism under any condition or circumstances. Terrorism goes against every principle of Islam. If a Muslim engages in terrorism he is not following the religion. He may be wrongly using the name of Islam for political or financial gain.”

  • “Islam does not condone the killing of innocent people under any condition or circumstances. It is one of the greatest sins in Islam.” (No definition of the term “innocent people” is given. This is significant because many Muslim scholars justify the murder of civilians in societies that are deemed hostile to Islam. For example, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has asserted that Palestinian suicide bombings in Israeli population centers “are not in any way included in the framework of prohibited terrorism, even if the victims include some civilians.” This, he explains, is because Israel is “a society of invaders” whose “nature” is “colonialist, occupational, [and] racist.”)

  • “Jihad does not mean ‘holy war.’ Jihad in Arabic means to strive, struggle and exert effort. It is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, for self-defense or fighting against tyranny or oppression.”

  • “Islam views women as equal to, but different from, men. Islam teaches that women must be respected and protected. Islam does not condone oppression of women but to the contrary provides many rights to women.”

  • “Racism and sexism are incomprehensible to Muslims.”

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