May 25, 2007, - 8:05 pm

Tashbih Sayyed, RIP: Rare, Courageous Moderate Muslim Dies; Please HELP Family w/ Burial

By Debbie Schlussel
As I’ve oft remarked on this site, the term “moderate Muslim” is generally an oxymoron and a term that rarely fits anyone from the “Religion of Peace.”
Occasionally, though, there are exceptions. There are those rare, truly moderate Muslims who courageously speak out–at serious risk of life and limb–against the mass violence, hate, intolerance, and terrorism their religion has uniquely wrought. (And then they have to obtain personal bodyguards, asylum in the U.S., Conceal and Carry permits. and live in fear and danger thereafter.)
One of these brave, admirable Muslim exceptions was Tashbih Sayyed, who, very sadly, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday in Los Angeles at the age of 66. He first came to my attention in the early ’90s, when he bravely appeared in the PBS documentary, “Jihad in America.”

tashbihsayyed.jpg

Tashbih Sayyed, RIP: Courageous Moderate Muslim, Class Act Will Be Missed

Despite repeated threats of violence, Sayyed maintained the moral highground and courageously spoke out against Islamists throughout his life. And, unlike most Muslims, he was a proud American who loved his adopted country and also supported Israel. A great example of his work was his fantastic article, “A Muslim in a Jewish Land,” about his visit to Israel–a must-read for everyone. He was the type of alien immigrant and naturalized citizen America needs far more of, but rarely the type that lands on our shores asking for admission.
Tashbih Sayyed, a Shi’ite, was born in India and raised in Pakistan. He was a renowned journalist in Pakistan and founder of its current affairs television programming. But, because of his tolerant, liberal views (which were unacceptable to the extremist Muslim Paki rulers), he was forced to flee Pakistan for the U.S. in 1981. He lived the American dream, worked hard, and bought a house.
But instead of remaining silent and happy with the American dream, Sayyed dedicated his life in America to speaking out against the extremists who dominate his religion to this day. He did so in books, columns, speeches, on video, and in two newspapers he founded and ran, Pakistan Today and Muslim World Today (which is always an interesting read about what is going on in the international Muslim world, including an article on Yemen’s persecuted remaining Jews).
A relentless, prolific, and courageous writer and voice, Tashbih Sayyed will be sorely missed. And his death will leave yet another void in the largely non-existent category known as “Moderate Islam.” Sayyed’s many enemies throughout mainstream Islam can now stop their attacks and death threats against Sayyed. They will be happy that yet another ray of sunshine into their activities and views has ceased to shine and expose them.
But the rest of us should be sad. We mourn his passing.
Because he was a constructive critic and not a bottomless propagandist of Islamism, Tashbih Sayyed did not die wealthy, unlike his Saudi- and Iran-funded adversaries.
If you can help the Sayyed family to pay for his funeral and burial, you will help relieve hardship for his brave family. StandWithUs, a tremendously effective pro-Israel and anti-terrorist group, is collecting checks for any and all amounts, no matter how small.
Checks should be made out to Sayyed’s wife, Kiran Sayyed, and sent to:
StandWithUs
PO Box 341069
Los Angeles, CA. 90034-1069

Tashbih Sayyed was a tremendous friend to America, to Israel, and to all Westerners who value our freedom. Now, is our chance to be a friend to his family in their time of need. I hope you will honor and memorialize this rare, brave man by helping them give him the proper good-bye.
If all Muslims in America and the rest of the world–or even a significant portion of them–were like Tashbih Sayyed, we’d be batting 1,000. Unfortunately, very few Muslims are like him, and most are extremists.
Tashbih Sayyed, Rest in Peace.

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12 Responses

If Jihadwatch had him as a board member, there must have been something special about him. However, I remember a discussion about him at the St Petersburg declaration of ‘Secular Muslims’ angrily pinning down CAIR’s Ahmad Bedier and stating that a majority of Muslims had the same views as that conference, rather than as CAIR. In short, he seemed to be indulging in self deception.
That said, on the occasions that Muslims do come up with such views, they are to be lauded. I however prefer those like Ali Sina, Walid Shoebat, Wafa Sultan and Nonie Darwish who go the whole 9 yards and make the complete leap out of Islam – in the process, alienating themselves from their families in many cases.
Anyway, RIP Tasbih mian.
I WAS NOT AWARE HE (T. SAYYED) MADE THAT COMMENT, CLAIMING THAT A MAJORITY OF MUSLIMS WERE LIKE HIM AND THOSE AT THAT EVENT (MODERATES). WE KNOW–AND I’M QUITE SURE HE KNEW–THAT THAT IS COMPLETELY FALSE. I LIKE AND ADMIRE ALI SINA AND WAFA SULTAN.
AS FOR SHOEBAT, HE IS A COMPLETE CREEP AND AN APPARENT FRAUD, WHO IS IN THIS FOR THE BUSINESS ASPECT OF IT FOR HIMSELF. IN MY OWN PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS WITH HIM, HE COMPLETELY REPULSED ME AND ENTIRELY CHANGED MY VIEW ON HIM (I HAD PRAISED HIM, PREVIOUSLY, ON THIS SITE). HE STOLE A COLUMN I WROTE–WORD FOR WORD–ON IMAD HAMAD AND USED IT IN A PRESS RELEASE. WHEN I CAUGHT HIM AND PINNED HIM DOWN, HE ADMITTED TO IT, BUT STATED HE DOES NOT WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH CONSERVATIVES (WHO MAKE UP HIS WHOLE BASE) AND THAT’S WHY IT WAS OKAY TO STEAL FROM ME UNATTRIBUTED. HE PROMISED TO CORRECT, BUT WHEN HE DID NOT AND I CALLED HIM. HE SAID, “F-CK YOU, BITCH,” AND HUNG UP. I HAVE SIMILAR INSTINCTS ON DARWISH, BASED ON MY INTERACTIONS WITH HER, IN WHICH SHE WAS DISHONEST.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

Infidel Pride on May 26, 2007 at 2:18 am

Never heard of this guy until now.
Did Tashbih Sayyed ever publicly denounce the verses in the qur’ an that teaches violence, submission, and murder not only of the infidel, but also as it pertains to muzlum women? If so, why didn’t he convert to another religion? Why did he remain a muzlum? He was already considered an apostate anyway, so why not convert?
Did he ever set up a website to further his cause? It’s rather cheap and easy to do.
The family needs funds for his funeral? What country is he buried in?
Just asking.
HE WILL BE BURIED HERE. HE REMAINS A MUSLIM, THOUGH A SECULAR ONE AND HAS WRITTEN PRAISING SECULAR ISLAM (ONE OF THE REASONS HE WAS FORCED TO EMIGRATE FROM PAKISTAN). HIS WEBSITE IS MUSLIM WORLD TODAY, WHICH IS LINKED IN THIS POST, ABOVE. IT IS QUITE CRITICAL OF ISLAMISTS AND MUSLIM COUNTRIES. HE HAS DENOUNCED ALL OF THE THINGS YOU IDENTIFY, ABOVE. TRUST ME–THIS GUY WAS THE REAL DEAL.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

Thee_Bruno on May 26, 2007 at 1:11 pm

I have nothing against this guy, but if you think you’ll drive a wedge between “good” and “bad” muslims, you’re crazy. I just spent the day in New Jersey, and everywhere I went I was the ONLY white boy and the only one speaking English. You think these people who won’t even learn our language give a damn about America or white people?? YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MINDS, OUR COUNTRY IS DISAPPEARING. FORGET THE NON-WHITES, THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU.

steve ventry on May 26, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Debbie, thank you for highlighting the life and death of a truly good man, and for making this appeal for his family’s sake. May his memory be for a blessing.
If more Muslims were like him, we wouldn’t have a problem in Israel either; sharing the land would be easy.

AmericanJewess on May 26, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Debbie, For your slandering critics who say all you do is spread hate, this should be shown as Exhibit A. We know better, but this shows you don’t pre-judge all muslims in the same suspicious light.
We must build bridges where ever we can with persons of goodwill–and still, we cannot stick our heads in the sand by allowing those we “bring in” to have ANY complicity with those who would destroy us.
Tashbih Sayyed demontrated by his actions that he opposed the murdering extremists and fought for a peaceful world by changing the minds of the few who would listen.

BB on May 26, 2007 at 8:10 pm

Steve, chill. Stereotyping is good, profiling is good, but… Most of everybody is OK, this does not apply to DC. But Washington is a separate issue. We couldn’t have gotten this far if everybody was an asshole.

John Cunningham on May 26, 2007 at 10:10 pm

As Debbie posted above, Mr. Sayyed founded two papers.
I took a look at one of them – “Muslim World Today” – click on Debbie’s link above and at the bottom of the page is an article he wrote called, “Islamic Leadership in the US.”
I thought that Mr. Sayyed really nailed it regarding some of our crucial problems in that article.

CarpeDiem on May 26, 2007 at 10:37 pm

John, gotten this far to where? To where all the Christians and Jews have been driven out of Lebanon and Turkey and Syria, etc? To where the US is now 1/3 minority (and the pace is accelerating)? To where London has over 600,000 muslims? I can’t wait until we get much further, then they’ll treat us nice.

steve ventry on May 26, 2007 at 11:37 pm

Steve, I was trying to spread some holiday cheer, but then you had to remind me.

John Cunningham on May 27, 2007 at 3:38 am

Debbie
I tend to agree with you on Shoebat. I watched the documentary ‘Islam – what the West needs to know’ – featuring Robert Spencer, Srdja Trifkovic, Bat Yeor, Shoebat and Abdullah al Araby, and Shoebat pretty much stole that show.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1595008652884842880&q=islam+what+the+west+needs+to+know&hl=en
As for my source for Tashbih’s quote, I came across it here
http://www.islam-watch.org/AlamgirHussain/islams-rebel-women.htm
Here’s the quote from that article:
Although the summit was supposed to mean for a call to secularization of Islam, fewer of the speakers, namely Irshad Manji, Tashbih Sayyed, Shaker al-Nabusi and Hasan Mahmud et al., presented a reformist secular perspective, while a dominant majority were of the view that Islam is hard to reform. Ahmed Bedier, the head of Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR) of the area, who dropped by the summit and denounced the event as irrelevant to Islam recognizing the participants either as apostates or non-practicing Muslims, who did not represent the voice of the Muslim community. Given the dominantly critical views being expressed at the summit, Mr. Bedier could not be more accurate than this, although Tashbih Sayyed, who calls himself a Muslim, angrily trashed Mr. Bedierís comment. He claimed that it is not Mr. Bedier or CAIR, who represent the Muslim community in the USA but he and his likes of the summit represented the Muslims in America. I, however, was left to wonder how many of American Muslims would respond to Mr. Tashbih Sayyedís call and how many to CAIRís. In agreement with Mr. Bedierís comment, I was also left to wonder how many of those allegedly secular Muslims practice regular Islamic prayers and fasting. In fact, one prominent speaker from the secular-reformist camp confided with me that he was personally a straight-forward atheist.

Infidel Pride on May 27, 2007 at 5:43 am

“Secular Muslim”?? What’s that?
Admittedly, today there are few Muslims whose beliefs are compatible with American patriotism, but they exist, and they are not necessarily “secular”. Believing in a God that cannot possibly be Bill or Hillary Clinton is a good thing. Prefer those, and be happy.

spottswoode on May 27, 2007 at 9:52 pm

DEBBIE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE TRIBUTE TO TASHBIH, IT WOULD HAVE MADE HIM VERY, VERY HAPPY. I AM A GOOD FRIEND OF HIS, I’M ALSO JEWISH AND A CONSERVATIVE. I HAVE WORKED WITH TASHBIH FOR MANY YEARS AND CAN TELL EVERYONE WHO IS POSTING ON YOUR SITE THAT HE WAS THE REAL DEAL! HE WAS NOT A NEWFOUND MUSLIM REFORMER, AS HE WAS FORCED TO FLEE PAKISTAN IN 1981 WITH HIS FAMILY BECAUSE OF THE ISLAMIST IDEOLOGY THAT HE SO STRONGLY OPPOSED. I ATTENDED HIS FUNERAL TODAY ALONG WITH MANY FROM THE JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY, IT WAS A TESTAMENT TO EVERYTHING HE STOOD FOR.
IN 2005, TASHBIH VISITED ISRAEL AND WROTE: On a trip to Israel, a Muslim journalist sees firsthand a litany of lies. “Looking at the development and transformation that the land has gone through because of the Jewish innovative spirit, hard labor and commitment to freedoms for all times to come, I am convinced that it is true that God created this earth but it is also a fact that only an Israel can keep this earth from dying.” http://www.aish.com/jewishissues/israeldiary/A_Muslim_in_a_Jewish_Land.asp
TASHBIH LEFT US WITH A FINAL WARNING: STOP AHMADINEJAD BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. THE LAST PARAGRAPH SAYS IT ALL: “In conclusion, I will only say that Ahamdinejad has to be stopped if we want to prevent a second Holocaust from becoming a reality. Because this time the Holocaust will not be just for the Jews; it will send all of the infidels to the gas chambers.” http://www.spme.net/cgi-bin/articles.cgi?ID=2227
WITH HIS PASSING, A BEACON OF LIGHT HAS GONE OUT. WE WHO WERE BLESSED WITH THE GLOW OF THAT LIGHT WILL DO ALL WE CAN TO KEEP HIS WORK AND VISION ALIVE. TASHBIH WILL LIVE ON IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER, HE MADE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

MI on May 28, 2007 at 2:46 am

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