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Confessions of a Would be Muslim Reformer (sort of)

I have been doing a lot of soul-searching, and I have reached a few important conclusions.    Speaking as a moderate Muslim, I realize that my community is primitive, backwards, mired in tradition, and in need of massive help from KONY 2012 people to reform this tradition to catch up with the luminosity of secular West. 

I know that there is a trouble with Islam today, and everyday.  I also want to have gay-friendly mosques where people can just go have a beer after the optional prayer services, ‘cause that is what it means to be a progressive Muslim.  

Because all the secret jihadists (and the FBI people who have infiltrated them) just want to impose this Shari’a thing on us, and for some reason all that beer drinking and hooking up seems to be frowned upon in that Shari’a thing.

With that, and in the name of She who is the source of All-Mercy, here are the fruits of my search.    If anyone wants to put me in touch with Fox News or MEMRI, please do so, I’ll recite all these on camera—just contact my agent, and he can tell you my appearance fee.   I know that we are in need of a Muslim Reformation, and I am working on my “Martin Luther of Islam” speech.    I can’t quite make it up to ML’s 95 theses, but I have got a good head start below.   With that, "I give you permission to think freely":
 

First, speaking as a Muslim, I am so disappointed in my Muslim brother Barack Hussein Obama.    He eats pork, drinks alcohol, regularly attends church service, had his daughters baptized, has yet to set foot in a mosque since becoming president, kisses AIPAC’s behind, authorizes indefinite detentions, and has seen many Muslims killed by his drone attacks and ongoing wars.   Really, a pathetic Muslim if ever there was one.   I mean, if I wanted a Muslim ruler that would do all the above, I would move back to the Muslim countries where most of the rulers do that kind of stuff anyway, and the food is a little better than here.

Second, I have been so so wrong about Israel. It is a peaceful, peace-loving, just, democratic state, and all criticism of it is just motivated by anti-Semitism.  Israel today is perfect, kind of like America before all the civil rights stuff in the 1960’s came along.   As to those so-called Palestinians who do not want to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, they should just go back where they came from.    (I’m not sure where that is, but I am told it used to be a “land without a people.”)
 

Third, the Wahhabis are unjustly criticized. We Muslim have messed up Islam, and they are just trying to restore it to its original model of purity.   And I just love the changes they are making to Mecca and Medina, making it so much more traveler friendly.
 

Fourth, I have been way too defensive in my criticism of the erosion of civil rights and liberties in America. Fact of the matter is that we Muslims should just be honored to be allowed in this country, to consumer here, and even if we live here as second (or third) class citizen, it's better to be here than whatever country my parents came from.  

Fifth, I recognize that the Islamophobes are right, and there is something inherently vile and violent about Islam.

When the Prophet Muhammad was doing the prophet thing in the 7th century, he was so sneaky smart that he immediately set about opposing the whole notion of modernity that would emerge in the 17th century.  How clever he must have been… It’s like he was a thousand years ahead of his time.    We backwards Muslims have to catch up with the times, because all 1.5 billion Muslims are really in a time warp, living in the 7th century.   It’s like Islam is a breach in the time-space continuum.    It makes perfect sense to me to have people who hate a religion be the ones to help guide us as to how to reform Islam.   So I’ll be sure to tune into Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Daniel Pipes, Franklin Graham, and others.
 

Sixth, I testify that Sufism is just a perversion of the true Islam of the Pious Forefathers (al-salaf al-salih), and I pledge my allegiance to the driest, most boring, most hierarchical reading of Islam there is.   All this talk of love and beauty and being a child of Muhammad’s soul and coming to see God face-to-face, love and service to humanity, blah blah, people are just trying to make us think that there is something beautiful and mystical about Islam.   Don’t’ fall for it.  Remember:  Order, Discipline, Fitna (strife), Bid’a (heretical innovation), Haram (forbidden)…

Seventh, I pledge myself to making sure that Muslims, Hispanics, Gays/Lesbians, women, the Poor, immigrants, the Radical Left, everybody on the coasts, and everybody who doesn't look like me, talk like me, worship in my church, can leave this country so us proper Americans can have it all to ourselves.  And it would be a much less crowded country.   Love it or leave it baby! 



And one last one:  We civilized people have to protect Muslim women from Muslim men.  And from themselves.  Because Muslim women cannot and should not be trusted to make choices for their own lives, their own bodies.   So it’s up to us enlightened people to tell them what to wear, how to dress, and what not to wear.   Make sure that we don’t make the mistake of having them tell us what their attire means to them, because they have all been brainwashed.  

Ok.... April's Fools!!!     grin

Take a deep breath.   All the above is a little April Fool’s satire about a very serious subject.    

It would be all funny, except that as absurd as—I truly pray—all the above sounds, this is actually much of what we hear in today’s public discourse about Islam, from both wannabe Muslim reformers such as Zuhdi Jasser and Irshad Manji (who all too often have no grounding in Islam) to ex-Muslims (Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali), to Islamophobes (Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes) who repeatedly tell Muslims about the true meanings of their tradition.   I hope that satire can be a way to recognize the absurdity of the whole situation.  

We need to do better than this.   May we all be participants in the redemption of our traditions, our communities, our nations.   That redemption can only come about through love and participation in a tradition and a community, not by standing outside and voicing one’s shame.    Love transforms us towards the better and more beautiful.    May our faith traditions, our nations, be redeemed through this love and service to humanity.

Tags: daniel pipes, irshad manji, islamophobe, jihad watch, pamela geller, robert spencer, wafa sultan, zuhdi jasser

Comments

  1. Sir,

    Your blog was clever and made some good points.  It is no more the business of the secular West to ask Muslims to embrace alcohol and casual sex than it is the secularists’ right to demand that Christians who oppose abortion should get with the feminist program.

    But maybe what most thoughtful people calling for reform within Islam have in mind is not a repudiation of traditional morals.  I would be happy if - just on occasion - Muslims would rise up and condemn the most outrageous of the terrorist acts carried out in the name of their religion.  It’s not uncommon to hear or read Muslims make the general claim that Islam does not promote terrorism, especially acts aimed at innocents, such as children.  What one ALMOST NEVER hears is the broader Muslim community condemning any specific act of terrorism or the terrorists who carried it out.  Even after such a heinous event as the rapes and murders of children at the school in Beslan, Russia, the silence was deafening.  The fact that the few Muslims who actually do condemn specific acts of terrorism seem to make themselves the next targets of Muslim terrorists pretty well encapsulates the problem.

    A phobia is an irrational fear of something that is not, in fact, dangerous.  It is not irrational to fear a religious community that often breeds terrorists and then refuses to condemn those terrorists and their actions.  Until Muslims in large numbers are willing to publicly repudiate the terrorists who act in the name of Islam, you can be assured that non-Muslims will have every reason to call for Islam’s reform.

    Respectfully….

  2. dear Brucechap,
    The truth of the matter is that Muslim organizations and leaders have in fact loudly and vociferously condemned terrorism, both generally and with regards to particular acts.  Here is but a brief sampling of them:

    http://kurzman.unc.edu/islamic-statements-against-terrorism/
    I think the real question is this:  since Muslims have been condemning terrorism, how come so many of us are not hearing them?  Is it that perhaps we want to think that Muslims secretly condone terrorism?

    omid

    here is a brief sampling: 

    Islamic Statements Against Terrorism
    “The undersigned, leaders of Islamic movements, are horrified by the events of Tuesday 11 September 2001 in the United States which resulted in massive killing, destruction and attack on innocent lives. We express our deepest sympathies and sorrow. We condemn, in the strongest terms, the incidents, which are against all human and Islamic norms. This is grounded in the Noble Laws of Islam which forbid all forms of attacks on innocents. God Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: ‘No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another’ (Surah al-Isra 17:15).”
    MSANews, September 14, 2001 (via archive.org).
    Arabic original in al-Quds al-Arabi (London), September 14, 2001, p. 2.

    Shaykh Yusuf Qaradawi, Qatar; Tariq Bishri, Egypt; Muhammad S. Awwa, Egypt; Fahmi Huwaydi, Egypt; Haytham Khayyat, Syria; Shaykh Taha Jabir al-Alwani, U.S.:
    “All Muslims ought to be united against all those who terrorize the innocents, and those who permit the killing of non-combatants without a justifiable reason. Islam has declared the spilling of blood and the destruction of property as absolute prohibitions until the Day of Judgment. … [It is] necessary to apprehend the true perpetrators of these crimes, as well as those who aid and abet them through incitement, financing or other support. They must be brought to justice in an impartial court of law and [punished] appropriately. … [It is] a duty of Muslims to participate in this effort with all possible means.”
    Statement of September 27, 2001.

    Shaykh Muhammed Sayyid al-Tantawi, imam of al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, Egypt:
    “Attacking innocent people is not courageous, it is stupid and will be punished on the day of judgement. … It’s not courageous to attack innocent children, women and civilians. It is courageous to protect freedom, it is courageous to defend oneself and not to attack.”
    Agence France Presse, September 14, 2001

    Muslim Brotherhood, an opposition Islamist group in Egypt, said it was “horrified” by the attack and expressed “condolences and sadness”:
    “[We] strongly condemn such activities that are against all humanist and Islamic morals. … [We] condemn and oppose all aggression on human life, freedom and dignity anywhere in the world.”
    Al-Ahram Weekly Online, 13 – 19 September 2001 (via archive.org).

    Shaykh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, spiritual guide of the Hizbullah movement in Lebanon, said he was “horrified” by these “barbaric … crimes”:
    “Beside the fact that they are forbidden by Islam, these acts do not serve those who carried them out but their victims, who will reap the sympathy of the whole world. … Islamists who live according to the human values of Islam could not commit such crimes.”
    Agence France Presse, September 14, 2001

    Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the Sunna and Sira Council, Qatar:
    “Our hearts bleed for the attacks that has targeted the World Trade Center [WTC], as well as other institutions in the United States despite our strong oppositions to the American biased policy towards Israel on the military, political and economic fronts. Islam, the religion of tolerance, holds the human soul in high esteem, and considers the attack against innocent human beings a grave sin, this is backed by the Qur’anic verse which reads: ‘Who so ever kills a human being [as punishment] for [crimes] other than manslaughter or [sowing] corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and who so ever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind’ (Al-Ma’idah:32).”
    Statement of September 13, 2001 (via archive.org).

    Ayatollah Ali Khamene’i, supreme jurist-ruler of Iran:
    “Killing of people, in any place and with any kind of weapons, including atomic bombs, long-range missiles, biological or chemical weopons, passenger or war planes, carried out by any organization, country or individuals is condemned. … It makes no difference whether such massacres happen in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Qana, Sabra, Shatila, Deir Yassin, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq or in New York and Washington.”
    Islamic Republic News Agency, September 16, 2001 (via archive.org).

     

  3. Dear Omid,

    I appreciate your prompt reply - and have read with interest all the statements.  (I note for others that the personal email you sent in reply listed many more than appear in the blog reply above).  There certainly were some very specific remarks regarding the attacks of 9/11.  It is regrettable that the mainstream media do not seem to give much coverage to this response against terrorism.  A few of the items you list were carried by UPI or appeared in the Washington Post, for instance, but the vast majority appeared in some language or forum unavailable even to people who keep up with the news online.  If most Americans are not hearing those Muslims who do speak out against terrorism, I would suggest it’s because there has been little opportunity to hear them speak out.  Perhaps that has less to do with people “want(ing) to think that Muslims secretly condone terrorism,” than with a press that gives you little voice.

    Again, I very much appreciate your reply.

  4. very useful postThank you!

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