No precedent

A respected scholar writes,

“We are at a very critical juncture in the history of Islam. There is no precedent for the spectacle that is created around the atrocious crimes, killings and murders of takfirist movements.”

But of course there is precedent, isn’t there? One only needs to pick up and read a history book to find that these kinds of outrageous crimes have been perpetuated throughout history by our coreligionists, from the very earliest days.

This approach of romanticizing the past is part of the problem.

Those perpetuating these despicable deeds know there is precedent for their behaviour, both in the actions of their predecessors and in their literary inheritance.

The job for those that condemn them is to first condemn the evils of the past, acknowledging that they were also wrong. To proclaim with loud voices that ours is a diverse tradition and that such unspeakable wrong has been committed in our name before, just as much as the breathtakingly good.

But that is a dangerous road few wish to travel down. The stakes are too high: a precipice on one side, rock falls from above on the other.

Whitewashing history and covering the truth are always preferable… but fool no one. Least of all the barbarians we must condemn.

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