For a people claiming to be on the truth, it’s odd that we’re not people of truth.
The past few days, a voice within petitions me, “If you won’t reform yourself now, when will you reform?”
Isn’t it strange that Muslims celebrate so much when a person embraces Islam? Because there seems to be nothing Muslims delight in more than declaring their fellow believers heretics, apostates or adherents of a sect destined for the hellfire, on the basis of assumed beliefs, imagined alliances and a large dose of group think.
Here’s a hint: if you believe you’re a member of The Saved Sect, then guess what, you’re a sect.
Yes we heard you! You alone are true Sunnis. Congratulations! Who cares? Who said you had to call yourself a Sunni? What’s wrong with Muslim, the only label out of the multitude of labels that has any basis?
Sunni sectarianism is as vile as every other kind of sectarianism, with its ever decreasing circles of belonging. It is no different from Wahabi sectarianism which they so deride – and which they declare every other believer to be.
Why celebrate the latest celebrity to allegedly embrace Islam, when you cannot embrace your fellow Muslims on their journey of faith? Who would want a slice of the odious arrogance which characterises our interactions today?
Not me, that’s for sure. If your way is so great, invite to it, don’t chase people away. As for me: too late, I’ve seen it for what it is.
I have a friend afflicted with a particularly virulent strain of Convertitus. Anyone know the best treatment for this insidious condition? I’m minded to just put him in quarantine until it goes away, but his strain of Convertitus is unfortunately manifesting itself in extremely unpleasant ways, with terrible effects on all who come into contact with him. Is there a known cure?
If you went out to buy a car and a salesman tried to convince you that the car you were buying was a Tesla Model S, when it was in fact a Ford Mondeo, we’d commend your discernment if you rejected his proposition.
To the casual observer, it might look like you’re turning down the Tesla. But in reality you’re merely rejecting a Ford you were told was a Tesla. In fact it’s good that you’re rejecting the Ford, because it is not the car you wanted. Even so, you might earn a reputation as the man who rejected a Tesla Model S when it was offered to you. And you may even convince yourself that you rejected the Tesla as an inferior car, based on your experience of the Ford you thought was a Tesla.
These adventures of faith and the heart are not dissimilar. You might reject ideas, which you have always been taught are fundamental aspects of your beliefs, which lead you towards a truer reality. You might then arrive at a sounder destination than the one who appears to believe in those ideas without question. You might reject an idea which has no basis and find yourself the true believer. Conversely, you might insist on an idea which has no basis and find yourself a disbeliever unbeknownst.
In these times, people are asked to believe in all sorts of things which are not fundamental beliefs, and which may even be contrary to core beliefs. Their rejection of them may be bad news for these wooly concepts of orthodoxy, but might ultimately be good for us in the long run, if they mean a return to a purer, less obscured faith, uncompromised by cultural and political accretions.
What is religion? Or a life of faith? To some it is the pursuit of truth, honesty, goodness and virtue. But for many it the realm of power, of abuse and vanity. Hence our disarray.
Why is it that the more religious people get, the harsher they become? It’s meant to be the other way round. You’re meant to embody mercy, become a softer, nicer and better person all round.