It seems that we are a people who confuse religion and private interests. We are a people who perpetuate much of what is prohibited, all while presenting ourselves as faithful and sincere believers. Take the advocacy of our premier activists on behalf of one who has confessed to having several extramarital relationships, and to engaging in virtual games of seduction with numerous others, documented before judges and backed up by photographic evidence offered by his own defence. Look how our activists phrase it: it is between him and God, and no concern of ours. These men we take as guides boldly declare that the moral authority of the one who admits to all these things remains intact. Point out this divergence from the norms of tradition and even the most fervent activist will call you an extremist. What is this activism we speak of, which does nothing to reform us of the hypocrisies within?
There was another Turkish sultan who accepted a German warship as a gift, but it cost him the entire Middle East.
His lawyer says he was engaged merely in a game of seduction with the one who accused him, and that where he admits fiery relationships with other women he was not married to, it was all consensual. So rush to the defence of your beloved, lauding him for his contribution to scholarship, for his defence of your religion, for instilling in you pride and self-respect. Stand by the purveyor of religion, ignoring what your religion teaches, for you too have been seduced by this supposed bestower of self-worth. Such is the power of the master of seduction.
In ancient times, Prophets and shepherds of men preached amongst their people, and most people rejected them and their message. Today’s preachers boldly celebrate their 25,000 Facebook followers, announcing that their posts reach 100,000 people all across the globe each week. What a strange turn of events. Throughout the Qur’an we encounter that refrain… most do not believe, except a few. It as if the Book stands as witness against us, refuting our claim that the righteous are numerous, and growing in number daily.
Embrace life outside the social media bubble. Find some peace of mind, far away from the intersection of populist activism and celebrity scholarship. Go for a walk in the countryside. Spend time with your family. Busy yourself with mundane chores. You will find it liberating, as each new controversy and manufactured crisis passes you by. Rejoice in your new found freedom, where ignorance is bliss. Go ahead, burst the bubble. Escape the echo chamber. Turn off the amplifier. Reconnect with your reality.
With influence comes responsibility. If you suddenly find yourself with a vast following, you have a responsibility to verify, as far as possible, the information that you pass on to others. Last year, we looked on as Muslim politicians and community leaders shared disturbing images from unrelated events in response to reports of atrocities in Myanmar. Earlier this year, impassioned activists shared photos from Gaza in 2014, claiming that they captured the day’s events in Syria. Daily, armed with a reverse image search, we detect similar infractions, as images are repurposed from one event to illustrate events elsewhere. Continue reading “Those with vast followings”
It used to be that if a traditionalist wished to insult you, they would call you a Wahabi. Nowadays, you are more likely to be labelled a Quranist, a bizarre slight, as peculiar as the non-Muslim’s Islamist. While I am certain that there are sects and groups that refer to themselves as Quranists, Quraniyya, Quranites and all manner of derivations, those on the receiving end of this extraordinary taunt often do no such thing. Continue reading “Blinded by labels”
Is the accusation of Islamophobia from the path trodden by those before us, a clone of the accusation of anti-semitism, as we follow them, step-by-step and inch-by-inch, even into the burrow of a fleeting reptile?