Somehow we need to lose this fixation with “Wahabis” and recognise that the “Traditionalist” movement is not immune to those characteristics frequently decried: abusive marriages, extreme arrogance, obscuring teachings, enforcing hard-line opinions, pushing the Qur’an to the side, making takfir on other Muslims, promoting ugly sectarianism…
Da’ish is justifiably the target of our wrath today, but mainstream Sunni-Ashari-Sufi Muslims (like others) were quite capable of slaughtering their opponents in large numbers in the past—it’s just that today they neither have the financing or access to political power they once enjoyed.
It’s about time we recognised that the fanaticism sometimes present in these movements is derived from human traits which transcend the sectarian divides. If we are to succeed, we must take ourselves to account, measuring ourselves against the truth, not loyalty to our team.
I was raised on the Gospels of the Christian New Testament, its parables ever-present. Some of those words never leave you: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye, but pay no attention to the plank in your own eye…” [1. Gospel of Matthew 7:3-5]
If we are to start to create a better world for ourselves and others, we must begin to put our own houses in order. There is a lot of rot in our communities; too much rejoicing in what we think we’ve got and not enough introspection. If we continue to eulogize our team, regardless of its shortcomings, we will almost certainly fail. The time has come to take ourselves to account.