From extremes to extremes. From hyper-piety to hyper-rebel.
The onetime champion of niqab and all enveloping jilbab turned cybergoth has almost become a stereotype. The unflinching salafi turned proud renegade too numerous to count. The earnest proselytist turned public dissenter, prancing across social media. The ardent traditionist, once following the minutiae of Shafi fiqh to the letter, turned hedonist libertine. And, of course, all of this the other way around.
From extremes to extremes, never taking the middle ground, navigating a thoughtful course between extremes. Never do we reflect on the parables set out right before us, like the tale of the cow in the Quran.
In the name of presumed piety, we seek specifics and trivia that were never required of us, until each general rule becomes nearly impossible to perform. It does not occur to us that this approach detracts from the true essence of the message, which is to tread a middle path, seeking safety, security and health for all. In the name of presumed piety, we overburden ourselves with unwarranted complexity, taking matters to extremes. We afflict ourselves, and then doubt everything.
So here we are. Men and women once clothed in the garb of self-righteousness — impressive beards, flowing fabrics covering every inch of skin — now pontificate to the world, dressed or undressed in the garb of their rebel subculture, as extreme now as they were before, gravitating from one far pole to another. Even now, no middle way. From extreme to extreme: hyper-piety to hyper-rebel.