Open contempt

I note a growing trend for modern Muslamic teachers to openly and proudly declare their absolute contempt for women. But it’s okay, it’s dressed up as an attack on feminism, so we let it pass, for being a feminist is almost as bad as being a liberal. Anything can be justified these days by attaching it to the new insults of the age.

Skeptical Muslim

After twenty years moving in this community, and over a decade — on and off — amongst Muslims online, I have grown far too skeptical to take the latest manufactured controversy at face value. To our activists and leaders of opinion, amongst whom are the sincere and faithful, I am sorry; I am sorry that skepticism is my overriding reaction to the latest populist altercation online. Continue reading “Skeptical Muslim”

Retreat in silence

They say it is a travesty of justice, an affront to the notion of free speech. But take the wrong stance, or report the wrong facts, or question their narrative, and the very same attack will attack you: you are a heretic or a hypocrite; your website will be hacked; your personal accounts reported for closure; your presence and influence obliterated online and beyond. So make a choice: speak up and out, or retreat in silence. It’s up to you what it is worth.

This collective delirium

Do the hysterical supporters not realise that the collective delirium of their campaign to free their beloved saint only strengthens justice in its decision to maintain his detention? Continue reading “This collective delirium”

Just enough authority

By stripping husbands of authority — complains the new leader of opinion — modernist discourse renders the husband an unappreciated servant to his family, making him little more than a cash machine. He goes on:

According to this, the husband must provide income to support the family and the wife has no such responsibility. Insofar as the wife earns money, her family and certainly her husband are not entitled to a penny of it. But ALL of what a husband earns belongs to his family.

It sounds rather like a parody, with its hyperbolic representations of feminism, modernity and Muslim discourse, but the author is absolutely serious.  Continue reading “Just enough authority”

Creating facts

Simply repeating a claim over and over again does not make it a fact. How about verifying the information you have received from your source, before treating it as certain truth to be included in your lightly-edited version of the campaign article? Or are facts immaterial in pursuit of the ultimate goal? I suppose they are.

Dawah Table Guys

Dawah Table Guys: you need to up your game. Big bushy beard, sincerity and a partial grasp of the English language won’t cut it any more. The people you’re preaching to know more than you. They come to you wielding the works of Ibn Ishaq, bamboozling you with quotations from a millennium ago, and all you have are stacks of pamphlets, neatly lined up in rows. So you call those you are preaching to liars, because they brought to you something you had never heard before, and instead of reaching out to them, fling insults and accusations about racism, Islamophobia and hatred of the other. Continue reading “Dawah Table Guys”

A people easily led

We are a people easily led. We trust in our wise ones, like idolators bowing down to stones, believing in them without a moment’s thought. Simply because they appear to be our esteemed superiors, steeped as they are in apparent knowledge, we hang on their every word, believing in whatever they tell us.

Who dares challenge the respected teacher with their 200,000 Facebook followers and 40,000 Twitter subscribers? Rather, we amplify them, sharing and retweeting their posts ad infinitum. Yes, who in their right mind would challenge that pious leader of opinion, with their 2 million Facebook followers and 700,000 Twitter subscribers? Only an imbecile and a fool, surely? And that leader of men, with 20 million followers on social media? Only the suicidal!

But it pays to be cynical. Not for the sake of it, but to get closer to the truth. Not to forever be a doubter, but to be just inquisitive enough to avoid being manipulated in the service of a unjust causes. Beware of manufactured controversies: probe and investigate what may lie behind them, and avoid being taken for a ride. Beware of smokescreens capitalising on populist causes and mass sentiment. Open your search engine, filter results by time, region and language — look for the story behind the story. Sometimes you will be surprised.

Don’t be so easily led by these leaders of men. Don’t just take their calculated words on face value. Be prepared to ask difficult questions, and walk alone.

Strange

How strange. Men who claim to be leaders of the faithful, vying with one another to see who can outdo others with displays of mysoginy and racism. These seasoned students of knowledge have lost the plot. Or maybe I have.

A narrative defined

The leaders of opinion in our community have framed our narrative for us. So no need to engage the intellect or think for yourself. Just follow their lead. When they condemn, condemn, and when they choose not to, follow suit. Do not investigate for yourself. Do not come to your own conclusions. Do not challenge their wisdom. Do not correct them when they make an error. Do not speak up or out about a wrong, unless specifically instructed to do so by the leaders of opinion in our community. Do not take a stand. Do not pursue justice. Do not seek truth. Do not adopt a counter-narrative, which challenges the narrative predefined.