A heavy weight

Every night when I head to bed, a voice within says, “Be quiet.” Speak good or remain silent. Restrain your tongue and typing fingers. As I lay my head on my pillow, these inner thoughts recur: “Disappear. Withdraw.” And each morning when I arise, I ask myself whether today will be the day when I respond to the inner petition: will I find the courage to vanish; to keep my thoughts to myself; to be like the commoners of old who had no reach or influence beyond their village or family.

But then the day wears on, and another voice says, “Express yourself. Speak good. Say what needs to be said.” And once more I am hammering on the keyboard, convinced for a moment that my words are important. That my words must be freed. And for a while it seems to be so. But by nightfall, that inner voice will return, petitioning me to withdraw. To free myself of these burdens. To become the nobody who walks unknown, influencing only his family and close companions.

Day and night, it has become a heavy weight on me, rending me in two.

Seeing the past in the present

It is not difficult to see how the pathway has been mangled over centuries and millennia. Just witness the behaviour of the powerful in their battles to maintain their grip of control. Watch how they crush their opponents, mobilising armies of fanatical followers to their own cause, to do their bidding in silencing all dissent. Continue reading “Seeing the past in the present”


We offer unconditional support for victims who courageously dare to press charges against their abusers, irregardless of their political and religious views, because those opinions are irrelevant.

Why are muslims…

Google Search is contextual, delivering specific results to its audience, based on what it has already learnt about you and your confirmation biases. Continue reading “Why are muslims…”


And then I ask myself, “Why do you write all these things?” And: “Wouldn’t it be so much better if you would just fall silent and disappear?” And: “Isn’t it all just self-deception: thinking to yourself that you are doing fine, as you head full steam into oblivion?” And I think to myself: “All the world thinks they have something important to say, to which they must give voice, believing themselves rightly guided.” And I wonder: “Am I just deluded?” And I wonder still: “Should I vanish now?”


“Being a candle is not easy,” says the preacher, with words he attributes to Rumi, “for in order to give light one must burn.”

Indeed so. But there’s another problem with being a candle: you easily disorientate and confuse a swarm of moths, which might otherwise have calibrated their flight to the light of the moon.

As Shakespeare has Portia say in The Merchant of Venice:

“Thus hath the candle singed the moth.
O these deliberate fools! When they do choose,
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.”

Facing the enemy

A community under attack always goes into defensive mode, and with attacks and hostility rising exponentially that defensiveness will only increase. Which is a tragedy, really, because there is so much we need to talk about internally. We so desperately need to hold ourselves to account for a whole litany of abuses, injustices and crimes. Continue reading “Facing the enemy”


It is wonderful that you see dreams which predict the future and through which all things are made clear. I am envious, for my dreams are ever of the mundane. Friends of mine see themselves flying in theirs; at most, I only see myself struggling with hills. Yes, dreams teeming with apparent meaning are a wondrous thing.

But remember that the entourage around Mohammed Abdullah al-Qahtani, who laid siege to Masjid al-Haram in 1979, also had lucid dreams, in which they believed him to be the Mahdi. At first they did not believe the dreams. But as they became more vivid, and all of them began to see similar dreams, so they became convinced that their dreams were true. Sadly, that escapade resulted in 255 deaths next to the Kaaba.

So be careful, oh dreamful one. Keep your dreams to yourself. Dreams may indeed be part of prophecy, but for certain you are not a prophet. Be careful with your dreams, dear friend, for no matter how real and true you think they are, they are best kept between you and your Lord. And God knows best. Sweet dreams.

Qur’anic literacy skills

On Facebook earlier today, I encountered the following post:

When reading rumors in the media regarding accusations made against any person, especially if the accuser is an ideological and social opponent of the accused and declares open hostility to divine legislative sovereignty, it is crucial that Muslims employ Qur’anic media literacy skills. The Qur’an emphatically states:

“O You, Who have made a firm commitment to Allah! If a degenerate person comes to you with some news, verify it lest you unwittingly cause harm to a people and later become remorseful over what you have done.” (Al-Qur’an: Surah 49, Ayat 6).

Continue reading “Qur’anic literacy skills”