Posted to YouTube 10/2/2014.
“Shimmer” continues to apply, as may “The Long War” (which suits perfectly the journal that follows it), and the themes built up around authenticity vs invention, medieval vs modern, Islamic Supremacist vs Islamic Democratic Compatibility.
Despite Shadi Hamid’s arguments for a democratic but illiberal Islamicism, that project would seem to have failed in the Muslim-majority states in which autocratic leadership prevails either as expressive of Islamic idealization, as in Saudi Arabia, or as the secular response to the same, as in Egypt and Syria where Islamism has been rejected without successfully attenuating the political absolutism that binds both.
Championing the middle and moderate ranks, which may need a Harris organization to map out the intellectual terrain in its totality, Qanta Ahmed, whom I follow via Facebook, consistently stands up for Islam as essentially graced in the west by liberal multiculturalism and secular tolerance. Indeed, in the western ethos, one’s deepest beliefs about God, nature, and the universe (and one’s self) are owned and sustained persons — free agents in their own lives — not their religious organizations (who may serve only at the pleasure of their subscribers), and not states.
In essence, I would cite Qanta Ahmed as the one (modern) “scholar more powerful against the devil than one thousand worshipers”.
The problem is that not only to “BadDaddy and His Islamic Hate” but to others less obviously stuffed full of themselves and evil, Qanta Ahmed may draw also the moderate to plain nasty “takfiri”, those who accuse others of heresy or treason in relation to their idea of themselves within Islam.
Even in America, leading Muslim organizations and clerics bully with threats of ostracism those Muslims who dare to dissent. Old-guard ideologues, too, used to monopoly control, make it crystal clear to their Muslim critics: Take us on and we will make an example of you as a traitor to the Muslim community (the ummah).
“Muslim: I was bullied for criticizing Hamas”:
Little more than a month ago, Arizona physician M. Zuhdi Jasser, who years ago embarked on a mission to keep separate “mosque and state”, found himself the target of a fellow of his own mosque, a chiding resembling, in my opinion, the hand-pat-to-cheek known to mafia worldwide.
A little leaning, I call that, a bit of “straighten up, boychick, and get with our program (or else)”.
Whatever it may be called, the incident was aggressive, uncalled for, and, for Dr. Jasser, discomfiting, and, indeed, he placed the best chosen plain word “bullying” in the title of his article.
Is there or is there not “no compulsion in religion”.
A grammatic switch in Islamic culture pits loyalty against integrity, validates lying for gain or power (look through this lens when you visit or revisit the screeds associated with the middle east conflict), and the good who by definition possess integrity find themselves on the outs in their own community of legacy.
We’ll get around to differentiating between the pleasing — and pandering — notes of a language and bedrock human universal wisdom, but for now, while “BadDaddy and the Islamic Hate” burn, rape, murder, and plunder their way around the Iraq-Syria back of beyond, it may bear suggesting that one was the real Islam, emulated in anachronist attitude, dress, language, and ritual, and the other a nascent up-to-speed, modern and progressive Islamic Humanism.
It’s not that one shouldn’t have to choose between Ahmed’s way and Baghdaddi’s blood and horror-filled statement, but that the choice, much less the encouragement to retrogress, should not be available at all.
However, today, that choice is available and “Syriamania” and “Prison Islam” and “Islamic Jihad”, which is just not about good medicine or much good anything else but the jihadist’s immense and unbridled ego and penchant for sadism — see this blog’s pages on “malignant narcissism” and “Facsimile Bipolar Political Sociopathy” — are all real and but a handful of leaders have risen to turn the dismal tide.
Posted to YouTube 10/2/2014.
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