Saturday, March 19, 2005

Article: Understanding Amina and the PMU

Masha'Allah, a brother named Ahmed Rehab hit the nail on the head when he expressed his opinions in "Understanding Aminah Wudud and the PMU" at Media Monitors. Please read it. You won't be disappointed. But what really caught my eye was this...

"For PMU/MWU, it’s yet another opportunity to cater to the vociferous calls of the ominous Western critics of Islam who are currently sitting comfortably at the apex of America’s social and political pyramid dishing out reprovals and approvals of Muslims. The MWU folks seem to crave so desperately the much-coveted seal of approval: the “Good Muslim” badge that initiates Muslims into mainstream society as “good ol’ Americans”.

"I am not asking PMU or any Muslim to deny the sorry state of women in some parts of the Muslim world. No Muslim should deny that there are legitimate complaints bemoaning the abuse of women’s rights at the hands of certain Muslim factions; complaints that would sound off from within the ranks of Muslim women just as loudly as they do from the ranks of the Western critics of Islam, had these women the complete freedom to complain. These infringements need to be given immediate attention. Yet when I consider the question, “can a woman lead a congregation of men in prayer?”, I cannot ignore the fact that this is just NOT one of those complaints that are festering in the frustrated minds of oppressed Muslim women, but one that is much more at the forefront for the Western critics of Islam.

"No, they are not CIA agents or undercover enemies of Islam; no, they are not infidels or apostates; kaffirs or Murtads. They are simply – at times - well-intended Uncle Toms vying for “total acceptance”. More often, they are a new generation of Muslim-Americans who are trying to redefine aspects of Islam to fit their comfort zone as set by their American culture. (Ironically, they do so without realizing that their very formation as a group was in reaction to a generation of Muslims before them making the exact same mistake of customizing Islam to accommodate the comfort zone set by their own Arab culture.) In other words, the Progressive Muslims are as much culturally influenced as those they criticize for being culturally influenced.

"Wadud will lead the prayer. She will be hailed by her usual supporters, and condemned by her usual critics; lauded by those who are on an ideological cloud of optimism, and heckled by those who are enraged by her perceived apostasy. It will be business as usual for the “shock Imam”. It will be a media field day. For the rest of us, it will be a chance to read and write about something different, but it will never be anything more. For now, it seems that when it comes to that cause, Wadud and the Progressive Muslims are shooting for the stars, leaving behind a sorry planet called earth. Moreover, they are doing it for all the wrong reasons."


Blogger DrMaxtor said...

I think you're way too soft on these people, Izzy. Many of their top dogs do have relations with a number of dubious characters. Bet you didnt know that a certain Dan Pipes digs the "muslims for bush" family...Or how about a certain por-regressive personalities getting the celeb treatment from the likes of FOX news ?
Connect the dots, people !

1:34 AM  
Blogger izzymo said...

Oh, I know they have dubious connections. The writer of the article doesn't that know that. There is a dude on their board named Aiman Mackie who used to work for the RAND corporation in Santa Monica, California! It's plain as day on their PMU website!!!!

12:06 PM  
Blogger Ahmed Rehab said...

It is not about the dubious connections. If we limit our criticism to that, then we are no better than those who attempt to discredit Muslim organizations because a member of its board happened to have dubious extremist connections.

To me, we are going to have to deconstruct the logic and the strategy of the PMU bit by bit if we are ever going to demonstrate to our community why these people are more harmful than beneficial to Islam in America.

Moreover, we must acknowledge the good points of the PMU, as we are bashing the bad elements of it.

To me, as sincere Muslims, our goal should be to engage the PMU and help them overcome what vices we feel they have rather than condemn them entirely. They too have virtues and we too have vices.

That is not to say we should compromise on any of the hard facts. We should remain objective though compassionate. Relentless yet open-minded.


1:05 PM  

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