Monday, April 25, 2005

The Straw Men of the PMU

I've been wanting to write something regarding Hussein Ibish's response to Dr. Hina Azam's outstanding and generally well-argued article A Critique Of The Argument For Woman-Led Friday Prayers, but I simply haven't had time. Due to this, a more Rested Heart has beaten me to the punch and done a fine job at that:

The Straw Man and the Progressive Muslim Union

While I think there are some assumptions and other serious flaws that undermine Ibish's attempted refutation, especially for those of us who value the eternal more than the temporal, it seems that my points in this regard will have to wait for a later day, insha'llah.

Before closing, I'd like to mention that the other day I read the comments of a self-professed liberal Muslim who said that they were yet to read a convincing argument that woman led prayer is not allowed. I'm not sure if going through life putting the cart before the horse whenever it suits your own fancy necessarily classifies as self-delusion, but it certainly could. Self-delusion is a scary thing because one is inherently unaware that one is suffering from it. I pray that Almighty God protects us all from that...


Blogger DrMaxtor said...

Seems to me that Mr.Ibish has a little too much time on his hands. He seems to have "progressed" from a mild mannered leftist to a PMU attack dog. Now where have I seen such a transformation before ?

2:51 PM  
Blogger altaf said...

you might have seen such a "transformation" in neo-cons like Schwartz - who were Tortskyists and then became servants of the neo-con empire builders (and the neo-liberals are no better, by the way).

the common thread in this is that these people want to impose their "vision" on people - through hook or crook or through whatever other means they might cook up...

4:18 PM  
Blogger Danya said...

I hope this is not a bad question, but when Ibish was visiting my university, someone told me he was agnostic? So... is he even Muslim?

10:31 AM  
Blogger Danya said...

I hope this is not a bad question, but when Ibish was visiting my university, someone told me he was agnostic? So... is he even Muslim?

10:32 AM  
Blogger altaf said...

Hibish is a self-professed "agnostic" - and regards himself to be a so-called "cultural Muslim."

This is a very important part of the pmuna movement that is sometimes not given enough attention. The task here is not just creating an "Islam" that has all of the ingredients discussed on this blog - but they also want to undermine Islam as a revealed tradition by relegating it to a "cultural" form... this would lead to Muslims becoming a tribal identity rather than a faith community.

Now this is not to say that the way Muslims practice the Islamic tradition is ideal... it is not.

Yet, Islam does contain all of the ingredients to transcend tribalism, and to develop relationships that are based on our faith. Within those communities, diverse *faith based* and inspired cultures arise.

Traditionally the role of Islamic scholars has been twofold 1)to address community level concerns, how we are to live on this earth and 2) more importantly, to deepen the faith of Muslims.

A secular scholar on the other hand only has responsiblity to address the first one. And given the direction the PMUNA is headed towards, it would create a secularized and cultural "Islam" -


1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I see it, some of the Arabs amongst the self-styled "agnostic" and "cultural Muslims" of PMU are just bitter Arab Nationalists. When the European influenced half-baked combination of Marxism and nationalism failed, some of the disillusioned intellectuals started shopping for a new totalitarian ideology and they found fundamentalist "Political Islam" (a.k.a. Islamism). There were others, however, who weren't willing to participate in the religious charade and thus remained involved in the nationalist movement, where Islam is just an aspect of Arab culture -- and that's all. It's really kind of sad, really.

7:11 PM  

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