Friday, August 12, 2005

Do We Need the Advice of an Apostate?

This is the question I asked myself this morning when I read Salman Rushdie's column in The Toronto Star. This darling of the chattering classes has called for a reformation of Islam and suggests among other things that Muslims stop treating the Holy Quran as a book that is divinely revealed. In his opinion, it should be viewed merely as a 'historical' document, whatever that means. So here we have a self confessed murtad dispensing wholly gratuitous advice to the Ummah; obviously Rushdie believes he has the panacea to our problems!

My question to him is simple: what is your locus standi? You are neither a Muslim nor a well wisher.If you were at least the latter, perhaps we would have accorded you the courtesy of listening to your suggestions. We, on the other hand, remember with disgust and anger, the vile abuse you heaped on the Holy Prophet(may peace and blessings be on Him)and his respected wives. You've had no qualms in renouncing Islam, and I think that as far as the vast majority of Muslims are concerned, you are a loser not only in this world but in the hereafter.I suggest that you stick to what you do best: squiring skinny supermodels around various soirees.

However, my beef is not with Rushdie alone; it annoys me that the Western press runs articles on the need for reformation by people who are either out of the fold of Islam or who are barely hanging in there. It may serve the purpose of satisfying the ill informed, the naive, and the gullible but every such publication erodes their credibility even further in the eyes of Muslims. The Manjis, Nomanis, and Nassefs may be wildly popular with the average North American viewer( because they say what the audience wants to hear, not what Islam stands for) but they have little or no following within the larger Islamic community. I am all for freedom of expression, but at the end of the day it is results that matter, not vacuous talk.

For once, I would love to have true leaders like Ingrid Mattson, Sheema Khan, or Jamal Badawi, to name a few, be afforded the same opportunities and publicity that the "pretenders" get. When the West (and I use this term in a generic sense) understands that the only way it can gain credibility among Muslims is by initiating a dialogue with those we might consider more genuine representatives of our faith, this will truly be a step in the right direction. The greater the importance you bestow on these mavericks, the less inclined we are to listen. Dialogue is a two way street; Muslims like to be talked to not talked down to. If this is understood, it will be a lesson well learned.

6 Comments:

Blogger Christopher said...

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5:35 PM  
Blogger DrMaxtor said...

Welcome back AJ, well said.

6:05 PM  
Blogger izzymo said...

Okay, ummmm...Salman Rushdie + a model who has probably never read his books but thinks he's narly for like getting a FAAH-twaa = an image that I am desperately trying to get out of my mind. It is taking the Western media a very, VERY long time to wake-up to the majority voices of Islam, to their own detriment of course. Which is why I say we have our own strong media to counteract their own.

But like you said, until there is dialogue instead of this mantra of "Modernize or Else," we will have continued warfare, a slumping economy and a world scared of the American military machine.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

I'm no fan of Rushdie, but I don't think his comments can be entirely dismissed. I agree, the West is quite enamoured to the 'dressing down' approach to Muslims. No doubt this is something of a deliberate tactic, especially given Islam is the 'dangerous other' of the West at present.

Notiwthstanding that, it is worthwhile considering the Koran, Hadith, etc in a more historical and anthropological light.

7:20 AM  
Blogger DrMaxtor said...

Iqbal, the reductionist thesis applied towards the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) may make for good academic study amongst non-Muslims, but it serves no Muslim believer.
Rushdie should keep his lazy athiestic rhetoric to himself. Perhaps if the man spent more time getting his private life in order, he would be happy.

10:59 PM  
Blogger konnks666 said...

Listen up! Koran cannot be a God,s revelation. Mohammad did not know how to read and write.
You would be alarmed at the rate of Muslim apostates across the world and especially Pakistan and Kashmir.
If you guys do have guts to take on them than it would be worth watching a discussion like it use to take place in the ancient times.

PAKISTANI ATHEISTS AND AGNOSTICS.

www.e-paa.org

3:33 AM  

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