Over the years [16 of them for me now] I have seen a disparagingly absence of manners amongst the Muslims. We have no couth in how we talk, critique and debate one another. In a recent post I came across, I felt compelled to write a little piece. My apologies if it seems to border on the polemical but I felt it needed saying anyway.
So here we have it. Muslim vs. Muslim in a virtual cage match. I have observed many of these volleys and have tried to put it to pen and pixel. It’s not an easy task. But, here ‘goes.
I think one aspect that some of the critics of Eteraz miss or don’t even look at is why does Eteraz say that things that he does. Why do “liberal Muslims” say the things they do. To be sure, there are some who may have fallen into the trap of post-Enlightenment religious thinking and that is to make religion subservient to personal desires – in other words, jettison whatever is inconvenient or doesn’t reinforce our ill-perceived independence of God.
But Muslims today are under tremendous pressures from the dominant society to author and practice a version of Islam that caters to their fears, prejudices and proclivities and not towards what Muslims think is pleasing to God. As Muslims, we should be very much cognizant of this and take this into account when we have truck with our fellow brothers and sisters.
Before I continue, I should point out that I have not agreed with everything that Ali Eteraz has written. In truth, I have not read many of his posts in a while as I feel out of touch with what it was he was writing – but to say that he’s not entitled to write it, well, I think we have to tolerate and debate in a way that would uphold the ethics and standards of our Beloved Example. Simply trashing Ali Eteraz and making comparisons between him and Shaytan is in my opinion, ridiculous, unwarranted and uncouth.
But the critique doesn’t stop there. Above all, and I have seen this everywhere, there is absolutely NO LOVE BETWEEN THE MUSLIMS! The last two times I saw Dr. Sherman Jackson, he spoke about the woeful absence of love in the Muslim community. I couldn’t agree more. I have read here and in other places the critiques on Ali [and I believe many of them are warranted at least in the spirit of debate] but I have not seen one person offer to help him [if he is so satanically misguided], take the time out to correct his conduct or – aqueedah or what ever it is that many of his critics feel is awry. This type of mean-spirited, name bashing is NOT THE SUNNAH and is NOT OF THE CHARACTER OF THE PROPHET! I would love to have the opportunity to sit down with Ali Eteraz and discuss some of his points and maybe exchange a few words and see where he’s coming from. But I will not trash the man’s name publicly like so and NEITHER SHOULD ANY OF YOU! This goes not simply for Ali Eteraz, but for the correspondences I see all over the blogosphere.
Am I saying that none of us have the right to have a disagreement with Ali Eteraz? No. But it should be done in the best way.
We need the love. We need to get it back. And we need to get it back NOW.
And God knows best…