A Muslim Phones into a Radio Station…

This was a discussion that took place on Facebook. I’m sharing it here to spread the positive sides of the debate, inshallah. Please note, Darryl is an  ol’ friend of mine from school that I’ve reconnected with via Facebook:

Darryl: Not sure how I feel about this, because I agree with a lot of what the dj says. The older I get, the more I think religion has no place in a civilised society. Arif, any thoughts?

Muslim phones

Arif: howdi dudi – (sigh) 😦 I will have to respond in a short while because the dj brought up alot (not now, later). In the meantime let me give you this to ponder. Let us assume there was a religion of peace. (Put aside whether religion is compatible with modernity etc – that’s a different topic for now). Let us assume in this religion of peace, that its Rule1 was that you had to be kind, warm and friendly (as much as possible). So that’s the theory or principle, which is do-able and not abstract and totally impossible. Now let us assume one day one guy from the ranks of that religion acts in an unkind, cold and mean way (that’s his practice which contradicts the theory/ideal – even if this person claims he’s following the religion of peace). Is that a problem with the religion of peace or the guy, himself? I feel overall, the dj makes the classic mistake of conflating the practice of Muslims with the theory of Islam. But they are two different/distinct things. He also reifies Islam as if the religion is a walking, talking person. But Islam is not a person. It is a set of beliefs (a theory). People are people and need to be judged as people by their actions. Islam needs to be judged by what its principles are – and not by its people. And Islam is defined (as is known to most) by the Qur’an and Sunnah (example of the Prophet (s)). I hope this helps (and makes sense), for a start.

Darryl: I get all that. You can’t judge a religion by its craziest followers, but the crazy brigade are growing, and they’re getting crazier. And I don’t hear many other Muslims coming out and saying they are wrong. Maybe the press just don’t report it, but the crazies need to go, because that’s where the next war is coming from.

Two sides to every story, and british/American troops have killed countless civilians out in iraq and the other countries we are occupying. The IS almost certainly see themselves as freedom fighters, but this whole thing is wrong.

Personally, I find it quite frightening…

Darryl: Oh, and thanks for the informed and informative response.

Tim: My reflections on this: (here)

Darryl: Tim, I read that piece. The thing is, I did talk about the civilians killed in iraq and many other countries we are currently in. And I read newspapers, and watch the news. I rarely see news stories of Muslims condemning Muslims.

I’m realistic enough to know that the foreign policy of countries like England and America lead to organisations like IS growing, and the kind of people drawn to this group were always going to find an outlet for their rage at life.

A lot of people in England and America are happy to finally be able to focus their racism at a group of people and not be lambasted for it (not that Muslims are a race, but I’m sure u get my point).

Unfortunately, that’s the point tho. People are bad. People are stupid. Really stupid people are really bad… Holding a mirror up to it doesn’t help anyone. The stupid people won’t even see who is being reflected.

I don’t know what the answer is, but these are worrying times imo.

Tim: I was responding more to the video you shared, which completely lacks your careful nuance.

Peter: Interesting debate here, the expansion of social media also has a part to play in the scaremongering that goes on towards the Muslim community. For instance the number of reports in respect of the recent beheading of an old lady on social media indicated that the killer was Muslim. Turns out he was, but the murder appears more to do with him being unhinged as opposed to a religious nut job.

On the whole the DJ is correct, it is very rare to see the Muslim community vilify the fanatics especially after any major incidents. In my humble opinion the Muslim community does need to do more to integrate into local communities, on the whole the British are tolerant and understanding of all cultures especially in the politically correct world we now live in.

***

The discussion ends (as of 6/9/14).

My response to the last few entries can be found here.

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