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Old 12-05-2015, 08:08 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,914,122 times
Reputation: 1354

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"Every Muslim humanist is asking themselves a question I first asked myself in September 2001.

How do you tell a radical Muslim from a moderate peace loving one?

And here is my train of thought.

The 9/11 hijackers reminded me of boys I had gone to school with in Dubai in the 80s and 90s. They were the same age, background, and modern enough to have listened to 80s pop and chased girls. Meaning that just like most young people in the Muslim world, we weren't that religious.

So, I thought, maybe I could locate the differences between them and me, and at some point I would identify a breakaway point. Something they would do that I never would. And it took me a while to realize this, and now with the California shootings, it has reaffirmed for me, that indeed, when it comes to being able to tell a moderate from a radical in Islam, you can't.

You really can't tell until the moment before they pull the trigger, who is moderate and who is jihadi. Tashfeen has broken our moderate backbone, by revealing that she lived among us, unnoticed, normal, experiencing motherhood, enveloped in our secure community and yet, had radicalized.

And that's the problem, that there are many others like her with exactly the same beliefs, who may not have been ignited yet by a radical cleric, but if the opportunity presented itself, they would follow. They're like a dormant stick of dynamite, waiting for the fuse to be lit. The TNT is already in there.

What's it made of? Not the 5 pillars, belief, charity, prayer, fasting and pilgrimage. Not the sayings of the prophet as to how to lead a good and just life. Not the celebration of Eid ul Fitr.

It possibly glimmers through in the fealty that Allah demands during the Eid ul Adha, when Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son as a sign of his superior faith is commemorated in a sacrifice and celebration very much like the American Thanksgiving, with family and food. But without the football. And oh yes, the fratricide.

It is there in the silence one must maintain during prayer, brooking no interruptions, because it would make the prayer invalid. It is there in the severity of the hijab when it is followed to a tee. Not a hair can show. It is there in the forced separation of men and women at social gatherings.

It is present in every act that is performed that excludes us from the mainstream. It is present in the very concept of Us and Them. Because the only way we remain Us is to reject Them. The only way to be an exemplary Us is to reject westernization at every turn. Halal only is a sham, constructed out of this notion of meat that has been cut a certain way. It's the same meat. And yet there is a magical difference that people will attest to in all seriousness.

I went deep into the Midwest, wore a hijab for a year and lived there for 8 years. In that time, I attended ISNA gatherings, met w educated, professional people like myself who were also asking the same questions. They were looking to their faith for answers. And sure, there were efforts made to modernize Islam, but they were only superficial. We couldn't do it. We couldn't do it because there is a logical dilemma at the core of Islam. And that is, that the Quran is the last word of God, that it is perfect and unchangeable. And to even suggest such a thing is blasphemy and apostasy.

And so, to understand the moderate mind, you have to envision it on a continuum from radical to middle, but the closer you get to liberal, there is a wall. It creeps up on you, in the condemnation of homosexuality, in the unequal treatment and subjugation of women, but it's there. Beyond that wall that they are afraid to look over, for fear of eternal hell fire and damnation, is where the answer lies though. So being a Muslim moderate these days is like running a race with a ball and chain attached to your feet. A handicap. Unless you can imagine what the world beyond that wall looks like, you can't really navigate it. If you're so terrified of blasphemy that you refuse to look over, you're forever stuck. Right here. And behind you is the jihadi horde, laying claim to real Islam, practicing it to perfection, as it is laid out in the Quran. A veritable rock and a hard place. I feel your pain. I've been there. And it was untenable.

I read, discussed, debated alongside many good Muslim young people from all over the world, in Internet forums, trying to argue our way to a solution, much like we are doing on social media right now. I knew I rejected the homophobia, I knew I rejected the subjugation of women. And it all remained a theory until I saw it in practice. In the drawing rooms of the Midwestern professional moderate Muslim. There was the discussion of whether the verse that allows a man to strike his wife instead actually means, he should strike her with a feather. As a doctor, I am a humanist first, and so the blatant homophobia was irrational, dangerous and something I stopped tolerating politely. I attended presentations at the mosque of videos from the Palestinian Territories, played to rouse the outrage of the gathered congregation.

And that's when the absurdity started to really hit home. What in the world were we doing? We were training our children to kowtow without questioning an authority that we believed would keep them safe from evil western ways. And so the community's children went to Sunday school, wore hijab, prayed and fasted. They were enveloped in a Muslim identity that was unlike any that I had experienced before. I was raised in a Muslim country in the Middle East and religion was something we kept in its place, somewhere after school, soccer and cartoons. Here was a more distilled, pure and, most dangerously, a context-free Islam. There were no grandmothers here to sagely tell us which parts of the Quran to turn a blind eye to. There were no older cousins here who skipped Friday prayers and goofed off with their friends instead. Oh no. This was Islam simmered in a sauce of Midwestern sincerity, and boiled down to its dark, concentrated core. This was dangerous.

As my children grew older, I grew more afraid. I had tolerated their father's insistence on sending them to Sunday school, where mostly they played and learned a few surahs. But as they grew older I knew it would change. A sincerity would creep in to their gaze, teenage rebellion would find just cause in judging your less religious parents as wanting and inferior. Bad Muslims. How many teenagers have started to wear hijab before their own mothers? I've lost count. Mothers who found themselves in this dilemma would choose to join their child on this journey. They would cover too, and as such offered a layer of protection from the ideology by offering perspective.

I worried though, about the Internet, about radical recruiters posing as friends, finding willing and malleable clay in our unformed children. For we would keep them unformed. We would shield them from western influences in order to protect them, only to create a rift that could be exploited as an entry point. We would in essence be leaving our children vulnerable to radicalization.

And that is exactly what has been happening. The young girls from Europe and the US who have traveled to Syria to join ISIS, have done so because they're looking for what all teenagers are looking for, a sense of identity, to differentiate themselves from their parents and find a separate identity, the thrill of rebellion, adventure. They can't date, drink or dance, so they might as well Daesh.

This thought is what drove me to scale that wall. I dropped prayer, stopped feeling guilty for not praying. I drank alcohol, in moderation like most people do in the west, and I didn't instantly turn into an alcoholic. I dropped the need to cover to my ankles and wrists, and wore regular clothes. Bacon. I mean, seriously, it's bacon, I don't have to explain how good it was. I turned to look back at the wall from the other side, and it was...a relief. I relief to lose that fear of apostasy. To realize there was no such thing, it was purely in my mind. The ideas that had worn a groove in my mind, the guilt, the anxiety, the self flagellation for being a bad Muslim, all were gone.

And now, looking in the rear view mirror, I cannot recall what that felt like. I can't recall what believing used to feel like, because it's not as if there's an absence. It's not like I miss it. No, in its place has come a more robust understanding of humanity, philosophy, history, human nature and yes, even of religion.

A realization that the future is everything. There is no heaven or hell. Or rather, we no longer need a heaven and a hell to curb us into moral behavior. We have evolved. We know more of the universe, too much to be afraid of it anymore. We know more of this earth, and we know that every human being is made of exactly the same material. There is no Us, no Them. There is only We. We need to move on. We need to break free. We need to scale the wall so we can push back against the forces that seek to snatch our children's minds and bodies. We need to protect them, we need to inhabit our own intelligence instead of surrender it in the service of an archaic structure of beliefs that make absolutely no sense to follow in this day and age.

We have to break the chains in our own minds in order to do any of this. And it is scary. Especially when you've believed your whole life in the concept of blasphemy. Especially when you know that to openly come out and reject these beliefs would be to risk alienation, to be ostracized and maligned, rejected and alone. And in many cases, dangerous to your own person.

So maybe that is where we should start. By encouraging Muslims to create safe spaces to challenge the logical fallacies and inconsistencies, not between translation to translation, but between Islam and the modern world.

Peter Janecki, who created a machine that converts sewage into clean drinkable water and energy, noted in his TEDMED talk recently that he had to zoom out and look at it not as a garbage problem, but as an energy problem. He had to make the problem bigger in order to come up with a solution.

And I think it's the same with islam. We have to make the problem bigger. Instead of minimizing, we need to blow it up big and examine it and let go of this idea that a sacred text is unchangeable. Or unquestionable. We have to look at it instead as a humanism problem. Is Islam, in the way it is practiced and preached, humanistic enough? In that does it respect the personhood of a human being enough, and if it doesn't, then what can we do about it.

We have to make it ok to walk away. We have to come out of this closet and into the light. Because none of us are safe anymore. And none of the old bandages will hold much longer before it becomes a full on carnage that we only have ourselves to blame for."

~ Simi Rahman
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Not-a-Theist
3,440 posts, read 1,589,410 times
Reputation: 461
Good post.
Good for her. However I don't think the majority of the 1.5 billion Muslims will be able to follow the path of Simi Rahman. Even if 1 million Muslims follow her path to being a better human, that is only 0.067%!


Why?
It is this critical point she stated in her post, i.e.
We couldn't do it. We couldn't do it because there is a logical dilemma at the core of Islam. And that is, that the Quran is the last word of God, that it is perfect and unchangeable. And to even suggest such a thing is blasphemy and apostasy.
The above logical dilemma is locked in with an existential dilemma.
So if a Muslim do not conform with the Quran [lock, stock & barrel] s/he may not be able to end up in paradise with eternal life.
Thus get a passport to eternal life, a Muslim MUST comply with the terms and conditions of the covenant in the Quran s/he had made [explicitly or implicitly] with Allah.
Whilst the terms and conditions include good elements, it also include a load of evil laden elements that a Muslims must comply to become the best and truest Muslim.


The human system and personality is very sensitive and the slightest change in the brain can turn a Mr. Jekyll into a Mr. Hyde instantly. This is applicable to any Muslim or any person.
Because of the inherent evil elements in the Quran [core of Islam] it support this point of hers,
Simi Rahman wrote: it has reaffirmed for me, that indeed, when it comes to being able to tell a moderate from a radical in Islam, you can't.

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Old 12-05-2015, 09:11 PM
 
1,601 posts, read 754,126 times
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THIS is what a good person would go through. It takes courage and goodness, but this is what I always thought most Muslims would be feeling and doing. In fact, so very few do. Most embrace evil and teach their children to do the same.
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Old 12-06-2015, 02:29 PM
 
352 posts, read 308,932 times
Reputation: 54
Bismillaah ir Rahmaan ir Rahiim. As salaamu alaykum.


I don't get it. Am I suppose to flip out because some cleric say's so? I still say that that nonsense in San Bernardino is false flag. Maybe it's you all that would, or have fliped, because you eat-up this nonsense with a spoon. You all can't wait for the next "attack." It's another chance to beat up on the Muslims. And, 9-11 obviously put many of you to sleep. You believe all of the guff they have fed you. 911 was faked!!! A false flag operation.
Weak Up!!

Wassalaam. devotee
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Old 12-06-2015, 03:05 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,914,122 times
Reputation: 1354
I live in NY, devotee. I honeymooned on the 19th floor of an adjacent hotel to the towers. I parked in the underground garage. I used to be an out of those buildings. This "false flag" you speak of would have required an amazing level of cooperation to pull off. We are speaking of myopic George Bush leading the cast too.
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Old 12-06-2015, 03:17 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,914,122 times
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One of the problems with the false flag argument is that it leads to denial, a denial that refuses to acknowledge that there are bad people with bad intentions in the world.
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Old 12-06-2015, 03:56 PM
 
144 posts, read 107,881 times
Reputation: 90
I'm sorry but this is too "empty" for me.

All this blabla and we don't understand anything of what she says. 9/11, hijab, prayer, bacon.
Just some words here and there.

In which country it was ? A village, a city ? Was she living with religious people ?

Was it in Beyrouth, in KSA or in Singapor in Istambul ?

From a country to another it's different !!!

Quote:
So being a Muslim moderate these days is like running a race with a ball and chain attached to your feet. A handicap. Unless you can imagine what the world beyond that wall looks like, you can't really navigate it. If you're so terrified of blasphemy that you refuse to look over, you're forever stuck. Right here. And behind you is the jihadi horde, laying claim to real Islam, practicing it to perfection, as it is laid out in the Quran. A veritable rock and a hard place. I feel your pain. I've been there. And it was untenable.
.... No comment . Alarming post. Was she in Irak or Syria to say that ?
People live in fear, people are sad, are unhappy ... they hesitate between moderation or jihadism ....
What can we say ? There many sentences for nothing, no real exemples, we don't understand anything from those sentences full of nonsenses.

You can't talk about people and generalize like that.
Because of one experience she generalizes, i'm sorry this is stupid.

"How do you tell a radical Muslim from a moderate peace loving one?"

Really ? So this is made to make us suspicious against each others. And more precisely the non-muslims against us.

Quote:
. And it all remained a theory until I saw it in practice. In the drawing rooms of the Midwestern professional moderate Muslim. There was the discussion of whether the verse that allows a man to strike his wife instead actually means, he should strike her with a feather.
Incredible ! From all the verses in the Quran, all the problems that she may have encounter she heard about that !
I guess people were also wondering if they should stone their women in another discussion she heard by chance ...

I think she was in KSA or in Kabul maybe.

Oh my God all those muslims are so sad, they are stuck between their religion and djihad ...
(they are muslims but there's some little brave christians with them)

You should open your eyes and be more open to others people culture and try to really know them instead of throwing them only the negativity, the only thing you have from your medias.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSd8RC5M6g8


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf9T1oCA0Hk


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7q-aD24eAE
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:40 PM
 
1,601 posts, read 754,126 times
Reputation: 435
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
I live in NY, devotee. I honeymooned on the 19th floor of an adjacent hotel to the towers. I parked in the underground garage. I used to be an out of those buildings. This "false flag" you speak of would have required an amazing level of cooperation to pull off. We are speaking of myopic George Bush leading the cast too.
I worked at the World Financial Center. Walked under the towers every day. A very close member of my family is a pilot for American Airlines. I knew 3 people who were slaughtered that day.

What devotee says is both stupid and evil.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:27 AM
 
352 posts, read 308,932 times
Reputation: 54
Bismillaah ir Rahmaan ir Rahiim. As salaamu alaykum.


Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
I live in NY, devotee. I honeymooned on the 19th floor of an adjacent hotel to the towers. I parked in the underground garage. I used to be an out of those buildings. This "false flag" you speak of would have required an amazing level of cooperation to pull off. We are speaking of myopic George Bush leading the cast too.
I was born in NYC. That changes nothing. Here's a little more information, mostly from an earlier post:

Did Muslims Attack America on 9/11? Did Muslims Attack America on 9/11?

9/11 Mysteries - Top Documentary Films 9/11 Mysteries


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1GCeuSr3Mk "September 11 - The New Pearl Harbor"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=0hWhvRBjbko Painful Deceptions 911 Documentary by Eric Hufschmid

War and Globalization: The Truth Behind 9/11 (Lecture) - Top Documentary Films War and globalization - A lecture




Wassalaam. devotee
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:08 AM
 
1,601 posts, read 754,126 times
Reputation: 435
Quote:
Originally Posted by devotee View Post
Bismillaah ir Rahmaan ir Rahiim. As salaamu alaykum.




I was born in NYC. That changes nothing. Here's a little more information, mostly from an earlier post:

Did Muslims Attack America on 9/11? Did Muslims Attack America on 9/11?

9/11 Mysteries - Top Documentary Films 9/11 Mysteries


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1GCeuSr3Mk "September 11 - The New Pearl Harbor"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=0hWhvRBjbko Painful Deceptions 911 Documentary by Eric Hufschmid

War and Globalization: The Truth Behind 9/11 (Lecture) - Top Documentary Films War and globalization - A lecture




Wassalaam. devotee
Globalresearch - RationalWiki

Headline: "North Korea, a Land of Human Achievement, Love and Joy"
—Everything you need to know about Globalresearch

ROFL!!!!!



Eric Hufschmid

Eric Hufschmid is an American conspiracy theorist who has been "avoiding Zionist traps since 2002". He spews forth a wide variety of conspiracy theories, mostly centred around Jews and/or Zionists. He seems to think that Jews are actually reptilians, who "use their intelligence to kill, sabotage and blackmail their competition [that's us humans]".[1] This is probably inspired (though not directly connected) to David Icke's Reptoid theory.
He believes the King David Hotel bombing[wp] (which was actually a Zionist correct flag operation, as the Irgun took responsibility for the bombing), 9/11, JFK assassination, and the holocaust were all Zionist false flag operations. His paranoia goes so far that he believes his potential wife-to-be is a Zionist agent and that it's best to break off the relationship[2], and that Michael Jackson's death was a conspiracy to "divert attention away from Zionism, Israel, and Jews in general".[3]
He also believes in the moon landing hoax and that Paul McCartney was killed in 1966 and replaced by someone else.
[4]
Eric Hufschmid - RationalWiki

Did Paul McCartney die in 1966?

Jackson's death was an inside job

ROFL!!!!!
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