What is it with this new politically correct characterization of Islam? I mean, we can’t just be Muslims anymore; we are now grouped in nice, little categories, to make others feel comfortable about whom or what we are.
We are not just Muslims; we are “moderate”, “liberal”, “fascist”, “radical”, “extremist”, “terrorist”, “progressive” etc. Who decides what box do any particular individual Muslim belongs in? Are we even grouped as individuals in the first place?
Personally, I don’t believe in such labels. I believe you are either Muslim or not. You either believe in Allah (swt) and the Prophet (saw) or you do not. Once that is defined, you either submit to Allah (swt) or follow the Sunnah, or not.
Think about this for a minute: What exactly is a moderate, liberal, progressive, radical, or extremist Muslim? If you’re “moderate” does that mean that you are neither conservative nor liberal? What is conservative or liberal Islam? What’s a fundamentalist? Aren’t all Muslims supposed to be practicing the fundamentals of Islam? Does liberal imply that you casually practice Islam? If you’re “progressive” what does that make other Muslims? Does that mean we are “regressive”? What does that imply?
We have to be very careful in this day and age to not be so quick to fall into the traps of definitions. We have to ensure that there is no atmosphere to allow others to define us according to their comfort levels.
What is this whole “radical” or “extremist” title? Is it not a subjective accusation? I mean one who opposes someone else, might believe they are a liberator or a revolutionary, a patriot; the other party may call them a radical, extremist, or terrorist. So when this accusation is levied, we should examine not only the accuser, but also the subject from whence they reason…or not, their position.
Case in point: In America’s fight for Independence from Britain, who was who? How did the Colonists (Revolutionaries) view themselves, as opposed to how Britain or the King of England viewed them?
Now I’m not going to be a hypocrite and act as if I’m not guilty of using these titles as well in my discourses, nor am I stating that sometimes, they “may” serve a purpose. However, if we analyze these titles, we can find many an error. My overall point is we should be very careful in our choosing of these titles and or associations.
This doesn’t just apply to the PC groupings but also the divisive ones we impose on ourselves. Where in the Quran did Allah (swt) say that we are to be Sunni, Shia, Sufi, etc.? I thought we are to be Muslims, nothing more or less.
What I’m calling for is a rethinking, some may say itjihad, either way, we have to take control of ourselves and our religion. We have to speak as one Ummah with one voice, otherwise, we allow those among us and those outside of us, to define who we are and should be.
5:3 Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah. that which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety. This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالْدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللّهِ بِهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ إِلاَّ مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ وَأَن تَسْتَقْسِمُواْ بِالأَزْلاَمِ ذَلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ الْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن دِينِكُمْ فَلاَ تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِ الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ فِي مَخْمَصَةٍ غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لِّإِثْمٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ