Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Conservative or progressive

For those who have been following this blog for a while, and might be trying to figure out what to make of me, since I've been offending both, conservative Muslims (Arabs suck) as well as the so-called progressive Muslims (That Friday prayer). Here's a simple asnwer.

I am against both based on the same concepts. I am against both when either become extreme, and narrow minded, which defies the essence of Islam. I am against both when they mix-up cultural problems with Islamic values, placing their cultural preferences ahead of their Islamic values. Ahmed Rehab articulates that point well regarding both, when describing who the American progressives are:

"More often, they are a new generation of Muslim-Americans who are trying to redefine aspects of Islam to fit their comfort zone as set by their American culture. (Ironically, they do so without realizing that their very formation as a group was in reaction to a generation of Muslims before them making the exact same mistake of customizing Islam to accommodate the comfort zone set by their own Arab culture.)

In other words, the Progressive Muslims are as much culturally influenced as those they criticize for being culturally influenced."
I am for moderation, and I believe that Islam is a religion of moderation. It doesn't matter which direction they're being extreme at, or what they're being narrow-minded about when either party is straying away.

"Wa kathalek ja3alnakom ummattan wasatan ..." [somewhere in the Quran]

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Surat al-Baqara

Anonymous said...

I apologize, 2:143.

I also think that the rest of the verse is really important for the point you are trying to make.

Anonymous said...

Ahh.. this is somethign I agree with a guy! Lol... that's right. PRACTICE MODERATION. DOn't be hasty on either side. Problem with extreme consevatives is that they think they are all going to Paradise for their extreme attitude. PRoblem with extreme liberals is that first off they totally deviate from the right path and also suffer from some complexes. nice post, mohammad!

Al Sharief said...

Well put Mohamed, both you & Ragheb... and hence no offense should be taken at all. Beside it's OK "to stir pot" every once in a while ... it's healthy as long as the intent is good, genuin, and not mean...
Ragheb is "so Right on" with his articulations regarding young moslems in the U.S trying to stay sane with all kinds of pressure they go through & it's quite fine to take refuge to the moderation in Islam without being mislead to an act that could mess things up even more... some how such a group could realy get confused even an accomplished writer/Journalist Mona Al Tahawy "a friend of this site I guess! when she commented on the Friday Prayer led by a woman( and I think she might have partcipated in that prayer)she justfied the act on the premis for "Spirtual Equality" which I think has nothing to do with gender at all.... But being in the board of directors for the Progressive Moslem Women in North America explains it all. After All,This is the same organization organization who organized that infamous Friday prayer. Mona would be the best to tell us What's going on...

BTW Mohamed you are NO ordinary Egyptian...
Moderation is good...

Mohamed said...

Thanks for your comment Sharief. Mona is definetely still a friend of this blog. I just disagree with her on a number of things.

I really don't want to open this discussion again here. I've said my thing, and I'm satisfied as is.

Al Sharief said...

Mohamed,

Please allow me to clarify, with all due respect to your desire to end discussion about “this subject” as I felt that your response was a bit sensitive regardless of your satisfaction. I do promis that I will not comment on this post again. I just could not help it after reading a good Article in Al Ahram today (Please see Below)

- Through your site that I found out about Mona site, just a day or two, before that prayer
And I was, and still am, proud of Mona’s site, work, and her contribution even with probably similar reservation to some of her positions. Yet I believe that she could have contributed significantly to enrich the discussion on how North American Arab-Moslem women see things. NO ill-motives whatsoever.

- If you have the time please look up “Fahmy Heiwaidi” on today’s Tuesday @ Al Ahram
Article titled “Mission to dismantle Islam”. A well documented article that address many concerns which resulted of that Friday Prayer. This is NOT necessary my favorite subject either, rather what it entails with varieties of serious implications to the Arab-Moslem nation in general and the North American Moslem Arabs in particular. He addresses the so called “New Spiritualism” and “Progressive Islam” among other things.

- Finally, please do take the “YOU are NO ordinary Egyptian” statement as a compliment for the Intellect, the style, the exposure, and the fluency (and a lot of other things) with which you express your self in this Blog  . Having said that I do also believe that “Ordinary Egyptians” are miracles on their own rights. From the perspectives of their simplicity, surviving instinct, worldly achievements of their fellow individual citizens, to the ownership of one of the greatest and oldest civilizations. G> I can’t wait to see how do YOU see Egyptians Sucks!

Mohamed said...

Fahmy Howeidy knows Islam better than alot of us. Here's his article for those interested.

While I agree with him that many non-Muslims are working hard to try to dissolve Islam (which is never gonna happen), it isn't really a worry of mine. And while like he says, someone like Daniel Pipes might be getting cooperation from some Muslims who are trying to Americanize Islam, I doubt that those involved in that Friday prayer would be involved with someone like Pipes. That could be taking the whole Friday prayer thing too far (but maybe I am being naive). I actually don't think that Friday prayer is worth all that. You have to see how many people invent things in Islam to know that when you see something that looks so obviously wrong, it doesn't add or reduce one bit from Islam. So you say your thing, and you leave the rest to God to be the judge. And you pray that if these people are genuine (or even if not) that God shows them the right path, as well as myself.

We already know that people will take different paths and call those paths Islam, and that the distractions from the core of Islam will increase, and that is something inevitable. The prophet said it, the day will come when "almomsek bedeenoh kalmomsek belgamr", those who will hold on to their religion will be like those holding on to a piece of burning coal ("gamr" is worse actually). We just have to hold tight and try our best to separate the right from wrong, especially when it comes to worshiping God.

And because of the possible attempts to "dismantling or Americanizing Islam" as Huweidy puts it, alot of Muslims in North America are actually more conservative than Muslims here. They overreact because they're scared of losing their religion over there. I would be. So while there are movements that might be doing ill to Islam, we and Huweidy shouldn't worry. Alot of problems and extremes as usual, but overall its doing just fine there, and believe it or not there are some great second generation Muslims there.

When it comes to explaining what the so called American Progressive Muslims are about, Ahmed Rehab's explanation (in the article I've pointed to earlier) really hits it on the head, and I'm totally in line with him. They are too culturally influenced by by the society they're living in, with its secularism and individualism. Its too bad, but its understandable. If you are told every day that homosexuality is great, and you see homosexual role models created in every single TV series, you can't help but think that it is a great thing. Regardless if homosexuality is great, good, or bad, that's not the point. The point is you get affected by the culture you live in, and by the message that is disseminated in a way that everyone must accept. So while homosexuality is unacceptable in Islam for example, you find a few Muslims there calling for homosexuality to be embraced by Islam!, simply because their culture there embraces it.



PS Sharief: You don't wanna hear me say why Egyptians suck. It won't be pleasant.

Mohamed said...

The link to Fahmy Huweidy's article I pointed to in the previous comment is invalid now. Apparently AlAhram reuses the links daily! Here's his same article in AlWatan newspaper.

Al Sharief said...

Thanks for the link MO ...
As promised No comment ... or enough said..
and, you sound like an Engineer ...

ibn_abdel_aziz said...

Fahmy Howaidy attempts to moderations are hindred by his political views too...in my won opinion , a pre-adopted idealogy can be a problem in one's quest to objectively answer questions .

Howaidy still has the 20th and 19th century's mind set concerning some hot political issues like the conflict in teh middle east.


I might also suggest you read :
http://www.mosaad.blogspot.com/

Um Haleema said...

I get rather confused reading this post. After reading your other posts about how uncivilized and selfish the majority of the people are in Cairo (and other Islamic counties from other blogs I've read) I have to wonder why you would think it best that these people maintain this culture. If the way these people behave is the CORE of Islam, then what is so great about it? BTW Religion is not a nationality so I don't understand how there can be a 2nd generation Muslim or Jew.

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