I’ve been going back and forth in my head about this post. Mainly because so far, my blog has been all about the lighter side of life. “To post or not to post? Do I really want to get sucked into this?” have been the questions. But then I decided, I have an outlet and I have a voice. So why not?
So I was one of the many viewers of this now famous dialogue/debate on Real Time with Bill Maher. Yes, the one with Ben Affleck in it.
Bear with me, I’m going to keep this short.
The very first thing that stood out and what I found funny was the fact that there wasn’t a single Muslim academic present in this supposed debate about Islam. It’s like a group of people sitting around and talking about the worst chocolate cake they never had. “Oh, I’m perfectly aware of and am well educated on the recipe; it had flour, baking soda/powder, sugar, salt, eggs, cocoa powder, vanilla…I don’t know the required measurements of any of the ingredients but I’m just going to assume that a chocolate cake made with two cups of sugar/two eggs/a tsp of salt/.. is going to taste just as bad as a chocolate cake made with a two cups of sugar/10 eggs/a tin of salt/..”
Beg your pardon, I just baked some cupcakes yesterday and hence the example.
Back to the debate, I’m listening to Sam Harris say that every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people and that, that was intellectually ridiculous and I’m going ‘okay..I see what you’re saying.’ “We have to be able to criticize bad ideas”. Yes, dude, we do indeed. “..And Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas.” Wait, what?
That escalated quickly.
We should criticize and question things! As much as possible! Like my teacher used to say ‘That is how you learn new things.’ but honestly, I did not expect that last comment to fall out in the manner that it did.
Also, can’t I take my take my faith seriously AND want world peace (and not take part in a beauty pageant) at the same time? Since when did being a religious practicing Muslim equal being a person supporting crimes against humanity? Yes, there are extremists, but you need to understand that they represent one end of the spectrum, whose interpretations of a beautiful faith are so wrong that it blows my mind [No pun intended]. The ideology is not the problem; people are. And when you’re talking about a faith that is practiced by over a billion people around the globe over varying countries, you cannot take a particular country and say ‘This is representative of your faith’. No, it is not and to say that the extreme acts of the most repressive of countries is representative of what is happening in every other Muslim country is just ignorance.
My brother in law is one of the most religious people I know personally and also one of the most amiable. Is there some contradiction here? Isn’t he supposed to be working on bombs or something now, according to what I just heard on RT?
All I have to (and want to, really) say is stop confusing culture and faith. If a particular culture interprets the scripture violently, it is the culture of the people that needs to change or be changed; the Quran will not change, people need to stop using ‘religion’ for fulfilling personal and political agenda. And generalized religion bashing needs to stop – it is not getting us anywhere.
I’d love to hear what you think. And uhm, I’m really not part of any mafia, just so that we’re really clear on that. And no I will not kill you if you say the wrong thing, Maher.
Good morning! And may peace be ever upon you. 🙂