The Believer’s Talking Points: When My Aunt Passed Away

(Copied and Pasted from my previous site)

When I was 11, my Aunt passed away from cancer.  They had two daughters, who at the time were three almost 4 and 7 almost 8.

It happens.  Death.  It’s a part of our life.  We will all die.

The reason I am bringing up this story is the process before my aunt’s death.   Click to keep on reading!

Confessions About Dishonesty, And Revisiting Old Research

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So it’s been a while since I have written here.  I have been doing some thinking and reading.  I have much interesting material coming your way!
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So A few years ago I was immersed into comprehensive academic study on Terrorism, namely Islamic Extremism and the processes of recruitment. During the time, I was just leaving Islam and my only real criticism of Islam was that it claims universality which does not exist in any belief system. I was still perceiving Islam as inherently a peaceful religion that extremists exploited for their own political gain (I would analyze the world from the lens of political and economic gains mostly.)
I stressed the theories scholars already have on terrorism and neglected a large part: The ISLAMIC part of ISLAMIC Extremism.  I would blame the rise of Islamic terrorism on the global landscape, and their perception of a neocolonial westernizing process that would harm their traditions.  I would claim that terrorism is often a political movement in response to existing oppression and target the oppressing factors that give rise to Islamic movements.  These are all valid evaluations of global jihad in contemporary times, but they are also incomplete and dishonest.  We need to include Islam the religion, Quran the book, and Muhammad the man as factors that motivate ISIS, Al Qaeda etc.
After my brief time in EXMNA thus far, I’ve become more honest in my understanding of Islam. I don’t think it’s inherently a violent religion like some may think, nor do I think it’s some “pretty bird chirping love everything peaceful religion” like the apologists think. I simply think: It’s a religion of its time that if applied today, can be turned into a violent political movement (Islamism) or a peaceful lifestyle (the moderates).
I’m revisiting my old research and I realized How much in denial I was of the Islamic side of things. I’ve certainly been exposed to concerning occurrences: such as Sharia Courts in UK.
I would say things like “those terrorists aren’t real Muslims.  They’re just misguided.”  What I realize now is by doing that, I was trying to declare what real Islam is.  The Quran and Hadith are so vague, numerous different interpretations have come out over the centuries and there is no “real Islam.”  We even have LGBTQA Friendly Muslim Movements nowadays, along with homophobic Sheikhs on the other end of things.  They all utilize scripture to justify their narrative.  They are all, in their own way, Muslim.  The Fundamentalist and Extremist MUSLIMS are Muslims as well.  They also utilize the same scriptures my peace loving Muslim family use to guide their lives.  But their interpretations are completely different and far more literal.
Of course, I don’t proclaim expertise on the subject matter.
I’m going to revisit my learning of Islamic extremism and approach it more comprehensively. I will also be vocal about Islamic extremism in this blog.  It won’t be tomorrow, or the day after, but for weeks to come.  Stay Tuned!

Book Review: 23 Years By Ali Dashti (Prophet Muhammad’s Biography)

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I have recently read the book: “23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad.”  As mentioned in the title, this is a biography of Prophet Muhammad.  I highly encourage this book to all readers regardless of your views on Islam.  This book aims to neither demonize the Prophet nor overly romanticize his life.  It simply evaluates him and the scriptures he revealed to his community as a product of their time and culture. Click to keep on reading!

Double Standards: Salon The Christophobe

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What is Salon.com

Salon is a liberal media outlet gaining popularity and has caught my attention recently.  They do well in speaking for victims and I greatly commend them for defending Muslims against bigotry in the Western societies.  Coming from a Muslim American family, I have been witness firsthand to many instances of Anti-Muslim bigotry, even against me.

For this, I am grateful to Salon.

Despite this appreciation, I must say this, Salon has been incredibly dishonest, unfair and biased when it comes to Islam, the doctrine of beliefs, the set of ideas of 1.6 billion people.  As a private organization, they are entitled to employ whichever narrative they see fit in their writing.  However, because their writing is slowly entering mainstream popularity it is our responsibility as readers to identify how problematic and unfair some of their patterns can be. Click to keep on reading!

How Allah is Represented in Spongebob Squarepants

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Hold up let me get this straight…

So Allah was lonely, created Jinn, Humans, Angels. Then Iblis stands up to his authority and was cast away.  He challenged God in a battle of wits that will go until the end of existence, over who can get more followers.  God then has Adam and Eve chilling in heaven and forbade them to eat a specific fruit… knowing that Iblis was lurking around there as a talking snake.  Eve ate it out of temptation.  God sent them to Earth where they and their offspring (the rest of humanity) will be tested by God and tempted by Iblis. Click to keep on reading!