Manners of Disagreement, What Muslims lack today

Out of the many shortcomings that we have within the American Muslim community today, one of the most striking is the lack of manners that we have when it comes to disagreements about issues relating to religion.

In the state of hyper-religiousity that many of us have in America, the absolutist mentality is pervasive.  One group will say that their group is the correct one while others are deviants.  The Usooli will call the Sufi a deviant, the Sufi will call the Shi’i a deviant, the Ithna Ashari Shi’i will call a Fatimi/Bohra Shi’i a deviant, etc.   This holds especially true during Muharram and Aashoora.

A person will give commentary on a situation or definition of a word and imply or even outright state that another’s opinion is invalid.  I’m not speaking of baseless opinions, but opinions based upon opinions of what scholars have stated.

There is an old saying that the person who knows truly understands how much he/she really does not truly know.  This person is not an absolutist by any stretch.  G’d knows best frequently rolls of of their tongues and is a part of their written discourse.

Growth comes from analysizing diverse viewpoints.  Correcting people should be gentle and done after contemplation and recognition if errors are blatant.  Disagreements and debates should take place respectfully with use of wisdom and rationale.

And surely G’d knows best.

Walid speaks on Racial, Ethnic Discrimination Panel

Today in Dearborn, Michigan at the Arab-American Museum, the ACLU-MI held a conference entitled “Restoring Our Rights.” 

The audio below is of one of the panel discussions relating to discrimination and constitutional issues.

Mark Fancher of the ACLU is the first speaker.  I’m the second, and Donnell West of the NAACP is the third.

Walid on talk show speaking about Islamophobia in the election season

Mr. Adil James from the Muslim Observer and I were on the “Lynn Rivers Show” today, WEMU 89.1 FM, discussing the Islamophobic rhetoric of candidates during this election season.

 Click below to listen: