Silence Me? Stand at the End of the Queue!

(Illustrative photo: Pixabay/Aykapog)
(Illustrative photo: Pixabay/Aykapog)

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”

Certain quarters on the Left, probably under a lot of $$$$ influence, are suggesting that I’m anti-Muslim. These organizations are not even Muslim themselves, so how dare they question my faith, my relations with fellow Muslims who are my family and friends and my right to critique those Muslims who are tarnishing my faith.

There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Do they suggest I am “anti” all of them? That would take a lot of “anti” — and BTW, being anti-anything is not my beat.  I leave this to anti- fa and regressive left types!

Although these organizations pride themselves on their literary and speculative work, they would be wise to look up the definitions of “anti” and “critique.”

“Anti” means to be opposed to a particular policy activity or idea. “Critique” is a detailed analysis and assessment of something literary, philosophical or political theory.

Am I anti-Muslim if I call for separation of mosque and state?

Am I anti-Muslim if I call for a halt to honor-based violence against women, which includes female genital mutilation (rampant in the West), forced and underage marriages and honor killings?

Am I anti-Muslim if I say that sharia governance is incompatible with the Universal Charter of Human Rights and is obsolete?

Am I anti-Muslim if I call for Raif Badawi to be freed (a Saudi blogger jailed in Saudi Arabia and slated to receive 1000 lashes)?

Am I anti-Muslim if I support the lives of Yazidi women being persecuted by ISIS?

Am I anti-Muslim if I lobby for safety and rights for minorities living in Muslim lands?

Am I anti-Muslim if I critique some Muslim states for their abhorrent human rights violations against their own citizens?

Am I anti-Muslim when I point out the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, Khomeni-ism and Wahabbism on Muslims?

Am I anti-Muslim if I partner with organizations that are against the spread of a radical Islamist ideology?

Am I anti-Muslim if I expose the dangers of radicalization for Muslim youth?

Am I anti-Muslim if I speak out against armed jihad as a 7th century concept not to be used to create terrorism today?

Am I anti-Muslim if I worry about the safety and security of the land I call home?

Am I anti-Muslim if I teach my children and grandchildren the spiritual aspects of Islam and negate politicizing the faith?

Am I anti-Muslim if I counsel concerned and troubled youth?

Am I anti-Muslim if I provide young Muslim men and women a safe space between the mall and mosque?

Am I anti-Muslim if I work towards peace between faiths and invite hard questions to the table?

Am I anti-Muslim if I encourage reform and negate dogma?

Am I anti-Muslim if I speak about the difference between Islam and Islamism at events or to groups that are not the choir but have different views on Islam?

Am I anti-Muslim if academic institutions and government bodies call upon me to explain the positive aspects of my faith?

All the above is to make Muslim communities stronger and better. If this is being anti-Muslim then I’m proud of it because it makes me a better human being. Nobody has the right to question my faith.

Yes, I critique Islamo-fascism and Islamist supremacy. For the record I’ve never spoken out against Islam. Nor for that matter against Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism or any other faith or against those who don’t subscribe to any religion.

And what’s wrong with critiquing a segment of my own community that is being radicalized to commit violence?

Now let me tell you what it means to be anti-Muslim. These are people leading Muslims down a path of victim ideology and hiding them under the pseudo flag of Islamophobia.

So, before you point fingers at the behest of your paymasters while sitting in the West and enjoying the freedoms on the basis of which these countries led the world, please teach yourself the true meaning of liberty, free speech and respect.

In peace, love and respect.

 

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Raheel Raza
Raheel Raza is ​an adviser to Clarion Project. ​She is an award-winning author, journalist and filmmaker on the topics of jihad and sharia. She is president of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, and an activist for human rights, gender equality, and diversity.