Unqualified Offerings

I had seen Jim Henley’s site in other people’s blogrolls and loved the name. It’s one thing I can’t manage to do, to present an unqualified offering. Writing for the web on any subject at all can be paralyzing when you consider everybody who could possibly stumble on your site. So I find myself qualifying every other statement with “in my experience” and “God knows best”.

Anyway, Mr. Henley stumbled onto this site while reviewing Aziz’s Unmedia.com and Zack and Amber’s Blog (see below) and I caught some of the praise that they are more deserving of. He was struck by the emergence of moderate muslim bloggers on the internet and thought that there was enough of us by now that he should say this:

If you run a weblog, let there be no more “If the Islamists don’t represent all muslims, how come we never hear ‘moderates’ condemning the Islamists?” posts. The answer henceforth is, Because you haven’t told people.

That’s a great message, and I thank him for that. That’s a pet peeve of mine over at AltMuslim. AltMuslim is all by itself a clear example of the open, honest dialogue amongst muslims that everyone is anxious for, and yet that site is forever getting visitors demanding to know where the moderate muslims are! But maybe that’s because folks aren’t appreciating Jim’s other great point, that moderate discussion amongst muslims will not

…be an abnegation. Their repudiation of the murder of innocents, antisemitism and the stoning of women will not often also be their acceptance of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, nor even, in all cases, Israel’s founding. It will not be tantamount to support for a US conquest of Iraq (and Iran, and Syria, and Saudi Arabia, and Egypt…) and a “MacArthur-style regency” to “reconstruct their culture like we did with Germany and Japan.” Some of the thinkers we are discussing may support some of these things, others will consider them wrongheaded if not evil. “Islam” means “submission,” but not submission to the Weekly Standard.

Ha! Of course, I scan the Weekly Standard from time to time, but mostly just to check for new Stephen Schwartz articles.

More on Muslim Webloggers over at AltMuslim.

Published by bingregory

Official organ of an American Muslim in Malaysian Borneo, featuring plants, pantuns and pictures from the Malay archipelago. Oversharing since 2002.

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  1. Just as a wild-ass guess, TORA BORA, I would say a “wahabist” is someone who takes a nickname like yours, commends the most notorious hardline message board going and participates in a blog (I followed your link) that mixes complaints about covered female students “freemixing” with statements of sympathy for al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. And that’s just what I found in five minutes surfing.

    Will that do for a first cut at your answer?

    Bin: Thank you for the kind words. You know, if, ahem, someone wanted to crosspost my article at alt.muslim, I would have no objections. (Yes, I’m a traffic whore. Why do you ask?)

  2. I’m sorry, but your answer is really Pathetic. Accusations, Accusations, and Accusations.

    Why not refer to the Qur’an and Sunnah whilst debating?

    And yes, “freemixing” is bad, let’s look at the hadiths and ayahs:

    “Verily Allah has fixed the very portion of adultery which a man will indulge in, and which he of necessity must commit. The adultery of the eye is the lustful look, and the adultery of the tongue is the licentious speech, the heart desires and yearns, which the parts may or may not put into affect.” [Muslim]

    Jarir bin Abdullah(raa) reported, “I asked the Prophet about a glance at a strange woman. He ordered me to turn away my glance.” [Abu Dawud]

    “And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a Fâhishah [i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allâh forgives him).”

    “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts. That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts.” (An-Noor 24: 30)

  3. Tora Bora, none of those forbids ‘freemixing’. In fact, they all imply that freemixing was expected. Why would one have to avert ones eyes unless there were women or men to be seen?

  4. Why in the most holiest of places, the mosque, did Umar Bin Khattab choose to have 2 entrances?

    Why did the Sahabah {Companions} talk behind a veil to the opposite gender, even though they were the best of people?

  5. And why, oh why, are people asking rhetorical questions about details of Islamic theology to a couple of non-muslims? It’s like ducks talking to chickens around here. -Tora Bora, do you think what you are doing is dawah? As far as what is or isn’t a wahhabi, let’s not be coy. Would you prefer I said salafi?

  6. Firstly, I asked that question, to really know what you meant by a Wahabi. Since different people call Wahabi’s due to different reasons. I dont call myself a Wahabi, a Salafi, I am Muslim foremost, if i’ve done anything wrong against Qur’an and Sunnah, then please enlighten me.

    Are you lot non-Muslims? Sorry I never knew. I thought you were Muslims, but i never read the whole site properly.

  7. Assalam Alaikum,

    Ooops sorry, I got mistaken with the wrong person [Sorry long days at college], I thought Jim Henley was the owner of the site [Sorry, for my mistake.]

    Wassalam Alaikum.

  8. Are you lot non-Muslims?
    Come now, -Tora Bora, you’ve been talking to three different people. I don’t get much traffic here, but I’m happy to say that the people who do visit are of all sorts, muslim and non-muslim too. If you’re trying to have a conversation, you should pay attention to who’s who. I don’t think Jim Henley is going to think any differently of your positions because you quote Qur’an and Hadith at him.

    As for I dont call myself a Wahabi, a Salafi, I am Muslim foremost, if i’ve done anything wrong against Qur’an and Sunnah, then please enlighten me: You didn’t come here looking for correction, and I don’t intend to correct you. But since you’ve asked for it again, my working definition of a wahhabi is one who does not follow a recognized school of Islamic law, that is, a madhab, and/or feels that new islamic law should be derived by interpreting the Qur’an and Hadith directly and solely. Once one has broke down thse barriers, the directions individuals can spiral off into are countless; thus when describing groups of them, people may describe them differently, accounting for your confusion. It’s not unlike describing Protestants by describing Baptists and Lutherans only. Note Also that in my posts I have called attention to specific actions by specific wahhabi groups. What your problem is specifically I would dare not presume. Generally speaking, wahhabis talk a good game about us all just being muslims, first and foremost, but when they get a gun in their hand, muslims with other interpretations wind up against the firing wall. So I am happy to say I am a Muslim first and foremost, and a Shafi’i second and an Ashari third and a Sufi fourth, and our strength as muslims lies in the fact that this is not a point of division but a mercy from Allah most high, according to the Hadith, roughly paraphrased, that differences of opinion among the scholars are a mercy to the ummah.

    Now, -Tora Bora, if i’ve done anything wrong against Qur’an and Sunnah, then please just keep it to yourself and make dua for me in the privacy of your home.

  9. What a reaction to Tora Bora ??

    I just hope that any person within Muslims does not react in that way after hearing too much lies about western world.

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