I know its not Thursday, but I was deleting unread emails (went down from 1000+ to 140) to clear my inbox and I found a comment I wrote on Facebook two years ago (and thought it was so great I should save it in case I ever lose my tenacity) in response to a young woman (born into Islam) who claimed she could no longer find solace in Islam because she felt it was more important to defend the human rights of other human beings (specifically referring to homosexual people) which Islam supposedly didn’t do. I think this was my final response in a back and forth.
Nadia, I don’t think any of the people you are sharing this discourse with could possibly accept the implied claims you are making about their faith, that its tenents go against human rights. Imam Abu Hanifa was among many “medieval scholars” who wrote lengthily and fought against the system, and died in prison in order to stand by basic principles of human rights. None of us debating you believe in a God that is less Compassionate than you could be to another human being. Allah is the Most Compassionate and we cannot even begin to fathom His Mercy and Compassion.
That being said, though I could never claim to understand your particular struggle, I totally respect and understand your need to reconcile faith with the acceptance of all people. But I’m curious as to what informs your perception of the call for human dignity, acceptance, and human rights? In no way am I patronizing you when I ask that.
I am sincerely curious.
I ask because have heard almost the exact rhetoric come from many human rights “activists”–white men and women as well as men and women of color, here and abroad–who promote the international human rights and gender rights agenda, but have little room or tolerance for Islam particularly, religion in general, or the sanctity and preservation of culture in their perspective. The way I see it, this is not only a form of violence, but blatant hypocrisy. Not all aspects of culturally accepted forms of religious understanding or practice of social norms are harmful to people, so when the human rights agenda is perpetuated in a way that is divorced from those social norms and religious beliefs, the process gradually coerces people of any particular region to become distant in their relationship with God–native populations themselves ignorantly blaming religion wholesale (the way this article has) for the conditions they were in before international human rights saved the day.
The violence of uprooting native religion and cultural norms aside, the same machinery that is perpetuating the man-made/”universally-acknowledged” so-called human rights agenda full speed and strength is the very same one that becomes weak int he knees when superpowers (and those supported by superpowers) commit egregious human rights violations domestically and abroad, violating treaties. For crying out loud, the US has basically been committing genocide against Muslims for the past 12 years. Malala couldn’t go to school because of the big bad Taliban and we all had crocodile tears for her, but US drones are killing so many girls like her and they just become another unreported piece of collateral damage.
Point being, our understanding of human rights comes from the One Who Created all of human kind, who gave us clear instructions on how to live. The brothers have discussed a lot. All I am going to do is leave you with these two ayaat of the Quraan.
“And when it is said unto them: Make not mischief in the earth, they say: We are peacemakers (reformers) only. Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not.” – Quran 2:11-12
“It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others ambiguous. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is ambiguous, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]…” – Quran 3:7
I pray Allah gives you contentment and peace in your heart and mind….