A blogger for the American Family Association (AFA) has produced what must be the most ignorant, over-the-top, foaming-at-the-mouth hate post about mosque building yet. He wants mosques banned entirely from the United States.
When I opened the page, I got a pop-up ad for a book about the persecution of Christians.
I take it there’s a document called “An Explanatory Memorandum” attributed to the Muslim Brotherhood that has taken on a role analogous to that of the infamous “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” The document is not necessarily fraudulent; the Muslim Brotherhood is an extremist Sunni transnational organization that might very well be planning for world domination. Of course, they are about as likely to achieve this goal as Pinkie and the Brain. And the Muslim Brotherhood does not speak for all of Islam. It doesn’t even speak for all Sunni jihadists; I understand there is a nasty rivalry going on between MB and al Qaeda.
Someone here had said that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the main guy behind the Cordoba House Islamic center, is a Sufi. This is a detail I have yet to see in a news story, but I can confirm it is true. He is the imam of a Sufi mosque in lower Manhattan, about ten blocks north of the proposed Cordoba House site.
Thus, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is not connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. I can say this because there is no way the Muslim Brotherhood, or al Qaeda, or the Taliban, or any other organization dedicated to enforcing dogmatic Sunni Islam would have anything to do with a Sufi. In fact, Sufis in the Middle East have suffered terribly from attacks by Sunni terrorists.
Earlier this year, suicide bombers destroyed a major Sufi shrine in Pakistan, killing at least 50 Sufi worshipers and injuring about 200 others. The Taliban were blamed, although a Taliban spokesman denied the charge. But the Pakistan Taliban have been attacking
Sunni Sufi shrines and mosques as vigorously as they’ve been demolishing the remnants of the ancient Buddhist civilization there.
And then there is dogmatic Shia Islam. The Shia regime in Iran has been systematically oppressing Sufism in recent years.
Sufism is mystical Islam. Dogmatists don’t get mysticism. This is true of the dogmatists of all religions. It is often the case that mystics from different traditions understand each other better than the dogmatists of the same tradition.
The idea that all Muslims are somehow part of the same conspiracy is absurd enough, but to put Sufis in the same boat as jihadist is just plain ignorance.
Nice article from a June 2009 issue of time, “Can Sufism Defuse Terrorism?”
In 2001, one of the first things to happen after the Taliban was chased out of Kabul was that the doors of the Afghan capital’s Bollywood cinemas were flung open to the public. The language of cosmic love that animates Bollywood music and enchants millions of Muslims around the world, even if sung and acted out by non-Muslims, is a direct legacy of centuries of Sufi devotional poetry. At Sufism’s core, suggests Oxford University’s Devji, is an embrace of the world. “It allows you to identify beyond your mosque and village to something that can be both Islamic and secular,” he says. “It’s a liberation that jihadis could never offer.”