The brief outline
Lotus tells Roses: You claim, your message is full of love and peace like rose but we are stuck in thorns which come in our way, moving ahead with thorns is really difficult, can you address those thorny issues before expecting further appreciation of the rose .
- 8 Articles series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 7, 8 (Neither the 1’st nor the last, Includes table of content)
- ABCD* texts themselves include at least some amount of self criticism, and still unfortunately many ABCD followers not only seem to make noise, unpleasant displays of anger, arrogance and nuisance value and some take lives of others. Situation is so tricky that even well learned would avoid naming it but instead prefer ways around to make the point, is that ‘the best peaceful’ of claimed to be ‘the peaceful’?
- Theologically speaking, adopting principles of ‘Maximum positivity with least breaks’ along with Shad Ripu filters/controls namely concurring over own: kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), Mada (Nafs/arrogance), moha (Infatuation), and ‘matsarya (jealousy),and speaking about the same will help ABCD (and other individuals and communities too) to lower unnecessary loud violent pitch and help individuals pursue their constitutional rights, which includes hindrance-less and pressure-less access to Court of law, irrespective of merits, amicably.
In the previous month March 2021 one Wasim Rizvi came into the news with a little new reason with his PIL about some verses from a book in the Supreme Court. Which got dismissed in the first hearing itself on 12th April 2021, with a fine of Rs. 50000/- on Rizvi.(1, 2) By now some discussion has already taken place across the media. On OpIndia myvoice itself there seems to be a couple of articles already written (1,2,3). Many pseudo seculars too must have written some articles, but search shows most of them just news and not much detail or in depth analysis and view.(1, 2, 3, 4) The later 3 mainly March 30, 2021 dated Faizan Mustafa & Et al.’ “Explained: Quran case, and the powers of judicial review” in Indian Express the second being dated 1st April by one Ram Puniyani Et al. “Quran, Madrassas and Terrorism: Wasim Rizvi’s motivated Understanding of Islam”. are explored in this series of articles along with some usually less discussed points and views including prospects of ‘Liberalism and progressivism within ABCD.’ Ram Puniyani’s article seem to have been shared at multiple URL locations for obvious reasons.
Roots & addressing of similar wrongs not necessarily same
As one questions about inclination to violence in ABCD communities, most common refrain is to deflect responsibility by shifting goal post, whataboutery and skeptic’s phobias, rather than willingness to introspect and addressing causes within. In one Aap Ki Adalat example an ABCD fellow does Whataboutism (played regularly on social media), in another he is seen giving sever death scare in God’s name!
Two wrongs do not make one right. Ways to prevention of wrongs are supposed to differ as root causes, patterns, cultural and religious influences differ.
Mohammad Al-Issa (is the secretary-general of the Muslim World League, an international, non-governmental organization based in the Holy City of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.) in his Fox News article dated April 10, 2019 Says:
Respecting the law is a two-way street….Dialogue is critical. Unless we talk to one another, even with those whose opinions we most virulently reject, how are we to define an inclusive national interest? Mohammad Al-Issa
Issa says “… I tell Muslims everywhere … to embrace the nations they live in and to positively integrate….. It makes no sense to separate Muslim children and youth from the rest of society or to cloister them away in Islamic private schools. .…”
Issa says presently for a Muslim, to gain political advantage playing victim card may be tempting . Such trap benefits no country and no minority group, however great its grief.
Issa says “…We as Muslims must confront the problem from within, and see how our attitudes or behavior contributes to misunderstanding. This is not to say Muslims are culpable, but that we share a responsibility to make things better.…”
Issa says: “…We can teach our children religion without isolating them from their communities, or erecting psychological walls between them and the majority. …”
What Issa admirably speaks is inspiration for positive change, but practically one faces a very distant and arduous journey of proper understanding of the issues and social change. How would we find much in depth analysis on Rizvi kind of issues, when freedom of speech is practically almost restricted to all others except for ABCD’s in form of one way traffic, notwithstanding constitutional rights of freedom of speech, especially when it comes to ‘ABCD’, rather than doing rhetorical naming, even if one just says ‘ABCD’ and sure still most readers will get it. Even while attempting to write this studied article, one thought came to mind: is it still relevant and why does one dig out some complex aspects back, then there is another similar news came in with lot more complexities vis-à-vis ‘ABCD’, besides the judgement that rejected Rizvi’s plea; so we are for sure that our writings will remain relevant until ‘ABCD’ gets ‘progressively reformed’* and that may seem much a distant point of time as of now. Writing about complex social and religious issues where space for free speech is limited and remaining true to intellectual integrity and while maintaining semblance and poise is always a difficult challenge.
On 1st of April, on YouTube channel a discussion has been uploaded titled “Bharat Vichar with Arshia Malik’ on ‘why reformers are branded as heretics in Islam”. Malik, who seem to be Islamic feminist and proponent of Muʿtazila school of Islamic rationalist theological approach which asserts reason over text.
Malik states that post 12th century conditioning of community that lead to continued undermining of reason vis a vis text has proved to be intellectual self harming for her community itself and ‘reason’ needs to be given primacy again along with space for liberal progressive reformation.
During this discussion, while pointing out their centuries old tradition of heretics and reformation, Malik admits about ignorance and conditioning in her community about the fallacy of infallibility and inerrancy, and much more important area of improvement is to address lack of critical thinking, which does not allow free discussion on many aspects and effectively stalls progressive liberal reforms.
Two recent, not directly but indirectly related, news stories brief about difficulties of Muslim education. While accepting the importance of education Malik very well points out that extremism is just not related to less-education, but critical thinking plays a much more important part.
Malik claims founding of ABCD itself begins with reformation by reformer founder who was unfortunately overshadowed by cultist followers, but heretics, reformers continued to show their presence like 10 th century Mansour Hallaj who is best known for his saying “I am the Truth” (Ana’l-Ḥaqq) Avicenna and also Ibn Rushd (Rushd maintained that scriptural text should be interpreted allegorically if it appeared to contradict conclusions reached by reason and philosophy). Malik states that all heretics are not necessarily non-believers but they are simply someone with different opinions than that of popular opinion. Heretic focuses on hypocrisy, denial, on certain truths which are hidden or they are apologized away. Malik states that her community needs to address twisted [Self serving and patriarchal] interpretations, religious sanctions of wife beating, Mullahs are deliberately trying to instigate the ummah against complete civilizations. (Also see: Deconstructing Clergy & Et al. in next article in this series.)
One thing one needs to understand is, it’s not that no social reform efforts ever happened among ABCD communities, the additional important problem is falling 10 steps backwards after going one step ahead. So when any moderates or pseudo seculars praise greatly about steps ahead, a neutral observer is counting and concerned about 9 backward steps. A more liberal behavior of an individual or a group of Muslims is immediately praised as progress! Whether a liberal Muslim behavior can be considered praise worthy? yes that ought to be, but that has not been sufficient due to fall back issues. Maybe step by step, but what humanity needs is assurance of achieving progress of more permanent nature without risks of falling back.
Deception may take few or no words, exposure takes a full report
Presentation of a wrong or uncontested analysis can continue to lead individuals or groups of humans on unexpected paths of life. . Unfortunately leftist and ABCD intellectuals feel they are automatically rational and perfect, but this fallacy needs to be sincerely contested. We also look into which points “Waseem Rizvi & Et al.” missed. That we do through this series of articles.
Pl. Continued to (2)
* ‘ABCD’: Are metaphorical fundamentalist ideologies which believe that any alphabets like ‘ABCD’ are god given including chronology and writing of the alphabet can not be changed even if any rational need arises.
*Reform: Wherever this article discusses reform it means liberal progressive reform and not revivalism by any chance.