Another riot. Fundamentalism or what is being described as Salafist violence by coarse-bearded hypermasculine thugs in Libya is the new breed. The beard, once the symbol of philosophical and moral male enlightenment, is like something that might cut the world under the chins of criminals who have no knowledge about faith but claim much, rushing through and breaking laws and smirking. Some people wonder whether the beard will look good on them, but the answer is that the beard will look good only on those who are good.
The question is: where have these demons who corral women and prevent education of girls arisen from? The sickening tribalism, the brutishness, the sexism, it all comes together. Lao Tse once said that when there is no goodness there is morality. When there is no morality there is ritual. Ritual is the husk of true faith, and the beginning of chaos. These thugs who do not even know the rituals of Islam much less morality, who blashpheme against the name of God, and sodomise (with a knife) and literally beat to death their enemies spell the end of the beginning of the so-called change, which has empowered the most hypermasculine and violent, it is not surpising that the hegemonies of Saudi Arabia etc. fund and support these infernal elements. What is good for my tribe is good for me, what is good to retain my unmerited power is good for me, they say.
The Last Prophet, upon whom be peace, condemned such people, He is not of us who proclaims the cause of tribal partisanship (asabiyyah); and
he is not of us who fights in the cause of tribal partisanship; and he is not of
us who dies in the cause of tribal partisanship. In fact, the job of any believer is to stop a criminal from committing a crime. Too bad that those in a position to spread education for children, particularly disadvantaged girls, instead distribute guns to these morally vacant criminal males. The traditional establishment is weak and splintered, it has been weakened by the very same Puritans who claim to speak for Islam. We are left with mere rituals which, too, are impossible, after all we must eat meat every day and overcrowd animals. Out of these fires march hypermasculine male thugs, the new breed. Muslim men and women who think, who cry, who feel for others are trodden under. And what of children? What will they learn? Muhammad Asad once rightly lamented that we Muslims have made no use of the Great Gift given to us. That is not the fault of the Muslim meek, may they inherit the earth, but we have been convinced by uneducated leaders to not educate ourselves because if we did we would choose someone educated over them. So this facade of "revolution", a concept that has been damaging to our theology, is being used to replace one uneducated tribal leader with another uneducated tribal leader and the customary gang of male hypermasculine thugs.
I would add that we have been as adept if not more in breaking laws as the ancient Israelites, from our cruel treatment of animals to how we have not contributed invidually or collectively to improving ethics or even how the object of the state has come to supervise over the lives of men and women which are not given by the state but by God (good on Asma Barlas for charging this exploitation of whole populations, particularly religious and ethnic minorities, as blasphemy; this is ironical since the very same forces that charge religious minorities and certain individuals with blasphemy are in fact themselves the blasphemers as they privilege the state over God consciousness and forgiveness), which lie in the dust to be stepped on, for the last hundred years or so. How sad indeed. Yet it is my great hope, and this can be achieved through the hardwork of ethical teachers and those who have actually read the Qur'an, for God has dedicated His book to "to those who think". I fear for the next generation of Muslim children but know one thing: change will be slow but come insha'Allah. So start working right away, from your own family to the family across the road. Spread the Word by being good and seize His grace that falls as gentle as the rain. The harsh do not feel it because it is not for them and I'm glad that their punishment has already begun even though they may feel powerful and push others around.