One of our themes here of late is in debunking the idea of a “real” Islam. Many non-Muslims like to say that “moderate” Islam is the “real” Islam (as Tony Blair does here) and the more militant versions are “false”. While we definitely prefer the non-violent and non-fundamentalist versions of Islam to the militant brands, it is not true to say that those particular versions of Islam are “true” just because we prefer it to the others.
On twitter, our friends at the Council of ex-Muslims were on fire on this subject (follow them on twitter) and I decided to share some of their tweets here in chronological order on the subject and why it matters that we do not empower the charlatan professional Muslims that claim to represent this “one body” that they are calling “the Muslims”:
~If you think you are Muslim & follow the correct version of Islam, don’t worry, some other Muslim out there thinks you’re a kafir.
~Every single person who thinks he/she is Muslim is considered a kafir by another person who think he/she is Muslim.
~Maybe Muslims are right, because when you ask them, you will find there is no ‘real’ Islam. It doesn’t exist in reality.
~What does exist are the careers of professional Muslims – imams, clerics, ‘community leaders’ who need the illusion of a ‘real’ Islam.
~As Muslims realize there is no ‘real’ Islam, since they’re all Kafirs acording to other Muslims, professional Muslims lose subscribers.
~The ones most invested in bleating loudest about ‘Muslims’ being offended are the ones most worried about their own cash cow aka “Islam”.
~As long as Muslims do Daw’ah (evangelizing / preaching to others), we & others have the right to criticize Islam.
~Because if you make your personal faith a public spectacle, it will be criticised, analysed, & mocked like all other ideologies are.
~Get used to having your ideas treated like everyone else’s.
Here in the United States we also have “professional Muslims” who claim to represent the entirety of a group that is extremely diverse in thought, sect/ideology and nationality and have turned it into a business. They desire the ascendancy of a “Muslim establishment” with all those professional Muslims descending upon Washington D.C. to establish and staff think tanks, foundations or civil rights organizations. It is an excellent business and they have done an outstanding job of creating demand for their product. They also like to attack those who criticize them as thought they are criticizing all Muslims. In other words, to criticize CAIR (for example) is tantamount to an attack on “all American Muslims”. This is false.
The “professional Muslim” game has become a money-grubbing scam that is totalitarian in the way it operates and disseminates ideas. The professional Muslims at the top give themselves near perfect freedom to decide what opinions count as “Islamic” and those that are beyond the pale. They decide what is and what is not offensive. Even Muslims who dissent risk ostracism, harsh rebuke and name calling (like being called a “House Muslim”). A good example of this is Maajid Nawaz who when he disagreed with the professional Muslim establishment in the UK was viciously attacked much like the “two minutes of hate” from Orwell’s 1984.
These professional Muslims (at least the ones in the UK) seem to tolerate the more vulgar, angry versions of Muslim ideology while the most vicious attacks are reserved for “turncoats”, like Maajid Nawaz.
It is too bad that a respectful debate on Islamism and Jihadism can not be held (yet) because of these professional Muslim gate-keepers that must continue to propagate the “real Islam” fallacy.