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“Happy Muslims” and the Muslim Minority Need for Political Maturity

Cross-posted from CoolnessofHind

I did not wish to write about this for the last thing the Muslim minority needs is an object of discussion which creates a rift. I refused to comment on everyone in the happy Muslim video. Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad [1] among others was the reason why. My personal position is strong on the actions in the video, however what concerned me more and compelled me to write was the way in which video ended up being used and the fact that it is starting to be picked up mainstream media [2].

It was saddening to see opportunists jump at the chance to use the video to drive a wedge through the Muslim minority and condemn those who didn’t agree with it as “unhappy” and even perpetuated the hyper-simplistic Sufi/Salafi divide, with the Salafis categorised as those not agreeing with it. The conversations proceeded to then demonise this position. It now seems there was a “Salafi” in the video too then. People on Twitter took to even swearing at people with this position, with subsequent retweets by the usual suspects who propound the “Islamist extremist” agenda.

At the same rate sweeping generalisations were made of those in the video, including Shaykh Abdal-Hakim, which, without realising, was also un-Islamic;husn-al-dhan (thinking good of others) is a staple principle in dealing with such issues – where was it being employed?

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We cannot let things like this break our focus. The only people who seemed to have benefited from this video were those hell-bent on condemning most of the Muslim minority as Islamist extremists who need to be gagged, restricted and detained without trial for following their religion. The narrative became forced: those who agreed with it, are ok (of course until they speak out against foreign policy or perhaps change their views about music and dancing) and those who don’t are the extremists. This strategy is perfectly in-line with the neoconservative policy to decontruct Islam and shatter an already divided group. The RAND corporation document [3], Civil Democratic Islam: Islam Partners, Resources, and Strategies, which also happens to be the American forefather to UK’s PREVENT policy, states,

“The artificial over-Islamizing of Western Muslims can be corrected if attention and support are given to the other ways in which they express their identity: music, culture” p.42

“Sufis are not a ready match for any of the categories, but we will here include them in modernism. Sufism represents an open, intellectual interpretation of Islam. Through its poetry, music, and philosophy, Sufism has a strong bridge role outside of religious affiliations.” p.46

Let’s ignore for the moment the fact that such ludicrous assumptions are baseless and unrepresentative. The above quotes contextualise what is happening and it is incredibly dangerous. The PREVENT policy and Channel programme [4] which has ripped away the human rights for the Muslim minority initially supported “Sufis” and music-pumping “nasheed concerts”, but is now being applied to allMuslims, regardless of theological background. We are all suffering political oppression under an architected ideological pretext.

May Allah protect us from the fitna of disunity and the schemes of those wish to divide us. Ameen.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Cross-posted from: http://coolnessofhind.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/happy-muslims-and-the-muslim-minority-need-for-political-maturity/

Notes:

[1] http://shaampost.com/exclusive-shaykh-abdal-hakim-murad-distances-happy-muslim-video/#.U09kGFdFHFA

[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/pharrell-williams-happy-british-muslims-dance-to-song-in-video-9265188.html

[3] http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/2005/MR1716.pdf

[4] http://coolnessofhind.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/mohammed-jahangir-prevent-policy-and-the-channel-programme-is-islam-being-criminalised/

About CoolnessofHind

2 comments

  1. Salamu alaikum,

    I cant believe that I used to buy into this nonsense.

    90% or more of the british public really don’t care about what you have to say. You are only propagandising. I would rather you just be happy. Remember the salafist saying “smile, its sunnah”? I think that this saying epitomises the “Islam by numbers” “practicing” “ideological” balony that Our community is falling into. This ultra orthodoxy mixed with literalism and self ghettoization, only to point your fingers when the government, and the vast majority of the muslim brits as shown in the video goes to exhaserbating lengths to bring you into the context in which you actually live, whilst you hold on with the skin of your teeth and your nails to the context of another time and another place, all the time shouting “oppression” at the beast you have made for yourselves. Abdul Hakim Murad, Hamza Yusuf, and all the other classically schooled western scholars who have the intellect to assess and draw conclusions are brushed aside as heretical, and death threats are made by those who subscribe to the very mindset that draws you along your paths to people who attempt to re address the topic of ijtihad in our time. You are dangerous. This video is passively addressing that danger as you just cant help but get offended. AS IF SINGING AND DANCING IS HARAM!

    Finally, congratulations, the video has done its job, marginalised your fringe opinions a bit more and given the british muuslims a god bit of PR – something the Jewish community have been doing for decades. And its happening despite your very serious open letters and blah blah blah.

    walaikum salam, may peace be upon Muhammad and those who follow the guidance.

    • All praises be to Allah the Lord of the worlds and the final day
      And may peace blessings and salutations be upon our Master, Prophet Muhammad.

      I thank Islam21C for cross-posting my post.

      Walaykumsalam brother John,

      Jazakumullahu khayran brother for your thought-provoking comment. May Allah have mercy on you.

      “You are only propagandising. I would rather you just be happy.”

      Propagandising what exactly? And I would describe myself as an incredibly happy person! Alhamdulillah!

      “Remember the salafist saying “smile, its sunnah”? I think that this saying epitomises the “Islam by numbers” “practicing” “ideological” balony that Our community is falling into.”

      The Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings upon him said smiling is charity, thus making it a sunnah, no? I dont see your point here.

      Islam by numbers… again I really dont follow your point here. I am not sure either how “practising” or “not practising” is an ideological balony. If it is used to give one the moral high ground than I do not subscribe to it. However, Islamically, there are prescriptions and there are proscriptions. You either follow them or you dont.

      “This ultra orthodoxy mixed with literalism and self ghettoization, only to point your fingers when the government, and the vast majority of the muslim brits as shown in the video goes to exhaserbating lengths to bring you into the context in which you actually live, whilst you hold on with the skin of your teeth and your nails to the context of another time and another place, all the time shouting “oppression” at the beast you have made for yourselves.”

      This is an incredibly assumptive EDL-esque statement (although I dont think the EDL would word it like that). Firstly it is too broad. So I will make the assumption of bringing into the scope of this video.
      a) I am not a literalist and still maintain what I have written
      b) You have assumed the ijithad of the scholars who rule musical instruments and dancing women as ultra-orthodox, literalists, beasts are living in a decontextualised environment. Apart from being somewhat derogatory, it is highly simplified and shows a severe lack of knowledge around Usul al-Fiqh. I have studied under the Sufis of Hadramaut too, they would regard this video as an outrageous affront from an Islamic perspective. Would you accuse them of pointing fingers too and being “ultra-conservative literalists?
      c) I dont think the vast majority of British Muslims were in the video – thats a grand statement to make
      d) The reality of the PREVENT agenda is very real. If you wish to deny it then I would assert you are the one who is living in a decontextualised world.

      “Abdul Hakim Murad, Hamza Yusuf, and all the other classically schooled western scholars who have the intellect to assess and draw conclusions are brushed aside as heretical, and death threats are made by those who subscribe to the very mindset that draws you along your paths to people who attempt to re address the topic of ijtihad in our time.”

      The implication of this statement is that those who do not agree with the video are non Western schooled scholars without the intellect to draw upon the sources and give an opinion in the context of current zaman and makaan. This shows your highly biased position brother. As already mentioned, the Ulama of Tarim would disagree with it. Shaykh Ibrahim Osi Efa, the student of the Habaa’ib and an Ashari scholar disagrees with it, yet he is classically trained “Western” scholar. The Hanafi community including the Barelwi scholars schooled here in Britain I know disagree with it.

      I do not regard them as heretical, and certainly do not agree to death threats. So this is another gross generalisation on your part. As for the last part it makes no sense. On the one hand you accuse those who regard the video as impermissible as being stuck in the epoch of yore implying a rigidity in ijtihad, so why would they be drawn to “people who attempt to re address the topic of ijtihad in our time”? Please explain.

      “You are dangerous. This video is passively addressing that danger as you just cant help but get offended.”

      On the one hand you criticise “ultra-orthodox literalists” for creating false categories and then you ascribe those who disagree with the video into the category of danger on your unfounded assertion of offence. Perhaps you should consider your own advice on this one?

      “AS IF SINGING AND DANCING IS HARAM!”

      This is your opinion and certainly not an established truth. There are others who do not hold to this opinion, as aforementioned.

      “Finally, congratulations, the video has done its job, marginalised your fringe opinions a bit more and given the british muuslims a god bit of PR – something the Jewish community have been doing for decades.”

      I would not categorise the swathes of Hanafis, the Sufi Shafi Shuyukh up north in Liverpool as holding “fringe” opinions. On the contrary the only scholar who has purportedly supported this video is Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad. On issues of fiqh, it is the voice of the scholars that count, not the laity. Rulings of Islam are not subject to a democratic vote. The only thing this video has done is, as per my article, drive a wedge into the Muslim minority between those with differing opinions. your comment insinuating those who disagree with the videos are ultra-orthodox literalists, and those who agree are practically the rest of the Muslim population of Britain is a testimony of this.

      “And its happening despite your very serious open letters and blah blah blah.”

      You are right, the wedge splitting this Ummah is happening despite the protestations on both sides to not make this an issue upon which to divide.

      Please forgive me if I have offended you. May Allah have mercy on you and me. Ameen.

      Wasalam brother John.

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