Well it looks like my most recent posts have created quite an outrage and discussion that have spanned a couple of other blogs. Good. I don't like beating around the bush, and what pisses me off about a lot of blogs out there today is that they like to word everything in such a sweety-pied manner just to make every side feel happy about themselves, and that at the end of the day, all views can be consoloditated.
The last debate, coupled with others, does raise serious issues, however. I have now seen Arabic blogs advocate extra-marrital sex, alcohol drinking, and even equal gay rights. At the same time, they have the nerve to pretend that they are the defenders of Islam, and in fact it is they, unlike others, who present the true face of Islam to the world. Please, save us the rubbish.
Now I know that there are different sects of Islam, and I know that, throughout the ages, there have been different interpretations of the teachings and values of Islam. I know that Ijtihad plays an important role in explaining the teachings of Islam to a continuously changing world, and that different circumstances and environments call for different dealings in certain respects.
I also do think that there are different ijtihads on different topics, and that this plays an important role in keeping the teachings of Islam in sync with the times. I have heard, for example, people arguing for both sides in the issue of gender segregation under the umbrella of Islam; I have heard arguments both for and against democracy being compatible with Islam. I have also heard arguments for the hijab not being an absolute must for women. In short, there are many modern issues that concern us that can be seriously and valuably discussed under Islam.
I am pretty darn sure, however, that Islam is against homosexuality, the drinking of alcohol, and sexual affairs outside of marriage (and maybe, more debatably, concubines as well). I think the quran is pretty clear on those issues. I can see someone arguing for the availability of alcohol in society, on the grounds that Islam allows followers of other religions to act on their own beliefs (let's face it: we ruled half the world for over half a millenium, I can't see the muslim rulers banning half of the world from drinking for half a millenium), or on the grounds that each person is responsible for his own action, and that at the end of the day it is god and not us, who should judge people on their personal conduct. I can't see someone, however, arguing that it is not against Islam for himself, or other muslims, to drink.
The great thing about Islam is that indeed it has shown so far to be a religion for all times and ages. This stems from the fact that Islamic thinking allows us to adapt the different circumstances we and our religion might face. Islam, however, does have certain boundaries within it, and once those boundaries are crossed, you cannot pretend, I think that you are acting within the teachings of Islam.
Drinking alcohol is wrong. Homosexuality is wrong. Sexual relations outside of marriage (and once again, just to cover all schools of thoughts and controversies, concubines) is wrong. That is what Islam teaches, under all its different theories, and under all its different sects, throughout the ages.
Now obviously these issues have occured throughout the ages. I'm not saying that our age is new in dealing with them. However, I think previous generations, when commiting any of these acts, realized that they were not being good muslims, and accepted that. They had the courage to accept that they were violating the teachings of Islam, and that, in a way, they were being bad muslims.
Nowadays, however, it seems we are witnessing a new creed. We are witnessing people who in one comment admit to drinking alcohol, and in fact spin witty tales about how fun and good it is to drink alcohol. In other posts, they say it's OK to have casual sex and passive one night stands. Low and behold, in other posts they claim to be good muslims, and in fact to be defenders of Islam.
Well I have some news. It's either this or that. You either admit that Islam forbids the above, and admit at the same time that you are being bad muslims, or, if you believe strongly in the above, you come out and say Islam is wrong on these issues. It is, to be honest, a very hypocritical viewpoint to come out and say it's ok for muslims to drink and have sex (outside of a halal relationship), while at the same time to claim to be a defender of Islam. You can't have your cake and eat it too. This is one of the reasons that most of the public will regard such claimants with skepticism and derision, as they seem to uphold an untenable viewpoint that cannot be reconciled.
Islam is about certain values, certain ideals, and a certain way of conducting your life. It is not about holding a completely secular and western viewpoint and way of life but then holding your hand up and saying, "Hold on! I wear a thoub! I eat machboos! I do all the customs and celebrations of eid! I am the true defender of what we value in Islam!"
So come on, sit down, think deeply, search your soul, and have the guts to come out and say it: which side are you on?