Competing Islamic narratives should have the power to marginalize supremacist streaks employed by exclusivists and violent extremists alike. This necessitates modeling mainstream Muslim spaces that are gender-equal, LGBT-affirming and religiously plural to include Shias, Ismailis, Bohras and Ahmadis, amongst others.
When we say that nowadays to call for sexual freedom in Arab and Muslim societies is more dangerous than the demand to topple monarchies or dictatorial regimes, we are not playing with metaphor or attempting to gain sympathy. We are stating a bitter and painful fact of the reality in which we are living.
Huntingdon's clash of civilizations narrative insists that there is an irreconcilable conflict between Islamic and Western Civilization. Paradoxically the leaders of global terrorist movements such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) unequivocally agree with Huntingdon's view and have done their best to propagate it.
"Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere." These words of Martin Luther King Jr. accurately describe the world crisis we live in today. To avoid war and attacks as such, all nations must come together for the greater good and unite in their efforts to stop all forms of cruelty, persecution and injustice perpetrated in the name of religion or else wise.
It's become clear that Muslim bodies are only newsworthy when they are responsible for a crime and not when they are the victims. We love to complain about injustices against Muslims, but in our own mosques choose to echo so many oppressive views. We want justice, but only for some of us. We talk about Islamophobia but never anti-blackness.
Frequently underlying the purported threat Obama represents to his own country is innuendo about his 'true' identity accompanied by allegations about the hidden Islamist tendencies. Given the absence of any proof to support such ludicrous assertions, 'Obamabashers' conduct whisper campaigns often around dinner tables or other social gatherings.
There is general belief that Islamic schools are religious educational bodies, and the kind of courses taught is based on Islamic theology. This is a false understanding. It is important to note that the majority of these schools are either don't or only partially receive subventions from provincial authorities.
"Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you." This verse, objectively radical given its relevance today, is particularly applicable in the context of terrorist violence, where strangers are willing to viciously stab, shoot and murder total strangers. One need only think back to the Paris attacks and ask: how can such hatred be justified?
Traditionally acknowledged by all Islamic schools of thought as being beyond gender, Allah is regarded as encompassing both masculine and feminine characteristics. Nonetheless, in contradiction of this concept, the vast majority of Muslims now refer to Allah by the masculine pronoun of "He" without reservation and in the Quran the pronoun "She" is never mentioned.
Humanity is seen to be independent from nature, even above it. This has been the Western vision of the world. In poisoning the earth, we were led on a self-destructive path. But I try to invoke here an alternative vision, expressed by Islamic (Sufi) arts, which finds that the way humanity relates and depends on nature can be renewed once the creative life is reclaimed.
There is much commonality between religions in urging us to overcome our attachments to money, property and the material, to give generously of ourselves in as many ways as possible, and to realize that nothing is ours. In many ways, it's a call to overcome our selfish nature and to realize our deep interconnectedness with each other and all of creation.
Freedom of expression has cost my husband, Raif Badawi, his own freedom. As we speak, he is locked inside a small cell in a remote prison in Saudi Arabia; a country where censorship prevails. A country, my country, which views women as second class citizens. A country, my husband's country, that he so loves -- all of its land, its women and men, his love of his country, which extends right up to the doors of Shura, which is set on ruining the aspirations of an entire people. A country where the young are choking in a whisper that should be a scream.
As the media vigorously tries to answer the root causes of radicalism, I wish they would do the same about the outrageous Republican candidate that is Mr. Trump. What, or who, radicalized him? His actions mirror the fanatics and extremists who seek to divide us and create mistrust and hate between neighbours.
Before I talk about the wretched Muslims ruining America, I'm going to admit I'm not American. I am Canadian, which I realize is pretty unfortunate. To make up for this deficiency, I've always pretended to be American. I pretend because it is feels great to be "exceptional" and more civilized than the rest of the world. I pretend because it makes me feel safer to fear others who are different. I pretend because American Republican politicians aren't afraid to demonstrate their overt bigotry by generalizing an entire group of people. Now, it's time to finally stop pretending and fulfill my true destiny.
Why aren't more Muslims living in the West actively speaking out against a series of terror acts inspired by Islamic State ideology? Are the press releases against such acts released by traditional Islamic centres enough to show our solidarity with our neighbours? These are the questions in my mind.
Journalist Gwynne Dyer's book Don't Panic: ISIS, Terror and Today's Middle East rests on the premise that ISIS poses no major threat to the Western world. Dyer suggests the West is not affected by events in Syria and must not be involved in the civil war. However, there is a moral imperative that we need to acknowledge.
Islam unambiguously opposes terror tactics -- terrorism is not a religious ritual but a military strategy. Muslims condemn terrorism because it is as antithetical to their worldview. Almost all iterations of Islamic law explicitly classifies hirabah (terrorism and highway robbery) as a major sin. Indeed, the Qur'an proclaims: "If anyone kills a person without justification, it is as if they have killed the whole of humanity." Moreover, the Prophet Mohammed's strict rules of engagement even in times of hostility were blunt: "Do not kill women or children or non-combatants."