“God will not change the condition of a people, until they change what is within themselves.” (13:11)
It is time to stop burning flags, and start burning desires.
Stop yelling in the streets against people who are overjoyed at your anger, and whisper to Allah who will become overjoyed at your prayer.
Stop breaking, burning, and screaming.
Start building, learning, and calling.
I really like the "burning desires" line. Rumi meets Che.
Elsewhere, Suhaib Webb observes:
we need to move beyond emotional reactions and ignorant articulations
towards a mature method of dissent that agrees with our religious,
cultural, political and social realities. Violence, hyper emotionalism
and the like are doing nothing to serve the interest of the Umma. In
fact, they have done more to harm it, then anything else. Was not
Rushdi made by our own reactions and over emotionalism? Before that he
couldn’t sell a paper.
A minor quibble: Rushdie was (and, love him or hate him, remains) a major (if, in my philistine opinion, occasionally contrived) writer. I think that to dismiss him as a hack, as many Muslims instinctively do, only undermines our credibility in this discussion.
There’s no question, though, that the tremendous outcry and incredibly self defeating overreactions by some Muslims are what made him so famous outside literary circles. Were it not for this controversy, he probably wouldn’t have become a household name, much less an icon of Western civilization. So Suhaib’s general point is right on.
Also, this is neither here nor there, but one odd twist that most people have forgotten is that before The Satanic Verses, Rushdie actually had a good record of defending immigrants and Muslims in the British media against xenophobia. (See Ziaddin Sardar’s Distorted Imagination, which acknowledges this before it argues that that Rushdie, like V.S. Naipaul, is a postcolonial "brown sahib".)