How Dare I Impose My Beliefs on Others ?

How Dare I Impose My Beliefs on Others ? December 21, 2011


Okay, after I frantically deleted a raft of comments from my blog (positive, negative, and caramel-covered nutball), I felt a lot better and more at ease.  I didn’t want my comments section to blow up into a holy war Islamophobe-fest.  There are so many nice, thoughtful Muslims and non-Muslims – including you, Lew – but there are some instigators whose only desire is to foment hate, and I have neither the time nor desire to run herd on a hundred comments after a busy day of running herd on five children, three cats, and a father-in-law who likes to break into my pantry and eat all the peanut butter.  Now I come back to my blog and I see the comments are STILL being approved automatically.  Thankfully, there are only a few and they are quite normal so I don’t need to go trashing them all.  I’ll work on the settings in a bit. Did I mention I’m almost a Luddite and technology befuddles me?  I don’t even have a smartphone…

What I wanted to talk about was a comment I saw during my deleting spree.  It came after my blog entry where I said that I DID want Islam to take over the world.  One sentence read “How DARE you try to impose your beliefs on me!”.  Indignant, but not accurate.  Okay, let me enlarge on what I meant.

I believe Islam is the best religion and the best manner of living that exists.  If I were dictator of the world, I would institute Islamic law.  I would ensure that every family member took care of his mother and father.  I would ensure that the leader of the family, or the leader of the village, or the leader of the city, or the leader of the country, did not live in a palace while his family or tribe or citizens went hungry.  I’d make sure that factories were no longer able to spew deadly chemicals into the air or water.  I would end slavery and forced prostitution and child labor and forced marriage and honor killings and female genital mutilation and the growing of coca leaves for cocaine and opium for heroin.  I would end factory farming that is traumatic to animals.  I would close down pornographic websites and magazines and empty many jails of people whose major offense is being poor.  I would close every factory making booze and I would offer free drug and alcohol treatment to every person.

What the heck does all that have to do with Islam?  I thought Islam was telling men to grow beards and making women wear burkas!  I thought Islam was stoning adulterers and cutting off the hands of thieves.  I thought Islam was forcing people to be Muslim and executing apostates.  I thought Islam was brutal and mean and atavistic and primitive.  Well, that just shows that most people, including many, many Muslims, don’t know what Islam really is all about.

Now, back to that angry person who said I was trying to impose my beliefs on him (or her; “anonymous” is not gender-specific).  I am a forty-four year old overweight sleep-deprived wife and mom living in a suburb of Washington D.C.  I do not own a single tank or aircraft carrier.  I have no guns.  I have a lot of knives, but I usually use them to pry open dented green-bean cans and cut onions.  I have a moderately dangerous diaper pail whose contents could be considered weapons of mass destruction, especially after taco night.  That’s about it.  I don’t have the ability to impose my beliefs on anyone.  I can barely impose bedtime on my kids.

I have one tool, one weapon, and that is this blog.  It does not force itself into your brain.  It does not magically appear on your computer monitor and beam my words onto your eyeballs.  You have to actually come here voluntarily, either by typing in the URL or clicking on some link that your buddy at the Secular Humanist Society forwarded to you.  Anything you read here, you have the right to disagree with.  If you disagree strongly and can put your disagreement into a reasoned comment or preferably an email, I can respect that.  If not, well, you are always welcome to create your own blog and tell the world what a nasty fundamentalist I am.  Actually, I wouldn’t mind that because it would probably drive more traffic to my blog.  Knock yourself out!

So, when I say I want to have Islam rule the world, I am saying that I want the best for this world. I don’t want oppression and an Orwellian government.  I want what Islam, properly instituted, offers to the world.  I know that is pie in the sky for now, but I also know that it will happen.  I have faith that, even though we humans fall woefully short and we are busy destroying our planet and each other, that after the darkest dark will come the dawn.  Allah will send Imaam Mahdi to us, then Jesus, peace be upon him, will return, and then everything will turn around and be wonderful. And even though I can’t see a lot of evidence in the world now for the eventual cleansing of evil, I know that it will happen so I am content to keep striving, keep teaching, keep walking the walk and talking the talk.  Words, not guns.  Not swords.  Not tear gas, not truncheons and tanks.  I can’t impose, but I can offer.  It is not my job to make you pick up the gift.

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