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The Tyranny of Liberalism

“Liberals welcome believers insofar as religion can be deployed in service of liberal causes, to be sure. But any expression of theological or moral judgment is met with hostility.” — Sohrab Ahmari, Liberalism: Believers Need Not Apply

In recent comments made by Bernie Sanders, progressives, an extension of modern liberalism, have revealed their true colors: complete hostility towards any tradition or moral system that does not espouse total relativism. The above quote from Ahmari’s timely article lays bare the Left’s attitude: either you’re with us (meaning you buy into our relativism hook, line, and sinker) or you’re against us. For communities of faith, this is a lot more serious than what might appear at first blush. Certainty the Muslim community is being heavily courted to adopt these totalizing, morally-relativist positions. But the question remains: can there be an Islam if we cannot maintain the right to believe in the exclusivity of Islam? Can any faith survive this hostile environment?

Podcast

What To Do With Folks Who Don’t Do What They Ought To Do

In this episode of the Middle Ground Podcast, Imam Marc discusses “what to do” with Muslims, especially family members, who “don’t do what they ought to do”. He also discusses the future of Muslim devotional education.

Podcast

Scholars and Activists – Can We Get A Team Huddle?

In this episode, Imam Marc discusses some challenges facing American Muslims in a Trump presidency. He also addresses the need for Muslim activists and scholars to work with one another, not against, and how can American Muslims work to restore their sense of dignity and respect in the eyes of society, and most importantly, God?

Extra

1. An Open Letter to CAIR – A Critical Re-centering of ‘Race’ as the Premier Civil Rights Issue for American Muslims, by Dr. Muhammad Khalifa.

2. The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit by Thomas J. Sugrue.

3. Mark Crain and the DREAM of Detroit, from Sapelo Square.

Podcast

Putting Allah Back At The Center Of Our Lives – A Khutbah By Imam Marc Manley

“Time is our most precious commodity.” No. our beliefs and principles are.

The dangers of liberalism and secularism is the ism: that which prioritizes the now over the later.

It’s the reverse of so many things:

  • This life is uncertain (but Allah says The Next Life is what is uncertain).

وَما أَدري ما يُفعَلُ بي وَلا بِكُم

  • Liberalism makes the individual the primary occupation of this life: one no longer has to struggle or improve oneself. It’s all about you and getting your slice of the pie. It’s as if the Here-After is guaranteed and it’s this life that we strive for.
  • The individual is no longer called upon to question itself, its validity, its contents and its character. Instead, the individual only seeks its rights from that which is more powerful than it: either the State, or others more powerful than it within the State.

Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change themselves.

لَهُ مُعَقِّباتٌ مِن بَينِ يَدَيهِ وَمِن خَلفِهِ يَحفَظونَهُ مِن أَمرِ اللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يُغَيِّرُ ما بِقَومٍ حَتّىٰ يُغَيِّروا ما بِأَنفُسِهِم ۗ

“Everyone has a succession of angels in front of him and behind him, guarding him by Allah’s command. Allah never changes a people’s state until they change what is in themselves. When Allah desires evil for a people, there is no averting it. They have no protector apart from Him.” Qur’an 13: 11

Podcast

The State of Our Unity: Bridging The Credibility Gap

American History

Some things to consider about American history:

    1. Civil War: (1861 – 1865).
      1. Union victory in 1865 gives some 4 million slaves “freedom”.
    2. Reconstruction: (1865 – 1877).
      1. Institution of the black codes: a reassertion of white control by enforcing the pass system, which “required blacks to carry a pass and present it on demand” if they wish to travel or work.

 

  • Black codes were created to control the labor and behavior of former slaves and other African Americans.
  • Black codes were a means of criminalizing free blacks.

 

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” –  Amendment XIII to the United States Constitution

      1. Muslims as exception to the law.
      2. Reconstruction (1867): newly enfranchised blacks gained a voice in government for the first time in American history, winning election to southern state legislatures and even to the U.S. Congress. In less than a decade, however, reactionary forces–including the Ku Klux Klan–would reverse the changes wrought by Radical Reconstruction in a violent backlash that restored white supremacy in the South.

 

  • Reconstruction: drafted by President Andrew Johnson. States’ rights to “govern themselves”, meaning the federal government had no right to interfere on the state level: land that had been confiscated by the Union Army and distributed to the freed slaves by the army or the Freedmen’s Bureau reverted to its prewar owners (whites).

 

    1. 1868: “whites across the South strained to accept the apparently inevitable ignominies (shame/disgrace) descending from the [Civil] war”.
  1. Why were whites upset?
    1. Loss of fortune/economics;
    2. Humiliation;
    3. Fear that former slaves would “vote and rule governments and perhaps take their [former] masters land.

“Stereotyping was the basis for winning political campaigns during the Jim Crow era.”Khalil Gibran Muhammad

On Liberalism

Malcolm X said, “being friendly and being a friend I think are two different things”.

We must discern and know there are those who

  1. oppose us due to blind hatred,
  2. those who oppose us on principled critique of Islam and Muslims,
  3. and those who are just leery because the only articulation of who we are that they know is what “exotic” cuisine we have to offer.

Dealing With Adversity

Finding out that God isn’t Santa Claus can be one of the most traumatic events an adult can go through.

  • White liberals were willing to put aside their so-called values and vote for a candidate who mocked the disabled, spewed racist rhetoric towards Mexicans and exhibited violence towards women. Think about that.

We must admit, like an addict who has come to the terrible conclusion that he has a life threatening problem, our condition must change. We have become addicted to dysfunction.

Behind the Mask of Chivalry by Nancy K. MacLean.

Podcast

Skepticism, Cynicism, and Nihilism: Three Challenges Facing Muslims Today – A Khutbah By Imam Marc Manley

Fear can make you do some funny things.

The word “fear” is much maligned: many young Muslims think if we fear Allah then we can’t love Him as well.

“Muslims don’t realize what they’re buying into.” Shaykh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

Humanism has brought about a number of challenges for believers. Three of them are:

  • skepticism;
  • cynicism;
  • and nihilism.

“The skepticism of the Enlightenment concerning facts of nature has entered our thinking, leading to skepticisms about the very possibility of knowledge, sliding to various cynicisms, and the meaning-destroying nihilisms of frantic modernists.” Harvey Sarles and Andreas Rosenberg, “An Epistolary Exchange,” from Humanism Today

Imagine being a doctor and trying to treat the illness of your patient but you don’t understand the fundamentals of health? This is the problem with Eurocentric (Enlightenment) science is that it fundamentally gets the nature of reality WRONG: this is why the environment is suffering.

لتتبعن سنن من كان قبلكم شبرًا بشبر، وذراعًا بذراع، حتى لو دخلوا جحر ضب تبعتموهم قلنا يا رسول الله: اليهود والنصارى؟ قال: فمن

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, stated that the Prophet ﷺ said,

“You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, span for span, cubit by cubit, to the extent that if they entered a lizard’s hole you will enter it, too.” We said, “O’ Messenger of Allah, do you mean the Jews and the Christians?” He said, “Who else?” Sahih al-Bukhari, #7320

Podcast

The Sherman Jackson Reader – Literalism Part 1

In this episode of the Middle Ground Podcast, I discuss our new class (Saturday mornings after Fajr!), The Sherman Jackson Reader.

You may download the PDF here.

[Direct download]