Sunday, 18 April 2010
Vote for the Appreciation of Differences and Diversity!
I’ve been thinking about the forthcoming general election and being so far away here in New York I’m missing all the action! I see that my constituency at Glasgow Central has 3 Muslim candidates standing for the three main parties. So good luck to all the candidates! I’m not telling anyone who to vote for because I believe firmly and absolutely in allowing everyone a voice and chance to express their differences! Is there an ‘Islam’ and is there a ‘Muslim’ that we can concretely say is and lives?
People often ask me what the purpose is of my blog and what do I hope to achieve. All I seek through this blog is that we Scots, and that includes anyone regardless of race, gender etc.) are able to appreciate diversity and differences in ‘living’ Islam – there is no one ‘true’ way to God! And so I practice what I ‘preach’ – Scots or anyone has a right to disagree with what I state but no one has a right to say that what ‘I’ say is ‘The Way’. In the same way that Islamic traditions and understanding of scripture, through its law too, have evolved through a fruitful culture of ‘differences’ it is a real worry of mine that we still seem to fall into that trap of saying or aspiring to state ‘Islam says…’….’the Qur’an says…’.
And so I assert my view that calling for an ‘Islamic reformation’ is a useless affair, yes you heard me, when what we should really be doing is appreciating the diversity and differences of Islam and Muslims. Reform, liberal, conservative, orthodox, antinomian, mystical – it’s all been part of Islamic civilizations – why have we forgotten our lost treasure of difference? As the prophet Muhammad once said that differences are a blessing on Muslims, one is baffled to still see that there are some who try to support some form of a mainstream/orthodox Islam and when all else fails for them they start calling for reformation, cleverly trying to ‘reinvent’ a new ‘mainstream’ view that brings us back to square one! So, I’m hoping that Glaswegians at Glasgow Central constituency will challenge our candidates on their positions on diversity and differences, then vote! God bless Scotland!
'Man,--whose heaven-erected face The smiles of love adorn,-- Man's inhumanity to man Makes countless thousands mourn!' Robert Burns