Over the past weekend I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to catch a hardcore punk show at a nearby Ethiopian restaurant/dance hall; the line-up featured an awesome, multi-national straight edge band called Sectarian Violence, along with others. I personally do not identify with the movement (yes, even though many of its core tenets line-up well with Islam’s insistence on abstaining from intoxication), aside from some of its political rhetoric. For example, there was a lot of talk about combating the apathetic approach many Americans exhibit towards their nation’s interference in other nations’ affairs, including the use of drone strikes and threats of withholding development. Cool – but where does the rhetoric end and action begin? Additionally, let’s not forget that setting oneself up on this type of pedestal of “holier than thou” is dangerous and breeds divisions that just further undermine any potential positive change that could evolve. All of this talk, yet no action and grandstanding reminds me of another set of beliefs that suffers from the same issues: Islam (well, any religion for that matter). Like a lot of punks (crusties, I’m looking at you in particular), I see my peers within the diin missing the point. For all of your outward proclamations of belief in this or that or adoption of something you really do not believe in, I dare you to be out of step with the world for once and be honest with yourself. If you really believe in the things you claim to, understand it might set in opposition to others and may be scary at times – but that breeds personal growth! Basically, do not just say you will keep halal or give zakat or pray – any action is still better than a thousand empty words.
Salams for now.
PS – Don’t let anger/hate consumer you either; laugh a little.