“I love everyone!” Till today, hearing this gives me anxiety, no matter who says it. I’ve never known anyone to say this except that they caused so much hurt and harm, to me and others. And the only thing that this false belief guaranteed was that there was no self-reflection or self-correction afterward. For “love” needs neither analysis nor change. It is always good and right—at least in the eyes of those who claim it excessively. So when I hear this, I know it really means, “I’m always good, and I’m always right. And I’ll entertain no other possibility.”
—excerpt of Pain. From the Journal of Umm Zakiyyah
Imagine someone accuses Muslims of declaring “war” on Christmas when they are opposed to participating in the holiday. Or imagine a person responds to a Muslim’s post about the shirk (paganism) inherent in Christmas by saying that the post was “vile and hateful.” Do either of these statements sound like love, compassion, and tolerance? Obviously not. But guess who are the only ones that social “do-gooders” will call hateful and intolerant? The Muslims who don’t celebrate Christmas and those who speak openly about the shirk inherent in it.
In other words, in the eyes of self-proclaimed tolerant Muslims, if you’re openly engaging in shirk, or if you’re a Muslim who openly celebrates a shirk holiday, it’s impossible for you to be hateful and intolerant—even when you’re being hateful and intolerant. Why? Because hate and intolerance are traits that exist only in the hearts and lives and those who believe in Islam and speak up against shirk.
This is the foundational creed of “tolerant Muslims.” Also included in this creed are the following rules:
If you speak up against those who speak up against shirk, this isn’t hate, even if you resort to name-calling and using terminology like “vile” and “war on Christmas.” All of this is “spreading love.” Why? Because anything that insults Muslims who speak up against shirk falls under the category of love and compassion.
So if you’re a self-proclaimed loving, compassionate and tolerant Muslim, you are free to call believers offensive names like extremist, Wahhabi, and evil. Why? Because according to the creed of “tolerant Muslims” this spiteful name-calling is spreading love and compassion. How so? Because according to their creed, any hate and intolerance that is aimed at Muslims who reject shirk automatically falls under the category of spreading love, compassion, and tolerance.
In other words, engaging in shirk or celebrating holidays of shirk renders all your behavior good and praiseworthy, no matter how insulting, hateful, or disrespectful you are to Muslims who won’t join in the shirk with you. Similarly, opposing shirk or openly saying you won’t celebrate holidays of shirk renders all your speech and behavior evil and condemnable.
Why? Because anti-shirk speech and behavior is an unforgivable sin according to their “tolerant” creed. And falling into this unforgivable sin means that there are no rules of love and compassion that apply when they are opposing you.
To put it simply, as long as your hatred and intolerance is directed at practicing Muslims, you should be championed as someone who spreads love, compassion, and tolerance on earth.
The rule that renders all hateful behavior acceptable when it’s aimed at practicing Muslims is not limited to the celebration of shirk holidays. It applies to how self-proclaimed “tolerant Muslims” treat open sin and policing the lives of religious people. It also extends to how self-proclaimed “tolerant” non-religious people treat those who believe in God and organized religion.
We find this phenomenon unfolding quite obviously with the use of offensive terms like homophobic and transphobic to describe anyone who believes in God’s laws surrounding sexuality and gender, even if you respect the rights of others to believe differently. We also find this hypocrisy in how we are to understand “freedom of choice” where the lives of religious people are concerned. I reflect on this phenomenon in my book Faith. From the Journal of Umm Zakiyyah:
It’s “oppressive” for religious people to force their beliefs on others, but it’s perfectly fine—and good and necessary even—for non-religious people to force their beliefs on others. So it’s a “victory” for laws to be passed forcing religious people to commit sin at work, so long as the action can be labeled an “obligation” or “duty” on the job. But it’s “unjust” for laws to be passed to force non-religious people to do what they personally feel shouldn’t be an obligation or duty—according to God or anyone else—even if it is merely accommodating a religious person on the job. Thus, injustice is only evil if God’s name is involved. But if the label is “secular,” the same act of wrongdoing is labeled “freedom” or “human rights.” But here’s the truth: modern secularism is just another type of tyrannical religion.
I reflect further on this anti-religion phenomenon regarding the erroneous assumption that self-proclaimed “tolerant” people don’t believe in forcing their beliefs on others:
By definition, implementing “laws” means forcing a specific belief system on others irrespective of their personal or moral objections to the rules. So it’s hypocritical to claim you think it’s wrong for people to force their belief system on others, yet you champion a society based on laws. So unless you believe anarchy is the only system of justice on earth, please stop lying to yourself and others [by] saying you stand against people being forced to follow others’ beliefs. Anyone who believes in a legal system believes in some beliefs being forced. It’s just a matter of which beliefs you think should be law.
Regarding self-proclaimed non-religious people wishing to distance themselves from “religion,” I say the following in my book Pain. From the Journal of Umm Zakiyyah:
Everyone has a religion.
A religion is merely a set of beliefs about your purpose on earth and what guides your beliefs about right and wrong. So when someone has a problem with “organized religion,” what they really have a problem with is accountability based on the teachings of God. Or they somehow wish to believe they are remarkably different from other human beings, who happen to give their religion a name. They think by distancing themselves from the label “religion,” they are distancing themselves from the tragedy of human experience. Yet their desire for no religion is itself merely a testimony to it.
Hate Is Okay If You Hate Muslims
Despite the various “do-good” causes that self-proclaimed “tolerant people” stand for in the name of compassion and human rights, the vast majority of them have one underlying principle at the heart of nearly everything they do: Spreading hate is “spreading love” if the object of your hatred is Islam or Muslims.
Amongst the vast majority of self-proclaimed tolerant and “progressive” Muslims, this underlying rule is adjusted to adhere to this principle: Spreading hate is “spreading love” if the object of your hatred is Muslims who believe in Islam and speak up against shirk or sin.
They Don’t Want Your Compassion, They Want Your Soul
In closing, for those of you wish to make sense of the non-sense and hypocrisy of the self-proclaimed do-gooders’ “love and tolerance” on earth, I offer you the following reflection from my book Faith. From the Journal of Umm Zakiyyah:
We like to refer to the prophetic example in times like this, especially when advocating for compromises in our faith under the guise of “compassion and tolerance.” But let’s not forget, our prophet of mercy was slandered, boycotted, fought, and called horrible names too, even as he did everything possible to show compassion and tolerance as he spoke the truth. But it wasn’t his compassion and tolerance that they had a problem with. It was his truth. God’s truth.
During his era, the disbelievers would’ve been more than happy for him to leave off compassion and tolerance, if it meant giving up Islam and following their belief systems. After all, they certainly left off compassion and tolerance when dealing with him.
So no, it never was about compassion and tolerance. It was about playing politics and word games to make good appear evil, and truth appear false. Nothing has changed. They didn’t want his compassion and tolerance—and they don’t want ours. They want our hearts and souls. (And sadly, some of us are giving it to them.)
Yes, we will continue to show compassion and tolerance. Because it is what God instructs of us. And it’s the right thing to do. But at a certain point, you’re going to have to accept that it really doesn’t matter whether or not others are pleased with you. Let it suffice that your Lord is pleased with you.
So leave them to their name-calling, slandering, and political word games. It’s all they have. This is their Paradise, after all. Yours is in the Hereafter—if you want it.
Don’t sacrifice it for the fleeting comfort and disingenuous acceptance they offer to you on earth.
Umm Zakiyyah is the internationally acclaimed author of twenty books, including the If I Should Speak trilogy, Muslim Girl, His Other Wife and the self-help book for Muslim survivors of abuse: Reverencing the Wombs That Broke You. Her latest novel His Other Wife is now a short film.
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