November 18, 2009

Usman writes: You don’t speak a word of Arabic. Your only understanding of the Holy Qur’an is through a man-made translation in a foreign language. Your understanding of the Shariah has been acquired through studying those who reflect your own ignorance of this institution. My dear, stop wasting your life trying to solve ‘our’ problem. Solve ‘your’ problem first. Your problem is not the Shariah. It is the fact that you hate the identity destiny gave you. You cannot help others find themselves when your own self is lost in the hatred of its own reflection.

Maryam Namazie responds: There are a lot of Muslims, ex-Muslims and atheists even who don’t speak a word of Arabic or who do. Obviously that is not a criterion for understanding, accepting, or as in my case rejecting Islam and religion.

Moreover, we aren’t talking about something centuries past or taking place on some other planet. Every day, all day, we live through and can see the misery, barbarity and cruelty that Sharia and political Islam are unleashing across the world. Not a day goes by without this movement hanging the likes of sweet 16 year old Atefeh Rajabi for ‘acts incompatible with chastity,’ stoning men and women to death for adultery, executing apostates like Ehsan Fattahian, throwing acid in the faces of girls who dare to go to school, imposing sexual apartheid and misogyny, and murdering our beloved Nedas in broad daylight.

Our opposition to Sharia is not about solving your problems (which seem far too great for that) but about standing up for humanity vis-à-vis this onslaught.

And by the way, people’s destiny is what they make of it and we are making ours.

And unlike Sharia and Islamism, it has nothing to do with hate.


As an aside on the issue of ‘the identity given by destiny’ and being born into Islam, the late Humanist and Marxist Mansoor Hekmat said it best: ‘The child has no religion, tradition and prejudices. She has not joined any religious sect. She is a new human being who, by accident and irrespective of her will has been born into a family with specific religion, tradition, and prejudices…

To read more about my perspective on Islam, political Islam and women’s status, click here.

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