In the previous essay, I talked about how cute it is that non-Muslims are more obsessed with Muslims’ so-called unity than we are. Now, I will focus on my interactions with them. Disclaimer: I cannot confirm whether my fellow Muslims share my experiences.
If you have joined any conversations about Islam and/or Muslims, you would have heard of taqiyya and how people intentionally misinterpret it.
I won’t talk about the taqiyya-screaming crowd. Conversing with them is like to talking unhinged sentient walls that run in circles. I will talk about the ones who were open-minded enough to move the conversations forward, but still close-minded enough to move the goddamn goal posts.
Instead of dissecting those individuals one by one, I will summarise the gist of their belief as a group.
Most of the time, it started with my complain about our image as a monolith, which disregards our vast racial, ethnical, cultural, political and yes, even theological diversity. Even some Muslim-majority countries boast a high level of cultural diversity which tokenist westerners can only dream of.
If they didn’t use the Taqiyya card, they would “refute” me by claiming that Muslims do have a pope. But, they could not think of a single name! Those who could usually mentioned rulers of countries like Saudi Arabia or Jihadists who proclaim themselves as rulers of all Muslims.
Anyone with basic knowledge about Islam and Muslims know how brainless those people sound.
First of all, there are two main branches of Islam: Sunni and Shia; globally, the former is the majority while the latter is a minority. Mind you, I still haven’t mentioned the relatively smaller branches like Ahmadiyyah and Sufism… and how each branch has its own different madhabs or schools of thought.
How can the ruler of Saudi Arabia rule the entire Muslim world? Never mind the non-Sunnis, even many Sunnis would not be happy about having their religious lives dictated by someone who doesn’t share their madhab. Don’t forget about the ever-volatile Middle Eastern politics being a contributing factor.
I should also mention there are non-Turkish Muslims who believe Turkey -with Sultan Smeagol as the president- should take the lead. They genuinely believe in Neo-Ottomanism despite not being of Turkic heritage. They are like the Turkish version of Weeaboos.
In my home country Indonesia specifically, Muslim citizens have a long list of religious authorities to choose from. There are organisations like the ministry of religions, MUI, NU, Muhammadiyah and FPI.
You can also choose one out of many celebrity preachers or the imam in your neighbourhood mosque. You can choose more than one authorities at the same time and cherrypick their words or none at all and choose to interpret the teachings yourselves.
The self-proclaimed popes “refutation” was obviously their gotcha attempt. They didn’t take into account that I was not dumb enough to think authority -whether de jure or de facto– was valid without recognition.
If I proclaim myself as your ruler out of the blue, your immediate reaction would be seeing me as someone who needs psychiatric interventions and deserves a swirly, NOT as someone worthy to be led by.
Here’s a tip: unless you want to be seen as a pitiful human being with underused brain, never use the words of madmen we never associate with as your smoking guns against us.
At this stage, some would start using the taqiyya card. Those who didn’t would acknowledge the non-existence of a Muslim pope.
But, the venom-spewing didn’t stop there.
Instead of respecting our distinct sense of collectiveness, they insisted we should be more centralised like the Christians are if we want to be free from extremism. Of course, this insistence is problematic.
For one, it is naive. The idea that simply having a pope will help us fighting extremism means we have to believe every authority figure is morally upright… and we know damn well only bootlickers believe that.
Christian denominations like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism and Roman Catholicism are highly-centralised yet still afflicted with social illnesses, some of which are undoubtedly caused and perpetuated by the leaders themselves; Roman Catholicism in particular is infamous for interfering with countries’ domestic politics, even to this day. Should I also mention about how centralised ISIS and Al-Qaeda are?
Secondly, Christianity is not centralised. Its denominations are. Believe it or not, only Roman Catholics acknowledge the pope as their spiritual leader.
Lastly, they were obviously irked with me shattering their make-believe. If they weren’t, they would have gladly moved on and learned from their mistakes. Instead, they demanded us to fit into the pigeonhole. They believed it was our moral duty to abide by their words.
They also unwittingly contradicted themselves. They demonised us because supposedly being one giant organisation made us prone to radicalisation. But now, they demanded us to become one giant organisation if we actually care about fighting extremism, framing our refusal to abide as a triumph for the extremists.
They are like parents who verbally abuse us for not doing something and then verbally abuse us for doing it.
They don’t care about the truths and they don’t care about humanity. They just want excuses to shove their beliefs down our throats and to make Uncle Toms out of every Muslim they encounter.
They just want excuses to be tokenist, gas-lighting, goal post-moving, delusional cunts.
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