The Eastern world is a hard place. It is hard on women. It is hard on children. Most of all, it is hard on Westerners. It is not Islamophobia to realize extremist forces are culturally dominant in an Islamic world comprising hundreds of millions of people, with the majority having little respect for you, your values, or your societies’ liberal ideals.
Everyday, in many countries, the state sanctions rape in the name of religious right. Women are beaten mercilessly in the name of the same. People are oppressed as a matter of societal structure. Children are abused and brutalized, and it is not seen as abhorrent. In places like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, there are no such things as rights and freedoms.
When you feel angry at reading this, and want to turn away, you are feeling the discomfort of cognitive dissonance, setting in. It occurs when the reality of a thing does not fit your desired perception of it, resulting in emotional disquiet. The good news is that by recognizing this, and releasing it through embracing troubling facts, you are actually defending the pursuit of tolerant, liberal democracy.
If you value these things, you further their growth by admitting cultural forces exist that want to destroy those values, and you can’t love them away. You can’t understand them away. You can’t just pretend they don’t exist.
By pretending you are killing your own ideals, and your dreams.
Many groups within our society, leaning on ideology, spend their time picking on Christians for supposedly being a backward and repressive force of massive threat, even though all social progress has occurred in massively Christian countries.
Yet, at the same time, these groups will give the broader world of Islam a pass, often in the name of tolerance and understanding, whitewashing some very real problems. It is fun and risque to portray Jesus as a naked, menstruating woman (something I recently seen in video documenting a “feminist” love in) but no one dare speak above their breath about the Prophet, nor risk painting a critical portrait of the Prophet because it wouldn’t be inclusive and tolerant. The self-censorship of art is incredible, and the double standard is so real you can almost touch it.
The Snake, a song read in the attached video, captures the situation perfectly. Again, this world is a hard place. If you value love, freedom, and tolerance, it’s time to admit the chief obstacles to them in our time aren’t within our own societies, or Christianity. But instead, are to be found in the hard-hearted world of the East.
To all the moderate, reformist Muslims out there, I pray we collectively wake up to this reality before you bear the brute force of our shared, and inevitable, wake up call. I will ever be your champion, and I am thankful to the many of you who have lifted the veil from my own eyes, and made me realize that to say what I have, above, is the best service I can do for your cause.