Interesting: Dr Abdal Hakim Murad (Tim Winter) is saying Saudi sheikhs are now admitting on Saudi tv that ISIS ideology has its roots in salafi ideology.
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I do not agree. There are lot of factors that need to put on the table if we want to be honest including dealing with sufism, and what it is origin, and why the imperial west prefer this kind of philosophy ?
However, I’m not interested to go with these details anymore. I think time is gonna solve this problem with muslims who still consider the western approval for their acts to be considered good or bad.
You may read Surah 3:179
Virtually 100% of terrorists are salafists…they explicitly propound salafist doctrines and salafist mindset.
Of course, the reverse is not true. The vast, vast majority of salafists are not terrorists. The majority of salafists hate terrorists. This is very important point to avoid bigotry, discrimination, and generalizations about our salafi brothers and sisters.
We should not be concerned with wanting Western approval or Eastern or Northern or Southern approval. But deflecting this point as if it is all about wanting western approval is a canard and also not true.
I am not against salafist ideology per se since there is also good in aspects of it like an aversion to anything that compromises tawhid.
Unfortunately, salafist ideology has an anthropomorphic conception of God edge to it which compromises tawhid. Sadly, they don’t realize it and suppress discussion of it since the salafist view is also averse to penetrating rational analysis.
Back to the main point, it is undeniable that some salafist doctrines promote an extremist view in a minority of people and much narrow mindedness to a much larger group of people.
But we can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. A doctrine that promotes an extremist view is not necessarily bad as it can manifest in an extremist promoting way not in isolation but in combination with other doctrines.
It takes some sophisticated and above all open hearted and open minded thinking to understand and especially practice to do something about it.
Unfortunately, change is inconvenient and people in sects tend to get cozy with their sect and don’t like to consider evidence that is contra to their cherished group think or group solidarity. It is essentially a form of tribalism.
But God can see through it perfectly. And those who look the other way and trying to covering up the evidence and the discussion are only harming their own hereafter. And this repeated and stubborn neglect and preposterous denial is making Muslims suffer intensely all over the world.
With that being said, I agree with Anon that a diversity of emphasis can be beneficial to someone who is trying to take the best of each group.
Any potential anthropomorphism in salafi approach is because of a deficiency of reading the Qur’an with tadabbur (in a critical way) and failure to read the Qur’an holistically and failure to exercise the faculty that is demanded numerous times in the Qur’an, that of reason.
Any potential extremist thinking among salafists is also due to the salafist approach that does not give deliberate on the Qur’an and a lack of appreciation of reason and logic.
When Islamophobes and debaters against Islam attack Islam or Muslims in general, they must realize that they are pointing to events in which virtually 100% of terrorists are salafists. Thus, any inference to Islam or Muslims at large is a fallacy.
As mentioned above, a second point is that the vast, vast majority of salafists are against terrorism and that they articulate teachings by their scholars that are clearly and emphatically against terrorism.
But Islamophobes and anti-Islam evangelical debaters never mention these two points.
Also Islamophobes and those attacking Islam in debates should realize that Salafi Muslims are a minority of Sunni Muslims.
The Quran says God created us in diversity so that we may come to know one another in mutual respect. So I think a diversity of ideas in Islam is for the benefit of our own spiritual maturity—this includes Salafi as well as Sufi ideas—and all the spectrum in-between.
What makes an “idea” good or bad is not the label (Sunni, Shia, Salafi, Sufi…etc)–but its orientation. Ideas that promote or align with Tawheed (Unity) are good—those that promote or align with Shirk (Division) are not good. Ideas that promote a division of “us/them” that leads to superiority/inferiority, cause divisions—even toxic divisions. And these include ideas of the exclusivity and privilege regarding “Nation-states” and who belongs and does not belong (Rohingya crises in Burma)—as well as other identity-markers (some toxic ideas aligned with Shirk—White supremacists, American exceptionalism, Civilizing mission…genocides, ethnic cleansing….etc)
When “identity” becomes worshipped to the degree that people are even killed for it—obviously Taqwa/love of God has been forgotton.
Promoting a Tawheedic orientation can only be achieved by promoting mutual respect, compassion, mercy and justice towards the other—and for that, we need to acknowledge that none are superior/inferior to another because we are all creations of the ONE God. Within Islam, our diversity is our test/challenge to achieve spiritual maturity.
With all my due respect and appreciation for Sh. Abdal Hakim Murad and his writings and talks that I greatly benefited from, I think he’s mistaken in this regards. Many Saudi Salafi scholars have condemned terrorism and consider ISIS’ beliefs to stem – not from a misunderstanding of the Salaf – but from the Khawarij. You can see some quotes and examples in this book in chapter 12: http://www.quranandwar.com/FATWA%20on%20Terrorism%20and%20Suicide%20Bombings.pdf
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thats helpful, thanks