“AS A MUSLIM WOMAN, I HAVE THE RIGHT TO MARRY NON MUSLIMS IF I WANT TO!”
Daee response: Islam is all about women’s rights.
“BANU QURAYDHA, JIHAD, SLAVERY!”
Daee: Islam means peace.
“NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO POLICE MY BODY!”
Daee: Hijab is an expression of liberty and choice.
“WE DEMAND MORE GAY IMAMS NOW!”
Daee: Uh… homophobia is bad.
“QURAN 4:34, 2:228, 2:282 AND THEIR TAFASIR IN LIGHT OF THE CLASSICAL FIQH OF MARRIAGE!”
Daee: Trust me, the Prophet -s- was a feminist.
“FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, ISLAMIC HISTORY IS FULL OF VIOLENCE AND CONQUESTS!”
Daee: Like I said, Islam means peace.
“THE SHARIA IS A PATRIARCHAL CONSTRUCT DESIGNED TO SUBJUGATE WOMEN!”
Daee: Islam respects women. Oh and the Prophet’s mosque didn’t have partitions!
“WOMEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO ABORT WHENEVER THEY CHOOSE!”
Daee: Unlike those crazy Christian fundamentalists, Islam is not “pro-life” per se.
Daee: Islam is all about religious freedom.
“JINN, EVOLUTION OF ADAM, EVE CREATED FROM THE RIB!”
Daee: Islam and science never, ever conflict.
“THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GENDER! END GENDER APARTHEID IN THE MOSQUE NOW!”
We need to stop using pre-internet dawah in the internet age. Simple platitudes might have worked 20 years ago, maybe 10 years ago. But now, those tired lines are only cause for more confusion and dissatisfaction. All it takes is a simple internet search.
The reality is, Islam is at great odds with the social and intellectual status quo all around us. There are no two ways about it. You simply cannot defend Islam and simultaneously appease the widely accepted, powerful ideologies currently in vogue. That doesn’t mean that we cannot defend Islam in a compelling, intellectually satisfying way. It just means that, certain conflicts between Islam and the moral, political, and epistemological theories of the day are incommensurable.
Those who want to spread the message of Islam need to embrace this fact. If you want to take the easy way out by throwing the Islamic tradition under the bus whenever you face a hard issue or otherwise misrepresenting or censoring that tradition, you might need to consider pursuing another line of work.