This is criticism…?

In a strange full circle type of thing I recently found out that pundit-blog Little Green Footballs found my old “This Is Islam” presentation and presented it to his readers. (Mustaqiim Sahir’s chest-slapping acapella isn’t accepted by many of the Salafis I know as legitimate. Boo hoo, LGF. Idiot.)

I’ve tried to distance myself and as far away from that presentation as possible. In a way I regret having made that Flash piece of crap. It’s chunky, has a crappy soundtrack, and many of my ideas about Islam have changed profoundly. Nevertheless it was made by a sincere 15/16-year old trying to present a different side of Islam than what’s usually found to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

It gave me (or, at least, my name) an instant fifteen minutes of fame around the Muslim world as Muslims in remote places waited all night for their crappy Internet connections to load the whole thing and then forwarded it to their friends. Muslims around the world — the ones who probably looked upon the burning towers of 9/11 with a sense of poetic justice but later cried for the innocents — appreciated it.

What’s ludicrous is much of the putrid ignorance posted in the comments by the readers of LGF. There’s an automatic assumption that I’m an anti-Semite (why, because I implied that Ariel Sharon is a liar?), completely ignoring the fact (pointed out by a later commenter) that I picked out the bombings of pizzerias in Israel as terrorism, pointed to the bombing of planes by Palestinian militants as terrorism, that I picked a picture of an Arab man and Jewish man living together, etc.

The vicious ignorance of the commenters toward Muslims, painting them and the entire religion with the same brush, is as vitriolic as the ignorance of several Muslims toward Jews.

At this point, I’m not comfortable enough with Islam to make a presentation like that again. If I did, it would be quite nuanced and ambivalent about many of the things in Islam. I don’t think Islam should be simplified to slogans such as “Islam is peace” nor should Islam’s claims to promotion of peace be discounted immediately. this!

2 Responses so far

  1. 1

    slime said,

    November 6, 2005 @ 7:17 pm

    that was a cool presentation and when people forwarded it to me, i’d be like, “yeah i know the guy…online”

  2. 2

    S said,

    November 7, 2005 @ 5:54 am

    Oh yea, I had tried to access that on the Malcolm-X site. I thought it was a very good effort for a 15/16 yr old. A tad on the cheesy side – but otherwise, it’s allright.

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