Over the last several months various movements that are attempting to show a new face to Islam have been featured prominently in American media outlets. Some of those faces are less than sincere and are the obvious spawn of those hostile to Islam, and they themselves are an active part of a fraud that seeks to deceive Muslims. Organizations that fit this category are those such as the American Islamic Congress. In other words, this is not a real organization, but one organized by non-Muslims, who found gullible Muslims, that seeks to demonstrate that there is support in the Muslim community for the American agenda in the Muslim ummah.
The next group, which represents a tiny fraction of the Muslim community but are now representing Muslims on Meet the Press and PBS, are the liberal left-wing Muslims. This is a group, made up primarily of second-generation American Muslims from immigrant families, who are acting as a proxy ideological army for America. They are deemed as more credible culture warriors to Muslims and they are being promoted by many in America because they have Muslim names and ideals about the future of Islam.
This group tends to be heavily influenced by the Western cultural left and focuses heavily on sexual issues and issues of “modernizing Islam”. They are following in the footsteps of reformed and conservative Jews and of some of the mainline Protestant organizations (and both of those movements have been in decline for decades as people are craving authenticity over non-committal gibberish).
Like those Jews and Christians, who think of themselves as too intelligent and modern to follow traditional religion, and do not think that they should be confined to any moral standards or a code of conduct, they seek to maintain their Islamic identities without actually practicing Islam and not only that but they want to become the spokespeople to the West for a faith they do not even practice.
The root of their rebellion is not just their level of Westernization or education; but it is their basic belief in the supremacy of Western values over Islamic values and their desire for the values of the West to infiltrate the world of Islam and reform the Muslim World. In other words, they are a proxy army for the West, whose ideas come from outside of Islam, and they seek to change the Muslim world on behalf of those whom they admire and serve. This contrasts to the traditional methodology of Islam of seeking to spread Islamic values and make Dawah to outsiders. The job of Muslims in fact is to spread the light of Islam to the world and to seek to help America while we are living here and not to be seduced by its false promises of materialism, immorality and usury. We take from the good and leave the bad. If they seek to export American cultural values to the Muslim ummah then they are exporting a faulty product and one that will not sell outside of the bourgeois classes who are already upset they were not born to a Western mother.
These individuals consider themselves Muslims because their parents are Muslims and they have an affinity for Eid celebrations, calligraphy and maybe some stories from Islam. Out of pride they do not seek to leave Islam, and because they are generally secular they would not entertain converting to another faith.
In the current fad of being spiritual and not religious, as many say, these people seek to keep a connection with Islam without praying, fasting, following the Sunnah or any of the things that Muslims are supposed to do. They claim they are Muslims but in the same breath will tell you they don’t believe the Quran is from Allah and they don’t believe in the Day of Judgment and are not sure how good Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was.
Some of these people, like Irshad Manji, Amina Wadud, and the Progressive American Muslim Union, openly know that they are being used as a proxy imperialist force towards Muslims and have thrown their lot in with those who are hostile to Islam to one degree or another. They seek to reshape Islam by using Western philosophy and modern political thought and feel they are too superior to the ignorant masses of Muslims to follow Islam as it has been practiced in the past. Living as immigrants, and the children of immigrants, they seek the constant affirmation from their white role models in this society and crave their acceptance more than anything in the world. The inferiority complex of their parents has been passed to them and they are even more willing to submit to the American elite than to Allah than their parents.
There are others who are slightly more credible such as Reza Aslan and Muslim Wake-Up who have maintained some level of dignity and have some thoughtful commentary on the state of Muslims. But even they make the same catastrophic mistake; they seek to galvanize support for their mission from non-Muslims who are hostile to Islam and get funding from them and have ceded the values of Islam in favor of non-Islamic values and seek to systematically attack traditional Islam on behalf of America. This is not the courage of Bilal Ibn Rabah, who told his master Allahu-Ahad, rather it is the cowardice of Abu Jahil, who out of pride would not accept Islam, they follow.
The fundamental question is who is a Muslim and who represents Islam? Should those who don’t practice Islam, for whatever reason, or seek to formulate some make-believe religion under the guise of being progressive and call it Islam, and then seek to push those who follow Islam as it has always been to the side represent Islam?
In order to represent Islam you have to first be Muslim and your name can be Muhammad Ali and you can be a Non-Muslim and your name can be John Brown and you can be a Muslim. Being a Muslim has nothing to do with what country your parents came from, mom plus dad doesn’t equal Muslim; being Muslim has to do with your Aqeedah.
If you believe in the oneness of Allah (tauheed) and the finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh) and you testify to that, and you believe in His revealed books, the Divine Will of Allah, the Hereafter, and the angels you are a Muslim. And what does a Muslim do? The Muslim follows the Quran, because you accept it as divine revelation, and you give the Quran the supremacy over all other knowledge and when you follow the Quran you will follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and that is Islam.
Other than that people can call themselves what they want but that’s not what being a Muslim is. If you put three wheels on a bicycle it becomes a tricycle and if someone eats chicken they are not a vegetarian. You cannot say you are a Muslim and you think the Quran is just good literature or Muhammad and Buddha are the same and that praying five times a day is just a suggestion or maybe we should lead prayers in Urdu or whatever. That’s not Islam, that’s just some stuff you decided to make-up and call it Islam. Islam is about submission, and when you do that you are not submitting to Allah, rather you are seeking to become G_d yourself because you are too arrogant to submit to anyone and anything. The reformers laugh at those who follow the Sunnah and glorify the likes of Nietzsche and Kant and they see Muslims as inferior to those in the cafes and gay bars of the West whether they will openly say it or not and they look down their noses smugly at the sister in hijab and think she is too unenlightened for low-rider jeans.
There is no such thing as a cafeteria Muslim and in Islam you cannot create a G_d you are comfortable with instead of the Allah that does exist. One has to make a decision, do I want to be a Muslim or not, and you cannot have your cake and eat it to.