What has been the benefit of the Muslim Blogosphere?
Some of you think that the blogosphere has had no benefit at all. Some of you would have preferred to keep the people in denial about these festering wounds lying just beneath the surface. If you just pretend that you don’t see it, then it will be fine.
They would rather not have us focus on promoting a positive vision that not only includes moral and religious upbringing, but also cultural and economic ones. Some feel that it would have been better for us to remain an uncultured and mindless flock that can be led here and there under authoritarian leadership. Talking about our dirty little secrets is open for all of the kufar to see I am told and it makes Muslims feel bad to read about them with no solutions being provided.
We can’t be allowed to develop of tradition of systematic thought and problem solving. They would prefer to have us continue to seek refuge in separatism rather than engage in any kind of strategic planning. We were taught to feel good about ignorance, in laziness, in not being involved in the wider community and in not being (secularly) educated. The less educated and the worse job you had, then the MORE righteous you were seen. The better educated you were the less credibility you had with the brothers and if you had a good job you must be imitating the kufar.
When we had the epidemic of bizzare and often disastrous “stranger marriages” that were taking place throughout the country were silently running through the community like an out of control forest fire (with “Imam Ikes” taking advantage of this situation and getting married numerous times) it was not the minbar, but the blogosphere that called this practice into question.
Others of you think that people like Tariq Nelson and I are exaggerating or go looking for the next spectacular story to use as fodder on the blog, but this is not the case. Trust me, if Tariq and I wanted to do that, we COULD as we get these stories all the time and there are many stories that we know of that are much more tragic that we have never written about.
As I was reading Izzy’s post a few weeks ago, I wondered: if there was no blogosphere, how many sisters would have otherwise gotten caught in one of those stranger marriages and right now be getting beaten every night or stuck with a couple of kids from a travelling imam who gives her no support? How many sisters after reading about the abuse out there have had second thoughts about marrying that stranger and decided to get to know something about him instead of being rushed into the marriage by the Imam or the sisters who are chastising her for not being down enough and getitng married after 2 minutes like they did? How many brothers would feel alone out there with no one to turn to, but then see that they are not alone. The things that I have been reading, and brother Tariq have been writing, are not something we came up with overnight; rather they are thoughts we have been thinking about for years but had no one to share them with and felt even if we did no one would understand us.
Honestly, I am glad to hear about sisters thinking twice about the quickie marriage and I am glad that I may have something to do with that. I sincerely only wish that more Imams would give this kind of advice to the sisters. This needs to spread like wildfire across the country.
I personally know a young brother that got into a joyless stranger marriage with a sister he went overseas to marry and now he regrets it. I ran into him one night while getting some gas. He was the cashier. I asked him how things were going and he told me “I should have listened to Tariq”. Not only that, but he says that if he were not Muslim then he would kill himself. I feel for that brother and I write for brothers like that.
Brothers like this feel like they have no one to turn to. If they go to the masjid, they will get blasted out and told to ignore what they see with their lying eyes. They have to continue to tell themselves that all things from their past – often including their family – are evil and must be left behind. The blogosphere called this into question.
The blogosphere is the place for the people that have been left behind. The place for those made to feel that it is something wrong with THEM. For those left wandering and hoping that one day someone will address their issues, but the minbar seems to move further and further away.
This is where things still need to change. We have to bring these issues to the conferences and the minbars. It can’t remain here on the blogosphere. The blogosphere has to be a catalyst for change and not be the change itself.
However, without the blogs, these issues would still be taboo and no where near making its way into the masjid. Now I honestly believe that this discourse is on its way. Thanks to the blogosphere, these things can no longer be ignored