Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Loyalty to the Ummah?!? OK, but...

Of all the inanities which have soiled the airwaves since the discovery of radio waves, this morning's edition of, cutely enough, NPR's "Morning Edition," provides probably one of the most egregious. It happened during "Many British Muslim Women Embrace Political Islam," narrated by Sylvia Poggioli.

The culprit is a young woman named Aamna Durrani, and she said this during the show: "My allegiance to the Muslim ummah, the community, definitely has got a lot, lot stronger as a result of the war on terror. And it has made the sense of solidarity throughout the world a lot stronger — and definitely for Muslim women here in Britain. It has really made us think where our loyalties lie."

It is the height of vacuity for a woman in Britain, with British civil protections, to talk of "loyalties" to a religious community. Where was the ummah last week when a mother convinced her 12-year-old son to blast himself and others to pieces so that he and she could reunite in some afterlife with her husband, and his father?

Where was the ummah when the girl who was raped was also ordered whipped for being with a non-family male?

Where would Durrani's freedom to record and to air criticism of her government be if she had happened to live in Saudi Arabia?

Would Durrani care to explain the 72 virgins as a reward for martyrdom? Just exactly what would be the purpose, in an afterlife, for 72 virgins? At least the evangelicals could presumably walk through pearly gates and upon streets paved with gold.

What about the ummah of planet Earth? Aren't we all part of a much larger community than that delineated by religious belief?

Aligning oneself with murderous thugs? That's loyalty to Islam?

There's one idea she should verify before once again dissing publicly her British umma.

And other young British Muslim women interviewed by Pogiolli ought to consider the impact of their "claim there's no conflict between their British and Muslim identities, yet they seem indifferent to the possibility that their raised Islamic consciousness could lead not to greater integration, but rather to increased separation from mainstream British society."

There's a ticking something...

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