“American” Islam — known stateside as “moderate” Islam — is scorned as inauthentic by a Muslim in Russia. This is the kind of thing — as I noted four years ago in Islam Unveiled — always happens to Muslims who venture to bring their faith in line with what the rest of the world accepts as axiomatic notions of universal justice and the equality of dignity of all people. From UPI, with thanks to Olivia:
TALLINN, Estonia, March 16 (UPI) — “American” Islam, a religion whose followers resemble “a Weberian society of atomized individuals given over to consumerism,” is increasingly posing a challenge in Russia to “true Islam,” a faith based on the norms of Sharia law and authentic Muslim ideas, according to a Muslim commentator in Moscow.
In an essay posted on the Islam.ru Internet portal Wednesday, Fatima Anastasiya Yezhova, an ethnic Russian convert to Islam, provides a detailed discussion of the differences between these two Islams and why the “American” one has been gaining ground among Russia’s Muslims.
“‘The American version of Islam,'” she writes, is “a multi-faceted term” which requires explanation as it includes “several different sets of meaning.” The “most obvious,” Yezhova continues, is its treatment of Islam “exclusively as ‘a personal faith,’ as a personal dialogue with God.”
That means, she continues, that those who follow its provisions “understand Islam not through the prism of the Arabic term ‘din'” — which connotes power, subordination and devotion — but rather “in the spirit of the Latin ‘religare'” — which involves community or connection.
“Such a radicallly incorrect understanding of Islam is in part a rudiment of the contemporary Christian mentality of a definite segment of newly converted [Muslims in the Russian Federation and elsewhere], in part as a result of the intentional efforts directed at the liberal modernization of our religion.”
Muslims both among the newly converted and those returning to the faith “who think in this way can perform Islamic religious and customary norms, pray, and observe fasts, but their entire world view from political ideology to their behavior will be radically non-Muslim,” Yezhova insists.
Such a reduced Sunday-school kind of faith, she continues, is based on the proposition that its followers “in general should not relate their understandings about justice, the nation, governance or war” with the provisions of Islam. Instead, they should see the religion as simply “a collection of ritual practices” rather than a set of vital ideas.