Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sufi Bunnies

I always have a wry smile when someone says that all we have to do is switch to Sufism and we'll all be chanting Rumi, if not Kumbaya, before you can say "Jalaludin Rumi Balkhi".

Never mind that before the Salafis came around and made it all about neo-purist fanaticism, the struggles Muslims waged--often militarily--were led by Sufis. The Jihad, yes, Jihad, of resistance to the Russian Empire in the Caucasus has only for the last few decades been a Salafi project; before that, for centuries it was lead and manned by sufis like Imam Shamyl. The Sokoto "Caliphate" in West Africa was founded by someone who was a Qadiri-Tijani sufi.

And that's just the "just wars".

The point? The point is that it's not about finding muslims who are cute and fluffy like bunny rabbits—or Canadians. And I am not saying that the Sufis are not Allah's gift for a better, more spiritual, less fanatic world. What I am saying is that simplitudes get us nowhere if we're not ready to address real issues, such as intolerance, xenophobia, oppression, and the like.
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