Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Expanding The Definition of Muslim Activism

By Daniel Tutt | | May 23, 2012 | [Original Article]

"...They wonder what it is that makes me want to be an advocate for Muslims even though I don’t practice Islam. My work seeks to educate Americans about Islam and I’m affiliated with several American Muslim organizations...

...The umbrella of Muslim activism is broad. Some see it as education, others see it as service, or social justice, and many see Muslim activism as a form of da’wah (a calling to Islam)...

...Even though da’wah is most commonly translated as making an invitation to Islam, most Muslims that I know see da’wahsimply as the example that a Muslim should set in public, at the workplace, and in the larger society. Da’wah is, in short, being the best Muslim that you can be for others. It is well established that Muslims do not see any compulsion in religion, and most Muslims do not see or enact da’wah as proselytizing at all times...

Despite this history of a tolerant and pluralist relation with people of the book (Jews and Christians) and even jahiliyya Arabs (pre-Islamic tribes and polytheists),...many Islamist movements have sought to focus da’wah on overt proselytizing... [Read More

When we work on activism that seeks to repair the image of Islam for the betterment of the world, we must broaden the terms of inclusion. We must also be very careful to separate any overt or covert attempts to proselytize and leave that at the door.

One of the unintended results of my activism is that it has made me feel more rooted and adjusted to my own religion of Christianity. Perhaps it has something to do with being around my Muslim friends and colleagues who are rooted in tradition and practice and whom bring a spiritual routine that has made me long for bringing back this sense of religiosity to my own life?..."

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