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A. Haroun (Abu Imran)

The appologetic Muslim is that muslim who feels distraught over the wave of bad media Islaam has drawn, and the gross misrepresentation and misinterpretation of the religion thanks to the actions of Islamic deviants and extremists, as such, he is ashamed to Identify with pristine Islamic ethics as they originaly were, or reluctant to acknowledge that they are true let alone express them.

In his minds eye, he is on a campaign to redeem the Image of Islaam, and put it at par with other religions, so that dignity and integrity of muslims is restored. To achieve this, he has to mutilate ideal islamic principles and ethos, reshape, redefine and modify Islamic teachings so that it is in conformity with 21st century beliefs and practices. To the appologetic muslim, he is a defender of Islaam; a mujaahid, yet the damage done by muslim terrorists is little compared to what he does to Islaam, and there are many who are today called scholars that fall into this category!

So, when for instance the appologetic muslim is asked about Jihad, he says Jihad is (only) about self striving. He says "you know when you see a thorn on a foot path and you remove the harm, that is Jihad! When you strive to be better, you are doing Jihad". So he chooses this definition because it suites the rhetoric and is ashamed to admit the battles the rasul peace be upon him fought alongside his companions. Even where he acknowledges them, he says "those battles were fought (just) to defend Islaam" even if many were actually fought to expand Islaam!

So he is ashamed to admit them for the fear that in doing so he may be justifying the actions of terrorists and he maybe thought of as being one of them! I cant think of any religion that does not have a history of battles fought to establish it! I think it is because the muslims are averse to history that they choose to become sitting ducks when the topic Jihad is raised. The Medieval, Roman and Spanish inquisitions are a series of inquisitions set up by the Catholic Church to surpress heresy. The Spanish inquisition alone lasted for about 3 centuries resulting in the execution of over 5000 people. Till date, it forms a rich part of catholic history and is praised for it's aim to surpress heresy and spread Catholic othordoxy! And Christianity has it's own fair share of memorable battles; the battle of edington, the night attack of Targoviste (fought against the Ottoman empire), Battles of Lepanto, Calugreni, Covadonga etc.

Even our local culture and tradition is replete with stories of great wars and warriors; In the North, the escapades of Mai Idris Aloma of the Kanem Bornu empire (that spanned Cameroun, Niger and Nigeria) and Queen Amina of Zazzau (Zaria) comes to mind. The Yorubas have the likes of Onikoyi, HRH, Chief Ogedengbe, Obanla of Ijeshaland (General / Commander-in-Chief of the Ekiti Parapo), Balogun Ajayi Ogboriefon of the Jalumi war, and battles like Ekitiparapo/ Kiriji war and Ibadan-Ijaye war etc., and these tribes are proud to mention to your face their wars and warriors!

So when I talk about Jihad in Islaam, I speak about it with my head high, mentioning the specifics of those battles and proud they took place to spread and establish my religion, for I may not even be a muslim today if not for those battles. So, No! Jihad is not just about self strive and removing harm, it was (also) about the spread of Islaam using the sword, and till date, I can mention places where real Jihaad is currently ongoing, even if theirs is in the defence of themselves! Whoever cares to understand terrorism and extremism sincerely can ask politely and it would be explained to him for I am not afraid of the 'terrorist' tag!

Also, when he (appologetic muslim) wishes to speak about polygamy (polygyny) he says "well, polygamy is only a choice and not compulsory, marrying one wife is what is legislated...". Bravo! This will definitely buy you some accolades and fame even among muslims especially women even if this is a misrepresentation of what Islaam intends by polygamy! We typically treat polygamy as though Islam came to legislate 4 wives to the people! Far from it! Take a peek in the books of other religions and see the status of women and what their marriage was like. Before the coming of Islaam, a man could have as much as a 1000 wives! This excesses was reduced, and a limit set at 4. Ironically, Allaah starts by mentioning the multiples (2,3 or 4) and only brings monogamy as a condition in the instances where a person fears injustice. I could even ruffle feathers the more by saying polygamy is the ideal and monogamy is the conditional permission.

Now I may have a personal inclination towards monogamy. That is a personal choice, one which Allaah has permitted, but I don't go mutilating and misinterpreting Qur'an verses just because I want to make it appear Islaam favours monogamy over polygamy, thereby bringing Islaam in tandem with current societaly accepted norms!

So the appologetic muslim holds such a diluted opinion of Islam and spreads it for fear of being termed a terrorist or extremist, and he thinks he is in the 'middle course'!

Turn a blind eye to the definition of Islaam as bandied about by the west and non-muslims, be proud of your Islamic heritage, stop judging Islaam with the yardstick of foreign norms and cultures, judge Islaam by what Islaam says about itself and distance yourself from the company of Scholars and people who only seek to make Islaam acceptable to everyone irrespective of the harm they do to Islaam in the process!

Truely, it is only inferiority complex that will turn a conscious muslim into an appologetic muslim! I am proud to be a muslim, and I will sing this high, wherever I may find myself!

May Allaah rectify our affairs.

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