Muslims and the art of disagreement

A lot of Muslims have a tough time agreeing to disagree, writes Roshan Muhammed Salih.

I’ve learned that from my interactions with people on social media over the years. Often if you don’t agree with their viewpoint they question your motives and intentions rather than tackling your argument. Sometimes it can end up in abuse or worse … takfir.

And unfortunately it’s rare to have a debate with someone who doesn’t share your viewpoint which is polite and civilised.

I’ve also noticed that on this website many Muslims have a hard time accepting things they disagree with. Instead they expect 5Pillarz to reinforce their pre-conceived ideas and opinions and to support Muslims in every circumstance, come what may.

In response to that I would say the following:

Firstly, it’s impossible to present one unique “Muslim” opinion because the British Muslim community is diverse and there is no consensus on a variety of issues. Syria and the Arab Spring in general are glaring examples of this.

Secondly, right from the start we have said that this website exists to challenge Muslims, to hold a mirror up to them and to occasionally jolt them out of their comfort zone by exposing them to contrary opinions.

After all, how can any of us grow as individuals if we just listen to voices which reinforce our thinking? Are we not supposed to seek knowledge and reflect as the Quran commands?

So while we can reassure our readers that we are here to serve them and the Muslim community in general, we also consider it our job to test and challenge conventional Muslim thinking from time to time.

We understand that as a community we are under attack and therefore Muslims expect loyalty from a Muslim organisation. And we will deliver that loyalty.

But we also believe that civilised, rational debate free of emotion, abuse and character assassination has always been part of the Islamic tradtion.

So let’s agree to disagree and let’s do it with open-mindeness, with manners and with an acknowledgement that we may be wrong.

As you’re here…

5Pillars have one humble request from you…

Thousands of Muslims around the world visit our website for news every day. Due to the unfortunate reality of covering Muslim-related news in a heightened Islamophobic environment, our advertising and fundraising revenues have decreased significantly.

5Pillars is editorially and financially independent, with no sectarian or political allegiance to any particular group or movement. Our journalism has been exclusively grassroots focussed and our sole purpose is to defend Islam and Muslims in the media.

This makes us unique in comparison to other online Muslim media outlets who are neither independently regulated by a reputable body nor are they managed by qualified journalists.

Our journalism takes time, money and effort to deliver. But we do it because we believe we have a duty to Allah (swt).

You may not agree or like everything we publish. However, which other Muslim news site that is run by experienced journalists will take on the responsibility of being a shield for Islam and Muslims in the media?

If you follow 5Pillars, and you understand its importance in today’s climate, then please support us for as little as £5 a month, it only takes a minute to make a donation. Jazakallah khayran.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:“The best deeds are those done regularly, even if they are small.” [Ibn Mājah]

 

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