Monday, August 23, 2010

Fareed Zakaria GPS: Al Qaeda vs. Islam.

The ignorance which many have regarding Islam is highlighted here by Fareed Zakaria. He points out that the mosque being proposed at Park 51 is to be a mosque built by Sufi Muslims, a mystical sub-sect of the Shia Muslims who are considered apostates by the Wahabbist Sunni sub-sect of al Qaeda.

That is why al Qaeda set off bombs in Sufi holy places in Pakistan.

Why would al Qaeda attack a holy place at a time of prayer? Because it is a Sufi shrine, part of a sect that al Qaeda despises and regards as a deadly foe in the real battle it is fighting, the battle within Islam.

The Sufis are a sector of Islam originating in South Asia. They're all about mysticism, love, brotherhood and devotion, with very little attention to dogma. They believe in saints, shrines, music, dance, and follow a very liberal interpretation of the Koran.

Sufi poets routinely extol the virtues of wine and song, both forbidden in the purer versions of Islam. Sufism has always believed in tolerance towards other people and religion, and in peace. You can see why al Qaeda views it as its mortal enemy. The more Muslims accept some version of Sufi Islam, the more dangerous for al Qaeda and its extreme jihadist philosophy.
This only makes the right wing battle against the building of a Sufi mosque in lower Manhattan all the more incoherent. And ignorant.

The Sufis are the people who al Qaeda hate. These right wing nut-cases should be embracing them, not castigating them or seeing them as the enemy.

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