Marc Manley Profile picture
Sep 11, 2018 12 tweets 4 min read
#Postmodernism and the Muslim Today

In discussing the topic of postmodernism today with a colleague we arrived at a conclusion that the main opposition to #polygyny in today's postmodern world - including from Muslims - is rooted in the notion that (a) polygyny is a right
that men exclusively enjoy and (b) that men may enjoy that right unabashedly (that is, having legitimate sexual relationships with another woman).

The reason we touched on polygyny, a marital practice very few Muslims enjoin, is because of its "controversial" status in the minds
of those who claim #Islam to be a misogynistic religion. A claim now held by many Muslims who've been infected with postmodern sensibilities and methods of interpretation.

Our challenge to this was thus: postmodernism would tell us in general, and women in particular,
that it is preferable to either (a) commit acts of sexual immorality (#fornication) or (b) remain alone and face the cold hard reality of modern life by oneself. To me, this is a ludicrous and inhumane proposition based on the false myth of "fairness".
What I intend by myth here is the notion that postmodernism claims it's unfair for a man to have what a woman cannot enjoy. Additionally, there is the assumption that every woman should be or can be in an ideal situation for marriage. What postmodernists (Muslim
and non-Muslim alike) fail to recognize is that life is foundationally not fair. Further, as of yet, no society, philosophy, or even religious tradition (including Islam!) has been able to arrange the pieces on the proverbial chess board to ensure that life treats
everyone "fairly". Our rebuttal was that it's a fool's errand to attempt to create a sexual utopia in which everyone can have a monogamous relationship. What Islam does propose, however, is that everyone can have dignity. A woman who is married to a man - in the eyes of God
according to Islam - is not merely some sexual object to be exploited but rather a woman - a human being! - to be given rights and dignity. And while this admittedly may not be an optimal relationship (a claim, by the way, Islam never makes), it is though, a dignified one.
And people, especially women, should not be asked to make a choice between loneliness and immorality and dignity.

The other specter in the room regarding polygyny is (a) the general attitude the West still has about sex: it is a dirty and taboo thing, the result of which is
both the hyper-sexualization of society whilst at the same time creating a downturn in actual sexual enjoyment. In other words, sex is now everywhere, and nowhere (how utopian!). And (b) the even further objection to men enjoying sexual relations unabashedly.
For brevity sake, I believe this is connected to the false notion that (a) this is a result of patriarchy and (b) all forms of patriarchy are inherently evil or bad.

To conclude, postmodernity has rewired the modern Muslims mind to see bad where there is good, detriment
where there is actually benefit. It is my hope that the thought leaders, imams, scholars, and shuyukh of our time will wake up to this growing interpretive threat and begin the process of de-programming and healing our hearts and minds.

And to God belongs all praise.

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More from @manrilla

Sep 10, 2018
Low Hanging Fruit

There are few topics more sensitive than sexual ethics in the Muslim community. This can undoubtedly be explained, admittedly in part, due to the secularization of the Muslim mind, particularly in the West.
The result of this secularization process cannot be better seen in the way Muslims, especially younger Muslims, simultaneously perceive that there is a god whilst at the same time denying that same god any authority over their lives.
One particular manifestation of this is what I now dub the “low hanging fruit” syndrome.

What I mean by low hanging fruit is the increasing tendency for younger Muslims to delay marriage while at the same time engaging in fornication.
Read 21 tweets
Sep 5, 2018
"#Modernism can be characterized as the forceful imposition of rational administrative procedures into all facets of everyday life. Its subjects — you and I as individuated identities — crave both protection and authority.
You and I search for some measure of refuge in a totalized, secularized myth, a grand meta-narrative that accounts for everything, and this tendency towards #totalitarianism is worldwide.
The concern of the United States over its loss of market share in the service industries, and its concern over the quality of work by its subjects, are only symptoms of a much more pervasive and deeply rooted historical condition.
Read 8 tweets
Sep 5, 2018
The #postmodern spell that many who claim activism in the Muslim community have fallen under is no better displayed by the manner in which some "celebrity" actors attacked perceived power structures. In fact, nothing could be more post-modern than to see the world almost
exclusively through the lens of power. As a result, these self-proclaimed activists, who also attempt to claim Islamic orthodoxy and legitimacy, seek to supplant the very authoritarian power structures they claim to be fighting against with their own brand of authoritarianism:
inclusivity. One one hand they wail and gnash their nails and teeth over a variety of power structures such as #patriarchy, sexism, etc. Some even has even been some claim to truth in their observations but sadly their tactics are closer to slash and burn than to any discernable
Read 10 tweets
Aug 29, 2018
Who’s On First?

When analyzing our predicament today (for me, “we” is both non-Black #postcolonial peoples, Muslims, as well as #AfricanAmericans) I have made the observation that we are so highly manipulated by the dominant culture and its post-colonial psychology
and institutions that it’s akin to Abbot in the classic skit, “Who’s On First?”.
By this I mean that we have been confused and then directed to focus on the puppet show and to pay very little attention to the puppet master. But the insidious nature of this psychology is not simply to *what* we pay attention to but *how*.
Read 10 tweets
Apr 10, 2018
Once upon a time, the so-called “inner world” used to be one’s relationship with God, or some other higher power/spiritual tradition. In relation to this, I was asked recently why the crisis of poverty is not only so persistent in America but also so rampant,
one must consider the retreat of religion from the public and private space. Our private spaces are no longer concerned with the Almighty but with, what Paul Roberts calls, “our aspirations and hopes, our identities and secret cravings, our anxieties and our boredom”.
Simply put, the poor and underprivileged are having to compete with our aspirations for upward mobility, our veganism or yogaism or perhaps even our pornography addictions, and perhaps most of all, our anxieties about what we don’t have and our boredom with what we are already
Read 5 tweets

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