Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Old Wine New Bottle?!

The board members, and supporters of the Progressive Muslim Union North America have a new web site that they are calling "progressiveislam.org."

But this site has an interesting new twist - it seems that they are looking for a new look and a new package.

Lets look at the Old Wine first:

In typical Omid Safi good cop style, the site states:

Our intent is simply to provide the technical means and a hospitable environment for the expression of ideas in an open and civil manner.
And, then, in typical PMU sensationalist style they proceed to hurl insults:

If the Prophet wouldn’t have liked it, then in 2005 the Prophet is wrong, s*!@ on him.
The site includes familiar faces - the former PMU board member Knight, insulting the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him).

The secular "muslim" Harvardist, Ginan Rauf (board member of PMUNA, and "beer for ramadan" fame - do a google search to learn more...).

Someone calling herself (and thereby insulting) Harriet Tubman - this one is under the delusion that the pro-regressive types like her are some kind of civil rights "leaders."

(Coopting African American struggles for their own ends is a PMU tactic - Asra Nomani likes to fashion herself as some kind of a Rosa Parks, along with casting herself as a latter day Martin Luther).

Here is how she supports Knight (and insult converts).


Sure, Mike’s stuff is often upsetting to many Muslims, not just because of its style and content, but because he refuses the usual role allotted to white male converts: that of (cheer)leader.

Now, lets look at the New Bottle:

The site has no links to the PMU media outlet Muslim Wake Up - instead, they link to Shahed Amanullah's web site, Alt.Muslim. Could be that MWU has become a bit too much of a liablity? So have they found someone new to carry their mission forward? hmmm....

The site also includes a coming soon blog "The Hina Azam Blog" named after Dr. Hina Azam (Amanullah is her husband) who had critiqued the Amina Wadud event.

UPDATE 8/25/05: The "Hina Azam Blog" is gone and so are the front page links to AltMuslim

UPDATE: Following is a comment by Shahed Amanullah

"Hina did agree to have a blog at this site, but she will most likely be repulsed (as am I) by being hosted next to Mr. Knight's infamous blog entry. So I'm not sure it will happen, but I leave that up to her.

And about their links to altmuslim.com - they asked to link to and/or reprint content, I gave permission.

There's no relationship other than that. Judge me by the content of my site (well, except for some of the comments), not by those who link to me."

The site also states:

.. an online space, created for Muslims of all theological orientations to gather and engage in creative, thoughtful and intelligent discussion and debate.

Now, this is an interesting statement - there are PMUists who have no theological orientation at all - they are atheists, or secularists. Is there such a thing as an "atheist theology"?!

Well - in the bizarro world of Progressive Muslim Union - anything is possible! After all, if they can "tolerate" and believe that a Muslim has the "freedom" to insult the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) - then why not have an atheist theology?

22 comments:

DrMaxtor said...

Great analysis as always. Its sort of like the NOI and its splinter groups.

Shahed Amanullah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shahed Amanullah said...

Hina did agree to have a blog at this site, but she will most likely be repulsed (as am I) by being hosted next to Mr. Knight's infamous blog entry. So I'm not sure it will happen, but I leave that up to her.

And about their links to altmuslim.com - they asked to link to and/or reprint content, I gave permission. There's no relationship other than that. Judge me by the content of my site (well, except for some of the comments), not by those who link to me.

DrMaxtor said...

Shahed, it seems to me that altmuslim panders a bit to the "pro-regressives." Links are links afterall.
BTW why is there no mention on the passing of the great scholar Ahmed Deedat on altmuslim ? Maybe articles on irrelevent wrestling stars and "sleeper cell" TV series draws more of an audience ?

Shahed Amanullah said...

Honestly - there isn't much more I can say about it that other people haven't already. You might notice that I don't run two-sentence articles. I try to write about stuff that other people aren't covering. Why do we all have to write about the same thing?

BTW, I don't pander to anyone. The PMU folks were obviously pretty pissed off w/me for running Hina's article front and center on the day of the Amina Wudud prayer. And there's more coming.

DrMaxtor said...

Thats all well and good Shahed, but really....any legit outfit using the word "Muslim" in its name should cover someone of Sheikh Deedat's stature.
I think this serves your readers better than pontificating on an unemployed wrestler who made his living perpetuating stereotypes.
The reason no one else is writing about it is because its irrelevent.

Shahed Amanullah said...

The two articles you are referring to were written before Sheikh Deedat's death. I haven't written anything in the last week (for various reasons, one of which is I've been traveling.) So the premise of your criticism is false.

By the way, here's a list of the most recent alt.muslim stories, aside from the two you mentioned, in reverse chronological order. I challenge you to find any Muslim news site that has covered as wide a range of serious stories as I have.

I think your complaints about me are quite unfair, and I honestly wonder what I've done to elicit such a reaction from both of you.

With The Damage Done, Two Muslim Teenagers Are Quietly Released
For the CIA, One 'Extraordinary Rendition' Too Many
Will London Attack Mark A Turning Point For Extremism?
Can A Poem Get You 10 Years In Jail?
Tsunami Aid Snub Upsets Sri Lankan Muslims
Will An Islamic "World Bank" Be Any Better Than The Real One?
Mukhtar Mai Wins The Fight To Tell Her Story
Democracy (Or Not) In Iranian Presidential Elections
Mosque Politics Take Center Stage In Lodi Arrests
Hopes Rise (and Fall) For Douglas Wood's Release
Turkey Starts Waking Up From Its European Dream
Crescents Among The Crosses At Arlington Cemetery
Mixing Oil, Arms, & Human Rights in Uzbekistan
Marching Towards Alienation
A New Divorce Code for Women in India's Nikahnama
"Paintball Jihad" Imam Ali al-Timimi Convicted
"Kingdom Of Heaven" Sparks More Crusades Than Jihads
Muslim Americans Sue for Answers to Border Detentions
Muslims In Britain Prepare to Flex Their Political Muscle
A Few Words From The US Rattle Israel's "Nuclear Ambiguity"
Will Dialogue Survive The Death of Pope John Paul II?
Shining A Light On The "White Elephant" Of Hudud Punishments
Chechnya Searches For A Post-Maskhadov Identity
Where Do Muslims Stand On The Terri Schiavo Case?
Holy Vimanarama, Batman! It's A Muslim Superhero!
The Lilith Prayer: Female Imam Sparks Global Controversy
Mukhtar Mai Case Reaches Supreme Court Showdown
Freedom and Consensus Clash in Jilbab Ruling
Will Multiparty Elections in Egypt Be Just A Mirage?
Judge Al-Hitar's "Intellectual Surgery" Against Militants
Shades of the Past After Hariri's Death In Lebanon
One Small Step (For Men) In Saudi Elections
No Islamic Government In Iraq? Don't Be So Sure
Yusuf Islam: Finding Music After Tragedy
Remembering Marghoob Quraishi
Bittersweet Return for Guantanamo Britons
Outsourcing Iran: Wishful Thinking Or Green Light?
Twenty Years Later, Muslim Parents Cleared Of Murder
For Muslims This Year, A Somber And Tense Haj

publicdebate said...

hey... guys --- this is a PMUNA debate site... not alt.muslim debate... i got nothin' really against alt.muslim ---

But it sure looks fishy when those PMUers don't link to MWU - but make alt.muslim their centerpiece! I think you are being used Shahed - used to get them credibility. Remember it is all about public relations, and packaging with the PMU. None of these people are regulars of your mag.

Alt.Muslim really caters to a much more mainstream american muslim types... (i have my criticisms - but that's for another place...)

I really do hope Dr. Azam withdraws from that awful site.

M. Landers said...

Maybe it sounds caustic, and I would sincerely hope that the "new bottle" does provide for more malleability such that given time its contributors might show more promise, but I have this sense of "just when you think you're watching a train wreck ... suddenly it morphs into a sinking ship."

DrMaxtor said...

Shahed, you're overreacting. I just made an observation which you seem to iterpret as a personal attack.

DrMaxtor said...

Shahed, as far as naming other Muslim websites which cover a wide variety of news and views, I present to you the big boys that are Islamicity and Islamonline.net. THey seem to bring in traffic without resorting to the tactics of the mwu and pmuna. Perhaps altmuslim as well.
Its really about things that matter and have relevence.

zahed said...

alt.muslim doesn't want to be, nor does it pretend to emulate or replace, the "big boys", and why would we want to do that anyway? The only reason anyone should add to the discourse, online or otherwise, is to discuss matters not covered elsewhere (much like this site). While the fluff is a very small part of what we write about, Islam Online and Islamicity certainly write their share of it too. And you'd be surprised how many people write and thank us for discussing lighthearted material every now and then, if only to bring some relief from the heaviness that cloaks the Muslim world these days.

Sorry, I think most people would take your reference to writing about wrestlers instead of the "great scholar Ahmed Deedat" as a cheap shot. I certainly did.

DrMaxtor said...

Zahed, you boys at altmuslim need to take a chill pill. Call it a "cheap shot" if you will but I think its a valid observation. Sheikh Deedat's contributions, I think speak for themselves, you dont have to type up a huge tome but atleast you could acknowledge his passing.
Why is there a link to "progressive meetups," if you guys dont pander to them ?

zahed said...

Fine. It's a cheap shot. You've posted your assertion four times (without chilling) and I've only made one post in defense (but will make many more posts than you in our defense, if necessary). And if a link that has been up on our site since before anyone knew where PMU was going (or anyone else's links to us, for that matter) damns us as panderers, then fine - I won't try to convince you otherwise. Truthfully, I was trying to find a slant on Ahmed Deedat's death to write about but now you'll just have to make do with what you've read elsewhere.

publicdebate said...

Yo! Chill guys! I don't see the proggie meetup link on altmuslim anymore... I think it was removed around the time PMU went off the deep end.

Altmuslim placed the meetup link around the time when it was really all hip and cool to be a proggie - and everyone was hoping onto the bandwagon - and there was no such thing as the PMU at the time.

It was a year or so later with the formal advent of PMU - that many of us figured out the absurdity of it all... (including yours truly).

Of-course, I do have my criticisms of altmuslim --- i think many folks who do read altmuslim have some criticism...However, now that Muslim Wake Up is no longer hip and cool... maybe Altmuslim can ask for feedback from their readers on how they would like to see the zine evolve? (And don't take this is an attack - just a recognition of how the scene has changed).

DrMaxtor said...

Fair enough Zahed. Dont worry, I do go to other Islamic websites to get my news and information, without the melodrama alhamdulilah. But I'll make it a point to check out AltAmanullah.com whenever "Muhammed Ali Hasan" makes his triumphant return to the WWE, or any another irrelevent controversy of the moment.

zahed said...

Ah, so this is not about the issues but is a personal attack.

Thanks for clarifying your intentions. Jazakalkhair.

Shahed Amanullah said...

maybe Altmuslim can ask for feedback from their readers on how they would like to see the zine evolve?

We'd love constructive feedback. We're looking to re-build the site extensively in January, with new sections and services, so this is a good time to chip in. Just email editor(at)altmuslim.com with your thoughts.

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Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The AltMuslim site is proven to be just as ideologically, politically, and islamically bankrupt as MuslimWakeup, only just consider it MuslimWakeup-lite with audio toys,
content is routinely slanted to show these pro-regressive munafiqs in a good light (with little or no references from Quran and Sunnah in any of the arguments) or counterpoints to the filth that "progressives" are putting out in the name of musims and islam. The message board/comments section revolves around some of the same idiots u see on the comments section in MWU using different pseudonyms (OmarG, anarchistMuslim, reformedMuslim, HijabMan) combined with pro-israel zionists, evangelical christians, and an occasional unsuspecting Muslim who may have stumbled on the site thinking it was promoting something from Islam.
We need blogs like this to expose the truth to the Ummah and offer a different perspective when western News agencies will magnify MuslimWakeup/AltMuslim to show how "progressive" islam is in America as opposed to the ummah (as they did in Fox News and in Israel recently).

regards,
a concerned Muslim

zahed said...

The AltMuslim site is proven to be just as ideologically, politically, and islamically bankrupt as MuslimWakeup, only just consider it MuslimWakeup-lite with audio toys,
content is routinely slanted to show these pro-regressive munafiqs in a good light (with little or no references from Quran and Sunnah in any of the arguments) or counterpoints to the filth that "progressives" are putting out in the name of musims and islam.


Oh, brother. For the last time, we don't identify ourselves as "progressive," though we aren't interested in throwing every issue they're associated with out with the PMU.

We aren't a movement, we're just two guys with website and an opinion. If you don't agree, you're free to comment on our site (as you can see, we don't censor opinions there). And if you can't find any Qur'anic quotes or your own arguments to counter our opinions, then what is your opposition all about, really?

Hiding in the depth of an overextended comment field on an old post on a site for debating the PMU (not our site), and doing it anonymously... you are hardly the model of constructive change.

Anonymous said...

>Hiding in the depth of an >overextended comment field on an old >post on a site for debating the PMU >(not our site), and doing it >anonymously... you are hardly the >model of constructive change.

So putting up and attending a "Muslim Heretics" conference with Irshad Manji and other neo-con vetted and friendly "former Muslims" and the rest of your pro-regressive friends in Atlanta IS the model for "constructive change"?

Pot - Kettle - Black

regards,
A concerned Muslim