I imagine I’ll continue to get such requests, so I thought I’d create this little note, and just direct people here for expediency.
If you received a Twitter reply from me with this URL, it’s because I didn’t want to ignore you and I wanted to give you a thoughtful reply without needing to craft a custom message every time.
Firstly, I’m not a troubled teenager questioning faith. I’m an adult who has probably read more pro-Islam, pro-Ahmadiyyat literature than 99%+ of Ahmadi Muslims. Most definitely, I’m someone who has considered more counter arguments from others than most Ahmadi Muslims. I however, like to go back and forth in following an argument. Have a good comeback article? What’s the rebuttal to the rebuttal? I’ve chased several issues down the rabbit hole in my day.
In fact, senior Ahmadi Muslim officials have been honest enough to say, “Sorry, I just don’t have an answer for you”.
So please, do put that into context when you ponder an attempted intervention. I also want you to think about how much you would like the Baptist church to tug at someone who left and became an Ahmadi Muslim. Would you want the new convert constantly the subject of intervention attempts? At some point, we have to let go and trust that adults are wise enough and free enough to make their own decisions. Live and let live.
Note: I don’t subscribe to any religion, so the above is just an example.
For many years, I’ve moved on with my life. However, with extended friends and family still being Ahmadi Muslim, we in many ways, can never truly leave.
I want to change that. I want to normalize dissent. For if there truly is no compulsion in religion, let’s remove the social stigma within the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for those who choose not to believe in the religion of their forefathers.
I will eventually engage in discussions with those of you Ahmadi Muslims that I deem to produce worthwhile conversations.
Why don’t I just jump in now?
Well, without me first laying down some foundations on my thinking, my views, my positions and the arguments, you and I will re-hash basic concepts. You will make assumptions about why I left, what I believe, etc.
Repetitive conversations like that are soul-sucking. By me writing thoughts out first, I will save you and I both, valuable time.
Never Truly Being Able to Leave
At family gatherings, I often have the elder uncles in their 60’s and 70’s talking about religion. I don’t jump in because I know that they unfortunately, don’t have the capacity to engage. Often times, it’s a simple language barrier with English. They weren’t raised in a culture of critical thought. They hear something critical of Islam and talk over the person speaking.
At the same time, I’m no longer comfortable pretending to be someone who although not religious, has nothing to say on these topics. Quite the contrary, I’m passionate about my positions and beliefs.
I think many, many Ahmadi Muslims (and Muslims generally), can relate.
My writings are not only for me. They are meant to give others out there a voice. In fact, you who seek to do the intervention on me, well, I too would like to do an intervention—on you! I want to challenge your assumptions. I want to open your mind and your heart. Regardless of whether either of us succeeds, I’ll still shake your hand, give you a hug and part with a kind word.
If I get into the weeds right now in discussions with Ahmadis, I am delaying the more pressing work I believe in. When I have my thoughts organized into words, we’ll talk.
Yes, I’ve written some on this microblog in response to activity on Twitter. But it is nothing compared to the depth of analysis I intend to cover this year. When I’ve laid the foundations, I’ll let you know.
Oh, and if you haven’t already, there are two things you should read first if you plan to engage with me in the future:
This microblog is for short, not carefully crafted writing. My formal blog is where I will soon be expending effort to lay out more comprehensive positions and thoughts.
Finally, if you are an Ahmadi Muslim especially, know that even though I left the Community, I respect you. You are a rare breed of Muslim that rejects terrorism, that accepts evolution, that believes good atheists still go to Heaven and who rejects death-for-apostasy beliefs. And that’s just a short subset of the many wonderfully progressive positions that you hold.
Most of all, you have a beautiful slogan, “Love for All, Hatred for None”. We may disagree on important historical roots of theology, but as my fellow human being, know that I love and respect you.