Friday, June 15, 2012

A Talk Show is Not a Khotba

Asalamu Alaykom,

I made a mistake.  I went looking for a khotba and ended up watching a talk show.  It was a panel discussion which included two Indian men I admire:  Dr. Zakir Naik (the founder of Peace TV) and Sharukh Khan (Bollywood Superstar).  I started watching and got drawn into the discussion.  Who is a Moderate Muslim? 

Was "My Name is Khan" a good representation of Islam in the media?

Honestly, the whole thing brought me down.  It was not what I needed.  I didn't need one more time picking at the scabs on the ummah.  We all spend enough time hearing about discrimination by association of Muslim-born terrorists, hijabs and kufis as unnecessary outward symbols, and non-practicing Muslims who can't believe their brothers and sisters are so tight with their faith.

I don't need one more talk like this.

What I needed was a khotba.  A khotba is not for the general audience.  A khotba is for us Muslims.  It gets tiring to always be part of a minority being talked about by the majority.  It is a time for unifying; not dividing and dissecting.  It's a positive experience not a negative.  At the end of a khotba, there is a feeling of adding to one's spiritual life.  By contrast, the end of a religious and cultural debate feels alienating; not only from Non-Muslims by from Non-practising Muslims.

Inshahallah, this will be the last time I make this mistake.  A talking head does not a khotba make.

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