Faith and Public Engagement
In the public sphere, I increasingly come back to what business it is of the state or the community--especially a community living as a minority--what the sexuality of a member of the community is.
Secondly, the other question I come back to is "What kept Umar up at night?" Was it whether someone might be engaging in homosexual conduct? Or whether a woman in his realm might not be conforming to the religion's requirements of "Hijab"? Or whether anyone--including, very clearly women, homosexuals, or even sinners and kafirs--would go to bed hungry? Which one of those did the second Caliph, one we often refer to as (not bringin The Prophet into) the greatest administrator Islam has had, think Allah would ask him on the Day of Judgement about?
And then I have difficulty going beyond that in terms of public policy. Should we be talking about whether anyone is dying of hunger in Afghanistan, or whether there are any apostates of homosexuals in Afghanistan or in downtown Toronto? Which one will Allah ask me about on The Day of Judgement?
Ifaqeer in comments led me to his various sites and I've been enjoying reading the way the debate in Islam is being conducted through the various links he offers.
If you replaced the names of the groups with names we know: does Jerry Falwell speak for Christianity? Are we to be more interested in whether a woman speaks in a church service (Mark Driscoll) or with feeding the poor (Jim Wallis)? How much should the state be influenced by Christian morality and belief systems?
My oh my! I feel like a huge door flew open! Good stuff.