Muslims today face a deep malaise. We must confront it

Source: The Guardian

By Nabil Echchaibi

My existential crisis as a Muslim man haunts me to the core of my being. Amid the horrendous nihilism of Isis, the dull orthodoxy of self-proclaimed custodians of Islam and the culture of fear in the west which sees everything Muslim as pure evil, I seek an answer to a simple and unasked question: how does it feel to be Muslim today?

Instead, you ask me to denounce – even apologize for – the horrors of Manchester, Nice, Orlando, Paris and Berlin, as if I were a silent accomplice cheering softly behind the garb of my faith. You mistake my silence for duplicity, my shock for deceit, and my choking inability to comprehend for disloyalty. But have you asked me how I feel instead of how you feel about me?
Well, I feel morally and psychologically exhausted. The moral gulf that separates me from the demonic force of Isis is both comforting and haunting. Haunting because their abominable strike will always be louder and more spectacular than the tenor of my indignation. Their tales of terror and destruction will always muffle my calls for tolerance. My voice of moderation is deep but faint in the face of their unspeakable bestiality. I do not apologize. I clamor for my right to be heard and narrate my distress, confusion and hope.

I’m tired of seeing my faith trapped in a cancerous cycle of terror, reduced to a vapid discussion of veils, burqas and burkinis, and held back by an obsessive fixation with fatwas. An imam who condemns music because it might turn young people into apes and pigs is simply an aberration to Muslim theology. We have far more important questions in need of urgent answers. Questions that should haunt our present and perturb our daily existence as adherents of this faith.

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