All terrorist attacks are despicable and difficult to comprehend. But when Muslim militants killed 305 Sufis, members of their own religion whose supposed crime is viewing Islam differently -- that's freaking insane.
Back in my true believing days, before I saw the atheist light, for several years I became a huge fan of Rumi. I bought just about every English language book about Rumi and his teachings. Rumi was a Sufi. So this helps explain my outrage at the killings in the Sinai Peninsula.
Here's some excerpts from a New York Times story, "Who Are Sufi Muslims and Why Do Some Extremists Hate Them?"
Sufism is a mystical form of Islam, a school of practice that emphasizes the inward search for God and shuns materialism. It has produced some of the world’s most beloved literature, like the love poems of the 13th century Iranian jurist Rumi. Its modern-day adherents cherish tolerance and pluralism, qualities that in many religions unsettle extremists.
But Sufism, often known as Islamic mysticism, has come under violent attack in recent years. On Friday, militants stormed a Sufi mosque on the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 305 people in what officials are calling the worst terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history. The attack followed several assaults on Sufi shrines in Pakistan over the past year carried out by Sunni extremists. (The vast majority of Sufis are Sunni, though some are Shiite.)
What is this form of Islamic belief, and why has it come under assault?
...Sufism, known as tasawwuf in the Arabic-speaking world, is a form of Islamic mysticism that emphasizes introspection and spiritual closeness with God.
While it is sometimes misunderstood as a sect of Islam, it is actually a broader style of worship that transcends sects, directing followers’ attention inward. Sufi practice focuses on the renunciation of worldly things, purification of the soul and the mystical contemplation of God’s nature. Followers try to get closer to God by seeking spiritual learning known as tariqa.
...Sufism has shaped literature and art for centuries, and is associated with many of the most resonant pieces of Islam’s “golden age,” lasting from roughly the eighth through 13th centuries, including the poetry of Rumi.
In modern times, the predominant view of Sufi Islam is one of “love, peace, tolerance,” Mr. Knysh explained, leading to this style of worship becoming synonymous with peace-loving Islam.
...The Islamic State targets Sufis because it believes that only a fundamentalist form of Sunni Islam is valid.
Some fundamentalists see the reverence for saints, which is common in Shiite Islam, as a form of idolatry, because in their view it shows devotion to something other than the worship of a singular God. Some consider Sufis to be apostate, because saints were not part of the original practice of Islam at the time of the Prophet Muhammad, who died in 632.
...Imam Feisal said that attacks on Sufi worshipers, besides being a “major sin,” are the result of the politicization of religion in the region over the past few decades. Egypt, in particular, he said, is a place where that politicization has fueled extremism.
“When religion becomes politicized,” Imam Feisal said, “it is not good.”
Human beings are still barbarian. We need further evolution. And too many humans have done the worst of things in the name of religion.
Posted by: Aileen | November 25, 2017 at 08:12 PM
Extremist forms believe in recruiting people for their cause , they might have felt threatened by Sufis. This has been happening since times of kings & rulers who were busy in their carnal desires rejecting Sufi thought completely. I have also read somewhere that when decline of Hinduism occurred by destruction of Guru-Shishya Parampara [ teacher -disciple succession] it were the Sufis in India who saved the tradition.
Posted by: vinny | November 26, 2017 at 03:16 PM
The decline of religion.
I don't know too much about Islam
However if we take Sikhism, it was started by Nanak.
No 5 K's that now define what a Sikh is.
Nanak never defined
When asked who HE was he said
Paanch tat ka putla Nanak mera nau.
Nanak never created a religion.
Islam could well be different.
However Sikhs today are not followers of Nanak
They follow a religion
They are against radha swamis because they consider radha swamis are not real Sikhs.
But who cares?
Even Nanak was not a Sikh. He did not have a kirpan
Anyone can come and go as they please
Join or leave.
The idea that God has certain rules is dangerous
It makes the religious follower think God is on his side and he is on a mission from God.
But God doesn't take sides for one really good reason
Non existent entities cannot take sides
And even if he DID exist I am sure he would have better things to do than look over us 24/7 to see if we are breaking any of his rules.
The notion most people have of God is ridiculous
That God could probably do with some serious sessions of therapy.
Gladly, that God doesn't exist except in the minds of believers
Posted by: OshoRobbins | November 28, 2017 at 01:52 AM
I personally don't give a shit about Sikhs. Couldn't care less. Life is infinitely better than caring about nonsense.
Posted by: D.r | November 28, 2017 at 10:20 AM
"This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief." - Rumi
One of my all time favourites... short vimeo - Kensho - Dreaming hero wakes up and sees the Dreamer himself.
Narrated by Alan Watts.
Posted by: Jen | November 28, 2017 at 01:06 PM
People do bad things in the name of politics, cults, and atheism too (see the recent Texas shooter for an example of the latter).
It isn't a valid argument.
Posted by: D.r | November 30, 2017 at 08:55 AM
The problem is believing what I think is a universal truth.
That seems to be the common Element among terrorists, Nazis and a few Atheists.
Posted by: Spencer Tepper | November 30, 2017 at 01:55 PM