I write this because I hate the word “kaffir,” and I hate how it comes so easily to some Muslims even as it makes me flinch, and I hate that we contemptuously turn away the very same people we accuse of not understanding us, without giving them a fair chance to know who we are, without granting them credit for making the beautiful effort of shared human spirit and outreach that we ourselves as Muslims rarely make a point of with other communities. Who the hell are we to be critical then, when we accuse others of stereotyping us and disliking us and being ignorant of who we are, of the vastness of our humanity and traditions, and of what Islam in its pure beauty truly stands for? And I guess what I’m really just trying to figure out is –
When did we ourselves become so damn self-righteous and judgmental?
I agree with Yasmine about the (ab)use of the word “Kaffir.”
And here are some suggestions to fellow Muslims (and others):
- Do not call anyone “Kafir.”
- Do not call anyone atheist or non-Muslim just because they don’t agree with your opinion on evolution.
- Respect others’ faith.
- Do not try to debate Islam’s “superiority” over someone’s religion.
- Treat Pakistani Christians/Hindus (or other minorities) with respect (replace your own country and minority here).
- Don’t be quick to judge anyone, whether they are Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, atheist, or of some other religion.
- Socialize with a diverse set of people with different backgrounds and religious beliefs. Don’t be proud of your habit of staying within your own religious circle.
- Don’t caricaturize other religions.
- If you criticize the Bible using textual analysis, be prepared to use (or at least let others use) similar tools for the Quran.
Any more suggestions?