For the record, I found Valentine’s Day to be a meaningless day that neither reflects nor advocates true love. Nonetheless, I see banning it as an even sillier, futile exercise that only reflects the shallowness of those who advocate it. Romance has lost its way in our country because we have lost our comfort zone and were pushed to the edge of insanity by the chronic decline of our society.
The court order against Abu Islam was a perfect decision, but it will not make his views disappear. Unless we regain our empathy, rationalism and values as true Muslims who practice religion with an equal balance of faith and rituals, body and soul, and materialism and feeling, the like of Abu Islam would be irrelevant. And, yes, it is true, God is love, just ask Rumi.
(Photo of Egyptian Preacher Abu-Islam via Reuters)
Originally published in the Daily News Egypt
“Valentine’s Day represents for the Christians, a celebration of adultery and prostitution, and those who go out on this day are prostitutes.” That is how Abu Islam, a radical Egyptian preacher has described Valentine’s Day. He took the hatred that many radicals share for this day to brand it with a new label and link it to Christianity, a faith that Muslims acknowledge and respect.
It is easy to dismiss Abu Islam as a marginal extremist whom none should take seriously, but I think we should take a look closer at his case as it is a perfect example of the flaws and the dangers of literal Islamism.
I still remember the remarks made by the Egyptian thinker, Mustafa Mahmoud, about love and Islam. He noticed that love was only mentioned once in the…
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