Salafi or Sufi?

In the past 3 decades, the Muslim community in America and the UK spent so much intellectual energy debating the finer points of aqidah, tasawwuf, taqlid, and ijtihad, intellectual energy that could have been spent on the issues and questions that posed the most serious and immediate threat to the hearts and minds of the up and coming generations. Not to say that researching and discussing the Islamic sciences in depth among specialists is in itself something other than beneficial and indeed necessary. BUT the opportunity cost in that particular context was that questions about the basics of the Islamic worldview vis-a-vis liberalism, secularism, scientism, darwinism, etc., went unaddressed, such that Muslim teens and young adults nowadays are by and large clueless about the fundamentals of faith and how to defend what little knowledge they do have from what to them seem to be devastating critiques of Islam (and I don’t say this on account of a couple of anecdotes but rather based on my years teaching Islamic school and organizing Muslim youth events).

Now alhamdulillah, we are seeing some catch-up, but is it too little, too late?