If you were to ask me, as a Muslim, do you support gay marriage, the initial reaction you would get is not a long, theoretical discussion akin to my FB posts or other essays. My reaction would be a simple: “Of course not! What a question!” Virtually all Muslims AND non-Muslims 10 or 15 years ago, not to mention 1000 years ago, would have had the same reaction and would have no problem expressing that. That’s just how the majority of people thought a mere 15 years ago.

But times have changed dramatically. The culture has changed and now there are many pressures being exerted on Muslims (and non-Muslims) to speak in appropriate ways and give certain ideas and institutions their due respect or else face marginalization or worse. This is bullying. This is controlling speech. This is overtly molding people’s minds.

I fully recognize that I am giving into these pressures when I write in the way that I do on these “controversial” issues. Right now (but maybe not in the near future), I am allowed to write in a sufficiently academic way and that makes the Islamic positions I am defending marginally tolerable (to some). I have to pay my due respect to ideas that, in reality, are not very respectable and might actually be quite foolish, silly, and without merit. It should be enough to say, “Of course not!” but that’s not acceptable to the target audience. But, for the sake of one’s sanity, one should go back to the pre-theoretical, pre-rationalized, “raw” response from time to time to make sure one does not lose touch with that core, lest one mistake the theoretical stuff, which, despite itself, may have an important purpose, for the reality.

Consider this analogy. By virtue of being in the modern world, our bodies are coursing with poison, flowing through the veins. A quick, decisive option is to drain the body of all its blood, hence expunging the poison. But that will kill the person. Another more gradual solution is needed.