Are we willing to defend Islamic values and the Islamic tradition against those who wish to see it destroyed? If so, we need to be willing to defend the tradition as a *whole* — that means defending the spectrum of valid opinion.

There is a spectrum of valid opinion on any given issue. The spectrum is defined by the Quran, Sunnah, and our scholarly tradition. And a scholar today will believe that on any given issue, one position on this spectrum is the correct position. That’s fine. But that scholar should also defend the spectrum as a whole and defend the validity of other views on that spectrum.

What we are seeing is that on some issues (e.g., gender-related issues), some “conservative” positions on the spectrum are simply politically incorrect and contrary to modern liberal values. And there are other positions that do align with modern liberal values.

In their effort to undermine the Islamic tradition, “progressive” Muslims pressure us to throw those “conservative” positions they find unpalatable under the bus and champion the positions that most closely gel with their liberal agenda. By doing this, they maintain something called “plausible deniability,” i.e., they can’t be as easily called out because, in the end, they still seemingly endorse *a* valid position, namely the one that is most compatible with liberalism.

We shouldn’t fall for this trick. In the end, we might think, “Well, at least we are maintaining a position that is Islamically valid and what difference does it make if other positions, which we don’t necessarily agree with anyway, are jettisoned for the sake of political correctness or building political alliances?”

But this is how progressives get their foot in the door. If they are able to successfully pressure us into disregarding a valid part of the tradition, that’s all they need. That is the first step. Slowly, bit by bit, they will use the same basic tactic to pressure us into eventually disregarding the tradition in its entirety.

 

Daniel Haqiqatjou

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