Hani Soubra’s remarkable essay talks about an Islam that doesn’t exist in real life - an Islam that is portrayed only in the media, news and politics.
As a brand, Islam has lost a lot of its equanimity and power. Exploitative and manipulative elements have positioned themselves as brand ambassadors and experts, but in fact they have harmed the very idea of Islam tremendously. Islam can’t be held hostage by illiterate, unexposed and socially unacceptable Sheikhs who lack both wit and intelligence. It also can’t be represented by gangs of youths whose anger and hate are channelled towards destruction under the banner of Islam.
On the other hand, international objective observers need to carry an equal level of intelligence when forming opinions about Islam, and avoid basing their opinions on the misdemeanours of a single individual.
This essay appeals to Muslim youth, calling for a strong united front of maturity. They must not be absorbed by the vicious cycle of fundamentalism due to social, personal or economic pressures, says the author, who also reaches out to non-Muslims youths to embrace further knowledge of Islam in order to avoid polarization of their worlds.