Anticipating questions from the “modern” Pakistanis

I am (was, it happened) scheduled to give an “Islamic Talk” before a group of largely non-practicing Muslims who are doing a fundraising dinner for Pakistan. How unfortunate of an audience that I was selected to give this talk. I do not mean this to be humble, I mean that sincerely, if they knew how dark and empty my inner-soul was, they be shocked. However, I was authorized by a Shaykh and maybe at least my outward can be of some benefit.

I know this crowd. They tend to have a fairly hostile approach towards outwardly religious people. I once wore a pakol and pashtun clothing (I am Pashtun) and a woman came up to me and asked me “Are you from the Taliban?” It was fairly rude, because she didn’t even greet me or know who I was. When I said no, mostly in shock, she said “okay, then you can stay”. It was worse because I am very much not cultural, so to have my fledgling expression attacked was disheartening. But I won’t play the victim.

Anyways, before any talk that I present, on any topic, I practice in my car. I also anticipate the sorts of questions that people will ask me afterwards. In particular with this audience, I anticipate someone coming to me and saying that they like Islam, but these Mullahs who study in madrassas are all intellectually backwards and come to foolish conclusions.

I plan to basically criticize modernity, but not do it from a position of ignorance.

Modernists are a very confused group of people. They differ on basic points of morality that I bet even you would disagree with. For example, did you know that they no longer say there is just male or female? Want me to justify it for you from their perspective? (Engage them in a little bit of back and forth, make points they cannot refute).

You think you’re being “modern”? All you’re doing is being a laughable imitation of European culture. Your sleeveless shalwar kameez is not “modern”, its just not Pakistani.

Do you think you’re being educated? Auntie, I have a Masters degree. I’m more educated than you.

Did you know that in modern society, men do not protect women? Men have no obligation towards their wives at all. After all, we’re all just people who happen to have different different biology.

You think technology is so great? Did you know that technological advancement has been slowing down? Most of what we have is basically implementation of existing technologies. The basic principles are the same.

You think we are a golden age of physics? Lets take physics. You argue that physics is a glory to our knowledge and insight. But in modern physics, you have two irreconcilable theories that both explain the world and stand up to empiric observation. How can this be? Similarly, every 100 years or so the entire scientific paradigm changes. And in every period, it is presumed that its current conclusions of science is eternal truth. Then those eternal truths change!

You need to re-evaluate the way you look at the world. This European idolization is backwards.

Modernity is Backwards

What’s going on with the world? Did I just not realize things were this crazy, or is it a recent thing? Everything is backwards, everything is upside down!

  • The US used to be free, now our freedoms are taken chipped away little by little.
  • Supporting war is seen as patriotic.
  • Youth culture used to oppose war, now they support it.
  • The news used to be somewhat objective, now they tell lies and have more junk news than real news.
  • Religions used to help the broken and meek, now they preach the gospel of prosperity.
  • The secular and atheists used to be about peace and harmony, now they’re war-mongering Neo-Cons.
  • Capitalism used to mean “free market”, now it means “government intervention in the economy”.
  • Values and morality used to be important, now they’re mocked.
  • The aged used to be valued for their wisdom, now they’re jettisoned as relics of the past.
  • The wisdom of the past is rejected, because the explosion of knowledge today is erroneously conflated with wisdom.
  • The religious are no longer moderate, they’re nut-jobs you should avoid.
  • We have something called “social media”, which ironically makes us more isolated.
  • Sex outside of marriage is common, marriages frequently end in divorce.
  • Many (not all) doctors are not interested in healing you, but in getting your money.
  • Why we are fighting these wars is confusing.
  • Traditional cultures and ways of life that have been around for thousands of years are replaced with McDonaldization.
  • The self-described cultural modernists are insane and live lives of social decay and breakdown, without realizing it.
  • Popular culture is wholly owned by corporate interests whose command of human psychology makes them millions.
  • Men live lives of quiet emasculation, women see their honor in acting like men.
  • Animals are treated as lifeless commodities.
  • Common Food is poison and makes you sick.

Modernity is evil.

  • Put down your weapons
  • Stop fighting
  • Cry because of the pain of others
  • Start understanding each other
  • Praying together
  • Turn off the TV
  • Evil is not embodied in people we have to kill, its something in our own hearts we must struggle to eradicate
  • Eat better food
  • Exercise
  • Make love to your spouse, not some plastic TV actresses
  • Meditate
  • Be local, not global
  • Try new things and meet new people
  • Focus on the evil in your own heart and overlook the evil of others!