June 1, 2017

"My presence here is an anomaly. My presence shows that people that look like me, that are Pakistani, that are Muslim, are here for peace. We are the sex symbol. We are the people that everybody wants to hit on."

Says Ali Mushtaq, fit to print in the New York Times in "Pakistani-American From California Blazes a Gay Leather and Fetish Trail."
By “here,” Mr. Mushtaq meant at International Mr. Leather, an annual gathering of men (and a few women) in Chicago who are into kink and leather, and culminates with the pageant-style crowning of the year’s winner....

Although he calls himself a Muslim (he studied Arabic and the Quran as a child), Mr. Mushtaq says his relationship to Islam today is “an ethnic identity as opposed to a fundamentalist religious identity.”... His Islam is not “the crazy people with the swords,” as he put it, but professionals “who consider themselves Muslim” and who “might approve of gay marriage.”

57 comments:

Bad Lieutenant said...

Titus! Wake up!

Clyde said...

I would guess that 99.999% of Muslims around the world would disagree with him. A Muslim approving of gay marriage is like an Amish person approving of high technology.

Nonapod said...

“an ethnic identity as opposed to a fundamentalist religious identity.”

Does not compute. Islam is not a race of people or an ethnicity.

Ann Althouse said...

"Titus! Wake up!"

Titus emailed me the link, prodding me to do this post.

Ann Althouse said...

"Does not compute. Islam is not a race of people or an ethnicity."

Sure, it computes. It's a cultural tradition.

Ann Althouse said...

Most people who seem to be in a religion are doing it out of affiliation with a cultural tradition. That's at least half of what religion is. I'll bet the seeming members of almost any religion are 50+% there because it's their family's tradition. I'm almost certain that's true for American Christians. Who really believes? I say very few.

Ann Althouse said...

I include people who are lying to themselves.

Ann Althouse said...

That is, included in my set of not-real believers are people who are lying to themselves and people who are sincerely trying to believe.

Nonapod said...

He used the term "ethnic identity". If someone who is not of a particular ethnicity identifies as that ethnicity, they are lying to everyone else (and possibly to themselves).

Clyde said...

Althouse, the main difference between Islam and other religions is that Islam is a 24/7 way of life. It's not just going to a mosque on Fridays. It's not just an "ethnic cultural religion" like Judaism is for some Jews, for instance. It controls behavior, fashion, diet, everything that its adherents do. It is all-consuming and intolerant of deviation. In other words, it's a lot like Christianity was in the Middle Ages, prior to the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment.

MaxedOutMama said...

Do his comments make any sense? If they do, isn't the sense that most Muslims aren't for peace? I'm finding the actual meaning/implication of the quote to be quite troublesome - or very humorous. The "people everyone wants to hit on" could be read as the "the people everyone want to persecute".

I just don't get this.

I also think that leather conventions don't have much to do with world affairs. Either way.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Yes, it's a cultural tradition, and cultural & social traditions are part of almost all religions (and vice versa!).
The current/modern incarnation of the Muslim cultural tradition in most places, though, isn't very friendly to homosexuality. I'm not talking about the religious fundamentalists--I mean "mainstream" Islam in most places.
So if he's outside that cultural tradition and he's outside the religious tradition/mainstream beliefs/attitudes of that religion, how seriously should we take his claim to belong to that religious and cultural tradition?
He self-identifies as a Muslim. Ok, I take him at his word. Do most other Muslims consider him "one of theirs," though? It doesn't much matter to me, of course, outside of properly weighing someone's value if they claim to speak for a group.
It might matter a whole hell of a lot to the guy, though, if the particular culture in question has a habit of severely punishing people they see as apostates and the like.

Nonapod said...

I get that with other religions there's been a blurring of the lines between religion and ethnicity (which I think is silly since it can lead to confusion). But even so, I think Islam is a little different for a variety of reasons. For one, being an open apostate is extremely dangerous is many places around the world.

There's a small number of (very brave) people who I guess still consider themselves Muslims and our fully aware of all that actually entails and who want a reformation in Islam iself, like Maajid Nawaz.

Peter said...

An Islamic version of Unitarianism? I'm not sure it's even possible, but even if it is, what would be the point?

Jesse James said...

That's what I say about Unitarianism, at least at the VFW you can get a beer.

n.n said...

A Muslim convert to Pro-Choice.

Gahrie said...

He used the term "ethnic identity". If someone who is not of a particular ethnicity identifies as that ethnicity, they are lying to everyone else (and possibly to themselves).

There is a strong belief in the US that a person's ethnicity is largely based on their race. Actually ethnicity has very little to do with race. It is, as Althouse pointed out, much more about a shared culture.

Unknown said...

To the extent that Althouse is right about American Christians being mostly nonbelievers, that's a terrible thing. I'm a Mormon, and while we are far stronger in our faith as a general rule, we still have lots of "nominal" or so-called Jack Mormons.

Only a strong, believing Christian people will ever be able to stand up to Islam. Or, I suppose, a committed communistic/atheist community who is willing to pile the bodies up by the millions. In that case, I'd rather have the Islam.

--Vance

Gahrie said...

He self-identifies as a Muslim. Ok, I take him at his word. Do most other Muslims consider him "one of theirs," though?

Actually, they would. Once you become a Muslim, you are always a Muslim. They'd still throw him off of a roof though.

Wilbur said...

I give him +/- 30 days until he's found dead, murdered by adherents of The Religion of Peace.

tcrosse said...

Anomaly Day chez Althouse. You can't make anomaly without breaking eggs.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse, the main difference between Islam and other religions is that Islam is a 24/7 way of life. It's not just going to a mosque on Fridays. It's not just an "ethnic cultural religion" like Judaism is for some Jews, for instance. It controls behavior, fashion, diet, everything that its adherents do. It is all-consuming and intolerant of deviation. In other words, it's a lot like Christianity was in the Middle Ages, prior to the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment."

Christianity is a full-time practice. What are you saying?

Ann Althouse said...

"Anomaly Day chez Althouse. You can't make anomaly without breaking eggs."

Thanks for noticing, tcrosse.

(I've been enjoying so many of your comments lately!)

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

NPR interviewed muslim women a few years ago. They explained that in the US the local mosque might have people from several different countries. They could not even have a pot luck supper because no one could agree on who could sit at the table. Some people felt women should be allowed - others no, some felt women had to be covered - other no. I am unaware of any other religion that varies so much based on location.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Peter said...
An Islamic version of Unitarianism? I'm not sure it's even possible, but even if it is, what would be the point?
6/1/17, 2:27 PM


To deball the religion, just as much of mainstream Christianity has castrated itself, and make it into a sewing circle whose people would consider defense of the faith silly, and its promulgation insane. Sounds good, right?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Gahrie said...Actually, they would. Once you become a Muslim, you are always a Muslim. They'd still throw him off of a roof though.

Fair enough, and the point about not being able to "leave" that particular religion is an important one; probably I should have asked "would most other Muslims consider him a Muslim in good standing (so to speak)?"

tcrosse said...

(I've been enjoying so many of your comments lately!)

Praise from Caesar is praise, indeed.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

"people that look like me, that are Pakistani, that are Muslim, are here for peace." Hey, just like the Pakistanis stealing info and equipment while working for Dem reps. All for "peace."

Yes, Islam is a "cultural tradition." Maybe with an -s. But it's not a "race" or "ethnicity." That's just an apostate culturally appropriating US diversity talk to insult the Prophet, peace be upon him.

pacwest said...

Islam is not a religion. Christianity was appropriated so the big Mo could install the religious fervor needed to gain more wealth and power. Islam's core tenant is materialism not spirituality. Islam is not a religion in the true sense of the word.

Snark said...

As someone who would describe myself as a "cultural Catholic" I understand what this guy means 100%. It's a bit cowardly, and a bit self-serving, but it's more than possible to embrace the traditions and comforts and identity of a religion through its outward symbols and rituals, while carefully stepping around the parts that actually require you to deeply believe in something or confront the more negative aspects of its present and past.

Virgil Hilts said...

Ann is again 100% correct. Amazing that of the intelligent and highly educated mormons, jews and muslims one knows, every single one is a child, respectively of, mormon, jewish and muslim parents. In their individual and honest pursuits of wisdom and truth they all just happen to have chosen the same faith (which is to say, culture) as their parents.
Vance, you say "how sad" that Christians may not really believe, but I have numerous LDS friends who are brilliant and not necessarily true believers. They just do not want to leave the most successful culture (LDS) that western civilization has ever produced. I don't blame them.

Gahrie said...

They just do not want to leave the most successful culture (LDS) that western civilization has ever produced.

I wouldn't go that far....but even though I would never join the LDS, I'd be happy living among them.

tcrosse said...

I would never join the LDS, I'd be happy living among them.

They make excellent neighbors, but some do like to proselytize (in the nicest possible way, of course)

Virgil Hilts said...

Gahrie, Me too. Maybe culture is too nebulous a concept to be useful. Per the Third Man: "– in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.." The Mormons may not produce a Michelangelo, but I would rather live among them than the savages that dominate the planet.

California Snow said...

Sounds like the Althouse brigade is moving to Utah. Good skiing/boarding and great national parks as Althouse can attest.

tcrosse said...

I would rather live among them than the savages that dominate the planet.

Although their lives are a bit regimented for my gentile taste. It's not for nothing that their symbol is a beehive.

JAORE said...

"... some do like to proselytize (in the nicest possible way, of course)."

Not my experience, though there is much to admire in that faith.

I lived in Idaho many years ago. If you have kids and are new to a community, the Mormon kids come over and become the very best friends to your kids. Soon enough they invite your kids to church. Once you say, "No thanks", adios best friend.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Oh yeah? Try that out in Pakistan, Ali.

William said...

He has one thing in common with the Pakistani community: most Americans would consider him a part of it. The Pakistani community probably less so. If he wishes to feel like a Pakistani, I would recommend that he hang around with Americans.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

So the dude belongs both to the Islam race and the gay race?

Kirk Parker said...


Althouse,

"Christianity is a full-time practice. What are you saying?"

What he's saying is that there is literally no Christian analogue to the "Ask An Imam" sites where people inquire what is the religiously-correct way to greet people you meet in public; where you ask "If I have a bit of an erection on my way to Mass, what do I do?" Islam is totalizing in a way you can't begin to comprehend.

Clyde said...

Ann Althouse said...

Christianity is a full-time practice. What are you saying?


That there are a lot of "Sunday Christians," not so many "Friday Muslims." Having to pray publicly five times a day does that.

Seeing Red said...

So how long before he's an example?

khesanh0802 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Molly said...

Second use of "anomaly" in Althouse today: this one (correctly) as a noun; an earlier one about the bratfest in Madison (incorrectly) as an adjective.

Ken B said...

I think of myself as a cultural Christian, even though I am an atheist. The big difference is that the religious, believing Christians don't want to kill me. That's an important difference.

madAsHell said...

Defenestration becomes him.

jaed said...

Michael Totten wrote something interesting about one of his trips to the Middle East. People kept asking him whether he was a Christian, and he kept saying no, and they kept being nervous about it and repeating the question. (He's an agnostic, I think.)

Eventually he figured out that they weren't asking him what he believed; they were asking him, what tribe are you? The Christian tribe, the Muslim tribe? He's what you might call culturally Christian, so once he figured out that they weren't asking about belief or practice, he decided that "Christian" best expressed his tribal affiliation in that context.

It's not exactly ethnicity or religion. It's "What tribe are you a member of?" Who are you affiliated with? What should we expect of you?

brylun said...

All the churches empty and all the mosques are full. Empty churches are being converted into mosques throughout the US and UK. There are many, many lapsed Catholics and no lapsed Muslims. Apostasy is punishable by death in Islam, but not in Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism, and 90%+ of Egyptians, for example, believe that apostasy should be punished by death.

n.n said...

It's a Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice, Pro-Choice world. With Progress, we now have congruence ("=") or selective exclusion, a Pro-Choice precept.

Quaestor said...

Pakistani is an ethnic identity... Nah, even that's not true. Pakistan has about twelve ethnicities, with Punjabis being the plurality.

Muslim is not an ethnicity either.

tim maguire said...

Good. Ultimately this is the Islamc Reformation and we non-Muslims are bystanders. It is past time for Muslims with a peaceful vision of Islam to stop wasting everybody's time with crap about "Islamophobia" and start taking this struggle seriously.

Panharith said...

Althouse, the main difference between Islam and other religions is that Islam is a 24/7 way of life.
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Gahrie said...

Apostasy is punishable by death in Islam, but not in Christianity....

That's because Christians have free will, and thus the obvious right to reject God. (it is in fact the only unforgivable sin)

Muslims are slaves of Allah, and disobedience is severely punished.

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