San Francisco–Imam Suhaib Webb Is an American convert to Islam with advanced degrees from Columbia University in New York City. (He was born in Oklahoma, nonetheless!). He immigrated to Egypt to study in Cairo, and now, at age thirty-seven, he is considered to be one of the most learned Muslim legalists having memorized the entire Koran! He, also, is an important blogger, and, thus, had much to say about the new technologies and the faith as well as voicing profound observations on being an American and a Muslim.
He began with the statement that â€œblogging is the bridge between theology and the people!..Man is different because he can communicateâ€¦.Communication is valuedâ€ amongst us.â€ Webb stated that his conversion at twenty flowed out of reading a certain blog regularly, for there was not much of a direct way to get to know the Islamic World in Oklahoma. â€œThe practice of Islam is greatly misunderstoodâ€ by those outside the belief system. Most people are confused by the differences in culture â€“ not so much religious dissimilarities. Neither the Muslim from abroad nor the mainstream U.S. non-Muslim feels that Islam is authenticated on these shores. Therefore, it is common for the convert â€œto leave North Americaâ€ as he did, also.
Dr. Webb refers to â€œEgyptâ€ as â€œthe â€˜gumboâ€™ of the Muslim world.â€ He still comes back to the States yearly not to lose his connections with his natal land. I wish â€œto be with my own culture.â€ Many â€œtexts alienate Islam from America,â€ though.
Regarding his well-known blog, a commercial company originally financed it. It won a commendation for the best website in Egypt last year.
In the West people are more open to cultural and religious diversity because of our history. Regarding the traditions within Islam, he feels that â€œReligiosity should change over time, but no one has the right to divide us from our relationship with God.â€ Except for our brothers and sisters in North America and Europe, unfortunately, the majority of the Islamic World is not yet in Modernity.â€
Although there is respect for the legal books in the Middle East, there is still a fear of the clergy. Itâ€™s OK for a Muslim to have doubts about his beliefs. Through this inner struggle Allah becomes apparent. Historically, â€œMost Islamic divergence within religious Schools [of thought] grew out of politics rather than conviction.â€ Further, Suhaib stated that women disappear from the Islamic narration at an early period, and that had a political component, too, for legalists of that period did not understand social acceptability.
American converts have been looked down upon in the â€œnationalityâ€ of Islam itself in the United States. This is a â€œRidiculous distrust, and not an Islamic [one]!â€ We should not have to migrate to Islamic lands. â€œYour â€˜investmentâ€™ is to listen to other Americans [outside of our community]â€. Muslims in the U.S.A. should recreate their customs within the context of this country.
â€œThe stigmatism of racism exists in the Muslim world.â€ too. American converts are treated with less respect than they should be by the Islamic immigrants although we are expanding at such a rate that we shall eventually be a force within that larger Islamic society. As â€œAmerica, we shall be able to wade through these difficult timesâ€ with both our Islamic and non-Islamic citizens. Succinctly, it is a challenge to maintain our religion either here or there.
Concluding on the Islamic feminine, â€œAuthority is to be earned; not enforced.â€ Our creed is more gendered balanced on this Continent. Women are quite competent in engaging in traditional scholarly debate, and the Islamic spheres should be fully comfortable with the scholarship engendered by them here.