Not in my Backyard!
Upon attending a meeting for residents near the proposed Jamatkhana in Hoover, I was initially warmly greeted and assured that my lack of an invitation wouldn't likely be a problem, and then refused entry. To these Agakhanis credit, I had an "I read mohamhead comics" cap on during the registration. I'd even forgot to doff it at the door like a southerner should. But could their cordial nature just be further evidence that these ismailis aren't careful readers. -perhaps they had to send a picture to the Aga Khan for interpretation- In any event, I remembered to take off my hat and had some interesting conversations with the members of this nominally muslim community before I was shut out from the meeting.
In typical fashion most often they defined what I believed and then simply said, we're the same. One even had the discretion to ask what I was, before defining my tradition for me. -I gave a perhaps dated answer- It was very disappointing. I explained how there are radical differences between the central texts of islam and Christianity, and assured them that I didn't really think they were real muslims anyway. I had noticed that they were so consistent, in their dishonest interpretations of islamic texts, as to tell the same story to their believers that they told us unbelievers. I asked how they protected against a more literal interpretation of the koran, and, in keeping with what I'd read about this ismaili sect, they pointed out that the Aga Khan interpreted for them. But isn't that shirk? I was informed that they'd heard the shirk charge before. Having heard the charge before, evidently didn't give them enough time to also have an answer ready.
The fact is, I am sincere when I say that these nominal muslims are not adherent to the faith created by mo'. Its not just something that I've said to try to get a rise out of them. (they were unfailingly polite) I just wish that if as we have so often heard, that islam isn't a monolith, then it would not be defended as such. I can't see that these Aga Khani cultist really have much invested in the general defense of islam. The koran says what it clearly says. The hadith likewise. That these people don't believe any of that would be a great relief.
I guess what was so disappointing to hear, through the shut door, was traditional dissembling from apparently non-traditional people. Don't tell me that jihad isn't the problem that I think it is. Don't give me the line about a tiny minority of extremists. Just admit that you are the minority. Telling each other, the koran doesn't say, may work for you, but I can read without the aid of the Aga Khan.
(lot of useless pronouns but I did not intend to quote anyone, conversants likely had that assumption, and I recall only a few names and would likely misapply them)