One of our regular contributors has requested we post this…errr ‘response’ to an alleged comment by Hamza Tzortzis. Apologies in advance to both parties (really) but it seems serious points have been raised and deserve to be aired:
I came across this fascinating piece of self promotion regarding my article on IERA’s emotional blackmail when a friend forwarded it to me:
Does this sound like sectarian bigotry?
Relying on lies, twists and clichés?
What’s wrong with us Muslims?
It must be jealousy or outright hypocrisy, because I have no idea why some people spend so much time writing such trash.
Whoever knows this person, can you tell him I invite him to a coffee or lunch (I’ll pay) because this guy has no idea what he is talking about. I want to show him love and really make him appreciate that we have are very broad in our approach, and thinking.
Most of his views are archaic and based on maybe some historical baggage, that he must have been carrying around for a while.
If anyone knows him personally please tell him I want to have lunch with him – as sincere loving brothers – if he leaves with the same views then that’s fine, but at least he should approach his brothers and speak to them. Lies or misunderstandings are not conducive to brotherhood.
May Allah guide all of us, and shower us with His love and mercy.
The irony is, I spent almost 40 minutes in Australia defending the madhaahib, defending our beloved brothers and sisters who hold different views on aqeeda – especially where there is misrepresentation. There were some jaahil Muslims who wouldn’t pray behind a hanifi!!!! And I had to spend some time in de-constructing such ignorance. In all my courses, especially AlKauthar courses I always get people to think in an usooli way. I even say that whoever learned doesn’t follow an usool is almost jahil! I also, explain the concept of valid differences, even in aqeeda, and fiqh. Not once have I – especially in the past few years – ever condone or promoted sectarianism or hatred for other views. I always give both views if there is a contentious issue. All of which is recorded.
So I am quite perplexed that some of our brothers and sisters come out with such hatred, and the fact that they support the anti-Muslim kuffar against their brothers in Islam.
I have many talks where I referred to brothers like Adam Deen on God’s existence (recent video in Surrey University – brother Yusuf Ahmet was in the audience and he works at Adam’s institute – ask him), and brothers like Abdullah Al-Andalusi (I even get him to replace me for international trips when I can’t make them! His recent Canada trip is example of that – and our beloved Iberian brother is staunch in his views, lol), and I even promote Shaykh Akram Nadwi especially when I spoke about gems from Surah Yusuf, and shaykh Yawar Baig, etc. The list goes on. So I am confused. Really I am.
My views our that in dawah you must never expose our differences or academic contentions. We must be united. Check all of my talks, they are aqeeda neutral – most of them anyway. The only hate I have received so far is from the neo-salafis and the militant atheists – oh the irony! 🙂
Now, this doesnt mean I dont have my own views, I do. And some of them are in direct contrast with brothers even in iERA, but the ummah is in an intellectual war and crisis. For that unity is required. And I believe unity is required regardless, and all of these issues must be dealt with over a nice roast lamb washed down with sweet mint tea 🙂
If anyone can arrange a friendly, loving and brotherly lunch, that would indeed make you of the peacemakers 🙂
It is interesting that Tzortzis wants to ‘reach out’ by appealing to a forum on which the post was not written as opposed to directly posting on the site on which the original article was found. Cynics would say this ‘indirect’ approach is a rather vulgar attempt to rally his fan-club on said forum to his defence.
He says he wants to show ‘love’ and then quickly proceeds with a bargain – basement pop-psych insult by accusing the writer of having ‘historical baggage which has been carried around for a long time’ (i.e he is saying the writer has psychological problems). Love indeed.
To emphasise his sincerity, he mentions his apparently effusive love a further two times. As if that was not enough, he then evokes Allah’s love (infinite) for good measure.
So the Devil can quote scripture and donkeys can carry books. And people who want to insult and draw others to fight their battles can speak of ‘love’ (and indeed tea).
He then gets to the real reason for his ‘invitation’: the poor fellow and his employer have been unfairly slandered and misrepresented! Why, he has only just returned from nowhere other than Australia (practically the ends of the flat Earth Sheikh Ibn Baz and presumably Hamza inhabit), where he has been battling for the rights of Hanafis against those who refused to pray behind them (as his teacher Haddad would in all likelihood say that they should not, with his catch-all caveat/get-out-of-takfir-free card that well, if no one told them that Hanafism was kufr then…).
Of course, by this stage I was fighting back tears just thinking of the poor chaps moral heroism.
Sadly however, on further reflection, it appears he is engaging in the same sophistic exercises he frequently employs as well as the dilettantish pseudo-intellectualism that has become his hallmark (after such promising beginnings): he teaches at Al Kauthar he proffers in his defence – an academy as sectarian as they come (like IERA), with absolutely no non-Wahhabi/Deobandi-Wahhabi teachers, where courses are taught in a militantly sectarian manner and the Sheikhs of the Wahhabi movement, Albani, Ibn Baz and above all Ibn Taymiyya are venerated. Of note is that this veneration is extended despite the support of Ibn Baz (for example) for extremist causes, and yes, perhaps even terrorism.
Instructors include alumni of WAMY and Medina University (those well known non-Salafi institutes). Examine the wonderfully diverse (note: Sarcasm) biographies of Al Kauthars’ instructors here: http://www.alkauthar.org/instructor.php?id=3 (no women, hmmm…). We can let the reader see their ‘inclusive’ aqaid and affiliations. Lots of Asharis, Sufis, Maturidis…oh wait…
I wonder who teaches the female students they seem so keen to recruit. The male instructors must have awesome self discipline and control. Maybe Hamza is in charge of that department?
But wait now! Poor Hamza has spoken out against both sectarianism and extremism (perhaps he spoke out against the latter in Australia as well: we all know – it’s always hotter down South!).
Poor Hamza, despite being a member, nay, instructor, at not one but two sectarian institutes (that promote barn-door extremist scholars), is not himself a sectarian nor an extremist. Perhaps he just did not know.
And of course, he tells people to behave in an Usooli way (i.e having principles, I mean who doesn’t…even Fascists have ‘usool’)…but what he means of course are the principles of his group, not the madhabs. Obviously he is careful to leave some ambiguity: like IERA, he does not want to make his Wahhabi-sectarian stance too obvious…funding and all that jazz.
Then we get to his real point: criticising the self appointed defender of the faith Hamza is to ‘support the anti-Muslim kuffar against their brothers in Islam’. So the writer has sided with the enemies of Islam by criticising IERA/Hamza.
Love indeed!…or is it more like crypto – takfir?
But come hither! We haven’t heard the poor brother out yet!
He has ‘referred’ to Adam Deen (but also attacked him and accused him of heresy, as have other prominent members of the IERA team) and Abdullah Al Andalusi (a silly Tzortzis fanboy who cowers from doing anything more radical than saying that Saudi Arabia is not an Islamic state). He is even so magnanimous as to promote Akram Nadwi (a well known Deobandi graduate with Wahhabi leanings, so inclusive that he has allegedly publicly denied that there is even any such thing as A’shari or Maturidi aqeeda – non-sectarian indeed).
Sadly Hamza’s memory failed him regarding the ignominious occasion when his colleague (and fellow student of Haddad) Adnan Rashid called Adam Deen’s institute ‘enemies of the Sunnah’ (i.e of Islam and therefore perhaps a cowardly method of making takfir). And this somehow got posted on the main IERA Homepage…for three days running. Hamza did not race to Deen and Co’s defence then…and it still leaves the issue that none of the people Hamza or IERA have ‘promoted’ have been from the groups that his Imam Ibn Taymiyya takfired, Asharis, Maturidis etc…big coincidence. You know, the kind Hamza tries to take atheists to task for.
Then he predictably rejoined with a call for unity and to hide our differences for the purpose of dawah (i.e intellectual dishonesty and telling people to change their religion but not telling them for what. Or for that matter that he perhaps follows an anthropomorphic creed…like many good Christians and that other Muslims…well, do not). Not very open and honest: ‘Become Muslim!’…’but what is this Islam you speak of? Who is this ‘Allah” you speak of? Is he like, you know, a giant man sitting on a throne in the sky kinda like that painting on the roof of the Sistine Chapel like ‘Sheikh Ul Islam’ Ibn Taymiyya says?’. ‘I’m Sorry, but that’s classified. You can only be told after you have accepted ‘Islam’. And then only over Kebabs and mint tea’. ‘Uhhhh, this sounds familiar…’.
So by now, despite the nauseating repetitiveness of calls for ‘love’ and ‘tea’ (one is left wondering if he would like to dialogue with the critic or date them), we come to realise that it is all in vain:
He says he is ‘aqeeda neutral’ but he mentions repeatedly the heretical views of Ibn Taymiyya, thereby legitimising him and acting as his interlocutor.
He is ‘not an extremist’ but he popularises a scholar who in the very first page of the very first volume of his most famous work calls for people who disagree with him on the mere matter of saying the intention of prayer out loud…to be executed. By beheading (which Hamza perhaps would remind us is painless, presumably not from personal experience). Taymiyya, scholar who insisted that women be circumcised unto the clitoris. He promotes this man to students around the country (and even, as he keeps reminding us ‘Australia’). But he is not extreme. He is not sectarian. He loves. He wants to have tea with you.
He is not unbalanced, but his organisation has, never once allowed a instructor of a creed against that of his own minority one to have a platform…but they are happy to take their money and donations nonetheless.
He is tolerant, but not of ANY other view of, for example, gender segregation and women speaking to a mixed audience. Ever.
So tolerance of other views is in reality not tolerating them or accommodating them ever? A fascinating inversion.
He speaks out against extremism, but any attack on him or IERA is an attack on Islam nay, the Lord God himself, as per his post and earlier IERA press release. Islam is IERA and IERA is Islam. Dissenters are the enemies of Islam, the friends of the kuffar. I wonder what Ibn Taymiyya has in store for such?
But why ask Ibn Taymiyya when we have the real scholarly authority behind Hamza and IERA: Sheikh Haitham Haddad. A man so inclusive and so liberal that he encourages us to consider Osama Bin Laden for martyrdom honours: http://www.islam21c.com/politics/2644-advice-to-muslims-on-the-death-of-osama-bin-ladin, reminds us that Jews are descended from apes and pigs (who knew he was a good old fashioned Darwinian!), and insists that we inculcate ‘hatred for all Jews and Christians’.
The less said about his alleged ideas that sometimes innocent Muslims may need to be killed to ‘get at’ the enemy the better I think (gosh, I wonder what they think about innocent non-Muslims…no such thing according to Salafists perhaps?).
Since Hamza is a big fan of ‘love’, we won’t dwell on Haddad and Ibn Taymiyyas very ‘liberal’ take on female circumcision ‘to reduce the sexual desire’ of women. It somewhat kills the mood…
Oh wait, now I know why there are no public female IERA speakers!
So sadly, fearing for the safety of my clitoris, I have to decline his kind offer and will not be able to have tea (or kebabs) with Mr Tzortzis. But I would be more than happy to discuss my article with him in a moderated debate format: ‘Should IERA be Banned From The University Of London’.
After all, an ‘intellectual activist’ such as Mr Tzortzis should have no trouble making his point, even without tea. But something tells me he won’t be accepting…especially from a woman…
How To Be Diplomatic Like Ustad Hamza Tzortzis
Assalamualaikum Warahmutullahi Wabarakatuh [if there is any way of making it longer please insert HERE],
Brothers and Sisters,
Gosh! I just waffle waffle waffle waffle love love love love love hug hugs hugs hugs hugs love love love love
Hugs hugs hugs man hugs groups hugs kisses kisses kisses [INSERT VEILED INSULT HERE]. Love love love love love love cultural reference cultural reference cultural reference love love love.
Love love hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs snogs snogs big wet man kisses [I AM THE DEFENDER OF THE FAITH]. Love waffle love waffle love waffle love waffle love waffle love waffle [I AM THE TIP OF THE SPEAR] waffle waffle love love.
Bromance bromance bromance bromance bromance bromance [insert cultural reference, preferably South Asian HERE]. Love waffle hugs bromance man snog/optional backslap [ I AM FIGHTING THE KUFFAR ON YOUR BEHALF. YOU OWE ME]. SMILEY
Love lies love lies love lies love lies love lies love lies.
Waffle, love half truth waffle love half truth waffle love lie waffle love lie waffle love hugs [MY ENEMY IS THE ENEMY OF GOD +/- CRYPTO – TAKFIR]. Love waffle food reference food reference love hugs big wet snogs.
Mock righteous indignation waffle waffle blah blah blah waffle half truth Mock righteous indignation waffle waffle waffle. SMILEY Mock righteous indignation UNITY UNITY UNITY UNITY UNITY UNITY UNITY [repeat until recipient is sub – catatonic]. Mock righteous indignation Mock righteous indignation [UNITY IS BEHIND US. DISSENT IS DEATH]. SMILEY
(Possible) Protocols Of The Elders of IERA:
ALL PEOPLE: We want your money so we can pursue our secret agenda and make you into REAL Muslims and get lots of converts so that we can get bragging rights and more authority in the Muslim community.
MATURIDIS AND ASHARIS: Sorry guys, you are kaafirs and we will have nothing to do with you…except, feel free to give us your money (and don’t worry: Sheikh Uthaymeen says you are not REALLY kaafir until we have told you the truth, that is Wahhabism, but if you then reject it, well…)
SUFIS: You are grave worshipping kaafirs and your blood is halal as per Ibn Taymiyya and Sheikh Abdul Wahhab…but this is England so we can’t say that. Cash please though!
SECURITY SERVICES: We are moderates! Just don’t ask us to state an opinion on violence in countries other than our own, because, well you know…
NON – MUSLIMS: We love you (but we hate you)
WOMEN: See above
MEN: You are amazing with superhuman self control – feel free to address female audiences (and have an unusual preponderance of polygyny). But sadly those pesky women are, well, just too darn horny to address men or a mixed audience, we know they just can’t keep it in their pants. Unlike Hamza and Co…Oh, and cash please!
ACADEMICS AND POTENTIAL SPONSORS: We produce serious research – for example, last year we published a paper on embryology (without using our hundreds of thousands of pounds of public donations to actually consult a single embryologist). Uhhh…did we mention ‘cash please’?