Good News from the Middle East

Bahraini intellectual Dhiyaa Al-Musawi. Heard him years ago, lost track of this recording but have been searching for him since. Thanks to a friend in Beirut who tracked it down. Not something you hear every day from Muslim thinkers. May his tribe increase — quickly — before it’s too late.

One comment on “Good News from the Middle East

  1. Jeff says:

    Dhiyaa Al-Musawi says “Unfortunately, some young men – out of a wrong interpretation of religion… , The moment he becomes religious, … He accuses some people of heresy …” His point is valid. There is no obvious value in calling anyone heretic if you can’t demonstrate per criteria accepted by both the accusing and accused parties that the accused party is a heretic. Otherwise, the accusing party is seemingly merely claiming intellectual and/or moral superiority in some matter while denying (by implication, if the non-heretic is non-hypocritical) any attendant obligation to justify that claim. And that is seemingly to imply one of two things if there is any such thing as moral accountability:

    1) that the accusing party’s claim that another is a heretic is self-evident to humans qua humans


    2) that it is self-evident to humans qua humans that there are non-heretics who have no obligation to attempt to enlighten by evidenced explanation those very heretics who have been designated such by the non-heretics.

    Both of these seem absurd. Normative criticism, to be productive, has to be actionable. And actionable criticism requires a common epistemological ground upon which to reason from about normative matters.

    Short of such a common ground, criticism isn’t typically productive. Worse, it’s typically destructive. Because to judge persons (as opposed to explaining to inquirers why you believe what you believe in terms of shared criteria for warranted beliefs) in ways that can only seem to them like mere groundless and non-intuitive pontifications is to seemingly present oneself to them condescendingly for the mere sake of condescension. How else could they interpret it?


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