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The Salafi Bus: Tablighi Jama'at Visiting Your Mosque This Ramadan?
Typical Tablighi Jama'at doing missionary work on Muslims
So get this, I go to Friday prayer at our unity Mosque which is open to all schools of thought (Sunni/Shia) and there is a group from the Tablighi Jama'at from Portland, OR (doing a 40 day missionary trip) who are going to be staying at our Mosque for a couple of days. The first thing I notice is that the books on Shia Jafari fiqh are covered with "Islamic Finder" (which adheres strictly to a Sunni-Centric community and does not list Shia Mosques/Businesses/Prayer times) prayer times and a couple of brochures to raise money for some their Islamic Charities. Then the Emir (Leader) of the Tablighi Jama'at is allowed to speak to the congregation and he talks about meeting with Muslims at Iftar to discuss Islam. Their main goal is not to even talk to Non-Muslims, but rather talk to Muslims to turn them into Deobandi-Salafists. First thing I did was remove these items off the books and place them in their own spot. Second I shaked hands with the Emir and said Salam Alaykom (peace be upon you) as I normally do...after I was putting my Turbah back in the communal Turbah (Earth) box. These nuanced 'censoring' of other schools of thought and trying to make Dawah (Invitation/Witness) to other Muslims is very disturbing to say the least. Coincidentally they all had the typical Kufi, Big Beard, and Thoub/Shalwar Kameez look. I wish they stopped working so much to convert other Muslims to Deobandism/Salafism and instead spent more time on themselves and doing things to educate (and learn themselves) about the true message of Islam that is not about Zahiri Sharia (Legalistic Literalism) but also incorporates Batini Tariqa (Spiritual Allegory). Islam is not about a bunch of Laws like Judaism alone or pure spirituality like Christianity, but rather a hybrid of the Law and Spirit of the Law. Dealing with Legalistic Literalists is always a challenge in every faith environment. May God grant me the patience to tolerate these kind of things. God knows best.