One of my goals in life was to go to graduate school, study militant Islamist Islam, and get a doctorate therein.
But, now, no more.
I have given up my academic aspirations, for which this blog was part practice, part entertainment, part jump start. Instead, I have chosen to embark on a more practical path. There are two major reasons for this: one has to do with age and propriety, and the other has to do with Islamism in academia.
I am almost thirty. Now is not the time to start my graduate education. I have to start making a living or at least walk towards some goal that will financially provide for me. I have a trajectory in mind, which was not what I expected; and to a degree this trajectory is not what I would have preferred nor is it one I am thrilled about with my heart and soul. But it is the direction I need to go in, my personal feelings notwithstanding.
The second point is also significant, if not more significant than the last one. If one takes a view of Islam in academia, one sees certain academic giants, of whom the primary is probably John Esposito. These giants practically determine what is said and taught about Islam. They are, quite tellingly, supported by a plethora or organizations which praise them to the sky. These are all deliberate. Islamists (which include Islamist Muslims, non-Muslims who support Islamist Muslims, and those who are naïve and hoodwinked by the two) have in place measures to control the academic discourse on Islam. Scholars who go against their agenda are discredited. One example is Daniel Pipes. One exception is Bernard Lewis. Those who are ostracized are so treated not only through institutional means but also by smear campaigns and by attempting to drown what these scholars are saying with what scholars they support say.
As such, it is quite difficult to go into academia desiring to study and specialize in militant Islam from an accurate and truly academic perspective and expect to make it. One of my favorite scholars on militant Islam, Dr. David Cook, did not start with militant Islam. His focus was on apocalypticism in Islam. So, I would have to find an indirect way into gaining acceptance as a scholar and then turn towards militant Islam.
This blog, consequently, will become my main outlet for my study of militant Islam. Rather than making this study my vocation, it will now be my hobby. And as with all hobbies, real life comes first. Hence the lack of posting.
One request: I do not have time any more to sit, browse through the many blogs I like to find out what is going on in the world, and blog about it. I’ll blog as I feel the need to say something. But if one of you, my dear and long-suffering readers, have something you would like me to blog about, please do e-mail me and tell me about it.
Until next time…be well!