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    What If Allah Had Facebook?‏


    by guest on 7th June, 2009 at 10:54 am    

    This is a guest post by Sarah as part of Speaker’s Corner Sundays

    I’m a proud, but not over-religious, Muslim. Naturally, my religion means that I am a fan of Allah. I just never thought of admitting this obvious fact on Facebook, of all places.

    I recently discovered that Allah has a fan page on Facebook. A few hours later, I joined a Facebook group called ‘Against The Fan Page of Allah’ where the other 253 members showed me, much to my relief, that I am not alone in finding the idea of this fan page more than a little disrespectful.

    I hope you’ll all agree that God cannot be classed as ‘popular culture’ along with the other things that have fan pages on Facebook. He is not a movie star or a singer. Whatever the lovely song might say, He is not yet ‘one of us.’

    An email springs to mind- the one about how we find it so easy to live everyday life, yet so difficult to pray. I’m sure you’ve all had it forwarded to you a million times in some form. Have we really started to rely so much on social networking that we now want to ’social network’ with God? Have we forgotten what’s really important? Or has Allah sent His Facebook fan page to remind us what’s really important, just before we completely replace religion with virtual reality?



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    46 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Faisal (Not Sid) — on 7th June, 2009 at 11:07 am  

      Sarah, in this post you display exactly the attitude that puts people off religion. Light heartedness, a sense of playfulness is what many religions lack and Islam in particular is perceived as austere, strict and devoid of any fun, no matter what the actuality is on the ground this is the perception.

      When you decide that giving Allah a facebook page is wrong you perpetuate these stereotypes of Muslims, when you go further and join an anti fan, fan group it can be said you have lost the plot.

      Chill Out.

    2. Faisal (Not Sid) — on 7th June, 2009 at 11:16 am  

      In fact it boils down to this, Muslims have more to worry about than whether Allah has a facebook page.

    3. Shatterface — on 7th June, 2009 at 12:18 pm  

      I think if Allah starts posting on the site and inviting young girls to meet him in the park, THEN you’ve got something to worry about.

    4. Leon — on 7th June, 2009 at 2:07 pm  

      I am not alone in finding the idea of this fan page more than a little disrespectful.

      Can you really disrespect something that doesn’t exist?

    5. marvin — on 7th June, 2009 at 3:14 pm  

      The question is a bit like What if God was One of Us?

      If God had a name, what would it be
      And would you call it to his face
      If you were faced with him in all his glory
      What would you ask if you had just one question

    6. Ravi Naik — on 7th June, 2009 at 3:28 pm  

      Can you really disrespect something that doesn’t exist?

      No, it makes absolutely no sense. What is your point?

    7. Don — on 7th June, 2009 at 3:29 pm  

      I hope you’ll all agree that God cannot be classed as ‘popular culture’…

      Interesting question. Not sure that I do agree. Maybe classified more as alt. culture, along with ley lines, crystals and homeopathy.

      I notice that your group wants the other group deleted.

      Figures.

    8. Leon — on 7th June, 2009 at 4:03 pm  

      What would you ask if you had just one question

      Why lord did you subject us to Britney Spears?

    9. Don — on 7th June, 2009 at 4:15 pm  

      What would you ask if you had just one question?

      The prostate, was that supposed to be funny?

    10. chairwoman — on 7th June, 2009 at 4:22 pm  

      “If God had a name, what would it be
      And would you call it to his face”

      Difficult one. Supposing I knew his name, it would depend on how he addressed me.

      If he called me by my given name, I’d call him by his. If he called me Mrs Newton, then I’d probably call him ‘Sir’.

      Pretty much how I operate normally, except for the ‘Sir’ bit, I usually address people by their title and surname in those circumstances, but I assume he has only one name (like Madonna or Kylie), and I haven’t a clue what his title is.

    11. Vikrant — on 7th June, 2009 at 5:38 pm  

      If you find the concept of a fanpage for Allah revolting, simply dont access that page!

      P.S Do you guys know that you can be a fan of yourself on facebook? heh :)…

    12. BenSix — on 7th June, 2009 at 5:56 pm  

      “What would you ask if you had just one question?”

      HAPPY NOW?!

    13. Refresh — on 7th June, 2009 at 6:10 pm  

      Sarah, just to add to Vikrant’s point, don’t bother with the page and don’t go writing articles about it!

    14. dave bones — on 7th June, 2009 at 6:23 pm  

      How come its a he?

    15. Shatterface — on 7th June, 2009 at 6:29 pm  

      Facebook gives you cancer. I read about it on Ben Goldacre’s site.

    16. Don — on 7th June, 2009 at 6:39 pm  

      I don’t think your concerns are being taken seriously, Sarah.
      Better luck next time.

    17. Andy Gilmour — on 7th June, 2009 at 6:59 pm  

      Well, it must be a *seriously* slow news cycle for PP to carry an article about how someone thought a Facebook group that supported an evidence-free deity was so awful (because of their own, personal support for that self-same,evidence-free deity), that they subsequently joined another Facebook group opposed to the first one. (phew, breathe now…)

      I’ve got a gig on Monday, no evidence-free deities being supported, but it matters to me (and my mate, who I’m playing bass for)…there’s even a Facebook event set up for it - can I have an article on that, too?

      Dearie me…

    18. Rumbold — on 7th June, 2009 at 7:04 pm  

      If God was a woman then she has a pretty twisted sense of humour.

    19. Shatterface — on 7th June, 2009 at 7:12 pm  

      Satan uses Twitter. Most evil deeds can be distilled into 140 characters or less.

    20. sarah — on 7th June, 2009 at 8:07 pm  

      Don- I’m just happy to get comments. That’s what blogging’s all about :)

    21. Don — on 7th June, 2009 at 10:31 pm  

      Is it? How depressing.

    22. Ravi Naik — on 7th June, 2009 at 10:58 pm  

      Sarah, the bottom line is that you are trying to censor someone’s facebook page because you happen to think it is disrespectful. What if someone wanted to ban your post because they don’t agree with you?

    23. sonia — on 7th June, 2009 at 11:23 pm  

      Hmm. Naturally humans discuss what is important to them in these sorts of spaces. social “networking” is only a new sort of way of thinking of the kinds of connections people have been making through online spaces - which inevitably leads to some kind of community-style dynamics. hence the ’social’ and ‘cultural’ obsessions that we humans have ‘offline’ are naturally going to permeate the ‘online’ world.

      it is simply communication after all. about what is important to us as humans. that is ‘popular’ culture.

      why should we be suprised that this is then going to turn up in facebook. i’d say let’s embrace all media to discuss what’s important to us, and why, and how we can all co-exist with each other’s ideas and attitudes, and hopefully - spur each other on to be as critical as we can be.

    24. sonia — on 7th June, 2009 at 11:29 pm  

      Good point from Ravi.

      i’d say the ’silly’ thing about it is how ‘childish’ facebook groups can be and the way they approach a topic. bit like high school football teams.

      what i find more interesting personally - is the old style ‘discussion’/bulletin board style, perhaps with ‘forums’ or ‘rooms’ where people turn up and discuss their ideas about some particular topic. Rather than this ‘im on this side’ and i’m on that side’ and we both want each other’s ‘pages’ to be deleted! (and that being the point of the page)

      but then the FB community does specialise in pointless sort of pages - and people engage with that in a humorous silly kind of way - so i’d take it all with a pinch of salt. :-)

    25. sonia — on 7th June, 2009 at 11:31 pm  

      3. Shatterface - that’s actually really quite funny :-).
      we could also have Prophet’s with pages turning water into wine as well and all sorts. Jesus and Muhammad - peace be upon both of them! - and the judean people’s front, could vie with each other to see how many fans they had, heh.

    26. sonia — on 7th June, 2009 at 11:35 pm  

      Mind you, its quite amusing though really. Just think, we had to wait till Facebook for God to make an appearance on Earth rather than using a human intermediary.. (ooh is He on Twitter do we think?) I’m sure plenty of people out there in the old days of the ‘information superhighway’ thought they’d run into God somewhere in cyberspace, speaking to them through the ether.

      {if you think about it, for anyone interested in metaphysics (rather than tribal identity) you would think, hmm, could this be some sort of parallel universe, matrix style, that i’m stepping into, where i might find God?}

    27. Vikrant — on 8th June, 2009 at 12:01 am  

      The BNP meanwhile have landed their first MEP… shucks..

    28. Vikrant — on 8th June, 2009 at 12:22 am  

      ok BNP almost nicked another seat down south :(. Results for UKIP seem delightful though :).

    29. Calculating_Misfit — on 8th June, 2009 at 2:07 am  

      @Sarah

      “Don- I’m just happy to get comments. That’s what blogging’s all about”

      You are guaranteed many comments when you blog about Islam, Allah, Jihad, Muslims, et al. these days.

    30. deewana — on 8th June, 2009 at 7:31 am  

      well…first of all, have you not got something else to talk about? i believe there are other topics in this big world to speak about.please guys, if you dont agree with a faith, fine, its your choice, but dont critise or malign a particular faith. i guess one should respect others way of life.THANKS

    31. deewana — on 8th June, 2009 at 7:38 am  

      well…first of all, have you not got something else to talk about? i believe there are other topics in this big world to speak about.please guys, if you dont agree with a faith, fine, its your choice, but dont critise or malign a particular faith.SARAH… I FEEL PEOPLE WILL ADMIRE YOU MORE IN RESPECTING OTHERS THAN CHOOSIGN OTHERWISE.
      SHOULD I SAY, FACEBOOK BLESS YOU?

    32. cjcjc — on 8th June, 2009 at 8:03 am  

      “This is a group to collect poeple against the Fan Page of Allah …. in order to report this page to be closed !”

      Muslims in favour of censorship - shock.

      This is really helping combat those stereotypes, isn’t it?

    33. platinum786 — on 8th June, 2009 at 8:24 am  

      You guys are making it sound like she asked for the owner of the page to be beheaded or something. I think she has a point, religion shouldn’t be a joke.

    34. munir — on 8th June, 2009 at 8:34 am  

      cjcjc
      “Muslims in favour of censorship - shock.

      This is really helping combat those stereotypes, isn’t it?”

      Muslims represent 1,400,000,000 people on the planet of every race, nationality, personality and class. Someone who has stereotypes and can make generalisations about that large a number of people is clearly a bigot and a retard.

    35. munir — on 8th June, 2009 at 8:42 am  

      I wonder if the people who created this page are aware what the Islamic conception of Allah (God) is?
      God is not a corpaereal being - to belief this is disbelief.

      This is from Aqida Tahwiyya the standard Sunni creed:

      “We say about Allah’s unity believing by Allah’s help - that Allah is One, without any partners.

      There is nothing like Him.

      There is nothing that can overwhelm Him.

      There is no god other than Him.

      He is the Eternal without a beginning and enduring without end.

      He will never perish or come to an end.

      Nothing happens except what He wills.

      No imagination can conceive of Him and no understanding can comprehend Him.

      He is different from any created being.

      He is living and never dies and is eternally active and never sleeps.

      He creates without His being in need to do so and provides for His creation without any effort.

      He causes death with no fear and restores to life without difficulty.

      He has always existed together with His attributes since before creation. Bringing creation into existence did not add anything to His attributes that was not already there. As He was, together with His attributes, in pre-eternity, so He will remain throughout endless time.

      It was not only after the act of creation that He could be described as `the Creator’ nor was it only by the act of origination that He could he described as `the Originator’.

      He was always the Lord even when there was nothing to be Lord of, and always the Creator even when there was no creation.

      In the same way that He is the `Bringer to life of the dead’, after He has brought them to life a first time, and deserves this name before bringing them to life, so too He deserves the name of `Creator’ before He has created them.

      This is because He has the power to do everything, everything is dependent on Him, everything is easy for Him, and He does not need anything. `There is nothing like Him and He is the Hearer, the Seer’. (al-Shura 42:11)

      He created creation with His knowledge.

      He appointed destinies for those He created.

      He allotted to them fixed life spans.

      Nothing about them was hidden from Him before He created them, and He knew everything that they would do before He created them.

      He ordered them to obey Him and forbade them to disobey Him.

      Everything happens according to His decree and will, and His will is accomplished. The only will that people have is what He wills for them. What He wills for them occurs and what He does not will, does not occur.

      He gives guidance to whoever He wills, and protects them, and keeps them safe from harm, out of His generosity; and He leads astray whoever He wills, and abases them, and afflicts them, out of His justice.

      All of them are subject to His will between either His
      generosity or His justice.

      He is exalted beyond having opposites or equals.

      No one can ward off His decree or put back His command or overpower His affairs.

      We believe in all of this and are certain that everything comes from Him

      Anyone who describes Allah as being in any way the same as a human being has become an unbeliever. All those who grasp this will take heed and refrain from saying things such as the unbelievers say, and they will know that He, in His attributes, is not like human beings. ”

      http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/misc/tahawi.htm
      Also
      The Foundations of the Islamic Belief
      http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/misc/ghazali1.htm

    36. cjcjc — on 8th June, 2009 at 9:02 am  

      Goodness me - he shouldn’t be too bothered about that Facebook page then, should he?!

    37. Shamit — on 8th June, 2009 at 9:26 am  

      “Nothing happens except what He wills. ”

      “He appointed destinies for those He created.”

      If then how could have some humans not have his express approval when they created a group on Facebook expressing themselves as fans of him.

      I guess again if this is true then the BNP win of 2 seats must have been the will of GOD. Or the thousands of atrocities that have been and are committed against innocent children everywhere.

      If that was the work of the Devil/Satan whatever, then Munir are you admitting that this evil creature has the power to overturn God’s desire. I do not believe in the existance of Satan based on my belief in the Hindu philosophy.

      Only, those religions with a linear philosophy of human existance[ie leading from Garden of Eden to Judgement Day] believe in the existance of Satan. And those are the religions who openly proclaim omnipotence of GOD. I find that contradictory.

      On the other hand, those religions based on the broader contexts of Hindu philosophy ie Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism believe in a circular philosophy with regard to human existance and for them good and evil are not separate — people are reborn based on their karma and are reborn until they attain nirvana — or become one with God.

      The concept of Satan on the Devil as a powerful alternative to God’s path is not even considered. And attaining the perfect afterlife is a struggle of many births in many forms to improve one’s soul so it could be one with GOD.

      I am not trying to insult any religion or proclaiming superiority of one religion to the other — I am just exploring and trying to understand.

    38. Shamit — on 8th June, 2009 at 9:55 am  

      My notepad and I seem to have replaced the correct word (existence) with the wrong spelling -

      Apologies.

    39. Don — on 8th June, 2009 at 7:10 pm  

      platinum,

      …religion shouldn’t be a joke.

      We’ll agree to differ.

    40. Amrit — on 8th June, 2009 at 7:21 pm  

      Don and Andy -

      Classy fellows. :-D Just thought I would say that. Don, I pissed you off once, but might I just say that you are one of the awesomest semi-regular regulars here?

      Re: this post, I’m afraid that my reaction was a thundering ‘WHO CARES?!’

      Or has Allah sent His Facebook fan page to remind us what’s really important, just before we completely replace religion with virtual reality?

      Wow, what prompted THAT bit of scaremongering? Who exactly is ‘replacing religion with virtual reality’?

    41. Don — on 8th June, 2009 at 7:50 pm  

      Why, thank you Amrit.

      I don’t remember you pissing me off, no doubt I was dyspeptic that day.

    42. persephone — on 8th June, 2009 at 10:44 pm  

      I am not religious either - whatever not being religious means.

      Surely intent is more important than the medium through which you choose to express devotion. Especially a medium that is relatively new compared to most religions - in that how can anyone know if it is a ‘wrong’ medium? Why the wish to ban a new way, particularly one that engages the next generation, to express devotion?

      Otherwise we should also ban websites et al that cover religion, air prayers & those sites where donations are made to religious charities.

      It just appears as control for controls sake.

    43. andy gilmour — on 8th June, 2009 at 11:41 pm  

      Amrit - aw, shucks…

      re. Platinum #33,

      The problem is, “religion” *IS* a joke - just not a very funny one.

      There’s no way it/they/however you want to organise it can avoid being one, frankly - they’re all pretty ridiculous, with their claims, counter-claims, creeds, codes, dogma (it’s late, I ran out of nonsensical religious flummeries starting with “c”) and mythologically-based “truths”.

      Ho hum.

    44. Ravi Naik — on 9th June, 2009 at 6:17 am  

      The problem is, “religion” *IS* a joke - just not a very funny one.

      Atheists are not known for their sense of humour, you know. :)

    45. Niels C — on 9th June, 2009 at 5:01 pm  

      Now if
      “No imagination can conceive of Him and no understanding can comprehend Him”
      Then the Facebook site must be about another Allah,

    46. Paul Moloney — on 9th June, 2009 at 7:14 pm  

      “I’m a proud, but not over-religious….”

      Says you. Sounds like you’ve had a humour bypass - get over it.

      Just to add my voice to those saying it must be a slow PP day.

      P.



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