suggests that the mysticism of Mohammed was not pure, which means
that anyone who honors him as the greatest of teachers can fall into
the same trap. With an aggressive tendency at the core of the
religion, even its mystics tend to remain tied to it, and if some of
them are able to go beyond it, the urge returns in coming
generations. In the final
analysis Sufism appears more like an aborted form of Vedanta rather
than an alternative form.
Sufism was Western Vedanta that could
never fully emerge because of its bondage to a tradition opposed to
religious freedom and pluralism. If Sufis follow out their higher
mysticism to its real conclusion it may require that they become
part of another religion that is inherently more tolerant and
Dharmic. One should not think
Sufi militance was an affair of the Middle Ages and has been given
up in modern times. Today there is an effort by Sufis to appear more
liberal, not only in India but in the West, but if we look deeply
this is often a public relations ploy.
Ask such Sufis to criticize Islamic
militance. Ask them to honor the use of images in religious worship.
Ask them to publicly state the Islam is not the true religion of the
world. Ask them to criticize traditional Islamic law with its cruel
anti-blasphemy and anti-apostasy rules. Let their answer be your
guide. Militant Sufis have been active in Chechnya and there is Sufi
involvement in the Taleban in Afghanistan, a region that has long
been a center of their activity.