The Defeat of “Love Trumps Hate”

Donald Trump official portrait.jpg

by Modaser Shah

Zen, which is mostly practice and not theory, requires three things: Great Faith, Great Doubt, and Great Perseverance.

Following the recent election of Donald Trump, to many practitioners of Zen, and the Sufis, and the humanists, and the universalists, it may seem that they are in the midst of Great Doubt: global discouragement, loss of faith, and loss of goodwill. Here, in Trumpland, the erstwhile great United States that is now the Great-Again America, the shameful episode of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II is seemingly being viewed as  a precedent, rather than a stain. (Perhaps slavery will be seen as another precedent.)

At the spectacle of defeat of love at the hands of hate, it seems foolish to look beyond the immediate present. Some friends of mine have told me that they are in shock and mourning after the elections. Indeed, it is hard to see any light in this dark. But wait; what would you expect Nasruddin the foolish Sufi sage (or the sagacious Sufi fool) to say? To many, a dark night may be the time to give up search and hope, but Nasruddin would say that a dark night is the time to begin a quest (as he shows in some of his fables).

Then there is the matter of perseverance. While energies circulate between Great Doubt and Great Faith, Great Perseverance is what sustains the search and takes it forward.

Despite talk of Muslims being required to be register and being subject to special surveillance, questioning, and restrictions, many people may not know that there exists a group called Muslims for Trump, as there are African Americans and Latinos for Trump. Obviously, these people saw something good (or something good for themselves) in this spewer of poisonous rhetoric. In doing so, they may have exhibited Great Faith, but self-interest may have blinded them to the Great Doubt that should accompany Great Faith. Or, perhaps, they wished to avoid the pain and suffering that goes with Great Doubt, especially in the presence of Great Perseverance.

Derrida the deconstructionist the Arab Jew (there is such a thing) wrote somewhere that justice is never achieved but must always be fought for.  Similarly, love never trumps hate. The best that can be hoped for is a standoff, a workable impasse. If and when love triumphs, the people who believe themselves to represent love must not mistreat the people they believe to represent hate. As is true for Trump-admirers in Muslim minority lands, Muslims in Muslim majority lands should muster sufficient Great Doubt so as not to throw hateful rhetoric and cruelty towards their minorities. And in this determination we, the humans, should persevere.

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3 Responses to The Defeat of “Love Trumps Hate”

  1. rob crocker says:

    As a Jazz broadcaster that has lived around the world,I am a shamed as an American for the Trump election….and to hear him say he ‘now understands’ …about health care,NATO,China [etc]. Leads me to embrace the concept that dark hour is the time to search for clarity and the ‘keeping of the faith’ that the world will return to better direction and growth for mankind. I can only wish this author is wrong and that Love can & will triumph.

  2. sufiways says:

    Thanks for your comments which encourage us to look for light in the darkness,not an easy task these days.In Jazz & the blues,if I may say so as an amateur,the light inside seems always to be struggling to get out & touch us.

  3. Chuan Kung Shakya says:

    Three and a half years later, do you stand by this “darkness”. In fact, over these years,Trump has brought many good things to Muslims and many other groups, religious, ethnic, etc. In fact, I look at what you wrote here, and I see the fear-mongering that was done back then, things that did not happen when President Trump took office. Most Trump-haters have remained mired in their fear. What about you and other Buddhists and Sufis” Do you see beyond the illusion presented as reality? Shi Chuan Kung, Zen Buddhist priest

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