I have a religion, and I call my religion Islam. I call myself a Muslim. But the truth is that I’ve made up Islam for myself. If this matters, if someone making up their own Islam seems unreasonable, you can skip past these pages.
The most frequent accusation that I’ve heard against my work is that I treat Islam like a buffet. People like to say that I take what I want and leave what doesn’t suit my taste. I don’t respect Islam, they say, because I only follow the Islam that I’ve made up, instead of the Islam that they’ve made up. Whenever my work draws nearer to the Islam that they’ve made up, or I am kind to the people and ideas that they hold dear, they say, ‘Knight has matured as a writer. ‘ Otherwise, they tell me that I’m confused, that I don’t understand real Islam, and that if I looked deeper into my heart, I’d find the truth—the truth, of course, being their truth.
Recently, I learned that one of my friends had passed away, and also that one of my friends whom I believed had passed away was in fact alive. I mention them here because they both represent Islams that work for me.