A world-renowned ecumenical religious jurist, Juan Cole has issued thousands of edicts over the past 35 years clarifying long-standing controversies in diverse religions from Roman Catholicism to Kalash polytheism. Rumour also has it that he travelled back in time and was secretly appointed pontifex maximus by Augustus (who falsely claimed he received this title in 12 BC) in order to ensure the proper administration of the compital cults featuring the Lares Augusti in Rome after 7 BC, such that ancient historians are increasingly linking the Roman Empire's ultimate decline to the failure to heed the guidance of Juan Cole.
Having recently explained to ignorant Islamophobes how the Tsarnaev brothers behind the Boston bombings were not 'proper Muslims', Cole now enlightens us in an exclusive guest post for this site on why he himself is not a proper Muslim in half as many ways as he pronounced the Tsarnaev brothers infidels:
By Juan Cole
1. I declared takfir on the Tsarnaev brothers despite my lack of any religious authority to issue a fatwa. Declaring takfir in this manner is exactly what al-Qa'ida and other hardline jihadist groups do in contravention of Islamic law.
2. I became a Baha'i in 1972 and, despite no longer feeling in touch with the Baha'i religious hierarchy by 1996, I nonetheless reaffirmed that I am a believer in and follower of Baha'ism's founder- Baha'u'llah- in 1999. Being a religious believer in him is strictly against Islam, since Mohammed is the Seal of Prophets and therefore the last.
3. As per 2., Baha'u'llah- as a follower of the Bab- held that Islamic law had been abrogated. Believing in the abrogation of Islamic law is strictly forbidden according to Islamic law.
4. On my Facebook page, I currently define myself as 'Spiritual'. Such a self-definition of religious identity- outside of the framework of the three monotheisms- is not tolerated according to Islamic law.
5. I am a supporter of gay marriage. Homosexuality in any form is forbidden according to the most authoritative views of Islamic law.
There are of course many other ways in which I am not a proper Muslim. Nonetheless, the fact is that in my postgraduate student days I had a mystical experience in which God entrusted me with a divine mission to correct the numerous errors the followers of all religions have made and show how they do not really understand the essences of their faiths, which, as explained by the mighty Baha'u'llah (peace be upon him; didn't I just declare I am not a proper Muslim?), are in truth just saying the same thing. Now if you'll excuse me, I must dash off on a plane journey to Great Nicobar Island to explain to the indigenous Shompen peoples how they are misinterpreting their religious laws that I actually know nothing about. Where there's religious misunderstanding, Cole will fix it!