[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: The Trouble With Islam Today

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Trouble With Islam Today


That's the title of a book by Canadian Muslim activist Irshad Munji. I recently saw her in a one-on-one interview with conservative radio and TV talk host Glenn Beck (funny how someone accused of being a racist is willing to invite a female Muslim to his show), and she is quite a personality.

More importantly, she's got guts.

Manji's mission is not to denounce Islam, her own religion, but to denounce the radical elements and interpretation of Islam. She's the "moderate" voice that we've been clamoring for since 9/11, if not before. The interesting aspect of Manji's approach isn't that she's denouncing the radicals, but that she's denouncing them by showing them how Islam should be interpreted. In other words, she's fighting the radicals at their own game. She's fed up with how they have been misinterpreting and hijacking the Koran and Islam in the name of Jihad, and she's out to show them, the moderates and the world that the Koran and Islam in general can be interpreted as a peaceful and progressive-spirited religion.

I'm not familiar enough with Islam to pass judgement on the accuracy of Manji's interpretation, but who I am to doubt someone's knowledge of their own religion?

Of course, she has received death threats from Muslims who support the radical terrorists movements, and condemnation from some moderate Muslims who would rather keep everything under the rug.

Fortunately for us, she's undeterred in her efforts.

I wish her the best of luck. We need her to be successful, folks. We need to support people like Irshad Munji.

Labels:

11 Comments:

Blogger Isha' said...

O dear! There have already been a lot of people denouncing terrorism among Muslims.

Somehow those voices do not reach CNN (and unfortunately all the radical ones manage to ).

Check out for Tariq Ramadan, Asghar Ali Engineer, Hamza Yusuf, if you wish.

2:55 PM, February 12, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

i'm not saying that there aren't other moderate voices out there, but at least here in the U.S., Manji is the one receiving the most notoriety at the moment. And, yes, unfortunately, these folks have a hard time getting air time on CNN.

Thanks for the information on the others around the world who have taken up this worthwhile fight.

3:47 PM, February 12, 2007  
Blogger Adam said...

Hey, guess what, inviting a muslim woman on your talk show has no bearing on whether or not you are a racist.

Also, when you say "but who I am to doubt someone's knowledge of their own religion?" it comes across as less than sincere since this is exactly what you are doing to every muslim who does not share her view.

12:50 PM, February 13, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

I wish her well. Muslim moderates in many countries are intimidated by the jihadists and need all the western support they can get. It's disgraceful that someone like Ayan Hirsi Ali can be expelled by the Dutch govt, which is unwilling to stand up to Islamists even as Ali risks her own life to do so. I'm glad that we took her in, but there is much more that we can do.

2:02 PM, February 13, 2007  
Blogger Rick said...

Oh c'mon, Adam. Next you're going to tell me that owning a George Foreman Grill doesn't necessarily mean that you're anti-black.

5:13 PM, February 14, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Adam,

You're mistaken. I should have said that I don't believe in the extremists view of Islam. Even if I don't know much about the religion, I know enough to confidently say that the extremists' interpretation doesn't represent the true spirit of one of the world's major religions.

That doesn't mean that Munji's interpretation is the ONLY reasonable one, but it sure seems to me like the one that makes the most sense and is the most humane.

6:23 PM, February 14, 2007  
Blogger vbspurs said...

That doesn't mean that Munji's interpretation is the ONLY reasonable one, but it sure seems to me like the one that makes the most sense and is the most humane.

I saw her appearance, twice, (a repeat, although I could've sworn it was on prime-time both), which is a rarity for me as I am bored by Glenn Beck's style.

I'm saddened on every level for this woman.

That she cannot have a normal discourse about her religion, like two Catholics can, or two Protestants can, because of the entrenched views extremists have about the purity of Islam, is beyond frustrating.

I wish her well.

On the off-chance you haven't read it, this is also a good book.

"Between Two Worlds: Growing up in the Shadow of Saddam"

By Zainab Salbi.

The daughter of Saddam's reluctant ex-pilot and a woman who was the belle of the ball in Baghdad before they got caught up in Saddam's inner circle, it is a harrowing tale of choices.

The choices my own grandparents had to make, in the 1930s in Germany (or those in the latter-half of the 20th century in Cuba).

Cheers,
Victoria

2:17 PM, February 15, 2007  
Blogger Adam said...

I don't see how I am mistaken. I was commenting on the rhetorical style of your original review being abrasive and insincere. Your repost is much more reasonable.

And Victoria,
As for catholics having a reasonable conversation with fundamentalist christians, I guess you haven't seen the billboards proclaiming "The Pope is the Antichrist" or similar statements. There are millions of reasonable muslims and millions of reasonable christians and there are fundamentalists in both religions who won't listen to each other.

10:38 AM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Adam,

Both the original post and my subsequent comments reflect my true feelings. The extremists view of Islam is wrong, regardless of how little or how much I know about the religion. Do you agree? The view that the non-radicals take can be debated intelligently and thoughtfully, but I imagine that they denounce the extremist view as well.

If my opinion that the extremists are tainting Islam is abrasive, insincere and uneducated, then so be it. I can live with that. It's no better or no worse than the comments you and everyone else have made. I think I've made myself perfectly clear.

11:21 AM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger vbspurs said...

And Victoria,
As for catholics having a reasonable conversation with fundamentalist christians, I guess you haven't seen the billboards proclaiming "The Pope is the Antichrist" or similar statements. There are millions of reasonable muslims and millions of reasonable christians and there are fundamentalists in both religions who won't listen to each other.


Suffice it to say that in the whole of my life, in the whole of my parents lives, we have never encountered this attitude, but even once.

We religious people (mildly religious on my part), especially Christians, are under attack, and we realise that petty squabbling is folly.

Now, you might say this is patently untrue, that you've seen billboards, you've read articles, you've seen documentaries.

But I tell you, what happens on the, shall we say journalistic level, and what happens in every day life, is VERY different indeed.

Cheers,
Victoria

2:15 PM, February 16, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

There is no parallel between fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims. The fundamentalist Muslims kill people who disagree with them, on a worldwide scale, want to convert nonbelievers by force, and proclaim their imperial ambitions and intent to commmit genocide. The fundamentalist Christians recruit by persuasion and mainly want to be left alone.

4:59 PM, February 16, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home