Who Gets to Define Islam?
Personal photo of Dr. Zuhdi Jasser after a Q & A at a free Los Angeles screening of PBS's Islam vs. Islamists, June 13, 2007. My post.
Z had an opportunity to listen to Dr. Jasser speak. And I think came away from the talk, a better person for it, and a better advocate for fighting the war against Islamic terror and Islamism, without lashing out at at the hundreds of millions of Muslims who practice the faith, in peace.
I know this doesn't sit well with many right-wingers. Good. Sometimes, we need the stupid smacked out of us. We've become so educated on the dangers of the Islamist threat by immersing ourselves in Robert Spencerian research and anti-Jihad books, blog any and every news story on honor killings and Islamic cultural encroachments upon our western society, that we find validation in our dim view of Islam as a whole.
I'm not saying there aren't real dangers and a real threat from wahhabism and Islamist fundamentalism. But I am saying that some of us are becoming religious bigots, where our prejudice and hatred are based upon self-indoctrination of anti-Islam literature. Our views against Islam are shaped not by a lack of education, but by an overabundance and an overbalance of education, tilted in one direction. We are all-too willing to believe the worst about Islam, and zero-in only on repeating the negative stories. Positive stories about Muslims get ignored or dismissed as the exception; we seize upon the negative news, then cry out "where are the moderate voices?" We don't see them, because we're too busy looking for the worst.
We are under threat of becoming the stereotype that multicultural liberals wish to see us as: intolerant, warmongering, religious and ethnic bigots.
I have an anti-Islam troll living under the bridge of my blog; anytime I come out with a post that doesn't condemn the entire religion, he will crawl out of his hole to tell me how I am a dhimmi and defender of evil. Bigots like him are part of the problem and have their heads up their asses every bit as much as they rightfully accuse some of us as having our heads in the sand.
bin Laden and Zawahiri tried to convince the Muslim world that the West are at war with Islam. They have failed. That is, unless they've simultaneously convinced the West that Islam is at war with them.
Dr. Jasser represents the kind of modernity and reformation that Islam needs to undergo if it is to survive peacefully alongside the other great world religions in the 21st century. We should not fall into the trap of becoming what we hate.
Here's an excerpt from Islam vs. Islamists (apparently uploaded by Tarek Fatah):
This is the PBS episode from their program series that they had initially pulled, apparently influenced by the likes of CAIR, who they deem to be the "true" "moderates", because they are bearded. I got to see a free screening of this documentary in June of 2007 and highly recommend it to everyone. It is the irony of ironies that the multiculturalist liberals at PBS would suppress Islam vs. Islamists, when the four voices of those in the program are the very "moderates" people need to hear from.
When we lament, "where are the moderate voices in Islam?", "Why aren't they speaking out and denouncing Islamic terror?".....well, you can thank, in part, PBS.
Ok, readers: Let me have both barrels in the face, and tell me why I'm wrong.