Friday, August 25, 2006

A Muslim Woman Who Doesn't CAIR...

Irshad Manji is one of those brave Muslims who is an outspoken critic of Islam and the Jihadists. There is NOTHING WRONG with criticizing your own faith. It's healthy when there's much to be critical of. She has received praise from fellow Muslims for speaking out openly and vocally; and of course, she also receives many death threats, which she forwards on to the FBI. I first heard of her on the Dennis Prager Show about 2 years ago. She was on Laura Ingraham about a week ago. Here is what she wrote in an op-ed for the NY Times that week:
Muslim Myopia

Published: August 16, 2006

New Haven

LAST week, the luminaries of the British Muslim mainstream — lobbyists, lords and members of Parliament — published an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair, telling him that the “debacle” of both Iraq and Lebanon provides “ammunition to extremists who threaten us all.” In increasingly antiwar America, a similar argument is gaining traction: The United States brutalizes Muslims, which in turn foments Islamist terror.

But violent jihadists have rarely needed foreign policy grievances to justify their hot heads. There was no equivalent to the Iraq debacle in 1993, when Islamists first tried to blow up the World Trade Center, or in 2000, when they attacked the American destroyer Cole. Indeed, that assault took place after United States-led military intervention saved thousands of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo.

If Islamists cared about changing Iraq policy, they would not have bothered to abduct two journalists from France — probably the most antiwar, anti-Bush nation in the West. Even overt solidarity with Iraqi suffering did not prevent Margaret Hassan, who ran a world-renowned relief agency in Baghdad, from being executed by insurgents.

Meanwhile, at least as many Muslims are dying at the hands of other Muslims as under the boots of any foreign imperial power. In Sudan, black Muslims are starved, raped, enslaved and slaughtered by Arab militias, with the consent of an Islamic government. Where is the “official” Muslim fury against that genocide? Do Muslim lives count only when snuffed out by non-Muslims? If not, then here is an idea for Muslim representatives in the West: Go ahead and lecture the politicians that their foreign policies give succor to radicals. At the same time, however, challenge the educated and angry young Muslims to hold their own accountable, too.

This means reminding them that in Pakistan, Sunnis hunt down Shiites every day; that in northern Israel, Katuysha rockets launched by Hezbollah have ripped through the homes of Arab Muslims as well as Jews; that in Egypt, the riot police of President Hosni Mubarak routinely club, rape, torture and murder Muslim activists promoting democracy; and, above all, that civil wars have become hallmarks of the Islamic world.

Muslim figureheads will not dare be so honest. They would sooner replicate the very sins for which they castigate the Bush and Blair governments — namely, switching rationales and pretending integrity.

In the wake of the London bombings on July 7, 2005, Iqbal Sacranie, then the head of the influential Muslim Council of Britain, insisted that economic discrimination lay at the root of Islamist radicalism in his country. When it came to light that some of the suspects enjoyed middle-class upbringings, university educations, jobs and cars, Mr. Sacranie found a new culprit: foreign policy. In so doing, he boarded the groupthink express steered by Muslim elites.

The good news is that ordinary people of faith are capable of self-criticism. Two months ago, 65 percent of British Muslims polled believed that their communities should increase efforts to integrate. The same poll also produced troubling results: 13 percent lionized the July 7 terrorists, and 16 percent sympathized. Still, these figures total 29 percent — less than half the number who sought to belong more fully to British society.

Whether in Britain or America, those who claim to speak for Muslims have a responsibility to the majority, which wants to reconcile Islam with pluralism. Whatever their imperial urges, it is not for Tony Blair or George W. Bush to restore Islam’s better angels. That duty — and glory — goes to Muslims.

Irshad Manji, a fellow at Yale University, is the author of “The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith.”

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Blogger Old Soldier said...

You have done a great service by posting Irshad's op-ed. I shall be linking to it immediately.

Friday, August 25, 2006 9:50:00 AM  
Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

To restore Izlams better angels?..who praytell are them?..excellent find Word!

Friday, August 25, 2006 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More like Irshad need to come forward, rather than keeping silent, if there are indeed a lot of Muslims who care about their image and truly desire peace.

Until such time, objecting to such things as racial profiling at security checkpoints or negative remarks about Islam will, IMO, not hold much water.

That is one very brave woman, and I hope her message gets through to at least some of her fellow Muslims. Equally as much, I hope she stays safe.

Friday, August 25, 2006 3:14:00 PM  
Blogger airforcewife said...

Irshad is wonderful. Her website is

Her book is awesome - and in it she was very supportive of Israel and recognized just how much freedom Israeli Arabs have there... even (maybe especially) compared to Arabic Muslim countries.

Friday, August 25, 2006 4:01:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Like Airforcewife, I've also read her before and she truly is a lone voice in an extremely loud silence. She is one brave individual! If only there were more who were even half as gutsy as she is. This woman has true grit! We need to pray for her safety.

Friday, August 25, 2006 5:49:00 PM  
Blogger Old Soldier said...

Wordsmith, I tried to send a TrackBack ping but didn't succeed (obviously). Please know that I tried.

Friday, August 25, 2006 6:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great post, Word!

Friday, August 25, 2006 6:57:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Her book is awesome - and in it she was very supportive of Israel and recognized just how much freedom Israeli Arabs have there... even (maybe especially) compared to Arabic Muslim countries.

airforcewife, Michael Medved had some interesting stats, which I can no longer recall accurately, regarding how well Arabs in Israel are treated, and such things as their literacy rate in comparison to Arabs in other Middle Eastern countries.

old soldier, I should have made this post sooner. I'm too lazy to figure out how to do trackbacks; I'm thinking it's a blogspot problem. I don't think you can do trackbacks; I know you are on Haloscan.

Friday, August 25, 2006 8:31:00 PM  
Blogger Dionne said...

Wow!!!!! This is awesome!! I will try to link to this in the near future. This is a must read. Great find!

Friday, August 25, 2006 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Joubert said...

Thanks for posting that. I had not heard of her.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 8:19:00 AM  
Blogger Nightcrawler said...

That was a great story! Thanks for sharing that with me. Odds are, if something is in the New York Times, I'm never going to know about it.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 8:31:00 AM  
Blogger skye said...

Have you heard of the organization Arabs for Israel or the writings of Nonie Darwish?

Darwish and Irshad are two truly remarable women.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 4:02:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I've heard of both, but am not all that familiar with either.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 5:01:00 PM  

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