Kirjoittaja Aihe: The Moral Courage Conversations with Irshad Manji  (Luettu 1508 kertaa)


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Irshad Manji vs. Christiane Amanpour

Irshad Manji vs. Salman Rushdie
« Viimeksi muokattu: 03.03.2009, 03:18:48 kirjoittanut kaivanto »


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Vs: vanha kirjeeni Irshad Manjille
« Vastaus #1 : 03.03.2009, 03:47:10 »
Irshad Manji on eittämättä mielenkiintoinen henkilö, ja häneen on hyvä tutustua ja hänen ajatuksistaan keskustella.

Itse en ikävä kyllä saanut vastausta, kun lähestyin häntä sähköpostitse puolitoista vuotta sitten (huom. hän kirjassaan ja kotisivullaan pyytää palautetta lukijoiltaan). Tiedä sitten lukiko hän kirjettä ylipäänsä. Ehkä nyt saan sille ensimmäisen lukijan.   ;)

Tässä kirjeeni lainattuna:

I profoundly admire your courage but I don't think your approach is intellectually tenable.


I'm from Finland, Northern Europe. Agnostic, secularist, classical liberal.

I have read your book, browsed through your lectures on youtube, watched the America at crossroads special, read some of your articles, and analysed some of your replies to your readers. Encouraged by your call for debate in the end of your book, I'm writing this email.

What is Islam in Islam to you when you have disregarded Quran as a revelation from God, and have questioned Muhammed as an exemplary human being? What is there left? In your writing it seems that your underlying premise is secular humanism, freedom of the individual, enlightenment and a watered down Islam only in the limits allowed by these premises. You noticeably avoid this question. Do you profess your love for 'Allah' even once in your book? How many times is it said in Quran that damnation and torment awaits non-believers, do you believe this? Like in 'The Cow' which starts that there is no doubt, then proceeds to damn all non-believers.

Your comments on the Golden era of Islam are highly contradictory. There was lot of conquest, warfare, slavery and so on. Even Andalusia was not the paradise some want to picture it as. Dhimmitude was pretty much institutionalised apartheid. In the PBS special you try to insist, bit in contradiction with the approach in your book, that Muhammed brought justice, and tried to end slavery. This is not true. On today's standards Muhammed was a genocidal warlord, who himself took slaves, and ordered his followers to take them, female slaves, when the jewish men and boys had been slaughtered. He was a cruel man. He started as a sort of Jesus character in Mecca but then turns into a real "muhajdeen" when he gets more and more bitter in Medina. He had intercourse with a 9-year old girl, as you well know, but never mention it, which was e.g. the basis for legislature in revolutionary Iran.

After hundreds of pages I can't see any theological framework for your reform other than to question and disregard everything that doesn't fit in with "conscience", even if Quran and the Hadiths are full of material in contradiction with this.

Rationally your demands come down to taking the Islam out of Islam and turning it into general theism, in which the literal Islam only offers a historical sidenote about a general concept of our common "God".

When I google for muslim opinions on your works, this is the general feeling you get from fundamentalist and moderate muslim alike, with only a very few notable exceptions.

There is a difference between christianity and Islam in this regard. Bible has always been understood to have been written by men under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. While Quran is a revelation from God, written in the heavens by Allah, and only revealed to Muhammed. So when you question it as revelation, you question whether it is perfect, you question Muhammed as God's messenger, you are in essence saying that hey Quran is not really Allah's word. This is a huge contradiction, and it is no wonder the message struggles to resonate with western muslims judging by their reactions.

It's like reforming "scientology" and saying hey let's forget all these silly beliefs, and just believe in some force and be good secular, free thinking and tolerant citizens.

It's not tenable intellectually. You are not talking about theological reform of Islam, and you hardly discuss this. But Ijtihad IS a theological process. Interpretation of the Quran and the Hadiths, not a process of enlightened secularism, which mainstream Islam has never had. How should we interpretate the violent verses and commands? Number of which is staggering. What do you actually suggest theologically?

With Bible christianity could be largely modernized for two major reasons:

1) Secularism was getting a stronghold (On average, this is not the case with Islam today and hardly ever has been)

2) The church under pressure from the humanists came up with the notion that e.g. the OT verses were about how humans saw God back then, and not words from God. Fundamentalists still do not accept this, but they are a small minority today, especially in Europe. (With Quran it is more difficult, because as noted above, Quran is from God, not man's words about God).

Now for the secularisation of Islam, for which I think your message might better resonate. How familiar and well read are you on human consciousness, psychology, identity, neurology, emotional frameworks, behaviour patterns, thought patterns etc.?
This is the human context into which any reform/secularisation project should be placed for sense of perspective and realism.

When you ask people to abandon superiority, victimhood, righteousness, self-justification, a deeply rooted emotional and psychological and social framework of purpose and identity (which can be hugely addictive for various reasons), what are you offering them in contrast, to attract them to your side? Do you understand where they are coming from emotionally? They do not share your liberal framework, far from it.

I'm not seeing this. Antagonism can often strenghten protest-identity.

You ask why we are not talking of 2nd or 3rd generation German muslims as Germans (in Europe in general). There is a good reason. They refuse this identity themselves. They pride themselves as outsiders. It is the same in Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, France, Britain. So if I am honest, you are way off the mark when you say that Europe need more muslims for economic reasons. You say this when you then note that muslims form 5% of Danish citizens, but consume 40% of Denmark's social security budget. There is low intensity civil strife in France. At least 55% of British citizens of Pakistani origin marry their own first cousins in forced marriages. The average muslim fertility rate in EU is around 3.5 children per woman, when for native europeans this ratio is around 1.3 or 1.4.

If Europe needs immigrant workers, we need chinese, philippine christians, hindus or buddhists from Asia, ukrainians, russians... but we do not need muslim workers. Even if the first generation integrates, the second and third can revert back to protest-identity, and no country has been able to solve this in Europe. In USA and Canada it has been quite different so far, very much for reasons to do with selecting who can come in and who not. You are probably familiar with the recent news from Denmark, where many moderate muslims helping newcomers to integrate have been forced to quit their jobs because of death threats. The threat to Europe, to Europe's stability, functioning social structures, freedom of expression etc. from muslim immigration is huge and concrete. When you try to broadcast the (in my opinion) false hope, that Islam could reform in any sensible time scale (and it should change more than in the past 1400 years combined) you are distracting people from the unfortunately ugly truth of Islam.

There are too many violent verses in the Quran, too much violent content in the Hadiths, too many violent traditions (like twisted sense of honor) strongly attached to Islam, that to expect these strong social, emotional frameworks to change is about many, many generations. During the era of immigration to West, Islam has radicalized world wide. Whether there is some causal relationship, it is difficult to say, but the antagonism caused by western freedoms, has made the muslim mainstream to revert back to their shelters, out of pride mostly I think. Self-justification is such a strong emotion. People don't like to be told what to think, or that they have done things wrong, or that their morals are backwards. It's insulting. We also have experienced this in developmental politics.

Islam needs a Voltaire, more than it needs a Luther. Let's go a step further. Islam needs someone like Ingersoll, an american revolutionary thinker from the Golden age of modernism.

Eventually freedom of thought and Islam need to be able to co-exist, in the West especially.

Because it is horribly difficult to imagine how this could be achieved inside any sensible time scale, for reasons of security, self-expression and social cohesion Europe and the West do NOT need muslims. Not now, and not in 2030. I'm sorry, but it's true.

We are seeing the first signs of that path in Denmark, France etc. as said, and it is not a path of reform, but a path of polarisation.

I am sorry, if this is offensive, but that is how I see it.

If more "muslims" had taken Islam out of Islam, and placed secularism, freedom and reason ahead of Allah, Quran and the Prophet then cultural Islamic background with general theistic beliefs and the west could of course co-exist.

But currently it's sadly not happening, to the contrary, 2nd generation were more radical than the 1st, and third even worse, and I'm afraid that with the globalisation of Wahhabism progressing, there are some very difficult times ahead for the muslim west relations.

As I said I truly admire a person of your courage, this is only an intellectual disagreement with the realism of your message. To use a very harsh comparison, you cannot reform a religious "Mein Kampf". But that is what the Quran and hadiths amount to when taken literally, and in the chronological order from Mecca to Medina.

With all respect, and good wishes for the future


(If you quote my post on your side in letters from readers, don't quote my name thanks)

Good luck and Take care