Surprises Abound!

From the LA Times Opinion page:

Is Islam to blame?
Despite claims of moderate Muslims, a literal reading of the Koran offers cover for acts of terrorism.

How’s that for a headline? Irshad Manji writes a powerful column.

Which is why I don’t understand how moderate Muslim leaders can reject, flat-out, the notion that religion may also play a part in these bombings. What makes them so sure that Islam is an innocent bystander?
What makes them sound so sure is literalism. That’s the trouble with Islam today. We Muslims, including moderates living here in the West, are routinely raised to believe that the Koran is the final and therefore perfect manifesto of God’s will, untouched and immutable.
This is a supremacy complex. It’s dangerous because it inhibits moderates from asking hard questions about what happens when faith becomes dogma. To avoid the discomfort, we sanitize.
And so it was, one week after the first wave of bombings. A high-profile gathering of 22 clerics and scholars at the London Cultural Center produced a statement, later echoed by a meeting of 500 Muslim leaders. It contained this line: “The Koran clearly declares that killing an innocent person [is] tantamount to killing all mankind.” I wish. In fact, the full verse reads, “Whoever kills a human being, except as punishment for murder or other villainy in the land, shall be regarded as having killed all humankind.” Militant Muslims easily deploy the clause beginning with “except” to justify their rampages.

One needs to ask how dangerous a column this is for Irshad Manji. I hope there’s no horrible price to pay for such honesty.
UPDATE: This would seem to be one of the clerics referred to.

Attacks on UK will continue, radical cleric says
LONDON (Reuters) – Militant Islamists will continue to attack Britain until the government pulls its troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, one of the country’s most outspoken Islamic clerics said on Friday…
…Bakri said he would like Britain to become an Islamic state but feared he would be deported before his dream was realized*.
“I would like to see the Islamic flag fly, not only over number 10 Downing Street, but over the whole world,” he said.

*Why, in God’s name, isn’t he already gone?

4 Responses to “Surprises Abound!”

  1. Ken Summers says:

    Why, in God’s name, isn’t he already dead and gone?

  2. Ken Summers says:

    And Manji may well be in danger of a phatwa.
    She rocks.

  3. Nightfly says:

    Right on, Ken. In fact, Ms. Manji rocks at great peril – reason number one that moderate Muslims don’t condemn stuff so readily.
    Reason two is, many of them also come from cultures where conformity and excessive manners are the norm. One does not criticize unless prepared to back it up with force, because any critical statement will be taken quite personally, and honor is considered legitimate grounds for a violent defense.
    Reason three, Islam does emphasize (point of fact) utter submission to the will of Allah; protest against the recognized religious authorities is simply not done. (And folks think us Catholics are hard core?)

  4. dead and gone
    No arguments here!
    I can’t begin to imagine the courage it takes to make yourself such a target. Puts our bra burners/ActUp/lesbianlobby/NOW/Hillary types to shame. I can’t see Susan Estrich being as strident for women’s rights if her tushie was on the line. Well, hell, it isn’t and there’s STILL no support for Islamic women.

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