Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Courageous Woman

Irshad Manji is an admirable free speecher and reformer. As a Muslim, she has the courage to stand up to dogma and orthodoxy in her religion. (A place that does not put out the welcome mat to a shit-disturber woman. There are death threat and security issues that she has to live with everyday.) This is definitely somebody to root for and I hope she succeeds. The Globe & Mail has an update of what's she's doing:

It would be far more helpful - to Palestinians, if nobody else - for Muslims to ask questions out loud. We have relied far too long on self-appointed "higher-ups" to do the interpreting for us. We have given them the ability to abuse passages and power. We Muslims have forgotten Islam's own tradition of independent thinking: ijtihad.

Of course, most people - not just Muslims - could use more independent thinking. This point grabbed me at the Gaza office of Mohammed al-Hindi. As we left, I asked his translator why Dr. al-Hindi would give me an on-camera interview, knowing that he could not find a single verse to prove his claim that the Koran justifies suicide operations.

The translator replied: "He assumed you were just another dumb Western journalist." Reporters from the West had never asked this veteran terrorist the most basic of questions: Where is the evidence for what you do in God's name?

Maybe it's time that the media joined Muslims in embracing ijtihad. I would be happy to supply both groups with security tips.

That last line has a wallop to it. Who has real courage to stand up for principles? Easy targets like criticizing American evangelicals is not courage.

1 comment:

  1. Taking on American Evangelicals is like beating your neighbours retarded kid at a birthday party. There's not much sport in it. Leave the poor kid alone and let him play off in the corner.