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1 206Muslimah  Wed, Oct 13, 2010 7:24:23pm

"Now, if there are "genuinely moderate Muslims," how does that fit with Ali's argument that "Islam was simply incompatible with modernity and feminism?"

Well the answer to that is simple: it's not supposed to fit. Ali and those like her must paint Islam itself as incompatible with modernity, full-stop. If we were to accept that genuinely moderate Muslims actually exist, the arguments used to condemn the faith as a whole would collapse.

2 Bob Levin  Wed, Oct 13, 2010 7:32:23pm

I don't mean to sound as if I'm picking on you--but...

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a very clear idea of the Islam she is speaking about. She grew up in it, she escaped it. She makes no pretense that this is the only form Islam can ever take, but it is the form that is most powerful and influential.

That's why this group is fighting to get just a little bit of publicity. So here's what they have to do. They have to name themselves. Moderate Muslim is the name that Westerners hope most Muslims will choose to be. It's not based on the Koran, not on any rulings by clergy, it just means that they (the theoretical Muslim) feels that co-existence with other cultures is possible and they (the theoretical Muslims) don't have a terrorist's definition of Jihad.

Jews have different types of Jewish practice, all theoretically and halachically argued by a founding rabbi. Conservative Jews can tell you exactly where they ritually differ from Orthodox Jews, they can tell you the reasoning behind that difference. The same is true of Reconstructionist Jews and Reform Jews. These are names that Jews have given themselves.

Moderate Muslims will have to do something similar. Clergy has to step forward and say, this is our interpretation of the Koran. We are now called...whatever. This is how we differ from Wahabists, and so on. It doesn't matter how they feel about the proposed building in New York, or about airport security. Believe it or not, Americans want to know about the Koran and the different ways it can be interpreted.

And this is what the article says:

Jasser said Islam needs to have its own Reformation similar to the one in Catholicism which began centuries ago and separated church and state:

"Our faith has not gone through that process. So as much as Imam Rauf wants to say…that the Constitution is just like sharia law, it may be so in his brain. But wherever sharia gets implemented, it oppresses the rights of minorities and moderate Muslims and Christians and all those who don't follow the rules of the mullahs."

So let the process begin.

3 Michael Orion Powell  Wed, Oct 13, 2010 7:34:17pm

re: #1 206Muslimah

She's promoted moderate Muslims through her organization while saying that such a thing is impossible. Seems more like confusion than an intention to paint Islam badly no matter what.

4 Michael Orion Powell  Wed, Oct 13, 2010 7:49:26pm

re: #2 Bob Levin

If that's what picking on someone looks like, perhaps there is hope for civility.

Anyways, I generally agree with everything you just said. One of the problems I see, and I could be totally wrong in my estimation, is that Islam is decentralized in a way Christianity wasn't and therefore doesn't have the centralized authority to rebel against that Martin Luther did. I've read alot of policy papers where Kenyan imams profess that they're scared to death of Somali jihadists and similar instances throughout the world, but any process requires them to form some sort of movement.

5 206Muslimah  Wed, Oct 13, 2010 7:50:34pm

Orion I understand your point. But considering that Ms. Ali works for AEI I find it hard to believe that it's simply confusion. Furthermore how can she truly promote moderate Muslims while advising Muslims to convert to Christianity? That makes no sense at all. Ms. Ali is an incredibly bright and articulate woman; I find it hard to believe that she's confused.

6 206Muslimah  Wed, Oct 13, 2010 7:59:36pm

Hello Bob,

You state that Ayaan Hirsi Ali makes no pretense that the form of Islam she grew up with is the only one. If so, this is news to me. EVERY time I hear her speak on Islam she does not make this distinction. It is always Islam with her, period. She does not differentiate between Sunni and Shia. She does not mention the four schools of thought within Sunni Islam itself.

Furthermore, if any change is to take place in Islam, it has to be done by Muslims for their own benefit. The very notion that Muslims need to change their religion based on the hopes of Westerners is flawed. When Christendom reformed centuries ago, it was not to fit the needs and desires of another civilization.

7 Bob Levin  Thu, Oct 14, 2010 5:06:46am

re: #6 206Muslimah

Each time I've heard her, and they give her five minutes, she's confined herself to her personal story, and the Islam that she encountered, and then she has talked about Islamaphobia as a false notion.

I think we agree on the direction history needs to go with regard to the development of Islam, and I don't see her hindering this process in the least.

8 Bob Levin  Thu, Oct 14, 2010 5:12:07am

re: #4 OrionXP

That is true, regarding centralization. I think that someone simply saying proudly that they are a cleric and that they have great disagreements with the Wahabist interpretation of the Koran could work wonders.

Luther came along right with the printing press. The internet is waiting for a cleric to speak up in a way that defies stereotypes and what has become conventional thinking. The tools are there.

I hate to say it, but if history follows a prototype, this revolution will not be peaceful, but it will be necessary. Best of luck, it's going to be a tough fight, but bravery will win in the end. And bravery is what will be tested.

9 206Muslimah  Thu, Oct 14, 2010 8:06:19am

OrionXP, do you research Muslims aside from Ayaan Hirsi Ali? I ask because of your statement that clerics who oppose Wahhabism need to speak up. There are Muslims-laymen and clerics alike-who vociferously denounce Wahhabis.

10 206Muslimah  Thu, Oct 14, 2010 8:11:35am

Another thing about Wahhabism:

It's the state religion of Saudi Arabia, one of our closest allies in the Middle East. Saudi is able to spread their message partly due to our supports and our addiction to oil. As long as we continue to pour dollars into Saudi's coffers we will be supporting Wahhabism. We can talk about getting Muslims to speak out all we want, but as long as we prop up the House of Saud it will be pointless.

11 Bob Levin  Thu, Oct 14, 2010 12:03:54pm

re: #9 206Muslimah

I read things on a regular basis, general news, but I don't do a lot of research about anything--unless a question comes up where the facts just don't make sense. Now, on my regular reads, there isn't any reason why different Muslim voices shouldn't come up--unless those voices just aren't getting the publicity they need to, which means those particular voices or organizations aren't as strong as they need to be.

You're right about the financial might of the Wahabis, and any new voice or organization will need to get the strength to compete with that. In the past, most Muslim voices that would come across my daily reading somehow had the backing of the Wahabis.

Now, this is one of those places for my regular reading--so if you want to make posts about the Koran, the way that Ludwig is doing science, by all means do so.

I figure that we are on the right track when we no longer have to spend time on politics or racism and get down to figuring out what Abraham was all about. Because, regarding Abraham, the story is simple, the complexity is infinite.

12 Michael Orion Powell  Fri, Oct 15, 2010 8:57:19am

re: #9 206Muslimah

re: #9 206Muslimah

OrionXP, do you research Muslims aside from Ayaan Hirsi Ali? I ask because of your statement that clerics who oppose Wahhabism need to speak up. There are Muslims-laymen and clerics alike-who vociferously denounce Wahhabis.


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