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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Islam Bashers of the World Unite

Islam bashers are holding a summit to do some synchronized bashing of Islam and get some March Florida sun at the same time. I guess they need a darker tan to match their brown noses! They are calling it a "Secular Islam Summit." The purpose of the summit, especially the word "secular," which I keep choking on, is to dispatch me to an early grave, furious and disgusted.

The ad, I mean press release, describes the participants as "leading dissidents" and "bold critics of orthodoxy." The chair of the meeting, Ibn Warraq, is praised as a"rationalist critic and acclaimed author." (his latest book is Defending the West against Said's Orientalism). The summit itself is hailed as "unprecedented," its aim (aside from killing me) is to "Launch Movement for Reason, Pluralism, and Freedom of Conscience." Ya. From Florida.

But seriously, the aim of the summit is no less than starting the age of Enlightenment in the Islamic world. I'm dying to go. Why would I want to miss seeing Ibn Warraq standing on top of the summit thundering: "Let there be Light." On his right will be Irshad Manji, shaking her head roboticly and murmuring, "proof positive, proof positive." On his left will be Nonie Darwish (no relation to Mahmoud Darwish) chanting, "I love Israel, and bamout fe Sharon" (she's bilingual, you see, and founder of "Arabs for Israel." Behind them will be Wafa Sultan, the psychopath psychologist miraculously turned "secular" prophetess by one appearance on a lousy Aljazeera talk show. At the summit, she will be reliving her moment of glory by mud-wrestling with a turban-clad young college student moonlighting as a Muslim clerk while on his spring break.

So much for secularism. They've kidnapped Ibn Rushd, degraded him, and put him in the service of an agenda that doesn't give a hoot about true reform or democracy.

They really are making secularism a dirty word.

Secular men and women who risk their lives and livelihoods standing up against injustice, who have been fighting for democracy in their societies, who have spoken out against the Ben Ladens when some were allying themselves with them--those seculars are ignored, jailed, harassed, assassinated, and called "professors of terror," as the late Edward Said was called. But these bozos are given money to hold summits, to bring more bozos from the Arab world to give them some legitimacy, and are celebrated as "bold" and "courageous."

But you know what. I won't give up on secularism because of a bunch of charlatans, just the way Muslims will not give up on Islam because of a bunch of Ben Ladens.


rabee said...

I don't know why you are upset. There is a bull market for good Arab speakers. One can make a quick buck using a good Arabic name and a slight accent.

There is a story about an uncle of mine who sold blessed holy land water to unsuspecting fellow phd students in missouri in the late 1950's.

Is Norma Khouri also speaking? She may want to mention that she heralds from a long line of islamic scholars and studied at a madrasah. The audience will lap it up.

I say good luck to them, things are changing on the ground and these opportunities will be hard to find in the future.

rabee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amal A said...

hi rabee,

unlike your uncle, I'm not good at making a buck. and frankly I'd rather sell holywater...

Norma Khouri is not speaking. She's probably busy promoting her new film.

you're more optimistic than me. Frankly, I feel there is less air to breathe every day.

ng said...

what a meeting this is going to be, what a jackal's wedding? I can smell the stench! have they no shame these people. the other thing is that you discredit them and they become even bigger and more famous. I always thought that the best approach is really to disregard them completely but then at what expense? I think we need a theoretical and secular fatwa about what to do about them.

sayed said...

What?! Wait, I didn't see (the lying immigration defrauder) Hirsi Ali on the list, there must be a mistake. Or is she the actual mountain Warraq will be standing upon?

This gives me an idea, I want to reform southern American society, you see they're all alcoholic wife beaters. I left the south a long time ago, and I've only come across a couple of alcoholics from there, most actually refrained from alcohol all together and were perfect gentlemen. But hey, I'm going to lead them to "enlightenment" all the same. Book deals anyone? Movies? Let's have a conference! I propose Hawaii.

FurGaia said...

I think they are all schizophrenics desperately seeking acceptance. And I mean that in a most serious way, not to be derogatory (even though it might sound like it is). That is what happens when one straddles cultures and cultural reciprocal exchanges are all but impossible because one wants to dominate the other(s).

kinzi said...

I can see your point...but there is a vaccuum out there. It is being filled be extremists on both sides and precious little of the Muslim Moderate is being seen. Where is the PR machine for moderate Islam? I see them all over least what I define them to be, but off-line there just doesnt' seem to be any voice but the shrill defensive ones.

I think YOU should start speaking, shu rayik? :)

johnorford said...

i dunno, freedom of speech and all that.

they may or may not be talking nonsense, but that's up to them.

Amal A said...


i'm not sure what strategy to use best. Should I devote a chapter to these women or relegate them to a footnote? I keep going back and forth.

I have no doubt that we should engage them but without letting them frame the debate.

Amal A said...


I'm in. Can't say no to Hawaii.

Amal A said...


There are plenty of people out there who are straddling two cultures and who feel they don't belong in either or misunderstood etc. But they struggle to understand.Straddling cultures should give you humility, in my opinion.

I don't know. I think they are people who found a way to make a career by peddling a story some people want to hear.

Amal A said...

Hi Kinzi,

Maybe there is a vacuum. But why? The above bunch are defined as "moderates". This makes me as someone who disagrees with their agenda an "extremist." How much power do I have to define myself?

I don't think it's a conincident that you are encountering these voices on blogs and not on TV or on the pages of NYT. You don't need an invitation to start a blog.

Amal A said...


I'm not censoring them. I'm pointing out why I don't agree with them.

When I first heard of Nonie Darwish, I went on her website ArabsforIsrael to check her out. The first thing I saw was her prayer for Sharon's health and recovery. I read more and found that she considers Israel god's gift to the universe and that we should all rally to protect Israel from the harm the Palestinians are inflicting on it.

my point is that nonie darwish, to give one example, is not about secularism and reform in Islam. She doesn't know what secularism is even if it hit her in the face. She's a zionist. I don't mean this metaphorically. She's literally a zionist. And not a liberal one at that. All of this bunch are hypocrites. They dont' care about Muslims or reform. Their job is to make it easy for those who want to "extreminate al the brutes" to do so.