MPAC's Ahmed Younis blames Howard Zinn not Koran for suicide supporting statistics - Irshad Manji berates FOX for alarmism
May 27, 2007
MIM: Note Manji's cynical reference to "no spin" and here condescending comments about being "disappointed" in FOX as a "patriotic channel" and that are "a pat on the back for the United States". Her claim that people should see the good news that 76% of young Muslims dont support suicide bombings is what one would expect from Islamists. Instead of finding the stats appalling Manji thinks the Muslim community should find them "embarressing" as if support for suicide bombings was a social etiquette gaffe instead of a mortal threat."Well John, first of all, in the spirit of no spin, let me say that I'm disappointed with FOX News. A patriotic channel like this ought to be emphasizing all of the good news that's coming out of this report. And there's plenty of it, showing that the condition of American Muslims is so much better than that of Muslims in Europe. And that's the pat on the back for the United States. So let's not lose focus of that bigger context."
For his part Younus blames the statistics on the left wing writings of Howard Zinn and says they have nothing to do with the Koran.
JOHN KASICH, GUEST HOST: A new poll of American Muslims is really raising some eyebrows. Here are some of the most interesting findings. One in four of those younger than 30 say that suicide bombings are sometimes acceptable to defend their religion. Only 40 percent believe Arab men were behind the 9/11 attacks. And more than half say it's harder being a Muslim in America since 9/11. Joining us now with reaction, Irshad Manji, author of the book "The Trouble with Islam Today" and Ahmed Younis, the author of the book "American Muslims Speak the Truth." Irshad, pretty stunning to me. Twenty-six percent of young Muslims saying that somehow suicide bombing can be justified. How is this possible?
IRSHAD MANJI, MUSLIM AUTHOR: Well John, first of all, in the spirit of no spin, let me say that I'm disappointed with FOX News. A patriotic channel like this ought to be emphasizing all of the good news that's coming out of this report. And there's plenty of it, showing that the condition of American Muslims is so much better than that of Muslims in Europe. And that's the pat on the back for the United States. So let's not lose focus of that bigger context.
MANJI: I'm about to get to that. KASICH: ...that you can strap a suicide bomb belt…
MANJI: Yes. KASICH: ...and blowup innocent men, women and children on a bus, I mean, the rest of it is great, but it's stunning.
MANJI: John, let me get to that now. That bad news ought to be a source of embarrassment for the Muslim American establishment, because it shows a lack of leadership. They have failed to teach enough young Muslim Americans the difference between means and ends. You know, saying that it's OK to engage in suicide bombings to defend a peaceful religion is rather like saying that it's OK to have premarital sex to defend virginity. It makes absolutely no sense. And if it was explained to young Muslim Americans who are increasingly religious, that way I think that it might have some resonance, this distinction.
KASICH: All right, Ahmed, your take on this? I mean, look, I understand that there's some hype in this. Some young kid might just want to just say oh yes, yes, yes, yes. But you know, suicide bombing is so horrible, it's so repulsive because it targets people who are purely, totally innocent. And designed to do nothing but kill. How do you get this kind of number? A
HMED YOUNIS: Absolutely. I think part of why you're getting this number is we're seeing a snapshot. A lot of times the development of Muslim identity for young people in the West is kind of a three-prong process. Number one, political awareness, a sense of wanting to relieve what is perceived to be social injustice, oppression, etcetera. Number two, that political awareness is infused with misunderstandings of the religion, initial engagements with the religion. And then the third stage is when the knowledge of the law and the religion itself ameliorates the political perspectives, shedding the fact, shedding the extremism you see in all of their parents, their polling is consistent with this perspective. Number two, I think second-generation immigrant youths are not satisfied, some of them at least, by what their parents and their communities have to offer them — the nexus that they're looking for between religious identity and political identity. The parent immigrant generation, for the most part, is able to offer them what they need, but the institutions, the parents… KASICH: But Ahmed, I mean, look, I…
YOUNIS: They need to create new avenues for these conversations. KASICH: Well, but wait a minute. What we're finding with a lot of these suicide bombers in actuality, whether it was the Toronto planners, or whether it was the people in England, we're finding out these are people, they're not deprived. They're not living in a bad situation.
KASICH: These are people who are middle-class, who have somehow become radicalized. Am I right about that?
YOUNIS: Of course you are. You're absolutely right. Just very quickly… KASICH: Yes. YOUNIS: ...if Irshad would allow me. Yes, you're absolutely right, very similar to Timothy McVeigh. I would posit to you that these ideologies that are being harbored by this very small percentage of young Muslims that say that it is justified are more…
KASICH: Ahmed, it's 25 percent. It's not. YOUNIS: It's 25 percent say that in some situation, it might be justified. But those people are taking it from the book of Howard Zinn, from the book of leftist Western political ideology, more than they're taking it from the Koran. And when they infuse the Koran…
KASICH: I think we can…
MANJI: No, I have to disagree with that.
KASICH: Go ahead.
MANJI: Ahmed, John mentioned that this time last year in my own city of Toronto, where I'm speaking to you now from, 17 young Muslim Canadians, men, were arrested on evidence that they were planning a beheading of the prime minister and an explosion of the parliament buildings.
YOUNIS: Oh, you're absolutely right
KASICH: OK, here's the thing. But let me give you some more numbers. YOUNIS: Sure. KASICH: Twenty-seven percent of Muslims in the U.S. refuse to condemn Al Qaeda, which is unbelievable. And 60 percent are not sure that Arabs were involved in the attack on 9/11.
YOUNIS: Well, you know, 9/11, I mean… KASICH: But let me make my point here.
YOUNIS: Sure thing.
KASICH: Twenty-seven percent refuse to condemn Al Qaeda. Twenty-five percent say suicide bombings OK. If we're not winning this battle, what are we doing wrong? I mean, if we can't win this battle in the U.S., how are we suppose to win it worldwide with just a handful of these nuts go out there and blow themselves up in a shopping mall?
YOUNIS: Again, I think we're talking about symbolism over substance. The numbers do cause concern. They do cause, as Irshad said, an alarm amongst American Muslim leaders to ensure that there are more organic leaders, imams, religious leaders that understand and are relevant to a Western experience, and are perceived as legitimate by the global Muslim tradition or the global Muslim... KASICH: Irshad, are we developing those people? I don't think we hear enough of them speaking out condemning this kind of radicalism. Right or wrong, Irshad?
MANJI: You're right. And that is part of the problem is that the so- called moderate or mainstream of the religion in America is deadly silent about all of this. We need to have more people speaking up more.
KASICH: Well, we need more leaders like you to be out there, because I'll tell you, this is serious numbers. I don't want to overreact to it. It's serious. We got to be on top of it. Thank you both.
MANJI: Thank you.
MIM: Manji has shown that she is a Muslimah godess with feet of clay which she often sticks into her mouth.
As Fjordman pointed out in a critique of Manji book just because a Muslim is making the right noises doesnt me they deserve unconditional support. In affect, it is the so called "moderates" who are making upwards of $10,000 a talk by piggybacking on the terrorists and extremists. Without the excesses of their co religionists no one would be giving people like Manji the time of day because they would be considered the norm not the exception and would not have to be financially rewarded because they came out and say followers of Islam shouldnt go around killing people.
Fjordman's refusal to join the universal and uncritical adulation of her tome as being akin to a Muslim gospel enraged Manji who wrote this headline on her website "Right wing website [JihadWatch]blasts Manji".
Desperately Seeking Salvation-Irshad Manji as the False Muslim Messiah
The Ugandan born Canadian Irshad Manji has become the "Great Islamic Hope" of non-Muslims who are desperately seeking a sign that practicing Muslims can live adapt their religion to the modern world. Manji's book,"The trouble with Islam", is a critique of Islam's inflexibility and a call for change.
Non Muslims have been enthralled by her depiction of an Islam untainted by fanatical hatred of the west and antisemitism. Manji takes her message to talk shows and has been written about in major publications. Her proponents speak glowingly of her Jewish sponsored trip to Israel as proof of her Judeophilia. Conservatives who are warning against the dangers of militant Islam have embraced her as one of their own . Which begs the question : Did her non Muslim supporters visit her website at Muslim Refusenik .com? http://www.muslim-refusenik.com/ Manji's description of herself as a Muslim 'Refusenik' should itself raise questions. Besides being a catchy soundbyte it is a disingenuous, and brings to mind similar misappropriation of Holocaust terminology by Muslims to describe their imagined victimization.
Manji's admiration for Edward Said and Sari Nussibeh reveals that the media idol of moderate Islam may have feet of clay. Her website prominently displays a quote from Edward Said, a vicious Jew hater, and a picture of herself with Sari Nussibeh, with a caption romanticizing him as "a Palestinian Maverick". Nussibeh was forced to close his Jerusalem office due to PLO terror related activity. In the right hand corner of her website Muslim Refusenik. com we see a verse from the Koran; "Believers conduct yourself with justice and bear true witness before G-d,even though it be against yourself, your parents, or your kinsfolk." Next to the verse is a photo of a woman in full Islamic garb. The verse morphs into a quote by Edward Said ;" The job of the intellectual is to speak the truth as plainly, directly, and honestly as possible", "No intellectual is to worry about whether what is said pleases or displeases people in power." Said claimed to be displaced 'Palestinian', when in reality he was the Egyptian born son of an American father and left for prep school in the United States in 1951. http://www.meforum.org/article/191 On a trip to Israel, Said and made international news when he was photographed hurling stones at an IDF outpost in Lebanon. Earlier that day he had met with Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. http://www.bigeye.com/jj092800.htm Said's notorious inability to speak the truth, is well documented. Which makes Manji's adoration of him, and her choice of his quote about honesty all the more disturbing .
In an article entitled: Will the real Sari Nussibeh please stand up? Arlynn Nellhaus writes; " Sari Nussibeh looks like Harry Potter as a grandfather...he made headlines when he said that Israel shouldn't be forced to accept refugees... "Speaking as the "good guy" he said they should be absorbed into Palestinian terroritory. A few months later in an Arabic language interview, he stated, "Our goal is to remove the occupation and it's barbaric acts of repression"... Nussibeh appeared on Arabic television next to Kha'led Mashal, a Hamas leader, and Umm Nidal, who is the mother of a suicide bomber. Nussibeh declared , "There is no life under occupation, and most of the Palestinian people is very much prepared to martyr itself to achieve liberty and independence and to restore its honor. I agree to this." He declared in a newspaper interview that ,"Israel was born in sin". The article cites other examples of Nussibeh's duplicitiousness and false portrayal of him as a moderate, and concludes with :"Fooled again".http://www.the-idler.com/IDLER-02/7-20a.html
Manji's non Muslim champions should ask themselves. how much of Manji's message it a projection of their own yearning for the "spirit made flesh" of moderate Islam . They should consider reassessing their unqualified endorsement of Manji in light of her open admiration of militant Islamists like Edward Said and Sari Nussibeh. There is also an inherent danger in Manji's message. Her depiction of a desirable but non existent "westernized Islam" could lull non Muslims into believing that she represents the reality of Islam.
.They might consider embracing Islam in the mistaken belief that hers is the true face of Islam, instead of "Islam according to Irshad Manji" aka ijtihad. The praise she has received by non Muslim conservative commentators has in some cases worked against her prompting potential supporters to view her message with suspicion. Indeed, one such critic opined that "he feels more comfortable with her endorsement by someone like Salman Rushdie". despite regarding him as "blasphemer" against Islam. Until we see more Muslims then non Muslims hailing her,Manji's champions may be forced to admit that they prematurely heralded the advent of a false "Muslim Messiah" as a fulfillment of their own "messianic" aspirations for Islam.