The trouble with islam today a muslims call for reform in her faith by irshad manji an excellent perspective on arab and islam mentality
The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslims Call for Reform in Her Faith by Irshad Manji Worth Six Stars, If That Was Possible.This call for reform reads like an open letter to the Muslim world. IrshadManji, a Toronto-based television journalist, was born to Muslim parents inSouth Africa. Her family eventually fled to Canada when she was twoyears old. Manji shares her life experiences growing up in a WesternMuslim household and ask some compelling questions from her feminist-lesbian-journalist perspective. It is interesting to note that Manji has beenlambasted for being too personal and not scholarly enough to have aworthwhile opinion. Yet her lack of pretense and her intimate narrative arethe strengths of this book. For Muslims to dismiss her opinions as notworthy to bring to the table is not only elitist; it underscores why she feelscompelled to speak out critically. Intolerance for dissent, especiallywomens dissent, is one of her main complaints about Islam. Clearly, hergoal was not to write a scholarly critique, but rather to speak from herheartfelt concern about Islam. To her fellow Muslims she writes: I hearfrom a Saudi friend that his countrys religious police arrest women forwearing red on Valentines Day, and I think, Since when does a mercifulGod outlaw joy—or fun? I read about victims of rape being stoned foradultery and I wonder how a critical mass of us can stay stone silent.She asks tough questions: Whats with the stubborn streak of anti-Semitismin Islam? Who is the real colonizer of the Muslims—-America or Arabia?Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of Gods creation?This is not an anti-Muslim rant. Manji also speaks with passionate love andhope for Islam, believing that democracy is compatible with its purestdoctrine. Sure, shes biased and opinionated. But all religions, fromChristianity to Buddhism to Islam should be accountable for how theirleadership and national allegiances personally affect their followers. Onewould hope that this honest voice be met with a little more self-scrutiny anda little less anti-personal, anti-feminine, and anti-Western rhetoric. --GailHudson
This is an easy read "as smooth as milk" and equally digestible. Manjiprosecutes a fairly rigorous and comprehensive analysis of the problemsassociated with modern Islam in particular, one that is of tremendousrelevance given the hundreds killed by suicide bombers almost on a dailybasis. Muslims kill other Muslims in the main in order to defeat their statedenemy, typically Jews or Americans though the ire could equally focus onany group that is seen to threaten Islam, though of course the logic ofkilling your own kind to avenge your enemy seems to be a bit lost. Manjiscatalogue of problems associated with Islam may have applied toChristianity in the past, but I dont think any other modern mainstreamreligion including Judaism can be compared in the context of violence andtreatment of the "other" to Islam (despite claims to the contrary). Tribalreligions can vaunt themselves over others arrogating for themselves theGod given right to pillage and destroy whomever or whatever they please(in the name of God and self defence). Thus we see the superior Sunniskilling the Shias as infidels and the pacific Sufis marginalised into theperiphery, also regarded as infidel material. And thats just intra Islamicviolence. Manjis book is quite old now. Since then, we have witnessedIslamic beheadings of innocent people be they Hindus, Buddhists,Christians or Jews as well as burning people alive, proudly placed asvideos on the web. "Let me propose this much: equality cant exit in thedesert, not if the taxonomy of the tribe is to remain intact" argues Manji inone of the most forceful sentences in the book.She effectively describes a plethora of problems in general and inparticular, teasing out history and examples of her encounters with othercultures including a trip to Israel and the trouble she had seeing Islamsholiest shrines as a woman. As an example, Manji queries the lack of anoutcry to the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas from a Muslim feminist: "`Manji, do you know whats happening to Muslims in Palestine? ....Somebody return me to earth or transport my butt to a part of the solarsystem where we distinguish between justice and justification."I enjoyed Manjis treatment of the Palestinian conflict and her trenchantanalysis of freedom and openness in Israel compared to her neighbours.By playing the victim card, Muslims seem to have lost out so far. Each andevery time something terrible happens, the finger seems to be pointed atthe Jews and Americans. Make no mistake, the Middle East convincedthemselves that 9/11 was a Zionist conspiracy in all earnestness. There isnothing new here, the Jews were accused of spreading lies as far back as1848, the scapegoats of choice for any calamity in the Islamic world. Theexploration of anti-Semitism from a relatively short Islamic golden age tothe present is telling.Irshad scorns and chastises the rise of Whabism from Saudi Arabia andhighlights the spread of this brand of Islam thanks to petro dollars. Morethan the West, it is Arab culture that has colonised global Islam. Theauthor exposes hypocrisy on several fronts and scorns the culture ofignorance that Wahabism and what is described as "foundermentalism" in
particular has created. We learn about Turkish observatories that were torndown shortly after construction because of complaints from the Mullahsand free thinking philosophers like Ibn Rashd who were assassinated forexpressing themselves. Saudi Arabia has been busy obliterating historicMuslim architecture in case it encourages idolatry and Muslims are keptignorant about the Jewish roots of their faith (or at least, these roots arenot emphasised).Yet Manji remains a Muslim, beloved by many other Muslims sick of thelengths to which hatred is espoused on the basis of the Koran and Hadiths.A different kind of interpretation is possible, toning down the violentrhetoric, begging the question as to what constitutes a Dhimmi or aBeliever? A reformed Islam is surely possible and Manjis is probably thefirst major book exploring reasons for hope within the Islamic diaspora,particularly in the West.Manji explains that Allahu Akbar does not mean so much "God is great"but that "God is greater", Greater than my petty views and opinions and thepotential need to kill and destroy in His name.I think that the length of her essay does not permit enough room to explorethe solutions in bringing about reformation - one topic explored in somedetail is womens empowerment. We see that Manji is passionate for theaccommodation of Muslims by civilisation at large, and they should at leastbe grateful (given many dont like this book) that she explains the need forMuslim immigration into the Western or Developed world if they are tomaintain their productivity. Manji talks passionately a bout the need toeducate the disenfranchised young in Muslim countries via mediaprograms: "Whoever denies these kids economic and civic participation willincite a degree of chaos capable of convulsing much of the planet". Sheseeks the participation of anyone with resources to help Muslims to thinkindependently, outside the box. She calls this Itjihad, too long swept underthe carpet by theocratic governments.The author is a powerful communicator and activist and has obviouslystarted something. Having appreciated this book I can only hope it willinfluence Believers in a positive way but Manjis epistle probably fallslargely on deaf ears. At least she may be a Cassandra forewarning herkindred and us poor infidels as to dangers ahead. This surely rates as adocument of its time, worthy of dissemination and discussion now and inthe future. Its impact if any, remains to be seen. For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price:The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslims Call for Reform in Her Faith by Irshad Manji - 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price!