April 22, 2003


Islamic dissidents say liberals are 'pathologically nice' (Julia Duin, THE WASHINGTON TIMES Magazine)
In real time, world Islam may be in the 21st century, but in practice, it's closer to the Dark Ages, panelists said at a forum on April 12.

"The theory and practice of jihad was not concocted in the Pentagon," said Ibn Warraq, a speaker at the conference on Islam sponsored by the Council for Secular Humanism at the Capitol Hilton in Washington, D.C. "It was taken from the Koran, the Hadith [additional sayings of Muhammad] and Islamic tradition. Western liberals, especially humanists, find it hard to believe this. The trouble with Western liberals is they are pathologically nice. They think that everyone thinks like them, including the Islamic fundamentalists.

"For humanists, terrorists are frustrated angels forever thwarted by the United States of America," he said.

Mr. Warraq was a participant at a "One Nation under God?" conference and, along with five other Muslim dissidents, spoke for three hours on "Will Islam Come into the 21st Century?" [...]

Mr. Warraq criticized listeners for their naivete, adding that humanists need to face facts.

"Islamic fundamentalists are utopian visionaries who wish to replace Western-style liberal democracies with Islamic theocracy, a fascist system of filth that aims to control every single act of every individual," he said. [...]

Bringing Islam into the current century, he said, would mean following Turkey's example in forming a secular society in which mosque and state do not mix. It would also mean subjecting the Koran to the kind of textual criticism as the Bible has undergone, rewriting school textbooks to include pre-Islamic history and comparative religion and closing the "madrassas," which are fundamentalist Islamic schools for young boys.

It's hard to see how calling Islam "filth" serves to advance the much needed process of reform, however, the analysis of Islam's problems as stemming from its totalitarian nature seems accurate. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 22, 2003 8:16 PM
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