Hugh Fitzgerald said it back in 2008: "Irshad Manji has certainly created her own private Islam. She is the child of Asian refugees from Uganda. She has never lived in a Muslim society. She has always enjoyed the freedoms of the West. But she feels, out of filial piety, and perhaps for other reasons, that she will do best if she continues to identify as a Muslim and if, furthermore, she keeps claiming that Islam itself is or can be made into something perfectly acceptable to people such as herself. She's wrong. And any apostate, who had been born into and grown up in a society suffused with Islam, would be able to set her right."
Irshad Manji satisfies the endless hunger of the mainstream media for "moderate Muslims" that they can pretend are representative and mainstream, but in reality her Islam is eccentric, non-mainstream, non-traditional and entirely of her own making. She herself discovered just how much this was the case recently in Indonesia, where she was physically attacked by adherents of the real thing, causing her to reconsider her praise for that vaunted modern, moderate country in her latest book.
"Irshad Manji is having second thoughts on Indonesia," from The Jakarta Post, May 10 (thanks to David):
Having become the center of conservative backlash against her visit to Indonesia, Canadian liberal Muslim activist Irshad Manji is having second thoughts over the country’s label as the largest Muslim democracy in the world.
Note that the Jakarta Post echoes the mainstream media here in labeling adherents of Sharia "conservative." Remember that opponents of Sharia are also "conservative." To make sense of this, you need a Mainstream Media Decoder Ring.
In 2008, author Irshad Manji visited Jakarta and Yogyakarta to discuss her first book entitled Faith without Fear: The Challenge for Muslims Today.
The book catapulted the Ugandan-born woman to the forefront of public attention as an advocate of “reformist and progressive” interpretations of Islamic teachings.
The New York Times described her as the late Osama bin Laden’s “worst nightmare”.
In her newest book, entitled Allah, Liberty and Love, Manji included Indonesia as an example of a place where pluralistic Islam could be upheld in the real world.
“However, at the current time, a lot of things have changed,” she told Tempo on Thursday morning.
“Those people [who attacked the event] are cowards,” she added.
She was referring to the attack of her book discussion at the Institute for Islamic and Social Studies (LKiS) Foundation in Yogyakarta, which occurred late on Wednesday by hundreds of members of the Indonesian Mujahidin Council (MMI).
Manji, her assistant and several participants suffered minor injuries as a result of the physical attacks.
Last Friday, the discussion of Manji’s book Allah, Liberty and Love at the Salihara cultural center in Jakarta was disrupted by authorities who questioned the organizer’s permit to invite a foreign national....