Everything was going along great in this one until I chanced upon mention of the illustrious Omid Safi, who is such a kind professor that he does his students’ thinking for them “” particularly on that global menace, “Islamophobia.”
CAIRO – The condemnation of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda by the Islamic Commission of Spain on the first anniversary of the train bombings in Madrid that took 200 lives is making waves throughout the Muslim world.
It’s interesting: just a couple of days ago I was on a radio show with a host who kept pressing me about the multiplicity of sects in Islam, as if to suggest (again) that those who pursue violent jihad all belong to just one group (Wahhabis, no doubt — about whom more later if time permits), while other Islamic sects teach peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims.
But in fact, all we have in three and half years since 9/11 is one fatwa and a few groups that don’t seem to have much of a following (more on that later), and we are supposed to be thrilled that this fatwa was issued. Well, ok, I’m thrilled. I’d be more thrilled if it had actually explained how it proposed to refute the jihad theology and ideology, but I guess I shouldn’t expect too much too soon.
The Spanish commission’s fatwa, or condemnation, follows other signs of the kind of public theological debate rarely seen in the Muslim world, openly challenging the dominance of Saudi Arabia’s wealthy Wahhabi fanatics. One Islamic scholar even calls it a sign of “a counter-jihad.”
I noted it in an earlier post, but it still amazes me: the “dominance” of the Wahhabis? The media seems to have gone from “tiny minority of extremists” to “Wahhabi dominance” so fast that I’m dizzy.
Yet still no one seems to be asking whether it wasn’t just oil billions that won that dominance, but a convincing exegesis of the Qur’an and Sunnah — which the moderates still have yet to refute.
In a recent interview with the Qatari daily newspaper Al-Raya, for example, Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, the former dean of Shariah and law at the University of Qatar, urged his fellow Muslims to purge their heritage of fanaticism and adopt “new civilized humane thought.”
Such humane thought, he said, “must be translated [into deeds] in educational ways, via the media, tolerant religious discourse, nondiscriminatory policy and just legislation.”
“We must purge the school curricula of all sectarian implications and elements according to which others deviate from the righteous path and the truth is in our hands alone. We must enrich the curricula with the values of tolerance and acceptance of the other who is different [in school of faith, ethnic group, religion, nationality or sex].
Waaaaaaaait a minute. Who put that bracketed part in? On what basis?
“The political regime must refrain from sectarian or ethnic preference; it must respect the rights and liberties of the minorities and must guarantee them through legislative action, practical policy and equal opportunity in the areas of education, media and civil positions.”
There is a lot in that that I’d like to see clarified. “Sectarian” preference: does that include non-Muslims as well as Muslims? And respecting the rights and liberties of minorities, and even guaranteeing them, is not enough. The enforcers of the dhimma would say they did that. But if he really means “equal opportunity” for non-Muslims, then that sounds great. Except:
Other Muslims quickly attacked the Spanish fatwa.
A group calling itself al Qaeda in Iraq — the name Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab Zarqawi gave his organization after he aligned himself with bin Laden — mocked it in the familiar religious rhetoric. “Allah has promised us victory,” it said in a posting on its Internet Web site….“Terrorizing enemies of God is our faith and religion, which is taught to us by our Koran.”…
This is the kind of thing I have predicted many times as the fate of Islamic reformers: the jihadists challenge their Islamic loyalty. The Qur’anic verse in question is: “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly” (Qur’an 8:60).
The subject of suicide attacks sharply divides the Islamic world. Many Islamic scholars denounce it, citing the Koran: “Do not kill yourself.” There are deep divisions over what the Koran justifies in a perceived defense of Islam. “There needs to be an awakening that radicals are manipulating the Koran for their own narrow motives,” said Omid Safi, professor of philosophy and religion at Colgate University….
Omid, my man, I ask you one more time: please explain to us exactly how the radicals are “manipulating the Koran,” and how you propose to convince them to stop. As long as you keep hiding behind your degrees and refusing to answer such questions, as well as demonizing those who ask them, I will keep on wondering if you have any answers at all.