Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald has read my open letter to Connecticut College Professor Ahmed Afzaal, and Afzaal’s reply, and now he has a few questions of his own for Professor Afzaal:
“…regarding some of my writings you have posted on your website, I have something important to say. These writings date back to the time between 1996 and 1998; we are now several years beyond that point in time. Generally speaking, I have outgrown most of those ideas and the way in which they were formulated, which I now believe was simply naÃ¯ve. As you know, people grow and mature with the passage of time, with the acquisition of knowledge, and with exposure to diverse experiences. In fact, when I was in graduate school, the papers I would write one semester would appear to me completely idiotic by the end of the next semester. Such growth is a sign of life. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry too much about these writings.” — From Afzaal’s friendly, affable,
I’ve-had-a-complete-change-of-heart-and-by-the-way-I-don’t-want-to-endanger-my-retaining-a-good-academic-job-and-also-remaining-forever-in-this-great-big-wonderful-Infidel-land-of-yours letter. And I, who once accepted all that “Islam is to dominate and is not to be dominated” nonsense, I who once repeatedly celebrated such ideas in prose that I admit does sound as if I had thought very long, and very hard about these matters, and really really meant what I said when I set out views which I was hoping no one here at Connecticut College would ever get wind of, I now ask you: please don’t post anything else I may have written in my wild and crazy youth.
1. Articles written in 1998 are not exactly from the distant past.
2. The assertion that Afzaal no longer means what he wrote in a different political climate must be evaluated in light of his possible intent to remain in this country and keep his job. Yet one can easily discover from his syllabi, from what he says in class, and even from his examinations, whether or not he has had the change of heart he assures us — without giving the slighest bit of evidence — that he has had.
3. The article by him posted yesterday — and others posted in the comments field here, suggest that his meretricious reply (one can smile, and smile, and be a villain, and a past master at soft-spoken affability should not be taken, ever, at face value) may not be all that it seems to be. More of his work deserves to be posted.
4. The kind of sentiments he expressed in the piece I put up yesterday — that Pakistan is Islam, and nothing but Islam, and should be nothing else — cannot
easily be bluffingly cast aside by someone who assures us that “[g]enerally speaking, I have outgrown most of those ideas and the way in which they were formulated, which I now believe was simply naÃ¯ve. As you know, people grow and mature with the passage of time, with the acquisition of knowledge, and with exposure to diverse experiences. In fact, when I was in graduate school, the papers I would write one semester would appear to me completely idiotic by the end of the
next semester. Such growth is a sign of life. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry too much about these writings.”
“If I were you, I wouldn’t worry too much about these writings.”
Jihad Watch is full of examples of Muslims showing up at candlelight and prayer vigils, engaged in all sorts of Muslim Outreach and “dialogue” activites, and then being discovered to have said, and to be saying, quite different things to Muslim ears.
So, Professor Afzaal, if you have had a complete change of heart, please tell us exactly what you disagree with in your previous writings, those from your callow youth some 8 years ago — when you were fully formed, an adult, and in complete possession of your
And while we are it, we, and the college that you teach at, deserve to know more about that organization you belong to, or are even an officer of — what is it called again? Something about “Tanzeem”? And what does “Tanzeem” mean? And what does the organization try to do, and who is connected to it, and when did you decide you didn’t agree with its views — or do you still agree with its views?
The idea that you can smilingly tell Robert Spencer, and all of us, and all worried Infidels, that “if I were you, I wouldn’t worry,” is extraordinary, given the evidence of your own writings and the organization to which you belong. Tell us more about it, lest we have to present the material ourselves. One waits for a chapter-and-verse discussion as to all the things you once thought that you no longer think.
For example, do you agree with the dictum that “Islam is to dominate and is not to be dominated”? Do you agree that Muslims owe their loyalty to the umma al-islamiyya and not to an Infidel nation-state, or to Infidels in the country those Muslims live in? Do you agree that in the service of an Infidel nation-state, as part of what is owed it, a Muslim should be willing to participate in the armed services even if any of its operations is directed at a Muslim country or group? Do you think that Muhammad is the Perfect Man, despite Asma bint Marwan, Aisha, the Banu Qurayza, Abu Afak, and a few dozen other events in his life that for most Infidels are not exactly inspiring?
We need to know.