In “A More Islamic Islam” in the Washington Post (thanks to all who sent this in), Geneive Abdo (who wrote a fairly good book a few years back, No God But God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam) carries CAIR’s water and touts “charismatic intellectual” Siraj Wahaj, who has said, “If only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.”
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A small group of self-proclaimed secular Muslims from North America and elsewhere gathered in St. Petersburg recently for what they billed as a new global movement to correct the assumed wrongs of Islam and call for an Islamic Reformation.
The “assumed wrongs of Islam”? As if there is no global jihad, justified by the texts and tenets of Islam. No schoolgirls beheaded in Indonesia. No Dutch filmmakers shot and stabbed to death. No beheadings in Iraq. No churches torched in Nigeria. No Buddhist schoolteachers shot dead in Thailand. All of it done in the name of Islam. And much more besides. Just assumed wrongs, folks. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Across the state in Fort Lauderdale, Muslim leaders from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Washington-based advocacy group whose members the “secular” Muslims claim are radicals, denounced any notion of a Reformation as another attempt by the West to impose its history and philosophy on the Islamic world.
See, it’s all just a “claim” by those dastardly “secular” Muslims. No CAIR officials arrested and convicted on terror-related charges. No statements of Islamic supremacism by CAIR operatives. No derivation from Hamas. It’s all just a “claim” by “secular” Muslims.
The self-proclaimed secularists represent only a small minority of Muslims. The views among religious Muslims from CAIR more closely reflect the views of the majority, not only in the United States but worldwide. Yet Western media, governments and neoconservative pundits pay more attention to the secular minority….
What outrageous hogwash. Ibrahim Hooper is on television regularly. When was the last time you tuned in to CNN or Fox and saw Ibn Warraq?
The secular Muslim agenda is promoted because these ideas reflect a Western vision for the future of Islam. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, everyone from high-ranking officials in the Bush administration to the author Salman Rushdie has prescribed a preferred remedy for Islam: Reform the faith so it is imbued with Western values — the privatization of religion, the flourishing of Western-style democracy — and rulers who are secular, not religious, Muslims. The problem with this prescription is that it is divorced from reality. It is built upon the principle that if Muslims are fed a steady diet of Western influence, they, too, will embrace modernity, secularism and everything else the West has to offer.
Consider the facts: Islamic revivalism has spread across the globe in the past 30 years from the Middle East to parts of Africa. In Egypt, it is hard to find a woman on the street who does not wear a headscarf. Islamic political groups and movements are on the rise — from Hezbollah in Lebanon, to Hamas in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Even in the United States, more and more American Muslims, particularly the young, are embracing Islam and religious symbolism in ways their more secular, immigrant parents did not.
I traveled to Florida to serve as the keynote speaker at an annual convention hosted by CAIR. On my way to the event, I spoke with Imam Siraj Wahaj, a charismatic intellectual from the Masjid Al-Taqwa in Brooklyn who has thousands of followers here and abroad. His words summarized the aspirations of mainstream Muslims in the United States and around the globe: “What we need to do is borrow those attributes from the West that we admire and reject those that we don’t. That is the wave of the future.”