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The Trouble With Islam Today:

A Wake-Up Call For Honesty & Changed

A Message From A Progressive Muslim

From Irshad Manji

Time magazine, July 15th


After giving a speech about Islam, I met this young magazine editor to talk about Islam's lost tradtion of critical thinking and reasoned debate. But we never got to that topic. She emphasized the London bombers "relative eco-nomic deprivation." I answered that the lads had immigrated perents who had worked hard to make something of themselves. I reminded her that several of the 9/11 hijackers came from weathy families, and it is not as if they left the boys out of the will. Finally, I told her about my conversation three years ago with the political leader of Islamic Jihad in Gaza. "What's the difference between suicade, which the Koran condemns, and martyrodom?" I asked. "Suicide," he replied, "is done out of despair. But remember: most of our martyers today were very successful in their earthly lives." In short, there was a future to live for-and they detonated it anyway.


By this time, the oxford student had grown somber. It was clear I had let her down. i had failed to appreciate that the London bombers were victims of British society. To be fair, she is right that the marginalization, real or preceived, diminishes self-estee. Which, in turn, can make young people vulunerable to those peddling a radical message of instant belonging. But suppose the message being peddled are marinated in religious rhetoric. Then wouldn't you say religion plays some role in motivating these atrocities? The student shifted uncomfortably. She just couldn't bring herself to examine my suggestion seriously. And I suppose I couldn't expect her to. Not when Muslim leaders themselves won't go there. Iqbal Sacranie, a secretary-general for Muslim Council of Britain, is an example. In the midst of a debate with me, he listed potential incentivies to bomb, including "alienation" and "segregation". But Islam? God forbid that the possibility even be entertained.


That is the dangerous denial from which mainstream Muslims need to emerge. While our spokesman assures us that Islam is an innocent bystander in today's terrorism, those who commit terrorist acts often tell us otherwise. Mohammed Atta, ringleader of the Sept. 11 hijackers, left behind a note asserting that "it is enough for us to know that the Koran's verses are the words of the Creator of the Earth and all the planets." Atta highlighted the Koran's discription of heaven. In 2004 the executioners of Nick Berg, an American contractor in Iraq, alluded on tape to a different Koranic passage: "Whoever kills a human being, except as punishment for murder or other villainy in the land, shall be regarded as having killed all mankind." The spirit of that verse forbids aggressive warfare, but the clause beginning with except is readily deployed by militant Muslims as a loophole. If you want murder and villainy in the land, they say, look no further than U.S. bootprints in Arab soil.


For too long, we Muslims have been sticking our fingers in our ears and chanting "Islam means peace" to drown out the negative noise from our holy book. Far better to own up to it. Not erase or reverse, just recognize it and thereby join moderate Jews and Christians in confessing "sins of Scriptures," as an American bishop says about the Bible. In doing so, Muslims would show a thoughtful side that builds trust with the wider communities of the West. We could then cultivate the support to inspire cross-cultural understanding. For instance, schools throughout the West should teach how Islamic civilizations helped give birth to the European Renaissance. Some of the first universities in recorded history sprang up in 3rd century Iran, 9th century Bagdad and 10th century Cairo. The Muslim would gave us mocha coffee, the guitar and even Spanish expression ole! (which has its root in the Arabic word Allah). Muslim students would learn there is no shame in defending the values of pluralism. Non-Muslim students would learn that those values too great inspiration from Islamic culture. All would learn that Islam and the West are more interdependent than divided.


Still, as long as Muslims live in pretense, we will be affirming that we have something to hide. It's not enough for us to protest that radicals are exploiting Islam as a sword. Of course they are. Now, mo0derate Muslims must stop exploiting Islam as a shield-one that protects us from authentic introspection and our neighbors from genuine understanding.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello all, new member here.


TIME magazine has always been a propaganda engine for the corporate state.

Christian terrorists have been far worse than Muslim terrorists, but they deny all responsibility.


For example, US arms makers are biggest weapons proliferators on earth & they sell to most any tyrant who can pay, creating misery, poverty, & destablisation on a global scale:




Most of bin Laden's followers are not rich Saudis but the poor & marginalised who are sick of the West's long history of colonial interference. This history is always left out

of the corporate presentations of the present conflict.


Also, Muslim terrorism as we know it did not exist until Washington started the 1980s Afghan war & provided vast sums to Islamic terrorists there, & trained people like OBL in terror:



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  • 10 months later...

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