March 13, 2007

Does Islam Lead, Inevitably, to Islamo-Fascism?

Among the Cotillion bloggers, we argue about this a great deal: some feel that Islam itself is a threat to liberalism and democracy. Some see the possibility that "moderate Muslims" can be brought back from the verge of extinction; others remain tremendously skeptical.

I think we all know that columnist Mark Steyn—a stud/god in so many other respects—is in the latter category.

I agree that Islam must be reformed, but I sympathize with those who are to do the reforming, since they risk death. That's why I admire the members of Muslims for America, and it is why I salute the participants in the recent Secular Islam Summit in St. Petersberg, Florida. Tashbih Sayyed reports at Family Security Matters:

Muslims being brought up under the tutelage of Islamism refuse to allow their co-religionists to think independently and indulge in individual reasoning. The situation has forced the world to believe that Muslims will always remain a threat to world peace and stability unless they find a way to challenge some of Islamís perceived foundations that are frozen in a time when barbarism, cruelty, ethnic cleansing and muzzling of opposing voices was the norm. These were some of the thoughts on the minds of many who participated in a recently concluded Secular Islam summit in St. Petersburg, Florida, that was organized by the Center for Inquiry of New York. The summit provided Muslims with a platform to voice their concerns regarding the regressive hold of radical Islam on their lives. The summit empowered the Muslims to challenge the growing power of political Islam that threatens freedoms totally and absolutely. The Summitís success ensured that the free thinking Muslims now have a stage and visibility to propose new ideas, introduce new concepts and advance the causes of secularism without being lynched.

It's hard to forget what happened to Theo Van Gogh, and to so many others who dared to criticize Islam and Islamism—both from within the faith and outside it. Read the whole thing for some of the grim stories, and a message of hope.

All we can do in this country is protect speech, encourage debate, and create a "zone of safety" around those who have left Islam and those who attempt to cure its pathologies from within. I'm not sure whether we are "America alone." But we are the foremost promoters of free speech in the world; we are the nation that placed it first on a list of entitlements God grants to human beings. And we are its primary safeguard in the world.

That could make us Islam's best hope. And that's irony you can take to the bank.

Posted by Attila Girl at March 13, 2007 10:22 AM | TrackBack

Mr. Tasbih Sayyed, fails to state that Islam is a religion of personal interpretation, it is only violent when you take your personal beliefs and try to impose them on muslims around the world. That is a mistake, which is central to all his examples, the personal was made political and not only that in all of his examples the personal beliefs were made public and were insulting and damaging to Islam. There is a difference between free-thinking and intentionally mis-representing. Now I for one would not condone the violence, but knowing the people and the culture, this kind of result is obvious. Mr.Sayyed is completely oblivious, when he makes the claim" But all of them were mindful of the totalitarian hold of a radical and facist ideology over Islam." DUH!I think freedom of religion is enjoyed in an environment of mutual respect. The Danish Cartoonist were guilty of just that, not having any respect for the beliefs of others. We have civility and decency present when certain boundries are not breached in the name of freedom. Otherwise we have to give Ann Coulter her right to use any word to describe anyone. Lets also get rid of the legal standard "the intent to incite or produce illegal action by speech " I think I have mentioned this legal standard before sorry for the repetition.

Posted by: Azmat Hussain at March 18, 2007 08:23 PM

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