@ Zoltan Newberry:
I picked up a copy of NOMAD at the library the other day, and plan to read it as soon as I'm done with the book I'm currently reading, THE EVOLUTION OF GOD, which traces the history and pre-history of monotheism alongside a close reading of sacred texts. I'll reserve comment on Ali until later on - though I'll note for now that having a professional religious bigot like Christopher Hitchens write the intro for her prior book doesn't fill me with great confidence.

Your own comment contradicts itself. First you say there is no "moderate" Islam, and then you describe living peacefully with moderate Muslims. (I'm not really sure that "radical" vs "moderate" is the right opposition either.)

I think the only thing that should concern us is how much materially aggressive Islamism there is, with that concern also extending to oppression within nominally Islamic societies, though we need to be careful on that score, too, lest we enter unprepared into the glass house syndrome. There's a lot that's less than ideal in our wonderful Western ways, too, and, though it disturbs conservatives to acknowledge the fact, there's a lot in the way that we interact with the rest of the world that directly or indirectly empowers or agitates the worst elements of societies like the one that Ayaan Hirsi Ali escaped from.

If you find this discussion boring, then find something else to bring up. I consider this discussion essential, I find the concerns that it touches on and the struggle to discover a sound intellectual framework for discussing them to be fascinating, and I find people's reactions revelatory - though I've also frequently found them disheartening and alienating.

@ Zoltan Newberry:

I'm way past trying to justify myself to people whose mischaracterizations of my arguments imply no apparent attention to them, much less an honest effort to understand them, and who rest on an insistence that I stop saying mean things about all the good people who know that Muslims are scary and evil - then ask me to get back on the team. I'm not on that team, I never have been, and anyone who says I ever was is looking for a fight.

And I'm not sure why you wrote your note in the third person, but, after all this time, it comes across to me as creepy, distancing and unnecessarily personal at the same time.

So, happy Father's Day and go fish.

@ fuster:
Probably something you picked up hanging around with the IHIH.

@ narciso:
Seen it. We could take that interview line by line if we felt like it - but none of this comes close to backing up your original statement. I didn't even mean to be especially provocative in my question. I honestly wanted to know what you were referring to. It makes me wonder what you think you meant when you said "Rauf hangs around with IHIH"? It's beginning to look like pure calumny.

Yeah, pretty scary language:

Our goal must be living together harmoniously. Our goal is freedom of conscience.

Enough to make any man's blood boil with rage.

Our model should be the Prophet Muhammad when he worshipped in Mecca before Islam had taken hold. He did not pray the noon and afternoon prayers in a loud voice lest that would incite anger of the unbelievers.

And like him, we should all practise our religions in a way that does not provoke others.

Wow! And this demagogue walks free! Incredible!

Can you back up your earlier statement or not?

@ narciso:
Still waiting for you to answer the simple question. Withdrawing your original statement is also an option.

@ narciso:
No, it certainly doesn't help anything - except for the objective of making the NY Post look like McCarthyists.

(if you addressed it clearly in a comment or comments on one or more of the last six threads, and I somehow missed it, I apologize. You can always try linking the comments themselves - but I figured it would be easier just to explain your statement.)

@ narciso:
You can think whatever you like, but to my mind you haven't made anything "clear." What do you mean by "Rauf hangs around with IHIH"? It's a simple question.

Imam Rauf styles himself a Sufi but hangs around with the openly
Hambali Hamas affiliated IHIH

"Hangs around with"? What exactly does that mean? Please be specific.

fertiziling treefrog wrote:

@ CK MacLeod:
Wait for strangelet to figure out what you were saying.

Well, we're operating in political time here.

@ strangelet:
And furthermore impertinent. The position you now seem to be attempting to advance, about some authentic version of Islam distinct from Islamism, is presumed within the larger argument. The radical Islamist bid to "represent" Islam is itself at issue. The Islamophobes and radical Islamists jointly accept and validate it. Individuals like "John" worry about their potential success, about the radical Islamist bid for domination gradually eclipsing alternative perspectives at least within the critical sphere of "interaction with modernity." Your main argument is with them, presuming you're capable of mounting a coherent counterargument.

@ strangelet:
Largely irrelevant to the thesis, which is not about Islam per se, but about taking issue with what the earlier commenter, John, defined as the interaction of modernity and Islam.

@ strangelet:
It's clear you don't understand it, yes. But, then again, you are entering a conversation very late in the day, apparently with your own set of hardened pre-conceptions.

@ strangelet:
I have no idea why you think that comment is relevant to the post or to anything else.