Faith & Freedom

Monday, June 20, 2011

Irshad Manji, author of the book Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom, talks about her ongoing efforts to "modernize" Islam from within.


Irshad Manji

Comments [12]

This might dissapoint a lot of islamophopic persons from Queens, but there is no such thing as islam, a monolithic entity. And that explains the endless interpretations, here and within islam.

That made possible the american association between Saddam Huussein and Usama bin Laden, wich was completely insane (they were more likely bitter enemies) but made it easier for Bush to sell the war to its, in questions regarding foreign cultures, close to ignorant population. It helped to fool You, but no one else except Tony Blair, that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

Now You dont have to be fooled - all americans seem to think its alright to kill anyone anywhere in any possible way. Or if the person might be a terrorist, a little water boarding. That is true freedom. It will radicalise muslims more than anything else so your endless war (on communists, drugs ...) can continue while China saves, builds, plans and prosper.

Jun. 20 2011 06:29 PM
gary from queens

Irshad Manji made the same mistake that Obama made in Cairo. She quoted from a portion of the koran which has been abrogated. See:

The Quran's Doctrine of Abrogation
Prepared by Abdullah Al Araby

In an attempt to polish Islam's image, Muslim activists usually quote verses from the Quran that were written in the early days of the Islamic movement while Mohammed lived in Mecca. Those passages make Islam appear loving and harmless because they call for love, peace and patience. Such is a deception. The activists fail to tell gullible people that such verses, though still in the Quran, were nullified, abrogated, rendered void by later passages that incite killing, decapitations, maiming, terrorism and religious intolerance. The latter verses were penned while Mohammed’s headquarters was based in Medina.

When speaking with people of Christianized/Western societies, Muslim activists deliberately hide a major Islamic doctrine called "al-Nasikh wal-Mansoukh" (the Abrogator and the Abrogated). This simply means that in situations wherein verses contradict one another, the early verses are overridden by the latter verses. The chronological timing in which a verse was written determines its authority to establish policies within Islam. Non-Muslims cannot afford to be ignorant about the full implications of the Abrogator and the Abrogated Doctrine (al-Nasikh wal-Mansoukh). When Islamic spokesmen say that Islam is a religion of peace and that the Quran does not support such things as human rights infractions, gender bias and terrorism, they are lying. This means that the Western politicians and liberal journalists, who continually spout that Islam is a noble religion of peace, are in reality propagating a deception that they have been deceived into parroting.

This presents problems for naïve people who are not familiar with Islam and the Quran. They don’t know that the surahs/chapters of the Quran are not arranged in chorological order in regard to the timing in which they were written. Therefore an activist who is out to deceive them can turn to various places throughout the Quran and read verses that sound peaceful, tolerant, reasonable and loving. The impression is that the entire Quran promotes peace, love, equality and tolerance for all. That is far from the truth. Most Muslims fully understand that the few Quranic verses that seemingly promote equality, peace and justice are more often than not overridden/ nullified by later verses that validate such things as terrorism and legalistic restrictions on routine human and women’s rights.


Jun. 20 2011 11:06 AM
gary from queens

If you want to reform Islam, and I support your efforts to do so, then you must not paper over the inconvenient facts.

One of them is that "jihad" is not a personal aspiration. It is a political dictum to spread Islam everywhere.

This is according to the highest levels of Islamic jurisprudence.

Jun. 20 2011 10:59 AM
Amy from Manhattan

My understanding (& I'm a Conservative Jew w/a strong interest in languages) is that "ijtihad" is the reflexive form of the same root as "jihad" & means the struggle within oneself, & that the concept of jihad itself has a greater jihad, which is the internal struggle, & the lesser jihad, which means the external struggle & is often taken to include "holy war." I was hoping to ask Ms. Manji about this, but the segment's ending.

Jun. 20 2011 10:59 AM
John from NYC

The five pillars of Islam.

Submission is number 1.

Everything else is game playing, to contend that under this idea one can be an independent thinker.

If she says "We are first and foremost individuals," she is not Islamic.

In Islam, we are first and foremost subjects of god.

Jun. 20 2011 10:56 AM
Zach from UWS

This is a fabulous conversation. Brian Lehrer asks all the right questions.

Jun. 20 2011 10:55 AM

Holy schmoley, this chick rocks!

Jun. 20 2011 10:53 AM
Ana Manrique


I was made aware of Ijihad by a friend who has worked with Ms. Manji. My niece, who lives in Germany, converted to Islam in her 20's. It created a huge amount of distress in my family, South American Catholics. I send her her link, and although it didn't resonate with a fresh converted Muslim, I think the idea would now be much better received by her. I'm agnostic, but I have to say that I love the concept of Ijihad and I think continuous introspection in all religions should be part of a enlightened society. I thank Ms. Manji for showing me something I knew nothing about.

Jun. 20 2011 10:52 AM
Tara from Bronx

Irshad is fantastic! I'm so thankful for her bravery in stepping forward and providing this much needed intelligent and honest commentary.

Jun. 20 2011 10:52 AM
joseph goodrich

How can you reconcile any good ideas of moral behavior with the horrible, negative ideas in the Koran? For example:

Jun. 20 2011 10:52 AM
Steven Syrek from Washington Heights

Why are people always saying the problem isn't Islam (or any other religion) but the people who practice it? Isn't a religion an abstract concept that is, in fact, only as "good" (or what have you) as the people who practice it? I'm not Muslim, but I've read the Koran, and there's plenty of bigotry against non-Muslims in it, as there is bigotry against other faiths and peoples in other religious texts. So why do we need these religions and faiths, most of which are ancient and irrelevant to modern life? Why do we need them, that is, to be moral?

Jun. 20 2011 10:50 AM
Yasmine from Brooklyn

I have struggled with my Muslim identity as I have grown out of a Middle Eastern childhood into an adulthood in NYC where I can be out as a bisexual woman. I have never been happy giving up my Muslim identity, but am not very hopeful about LGBT rights in Muslim societies. What do you think can be done by LGBT Muslims to safely advance their rights? I reasonably worry about political issues being out here and going back home where it is illegal.

Jun. 20 2011 10:50 AM

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