Wednesday, July 26, 2006

# Posted 2:32 PM by Taylor Owen  

IRSHAD MANJI: A mentor of the Trudeau Foundation, with which I am associated, describes a recent meeting, overlapping ominously with the bombings in India and the start of the Lebanese escalation.

Two weeks ago, I joined 99 other "Muslim leaders of tomorrow" who gathered in Copenhagen to debate how Islam and the West could enrich each other. We came from the United States, Canada, Australia and across Europe. Brace yourself, the statements made may shock you:

Man from the Netherlands: "We, as Muslims, need to look in the mirror instead of blaming everybody else!"

Woman from
Germany: "I don't have an identity crisis. I'm Western and Muslim and grateful to be both."

Organizer from the United States: "None of my fellow Americans signed up to speak about integration. They don't see it as their priority. I think this means Muslim immigrants have it better in the U.S. than in Europe."

Imam from Britain: "The minute a woman becomes an imam, I will be the first to pray at her feet."

I am curious what oxbloggers think of her. She is certainly a controversial figure. Perhaps more well known internationally than she is in her home county, Canada. I agree wholeheartedly with her principle stance, that Islam must modernise, particularly with regard to women’s rights, and that this modernization must begin with a recognition that many of the most unjust aspects of religion are rooted in human misinterpretations. However, I find that while the message is correct, rare, and valuable, she often doesn’t adequately discuss the policy implications to her message. Much like I feel about many neoconservative positions, I agree with the ends, but not by any and all means.

(3) opinions -- Add your opinion

I blogged her last year --



and here:


She's a brave lady and I applaud her efforts to open a serious dialogue on individual rights within Islam
She is a miserable failure in reaching out to the most "moderate" Muslims. Her positions simply strike Muslims as self-hating. Her interventions on sme really important debates in the Muslim world have been asinine. She is popular in the West because she speaks to the discourse on "modernizing" Islam, which is conceptually invalid. Whatever, keep her, the Muslim world has richer things going on, whether you see them or not (they have to be on CNN and have a blog to be seen, it seems), its Canada's loss.
i dont care if the Muslims ordain female imams. Not my business. Just as its not any gentiles business whether Orthodox Judaism ordains female rabbis, or Con Judaism ordains gay rabbis.

The modernization I want from Islam is a willingness to not Islamize the state, to not impose Sharia as state law. What happens WITHIN Islam, while important to say, muslim women, is not the Wests concern.

Pardon me for the reflexive Madisonian approach, but I really do think thats a better basis for dealing with Islam today.
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