Posted tagged ‘Islamic reform objectives’

Europe: Muslim Reformers Need Police Protection

September 22, 2017

Europe: Muslim Reformers Need Police Protection, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, September 22, 2017

Seyran Ates, a moderate imam, has received “300 emails per day encouraging me to carry on,” but “3,000 a day full of hate,” some with death threats.

In Germany, it is not the Muslim supremacists, such as those who preach killing homosexuals, who have to live under police protection; it is the Muslims who criticize the supremacists. The only “crime” these concerned Muslims committed was to exercise their democratic right to speak — not in Iran or Syria or Iraq — but in Europe.

These reformers try to keep alive the values of the Enlightenment — freedom of speech, separation of religion and state, equal justice under law — to break through the coerced silence of Islam, in which “blasphemy” is punishable by death. The price, however, has been exile, torture, ostracism, public marginalization, and too often life itself. Where are the “moderate Muslims”? In the Muslim world, they are in prison, in exile, in flight. In Europe, these genuine “moderate Muslims” have to live under police protection. Multiculturalism for them is a prison.

Abdelbaki Essati, the imam the authorities believe was at the center of terrorist attacks in and around Barcelona, was apparently a master of deception — “too polite, too correct“. He was apparently able to deceive European intelligence services by preaching a “moderate” version of Islam, while at the same time, orchestrating deadly jihadist attacks.

Another imam in Europe, Seyran Ates, preaches a genuinely “moderate Islam” but needs around-the-clock police protection.

Ates, training to become an imam, seems to have thought there was no better place than Berlin to inaugurate her mosque, Ibn Rushd-Goethe. It is the first Islamic religious site open to unmarried women, homosexuals, atheists, Sufis, unveiled women — all those people that many fundamentalist Islamists have said they wish to silence or kill.

But after the flashbulbs of photographers came the death threats. Now, six German police officers are needed to protect Ates. She is not new to death threats. She closed her law firm in Kreuzberg (a Turkish district of Berlin) after almost being murdered in a terror attack. The bullet lodged between her fourth and fifth vertebrae. It took her five years to recover from the injury.

A week after the inauguration of “Berlin’s liberal mosque”, its prayer room was virtually empty. The number of faithful was the same as the number of security personnel. Muslims seem afraid to be seen there. Ates has received fatwas and threats from Egypt to Turkey. She says she has received “300 emails per day encouraging me to carry on”, but “3,000 emails a day full of hate”, some with death threats.

Berlin’s Seyran Ates, an imam who preaches a genuinely “moderate Islam”, needs around-the-clock police guards to protect her from fundamentalist Islamists. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Her fate, unfortunately, is not unique. Germany hosts many genuinely “moderate” Muslims who must live under police protection. They are journalists and activists who have challenged terror and radical Islam. Without protection, they would become “moderate martyrs”. Ayaan Hirsi Ali fled to the US after the Netherlands refused to continue protecting her.

In Germany, it is not the Muslim supremacists, such as those who preach killing homosexuals, who have to live under police protection; it is the Muslims who criticize the supremacists. The only “crime” these concerned Muslims committed was to exercise their democratic right to speak — not in Iran or Syria or Iraq — but in Europe.

These reformers try to keep alive the values of the Enlightenment — freedom of speech, separation of religion and state, equal justice under law — to break through the coerced silence of Islam, in which “blasphemy” is punishable by death.

It is they who penetrate that silence. They defend the right to democracy, to an independent judiciary, to education. The price, however, has been exile, torture, ostracism, public marginalization, and too often life itself. Where are the “moderate Muslims”? In the Muslim world, they are in prison, in exile, in flight — when not murdered — as was Salman Taseer, his lawyerbloggers from Bangladesh and countless others. In Europe, these genuine “moderate Muslims” have to live under police protection. Multiculturalism for them is a prison.

Hamed Abdel-Samad, an Egyptian writer and author of the book Islamic Fascism, is protected by the German police. The German sociologist Bassam Tibi has been under police guard for two years for having sponsored a “Euro Islam”: how Muslims might be assimilated in Europe, a concept opposite to the Islamization of Europe that the fundamentalists are trying to accomplish. In an interview with the German magazine Cicero, Tibi admitted his defeat and “capitulation”.

Ekin Deligöz, a representative of Germany’s Social Democratic Party, is under police protection as well, for having asked women to reject the veil as being “a symbol of inferiority and subjection”. Fatma Bläser, a victim of forced marriage and the author of the novel Hennamond, is today protected by police. She travels from school to school among young Muslims to raise awareness. Mina Ahadi, who founded the Council of Former Muslims, is also under day-and-night government protection.

When Turkey’s most courageous journalist, Can Dündar, former editor of the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet — the only Turkish media that expressed solidarity with the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo — left Ankara for Germany, he most likely would never have imagined that he would need police protection in Berlin, as well. In Turkey, the police searched his house for emails and articles; in Berlin, the police have to guard his house against the Muslim fundamentalists who want him dead. In Turkey, they wanted to kill him for criticizing political Islam; Europe is no different.

These are the real “moderate” voices in the Islamic world — unlike many supposed “moderate Muslims” such as Tariq Ramadan, who was recently caught defending female genital mutilation(FGM). These heroic Muslim reformers are far from the Islamic officials of the mainstream Muslim organizations, often funded by oil-rich Islamic dictatorships. Qatar, according to a major enquiry by the French daily Libération, is the main source of funds for the Union of the Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF), the most prominent Islamic umbrella group there. The UOIF also evidently receives funding from Saudi Arabia and “benevolent associations” in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

These brave dissidents, who need our help, have been struggling to uphold values that are the pillars of Europe’s Enlightenment — those the entire West has come to accept. But not Islam.

These men and women have even been compared to heroes of the Enlightenment, such as Voltaire. The French playwright, however, did not have a million enemies who, recognizing him from television, could then plot to behead him.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Australia: Muslim women accuse Ayaan Hirsi Ali of “white supremacism”

April 5, 2017

Australia: Muslim women accuse Ayaan Hirsi Ali of “white supremacism” Jihad Watch

Ms Ali, a former Muslim turned atheist who spent part of her childhood in Saudi Arabia, has called for a reformation of Islam so the Koran isn’t taken literally and individual rights are respected…..

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Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali has hit back at Australian Muslim women for accusing her of being a white supremacist and a misogynist, describing them as apologists for terrorist groups.

Anyone who criticizes Islam legitimately for its Sharia-sanctioned abuse of women, apostates and infidels is deemed “a white supremacist” and an “Islamophobe.” The absurdity of referencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who has herself been victimized in the name of Islam) as a “white supremacist” exposes the stealth agenda of Islamic supremacists, along with the useful idiots who assist them in advancing their Sharia objectives.

“‘Shutting people up raising awareness about Sharia law’: Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali hits back at Muslim women accusing her of being a ‘white supremacist’ – after she was forced to cancel Australian tour over security”, by Stephen Johnson, UK Daily Mail, April 5, 2017:

Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali has hit back at Australian Muslim women for accusing her of being a white supremacist and a misogynist, describing them as apologists for terrorist groups.

Six Muslim women, including four wearing hijabs, feature in a video describing the Somali-born writer and former refugee as someone who marginalises followers of Islam.

The three-minute clip, posted on Facebook by a group called Persons of Interest, describes Ms Ali as a racist and sexist person.

They overlook how she is a black woman who campaigns against female genital mutilation.

‘This is the language of patriarchy and misogyny. This is the language of white supremacy. This is the language used to justify war and genocide,’ the women say.

They posted the video on Monday, after Ms Ali’s AHA Foundation and event organisers Think Inc announced she had abruptly cancelled her Australian tour for security reasons.

Speaking from the United States, Ms Ali accused the woman of ‘carrying water’ for Islamist extremist groups campaigning for a global caliphate based on sharia law.

The 47-year-old former Dutch politician linked them to the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood, which is outlawed in its home nation, Islamic State and Boko Haram, which captured 276 schoolgirls in 2014.

Moroccan Soup Bar owner Hana Assafiri, who featured in the video, is the same person who was a spokeswoman for a change.org petition calling for Ms Ali’s Australian tour to be cancelled.

That petition was authored by Islamic Museum of Australia board director Sherene Hassan.

Daily Mail Australia contacted Ms Assafiri for comment on Tuesday.

However, on Monday she declined to criticise sharia law, which secular Muslims reject.

‘Sharia law is a whole massive conversation we need time to discuss and debate with,’ she said.

‘It’s not something I can give you a quick sound bite.’

Zerin Firoze, a former Muslim turned atheist who lives in New York, denounced the video.

‘This is the dumbest video I have seen recently,’ she said on Facebook.

‘Ex-Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali are not demonising Muslim women or Islam.

‘Islam itself demonises Muslims, especially Muslim women.’

Ms Ali, a former Muslim turned atheist who spent part of her childhood in Saudi Arabia, has called for a reformation of Islam so the Koran isn’t taken literally and individual rights are respected…..

The Free-Speech Muslims

December 24, 2016

The Free-Speech Muslims, City JournalKaren Lugo, December 23, 2016

Muslim-American reformers have risked much and are targets of both leftists and Islamists. Recently, the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled Jasser, a Phoenix-based cardiologist, “anti-Muslim.” It has called Ali an “extremist.” In fact, both are brave and eloquent defenders of liberty, freedom of conscience, unfettered speech, and individual rights. Trump would be wise to invite them into his administration, and consider their counsel.

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Who speaks for Muslim Americans? The media have long offered a megaphone to grievance groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Contrarian, Western-oriented Muslims are rarely heard from. With the election of Donald Trump, however, their voices are growing louder. Some are political conservatives in the American sense. Others simply embrace the separation of secular and religious life. Both are fed up with the monolithic, condescending presentation of Muslims as victims.

Trump’s election has opened a new space for such Muslim Americans to express themselves politically. Oppressive sharia codes are as much a threat to these reformers as they are to unprotected American traditions. The new crop of Muslim reformers seek express delineation between Islam as a religious belief system and Islamism as a socio-political regime. They understand the vital need for open and uncensored public debate. They realize that this discussion may determine whether America avoids the fate of Europe, which chose multiculturalism over assimilation and is paying a heavy price.

Former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani penned a recent op-ed in theWashington Post announcing herself as a Muslim, an immigrant, and a Trump voter. She has also warned Americans that campaigns like “wear a hijab day”—ostensibly meant as demonstrations of solidarity with Muslim women—are misguided. “‘Hijab’ literally means ‘curtain’ in Arabic. It also means ‘hiding,’ ‘obstructing’ and ‘isolating’ someone or something,” she wrote. “It is never used in the Koran to mean headscarf.” Nomani says she “doesn’t buy” the Islamic fundamentalist meme that men are weak, and can’t withstand the temptation of seeing a woman’s hair. Nomani explains that such ideologies “absolve men of sexually harassing women and put the onus on the victim to protect herself by covering up.”

In 2015, more than a dozen Muslim dissidents—including Nomani, Zuhdi Jasser, Raheel Raza, and Tawfik Hamid—announced the formation of the Muslim Reform Movement. “We are in a battle for the soul of Islam, and an Islamic renewal must defeat the ideology of Islamism, or politicized Islam, which seeks to create Islamic states, as well as an Islamic caliphate,” the group said in a manifesto demanding freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equal rights for women, and separation of mosque and state. This declaration provides a philosophical basis for Muslim believers to interpret Islam in a societally constructive fashion. Physician Qanta Ahmed has suggested that President-elect Trump build an advisory team of insightful Muslim leaders to shape a national effort to “unveil Islamism.” Ahmed, author of In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor’s Journey in the Saudi Kingdom, wants to assist in creating the framework to “disable Islamism through frank speech.” In appearances on PBS and CNN, she has called Islamism a destructive force that aims to subjugate all Muslims. She was critical of President Obama’s reluctance to name the Islamists threat and she welcomes the “serious, fresh opportunity to defeat Islamism” that Trump may represent.

Shireen Qudosi’s blog bills itself “The Voice of Muslim Reformers.” A longtime California Republican, Qudosi is an eloquent defender of American constitutional standards and a vivacious feminist. Tawfik Hamid is a reformed Islamist radical who now declares that he is a “Muslim by birth . . . Christian by the spirit . . . and a Jew by heart.” Obama has called Islamic radicalism a “perversion” of Islam, but Hamid warns that Islamic violence is indeed rooted in religious ideology. He stresses the need for clear distinctions that isolate radical influences. Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali is no longer a Muslim. Born in Somalia, she rejected Islam in favor of Enlightenment ideals when she fled to the Netherlands in 1992. Recognizing that Islam is at a crossroads, Ali has called for “leadership from the dissidents” and emphasized that the reformers “stand no chance without support from the West.”

Muslim-American reformers have risked much and are targets of both leftists and Islamists. Recently, the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled Jasser, a Phoenix-based cardiologist, “anti-Muslim.” It has called Ali an “extremist.” In fact, both are brave and eloquent defenders of liberty, freedom of conscience, unfettered speech, and individual rights. Trump would be wise to invite them into his administration, and consider their counsel.