Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Moderate Muslims in the West: "Muslims in Name, Apostates in Fact"

The Egyptian journalist Rim Azmi published an attack on Muslim liberals living in Western countries in the April 23, 2005 issue of the official Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, titled: "Muslims in Name, Apostates in Fact," in which she accuses Muslim academics and politicians in the West of using Islam for their own aggrandizement. "You encounter a long list of those who call themselves Islamic thinkers. These people put themselves above the divine message, and their arrogance deludes them into thinking that they can act as equals with the overpowering miracle of the Koran. Thus, they strongly demand a rereading of the Koran, or what is an even greater crime, they demand that one listen to those who offer a new allegorical interpretation of the religious text. Leading this group of academics are the Egyptian Nasr Hamid Abu-Zayd, who published his book Critique of Religious Discourse and then hurried to the Netherlands, after having encountered a series of problems on account of his publications; and the Algerian Berber Muhammad Arkoun. And there are others. Their purpose is to invent a version of Islam in accordance with the latest fashions, which will be consistent with the rhythm of contemporary Western civilization. Their champion is Salman Rushdie, who wrote his revolting novel, The Satanic Verses. And there is also the Somali woman, Ayaan Hirshi Ali, the author of the novel Submission, from which her late friend, the Dutch director Theo Van Gogh, derived the film which offends both Islam and Muslims and which angered the Muslims. A second part of the movie [was planned], if not for the fact that he was killed by a 26-year-old Moroccan immigrant.


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