Thursday, November 22, 2007

The anti-jihadi debate

from The Spectator (UK)

There was a riveting discussion in London yesterday evening, hosted by the Centre for Social Cohesion, between Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ed Husain. Both of these courageous people have been warning the world about the dangers of Islamic extremism, but there is a crucial division between them. Hirsi Ali, the former Dutch MP who has lived in fear since speaking, violent and indistinct from poltical Islamism. Ed HusainM, who chronicled his embrace and subsequent repudiation of Islamic extremism in his book "The Islamist", believes the Islamic world can and must have a ‘renaissance’ in which it rediscovers its own religious traditions of peaceful co-existence which have been all but buried by the recent dominance of Wahabbism and other extremist interpretations ... I find Ed Husain’s arguments more persuasive. Although last night Ayaan Hirsi Ali acknowledged the distinction between Muslims and Islam and accepted that Muslims can achieve reform, the logic of her position is surely that there can be no space for Muslims like Ed Husain. But we know that there are and always have been Muslim individuals and communities who live peaceful and unthreatening lives and derive only spiritual sustenance from their faith ... It is vital that both Ed Husain and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, along with both Muslims and ex-Muslims who take their lives in their hands to fight this fearsome threat that we all face, are properly supported, promoted and protected -- and actually listened to. We have a duty towards such people no less than towards dissidents in the former Soviet Union.

1 comment:

Abu Daoud said...

I like the mention of "ex-muslims". That needs to become part of the public discussion.