Monday, March 15, 2010

So Much for 'Islam Lite'

David Solway explains why former Muslims--Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, Nonie Darwish--are more trustworthy on the subject of Islam than is, say, a "hardened secular" Muslim like Tarek Fatah. (I've highlighted Solway's money statement):

...Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq, Wafa Sultan and Nonie Darwish, among others...understood that one cannot honestly profess Islam without abiding by the decrees of the religion and its holy book, including the oft-repeated summons to kill or enslave the infidel, the structure of gender apartheid, the imposition of shariah, and a host of other draconian laws.
In other words, a “moderate Muslim” would have to live in a state of contradiction, and perhaps many do—as does, for example, freedom loving Tarek Fatah, Canadian author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State, who calls himself a “hardened secular Muslim.” What exactly is a secular Muslim, whether hardened or soft? Similarly, what could a “secular Christian” conceivably be other than some sort of mythical chimera? (It is different for Jews, of course; a “secular Jew” remains a Jew because the world persists in regarding him as such. But that is another matter.) Fatah is a good man and an important voice in the ongoing debate concerning Islam, but he cannot extricate himself from a legendary infatuation or acknowledge disagreeable historical and theological facts. One cannot cherry pick the Koran or romanticize Islamic history, as so-called “moderate Muslims” are obliged to do, without falling into incoherence. As a character in Hanif Kureishi’s The Black Album says, “our religion isn’t something you can test out, like trying out a suit to see if it fit! You gotta buy the whole outfit!” There is, to put it another way, no such beverage as Islam Lite. One drinks in the real thing or nothing; there is no substitute.
I'd summarize it like this: when push comes to shove (as it did for Fatah when he attended the Pipes-Sultan event at a Toronto synagogue) even a "hardened secular Muslim" is Muslim first and secular second.

Update: LGF weighs in

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