Monday, August 26, 2013

Must Read: Bruce Bawer on a Cartoon Rioter and Repentance

A mesmerizing article for many reasons. 

First of all, it contains a a very interesting description of a fanatic who gradually was introduced to reason. This is a progression that has been well documented by former communists and leftists/liberals who eventually started reading books by non-leftists (I know-CRAZY STUFF).

But it's only happening in very small numbers within the Islamic community.

So, a good read for that reason.

However, I found this part the most gripping:

" late July, a reporter for the Danish newspaper BT persuaded him to go public with it. Since doing so, Akkari has been saying and writing the kinds of things that critics of Islam have been saying and writing for years – and that left-wing, cultural-elite commentators in Denmark and everywhere else have been consistently savaging as lies, lies, lies."

"What distinguishes Akkari from some of us, however, is that he embraces – indeed, seems to cling to, as if to a life raft – the distinction, which some of us (myself included) find spurious, between “Islam” and “Islamism.”

"Islamism, he says, “the Quran and Muhammad’s life as the foundation for rituals, rules, and outlooks.” Islamists “assume that every word in the Koran is the law, and that every source provided by Muhammad is the basis for a law.” Islamists insist, moreover, “that they are in possession of the truth and nothing but the truth.”

"To me, this sounds like Islam, pure and simple."

"If it’s Islamism, then what, in Akkari’s view, is Islam?"

"The answer’s not clear."

"He does acknowledge that the majority of Muslims are, by his definition, Islamists: Islamist thought, as he puts it, “has infected most ordinary Muslims, who…can not imagine reading texts in other ways without feeling that they’re offending against God.” Yet he is – or wants to be seen as – one of that tiny minority of Muslims who assert that their faith, although rooted in a manual of hate and in the life story of a tyrannical, murderous pedophile, can somehow be turned into something entirely different from what it’s been since its inception."

There is no distinction. It is a "life raft" that liberals and even many "conservatives" are clinging to, hoping and wishing for but it is an illusion. 

I imagine it is incredibly difficult for the Muslims who are trying to reconcile modern/Western living and living in a democracy with Islam, who still want to be considered religious. I think for the most part, those who are Western in their political and philosophical orientation, yet remain culturally and emotionally connected to Islam are actually apostates by any sane person's definition of an apostate.

This cannot be an easy intellectual journey and the personal and community price of apostasy is very high.

But some of us uppity infidels insist on living in the real world, without clinging to the "Islamism" life raft.

I think that is quite an excellent way of defining the current discussions on Islam.

Are you a "bitter clinger", clinging to the life raft of "Islamism", and if so-how does it indeed differ from Islam? 

As the subject of the interview confesses:

"Akkari has also said that since his “coming out,” he’s been contacted by ex-Communists and ex-Nazis who identify with his current situation – an implicit admission, on his part, that his own former belief system, which he knows better than anybody, can indeed be likened to Communism and Nazism. Again, any critic of Islam who dares to venture such a comparison is (of course) certain to be called a Nazi himself by the Islamophilic left."

Indeed, one risks personal and professional suicide when choosing to go against the tide of the moral aristocracy of the left.

In my view, it's worth the risk. 

Screw the life raft.