Monday, March 27, 2006

I'll Take Princeton Over Yale Any Day of the Week

The Daily Princetonian has published a fantastic piece by Prof. John Fleming on the nature of Islam. Be sure to read the whole thing, but here are some choice excerpts:
As for the standard of "basic tolerance and respect," we might consider the plight of Abdul Rahman, the most celebrated Afghan Christian and perhaps the only living one. His problem is not coexistence, just simple existence. As I write, he is in prison awaiting a capital trial for the crime of converting from Islam to Christianity. And yes, that is a capital crime, so interpreted from the lips of the Prophet himself in several scriptural passages. It is enshrined in the Shari'a and in the schizophrenic Afghan Constitution, one face of which is Shari'a Light. It is not an aberration or a "tribal" anomaly. We witness the operation of the "democratic constitution" of a land liberated from tyranny by American blood and treasure. This is not American Islam but neither is it a "stereotype" or a malignant invention of Edward Said's orientalists. It is absolutely mainstream Islam, and it accurately reflects the nature of Islam's "long tradition of tolerance" as it exists in history wherever Islam has wielded power over non-Muslims and as we can expect it to exist anywhere the Shari'a may be installed in the future. Only a parody of political correctness could have the brass to demand my tolerance for an intolerance so obscurantist or my respect for a disrespect so lethal.


Fine. We won't call it a "clash of civilizations." We can call it a manifestation of "cultural differences, particularly religious ones." Whatever its name, it does, I fear, raise barriers for lovers of liberty. I seriously doubt that Rahman will be hanged. No decent respect for the opinions of mankind could save the Bamiyan statuary, but now that the "moderates" are in control, there is a good chance that Abdul can in effect be ransomed. The Afghan legal authorities are hinting at a solution of declaring him crazy and "hospitalizing" him. That was the technique perfected by the Soviets to deal with their apostates, after improved communications made it awkward for them simply to shoot them. My conjunction of these two totalitarian mindsets is not factitious. The courageous "Manifesto" recently signed by Irshad Manji, Salman Rushdie, Ali Ayaan Hirsi and several other writers and thinkers begins thus: "After having overcome fascism, Nazism and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism." If Islamophobia is the fear of Islam, these folks earn their place among charter Islamophobes. Each of them is a Muslim born and raised, now threatened with murder for what they have dared to think and say.
(HT Jihad Watch)


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