Here in Britain the Centre for Social Cohesion are doing a great job at highlighting the danger of Islamism in the West.

On 20th November, the Centre for Social Cohesion hosted an evening debate in Westminster between Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the former Dutch MP and self-declared Muslim apostate, and Ed Husain (an ex-Islamist but now still Muslim), the author of the best-selling book The Islamist.Ayaan Hirsi Ali argues that Islam 'as a body of ideas' is opposed to 'Enlightenment' values. Ed Husain advocates an Islamic 'renaissance' arguing that Islam can be re-interpreted to meet the challenges of the modern world.

Here's the mp3 file directly (click Save Target As to save it):
the file size is 87.5MB

 or got to the bottom of the website: http://www.socialcohesion.co.uk/

It is worth a listen, I think. I obviously support Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but for tactical reasons, I can see why a secularised form of Islam should be supported to serve as an antedote to Islamism. Personally, I have chosen to leave Islam altogether because intellectual honesty is very important to me.

Tags: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Centre for Social Cohesion, Douglas Murray, Ed Husain, Islam, Muslims, enlightenment, integration, renaissance

Views: 212

Replies to This Discussion

Writers like Sayed Al Qimini, the late farag fouda, philopspher hassan hanafi and many others are actually trying to implement a secular form of islam, hassan hanafi calls it Islamic Left.. i think that is an excellent solution.

I actually do not care if people worship what ever god they like but i really get frustrated from not being able to speak my mind when ever i feel like it.
And there is also Irshad Manji who is also trying to reform Islam in a similar way.
Part of me thinks the success of this will be very limited because the extremists have the theological evidence (in Quran and Hadith) on their side. But part of me thinks at least it gives Muslims who don't like radical Islam an exit strategy without losing face. Particularly those who don't want to commit social suicide by leaving Islam altogether.
I would still recommend any young unmarried Muslim man or woman to think deeply if they want to remain Muslim, before committing to a marriage and having kids, because that will make it much more complicated to leave.
I've been getting increasingly anti-theistic and militant atheistic in my views lately because I feel we need to highlight the danger of Islamism more stongly, otherwise we will not get noticed. However, I was wondering whether such efforts undermine the efforts of those who are trying to secularise/enlighten Islam. I mean, if we keep saying "look at this religion, it says apostates should be killed, how evil is that!!", it will undermine the efforts of those who say "no, Islam doesn't really say apostates should be killed, that was just for a specific period in the early years" or "the Sharia is not fixed for every time and place, it is flexible" or as Irshad Manji says "the Quran has three times as many verses that ask mankind to think as order obligations".

Or perhaps a multi-pronged approach is no bad thing--we place Islamism under pressure from all sides.
Yes i think at the current time it will harm if we speak out as secular atheists, you know in the Muslim world people think that secularists are all atheists which is not truth ofcourse.
by the way the debate was really cool i recommend people listen to it
I think I prefer to be straightforward and honest like Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. I will try bash all religions and not show any support for even moderate forms of religion, because it can be argued that moderate forms of religion serve as enablers for more extreme forms. They provide cover and nourishment. Both forms of religion agree on one thing and that is that God exists and the Prophet was a true prophet of God.
(However, I wish bash more extreme forms more hardly than less extreme forms.)

We need to challenge the truth claim of all religions/superstitions/pseudo-science because that is their main pillar of support. We need to ridicule them until it becomes embarrassing to hold these beliefs. Here in the West smoking is no longer cool, so teenagers are less likely to want to get into smoking. I long for the day when religion is treated as embarrassing just like holding the view that Elvis is still alive is embarrassing.

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