The controversial Canadian author Irshad Manji discusses Islamophobia and the need to reform Islam.

'Is there really a problem with Islam today? Critics see Muslim women as downtrodden and sectarian conflict dominates the headlines, but for many Muslims this is a gross misrepresentation.

In this episode of Head to Head at the Oxford Union, Mehdi Hasan challenges controversial Canadian author Irshad Manji, writer of The Trouble with Islam Today and also Allah, Liberty and Love on the need to reform Islam, the notion of Ijtihad, the problem of Islamophobia and what Muslims need to own-up to.

Manji is an author and broadcaster, but also the director of the Moral Courage Project. She strongly believes that Islam needs reform. Mehdi Hasan challenges Irshad, asking where the problem lies, and whether critics sometimes encourage Islamophobia.

“Muslims are the trouble with Islam today,” says Manji. “We have allowed tribal culture to colonise the faith of Islam. It’s the behaviour of Muslims that defines, in every generation, what Islam is.”

And joining the discussion are: Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra who was elected as an assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain in 2008 and who is also the chair of the Inter Faith Relations Committee, and serves as an imam and scholar in Leicester; Halla Diyab, an award-winning Syrian writer, filmmaker, broadcaster and women's rights activist, and the author of controversial TV dramas such as Beautiful Maidens and Your Rightful Disposal; and Myriam Francois-Cerrah, an academic and journalist focusing on Islamic movements and political culture.'

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Comment by Grinning Cat on June 22, 2013 at 12:30pm

I've heard/read many people saying that reading the Bible was what turned them towards atheism.

(They meant reading it completely, not just in weekly portions at services accompanied by spin. Though some of those readings could be shocking enough to prompt questions of "We're supposed to honor and worship a god who says this?" -- just one infamous example: Abraham apparently accepting a divine command to murder his son, in both the Bible and Quran -- or "Who wrote this crap? They had no clue!")

Comment by Napoleon Bonaparte on June 22, 2013 at 11:59am

You're right Loren. I think the caption is acceptable because it says 'may permanently damage the mind'  like the pair of muslims in the video, especially the one on the left.

Comment by Loren Miller on June 22, 2013 at 11:33am

Not sure there's anything wrong with looking at religious texts ... so long as you look at them critically.  The problem comes from too many indoctrinated fools who buy their crap, hook, line and sinker.

Comment by Napoleon Bonaparte on June 22, 2013 at 10:41am

A pair of closed religious minds.

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