Sunday, October 4, 2015
The necessity of revolution within islam. Review of Heretic, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
There is much brutality in the Jewish and Christian Bibles, of course, but worldwide movements in which Christians and Jews cite scripture to justify mass murder or crimes against humanity simply do not exist in the 21st century. These older religions have reformed or interpreted the brutality out of their traditions.
Much of the Muslim world, by contrast, rather than scrutinizing and nullifying scriptural barbarism, either embraces it or pretends it’s not there. “The majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims,” Hirsi Ali writes, “are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts.” Westerners, of course, habitually deny it as well. When Mohammed Bouyeri assassinated Hirsi Ali’s Dutch colleague and filmmaker Theo Van Gogh in 2004, he used a knife to pin to his victim’s chest a five-page letter addressed to her. “Islam will be victorious through the blood of the martyrs,” it read. And yet a number of academics, activists, and journalists ignore those blood-stained words and proclaim Islam a religion of peace and terrorism a function of “socioeconomic deprivation.” Hirsi Ali will have none of it. “We should at least discuss the possibility,” she writes, “that he means what he says.”,
She singles out five core concepts that need to be overhauled: the Prophet Muhammad’s infallible status, the emphasis on the afterlife over this life, Sharia law, the practice of “commanding right and forbidding wrong,” and—most important from the West’s point of view—the imperative to wage jihad...we are where we are. ISIS controls vast swaths of Syria and Iraq, and is expanding into Libya and Yemen. Bombs rip through markets in Baghdad. Foreign oil workers are beheaded in Libya. Cartoonists and Jewish citizens are assassinated in Paris, café patrons are taken hostage in Sydney. The majority of the world’s Muslims may stand aghast, but the perpetrators are adherents of Islam—no matter who admits it.