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March 04, 2003

Islam Symposium II

Part II of the Islam Symposium over at Front Page is kind of funny. It seems the Muslim participants simply won't address the issue of individual rights & responsibilites in the Muslim world. I also find the attacks on Warraq a bit personal, and can't but help thinking that the fact he is a vocal secularist is part of the reason. But again, the two Muslims don't seem to represent the liberal wing of modern Islamic thinking-so the "dialogue" is kind of retarded.

Posted by razib at 11:26 PM

It's a bizarro-symposium. It includes no serious North American Islamic scholars. It's got Warraq, a CAIR guy, and a poli-sci prof. Totally, completely, useless. Don't bother with it.

Blog commentary on Islam generaly sux (and I count Frontpage as a blog). Bloggers don't seem to read or know about Islamic North American scholars or leaders that matter. Muzammil Siddiqui, Siraj Wahaj, Hamza Yusuf -- these are the guys to bring it -- not a prof and an ethnic advocate.

I despair at the dopiness of American pundit (left and right) comprehension of modern Islam. Bernard Lewis -- excellent if you want to understand the 17th century Ottoman Empire. CAIR guys -- good for ethnic advocacy and civil rights. Random profs -- Tenure-seekers disengaged from the mainstream.

Posted by: Ikram Saeed at March 5, 2003 10:36 AM

i agree it sux-but i've read both warraq's & spencer's works, and though they are one-sided, they present a side that is being ignored by america's fuzzy religious consensus. the problem that i see right now with the "islam is violent" position is that the main proponents are conservative christians who tend to bring scriptural justifications-and present conversion to christianity as the solution for this problem. obviously, that is not a particularly fruitful project in the short term....

as far as moderate islamic scholars-i read about them now and then in the big papers. some liberals even. and occasionally you hear noises out of turkey about the ulema revising long-standing islamic practices (allowing non-muslim men to marry muslim women for instance)-but from what i know about south asian muslims in the US, those in bangladesh, and what i heard from the muslims in college, the two general choices tend to be (for want of a better word) traditionalism and secularism. the model seems closer to israeli jews-who have no vital liberal religious movement such as reform or conservative judaism, but are bifurcated between frum orthodox & haredi and seculars....

Posted by: razib at March 5, 2003 11:11 AM