Muslim Women Writers: Asra Nomani and Aryann Hirsi Ali
The CNN program I mention is "The Journalist and the Jihadist," which dealt with the Pearl's murder and his kidnapper, Sheik Omar. Ms. Nomani was good in the program, but the producer being CNN it had some of that "where did we go wrong?" nonsense in dealing with Omar, a Mohammed Atta-type who was educated (not well) in England.
Dear Asra: I wrote a couple of years ago when you were conducting your campaign at the Morgantown mosque [where she shocked the local Muslim worthies, mostly faculty and student at West Virginia University, by entered through the front door!]. I'm looking forward to reading your book about your struggles with Islam. Ann Rodgers of the Post-Gazette wrote an article about you and was nice enough to let me know how to e-mail you.
At the time, I was pessimistic about the direction of Islam, and I'm more so now. The frantic effort by radical Muslims to block any debate about the Prophet Muhammed or the Quran means the religion will continue to be a testament to backwardness.
In America, as you know, we keep waiting for the "moderate Muslims" to take a stand against the Islamo-fascists. I fear we shall wait unto eternity before that happens. Moderate Muslims are afraid to stand up for decency and tolerance; if they do, they fear they may be killed. It reminds me a great deal of the "good Germans" during the 1930s.
I'm sure you must be encountering (both senses of that word) Aryann Hirsi Ali, the Somalia-born author of "Infidel." I saw her on C-Span -- a channel I almost never watch -- today and I found her to be brilliant and her message riveting.
Recently, I saw you on Christiane Amanpour's "Journalist and the Jihadist." Of course, your comments were very good. On the whole, however, I wonder if the program didn't fall into the trap described by Ms. Ali. It dealt with Omar as a boy of great promise who went astray. I sensed an element of "There but for the Grace of Allah, Omar might have beome . . . Daniel Pearl." That's not at all a message reflective of what happened to Daniel, seemingly a wonderful guy who was slaughtered by a bunch of Muslim thugs.
In fact, Sheik Omar is a mass murdererer, a psychopath who has embraced a form of "religion" that is utterly despicable. To suggest that he's merely misguided, as CNN did, is to misread the man and the movement he reflects.
Ms. Ali said today that it's necessary we talk to Muslims as grown-ups, that we engage them in a debate which many of them would rather avoid. I'll have to read your book to determine if you've arrived at that point. I hope you have.
Today on C-Span Ali had made the point that three-quarters of what the Prophet said has little or no relevance to the 21st century. A Muslim man in the audience, obviously wounded by what she said, basically questioned her on how she could make such a statement.
In paraphrase, her response was: Look, this is America, where you are free to say what you believe. She added that, if she made that point in a Muslim country she would be "killed."
I respectfully submit that I don't think the CNN audience -- or the chattering classes in America, including the good people at the Wall Street Journal -- get that point.
As I said, I wish you well, Asra.
Steve MaloneyAmbridge, PA