An Interview with Irshad Manji
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has an interview with self-described "Muslim Refusenik" Irshad Manji. Ms. Manji has been outspoken about the need for Muslims to honestly address the problems of the Muslim world and to take responsibility for solving them. She has also stressed the dangers Muslim reformers face when they try to speak out, as this passage from the RFE/RL interview shows:
RFE/RL: What do you say to those critics who argue that you're just part of a very small minority?
Manji: They may be right for now. I just don't know and we don't know until we really give other Muslims the opportunities to speak their mind more freely. The assumption of that criticism is that there aren't reform-minded Muslims out there; but my own experience shows that this is simply not true.
The problem is [that] the voices of reform-minded Muslims are being muted and are being suppressed; and they're being suppressed by one thing, and that is fear. It is the fear that comes from intimidation, which is why I and a group of reform-minded Muslims have launched a project [called] Ijtihad -- "ijtihad" being Islam's own tradition of critical thinking and debate and dissent. Project Ijtihad aims to build the world's most inclusive network of reform-minded Muslims, and we want to show two points: one, that Islam gives us the permission to be thoughtful and faithful at the same time; and, secondly, the more of us who come out of the shadows and begin to speak and think freely, the more other reform-minded Muslims will see that they are not alone.
Please read the rest.
Update: Ms. Manji will actually be speaking at ALA Annual next month.