Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lesbian pro-LGBT Irshad Manji will NOT appear at IIUM




 UPDATE -- International lesbian pro-LGBT activist, Irshad Manji will NOT be at the Mini Auditorium, Level 2, of the International Islamic University (IIU) on 14 May 2012 from 1.30 – 3.30 pm.

The cancellation was made by IIUM Rector, Professor Datuk Seri Dr Zaleha Kamaruddin late last night following protests.

The female personality much referred to by Liberal Islamists was earlier scheduled to appear for a programme titled, ““Public Lecture on Moral Courage: Creating Space for Islam & Democracy”.

It was understood that Irshad Manji would have a meet-the-fans session at the Borders Bookstore, The Curve, Petaling Jaya on May 12 for the launching of her book, “Allah, Liberty and Love”, which has been translated in Bahasa Melayu.


Indonesian Muslim intellectual Adian Husaini had for quite some time revealed how Irshad Manji was on the same page as Salman Rushdie, in using their respective writings as the medium to criticise Islam and Prophet Muhammad.

In ‘Idola Kaum Liberal’ (Idol of the Liberals), Adian Husaini exposed how the Indonesian liberal groups labelled Irshad Manji ‘Lesbian Mujtahidah’. A mujtahid is an Islamic scholar who is competent to interpret sharia byijtihad (making of a decision in Islamic law by personal effort (jihad).

Born in Canada in 1968, Irshad Manji is a feminist writer, journalist and activist. She is an advocate of a "reform and progressive" interpretation of Islam. Known as a vocal critic of radical Islam and the orthodox interpretations of the Quran, she labels herself ‘Muslim Refusenik’.

"Muslim Refusenik" is a phrase Manji used to identify herself as someone who refuses to "join an army of robots in the name of God."

"Refusenik" is an English-Russian portmanteau word first used for Russian Jews refused permission to emigrate, and then for Israeli conscientious objectors who refused to do army service on the West Bank.  

Irshad Manji has made herself known to the influential US paper The New York Times, which in turn described her as ‘Osama bin Laden’s worst nightmare.’

Irshad Manji devotes herself to the upholding of critical thinking (ijtihad) in the Islamic tradition through the ‘Ijtihad Project’, which aims to move Muslims and non-Muslims, in particular the younger generation to question traditional and orthodox Islamic interpretations. The idea is to spearhead the evolvement of a more open face of Islam.

An ally of Salman Rushdie of the infamous ‘Satanic Verses’, Irshad Manji, too, is the subject of numerous death threats.

Admirer of Anwar Ibrahim

In chapter 8 of her book, “The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith”, Irshad Manji mentioned Anwar Ibrahim, whom she described as a model of freedom of speech in the Islamic world.

In her book, she wrote about the time in 1994 when Anwar, as the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia gave a talk on ‘The need for Civilizational Dialogue’ at Georgetown University, Washington, in which he said, “The challenges before Muslims, like people of other traditions in Asia today, are indeed great. They must endeavour to alleviate ignorance, disease, and destitution. They have to battle corruption and arrest moral decay. They have to strengthen the institutions of civil society to ensure order and stability, as well as protect the individual from the unwarranted denial of his rights.”

But in irony, Anwar reminded “The gullible consumer of the mass media of today would form the impression that the Muslim world is only populated by stern and menacing fundamentalists.

According to him, Muslim civilisation has spawned “many love stories.” He said, “Muslim children are raised with the enchanting tale of love between Laila and Majnun. As the story goes, the young man was scorned and ridiculed for his obsession with the maiden, because to the eyes of the world Laila was hideous in physical appearance. In response to this, the youth always replied: "To see the beauty of Laila, one requires the eyes of Majnun."

He said, “The negative image of Muslims to the rest of the world is to a great extent the result of the failure of many Muslims themselves to realize and manifest their own ideals. Ignorance, injustice, corruption, hypocrisy and the erosion in moral rectitude are quite prevalent in contemporary Muslim societies.

In Irshad Manji’s eyes, Anwar is a symbol of human rights, and someone who dared to speak out to invoke ‘reformation’ and to go against his own boss, Tun Mahathir Mohamad.

Based on Anwar’s Georgetown piece, Irshad Manji concluded that the former encouraged free speech and debate on pertinent topics.

And, on this premise, the writer who claims to struggle for a more democratic Islam suggested that Muslim women, together with the non-Muslims question the fundamentalist policies ‘imposed’ upon them.

She said, questions such as “why was it so easy for thousands of Muslims to go to the streets to demonstrate and criticise the French government’s banning of the hijab, but not to protest the forced wearing of the same in Saudi Arabia?...what real rights are enjoyed by women and the religious minorities in such a democracy?

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