Saturday, 22 September 2012

"A 21st Century Islam"

Ibrahim Alaguri/AP
Grrrr... that Roger Cohen! A maddening columnist in the New York Times.
One week he writes something like "Our Man in Benghazi", that makes your teeth hurt.
And the next week an eminently sensible one, like "A 21st Century Islam".
In the first he attacks  "...the worst of an American bigotry whose central tenet is that Islam is evil, a religion bent on the takeover of the world and followed by people who are all violent extremists, Jew-haters and sexual predators.  As if these were not indeed central tenets of Islam, voiced on a daily basis by leaders and imams in the Islamic world, and in the west. (e.g. on child marriage in the UK; MB "Mastership of the world").
In the latter he starts off with "The Muslim world cannot have it both ways".  Says an Islamic republic as an oxymoron. And that freedom of speech cannot be compromised: supporting even the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.  There's bits of the usual moral equivalence -- the blame lying equally on the makers of a film as on the murderers -- but on the whole, given it's Cohen, it's not too bad.
As for his thoughts about that parts of Islam are "malleable and debatable" implying that it might be reformed, well good luck with that.  I'm not holding my breath.  In some parts of the Islamic world, like Pakistan and Iran, debating "prescriptions of Islam" can end you up very dead.