Secular Islam Summit: Secularism & Islamic Thought
Update: Here’s a shot of me hard at work…
Raquel Evita Saraswati from Project Ijtihad on left, GP, and Heather Smith who was working with the media, on right.
Secular Islam Summit
Day 2: Morning Session
SECULARISM AND ISLAMIC THOUGHT
Moderator: Michael Ledeen
Nonie Darwish – (You may have seen Nonie in the movie “Obsession“)founder of ArabsForIsrael.com and author of They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror. She was born and raised as a Muslim in Cairo Egypt and the Gaza strip. She is a writer, translator and public speaker. She has a Bachelors Degree in Sociology/Anthropology from the American University in Cairo and was a journalist and editor at the Middle East News Agency. Her father headed the Egyptian military intelligence in Gaza and the Sinai in the 50’s when Gaza was under Egyptian control. He headed the Fedayeen operations against Israel under President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s leadership. He was killed in Gaza in a targeted assassinated in 1956 when Nonie was 8 years old.
Here is a video clip discussing “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against The West“, interview with director Kopping and Nonie Darwish on Fox’s Hannity & Colmes.
Tashbih Sayyed – Editor in Chief of Our Times, Pakistan Today, and In Review. He worked from 1967-1980 at Pakistan Television in various capacities, including writer, editor, director, producer, and general manager. Sayyed has been at the forefront of the fight against the increasing influence of Islamism among Muslims and its impact on world peace. Sayyed is a regular columnist for newspapers in the US, Pakistan, Germany and India, and the author of eight books, including History of The World; Left of The Center; Pakistan: An Unfinished Agenda; Mohammad: A Secularist’s View; Foreign Policy of Pakistan; and Shadow Warriors: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Taliban.
This was a very pwerful discussion as you can imagine from those on the panel.
(Unfortunately, I did loose most of my post after encountering internet difficulty)
Panelist Nonie Darwish and moderator Michael Ledeen.
Question and Answer:
Nonie: Muhammad roles as prophet and statesman made it difficult to be a religious leader. When he started marrying his many wives he became less of a prophet and more of a statesman!
Wafa then asked: My husband is married to just one woman can he then be considered a prophet?
Tashbih: What are we going to do with 1.2 billion people? How do we do that like what the Christians went through at the time of Martin Luther? I want to start a debate. Just a debate. Let’s see how that debate concludes.
Wafa: After 9-11 the Arab press did not publish ads describing the reasons to invade Afghanistan. It is difficult to get a Western message in the Arab press when many won’t allow it.
Ibn: We have a duty to speak out. Unless we push Muslims to look at scriptures in a critical manner we will not have a “reformation”. At some stage someone will have to confront passages that are not applicable to the 21st Century.
Wafa: We have to give Muslims the right to choose.
Ibn: We must open up Arab World to different points of view. The total number of books translated in the Arab World in 1,000 years is less than what they translate in Spain in one year.
Nonie: the Iraq War is a regional war. The reason Saddam ruled Iraq was that he was backed by twenty some Sunni nations. In the heart of Islam there is no tolerance even between Muslims let alone the outside world. The Arab media failed the Iraqis.
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