War of the CRAPs: Hirsi Ali contra Manji

This NYT piece on the relationship between Courageous Reformist Arab Personalities (CRAP) Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji seizes the non-relevance of these people to the problems of the Islamic world yet, admitting that, continues to find them enthralling.

First there is this paragraph:

Yet though they are allies on one level, their approaches to Islam are strikingly different, with one working outside the religion and one within. Neither one can be considered a spokeswoman for a significant Muslim constituency in the Middle East. (Indeed, their most sympathetic audiences are probably Western.) But their differences have implications for all the big issues the West grapples with in considering the Muslim world. How much popular support do terrorists have? Is a secular Middle East possible, and what’s the best way to promote it? Is Islam itself an enemy of the West?

But then this conclusion:

Clearly, this is a debate of importance not only to Muslims but to non-Muslims as well, and for a Westerner listening in, the best way to understand it may be to translate it into the language of European history. Irshad Manji sees herself as moving Islam into the 16th century; Ayaan Hirsi Ali wants to move it into the 18th. It’s as if Luther and Voltaire were living at the same time.

Is there anything more puerile, more annoying, more navel-gazing, more incredibly stupid than comparisons between modern Islam and European Christianity? This is the New York Times: the best way to understand its approach to the Muslim world may be to translate it into the language of American television: a combination of the faux-earnestness of 1950s family comedy and the fixation on the travails of minor celebrities seen in contemporary reality shows. It’s as if “Leave it to Beaver” and “American Idol” were being watched at the same time.

[From Muslim Rebel Sisters: At Odds With Islam and Each Other – New York Times]

0 thoughts on “War of the CRAPs: Hirsi Ali contra Manji”

  1. The bit about moving Islam into whatever century is indeed childish and silly and the Luther-Voltaire bit could have been written by Tom Golly-Gee Friedman himself, but I disagree with the suggestion that European (or more likely American) Christianity and contemporary Islam can’t be compared – in fact the comparison to twentieth century Europe (Christian Dems) and America (evangelical politics) is much closer than the Western civilizational warriors would like to admit.

  2. It was a ridiculous article, but I think we need a new descriptor than CRAPs–Manji’s not Arab, and I don’t know if Hirsi Ali is since she’s Somali. Too bad though, it is a great, and very apt, title.

  3. the article was truly superficial but it’s not really clear why you think the new york times is “a combination of the faux-earnestness of 1950s family comedy and the fixation on the travails of minor celebrities seen in contemporary reality shows.” elaborate please.
    besides, i happen to think it might be quite illuminating for western readers to compare – there is no denying the parallels in some respects.

  4. One important point here. Neither of the afiorementioned freaks are Arabs!!!!

    Yet the stupid zionist New York times put them forward as courageous reformers in the Arab world.

    The fact is, Hirsi Ali is a negro who is trying to get over her inferiority complex by coming out as a dissent figure from the ” Muslim world” .

    Munji is some bangladishy or Indian Muslim; so I don’t know what the hell has she got to do with the Arab world!?

  5. That works on the assumption that “Amr al-Abyad”, Amr the White, is Arab. But yeah, weird comment.

  6. @P aul. What is weird about it!? that was the truth. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out.

    Being politicallly correct in America means avoiding any racist attidude towards negroes , although it is there all the time, showing sympathy with the illeagal terrorist state of Israel and finally cyncism towards Arab achievmentys, history and upper hands over humanity.

    The whole business of political correctedness is culture dependent. So I don’t know why the U.S insists on imposing its own sense of poitical correctedness on “different civiliosations”

  7. Dear Brother,

    Amre al abyad is a third rate guy of zionist agenda. He create divisions persian-arab, sunni-shia, indian-arab, negro-arab. he was flushed out elsewhere and now I see him in your blog.

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