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wThursday, October 09, 2003

THAT'S HER IN THE CORNER: Fun piece in the Spectator today by Kathy Shaidle, about a very Protestant Muslim:

TORONTO -- Irshad Manji is still alive. The local press accounts make it sound like there's a contract out on the young author's life. That her new book The Trouble with Islam: A Wake Up Call For Honesty and Change is the next Satanic Verses.

The book is, literally, daring. "I have to be honest with you," Manji writes on page one, "Islam is on very thin ice with me." She ticks off her faith's shortcomings, then continues: "Is that a heart attack you're having? Make it fast. Because if we don't speak out against the imperialists within Islam, these guys will walk away with the show. And their path leads to a dead end of more vitriol, more violence, more poverty, more exclusion."

Fighting words, especially to many Muslims, for whom such self-criticism is foreign and forbidden. But, to date, Irshad Manji hasn't been forced to pull a Rushdie.

True, she's hired a bodyguard, and replaced her home's old windowpanes with bulletproof glass. Her publisher broached the subject of her personal safety with the Solicitor General. And the book's companion website Muslim-Refusenik.com has attracted a rash of angry feedback. To wit,

"Do you think that just because you have a mind, you should use it? Desist and apologize for your blaspheming ways while you still have a chance. People like you should not exist. It is no wonder there is a hell. Enjoy your short stay in this world, for God only knows what is coming for you."

Manji is quite accustomed to being talked about. Ms Magazine called her "a Feminist for the 21st Century." In fact, the 35-year-old is Canada's most famous Muslim lesbian feminist. [more]

posted by Jeremy at 6:44 AM