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December 14, 2006

Censorship, Violence, Hate, And Persecution - In The Name of Islam

Topics: Understanding Islam

Yesterday, Jules Crittenden pointed to a MEMRI piece with excerpts of Tunisian writer Zyed Krichen's exhaustive bibliography of Islamic censorship, complete with cases of imprisonment, flogging and murdering of writers.

"In the West, the advent of printing meant enormous progress in terms of freedom of thought. Printing made possible the gradual spread of knowledge and the questioning of the established order. Technology and freedom seem to have marched hand in hand.

"But in our [Muslim] societies, the opposite seems to have happened. The advent of printing [in the Muslim world] in the mid-19th century and the spread of written materials in the 20th century have [only served to] undermine freedom of thought.

"The numerous examples of 'censorship in the name of Islam' from 1925 to date makes one wonder. From philosophy to cinema, literature, and art - no field has been spared, and no [act of] violence has been avoided. From the [mere] banning of the work to a death sentence for [the writer] - every kind of obscurantist horror has taken place in the lands of Islam. Given that we are one of the Civilizations of the Book, [2] this is a complete paradox.

Which brings us to the question, unanswered by Krichen - if not "back when" - why now?

In a parallel question, why all the talk of violence and jihad, hate and intolerance, censorship and persecution, and focus on political issues - within the Muslim community itself? Why now?

In a conversation at Starbucks with a close Muslim friend yesterday, I learned that many Pakistani and Indian Muslims belonging to a certain mosque in our town had grown tired of so much of the time that used to be spent for prayers and sermons of a spiritual nature - now being taken up by a CAIR representative talking only of hate and intolerance, jihad and political issues. Many actually left the mosque and formed another one - refusing to support the CAIR-infiltrated mosque. As my friend said, "it was never this way before."

So why now? If we didn't know better, we could only believe that someone or some movement is pushing what can only be described as a radical Islamic agenda. But who could be behind this agenda?

Some thoughts that spring to mind:
So what have the Saudis been up to? Is there a Saudi-CAIR connection? Is there a Saudi-funded CAIR effort to Islamacize the American public - including the placement of books on Islam in American public libraries?

Of interest is that Daniel Pipes has written that one can only guess what these discreet and implication-laden notes are hiding, but between funds officially donated and occasional visits from Saudi officials, it's probably correctly to figure that CAIR is yet another instrument of the Wahhabis' foreign aspirations.

Related: Here's an occasional updating of outrages said and done by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in reverse chronological order.

Posted by Richard at December 14, 2006 9:04 AM

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