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June 22, 2008

Easily Astonished...

Topics: Understanding Islam

According to The Independent on Sunday, it's "astonishing" that a novelist should despise Islamism, a reaction that David Thompson finds astonishing in itself :

"Islam will invade Europe and America because Islam has a mission." - Muslim Brotherhood president Muhammad Mehdi Akef.
If some among us don't find the above quite enough to warrant concern or contempt, perhaps we should remember the words of Ragab Hilal Hamida, a Brotherhood MP and former member of the jihadist group Jama'at al-Takfir Wa al-Hijra, who in 2006 told the Egyptian weekly Roz Al-Yusouf: "Terrorism is not a curse when given its true [religious] meaning. From my point of view, bin Laden, al-Zawahiri and al-Zarqawi are not terrorists... I support all their activities." When asked if such statements might reflect badly on the public perception of Islam, Hamida replied, "Islam does not need improvement of its image."

In light of such statements, and many others like them, what is astonishing is the notion that a dislike of Islamism, or of Islam generally, should invite fears of "hate crime" investigation. As I've said before, religious freedom does not entail sparing believers any hint that others do not share their beliefs or indeed find them ludicrous. There is, after all, no corresponding obligation for believers to embrace ideas that are not clearly risible, monstrous or disgusting.

Continue reading: Easily Astonished

Posted by Richard at June 22, 2008 5:44 PM



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