Friday, April 11, 2008

The War of Ideas in Islam - The Debate

If you want to understand the war of ideas that is ongoing between the Wahhabi / Salafi vision of Islam and the many Muslims who stand opposed to that vision, you would do well to watch the following debate. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are necessary stop gaps to slow the aggression of the radical Islamists. But they will only be completely defeated in the realm of ideas. Dr. M. Zhudi Jasser, former U.S. Navy officer and the chairman of American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), is truly the most eloquent voice in America of a devout Muslim steadfastly opposed to ideals of radical Islamists.

On April 5, 2008 at Edison College in Naples, Florida, Dr. Jasser engaged in a formal debate over those ideas with a Salafi imam who advocates seperatism, the imposition of sharia law and the creation of an Islamic state. It is very educational and very much worth the time to watch. The theme of the debate was "Is the Establishment of the Islamic State a Clear Ideological Threat to the United States?"

NOTE: Part I is quite slow. You might want to start watching at Part 2.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI


Jimmy J. said...

Very interesting! Have not seen this anywhere else. Many thanks.

Dr. Jasser and I are on exactly the same page. My religion is about my relationship with God. My politics is about my relation with my fellow citizens. Our religion can inform our ethics and morality, but, because there are many paths to a relationship with God, the dogma of religion cannot provide law for diverse and free people.

We need to hear many, many more Muslim voices like Dr Jasser's. I'm seeing too many people writing in the blogosphere that Islam is unreformable with the only solution being to kill them all. A monstrous idea!

Unless moderate Muslims like Dr. Jasser can make their voices heard, I'm afraid the idea of mass extermination will continue to gain traction with those who study the Islamist take on Islam.

Unknown said...

There is a big problem with that, Jimmy j.

The founder of islam was NOT a moderate, like the founder of Christianity was.

He was a murderer, looter, thief, traitor and a paedophile.

These words are not meant to be offensive. They are meant to convey facts. Muslim holy texts describe their prophet fucking a 9-year old girl against her will, under the explicit direction of allah, of plundering caravans who did him no wrong, merely because he disagreed with them, again with full permission and direction of allah. Same goes for at least 3 religious genocides, breaking of peace treaties, ...

He is the prime source of information about allah, and, obviously, according to him allah allows, and even commands these acts as the ultimate moral attitude.

He committed religious genocide against several groups of apostates, again under direct orders of allah.

So what's the opinion of these moderate muslims ? That the paedophile prophet was not a muslim ? That he was wrong when ? That he did not speak for allah ?

All of these run completely counter to the very basis of islam. If you make a statement like that, you're not a muslim. Clear as that.

Christians can say that religious persection is not something that Christ engaged in. In fact it was only comitted against him, and when he had the chance he did not just refuse to fight, but prevented others from fighting for him. He sacrificed himself so the church would be left alone to grow.

Christianity can modernize and survive, even grow, islam cannot modernize and survive. It just doesn't work that way.

Welcome to the real world.

Jimmy J. said...

I'm no scholar of Islam. Cannot refute your words about what the Koran says. However, after watching this debate and hearing Dr. Jasser's words, it is apparent to me that he has a completely different interpretation of the Koran or he could not say the things he does. What are we infifels to make of this? I certainly do not agree with the Islamist imam who was the other side of the debate. He dissembles, excuses, spins and even then his brand of Islam comes off as wanting theocracy, tyrannical, misogynistic, and intolerant.

The Thirty Years war and the Spanish Inquisition are just two examples of fundamentalist Christianity gone wild. Yet Christianity, after a great deal of bloodshed, reformed.

It seems to me that people like Dr. Jasser are calling fopr that reformation. It may not work, but it certainly lies on a higher moral plane than the extermination of an entire religious group.