The headline might be decieving. I would like to know what people in here thinks of these two ladies, Irshad Manhi and Ayaan Hirsi-Ali. I've heard criticism that they are puppets of the conservative think tanks. I've heard that they are brave ladies. Manji has been called bin Laden worst enemy. But what are they worth? Or to rephrase that what is their books worth?
Laila Lalami wrote in june 2006 a pretty harsh review, "The Missionary Position
" of Irshad Manji's "The Trouble With Islam Today
" and Hirsi-Ali's "The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam
". I haven't myself read anything of Hirsi-Ali, so I wont be able to judge on the review of the later book. But the former, by Manji, seems in my opinion to be under criticism by Lalami, which it mostly does not deserve. It seems rather polemical.
Unfortunately, like Hirsi Ali, Manji consistently gives individual examples of malfeasance and then extrapolates to the entire body of Muslims. In discussing World War II, for instance, she writes, "Let's be straight about what else happened during the Nazi years: Muslim complicity in the Holocaust." Here she trots out the story of Haj Amin al-Husayni, the mufti of Jerusalem who visited Berlin as a guest of Hitler and approved of his genocidal agenda. But how do we move from one cleric with authority in one congregation to "Muslim complicity"?
Is it wrong to state that there was "muslim complicity". She's not stating that every muslim was taking part. She's is just stating that there where muslims who took part.
As with Hirsi Ali, Manji's expertise on her subject is incomplete. Take the following statement: "The Koran appears to be organized by size of verse--from longer to shorter--and not by chronology of revelation. How can anyone isolate the "earlier" passages, let alone read into them the "authentic" message of the Koran? We have to own up to the fact that the Koran's message is all over the bloody map." This is simply not true. Each sura of the Koran is identified by whether it is "Meccan" or "Medinan," depending on whether it was revealed early in the Prophet's spiritual life or later on, during his hegira in Medina.
By reading the qur'an by itself does it leave much chronology or information about chronology? I think not. The knowledge of these things has to come mainly from outside the book.
In addition, and despite having written a book called The Trouble With Islam Today, Manji has not taken the trouble of learning to speak, read and write Arabic fluently, nor of visiting any Muslim country.
I can see the point that she haven't visited any muslim country, but the issue of not being able to speak arabic is profoundly idiotic. She's not allowed (or accepted) to comment on the qur'an cause she's not able to speak arabic? This opinion on the christian texts would take us 800 years back (or more if one would not accept the latin version) in time.
There's of course points which I think is valid, but back to the topic. What are your opinions on these writers (and for that matter other similar writers)?