Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Moderate Islam: Western Ally or Western Myth?

Daniel Pipes and Wafa Sultan debated the issue at a synagogue in Canada, in a gathering organized by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies. Sultan led off with a zinger:

I am used to debating with a Muslim imam, not with a dear friend like Dr. Pipes. The best part of our debate is, I know for sure at the end of this debate, he's not going to call me kaffir (unbeliever) or to issue a fatwa against my life.


It’s incumbent upon us to help the moderates, those who want to integrate, who want to be patriotic citizens, who want to live under our system, our beliefs and customs, rather than according to the Shari’a.... We need to encourage them, we need to fund them. We need to help them, not the Islamists.


So what is the essence of Islam? The underlying foundation of Islam is to rule the world and submit it under Islamic Shari’a. [...] Many in the West argue that these accounts should be viewed in the context of history, that life then was cruel and that the Bible is also rooted in violent stories.... While other religions have had their share of violent history, theirs are merely history stories that happened in the past. On the other hand, Islam is a doctrine codified in Shari’a law for Muslims to follow at all times.

So who won? It doesn't say, although the Tribune gives the lion's share of the quotes to Sultan. Including another zinger:

Asked, “What is the closest, best role model of the Islamic state?” Dr. Sultan drew laughter and applause when she replied, “I say France. I mean it, because a year ago I gave a speech in France and I thought I was in the Gaza Strip. Seventy-five per cent of my audience were Muslims, shouting and cursing and going crazy, so let’s hope France will be the best role model.”

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