History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Malala

March 30th, 2015 · No Comments

I am prompted after discussing Ayaan Hirsi Ali to consider the perspective of Malala.

Zakaria compares Yousafzai to Somali-born Dutch author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose memoir “Infidel,” about her journey from a repressive Muslim family in East Africa to the freedom she found in Netherlands, became a New York Times best-seller and turned her into an international celebrity. Hirsi Ali’s message was that Muslim women can only be free when they renounce their faith and cultures.

Yousafzai, on the other hand, offers a different model for reformation, one that better resembles the battles being waged by millions of Muslim girls, who long for emancipation too. “Their victories,” writes Zakaria, “lie not in renunciation but in resistance and reclamation of faith, culture and public space.” She ends her essay by urging Western feminists to take note of their blind spots that might lead them to believe that renunciation is the only way.

She concludes:

”The tradition of narratives that hold up the medieval backwardness of abandoned countries and pivot invasions on liberating their hapless women is a strong one, but it is built on the historical edifice of colonial subjugation. A Western feminism that asks Muslim women to leave their traditions at the door is fundamentally disempowering.”

Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/sisterhood-blog/185751/what-about-malalas-religion/#ixzz3Vt9wD936


We have discussed the idea of ‘Reformation’ in the context of modernity and then of Islam. The views here are reasonable as an interpretation of what ‘reformation’ might mean for Islam.
It doesn’t mean imposing the new atheism on Islamic civilization. The Reformation was a unique event embedded in the modern transition and there is no way to faithfully repeat the circumstances of its arising.

But it is important to insist that the castigation of jihad backfires once we realize the way the American covert system has itself provoked a great deal of violence, with the 9/11 propaganda system blaming moslems for what was finally done by Israel and the US.

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