A Muslim Scholar Speaks Out



Western politicians should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terrorism, and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy. So long as we lack consensus regarding this matter, we cannot gain victory over fundamentalist violence within Islam.

Radical Islamic movements are nothing new. They’ve appeared again and again throughout our own history in Indonesia. The West must stop ascribing any and all discussion of these issues to “Islamophobia.” Or do people want to accuse me — an Islamic scholar — of being an Islamophobe too? . . .

And there’s an extreme left wing whose adherents reflexively denounce any and all talk about the connections between traditional Islam, fundamentalism, and violence as de facto proof of Islamophobia. This must end. A problem that is not acknowledged cannot be solved.

–Yahya Cholil Staquf,
One of Indonesia’s most influential Islamic leaders

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Silencing dissenting voices

abu murray 1 copy[W]hen we look at the ways in which some in the contemporary secularizationist movement have silenced critics (or even those who don’t criticize but just offer a competing view), we see stark similarities with radical Islam’s blasphemy laws. Stephen Meyer has recounted in great detail how academics—even non-Christian academics—are silenced, fired, or otherwise held back from academic success and shouted down as practicing junk science if they dare to posit the possibility that the specified complexity of the universe and DNA suggest the hand of a cosmic designer.

Richard Dawkins, atheism’s best-selling spokesperson, advocated that secularists should “mock” and “ridicule” religious people openly and in public at the so-called Reason Rally of 2012 in Washington, D.C. Radical Islam silences opposition, sometimes through quite extreme means. While the vast majority of Muslims do not share these beliefs or practices, radicals in power may refuse to publish academic works that critically examine Islamic history, put pressure on non-Muslim broadcasters and publishers to silence critical voices, and of course, threaten opposition and apostates with violence. These kinds of radical tactics are indicative not of a worldview’s strength, but of its insecurity.

–Abdu Murray,
Where the Truth Lies