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Liberal Iranian
Liberal as in Liberty and Freedom. Iranian as in Cyrus and Ferdowsi.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Islam, Freedom, Democracy
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For all the talk and thought that goes into this topic, the answer is very simple: Islam is not compatible with freedom, nor it is with democracy. We need not set up a complex decontruction scheme or a hermeneutic reading of religion to find the asnwer. The answer sits simply in Qur'an, the foundation of whatever may be ever called Islam. In the fourth chapter (Surah) of the book, titled "Women" (al-Nesa') lie some of the most foundational rulings of Islam regarding freedom of opinion, role of women, etc. Verses 88 and 89 read

What is the matter with you, then, that you have become two parties about the hypocrites, while Allah has made them return (to unbelief) for what they have earned? Do you wish to guide him whom Allah has caused to err? And whomsoever Allah causes to err, you shall by no means find a way for him. [4:88]
They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper. [4:89]
Here, Qur'an lays the basis for killing whomever comes to the conclusion that he does not want to be a Muslim anymore--the apostates. They are deemed "hypocrites" who are misguided by no other than Allah (God) himself. Once they choose to act on their personal belief, they must be killed wherever they are found. This ruling has been used over and over again in the history of Islamic societies to kill those who chose differently from not just their fellows, but their parents and grandparents. The same law applies equally forcefully to those who have converted to Islam. There is no way back! In recent history (1988) Ayatollah Khomeini infamously issued an edict (fatwa) to kill Salmun Rushdie, the Indian-Muslim-born British writer, deeming him an apostate for his book, The Satanic Verses. The fatwa also included "all those involved in its publication who are aware of its content," resulting in the death of the Japanese publisher of the book and injuries to a few others.

Now, what is freedom, if not to change one's mind? And what is democracy without the chance to choose differently? Islam is neither free, nor democratic, if for the sole reason that apostates must be, and are killed. 
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Two Clips of Two Sides
1. Bush head to head with Matt Lauer over at LGF;
2. A peek at the propaganda machine that is IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, the sole TV broadcaster in Iran) on whose Channel 2 a number of conspiracists, including the former head of the Islamic Center in Washington DC, go at 9/11
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Path to 911 and United 93
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The truth is simple. The two movies made this year on what truly happened on the way to 9/11 attacks do a good job on conveying the simple truth: avowed enemies of freedom managed to plan, prepare, and execute attacks on the leading nation of the free world on a scale that no ordinary citizen of the world would accept as real before they actually took place.

This point is made boldly clear in The Path to 911, the ABC-commisioned docudrama. It is particularly clear about the failure of the (limited) security-based foreign policy that does not see the connection between security and the state of foreign governments. It also makes clear the falsehood of the theories that ignore the Islamic terrorists' declared objectives and instead assign, directly or indirectly, the burden of guilt for the terror crisis to those who stand for freedom.

The same point is made even more clearly in the feature movie, United 93. Some passengers of the hijacked UA93 flight decide to take on the terrorists after learning through their phone comunications that there have been other hijacked planes flown into the WTC and the Pentagon. There is, however, a passenger who vocally opposes such plans. He first argues that they should not interfere with the hijackers in the hope that they would land safely somewhere. But even after the news about other hijacked planes he continues, completely irrationally, to oppose others. Eventually, he even tries to alert the terrorists on the other passengers' plan to make a run. He is quickly silenced. "Let's roll," one of the passengers demands, and roll they do. As a result of their correct understanding and courageous action, United 93 crashed in Shanksville, PA. Not in the Capitol, DC. 
Monday, September 11, 2006
When the World Changed -- Or Did It?
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September 11, 2001.

"When the world changed," the common wisdom goes. In a way, this is true. Many had not anticipated the sheer magnitude of the atrocious attacks of 9/11. Before there was a false feeling of security, magnified by the collapse of the Soviet bloc ten years back. Some had declared "the end of history." All those theories and perceptions must disappear with the WTC twin towers.

There emerged a new theory of how to deal with the rising threat of Islamic terrorism. It was adopted to a large extent, after the 9/11 attacks, by the Bush administration in the US and Tony Blair in the UK. In essence, it states that the reason behind the terror attacks is the fascist ideology adopted by the terrorists. It follows that the West must confront the terrorists as close to their havens as possible. Yet, the old theory is still around. In short, it states the following: the terrorists attack the West since they are grieved by Western policies. For its internal consistency, it also proposes that what goes on in under their rule is a matter of culture, and thus should not be a basis for the West's foreign policy. A plethora of conspiracy theories surround these ideas, ranging from "oil conspiracies" to "world domination conspiracies." Interestingly, this is also what terrorists say by and large, so the adherents of this theory have in effect surrenderd to the terrorist logic. Today, there is a fierce battle of ideas between these two theories, on different levels of our social and political lives.

The old theory was thoroughly discredited by the events of 9/11--or one would think it should have. Many still stick to their falsified ideas. Some conspiracy-theorists among them even think that 9/11 itself was the working of the US government.

This is an imminent danger to the West as we know it today. The same mode of thinking gave in to the 9/11 attacks. To prevent a second, deadlier 9/11 and in order to survive the lethal challenge of Islamofascist terrorism, the free world must completely discard its old, falsified theories.