Story by Mac
Irshad Manji is not fighting Islam - she is trying to save it. Her message is that the raw material exists within Islam itself, to bring it into the 21st century as a humane philosophy, worthy of respect.
Canadian Irshad Manji is featured for a full hour tonight on Glenn Beck tonight on CNN Headline.
The link is an earlier profile about her.
Manji has become quickly reknowned the world over for her book The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith, which has appeared in translations throughout Europe and the Middle East. Reportedly 165,000 copies to date have been downloaded in Arabic and distributed in the Middle East.
Manji is a Muslim, who lives in fear of her life from other Muslims. Her windows in her apartment feature bullet-proof glass. At times she has traveled with a bodyguard. Yet, this spunky woman insists upon speaking publicly to Muslim and non-Muslim groups alike, even confronting radicals on the streets and at mosques.
In a nutshell, Manji advocates that for every passage in the Qur'an advocating violence against the infidel, there are three others which call on the Muslim to participate in reflection and dialog. She believes that the religion has indeed been hijacked, since the 12th century, by a radical ideology that steers away from dialog and in fact from human rights.
Manji has begun The Ijtihad Project - which is in celebration of the pre-modern tradition in Islam where open dialog and discussion was encouraged.
Whether or not you can agree with everything she says, no one can argue that Manji is incredibly courageous. She features on her web site the many death threats she has received. At one poignant moment in the interview, Beck cites the assassination of Martin Luther King, and asks Manji whether she ever - in the dark of the night - considers that her story might be headed for the same end. She says yes, and when prodded further, "Would you be willing for the story to end that way?" she says quietly, "Yes" but then asserts, "But for him that wasn't the END of the story!"
On March 5 of this year, in St. Petersburg, Florida, the moderate voices of the Muslim world will gather for the first Secular Islam Summit. The goal of the summit will be to discuss ways in which Islam can bring itself into the 21st century and confront terrorism and fanaticism. Manji will be amongst many Muslim speakers.
On April 19th, a documentary by Manji will air in the U.S. and Canada .
Manji's website is at: http://www.muslim-refusenik.com
MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/irshadmanji
An earlier, briefer interview with Beck on CNN can be seen at YouTube:: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isQu0hAAZRI