The grave predicament we face in the Islamic world is the virtual lack of approved, theologically rigorous interpretations of Islam that clearly challenge the abusive aspects of Shariah. Unlike Salafism, more liberal branches of Islam, such as Sufism, typically do not provide the essential theological base to nullify the cruel proclamations of their Salafist counterparts. And so, for more than 20 years I have been developing and working to establish a theologically-rigorous Islam that teaches peace.Dr. Hamid calls on liberals to support liberty at home and abroad, and asks all of us to demand that Muslim groups speak out against the brutality of Sharia law.
Yet it is ironic and discouraging that many non-Muslim, Western intellectuals--who unceasingly claim to support human rights--have become obstacles to reforming Islam. Political correctness among Westerners obstructs unambiguous criticism of Shariah's inhumanity. They find socioeconomic or political excuses for Islamist terrorism such as poverty, colonialism, discrimination or the existence of Israel. What incentive is there for Muslims to demand reform when Western "progressives" pave the way for Islamist barbarity? Indeed, if the problem is not one of religious beliefs, it leaves one to wonder why Christians who live among Muslims under identical circumstances refrain from contributing to wide-scale, systematic campaigns of terror.
Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, third in line to the Presidency, but not the President, is over in Syria kowtowing to a brutal dictator.
As Thomas Sowell points out, Democrats are playing with fire in undermining our foreign policy. They are useful idiots for the dictators and zealots of the Islamic world. And they will be among the first to suffer under such a regime. Recall Iran:
The great majority rejoiced at the fall of the shah. Even the revolutionary leftists who dominated dissent. Few in the intelligensia took these primitives seriously. Anti-American imperialism trumped everything.
The first sign of what was to come arrived within days of the mullahs and their followers taking control of government. Women were "invited" to wear the veil. Those who declined found themselves beaten and abused by the gangs of self-appointed revolutionary guards who roamed the streets.
The revolution reserved its most brutal behaviour for the universities.
Leftist students activists were murdered. Faculties were purged. Students expelled. Books banned. Women were constrained at every turn. They were penalised for talking to members of the opposite sex, for running in the corridors, for laughing, or wearing rouge, or allowing strands of hair to show, or wearing bright colours.
As for the revolutionary left, it was liquidated. "Criminals should not be tried," Khomeini declared when human rights organisations decried the wave of executions. "Human rights demand that we should have killed them in the first place when it became known they were criminals."
So liberals, you may not believe us conservatives, but the record in Iran is there, and a former terrorist, whose words you often give more credence to than ours, is telling you the same thing. You can make a difference. The way to give peace a chance in the world is to join us in the fight against Islamic barbarity. This is yet another wake-up call.
UPDATE: Bush on Pelosi in Syria.
"There have been a lot of people who have gone to see President Assad: some Americans, but a lot of European leaders, high-ranking officials. And yet we haven't seen action," Bush told reporters at a Rose Garden news conference. "He hasn't responded."
Bush said that Assad had not reined in violent elements of militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah as requested by the international community, had acted to destabilize the democratically elected government of Lebanon and was allowing "foreign fighters" to move into Iraq from Syria.
"Sending delegations hasn't worked. It's just simply been counterproductive," Bush said.