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The Reformation of Kashif Chaudhry

with 3 comments

Hummus or Hamas?

“If an ideology is peaceful, we will see its extremists and literalists as the most
peaceful people on earth.”
– Faisal “I’ve got a fine sense of hummus” Saeed Al Mutar

Kashif Chaudhry vs CalebIntroducing Kashif Chaudhry! “…a physician by profession, currently completing his Cardiovascular Medicine fellowship at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Massachusetts. He is also a registered first responder with the international charity Humanity FIRST…” (And, according to the ladies, Kashif is a good kisser!)

Dear Kashif:  In Who’s Who in Islam, you ask what makes a Reformer? You’re close (as is Qasim Rashid), but. Your rejection of apostasy and blasphemy laws, violent Jihad, and endorsement of secularism only separate you from the Religious Sociopaths. To be a Reformer takes more. Your focus on Bill Maher, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or even Ali A. Rizvi distracts from reform. Points:

Crimes vs. Bill Maher: Reform is necessary to prevent crimes committed in the name of Islam (Rape, Blasphemy, Cartoon Outrage, Murder). Such crimes harm the image of Islam. But when Muslims cite passages in the Koran to support their atrocities, Reformers do not equivocate, they challenge. In your debate with Sameen Qazi at the Tribune she agrees with Bill Maher and Sam Harris. Sameen blots her face. Her position risks offending the crazies. What risk did you take? You disagreed:

“Academically speaking, Islam is defined by the Quran and the Sunnah, the practice of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is not defined by what the ISIS or some ‘Muslim government’ endorses. Nor is it defined by what 64% of Egyptian Muslims (compared to the 2% of Bosnian and Turkish Muslims that agree with apostasy laws) think. Regrettably, Maher and Harris judge Islam by the latter standard. And this is where they go wrong.”

Two percent is too fah-clucking much. 64% is a recipe for theocratic genocide. You say Maher and Harris “regrettably” judge. If you live in Egypt it would be reasonable to “judge” 64% of Muslims by this “latter standard.” Your view of Islam does not cancel out Muslims in Egypt or Daesh. It means Muslims differ. A majority of Muslims in Pakistan and Egypt support their government’s definition of apostasy laws.

Two Excellent Articles:  An Open Letter to Ben Affleck and Why Don’t More Muslims Denounce Their Co-Religionists’ Barbarism? (Talking to you, Reza Aslan). These articles question those who silence critics. Reformers cheer these articles, they do not worry about Islamophobia or Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

“When you read the Quran, one of the striking things about it is its lack of context.”Aisha Ashraf

Context, Sam Harris, and The Koran:  You quote Sam Harris below, though Harris specified one situation where killing people based on their beliefs may be “justified.” That’s called context. The context in the Koran regarding “compulsion in religion” or “sexual relations with slaves” is not as clear. It’s not a parallel analogy. The same standard needs to apply.

Kashif Chaudhry OUT OF CONTEXTQur’an (33:50): “O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those (slaves) whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee.”

Logic:  What context would make sexual slavery acceptable?

Atrocity vs. Sam Harris: Your excellent article, I left Pakistan Because of Their Hatred Toward Muslims, show that you get what it’s like to receive hatred, and you expose atrocity directed at Ahmadis. But when Harris and co. criticize Islam, you criticize them almost more than those committing the atrocities. Why?

Analogies:  Just in case you’re going to bring up Christianity, remember the aphorism about two wrongs not making a right. Comparing the Old Testament to Islam, or contrasting present day Christianity to Islam, or George Bush to Daesh, are different arguments.

Convincing Arguments: You do some of what Reformers do, just not enough. You engage more than Aslan or Osama Bin Affleck, and I respect how you seek argument with Ali and Faisal, but.

Muslim Reformers:  When CAIR and the MSA protest Maher and Ali, they make Islam seem intolerant and insecure. Irshad Manji (The Trouble with Islam Today) and Maajad Nawaz (Nawaz Receives Death Threats for Tweeting Cartoon), however, take risk. Their advocacy of universal human rights helps the image of Islam.

PS – Rhetoric matters, acting if you’re right and your opponent is wrong, arrogance, sarcasm et al (unless it’s damned funny) hinders any case. A strong argument stands alone.

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Written by Caleb Powell

November 10, 2014 at 8:35 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Thank you for taking your time to write this. Here are a few points to consider:

    1) I never attacked Sam Harris or Bill Maher. I “attack” (happy to know my criticism is so effective) ideas. If being a reformer means to not criticize new atheist ideas, I am happy not being one. I will never give up on my free speech. 🙂

    2) I do not know what “sexual slavery” has to do with this, but I have already addressed it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kashif-n-chaudhry/of-islam-boko-haram-and-s_b_5387677.html

    3) I do not compare Christianity to Islam. I point out Sam Harris’s hypocrisy when he singles out Islam for “apostasy laws” when in fact it is the only Abrahamic faith to reject apostasy laws explicitly. Read my debate with another new atheist Ali Rizvi here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kashif-n-chaudhry/does-the-koran-endorse-ap_b_5539236.html

    4) Your rejection of apostasy and blasphemy laws, violent Jihad, and endorsement of secularism only separate you from the Religious Sociopaths. To be a Reformer takes more. //Your focus on Bill Maher, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or even Ali A. Rizvi distracts from reform.// Once again, a reformer in you dictionary is defined as one who fights religious bigotry aggressively, but gives us his free speech rights when it comes to criticizing new atheist ideas. I have criticized their ideas in the past and I will continue to do so. you are free to consider me an extremist or moderate or whatever my friend. Here is one example of my free speech that you want censored: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kashif-n-chaudhry/hirsi-ali-why-did-you-dec_b_5833766.html

    5) //Your view of Islam does not cancel out Muslims in Egypt or Daesh. It means Muslims differ. A majority of Muslims in Pakistan and Egypt support their government’s definition of apostasy laws.// Of course. And my narrative is counter to such extremist narratives. But I understand I need to stop criticizing new atheists to be a reformer. 🙂 Mere activism against extremism and radical views does not cut it. Sorry bro. I am happy a moderate in your dictionary. My free speech is too valuable to give up.

    Kashif N Chaudhry (@KashifMD)

    November 11, 2014 at 7:34 am

  2. Added one point I just noticed Caleb Powell: 6) //Irshad Manji and Maajad Nawaz, however, take risk. Their advocacy of universal human rights helps the image of Islam.//

    Name one Muslim community that is more active in humanitarian endeavors than the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community? Just take http://www.muslimsforlife.org as one tiny example at home here in the US. As for death threats, you are probably unaware of what Ahmadi Muslims face in the Muslim world. Here is an article to open your eyes: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29415356

    Now that you know Ahmadi Muslims face the maximum threat at hands of Mullahs in Muslim world, and lead the most amount of humanitarian work, do I make the cut to being a reformer? probably not because I disagree with Sam Harris.

    I am not sure if my comments will make it through. I hope they do. Thanks again for this.

    Kashif N Chaudhry (@KashifMD)

    November 11, 2014 at 7:55 am

  3. So the whole point is “I hate Islam, you need to abuse and condemn it to become a reformer”.

    omaidusmalik

    November 11, 2014 at 7:56 am


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