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Posts Tagged ‘Reformers

Reformer vs. Regressive: Ali A. Rizvi vs. C.J. Werleman

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Ali A. Rizvi vs. C. J. Werleman


Reformer vs. Regressive

The Rizvi/Werleman clash exemplifies this dialectic:  reformed Islam vs. regressive Islam. At crux is the idea of cultural superiority or ethnic superiority. You cannot believe in both. You either believe cultures are equal but human subgroups are not (this makes you a bigot). OR:  you believe that humans deserve equal treatment but cultures do not (this makes you a humanist).

Example:  See Sarah Haider vs. Reza Aslan. Cultures that believe women/minorities (ethnic and religious)/homosexuals are inferior are, in fact, inferior to cultures that think women/minorities (ethnic and religious)/homosexuals deserve equal rights. The Reformer pushes humanism, the Regressive protects bigotry.

C J WerlemanReformer:  One standard, believes humans deserve equal treatment but cultures don’t, objectively looks at religious texts; thinks South Asians, Africans, & Middle Easterners want equal rights, progress, and are able to enjoy and utilize free speech, including criticism.

Regressive:  Two standards, believes cultures deserve equal treatment but humans don’t, selectively looks at religious texts; thinks South Asians, Africans, & Middle Easterners cannot handle equal rights or criticism.

Here are some past, present, and future battlers in this competition of ideas:

Reformer                                 VS.                                    Regressive
Raif Badawi
(imprisoned)                                                            Ben Affleck

Karima Bennoune (father assassinated)                                        Reza Aslan
Bassem Eid                                                                               Max Blumenthal
Mona Eltahawy                                                                        Glenn Greenwald
Sarah Haider                                                                                 Mehdi Hasan
Pervez Hoodbhoy                                                                  Ibrahim Hooper
Waleed Al Husseini                                                                     Nathan Lean
Kenan Malik                                                                           Dean Obeidallah
Irshad Manji                                                                                         Mo Ansar
Faisal Saeed al Mutar                                                            Murtaza Hussain
Maajid Nawaz
                                                                              Rula Jebreal
Asra Nomani                                                                             Linda Sarsour
Raheel Raza                                                                 David Shariatmadari
Ali A . Rizvi                                                                         C.J. Werleman
Ziauddin Sardar                                                                     Cenk Uygur
Malala Yousafzai                                                                 Sayeeda Warsi
Bassem Youssef                                                                     Harris Zafar

For more on reformers and regressives, check out:
Who’s Who in Islam
Muslim Group Calls Out PC Culture for Being too Afraid to Take Down Islamic Extremism
The Regressive Shuffle – Connor McKenna
2015 – Rise of the Regressive
Time for Self-Examination – WaPost

Written by Caleb Powell

December 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

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.

Written by Caleb Powell

November 10, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Who’s Who in Islam: Bigots, Reformers, Apologists/Regressives, Religious Sociopaths

with 22 comments



Atheist Marwa Berro, in her Hezbollah days.

Where Are the Muslim Reformers?  All over. They’re blogging, they’re forming societies, some are apostates, some have kept the faith, some live in the West, some live in their home countries. Some have been assassinated, imprisoned, or receive tangible death threats. We need to focus on Reformers. The fact that many need pseudonyms speaks to the problem. Even Marwa Berro, an atheist who blogs against her forced veiling and Muslim upbringing, needed a couple years of freedom before she wrote under her real name. So what’s the problem?

Marwa Berro's Tweet to Reza Aslan

Marwa Berro’s Tweet to counter the Reza Aslan mindset

The Dialectic:  The ideological tension between humanism and extremism regarding Islam.

Who Helps the Cause? – The Reformers engage in the dialectic between benevolent and evil ideology to promote universal ideals of human decency. The Politically Incorrect and Well-Intentioned have flaws, yet stand with the cause.

The Cause:  Peace.

Maajid Nawaz

Irshad Manji in Malaysia

Reformer Groups/Blogs/Media/Newspapers:  British Muslims for Secular Democracy, Critical Muslim,, FEMENFree Arabsex-Muslims of North America, Free Middle East, Iranian Atheist/Agnostic Movement, Muslims for Progressive Values, Muslim Reform Movement, Quilliam, The Express Tribune.

Reformers:  Abdisaid Abdi, Imam Daayiee AbdullahWalid Abulkhair, K. Anis Ahmed, Rafida Ahmed (assaulted), Lucy Aharish, Saba Ahmed, Sohail AhmedAyad Akhtar, Khaled Al-Asaad (beheaded by ISIS), Najih Shaker Al-BaldawiNadine Al-BudairBassam Aramin, Mohammed al-Bajadi (imprisoned), Nadine Al-Budair,  Khaled al-Dakheel, Souad al-Shammary,  Yousef Muhammad Ali, Masih Alinejad, Tahmina Anam, Christy Anastas (father assassinated), Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull), Aisha AshrafAtheist in a Head Scarf, Dr Shakil Auj (assassinated), Rafat Awad, Ananya Azad (on Bangladeshi blogger hit list), Ben Baz Aziz, Raif Badawi (imprisoned), Samar Badawi, Qandeel BalochShams Bandar, Shukria Barakzai (survived assassination attempt), Omar Mohammed Batawil (assassinated),  Ahmed Benchemsi, Karima Bennoune (father assassinated), Marwa Berro* aka Hiba KrishtAbdennour BidarZoulikha BouabdellahJeannette BougrabHikmet Çetinkaya  (imprisoned), Cyra Akila Choudhury, Heina DadabhoyKamel Daoud (received fatwa calling for death), Ananta Bijoy Das (assassinated), Nasser DashtiFaisal Arefin Deepan (assassinated), Bassem Eid, Ibrahim Eissa, Thanaa El Naggar, Amal Farah, Salal Farah (killed by Al Shabab, tried to save Christians), Elie Fares, Atena Farghandani, Hazem Farraj, Ashraf Fayadh (imprisoned, sentenced to death), Sherif Gaber (sentenced, in self-exile), Alyaa Gad, John Robert Gallagher (killed by suicide bomber), Javed Ahmad Ghamidi (exiled), Kacem el Ghazzali (exiled), Shamila Ghyas, Hengameh Golestan, Philip Gourevitch, Imad Iddine Habib, Junaid Hafeez (imprisoned), Ahmed Rajib Haider (assassinated), Mobarak Haider,  Sarah Haider, Fares Hamadi (assassinated), Ahmed Harqan (beaten, wife miscarried), Usama Hasan, Nahed Hattar (assassinated), Bernard Henri-Levy, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Faraz HossainElmar Huseynov (journalist, killed), Ghaffar HussainWaleed Al Husseini, M. Zuhdi JasserThanaa JawabreAsma Jehangir, Nikhil Joarder (assassinated), Amineh Kakabaveh,  Ceyda Karan (imprisoned), Tehmina KaziJim al-Khalili, Deeyah Khan, Farooq Khan (assassinated), Rashid Rehman Khan (assasinated), Sheema KhanBassel Khartabil, Omid Kokabee (imprisoned), Ezra Levant, Khaled Ibn Mahmoud*, Omar Mahmood, Sabeen Mahmud (murdered), Kenan Malik, Sanam Malik,   Irshad Manji, Julhas Mannan (assassinated), Fred MarounZouhaïr MazouzHemant Mehta, Musarrat MisbahMohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir (sentenced to death), Ismail Mohammed, Asif Mohiuddin, Saad MohseniKaveh Mousavi*, Fiyaz Mughal, Harrison Mumia Muslim Canadian Congress, Faisal Saeed al Mutar, Maryam NamazieArmin Navabi, Maajid Nawaz, Niloy Neel (assassinated), Asra Nomani, Ibrahim Abdul Qader (assassinated), Sameen Qazi, Tala Raassi (lashed in Iran), Saif RahmanWashiqur RahmanNiloofar Rahmani, Nabeel Rajad, Brother Rasheed, Arifur Rahman, Raheel Raza, Rashid Rehman  (murdered for defending Junaid Hafeez), Zineb El Rhazoui  (survived Hebdo massacre), Ahmed Rilwan (missing, presumed abducted), Ali A . Rizvi, Avijit Roy (assassinated), Raza Rumi (survived assassination attempt), Alber Saber (imprisoned), Meriam SabihAliyah Saleem, Nazimuddin Samad (murdered), Abdullah Sameer,  Mikael Nabil Sanad, Ziauddin Sardar, Imran SarkerRiad SattoufInna SchevchenkoLeanne Scorzoni, Alom Shaha, Kunwar Khuldune ShahidMohammad Shahidullah (assassinated), Mubin Shaikh, Imtiaz ShamsManal Al Sharif, Nishaan Sharma, Parvez SharmaRezaul Karim Siddique (assassinated), Marvi SirmedSyed Atheist, Muhammad SyedRafiq Tagi, TaimFaraz TalatAyatollah TanasoliSalman Taseer (assassinated), Majid Tavakoli (imprisoned), Imam Tawhidi, Adel Termos (killed by suicide bomber), Ahmed Rahim Tutul (shot, survived), THE MASKED ARABIrshad Uppinangady, Amina Wadud, Ibn Warraq*,  Malala Yousafzai, Bassem Youssef, Alishba Zarmeen, Mohsen Amir-Aslani Zanjani (executed), Khurram Zaki (assassinated), Ani Zonneveld


Politically Incorrect Reformers:  Sheriff David Clark, Godless Spellchecker, Jesus and Mo, Mufti NewsTaslima Nasrin

Polemicists in a good way:  Dan Arel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Charlie HebdoNick Cohen, Thomas Friedman, Sam Harris, Bill Maher

Moderates/Almost Reformers:  Zurairi Ar, Saadia Haq, Nicholas Kristof, Ro Wassem, Fareed Zakaria

On the Fence:  Dr. Mohammed Dajani (for this),  Bosch Fastwin,  Tarek FatahBrigitte GabrielHamza Abdul Malik, Walid Shoebat

Almost Regressive:  Mona Eltahawy (for bigoted Tweet) was taken off Reformers. She’s done good work, but turns out she holds racist and bigoted views. Too bad. Can’t put her with the likes of Greenwald, but she’s let a lot of good people down.

“The killer made clear that he knew he had attacked a soldier when he said afterward: ‘this British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.'”Glenn “Woolwich Killer Was Justified” Greenwald

Reformer vs. Politically Incorrect Reformer

Who Hurts the Cause? –  The Soft Moderates/Apologists who have a Potemkin Village view of Islam. They mistake religion for race and make false analogies. Their religious chauvinism amounts to bigotry. Though they care about stopping evil, they struggle to define the root causes as they champion the bromides of  political correctness and moral placebos. They end up hurting the ideals of the Reformers. CAIR and the Soft Moderates/Apologists protect the bigotry of their religion.

“Jihadism has gone from fringe cult to a mass movement because non-violent extremists have too often gone unchallenged.”Ghaffar Hussain, managing director of Quilliam

Bigots:  The Bigots go after all Muslims without compulsion, some stand for freedom and democracy, though as absolutists. They hate all Muslims, and fail to quantify.

Polemics:  Both Lost Moderates and Bigots exacerbate the polemics. Regardless, the main enemies are the Religious Sociopaths, who hate everyone but themselves.

Religious Supremacist Rabia “Bill Maher bugs me more than Bilal Philips” Chaudry

Regressives/Apologists:  Unlike Reformers, none of these people/groups have been threatened with death by Islamic radicals. They falsely claim to be progressive or moderate. Their stand for human rights fails because they either fear religion, or they support apostasy and blasphemy laws, homophobia, religious chauvinism (Jiyza tax), misogyny (sexual slavery), and other polemical topics clearly delineated in religion:

Groups/Media/etc.5Pillarz, BDSBrandeis, CAGE, CAIR, Electronic IntifadaGoldsmiths Feminists, French Collective Against Islamophobia, Greens, Hope not Hate, Iceland, LSESU Palestine SocietyMPAC UK, National Women’s Studies Association, NUS,  Rights Watch (UK), Six PEN Authors, Southern Poverty Law Center, University of Warwick, Yale Muslim Student Association,

Individuals –  Leila Aboulela, Ali AbunimahBen Affleck, Khwaja Ahmed, Imtiaz AhmedNafeez Ahmed, Rabia Ahmed, Hilary Aked, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Yusuf al-Qaradawi,  Julie Algubani, Rogel Alpher, Kecia AliTariq Ali, Wajahat Ali, Zaid Ali, Morad Almuradi, Rogel Alpher, Mohammed Alyahya, Iman Amrani, Hend AmrySulome AndersonMunawar A Anees, Mo Ansar, Anjum AnwarGabriel Arana, Gabby AossiKaren Armstong, Lana AsfourReza AslanHussam Ayloush, Omer AzizSahar Aziz, Gabeba Baderoon, Assed Baig, Bangladeshi Police, Naveed Baqir, Ajamu BarakaMarwan Barghouti, Omar BarghoutiZakia Belkhiri, Amiram Ben-UlielClaire Bernish, Khaled A. BeydounFatima Bhutto, Max BlumenthalMelissa Boigon, Joshua Bonehill, Cheryl Bormann, Malia Bouattia, Russell Brand, Nathan Brown, Asghar Bukhari, Susan Carland, Rabia Chaudry, Zainab Chaudry, Alex Chituc, Noam Chomsky, Tanya CohenTeju Cole, Craig ConsidineBrittney Cooper, Jeremy Corbin, Philippe Couillard, Walid Darab, Lamis DeekRana Elmir, Saeb ErekatJohn L. Esposito, Ilaf Esuf, Matthew Facciani, Hammam FarahBelen Fernandez, Megan Filan, Max FisherMichel FoucaultGiles FraserChrystia Freeland, George Galloway, Mohamed GhilanMusa al Gharbi, Glenn Greenwald, Zara Hafeez, Hussein Hamdan, Hafiz Hamdullah, Siraj ul HaqDaniel Haqiqatjou, Mehdi Hasan, Prime Minister Sheikh HasinaAmira Hass, Ibrahim HooperDilly Hussain, Murtaza HussainYasmin Hussein, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-HusseinIkhrasArsalan Iftikhar Saif Inam, Seima Iqbal, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Dyab Abou Jahjah, Idriss Jazairy, Rula Jebreal, Hoda Katebi,  John Kerry, Hajera Khaja, Rania KhalekWardah KhalidAzal Khan, Asaduzzaman KhanAyesha Siddique Khan, Deeyah Khan, Sheema Khan, Yasri Khan, Shazida Khatun, Sally Kohn, Deepa Kumar, Talib Kweli (special racist award), Zahra Langhi, Nathan Lean, Tanya Livingston, Melissa Leon, Marsha Levine, , Trav Mamone, Joseph Massad, Narzanin Massoumi, Ingrid Mattson, David MillerTom Mills, MintNews, Dalia Mogahed, Haroon Moghul, Ahmed Mohamed (and Dad), Ayman Mohyeldin, Marium Navid, Lauren Nelson, Umm NidalBen Norton, Dean Obeidallah, Anwar Omeish, Yariv Oppenheimer, Hibak Osman, Mark PotokLana Povitz, Jasbir K. PuarYasir QadhiOmar R Quraishi, Asim Qureshi, Tariq Ramadan, Nabila Ramdani, Haroon RasheedAbdullah Zaik Abd Rahman, Qasim Rashid, Ilmr Reepalu, Ahmed RehabImam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman, Sheldon Richmond, , Mark Rylance, Ali SaadSadia Saifuddin, Mona Sahlin, Steven SalaitaSarah SalehShlomo Sand, Linda Sarsour, Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar, Bina Shah, Manoj Shahi, David Shariatmadari, Ahmed Shehab, Kaukab Siddique, David Sirota, Jim Sleeper, Shaykh Hamza SodagarJeffrey Sparrow, Charee Stanley, Ishaan Tharoor, Emannuel Todd, Garry Trudeau, Hamza Tsortzis, Cenk UygurAdrienne Mahsa VarkianiKimberly Veklerov, Miqdaad Versi, Dawud Walid, Sayeeda Warsi, Roger WatersNathan Wellman, C.J. Werleman, Gary Younge, Hanna Yusuf, Harris Zafar, Rafia Zakaria, Haneen Zoabi.

Extremely Minor Voices:  Chris Abani, Vlad Chituc, Davide Mastracci, Luke Savage, Mary Scully.

Bigot Award:  The Islamaphobia Industry (This site is pure bigotry, apologist mentality, and subversive evil), Worst “White” Muslim – Bahar Mustafa

Anti-Islam Bigots:  Sen. John Bennett, Bare Naked Islam, Ann Coulter, Pamela Geller,  Jihad Watch,  Pat Robertson, Tommy RobinsonDonald J. Trump

“Thanks, Glenn Greenwald, for understanding why I beheaded the infidel.” – Woolwich Killer

Islamist anti-Human Chauvinist Sociopaths:  These people and groups lack empathy and spread evil – Jalal Abualrub, Salam Abd Al-QawiMo Ansar, Moazzam Begg, Anjem ChaudaryKashif Chaudhry (Kashif suspected of outing atheists in Pakistan), Mahmudul ChoudhuryFouad ElBayly, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Islamic Human Rights Commission Zakir Naik, Bilal Philips, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Abu Qatada, Mizanur Rahman, Nabila Ramdani, Kaukab Siddique, Qari Saleem, Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah,  mother of Muhammad Tarayrah – Abu Nidal Organization, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, al Qaeda, al Shabaab, Ansar al Sharia, Daesh (aka ISIS), Hamas, Hezbollah, Jamiat -e Islami, Muslim Brotherhood, Taliban, Tehreek-i-Taliban

As Evil as Islamist Anti-Human Chauvinist Sociopaths:  Fin Lander

Suggestions/additions welcome.

Related –
The Absurd: 
Tahera “I want my Coke!” Ahmed
Quiz:  Bible, Torah, or Koran?
CAIR’s Hit List:  Islamophobia The Gulf News – Why the UAE’s terrorist list includes CAIR
Tolerance to Homosexuals? On Radical Islam Glenn Greenwald Is Still Clueless – Daily Banter article that investigates Islamic countries where Greenwald and his husband should move.
Glenn Greenwald defends Saadiq Long in 2012, Long Recently Joined Daesh (See Above):  US Muslim placed on no-fly list is unable to see his ailing mother & Yasir Qadhi on Fiqh & Glenn

Written by Caleb Powell

October 17, 2014 at 8:49 am