Sunday, March 19, 2006

IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A DEMOCRATIC MUSLIM?

You be the judge.

I was referred to this post in a fairly new Danish blog called Agora.

The "Democratic Muslim" is Naser Khader.

Jyllands-Posten, February 19, 2006

A Prize Immigrant

By Orla Borg
...

It was then Naser Khader decided. He had to stand up to the Imams.

In his view, the Imams don’t represent the Moslems of Denmark at all. They may speak for a few thousand, but there are 200,000 Moslems in Denmark.

He decided to form the Democratic Moslems to show that the majority of Moslems in Denmark want democracy. Inevitably this would have to lead to a showdown, a showdown with his Arch Enemy.

Khader versus Laban. (The Imam of Denmark that pushed for the protest of the cartoons)

This has so far lead to Laban calling Khader "a rat" at Friday prayers....

After two weeks, 800 Moslems have joined and 5000 ethnic Danes have joined a financial support group. A bank has donated 100000 DKK for rooms and entrepeneurs and businessmen are lining up to support the Democratic Moslems. Last week they were warmly welcomed by PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen in his official residence at Marienborg....

A Life of Threats

Privately, Khader pays daily. He has received several death threats, mostly from people he consider Islamists...Naser Khader is followed by two Security Agents when he arrives in a dark blue Peugeot 605 on loan from the Intelligence Service of the Police for our meeting in central Copenhagen...

Why form this network? You’re risking your life, after all…

"For me it’s about identity and existence and life and death. I see the fundamentalist ‘cerebral haemorrhage’ close in around me. I have people I know who sympathize with Bin Laden, people who start sending their children to Quran-schools, who sympathize with the regime in Iran - and that is my reason for intervening. I think that what is going on at present is the most important battle for values Denmark has ever fought. To stay on the sidelines would mean giving up my identity."

Publicans and Imams

What is your vision for the future?

"My modest hopes are to create the determining factors needed to create a reformation and enlightenment for Islam. That may sound ambitious. But the people who are needed to create the conditions needed for that are us - the Moslems of the West. My ambitions are - apart from making integration less painful - to show that Islam and democracy can be made to be compatable. If the Moslems of the West can not reform Islam, nobody can."

"Islam was once a religion which was about the personal relationship of man to Allah. But some Imams have intervened, like the publicans of the Bible and have taken for themselves the power of Allah."

So what do you think? Is he the real thing?

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