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Sunday, December 28, 2003



Irshad Manji is coming to the Bay Area in January:;jsessionid=A4F5CEB02F35C8418CC4520039D2B23E.t1?s=storeevents&eventId=256408
Time: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 7:30 PM
Title of Event: Irshad Manji at Books Inc. in Mountain View

Irshad Manji, author of The Trouble with Islam: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith, will read from her controversial new book. This is a Muslim woman's passionate, eloquent challenge to the contradictions of mainstream Islam--and a provocative call for reform. "I'm asking questions from which we can no longer hide. Why are we all being held hostage by what's happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? What's with the stubborn streak of anti-Semitism in Islam? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation?" In a conversational voice that will grip every reader, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, Irshad Manji educates, exposes, and honestly addresses the questions we all have--yet rarely pose--about Islam today.
Books Inc. in Mountain View
301 Castro, Mtn View, 650-428-1234


A commentary by Falsafay Ghaalib

Irshad Manji recently published the book, The Trouble With Islam: A Wake-Up Call for Honesty and Change (Random House Canada, 2003). The book is highly critical of “tribal” or “desert” (her word) Islam, raises blunt and provocative questions and stresses the need for reform to bring tribal Islam at par to modern civilized world.

In the beginning I was quite skeptical of the book because I believe that any research on such a sensitive and critical aspect of billions of Muslims must be academic and scholarly in tone and format. However, the more I read the book, more I started realizing the need for critical analyses of Islam in a language and style that would appeal young and adult Muslims, especially those living in the West and face barrage of questions from their friends and foes in daily lives.


Bismillah -Well, to begin with and as Voltaire puts it, I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it. Irshad's opinion is valuable, but single-handedly transforming it to an "ijtihad" is the last thing Islam needs today. Usama too had an opinion about the US and he dared to elevate it to an "Ijtihad" and flew it around while proclaiming himself as a senior representative and a spokesperson of Muslims when nobody appointed him to that position. What makes us think Islam needs another "heaven-sent" reforming opinion?

Islam is a practice not just brainstorming or a posting board for opinions. Practice is prerequisite for opinions/ijtihad. It is like let's say playing the guitar, you'll develop blisters on your finger tips, go through wrist pain, lot of practice, discipline, certain sacrifices, and yet more practice until you're able to play it and enjoy it. Unless you have gone through sweat and pain to learn some "heavenly" groovy licks, don't expect to join forces with a "guitar" band so to "reform" their sound just by offering them opinions on guitar playing. You can't impress the "band" either by telling them you have read volumes about the instrument over the past 20 years. And you've definitely lost any chance of befriending the band if you tell them people including you think they suck big time.

And why should we believe that "non-muslims have a pivotal role in helping muslims get there"? Lot of Non-muslim nations of a supposedly "higher form of lifestyle" have their own issues -mostly social issues that they among themslves have not been able so far to resolve. Everybody agrees that there is indeed "trouble with other religions and cultures", so why grant them a "pivotal role"? Wouldn't that be the blind leading the blind? And who would the "committee" include? How about Howard Stern, Paula Jones, Dan Quale, Pamela Anderson, Hefner, Donald Rumsfield, Sonja Rykiel, Henry Kissinger. And since Kurt Cobain cannot advise because he blew his brains out 10 yrs ago, we'll see if his wife would like that honor. On the other hand, this "role" deal scares the hell out of muslims because it resonates as some sort of an iraq-invasion-like plan as the latest "fashion" of spreading democracy. For decades the same "fashion" was in the style of "marriages of convenience" between the west i.e. the USA and governments ruling muslim nations. Muslims are fedup with this scenario that turns a blind eye to "trendy" forms of oppression by their regimes. Although Westem and mother-land regimes may sound like two sides of a coin, still lot of Muslims express interest in migrating to the west to escape oppression and misery. If they just can go about their normal life even in "St. Somewhere" then that's the lesser of two evils.


this book "an open letter to jews may be but not ..... NOT to muslims" i'm not saying that problems don't exist in muslim countries ....they do......but not because of islam but by NOT following the religion accordingly.....islam does not need reformation....MANJI and Muslims do.....they need to open up the quran and read it understand it and if islam is incorporated they way it is suppose to, muslim nations will be the most superior today...


Here here....agreed with islam4all.... i would like to say that muslims are not anti-semitists and they are not jew-bashing ....of course manji says they are because she was brought to Israel by the government (paid for the trip and all) .........ha! give me a break.... yes...i would say that some muslims may hate jews but the feeling is quite mutual.... and note MANJI is not a muslim....not because she wrote against them but because she in no way follows the quran.......i wouldn't be surprised if a FATWAAH against her comes out soon..

Gavin Newton

Jeez..I guess she could have seen you two (Ummat & Islam4all)coming a mile away. Lighten up already. We all have the right live our lives as we see fit. Women, jews, and yes Ummat, even Apostates. I sense that concept is dificult for you to accept. But keep trying. It's worth the effort.


Manji please read Quran, bible and tura properly may be you can find all your answer. Islam is not
need to be reform. I saw your interview today why you said we muslim....Remember you are not a muslim.
You not feel bad when muslim innocent people are suffering in midd...Or not even all are die. You are taking adventage over Islam because now it is bad time for all muslim. You want to be famus in the world that is you real Dream. You will know after death what is call Islam. I hope you at least know you die too. You can't be in the world 100 more year so you and all muslim people know one day what is the real mystry being living on earth.



Read the book. Think for yourself. Don'tbe afraid.



Well I do intend to read the book. I think she had the right to write her book and expose what is really going on in this religion.
I go into the chat rooms on the net and I see the hate pouring out of the Mid East towards the western free world. Don't kid yourself!....
Muslims do have an agenda and that is to destroy Christianity and the culture of the western free world. Little do they know it is NOT going to work! This sharia nonsense has to stop and end now!...The Western free world is fed up with this nonsense coming out of the Mid East!
I agree it is fine if muslims come to the west and get a decent life, assimilate like all other immigrants and make a life for themselves...but this sharia non sense has to stop! The western world countries cannot be brainwashed and programmed like the Mid East people could!
I hate no one, I just want to see muslims respect the flag, laws, and rules of the country that gives they a shot at a decent life here in the west. One thing Muslims need to understand...the Western world countries were basically founded on Christianity and it will stay that way. At least learn to tolerate other religions. So far i see islam as NOT being tolerant. I read the hadiths and the quran and after seeing so much hate in it and verses that says to kill Jews, kill infadels...all the name calling people turned me against it and I jut stopped reading it! If islam is so peaceful then why are the muslims trying to KILL us to prove it?....
I will close in saying.....muslims will NOT force sharia on the west, they will NOT change our lives to suit theirs...the west is NOT the east and ....Remember the western world from Europe to the USA is basically Christian and you all need to learn to deal with that. JESUS rules, he is the Beginning and the End....God bless you all... Dapruex


No, sorry, sherry, Jesus does NOT rule the United States. There are a great many citizens for whom Jesus is not their savior. Some of them may agree he was a historical figure; others may agree that he was a great philosopher; even others may think that he didn't have a physical existence, but the stories are good; even others think that the Christian world view is deluded. All are citizens and are protected by the rule of the state.

The great strenght of the United States (and Great Britain, and Canada, and others) is the rule of law, not of men.

Ilyess Lasfar

Irshad's views are totally contradictory to any great muslim scholar's. It is obvious for any human that knows a bit of Islam, that she is far from the teachings of the prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him. Any one having read the life of the prophet with the slightest level of comprehension would understand what it is that I mean.


From The Quran
Jesus’ true name, according to the Qur’an, was ‘Isa. His message was pure Islam, surrender to Allah. (Âl 'Imran 3:84) Like all the Muslim prophets before him, and like Muhammad after him, ‘Isa was a lawgiver, and Christians should submit to his law. (Âl 'Imran 3:50; Al-Ma’idah 5:48) ‘Isa’s original disciples were also true Muslims, for they said ‘We believe. Bear witness that we have surrendered. We are Muslims.’ (Al-Ma’idah 5:111)

Although Christians believe ‘Isa died on a cross, and Jews claim they killed him, in reality he was not killed or crucified, and those who said he was crucified lied (An-Nisa’ 4:157). ‘Isa did not die, but ascended to Allah. (An-Nisa’ 4:158) On the day of Resurrection ‘Isa himself will be a witness against Jews and Christians for believing in his death. (An-Nisa’ 4:159)

The prophet ‘Isa will have an important role in the end times, establishing Islam and making war until he destroys all religions save Islam. He shall kill the Evil One (Dajjal), an apocalyptic anti-Christ figure.

go here u will know more



The themes I'm exploring with the utmost honesty include:

the inferior treatment of women in Islam;

Here are some facts about women in America:

Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused.

Females accounted for 39% of the hospital emergency department visits for violence-related injuries.

Family violence costs the nation from $5 to $10 billion annually in medical expenses.

Somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.


The fastest segment of new converts in Islam in America are women. Also, with the unpopularity of Islam in the media, it's also one of the fastest quick rich scheme in America.

For a detailed comparison of issues affecting women under the 3 biggest regligions, please visit:


I am a muslim and I have read Irshad Manji book. All she does is mislead. I cannot believe that she wrote that book with a strait face. She calls herself a Muslim and she admits she does not pray 5 times a day instead she decides when she feels like praying. She wears two gold rings one representing God and the other representing her lesbian girlfriend. She is not a "Muslim" which means "submitter" to God. She does not submit but rather rebels against God's word and encourages others to rebel. There is a problem with some Muslims in the word today just like there are problems with every religious groups. If someone breaks the law in your country do you blame the law or do you blame the person who broke it? The Ironic thing is that Irshad Manji is just one example of the religious rebellion and ignorace that is plaguing the world today.

George T

I am eagerly awaiting your new book, " The Trouble with Islam...
In my opinion Islam has a huge boulder around its neck. Rigid conformity, closed minds are a few drawbacks, severe drawbacks.
Its sad...this religion can be so good for so many.....instead it won't celebrate human endeavors....that's sad..


Hey Sherry,
Let me clarify this for you who say that Muslims hate Jews. We do not hate Jews - we hate Zionism. It amazes me that the greatest intellectual failure of the West is their inability to assess that the problem at the heart of the Muslim world for the past 55 years is the Isreali occupation of Palestinian land. There was no violence before that. Not all Jews are Zionists, and all Zionists are certainly not Jews - look at the uniquely American phenomenon of the Evangelical Christian right that is shaping global policy for Isreal. They have a specific spiritual agenda they want to see fulfilled. They think they can force the hand of God.
Manji is a wannabe Muslim who is using the current global situation to make a name for herself. I am sure she has validity to some of her points its the WAY she chose to market them that smells of the need to bash at a Deen that unequivacably is unaccepting of her lifestyle.
Islam is a very easy religion but it has its solid parameters and I feel that it is this very thing that makes the increasingly secular Western world uneasy. We conform to our Deen - we don't allow the changing world to corrupt it.

Giovanni Leoni

Muslims, in order to follow Allah, just try to be
more secular. It can only help you be happier
and less frustrated. Enjoy life, make friends and be happy. It is the only way not to get frustrated to the fact that all "Muslim countries" are just "third world countries".

Follow the historic example of Catholics.


Giovanni Leoni

M Barnes

From The Quran
Jesus’ true name, according to the Qur’an, was ‘Isa. His message was pure Islam, surrender to Allah.

Umm, I don't remember Jesus ever saying anything of this sort in the Bible. The words "muslim" or "islam" were never mentioned and whilst the Apostles of Jesus did submit to God and Jesus' way of worshipping Him, the religion that they spread to the four corners of the Roman world and beyond was not Islam, but quite simply Christianity.

The Quran in an act of supreme presumptuousness claims that the it is the sole truth and word of God. It also seems whether purposely or not, to negate all the the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures have to say. I have heard many Muslims tell me that the Christians were deceived by the Jews, that in some great Jewish conspiracy--of which an exact time frame cannot be established--the Bible was "rewritten" by the Jews in order to deceive us all. Nevermind that we have manuscripts dating to a mere hundred years after Jesus death and in the case of the Hebrew scriptures even older ones (such as the Dead Sea Scrolls) that show that neither the Old nor New Testaments have changed in their thousands of years of existence.

But, my question to Muslims is this: In the Bible God claims that the Bible is His Holy and Inviolable Word. That it cannot be changed. That it will last forever. So, if the Jews "rewrote" the Bible and all the poor Christians are laboring under the belief that Jesus/Isa died when he "really didn't", then who can say for sure that the Quran has not been altered as well? Who knows--maybe the Christians "rewrote" the Quran and Hadith in order to deceive good Muslims. The entire religion of Islam could be one great lie! For if God allowed His word in the Bible to be defiled by unbelievers, who's to say that the same thing didn't happen to the Quran after Mohammed left this earth??
You see where I'm going here? It sounds ridiculous when applied to Islam and it sounds equally ridiculous when applied to Judaism and Christianity. Instead of trying to change history to fit its views, Islam should simply acknowlegde it's newness and uniqueness in the world and stop trying to write Prophets and prophesies into the Bible that never were there in the first place...

As to this book, it's very interesting and though it seems like the author leans a little more liberal than some more moderate muslims could tolerate I think the main purpose of her text was to promote discussion. And that's what we're all doing here now, no?


Isn't it funny how people talk about ISLAM and QURAN when they cant even resolve their contradictions regarding the bible itself. I have asked my christian friends if they can provide a copy of a bible. After a few days they cant make up their minds because there are soooo many versions that they themselves dont know which one is correct.
Whereas no matter where you go you will find the same QURAN (no versions). SUBHAN ALLAH.


MANJI please open your eyes if not your mind. Islam has given respect to a woman but only a woman who has self respect can acknowledge that.
Today in some societies, particularly in the West a woman can walk semi-naked in public, swim topless, patronize bars and clubs, smoke, drink, dance in discos and have sex with anybody she feels like.
She can even serve her boyfriend, like an unpaid prostitute, and be free to murder her unborn baby if she falls pregnant. She can also compete in the business world by using her body to promote commercial commodities.
At the end of the day she will be regarded as a truly 'liberated' woman!
In Islam, however, Liberation of women is far more serious, noble and dignified than just the burning of bras as is done in the so-called permissive societies where the fair sex is regarded as no more than a sex object. Today the West is very quick to condemn Islamic laws, which protect purity of purpose and the intermingling of the sexes at all levels of society.
Look at the glossy cover of any magazine or advertisements on TV and newspaper, you will find that most of these advertisements have scantily dressed women in alluring poses to attract the attention of men. This proves that the Western society considers woman only as a sex symbol.
The liberation of women in Islam is far superior to Western liberation as it allows women to live with respect, dignity and equality in society.
Equality does not mean aping and behaving like men or dancing to their carnal tunes; that would be an act of inferiority in the face of one's own femininity.
A truly liberated woman always dresses decently and modestly. A true woman will never degrade her body and sell her dignity to the highest bidder. No woman is truly liberated if she is still the slave of her wayward conscience, bodily lust or infidelity.

Ali Khan

I am perfectly agreed with views/ideas and philosophy of Miss. Irshad Manji, who
has recently been interviewed by BBC about her faith on Islam. Yes! Muslims must
make IJTIHAD according to needs and requirements of current age. We must change
Islamic rules and regulations to meet current era's requirements by IJTIHAD. I
am Muslim by birth belong to a backward area of Punjab, Pakistan. My family can
still be counted as a really ‘FUNDAMENTALIST MUSLIM FAMILY’. Let me mention a
universal truth here. I am Muslim since I born there. If I would have been born
in a Jewish family, I must were a Jewish.

I am Computer Operator by profession, and Graduate from Karachi University. I
have traveled about 20 countries including Japan & Germany. Currently I am
running my own small scale business at Karachi. I have 24 hours Internet
connection and always keep open JANG & BBC home page in my browser for update
news. I read an interview of Miss Irshad Manji (Toronto) with BBC in beginning
of May 2004, and surprised how bravely she expressed her views and gave
suggestions to update Islam. I wish to be in such a free society, because here
no one can go with free vision and submissions like her. However, I think the
time has become to express my ideas like her. Excuse me! I may be weak in
English Grammar or sentences, because I am not native, but I can not be wrong in
expressing my views, beliefs, spirit and ideas. I have no wish or intention to
hurt any one's feelings, ideas, beliefs or views; I am just using my freedom of
writing and expression like all others.

1. There must only be 'Defense Right' rule except 'JEHAD' for Muslims. No
religion including Islam has right to start war against any country / society /
people or community in the name of religion, GOD or JEHAD. Life of a human being
belongs to any religion or land is much better and precious than a religion,
faith or belief.

2. There is a common and blasted conflict between Israel and Muslim world upon
'so-called' 'FORCED OCCUPATION' of Jewish on Arabs territories. Let me ask
Muslims what they did in Spain for 800 years. Didn't they occupy their land? And
what Muslims did in India, India was a biggest country with great traditions and
cultures, didn't they also occupy it by force? And finally you obtained a piece
of land from heart of India in the name of religion Allah and named it as
‘Pakistan’. You could easily breath together among them with peace, dignity and
'free to act policy on your favorite religion' in a United India like Singapore
and many other countries. Occupying Spain and India by Muslims is justification
but same act is wrong for Israel. What a non-sense. By the way, to the best of
my knowledge Jewish purchased the land from Arabs and then announced for an
independent state.

3. Why can't I express my views freely in Pakistan or any other Islamic
country, like I did in Germany and Japan? Why can't I change my religion? Why
can't I exchange or share my ideas liberally? Isn't it a clear assault of my
personal rights or sovereignty? In an Islamic country, especially in Pakistan,
at peak deep sleeping time suddenly you hear a loud screaming voice at 5 AM
daily. You awake up. Babies start crying, insomnia patients upset. Well! It is
all right for you but wrong for me if I even try to politely explain that Azan
(loud call for prayer) should be announced only in single voice for whole city
in five-fixed time. For this purpose a loudspeaker network system can easily be
established in every city.

4. Nowadays life became much miserable and people have to struggle from day to
night to earn livelihoods. How is possible for a person to pray 5 times in a
day? (One time prayer takes ½ hour average time). Cannot we limit prayer times
from 5 to 2 by IJTIHAD?

5. Why veil is obligatory for a woman only? Why men does not follow it. Most
'Ulma' (Islamic Religious Leaders) say that if a man see a woman's face
unveiled, sexual thoughts move in his mind which is 'Haram' (prohibited) in
Islam. Let me ask them that when a woman see a man's face or body exposed,
doesn't she get same sexual feelings in her mind like a male? Isn't it 'Haram'
for a woman too? What is logic behind it?

6. Why Islam doesn’t let women to pray in a Mosque? Why can’t they lead prayer
instead of a male ‘Imam’?. Why Islam classified witnesses ‘SHAHADAT’ of a female
as ‘HALF’ against a male? Why Islam assigns “HALF SHARE” of her parents’
property against full of her brother’s share? Why only man has right to divorce
a woman, why can’t she equally do?

7. In Islam if you divorce your wife and again want to marry her, it is
obligatory that your wife must marry some one else and they must make sexual
intercourse, and he (new husband) divorce her then you can marry with your
former wife. They call it 'Halala'. Isn't it shameful and dishonorable act? I am
quiet sure 'Ulmas' has self generated this law for their own sexual
satisfaction, as they are always ready to offer their humble services for this
noble task.

8. Passing urine in standing position relaxed a male but it is also prohibited
in Islam. There shouldn't be any restrictions upon it.

9. If a 'Moulvi' (Islamic religious leader) justifies suicide attacks against
non-Muslims, he must send his family members first for such missions and then
should preach other innocent teenagers for this purpose.

10. Criticizers or condemners of West or USA, should give up using any thing
made of these countries. They should not send their lovers to these Kafar (non
Muslims) countries for higher studies. They even should not use Western
inventions or discoveries. Quit traveling by trains, aero planes or automobiles,
just travel by ass or horses and should spend their lives like people of Stone

11. Sexual satisfaction is natural gift for human beings. It should be
absolutely free. There shouldn't be any restriction how and to whom a person do
sex. Only legal age limit and mutual wish should be respected and law should
punish violators. If some one doesn’t agree, he must explain about 'Harm' (Women
Palace) of Muslim Rulers. They kept thousands of women in their palaces
excluding lot of wives at a time. Such additional women were called as 'Kaneez'
(comfort women). They used them for their sexual satisfaction whenever they
wanted. Consequently lot of babies was borne but they were not granted any part
of property or land from father. Don't go so past, just look out Shaiks' 'Harm'
in present Middle East. They are packed with such women and Shaiks are doing
free sex with them.

12. 'Qasas wa Diyat' or 'Khun Baha' (compensation to family or relative of a
murdered person by murderer) is one of most dreadful, horrible and shocking rule
of Islam. You may describe it 'License to Kill' for a wealthy person because, as
per this rule, if you murder some one and offer hand some amount in return as a
compensation to the family or relative of murdered person and if it is accepted,
your sentence will be vanished and you will be free in the world (for more
killing, perhaps). Suppose my wife is not happy with me as well as my brothers
and I am murdered by some one. My murderer offers enough amounts as compensation
to my family. Of course! They will happily accept it and murderer will be free
in society for more killing. Recently, (April 2004), a Shaikh in Saudi Arabia
murdered a Pakistani and released from jail as well as death sentence after
paying lot of DINARS (local currency) to the relatives or family of poor
murdered Pakistani in the name of 'Qasas wa Diyat' or 'Khun Baha'. What a pity!
Life is not so cheaper. No one has right to offer money as substitution of life.
Whole constitution of a society is demolished in existence of this rule and so
is going on in all Islamic countries. Let me give example of my own country,
Pakistan. Since 1947, time of independence, no rich person has been hanged
except two. One was Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who was hanged on political grounds
or personal grudge of a Dictator and another was Shaikh Amjad who murdered a
Barrister in Karachi last year for ransom. Relatives and family of both murdered
persons rejected compensation offer because they were also rich. I accept that
there are many examples when poor families of a murdered person also didn't
accept compensation offer and resisted but they were threatened and pressurized
until they had to bent over against wealth. This dark rule should completely be
eliminated and only President of a country should have right to forgive death
sentence of a murderer.

At the end I again apologize for any distress or misery to all who suffered….
but I need answers of above. Is there some one…who could reply me without sword

Ali Khan
Karachi – Pakistan


To Sana,

The Bible has one version--in its original languages, Classical Hebrew, Aramaic and Classical Greek. The many versions that you mention are merely many translations of the same ancient text much like there are many English translations of the Quran. These translations were provided by people who wanted to make the Bible more accesible to lay-people since the average guy on the street isn't really on the ball with Ancient Hebrew. Accesibility, interesting concept isn't it?

Also interesting how you never answered the question; you completely skirted it by raising another topic.

As to there being one version of the Quran, the Quran wasn't even completely written down until after Mohammed died, so one can imagine that there were several versions floating around as they were transfered orally. Ever played telephone? Notice how the message whispered into the first person's ear almost never comes out the same when the last person speaks? And yet the entire Quran made it through unscathed? Maybe.

The Bible, which if I understand what Muslims have told me, is the word of God and therefore respected as truth by Muslims, praises those who search the Scriptures with a critical eye to prove to themselves that what they are reading is really true. (Then again maybe that was one of those bits added by the Jewish Conspiracy.) Why is it that God suddenly changed His mind when inspiring the Quran and decided that His word could only be "authentically" read and transmitted in the language of a group of nomadic tribes on the periphery of civilization? Indeed the Jews were a nomadic tribe as well, but God never demanded that the Old Testament only be read in Old Hebrew. But, then again, everyone knows that if you put a text in the vernacular, people can read and understand it. Then they might even begin to critisize it, pick at it, question it (!!) and all sorts of other dangerous things like that. I guess that's why God designated Classical Arabic as the holy language. He figured most of us wouldn't make the effort to learn a language that no one even speaks anymore (Not even the Arabs), and hey, He was right!

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