“You realize at once how insignificant a human being really is in the scale of creation, and at once you realize the vastness of your creator,” Dr. Ahmed said. “But for me especially I realize the diversity in Islam. And it’s so extraordinary that that diversity is manifested year after year in the cradle of Islam, in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which does not espouse diversity broadly in its own society.”
Dr. Qanta speaks of the orthodox version of Islam that is the kingdom’s state religion. She links Wahhabism, as it is called, to militant jihadists such as Osama bin Ladin, which some scholars dispute. “This is not Islam,” Dr. Qanta said. “This is a bastardization of Islam, a horrendous word to use. I’m not going to make any friends doing that, but that’s what it is.” >>>>>
Without saying what my personal opinion is on Wahhabism, the interviewer gives quotes of two people, who are anti-Wahhabi. They are both presumably of Indo-Pakistani descent, living in Western countries that are involved in the attacks of ‘non-Wahhabi’ nations, and are intent on continuing with the War on Terror in Iran, and even Pakistan (our ally) – and the other hijab and non-hijab wearing nations.
With the lack of quotes from anyone who is pro-Wahhabi and possibly lives in Saudi Arabia, it is difficult to see this book as something more than a propaganda piece pandering to the West.
While most Muslims around the world may agree that the niqab (a more conservative covering for women than hijab) is something that is not required Islamically, those very same Muslims would agree that not wearing hijab (something the author displays in her interview) is clearly a sin in Islam.
This book acts as the debate toward ‘moderate Islam,’ something that leaves room for grave innovations, bida. Her interview even seeks to go as far as seeking to modernize Islam.
While recognizing that it is her personal choice, her public display of moderation and modesty is actually contrary to even moderate Muslims, for she doesn’t wear hijab. This would not be of public importance, except that she is pushing for a moderation while she seems to be at the other extreme, not center of the issue.
Aside from her physical, non-modest appearance, it is her notion of jihad that disturbed me. If it was a given (and it’s not), that Osama bin Laden and all the other Muslim terrorists (patsies) of the world were indeed guilty of the all the crimes alleged since 9/11, she ignores the Western ‘Crusade’ that has killed and maimed people tens-of-thousand-times over more Muslims than those acts have — and most of those victims were non-combative civilian men, women and children.
Jihad in the minds of Muslims includes anyone defending their homeland, and even own homes from tyranny, occupation and murder. The pre-emptive attacks by the West are somehow justified in their own jihad, which is a term not recognized by themselves simply because it is a word that comes from a different language. But whatever the West understands the term jihad to be — their actions and intentions have superceded even the widely-misunderstood, yet accepted corrupted definition of the term jihad.
The interview alone, without having read the book, is one that speaks volumes of the author’s perspective.