The last time I met up with Irshad Manji, she was on the promotional tour for her 2004 book, The Trouble with Islam Today. And because of the attention that tome was bringing her – including a large number of death threats – that she was accompanied by a husky bodyguard.
But for all the negative feedback, Manji’s book certainly brought her a degree of celebrity. Oprah gave her a Chutzpah Award. The New York Times declared Manji “Osama bin Laden’s worst nightmare.” She penned op ed pieces for The New York Times, The Advocate and The Wall Street Journal. She was invited to teach at Yale, and then, subsequently, has become the inaugural director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University.
Her new book, Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom, is in part an answer to many of her critics, whose angry emails she excerpts. She also steps up her call for an exhaustive reinterpretation of Islam – in particular, she chastises moderate Muslims for not challenging extremists more often and more adamantly.
Despite her university postings, it’s a decidedly accessible book, one that addresses some complex and heavy ideas but does so in a very non-academic manner. Manji quotes a broad range of historical civil rights figures (King and Gandhi, for example), other Islamic reformists, but also skates across pop culture (at one point she recounts a plotline of an episode of Will & Grace to bolster her argument).
Complete article at Xtra : http://bit.ly/rrma3c