Since we often draw attention to the damage various Muslims are doing to our society, I’d like to give some space to Salim Mansur, someone I just heard about thanks to a friend who sent me this column by Rory Leishman in the London (Ontario) Free Press. It begins:
Among post-modern multiculturalists, it’s commonplace to suppose that all cultures are of equal moral worth. Salim Mansur, professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario, emphatically disagrees.
In an illuminating collection of essays entitled Islam’s Predicament: Perspectives of a Dissident Muslim, he maintains Islam is afflicted with “a terrible malady,” which “reflects the irreparable breakdown of the civilization’s centre . . . which at one time in history was co-equal, if not briefly superior, to Christendom.”
Paraphrasing William Butler Yeats, Mansur contends that Islam is in the grips of a “rough beast” that has let loose anarchy upon the world. He traces the problem back to the earliest days of Islam, when perverse Muslim rulers renounced the peaceful teachings of the Qu’ran by slaughtering each other in a bloody struggle for political power following the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632.
Leishman then relates Mansur’s damning accounts of two major current figures in Islam, and concludes:
In the face of Islamist terrorism, Mansur deplores the “appeasement mentality” of liberal-left multiculturalists in the West as well as the “deafening silence of Muslims, except for lonely voices of feeble opposition.”
He likewise denounces the “double-speak” of Muslim intellectuals and religious leaders in mosques who say “contrary things in English or French and then in Arabic, or Farsi or Urdu.”
Mansur, of course, is a courageous exception: No Muslim has been more outspoken than he in unequivocally denouncing the Islamist terrorists who defame Islam.
As a Muslim, Mansur laments, “We keep assuring ourselves and others that Muslims who violate Islam are a minuscule minority, yet we fail to hold this minority accountable in public. We regularly quote from the Qu’ran, but do not make repentance for our failings as the Qu’ran instructs, by seeking forgiveness of those whom we have harmed.”
He concludes, “We Muslims are the source of our own misery, and we are not misunderstood by others who see in our conduct a threat to their peace.”
I checked around a bit to see what others say about Mansur. Last April he appeared at an event about which Mark Steyn had this to say:
Did you hear about the Catholic, the Jew and the Muslim who walked into a theatre in London, Ontario? It’s a stellar bill – Kathy Shaidle, Ezra Levant and Salim Mansur, three staunch friends of real human rights taking on Canada’s pseudo-“human rights” racket – live this Monday evening. If you’re in the neighborhood, make sure you’re there.
Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch took issue with Mansur over his interpretation of Islam (I think) in a 2006 FrontPage symposium titled Death for Apostasy? and doesn’t seem to think much of him. However, it seems like an insider quarrel, based on Robert’s belief that Islam is so defective at its root that it cannot be redeemed. I don’t know enough to take sides on that, and I remain impressed. Mansur makes statements that could easily bring a fatwa down on him and probably has; I’m sure he’s received death threats. He seems perfectly open about the atrocities Muslims and Islam have committed and are committing today, so more power to him.