Ibn Warraq is a very courageous man.
Like Salman Rushdie, Ali Sina, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Wafa Sultan, he is an apostate from Islam, and therefore carries a death sentence with him wherever he goes. Until recent months he was known only through his writings — his books, interviews, and articles both online and in print — and never appeared in public or allowed himself to be photographed. His name itself is a pseudonym.
But he recently changed his mind, and appeared in public for the first time last fall to debate Tariq Ramadan. Since then he has made other public appearances, most recently on March 9th in Copenhagen to receive a prize from Trykkefrihedsselskabet, the Free Press Society.
Steen was there with his video camera, and one of the three tapes he made of the occasion is embedded below.
Ibn Warraq spoke at length about Islam, Multiculturalism, and the West. Steen has two more videos available of the event; go over to Snaphanen to watch them all. Don’t worry: the surrounding text is in Danish, but the videos are in English.
Warraq’s appearance made it into the Danish MSM. For an example, see this article by Michael Jalving “Dining with a wanted man” (in Danish). He was also interviewed on Danish public television (in English on DR, see the video here).
When asked about the possibility of a moderate Islam, this was his response:
The 9-11 people — the people who perpetrated the atrocities of 9-11 — were following the orthodox doctrines. They were acting canonically. The theory and practice of jihad was developed from certain verses in the Koran, and then as developed by the theologians, and even great scholars like Ibn Khaldoun endorsed the militaristic verses, or they interpreted these verses in a military manner. So Islam in that sense is not moderate, if you follow it to the letter.
In his writings he returns repeatedly to the self-destructive essence of Multiculturalism. In an article in the most recent edition of City Journal, “Why the West Is Best”, he published his response to Tariq Ramadan:
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The great ideas of the West — rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law and equality under the law, freedom of thought and expression, human rights, and liberal democracy — are superior to any others devised by humankind. It was the West that took steps to abolish slavery; the calls for abolition did not resonate even in Africa, where rival tribes sold black prisoners into slavery. The West has secured freedoms for women and racial and other minorities to an extent unimaginable 60 years ago. The West recognizes and defends the rights of the individual: we are free to think what we want, to read what we want, to practice our religion, to live lives of our choosing.
In short, the glory of the West, as philosopher Roger Scruton puts it, is that life here is an open book. Under Islam, the book is closed. In many non-Western countries, especially Islamic ones, citizens are not free to read what they wish. In Saudi Arabia, Muslims are not free to convert to Christianity, and Christians are not free to practice their faith — clear violations of Article 18 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights…
Moreover, other parts of the world recognize Western superiority. When other societies such as South Korea and Japan have adopted Western political principles, their citizens have flourished. It is to the West, not to Saudi Arabia or Iran, that millions of refugees from theocratic or other totalitarian regimes flee, seeking tolerance and political freedom. Nor would any Western politician be able to get away with the anti-Semitic remarks that former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad made in 2003. Our excusing Mahathir’s diatribe indicates not only a double standard but also a tacit acknowledgment that we apply higher ethical standards to Western leaders.
As Ayatollah Khomeini once famously said, there are no jokes in Islam. The West is able to look at its foibles and laugh, to make fun of its fundamental principles: but there is no equivalent as yet to Monty Python’s Life of Brian in Islam. Can we look forward, someday, to a Life of Mo? Probably not — one more small sign that Western values remain the best, and perhaps the only, means for all people, no matter of what race or creed, to reach their full potential and live in freedom.
It’s no surprise that people like Ibn Warraq, Michael Nazir-Ali, and Patrick Sookhdeo are among the most determined and vociferous advocates of Western values. Intelligent people who have had to live for any length of time in the cultural alternative — the Third World hellholes where sharia and warlords are the normal form of governance — develop a strong appreciation for what the West has to offer, and what we stand to lose if we continue to tolerate the Islamization of our society.
If the Great Jihad succeeds, and Western Civilization is consigned to the dustbin of history, the furtive underground resistance that remains will remember us with its samizdat, and curse us, and wonder how anyone could possibly surrender the unprecedented bounty that we daily take for granted.
Video ©2008 Snaphanen and Trykkefrihedsselskabet.