A Muslim Declaration for Freedom – GREAT NEWS

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Phyllis Chesler, the author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness, The New Anti-Semitism, and The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.

Dr. Chesler will be chairing the opening panel in the upcoming Secular Islamic Summit Conference of Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents. The Conference will be held on March 4th and 5th in St Petersburg , Florida at the Hilton Hotel. The dissidents are planning to issue a Declaration for freedom throughout the Islamic world.

FP: Tell us about the upcoming Secular Islamic Summit Conference of Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents.

Chesler: As you stated in your introduction Jamie, this landmark Islamic Summit Conference will take place on March 4th and 5th in St Petersburg , Florida at the Hilton Hotel. The conference is being sponsored and co-organized by The Center for Inquiry-Transnational and by the eminent scholar, Ibn Warraq.

As you know, I was once held captive in Afghanistan as the young bride of a very westernized Afghan Muslim man who I met at college. I therefore learned not to romanticize Third World countries, nor to confuse their tyrannical leaders with liberators. I also learned that Islamic religious and gender apartheid and jihad are indigenous to Muslim lands and not due to any European or American crimes. Therefore, this conference of like-minded thinkers is truly stirring my imagination. In many ways, I feel closer to the views of such dissidents than I do to the views of so many of my American intellectual colleagues. I view these dissidents as among the bravest and most enlightened people in the world.

FP: So who will be attending?

Chesler: Delegates from Egypt , Bangladesh , Iran , Iraq , Jordan , Pakistan , Syria , and exiles from a number of Muslim countries who now live in Europe and North America will assemble for this meeting. Speakers include: Mona Abousenna, Nonie Darwish, Fatemolla, Tawfik Hamid, Shahriar Kabir, Nibras Kazimi, Irshad Manji, Wafa Sultan, Amir Taheri, and others whose names also cannot be released for security reasons.

This conference plans to issue a Declaration and to launch a global, humanist movement for “reason, pluralism, and freedom of conscience.” They will call for a new “Enlightenment” in Islamic culture and will release the Declaration at a press conference on Monday afternoon, March 5th, 2007 , in English, Arabic, Farsi, and Bengali to the world media. CONTINUE

February 28, 2007 | Comments Off on A Muslim Declaration for Freedom – GREAT NEWS

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