Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Trouble with Irshad Manji

Is Irshad Manji supportive of Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine? In a New York Times op-ed on March 18, 2006 entitled, “How I Learned to Love the Wall” her answer appears to be yes. Actually, the title tells us all we need to know.

Ms. Manji is making a name for herself as the “go to person” on Islam, kind of like a Muslim Henry Louis Gates. You know the type. The New York Times and the rest of the corporate media maintain a hotline to their cell phones. In return for joining the punditocracy, they tell the media and the politicians what they want to hear about the group they claim to represent. They always give the powers that be a pass. It is a good deal for Manji, Gates and their ilk.

In her op-ed Manji condemns suicide bombing, as she ought to do. However, she is struck dumb on the subject of deaths caused by the occupiers. She says nothing about bull dozed homes, nothing about babies dying in childbirth when their mothers in labor were not allowed to pass through check points. She says nothing about the Israeli violence that has killed Palestinians. Manji neglects to mention that Israel knew as early as 1967 that the occupation was illegal.

The occupation of Palestine is a violation of Israeli law, international law and of human rights. It doesn’t matter that Manji is a Muslim. Her support for the occupation tells us that she is more concerned with vilifying certain segments of the Muslim community than she is in speaking out against oppression. That is the trouble with Irshad Manji.