Leaving Islam



Thinking is Not Crime

Sorge L. Diaz 


Barely two weeks ago, Harvard President Lawrence Summers ignited a controversy by thinking. One would expect an August institution such as Harvard to reward thinking, not punish it, but Mr. Summers committed what is regarded in some circles as a thought crime: he thought the dominance of men in the physical sciences could be partially explained by innate differences between men and women.  

That Mr. Summers was on trial for a thought crime can be seen in the reaction to his words, or rather, to the reaction to the straw man created from his words. MIT Biologist Nancy Hopkins started the straw-stuffing shortly after the echo from Summers’ words had stopped: “He shouldn’t admit women to Harvard if he’s going to announce when they come that, hey, we don’t feel that you can make it to the top”, she announced. The National Organization of Women, callously followed suit in their call for Lawrence Summers’s resignation:  

"In Summers' Jan. 14 remarks, he proposed that innate genetic differences between the sexes may be one explanation for why fewer women succeed in math and science careers. NOW applauds the women who challenged his comments at the conference and afterward. We thank the hundreds (if not thousands) of women who have written to newspapers and to Summers directly to set him straight about the challenges that face women in still-non-traditional fields.  

"The notion that women are innately inferior to men is simply archaic," said Gandy. "For decades, women have been making dramatic advances in science and technology fields while negotiating a minefield of gender stereotypes and obstacles created by ignorance. It has been a rocky road, but women have risen to the challenge. It's time to remove the barriers, and one of them is Lawrence Summers."  

Mr. Summer's failure to either state “women can’t make it to the top” or “the notion that women are innately inferior to men,” in no way stopped the accusations from coming forward.  

Thought Crimes against Islam  

However vicious the attacks on Lawrence Summers have been, at least he did not criticize Islam. Criticizing Islam brings forth a barrage of abuse, condemnation, and deceit usually reserved for the worst thought offenders. Accusations of racism are a favored tool used in what I'll describe by its rightful--if cumbersome--name: ritualistic character assassinations.  

Such attempted character assassinations, I'm sorry to report, usually end up in character murder. A person thus targeted ends up with a damaged reputation, forever answering questions about their alleged racism, their adherence to Zionism, their hatred of Islam.  

Under such pressure, individual thought-offenders such as radio host Paul Harvey--who said on air that Islam encourages killing--usually cave in to apology demands. Those apologies, surely, are often insincere and meaningless, but apologies they are, giving the character murderers the clout they don’t deserve and the legitimacy they crave.  

Those who refuse to apologize, such as Daniel Pipes, endure a worse fate. Dr. Pipes was nominated by President Bush to the United States Institute of Peace, a decision that did not please the Muslim supremacists at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR mounted a campaign to discredit Dr. Pipes, which resulted in servile Democrat Senators refusing to grant him a confirmation hearing.  As a consequence, Dr. Pipes was unable to obtain a permanent position at the United States Institute of Peace.  

Such vicious attacks and their aftermaths, understandingly result in what has been called a chilling of speech. Individuals and Institutions who might otherwise criticize Islam choose to remain silent. Some of them might even, in the name of political correctness, propagate what ought to be described as pro-Islam falsehoods. Truth is thus drowned in a sea of platitudes.    


The Gravest Danger  

Chilling of speech, however, is not the worst consequence of the ritualistic character assassinations. That occurs in the mind, when we refuse to think offending thoughts. When we fear to speak our minds, when we want to avoid conflict, when we wish tough choices--the really tough choices--would just go away, we end up installing a mind censor: and there are no worse censors than those ones.  

The reader might doubt he carries something as insidious as a mind censor. Fair enough; I’ll leave it to the every individual to evaluate his own mind. Yet, if the reader:  

·     Thinks it is a good idea to stop Muslim immigration into the West, but a soft voice murmurs “racism.”  

·     Doubts the desirability of the Sudanese or Israeli Peace Processes, but his soul longs for peace.  

·     Sees the failure of our “hearts and minds” campaigns, but his own heart cries “compassion.”  

The reader should reflect.  

Freeing the Mind  

A few years ago, I was sitting in an Introduction to Philosophy class. The wise Professor asked:  

"What is more important, to know what is right, or to do what is right?"  

"To know what is right,” I answered, "because if you don't know the address, how can you get there?"  

To know the address, we must explore all paths. To know the nature of our enemies, to map our plan of action, we must to examine all ideas, even “heretical” ones. The mind censor should have no power over our thoughts, and no control over our subsequent actions. I urge you to think boldly and freely – our own future, nay, the future of the world, is at stake.  





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