The Great Pretenders Of The "Secular Islam" Conference
When Irshad Manji penned her volume "The Trouble with Islam: A Muslim's Call for Reform Within Her Faith", she was promoted to instant stardom. Here, finally, was a Muslim who told the Western world what they wanted to hear. Joyous in their discovery, the Western media enveloped her in a loving embrace of publicity, adulation, and unquestioned faith. But that was three years ago. Since her initial entrance into the Islam reform marketplace, the field has become notably more competitive. Not least of Ms. Manji's problems is the increasingly recurrent critique that both her arguments and her rhetoric lack legitimacy among Muslims themselves. Not surprisingly, Manji – now a skilled entrepreneur in packaging the rhetoric of Muslim reform to suit the Western public – has restyled her arguments to suit the changing demands of the market. A version of this new and only arguably improved Manji was available for consumption at the recent Secular Islam Conference organized by the Intelligence Summit this past weekend in St. Petersburg, Florida.