Irshad Manji 311.
(photo credit: Wikimedia )
BERLIN – Members of the Salafi group Sharia4Belgium stormed a round-table
discussion on reforming Islam in Amsterdam earlier this month and called
Prof. Irshad Manji and Dutch parliamentarian Tofik Dibi
Under Islamic law, apostasy is punishable by
According to the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy,
20 radical Muslims hijacked an event featuring Muslim reformists, Manji and
Dibi, in Amsterdam.
The extremists repeatedly declared “takfir!”
[apostate] thereby ordering the execution of Manji and Dibi.
threatening to break Manji’s neck, they demanded the event, sponsored by the
European Foundation for Democracy, be stopped.
Dibi, 31, is from the
Green- Left party and is of Moroccan descent.
Manji, born in Uganda in
1968 to parents of Egyptian and Gujarati descent, was raised in Vancouver and is
Manji is a Muslim scholar who advocates a modernized Islam. She
heads New York University’s Moral Courage Project, which seeks “to develop
leaders who will challenge political correctness, intellectual conformity and
Manji is the best-selling author of The Trouble with
Islam Today: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith
. She is in European cities
to promote her latest book, Allah, Liberty and Love.
Manji said, “I never
felt afraid. Not once. Neither did Tofik. In fact, all of us refused to leave,
even when police asked. We wouldn’t play on jihadi terms. Some things are simply
more important than fear.”
Dibi, said “the disruption shows that even in
the Netherlands it is necessary to continue the debate on reforming
Roberta Bonazzi, executive director of the European Foundation
for Democracy, said “the voice of democratic Islam will not be silenced by
extremism. We are united and will continue to support inspirational Muslim
reformers across Europe.”
The disruption and the threats are on YouTube,
which list “Sharia4Belgium” and “Sharia4Holland” as its producers.
Salafis threw eggs at Dibi and spat on Manji, according to Dutch
Police arrived, and two of the protesters were arrested for
issuing threats and insults.