The New Islam project

Meet Tahir Aslam Gora.

Tahir Aslam Gora is a Canadian-Pakistani writer, novelist, poet, journalist, editor, translator and publisher…In 2005 Gora translated into Urdu Irshad Manji’s book, The Trouble with Islam. He is currently translating Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel. Gora writes a column for The Hamilton Spectator and is currently working on two manuscripts; one on Canadian multiculturalism, the other on Islam and the need for its transformation into “a humane theology.” In Pakistan he was a noted critic of religious intolerance. He fled to Canada in the spring of 1999 following threats to his life.

A critic of religious intolerance who received threats to his life by people keen to show what religious intolerance really is.

[M]any Muslims have for centuries excluded non-Muslims from their orbit. In addition, the traditional script of the Qur’an exhorts repulsion of ‘others’ much more than acceptance. Many Muslims are unwilling to realise that the Qur’an was written and compiled by the pioneers of Islam through different political stages. Instead, many take the book as the final verdict of God…Now, for many, the whole essence of Islam is repulsion of others.

Hence the popularity of death threats and fatwas, no doubt.

Liberal Muslims are not only silenced by literalist Muslims, but also by those non-Muslims who have developed the hollow pattern of being ‘fair’ and ‘tolerant’ to every religion. The existence of ‘political fairness’ among large circles of non-Muslim activists is actually a much bigger obstacle than extremist Muslims because those non-Muslim activists dominate the media outlets across the world and often ignore genuinely liberal Muslim voices.

Don’t they just. Well, good luck, Tahir Aslam Gora; let me know if I can do anything to help.

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