What are the Quasi Muslims really selling?

“Every day newspapers, TV shows, radio programs, new books and lectures revolve around the topic of the ‘threat’ of Islam and its relation to the West. Islam has become a commodity, a business to be exploited. The list of super stars and ‘experts’ that are part of this Hollywood-esque movement of cashing in on Islam has become quite long; at the head of the list are Quasi Muslims such as Brigiette Gabriel, Walid Shoebat, Nonie Darwish, and Ibn Warraq….

“Quasi Muslims are not only united in a deep distrust of Islam and Muslims but also in a program of vile hatemongering thinly disguised as intellectual criticism and absolute truth. In a lecture at the University of Memphis, Brigiette Gabriel called Arabs ‘Barbaric’. Walid Shoebat and Ibn Warraq have consistently claimed that Islam is the new totalitarian threat to the world, the new ‘fascism’, the new ‘Nazism’ even though these concepts are uniquely Western products. In any other circumstance or in reference to any other religion this rhetoric would be dismissed for what it is: hate speech….

“A grave consequence of legitimizing these polarizing and obscurantist personalities is that it takes away from the scholars, academics, and lay people that are engaged in real reform and criticism. Voices such as those of Tariq Ramadan, Khaled Abu Fadl, Heba Ezzat, Suhaib Webb and others are voices that have a pulse on the Muslim community and are much more deserving of a hearing from the wider public.”

M.T. Akbar at Media Monitors Network, 23 June 2007