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Self-Hating Muslim Irshad Manji’s WTF Tweet of the Day

23 August 2011 18 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Irshad Manji and Salman Rushdie

Irshad Manji and Salman Rushdie

Self-Hating Muslim Irshad Manji’s WTF Tweet of the Day

(Update I below)

Muammar Gaddafi’s regime collapsed yesterday, as the capital Tripoli was liberated by freedom-fighters.  As people all over the world rejoiced–including Libyans and Muslims across the globe–this is what faux-progressive Muslim Irshad Manji had to say; she tweeted:

Regardless of what happens in #Libya, may the victims of Pan Am 103 be at rest.” #Qaddafi #Tripoli

Ahmed Rehab tweeted in response:

WTF tweet of the day: @IrshadManji: “Regardless of what happens in #Libya, may the victims of Pan Am 103 be at rest.” #Qaddafi #Tripoli

Rehab described Manji’s tweet in the best possible manner: a WTF tweet.  WTF, indeed.

(“Pan Am 103″ is referencing a terrorist attack in the 1980′s, in which about 270 people were killed.  Libyans were implicated in this attack.  As one reader pointed out, it was actually Gaddafi himself, but Irshad Manji won’t let that fact bother her too much–it was those damn Libyans!)

In any case, a twitter war ensued thereafter, with one person responding to Manji saying:

and how about the 20 thousand Libyans who died in battle fighting Qadafi?

To which Manji replied:

Of course. While we’re busy praising them (rightly), let’s not overlook others. It’s not either/or. It’s and/both.

Umm, yeah.  Except that she specifically chose to highlight a terrorist attack that took place decades ago , without mentioning the thousands of Libyans who were killed recently.  Is it not likely that Manji cares much more about good white folk that die but cares much less about brown Muslims who are killed in record numbers?

The fact that Irshad Manji’s first thought when it comes to Libya is “1980′s Pan-Am 103 terrorist attack” is proof that–far from being the “Muslim representative” she parades around as–she is an outsider posing as an insider, who can only see the Muslim word through the lens of Orientalism.  To her, Libya is reduced to whatever America’s experience and simplistic stereotype of it is.  So, to her, Libya is 1980′s Pan-Am terrorist attack.  The more than two decades of Libyan history that followed after that are largely irrelevant to her understanding of the region.

Ahmed Rehab commented on Manji’s Facebook page:

I found it strange that of all the things that could be said at such a historic moment in the plight of a people dying for their freedom, this is what you could think of. I mean, what is it about Libyan citizens fighting for freedom against a 42 year oppressive rule, giving life and limb, and finally celebrating being on the cusp of finding it, that conjures up a 1980′s terrorist attack in your mind? Very Bizarre for me.

Very bizarre indeed.  WTF more like it.

Update I:

Ahmed Rehab threw another grenade, saying:

@Irshad, the phenomenon of the people of Libya fighting for freedom and celebrating their victory yesterday has nothing to do with a terrorist act by Qaddafi in the 80′s. But since you’re in the business of randomly mentioning things and associating events together because they’re “human too” then why not throw in that tweet mention of the 1000+ dead in the last Gaza war at the hands of an occupation you seem to support and say something like “I wish they too could have seen a free day”? Seems like just as much a logical association if not more than the one you threw out. Come on, why not? What’s happening in your heart that you would need to view this as an either/or scenario, rather than an and/both sentiment?

But of course Irshad Manji doesn’t sympathize with the Palestinians under Israeli occupation.  That would put her in the bad books with the right-wingers and neo-conservatives whose approval she so desperately needs.  So much for the “and/both” claim.

Rehab said further:

There’s nothing wrong with evoking the victims of Hiroshima, but it would be bizarre if one tweeted “regardless of who wins the olympic gymnastics Gold between the US and Romania, I hope the victims of Hiroshima rest in peace” and then when someone rightly wonders WTF, the response is “what is it in your heart that you cannot BOTH celebrate the US gold AND have it in your heart to remember Hiroshima”. It’s the bizarre forced associaton that makes your tweet incoherent. I know you are intelligent enough to grasp this simple point. So, there’s something else going on with you. And I will tell you what it is: expediency. I don’t personally believe that you are concerned with the freedom of Libyans, or with the victims of terrorism for that matter (if you were you’d have – even if once by sheer accident – decried Israeli state terrorism against unarmed Palestinian families). I think instead you are a professional panderer givning a segment of Western society what you think they want to hear from a Muslim to be patted on the back and hansomely rewarded as a “good, civilized, educated” Muslim. And you never waste an opportunity to deliver the goods. In fact, you’ve made a career of mastering that art. You will forgive my honesty.

That’s pretty much spot-on.


  1. Wow this story is simply a Islamic version of calling someone of the same belief system an Uncle Tom.

    Perhaps some people believe that a group of people murdered by a man for which no justice has been done is important to mention when the perpetrator of that injustice is brought low. It seems odd to me that anyone would get upset about the mention of the event, the fact that it has escalated to the point that an article has been written about it indicates to me that the person with the problem is not the one that made the original comment.

    I am happy though that the Libyans are fighting for freedom, it will be interesting to see what they actually get and gain from their actions.

  2. WOW is right and LOL.

    talk about pandering to your target aduiance. so naturally let’s jump to israel. see now that’s hypocricy in my book. but at least he said what the fuck, shows some assimilation. why go crazy about her tweet. i agree with criley.

    or maybe she was reading up on her liybian history and just came across that incident. maybe the celebration in the street brought to mind when the bomber was released from scotland and arrived in liybia to cheers. maybe the use of nato air power reminded her of when reagan bombed gaddafi’s compound and we didn’t kill him and that took her mind to the reason we bombed him. maybe she just got back from lockerbie? but yeah the reaction…..

    i also love the picture with rushdie. what’s that got to do with the story? oh wait, look at her she’s buddy buddy with a blasphemer. can i link in an old question at the risk of 2prez chastising me for bringing up the same thing multiple times? of course for some reason no one has answered to date. somewhat unrelated to the story, other than rushdie’s picture and it happened in the 80s. so who thinks the fatawa on rushdie was justified or not?

  3. Yeah, I admit I don’t know too much about this person the article bashes, but it does seem kinda sh!tty that you’re attacking this other Muslim who made a statement that was perhaps not the best choice at the time, but wasn’t like she said “eff muslims” or something.

    If after the US got Osama Bin Laden someone said “the people in the towers can rest now” and everyone jumped on them for NOT saying “the troops who died trying to find him will rest now” that would be bizarre to me.

    Look, I don’t know this woman, maybe she totally sucks, but I think you’re overstepping a little here. The woman is wishing peace to people who died at the hands of Gaddafi — what’s the problem with that?

  4. It’s crazy how fear-mongers want terrorist attacks (even from the 80s) to be in the spot-light. Shows a lack of consideration for monumentally more important events/tragedies experienced around the world. The people’s victory is the lesson that should be learned at this time, and it’s wrong to belittle these times into just how this effects the terrorist-bogeymen tale.

  5. Congratulations to the people of Libya!

    May dead people rest in peace!

    May the editors of Islamophobia Today leave social media sniping out of this forum!

    This was ridiculous. Surely there is something more worthy of your space than this effort to embarrass a woman. You owe us an apology.

  6. Let me preface this comment by saying that although I am not the biggest fan of Manji’s style, she does provoke discussion. However, this tweet seems to be a non-issue with me. I read it as: “the mastermind of an internationally prominent terrorist attack is no longer in power, and given the inherent uncertainty existing in post-regime change societies, I hope at least – for now – the victims of Pan Am can be at rest.”

    But who knows – I could be wrong. Twitter’s an interesting creature.

    Visit my website – I’ve included Libya in this week’s news rap.

  7. Yeah well Abdullah, other events/tragedies experienced around the world may be more monumentally important to you but to someone else they may be a 5 second headline scan. For many people closure on the Lockerby incident is just now occuring and for them it is important, while for you it should not even be a headline to scan. People focus on different events for different reasons. Today, regardless of ones focus, you can voice your concerns or opinions using many different media options. None of which mean anything except to the people who care about or follow the events discussed. So, you may be following events in Lybia daily while others simply turn off the TV or skip over the headline as it comes up as they do not envision it affecting their lives in any meaningful way.

  8. Great post, thanks for addressing it. She and her cronies are in by no way representatives of Muslims.

    Thanks to Ahmed Rehab as well for being their on behalf of us Muslims to counter the haters whether they be in the Islamophobes Camp or in the camp of Pleasing the Right-Wing to earn the living.

  9. I do not know that woman. I saw her once on some talk show but her tweet (do not know how it arrived to my inbox?) made me say WTF?? In the midst of a war in which thousands upon thousands are fighting (and dying) to get Qadafi she comes off with a WTF tweet that makes no sense at all. Definetly that was not the time to discuss Pan AM victims?. It was a stupid tweet to say the least. It only shows how much hate she has for anything “arabic” or “muslim” yet she still claims to be muslim? She could not get herself to say one good word about Libyans who died fighting Qadafi.

  10. If this woman is Muslim, then the Norway terrorist is a good god-fearing Christian. If this woman is Muslim, Then Obama is the best prez we’ve ever had, lol. If this woman is Muslim, then Hitler was a boyscout and the Jews occupying Palestine are taking over anothers’ land with tea and cookies.

  11. nura,

    how would you define a muslim? i thought that if you proclaimed there to be only one god and muhammad as his prophet, prayed 5 times a day, gave to the poor, observed ramadan, and completed a hajj (if possible) you are considered muslim?

  12. mikey…That’s not enough, a muslim have to be also free from hypocrisy(MUNAFIK’UN) and should always tell the truth, whether it pleases others or Not, for the sake of Allah our creator and only judge, who we as muslims actually frear more than any human being. And this woman is clearly what the Qur’an calls a munafik, thus in many ways worse than the well established haters of Islam themselfs..A munafik like her will put first their pocket and publicity and will not hesitate to sacrafice the truth for the sake of those who are paying them to do so..

  13. sarha,

    “a muslim have to be also free from hypocrisy(MUNAFIK’UN) and should always tell the truth, whether it pleases others or Not” with that litmus test to be a muslim, how many muslims do you think there are in the world? that’s not really fair, impossible to know, right. but it certainly can’t be 2 billion or even 1.5 billion?

    anyways to easier questions, that only ask your opinion. can you not answere my oppenheimer and rushdie questions?

  14. have the Qur’an, please read and read it..

  15. mikey.. Honesty! undividually!..Every soul is responsible of its own in front of Allah alone..

  16. sahra,

    so does that mean you will not answer my guestions on oppenheimer and rushdie?

    i’m reading as fast as i can. well not really i’m reading as fast as i choose. but to be honest the more i read the more scary islam becomes…
    [9.63] Do they not know that whoever acts in opposition to Allah and His Apostle, he shall surely have the fire of hell to abide in it? That is the grievous abasement.
    [9.64] The hypocrites fear lest a chapter should be sent down to them telling them plainly of what is in their hearts. Say: Go on mocking, surely Allah will bring forth what you fear.
    [9.65] And if you should question them, they would certainly say: We were only idly discoursing and sporting. Say: Was it at Allah and His communications and His Apostle that you mocked?
    [9.66] Do not make excuses; you have denied indeed after you had believed; if We pardon a party of you, We will chastise (another) party because they are guilty.
    [9.67] The hypocritical men and the hypocritical women are all alike; they enjoin evil and forbid good and withhold their hands; they have forsaken Allah, so He has forsaken them; surely the hypocrites are the transgressors.
    [9.68] Allah has promised the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women and the unbelievers the fire of hell to abide therein; it is enough for them; and Allah has cursed them and they shall have lasting punishment.
    [9.69] Like those before you; they were stronger than you in power and more abundant in wealth and children, so they enjoyed their portion; thus have you enjoyed your portion as those before you enjoyed their portion; and you entered into vain discourses like the vain discourses in which entered those before you. These are they whose works are null in this world and the hereafter, and these are they who are the losers.
    [9.70] Has not the news of those before them come to them; of the people of Nuh and Ad and Samood, and the people of Ibrahim and the dwellers of Madyan and the overthrown cities; their apostles came to them with clear arguments; so it was not Allah Who should do them injustice, but they were unjust to themselves.
    [9.71] And (as for) the believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin good and forbid evil and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Apostle; (as for) these, Allah will show mercy to them; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.
    [9.72] Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual abode; and best of all is Allah’s goodly pleasure; that is the grand achievement.
    [9.73] O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.

    anyways, you say muslims must tell the truth. don’t be a hypocrite. is not answering, not a form of a lie?


    how about you. you seem more reasonable than many on this website. do you think that oppenheimer (manhatan project) would have been a legitimate target during ww2. and do you think the fatawa by the grand ayathollah khomeini on salmon rushdie was justified. i know those are a little before for your time, but i assume you can google.

  17. @Criley 401:

    If Irshad Menji is considered by some a “sell out” to Muslims I don’t think that makes her an “Uncle Tom” since she’s female someone might label her an “Aunt Jemima” (female counterpart to an Uncle Tom.)

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