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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Blogger: Can Islam be Reformed?

Reflections of a blogger: What will it take to reform Islam?

by Poul Højlund, March 28, 2006:

Some weeks ago Big Pharaoh pointed out why he was not impressed with Wafa Sultan as she bashed Islam at al Jazeera.

Big Pharaoh stated that as Mrs. Sultan left Islam, no Muslim will listen to her:

“We don't need former Muslims, we don't need atheists, we don't need lesbians, what we need are reform minded Muslim thinkers. Only these people have the necessary legitimacy to pull us from the dark abyss we're in now. “

I understand the logic of the comment, - and I even think he’s right.
Click Continue ..
So to get the Muslims to listen, we must get hold of some reform minded Muslim thinkers, able to say the same in the same way as Wafa Sultan did.

But then the next question follows: Do they exist? Is it possible somewhere to find what Big Pharaoh wants: reform minded Muslim thinkers? Are they not either hardliners in disguise such as Tariq Ramadan, - or simply kicked out of Islam for heresy like Dr. Nawal el-Saadawi?

Is it at all possible to remain Muslim without opting for the whole package including all of the Shari’ah as the law of society?

My answer so far: No.

The answer is based on the simple fact that no Islamic theology exists without all of the Shari’ah, to the very letter.

Check this example among others; its conclusion – after a long and pretty accurate discussion on modernizing Islam:

“Only we are responsible for making our voices heard loud and clear, and to show that we wholeheartedly reject all attempts to alter the ‘objectives’ or the ‘letter’ on which the Shariah is based, for if we do not fulfil our responsibility now, the future generations may never forgive us.”

The crucial point is as always the same - and indeed very simple:

1) God dictated the Koran, and every single word is the word of God – if you have any doubts here, wave goodbye to Islam as the Gabriel dictate is the real proof of God in the system

2) Trying to interpret, modernise or criticise the word of God is – of course - heresy

3) Heresy is a mortal crime due to the same text,

The system is made that way: it’s a circular system of logic deriving both its foundation, its interpretation and its logic from the same text: say no to just one item and the whole cardhouse tumbles.

And of course the system offers the punishment for any act that jeopardizes the system. It’s self-protecting to the level where any critical thinking is mortal, - and furthermore: abandoning the ship is equally mortal.

4) It takes a reform like the one Luther threw upon the then Catholic church to change Islam, - but remember: the Bible by nature and by Jewish tradition was open to interpretation. The Koran is literally the word of God, - not meant for interpretation by man.

Ergo: Islam cannot and can never change.

So, Big Pharaoh, either – or! Either Muslim or not. Attempts to criticize, to reform, to abandon, to moderate etc. are mortal – due to the system’s self-protective nature and self-preservation.

Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

Muslims have 1300 years of experience in this dangerous field, - as do the rest of the world. This is exactly why we need former Muslims more than anything else.

How former Muslims will believe in God, what names they want to call God, how they want to worship God is yet to be seen.

There are plenty of options.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Catch 22

The only way it can be changed is from within, by someone who realizes it is wrong,
but it can't be wrong,
so that automatically disqualifies him from making the necessary changes.

Yeah, that sounds about right to me.

28 March, 2006 07:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. God wants it that way
2. if you want to know which way, see (1.)
3. If you dont want it God's way, see (1.)
4. If you are confused by now, see (1.)

28 March, 2006 13:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is another catch 22:

Only Muslims can be reformists. But if a Muslim criticizes Islam, he has left the faith, and therefore, his criticism should be ignored!

This is not religion. It is lunacy.

And Prophet Muhammed slept with a 9 year old girl!

28 March, 2006 13:32  
Blogger ph said...

It certainly looks like Catch 22.

But there must be some way forward - there has to be one. But which?

One of the articles of todays "Blogger's reading this morning" talks of interpreting the texts. I'm in no way an Islam expert, but isn't this what is called Itjihad - restarting the interpretation of the texts and adoptning to modern times?

Some researchers in Denmark is currently working on a new and scientific translation - hopefully available as datafiles with search options.

This might enable researchers to establish some sort of critical textual approach to the Koran, - shifting its status away from the litteral word of God to the oral words of an illeterate man in an historical context.

I'm loooking forward, - and I really would appreciate if some Muslims could join this debate.

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