Muslim reformists say Islam Needs an Age of Reason

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by armchair_jihad, Aug 16, 2007.

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  1. A senior fellow with the European Foundation for Democracy, Irshad Manji is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Trouble with Islam Today," creator of the PBS documentary, “Faith Without Fear” and founder of Project Ijtihad, an international network of reform-minded Muslims.

    In full
  2. A week or so ago, I went to the Southall district west of London. I was struck by the fact that I only saw one white face the whole time I was there. I came away with the impression that there is a large Muslim community there of whom many of its members have little contact with the British community at large. In effect, they exist in a state within a state.

    This is a sad indictment of Labour's long held policy of multi-cuilturism, which they are only now beginning to realise is coming back to bite them in the arrse. I think it is fair to say that our Septic cousins have been far more successful in this regard. Their Muslim community seem far better integrated. Sure they keep their faith and traditions, but they consider themselves loyal Americans and are very much part of the community at large... or at least that's the impression I get from my side of the pond.

    Reformation of the Muslim faith is the only way forward. It is now starting to happen. To cut a long story short, 500 or so years ago, some Arab leader a) raided one of Ghengis Khan's caravans, and b) returned the heads of the envoys Khan sent to demand reparations... mistake... BIG BIG MISTAKE. As a result of a two century Mongol rape and pillage fest (in which many enlightened Muslims died, and many priceless scientific manuscripts of Islamic origin were lost) Islam took a real knock. With their present and future taken away, they looked more and more to the past, and they have been stuck there ever since. Fast forward to Napoleon's conquest of Egypt, various British Imperial battles such as Omdurman and much more recently, the Arab-Israeli wars, the Islamic world is now starting to realise big-time how much catching up it has to do.

    The only way forward would seem to be a full scale reformation of the Muslim faith. Islam as it is practiced today treats women - ie half their population - as 2nd class citizens and actively discourages independent thinking. How many 1st rate Muslim scientists are there for examle? Precious few! Sharia law has a distinctly pre-medieval feel to it, there is little if any distinction between church and state. In short, they are still locked in the past.

    Reform is the only way forward. It is happening - gradually - but progress is slow. Any suggestions from outside seem to be treated as an attack on Islam, and we are now having to deal with an inevitable hard line Islamic back-lash. The reformation of Islam will only come from within Islam itself, which is why people such as Irshad Manji should be given every encouragement. Remember that the Christian Reformation was a long blood-stained process. IMHO the Muslims will get there, but probably not in my life-time.

    SLR (Not to be confused with SLR Boy).
  3. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    There need to be many more people like this chap, spreading the word (delicately) to the rest of Islam. As SLR said, the Muslim religion needs to come out of the dark ages, and bring its captive cultures with it.

    When the oil runs out in the ME, the voice of the Arab people is going to get MUCH quieter, and they will be on very poor trading terms with the rest of the planet. If they get with the program, move the religion forward, and thus, their people, they may yet be able to find a place in global commerce and even get past the long memory of the West in relation to current and past sins.

    Failure to do so, and sticking to strict religious dogma will see them back in the poor house, with NO money, and NO culture that anyone else is even remotely interested in.
  4. Multiculturism is a failure. It would only have a chance of working if ALL sides were willing to meet in the middle. From what I see, the Muslim community seem to be bound by their tight interpretation of their holy books.

    Anyway, this Imam is going in to my Dead Pool ;-)
  5. Agree that as soon as we begin to move away from oil based energy the muslim world will be told where to get off in no uncertain terms. They offer nothing to the wider world but are pi$$ing it off which will reap the whirlwind one day.

    Trying to force this extremist attitude on the rest of us as muslims do and don't be surprised when we reply with extreme measures. I for one am sick and tired of intollerance, murder and torture being excused as the word of god. Its not its barbaric and needs to be pointed out as so.
  6. There is also this interesting article (from ancient history, 2002) on the "modern" Islamic approach to science:

  7. :D Does mean that the virgins are getting away from the suicide bombers? :D
  8. I recalled this BBC piece from 2004 which demonstrates that enlightenment has occurred in an unexpected place:

    It seems ironic that the place where enlightened thinking and practice within Islam has been happening is a place where enlightened thinking on the whole is not encouraged.
  9. Good point, well raised there mate.
    It does appear that the Muslim world is being moved and dictated by the Wahabbis etc. Their take on the holy books is being taken as the way forwards. So therefore we know where the "problem" lies...
  10. I was told the main reason is that the bulk of Sharia was based on pre-existing Arab custom rather than actual Islamic teaching. Take the religion away from a regressive culture and there are more than a few examples around the world where it's an overwhelmingly positive force. China doesn't particularly like outside forces influencing their citizens and there's no real desire amongst ethnic Chinese to be anything other, regardless of religion or lack thereof, so Arabism didn't take hold.

    Anyone remember the Malaysian Red Crescent team that worked around SW Boz in the mid 1990s? I always thought they were great ambassadors for their country and religion.
  12. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    One thing that always strikes me is that the accepted method of expressing a viewpoint in Islamic countries is through a screaming mob of banner-wavers.

    Enthusiasm is one thing, but it really makes me wonder sometimes ...

    I congratulate Ms Manji on expressing what many seem to think ... it may be time for Islam to emerge from the Dark Ages.