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defeat the radicals and establish a reformed orthox branch as an attractor, the idea of doubt

Reader comment on item: Moderate Islam: Western Ally or Western Myth?

Submitted by myth (Germany), Jan 14, 2010 at 17:53

What can the west do to bring change about ? First it needs to defeat the radical islamists worldwide. However you cannot rewrite history, these ideas stay intact. That is why it needs more than moderation meaning a distance to the radical view. What it takes is another attractive orthodox islam, call it reformed. From a standpoint of orthodoxy I understand islam to be the qran, the mohammed example and sharia. Let's put all of those into Dr Pipes' supermarket. I do question that any reformed islam that denies the literacy of the qran would not deserve the name or find any followers.

Therefore I see a solution in reinterpreting the life of mohammed from a structural point of view, that is to say it no longer should serve as an example for everything. Second a reformed islam should get rid of sharia alltogether and start from scratch, In the supermarket model the qran as god's own words would be the fruits,vegetables, meat, naturally grown and pure food. Where as the sharia is more convenience food which has the vegatables on the packaging but was clearly made by somebody other than god. Mohammed in this picture would be someone who went shopping there for a while and discovered the whole place. Getting rid of the literacy of the quran would be changing price tags and labels, selling fruits with fake colours. This fantasy reformed islam would be based on far less texts but with a higher percentage of qran in it. It would be very much a reduced version, creating more freedom. What needs to go in there as an extra is certainly the idea of doubt, free thinking as a principle. How can one bring this about ? I cannot see that any reformist clerics in the muslim world would survive this for a long time.

It is the western world's job to create faculties of progressive islamic research maybe and take care that these faculties stay free from violent islamists in top positions. Non violent islamist would be useful. The first job of such research would be to find any idea from a muslim scholar going back all those 1400 years that would move away from today's orthodoxy and then publish. As for all those muslim women who cannot wait that long: The western governments should do everything to protect any muslim girl born in the west from the day she is born. I consider a breach of family privacy here. Yes, I believe there is a price to pay.

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