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Reader comment on item: Foreword: Why Islam's Reformers are Vitally Important
in response to reader comment: Ironically speaking...

Submitted by ECAW (United Kingdom), Jul 20, 2017 at 09:47

1 I take "ironic" in this sense to mean coincidental in an unexpected or incongruous way. It is coincidental that some counterjihad people share the same view of Islam as the people called Islamists but I see nothing unexpected or incongruous about it, in the same way that I see nothing unexpected or incongruous in firefighters and arsonists sharing the same view on the danger of fire. I think the jihadis and the "Islamists" have it pretty much right about the example of Mohammed and the demands of Allah, and I therefore find their actions quite expected.

2. Islamic interpretations have indeed changed over time but I maintain only over superficial elements. Will the five pillars ever disappear from Islamic orthodoxy, or the belief that the Koran was Allah speaking or that Mohammed was the last of the prophets? I don't think so but I couldn't care less about any of those things, only whether Islam is inherently and unavoidably supremacist regarding the rest of us. I think it is, to the point that if supremacism was abandoned then Islam would crumble since Allah cannot be seen to settle for anything less than total control.

As for the theology, it seems to me that the greatest scholars have already produced a distillation of Islam in the manuals of the various schools of jurisprudence so we can reliably refer to them. For instance, on the subject of supremacism, section O.8.7 (20) of the Reliance of the Traveller says it is apostasy "to deny that Allah intended the Prophet's message to be the religion followed by the entire world".

I have the impression that Islamic orthodoxy became more or less preserved in aspic thereafter. Muslims have told me "Oh that's just a mediaeval textbook" but al-Azhar certified it as "conforming to the faith and practice of the orthodox Sunni Community" ie "conforming" - present tense. If you know of an authoritative update to it with the horrors genuinely discarded I would be grateful to learn of it because I cannot find one, only slippery evasions.

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