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Is Islam stuck, or is Wahhabism the real problem?

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran

Submitted by Pat (United States), Jan 19, 2006 at 17:33

From what I've read, the Koran went through many interpretations over time as it spread among peoples on three continents. That appeared to have stopped with the advent of Wahhabism. The Wahhabist vision of "reformation" was to return to the original text of the Koran and suffer no disagreements over its meaning.

But how original is today's Koran? The words came from God, but haven't they been copied and recopied by humans over the centuries? Is it not possible that some of the original text has been inadvertently altered or lost, making a literal interpretation difficult?

Is Islam really stuck or is its path to the future being blocked by Wahhabism? The Wahhabists sought to "rescue" Islam from the traditions that had been adopted in its first thousand years and return it to its original form. Their reforms led to the destruction of much of the history of Arabia, including Mecca and Medina. In their zeal to preserve a "pure" Islam, are the Wahhabists saving Islam or facilitating its destruction?
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