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A voice of reason.

Reader comment on item: Where's the Muslim Debate?

Submitted by Graham Spence (United Kingdom), May 23, 2003 at 06:09

Over the past two years, I have expended an enormous amount of time and energy getting to grips with Islam, with each new piece of information, opinion and discovery leading me to feel that within Islam there was no voice of reason. Occasionally, very occasionally I have come accross single Muslim voices expounding reason, logic and humanity, and each of these people have one thing in common: they do not look to the Koran for the source of their morality.

Personally, I have always been dubious about the merits of good deeds done in part payment for eternal salvation. The concept of gaining entry to heaven by a series of "Jesus Points" or "Mohammed Points" had for me always reduced God to little more than an acceptor of Green Shield Stamps: collect 5000 stamps, and go to purgatory, colect 50,000 and its wine, self re-sealing virgins and honey from here to eternity: in the process, morality is reduced to little more than a Wall Mart Loyalty Card.

I have always placed those who do good deeds for no other reason than "it was the only corect thing to" do above anyone who does the same act so that God won't get angry with them, or to build up their credit in the Eternal Paradise Mall and Leisure Centre. Those amongst us who fit the "Right Reason" category have certain things in common. They all end up saying " I only did what anyone else would do in the same circumstances" and, despite all the evidence to the contrary, actually beleive this.

The second thing they have in common is their humanity. It shines through their words, whether written or spoken, and the same is true of their actions. Nelson Mandella does not quote his motives from religious texts; the same was true of Schweitzer, Cassals, and Ghandi. Mr. Haqqani in his words, albeit in a smaller way shows similar lack of need. In short, what makes these people stand out is that it is their their love of humanity that drives them, not an adherence to any doctrine, and if this pleases their God, then that is a nice bonus.

From his few brief words in this article, it is possible for me to know that he is, quite simply a good man. The fact that he is a Muslim then becomes irrelevant. This is what our religious leaders should be aiming at. Good deeds, good sense and reason, not because your God demands it, but simply because anything else is not even considered as a possibility.
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