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Voices of moderate Islam

Reader comment on item: On Islam and Islamism
in response to reader comment: Voices of moderate Islam

Submitted by Coyote_Ugly (Canada), Mar 24, 2008 at 20:48

I see Salim Mansur as one voice for a moderate Islam.

Irshad Manji would be another.

There is also the silent majority of practitioners, who do the prayers, help out the poor, build bridges with their neighbours and otherwise try to fit into the larger culture, wherever that may be.

Maybe Wafa Sultan or Hirsi Ali could not properly be considered to be moderate voices of Islam, because they have in fact left Islam and are voices from outside the religion, if not outside the culture.

Certainly, those who take all the verse of the Koran literally and as an end-times call to violence today do make Islam itself a part of the problem. Medieval interprations too are ill-suited for our deeper, more nuanced modern understandings of reality. Likewise, those who by stealth or by force are trying to make the traditional Sharia laws effective in diverse countries of the world are part of the problem.

But there are also those who read the Koran meditatively, who interpret the Sharia figuratively as allowing Allah a voice in justice, and who are reinterpreting the struggles and the battles laid out in the Koran and the Hadith to be fundamentlaly inner struggles. There are those who reinterpreting Mohammed's life as a perfection relative to his time and culture, who see him as setting Arabic culture on the road to a firmer morality and tolerance, but do not necessarily see his actions as being appropriate for anything but the maruading Arab culture that served as the backdrop for his own specific biography.

Mohammed was not the son of God after all, but a man with a biography specific to a time and a place. There therfore remains the possibility that such Moslems will see the modern Islamic tendancy to deify Mohammed into an eternal figure like the Christian Jesus as being a form of sacrilege.

In the end, it is up to individual Moslems if they will find the path to integrating their religion into a larger pluralistic global community, or not. there is nothing that we on the outside can do in this regard.

But Daniel Pipes is quite right. If this road is not an option all other roads lead to an apocalypse-either for them, or ourselves, or for all.

If not a moderate Islam, then the apocalypse.


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