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Change is Possible

Reader comment on item: Islam's Future [Can Be Modern]

Submitted by Ahmed (United States), Sep 9, 2004 at 17:56

I used to be a devout Muslim. I used to be anti-semitic. I used to believe all the propaganda spread by the Muslim world. My views on terrorism were ambivalent or even supportive. Now I am an agnostic (or perhaps a Humanist). I am not anti-semitic, I'm very anti-terrorist, and I truly feel like I am a loving, tolerant individual.

Part of my journey was a short phase where I called myself a Muslim while shedding the negative beliefs I used to hold. I even believed in the salvation of anyone who was a good person, regardless of religion. It was hard to keep the two together, but I managed for a short while.

Perhaps this may give others hope that Muslims can be made to change their views, and to possibly do that while still holding on to their faith.

Perhaps a two-fold approach consisting of:

1) Convincing Muslims to look critically at their beliefs, and the dangerous individuals who are dragging their reputation in the muck. Part of this may be trying to find some way to reconcile Muslim beliefs with problematic passages in the Qur'an.

2) Fostering a safe atmosphere where more liberal Muslims can speak. Watching their colleagues getting killed or hiding in fear doesn't help the spirit of free speech.


Already there are Muslims (and apostates) speaking out. Not many, but it's a start.

Ibn Warraq is a Muslim apostate. He has written "Why I am Not a Muslim". Those who think Mr. Pipes is harsh should read this book!

Irshad Manji (a Muslim lesbian!) wrote "The Trouble With Islam". She slams current practice, but also defends her liberalized view of Islam.

And of course the venerable Salman Rushdie who is in hiding.

There are more, but those are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head.
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