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learn, then criticize

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

Submitted by Umar Gunderson (United States), Aug 13, 2002 at 23:18

Surely the response of some muslims, and their apologetics for Al Qaeda and Hamas, deserves criticism. But this criticism should be based on correct knowledge. I see precious little of that in the readers comments in this article. Lets just consider a few:

Abrogation: yes, some verses of Quran have been abrogated by others. The verse 'Let there be no compulsion in religion', and O people! We have formed you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another', are not among them.

Further the verse referred to,
Then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them. And seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them, refers to actions to be taken in a time of war. When peace is declared, the fighting also stops. This in no way allows forced conversion.

Another reader says Islam "is based on war, conquest and forced conversion." Well, I have been a muslim over 12 years, attended Friday prayer and heard the sermon every friday since then, read fairly extensively. conversed with muslims from around the globe, and never has Islam been presented this way. This is not what Islam is based on. Where is the support for this readers incorrect statement?

Finally, as a remedy, Mr Pipes supports changing some traditional practices, and that this provides a basis for hope. If you refer to cultural practices not supported by the Quran and SUnnah, then the point is well taken. For example, the practice of honor killings and female circumcision, should be eradicated. These are traditional practices, and not supported by the Quran and Sunnah - in fact they are unlawful. On the other hand a muslim woman is not allowed to marry a non muslim, based on the sunnah. Muslims will not change this, as we are not authorized to change it - these laws come from Allah. Distinctions need to be clearly made, and correct knowledge referred to, if you want to make a serious criticism.
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