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Reader comment on item: Can Islam Be Reformed?

Submitted by myth (Germany), Jul 4, 2013 at 08:37

The "Medieval Synthesis" still constitutes a form of legalism. In essence this synthesis neighbors the Islamist thinking. Purists will denounce the pragmatic ingredient as corrupt. But they use the same legalistic arguments as the "Medieval Synthesis". The purists and the reformers both believe in the institution of Islamic law.

Hundreds of years ago a government had little grip on the lives of the majority of illiterate people, nor could it penetrate deeply. Government needed a state apparatus, that is people, to even spread the law. The purists back then had limited outreach when held down by a moderate government.

Today's context facilitates the application of law. The Islamists understand that. They can use modern communication and penetrate every home with an internet connection. They do not need a state organization or a state apparatus. I find it hard to imagine how a government today could cut out the Islamists and yet uphold freedom. The multiplier of modern communication would shorten periods of moderation significantly compared to medieval times.

A substantial reform of Islam would abandon the legalistic thinking altogether. The West shares the dangers of legalism with Islam. The film "Judgement at Nuremberg" discusses the topic of legalistic thinking. In it, the Spencer Tracy character responds to the Maximilian Schell character ( I paraphrase ) "logical does not mean right".

Is legalism actually anchored in the quran? I know, the book explicitly wants people to read it. Does it require the readers to write in the same way? Does it explicitly demand a book of Islamic law?


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