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A Very Concerned Reader and can Islam be reformed? and reading Albert Hourani's "Liberal Age."

Reader comment on item: Can Islam Be Reformed?
in response to reader comment: I'd love that someone could demonstrate that Islam can be reformed

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), May 19, 2021 at 12:48

I agree with Dr. Pipes. Islam can change, more so with the help of Arabic speaking young people, and hopefully for the better. And it did happen before.

I urge you to read Albert Hourani's: "Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age 1798-1939."


And the change between 1798-1939, came from within the Islamic tradition by the likes of Sheikh al-Tahtawi and Sheikh Mohamed 'Abdo. The results of reforms, in the case of Egypt, were very impressive. And the key to the reforms was education of the masses and the equality of women and non Muslims in all aspects of life. Yes it took a very long time to lower the rates of illiteracy but it worked.

However, as would be expected, orthodoxy is never far behind. And in the case of Egypt, Hassan el-Banna the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood championed the orthodoxy that gave rise to this fascist ideology.

There is a viral video of no other than Gamal 'Abd el-Nasser making fun of the demand of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood that Egyptian women should cover their hair with al-Hijab and that was in the 1950's. If you do a search on YouTube of let us say Cairo in the 1960's you will be surprised to see that almost all women did not wear a Hijab. Compare it with 2021 and it is the exact opposite. Nasser's answer was Egyptian women are too free and will never agree to wearing al-Hijab. See how much have changed in the past 50 years in Egypt?

The lesson to be learned: Never trust the orthodoxy.

Here is a link to Nasser's speech about the Hijab :



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