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Mohammed Saleem Akhtar's call to reform Islam

Reader comment on item: Bush Declares War on Radical Islam
in response to reader comment: Mohammaed Saleem Akhtar's version of Islam

Submitted by John Bastile (Hong Kong), Oct 22, 2005 at 06:27

Mohammed Saleem Akhtar's call for a need for Islamic leaders to sit down and reform Islam is a noble idea. If it's done, we may have peace in our times. However, I don't agree that reformation will be possible. Any attempt to reform Islam by a group of people will result in the "Reformed Islam" being just another division of beliefs. We already know of Sunnis, Shias, Wahabbis, Sufis, etc. If you tried, you'll be branded as with a name.

Islamic teachings encompass all things in life, which means that Islamic practices cover spiritual, social and political arenas. Reformation within Islam will be seen as a "threat" by one group of muslims as a form of "social, political or cultural" invasion of another. Will muta be abolished? Will honour killing stop? Will there be Sharia laws? Can Islam embrace secularism? Will you look at secular Turkey as a benchmark?

To reform Islam successfully, you need a person (a statesman, or a diplomat) that has enough charisma and leadership quality to galvanise the muslims. A person that can appeal to all categories of muslims. A popular person similar to the late Pope John Paull II, who tried to forge unity and reconciliation amongst the christians - Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox) as well as non-christians. A person that both the young and old would listen to. At the moment, the person closest to this criteria is Osama bin Laden.

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