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To Mr. Akhtar

Reader comment on item: Bush Declares War on Radical Islam
in response to reader comment: Bush Declares war on Radical Islam

Submitted by iasius (India), Oct 27, 2005 at 15:12

Your statement, "This applies strictly to the saudi wahabist and the irani extremist shia versions of islam, not the other schools such as shaafis, sufis, etc." raises further questions.

Both the mildest "moderate" sufi and his wahhabi co-religionist follow the same Quranic tenet of absolute uniqueness and exclusivity of Islam coupled with absolute abhorrence and disdain for every other doctrine. Both have indissoluble faith in Islam's essential premises. They can't, either of them, for instance doubt that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was given the Quran by Allah Himself through Archangel Gabriel, or disbelieve in the Day of Judgment. They only differ in the method they would adopt for world Islamization, that being the ultimate Quran-ordained aim of both. I entertain no doubt whatsoever that, irrespective of the school of Islam to which you nominally belong and given the inalienability of an "Islamic" identity you avowedly profess (as you wrote in an earlier post), you too would be faced with a mammoth quandary if asked point blank to accept that another faith is equally true and valid. So, it is really not a matter of geographic location, level of education or Islamic school of thought. It is, rather, entirely of Islam itself.

You wrote, "They do everything for the arab league, yet when dealing with the non-arab muslims, they use the 'Islam card'". It sure is heartening to note that non-Arab Muslims have begun, at long last, to realize the rules of the game begun 14 centuries ago! Anwar Shaikh wrote about it in his book, "Islam: The Arab National Movement" (available online at http://www.islamreview.org/AnwarShaikh/arabnationalism/ ).

You also wrote, "reformation of islam is just a means to make it more compatible with the current state of societies.. maybe compare to prestantism vs cathlocism". "Reformation" in Christianity is just another name for the gradual process by which the Church and its henchmen – the clergy - were unceremoniously relieved of wholly secular powers they had arrogated to themselves in the name of god at the turn of the Common Era. However, that development did not affect an iota of its exclusivity, or its claims to unique possession of the "truth", which are as much in place today as ever they were. The Pope still struts around presumptuously telling so-called "heathens" all over the world that they can only be "saved" through Christ. He and thousands like him have made this charade into a highly lucrative profession, and the rest of us are gullible enough to accord pious respectability to it! Perceptions about papacy and its socio-economic consequences were the actual reasons behind the Catholic-Protestant schism. The pope's infallibility and the selling of indulgences were some of the issues involved, NOT incredible – almost ludicrous – claims like Christ was the only begotten son of god! But notice how that claim, along with other equally fanciful myths, still forms the main crutch on which the Church merrily blunders along. But for the discovery of the two Americas and a sea-route to the East, the Church and Christianity might have died a natural, unsung and unlamented death in their European home. But with new avenues opened by those discoveries, tyranny at home translated into imperialism abroad. There was only palpably cosmetic change of policy and methods, which, as you wrote, was "just a means to make it more compatible with the current state of societies". No, Mr. Akhtar, "genuine" and "sincere" reform occurs when rational discourse engenders review and subsequent amendment or just plain abandonment of fundamental tenets found incompatible with current human intelligence, logic and reason. Otherwise, like contemporary Christianity (its much-vaunted "goodness" notwithstanding), every such reform only becomes another deception, infinitely worse than the first. While the first - founding of the religion on complete myth - was bad enough morally but only affected an insignificant population, the second - of superficial "reform" - was undertaken to keep pure concoction alive by disarming a far larger global population and shrewdly instilling in its mind a false, 'goody-goody' notion about the true motives of the business. Moreover, that reform freed merely European from the yoke of the clergy, but callously facilitated – even encouraged - Church antics in newly discovered and enslaved lands. (The deeds of those good "Soldiers of Christ" were so pious indeed that they ought never to be told as bed-time stories to little children, or even to adults with weak stomachs. )

Because it is perfectly within the rights of individuals to believe in whatever they wish, myth may become the basis of personal faith. But it must be restricted to one's own self. It cannot become a criterion for either viewing, judging, moulding or manipulating the rest of mankind. But this is precisely what followers of Abrahamic faiths in particular have been taught by their doctrines to do. And there lies the crunch!

Abrahamic faiths in particular, owing to near-total absence of truly profound spiritualism in their repertoire, are characterized by a self-righteous belief of supremacist exclusivity and uniqueness that is their sole "raison d'ĂȘtre". In my view, therefore, unless and until exclusivism and uniqueness (most of which is based on perfectly imaginary premises, anyway) inherent in scriptures is abandoned, none of the Abrahamic faiths, through ijtehad or otherwise, are capable of any GENUINE reform, and whatever happens will only be compounding deception further.

And changing the mainstay is tantamount to dismantling those faiths.

The bell is in hand; the cat, too, isn't very far away. But who's to do the "belling"? Mr. Akhtar?

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