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My response to some of these comments...

Reader comment on item: A Muslim reformation?

Submitted by Adil Manzoor. (United States), Dec 11, 2005 at 14:56

Aslaam Alaykum. Islamic Reformation? Hmm interesting. I found this website looking for Verse 9:11 of the Quran.

Nevertheless, I read all of these posts, and wanted to respond to some.

SAbry Fawzy Gohara, M.D.: I wanted to clear up some things you said. You said "Unfortunately, the Koran itself contains verses that clearly urge the "believers" to fight and kill the infidels (the Jews and the Christians). No Moslem is capable of or will be willing to abrogate a single word from Islam's holy book. Removing these hate inducing verses from the Koran, as should be the first step towards any attempt to implement a permanent reform, is simply impossible."

I want to correct you on the statement that "Koran itself urges the believers to fight and kill the infidels (the Jews and the Christans). You have an M.D but there is one thing that you lack; the notion behind killing the infidels. If you have read the Quran, and studied just a little bit of Islamic history, you should know that at that time the Muslims were told to protect themselves and their religion. Surely, you should think about the events at that time.

To give you an overview: That time was a time when Islam started to rise, but hypocrites, such as the Jews, who believed that their race was superior to all races, wanted to suppress and destroy any developing religion. They were plotting against Muhammad upon be peace and blessings, and they were plotting against the Muslims. In the Koran, it does say to fight and kill the infidels, but again please think about the notion of that time. I have been reading the Koran in English, my first time, and have not seen any hatred or contempt towards any religion or race. But, I've seen dislike for those who have tried to end Islam.

Also, you say that the infidels are the Jews and the Christans, but I you should know that Moses, and Jesus are one of the most respected prophets in Islam, and every Muslims must have respect for both of them. And, if they have respect for both of them, they have respect for the Jews, and the Christans. In personally think that every Muslim must believe in the general notion of both Judaism and Christianity in order to be a Muslim. Also, you said Moreover, the Koran tells every believing Moslem that the only accepted religion to Allah is Islam, and that Abraham, Moses and Jesus were Moslems!"

I am sorry but you are wrong. You have probably heard of this from discourses with Muslims. You should know that Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them all) were sent as prophets to warn the hypocrites and the sinners, but were not 'Moslems' because the notion of Moslems came centuries later, when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent. Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (May peace and blessings be upon them all) were sent to spread the message of Allah, the one and only true God.

You said "Another difficulty with a possible Islamic reformation and its chances to succeed is that there is no, and there will never be, a recognized authority to interpret and implement such a reformation. Islam prIdes itself on the fact that it does not have a priestly class which can shape up and carry out such a reform. Any Moslem is encouraged to interpret his faith the way he understands it. The end result is that there are as many versions and variations of Islam as there are Moslems in this world. And as the world will never cease to produce fanatics and eccentrics, it will always remain under the threat of an aggressive interpretation of Islam that spawns acts such as those masterminded and executed by Ben Laden and his likes."

I frankly do not know what you are trying to convey in this quote, but I can infer that you are saying "Any Muslim can interpret his faith the way he wants." Again, I think you are wrong. All Muslims have a duty, which is to study, and learn Islam, do not forget the five pillars of Islam, which are the most imperative and imposed on every Muslim. You say "its chances to succeed is that there is no, and there will never be, a recognized authority to interpret and implement such a reformation." Again, this is your personal opinion. Please do not forget that Islam was the first religion to expand very quickly, it grew, expanded and controlled half of the Asian continent, from the borders of Spain to the borders of India, in only two centuries. It collapsed however, because of the hypocrites and the corrupt leaders. Nevertheless, I frankly thing you are wrong, and believe that there will be a reformation, but it will occur whenever Allah wishes for it to occur. Your statement about Islam being constantly under threat of 'aggressive interpretation masterminded and executed by those such as Ben Laden and his likes' is completely true. But, know that Ben Laden and his likes don't have to be the only ones; it can be any hypocrite from any religion or race.

For centuries, hypocrites have changed interpretations of many religions. Surely, hypocrites are in every religion: Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. The notion of a hypocrite can be seen from the beginning. Generally, hypocrites have changed interpretations of religions for themselves since the beginning of culture. Your statement concerning the libraries; "The fact that there were 70 libraries in Moslem Cordoba, as indicated by Miss Irshad Manji, does not mean much. It only points to the fact that there was so much talk then about the superiority of Islam and the need to subdue the "infidels" and convert the whole world to the religion of Allah regardless of the means by which such a conversion is imposed. As a matter of fact, the Moslem fanatics of today often refer to these writings to justify their acts of aggression and violence. One may therefore conclude that the roots of the suffering that the world is currently experiencing at the hands of some Moslems, in every corner of the planet, go back to some of those books that were sitting one day on the shelves of Cordoba's many libraries" is again opinionated. Again, the infidels were those who were threatening to end Islam. Hypocritical Muslims today, who refer to those texts as proof, are ignorant of the notion behind those statements. But, how can you blame them for their statements: Surely, they have no knowledge, and they have no knowledge of those notions because they do not have any education.

If uneducated any person can interpret anything the way he or she wants. Many Muslims, who are 'supposedly' spreading terror in the world, are of the ignorant: they are being controlled by the main hypocrites who are teaching the falsely. People with just a little bit of knowledge know that Suicide and killing of innocent is forbidden in Islam. Nevertheless, people who use the texts from the past do not have knowledge of what they are saying.

"On a more optimistic note, a reformation that is destined to succeed will need Herculean efforts and a vast expanse of time to penetrate through the minds of the billion Moslems or so who are living under Islamic rule in states that have proven their failure since they were "liberated" from the Western influence." You are right, but please know that those failure Muslim countries have corrupt leaders. Iraq was surely a failure because of Sadaam: other countries are Pakistan, of course Afghanistan that are failures because of the corrupt leaders. There is a hope for the reformation, but surely it will not start at those ignorant countries. Know that I plan on joining one or starting one the future, and Inshallah (If Allah wills) I will succeed.

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