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The Gates of Itijihad are Closed...

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: Pope Benedict's comments more Roman Catholic then Christian

Submitted by J.S. (Canada), Jan 19, 2006 at 18:00

Two brief points:

1) With Islam, unlike the other monotheistic religions, there's no room for wide-ranging interpretations...there's a narrow band...it's conservative. There's also the saying that the gates of itijihad have closed -- that is, basic issues have been resolved; there's no room for further discussion...it's bin Laden and the Islamists who want the gates to be opened...the radicals want to re-interpret Islam and thus have Islam reflect an even more puritanical and rigid point of view...The Islamist agenda, btw, is what a student of political science would term "fascist" -- a fascist movement is NOT conservative; fascism is revolutionary. The Islamists wish to over-turn the present order...destroy secular governments in Muslim lands, etc.

2) The other monothesitic religions have a range which extends from "fundamentalist" (infallible and inerrant) to fallible, human (when looking at the intersection between the Divine and Human and considering how humans obtained religious or sacred texts in the first place.) The Koran is not considered a "human" invention. In Islam, there is no range of interpretation...you cannot believe that Mr. Mo got any words "wrong" (all the words are "perfect" and complete, as is -- it was direct dictation.) With other religions, if you don't accept that the sacred text was delivered by a Divine entity, there's going to be another "branch" of your religion which you can join -- thus, if you're not a fundamentalist, you could (I'm guessing here) become (if you're a Christian) an Anglican (I think they come about the closest to be out-right atheists, aren't they?). But, with Islam, you got no choice...there is no other "branch" (other than the fundie one). Also, with the other religions, if you happen to disagree, it's not a death sentence...

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