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Little Room for Protestant Reformation in Islam

Reader comment on item: Recruiting Soldiers Against Radical Islam
in response to reader comment: No so called moderate muslims - the solution may be - a PROTESTANT ISLAM.

Submitted by Dallas (United States), Apr 15, 2007 at 01:41

Egyptian Christian,

That is a noble thought that there should an Islamic version of a Protestant reformation. However I do not think that it is very practical.The first problem is that there is no history in Islam that would allow for individuals to interpret the Koran or the hadiths for themselves. Islam's ecclesiology is similar to the eastern Orthodox and he Roman Catholic Church in that a Magisterium has a monopoly on interpretation and can bind the consciences of it's adherents. in these religions it is impossible for an individual to challenge the official interpretation since the official interpreters are considered infallible.

The Protestant Reformation was possible because the Reformers could appeal to 'the priesthood of the believer". In other words, there was precedent in both Biblical Hebrew history and in the New Testament for individuals to challenge the official interpretation on the basis of Scripture and the fact that God makes it possible for aynone seeking the truth to understand the words that God has inspired.

Islam does not have an equivalent of "the priesthood of the believer" that would allow an individual Muslim to challenge an official interpretation. Islam does have a more limited concept similar to that called itjihad. Itjihad allows for Islamic scholars or clerics to use logical reasoning in grey areas of Islamic ideology.

A better solution would be for some special ops to infiltrate Islamic institutions to establish such a movement.within Islamic authorities to reinterpret he Koran.Such a prospect would be difficult anmd would meet with charges that the west was corrupting Islam. Such a campaign would need to have limited goals. The primary tactic is to marginalize he extremist. one such strategy is to show how the radical are hemselves corrupted b totalitarian western ideologies. One example of such a campaign is the web site Tell the Children the Truth Set up by a Sufi Muslim who says that Radical Islam is a Nazi movement.

Submitting....

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