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The age of reason in Islam that will never come

Reader comment on item: A Million Moderate Muslims on the March
in response to reader comment: Busybodies

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), May 13, 2007 at 18:31

Dear Guy Leven-Torres , Care Agricola ,

Thank you very much for your critical post .

It's nice to know you're a classicist . I totally agree with you about Rome. Hellenized as she was , she imposed her higher Latin culture on the barbarians . And thus the barbarians were both civilized and pacified .

Had you not explicitly said it was about Western-American Academia you're talking , I would think you described the Soviet Academia . The methods applied to promote the "sole right" worldview remind somehow of Academic Stalinism in the late 20-ies. If things progess the way the do , then purges in Academia a la Stalinienne are still ahead of us .

> There are moderate Moslems out there, and Dr Pipes is quite correct in his estimation that we must make it easier for them to rebel against the cloying primitive violence and intolerance. We need to engage these and encourage an Islamic 'Age of Reason'.

I think that you're too optmistic , alas . Enlightenment is totally impossible in Isalm . The idea that human reason can have a higher auhority and in case of conflict abrogate what Allah in person has explicitly written is most absurd and blasphemous to the Moslem mind . A slightest change in the dogma is "bida" (illicit innnovation in faith ) and as such a capital crime , let alone a major remake . This would be possible if and only if you could revert time , resurrect Mohammad , make him recant publically in Mecca all the "wrong" suras as prompted by Shaitan or misheard and replace them with humanistic and rationalistic suras in the spirit of Dr Pipes' wishes .

A Moslem Descartes would not survive the first week after the publication of his "Discourse on the Method" . I prefer not to think what Moslems (not excluding "moderate" ones) would to an Islamic Voltaire with his slogan "Écrasez l'Infâme! " .

> They nearly made it before but the extremists and bigots got there first. Sufism arose out of this temporary pause. Christianity was once a pretty violent intolerant religion, and look at it now!.

Again for plenty of reasons Christianity and Islam are not comparable .

And I don't share your disappointment or surprise about the failure of enlightening Islam . Those two things have always been impossible to reconcile. It's a structural impossibility . Not just a fault of this or that group that didn't act judiciously enough . You can't be an enlightened rational person and at the same time believe in the nonsense Islam is all about .

All the best ,


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