Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Final Form of Islam?

When someone ignores death threats and speaks out against something, they've earned a right to be heard, such as  R. Joseph Hoffman:

I speak from experience: I have known such students. I have taught such students. I have watched them cower under the “authority” of Islamic chaplains of Quranic studies and Fiqh. I have been warned not to say anything to upset the “guys with beards” and having paid no attention to the warning I have managed to survive two death threats–one a close call in the final stages of planning my abduction.

Instead of permitting the leaders of ISIS to label everyone else a heretic, where are the authoritative voices of Muslim leaders that declare for everyone to hear that the era of the caliphs is over. That Islam is a faith, an expression of a belief in God and his sovereignty, and in the prophet who ended the brutality of the tribes and who called Allah compassionate and merciful: “Whoever kills a person [unjustly]…it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.”(Qur’an, 5:32). It is not necessary to mouth the trope “Islam means peace” when almost no one looking on is convinced by the statement. It would be enough for Islam to stand for learning: for discovery, and literature and scientific progress and justice as it is defined in modern contexts, not in medieval jurisprudence.
Until these voices are heard, or until they can be developed, ISIS is winning and Islam capitulates in its winning.

But maybe  Victor Reppert has the simplest explanation of all:

Remember how Islam was founded. Muhammad had been exiled from Mecca, then conquered by force of arms. The Qu'ran is written as a law-book. The idea of separating religion from state does violence to essence of Islam.

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