World Peace Savior: the Islam Reform Movement, but where are they? – Written 04/19/2012

“These are movements within Islam, rather than an attempt at schism. As such, they believe in the basic tenets of Islam, such as the Six Elements of Belief and the Five Pillars of Islam. They consider their views to be fully compatible with the teachings of Islam. Their main differences with more conservative Islamic opinion are two, the first is, in differences of interpretation of how to apply the core Islamic values to modern life, the second includes a more reactionary dialectic which criticizes traditional narratives or even rejects them, hence, denying any obligation to follow them while also allowing greater freedoms in interpreting Qur’an regardless of the hadith.

Muslim liberals focus on individual autonomy in the interpretation of the Qur’an and ethics rather than focusing on the literal interpretation of the Qur’an. This thinking may have a precedent in the traditions of Sufi and Islamic mysticism although different in many ways, including the purpose of interpretation.”

“Several generally accepted tenets have emerged:

  • The autonomy of the individual in interpreting the Qur’an and Hadith. More liberal trends include rejecting Hadiths completely (like Qur’an Alone Muslims) or partially (including hadiths considered authentic (Sahih) by traditionalists) like Gamal Al-Banna.
  • A more critical and diverse examination of religious texts, as well as traditional Islamic precedents.
  • Complete gender equality in all aspects, including ritual prayer and observance.
  • A more open view on modern culture in relation to customs, dress, and common practices. Certain rules on modesty amongst men and women are still self-enforced in response to the Qur’an’s injunction against immodest dress.
  • The individual use of ijtihad (interpretation) and fitrah (natural sense of right and wrong) is advocated.”

“Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, in accordance with their increasingly modern societies and outlooks, liberal Muslims have tended to reinterpret many aspects of the application of their religion in their life in an attempt to reconnect with the original message, untouched by harmful cultural influences. This is particularly true of Muslims who now find themselves living in non-Muslim countries.

Such people may describe themselves variously as liberal, progressive, or reformist (in application but not in the tenets of the faith); but rather than implying a specific agenda, these terms tend to incorporate a broad spectrum of views which contest conservative, traditional interpretations of Islam in many different ways. Although there is no full consensus amongst liberal Muslims on their views.”

“The most liberal Muslim intellectuals who focused on religious reform include Sayyid al-Qimni, Nasr Abu Zayd, Abdolkarim Soroush, Mohammed Arkoun, Mohammed Shahrour, Ahmed Subhy Mansour, Edip Yuksel, Gamal al-Banna, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Ahmed Al-Gubbanchi, Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, and Faraj Foda, the last two were killed after apostasy claims which most of them have been accused of by traditional Islamic scholars.

Some liberal Muslims claim that they are returning to the principles of the early Ummah and to the ethical and pluralistic intent of their scripture, the Qur’an.[5] They distance themselves from some traditional and less liberal interpretations of Islamic law, as they consider these to be culturally based and without universal applicability. The reform movement uses monotheism (tawhid) “as an organizing principle for human society and the basis of religious knowledge, history, metaphysics, aesthetics, and ethics, as well as social, economic and world order.”

“Liberal Muslims tend to be skeptical about the validity of Islamization of knowledge (including Islamic economics, Islamic science, Islamic history and Islamic philosophy) as separate from mainstream fields of inquiry. This is usually due to the often secular outlook of Muslim liberals, which makes them more disposed to trust mainstream secular scholarship. They may also regard the propagation of these fields as merely a propaganda move by Muslim conservatives.”

But we may also want to pay attention to a deeper undercurrent issue:

“Over a decade after the collapse of Stalinism, a new generation is drawing the conclusion that capitalism is incapable of meeting the needs of humanity – a minority is beginning to draw socialist conclusions. Nonetheless, consciousness still lags behind objective reality – and socialism has not yet become a mass force.

Given the vacuum that therefore exists, radical young people are searching for a political alternative. A small minority of young Muslims in Britain are looking towards right-wing political Islamic organizations like Al-Muhajiroun. The lack of alternative offered by such organizations is summed up by their opposition to the anti-war movement because it involved demonstrating alongside non-Muslims. The majority of young radical Muslims were repelled by Al-Muhajiroun and company, and understood the need for a united anti-war movement. The potential to build a strong base for socialists amongst Muslims undoubtedly exists – but only if we both engage and argue the case for socialism.”

“On the other side, despite the enormous difficulties they faced, the Bolsheviks gave a glimpse of the only road to liberation – including national and religious freedom – with the world’s working class united around a socialist programme.”

So is peace in the making?

Maybe with, maybe, the conditions that “Progressive Islam” “progresses” enough and that “Islamic Communism” doesn’t kill it before and takes its place….:+)

If we take our clue from the European Inquisition(s), they started around the year 1231 and ended around 1860, as you can count, we are talking about around six hundred and twenty nine years (629 years) of absolute craziness……

” Historians distinguish four different manifestations of the Inquisition:

  • the Medieval Inquisition (1231–16th century)
  • the Spanish Inquisition (1478–1834)
  • the Portuguese Inquisition (1536–1821)
  • the Roman Inquisition (1542 – c. 1860)

Because of its objective — combating heresy — the Inquisition had jurisdiction only over baptized members of the Church (which, however, encompassed the vast majority of the population in Catholic countries). Secular courts could still try non-Christians for blasphemy; most witch trials went through secular courts……”

So we may want to be fair and be patient by giving the Progressive Islam Movement some time as the Europeans, on and off, have to take the issue on four (4) times before it, somewhat, got away, even though some people would say that we are at the edges of Inquisition Five (5) or are already in it with the “no fly” list as a new modern days equivalent of prior times “persecutions”……..

I am afraid the USA Founding Fathers didn’t foresee that their Constitutional Freedoms and Rights of the Individual would be challenged so soon………

Let’s give our best wishes to the Constitution of the United States of America with, maybe, a possible correction: Taking away “In God We Trust” from it and consequently from our currency, as it may offend those of us, for better or for worse, that are atheists or like some others in the 1% or in any type of Govern that “They are God Themselves”…….;+)

Since I believe that each “dog” has its day(s), I am open ……..;+)



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