Senior cleric declares Fatwa on terrorism

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josh0335
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 12:19 pm
@xris,
xris;161799 wrote:
It is a comment that is honest , at last. Can you see why I would oppose that view?


If you've read and understood what I've said, no.
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 12:35 pm
@josh0335,
josh0335;161805 wrote:
If you've read and understood what I've said, no.
So I live in country that has on one occasion a Muslim majority and by that fact sharia is implemented. It means that democracy as I know it can not be returned, it must remain forever an Islamic state. I am not allowed representation or to form a political party that is not Islamic. I as a non Muslim can not hold an official post in the government..is that correct?
 
josh0335
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 01:14 pm
@xris,
xris;161810 wrote:
It means that democracy as I know it can not be returned, it must remain forever an Islamic state. I am not allowed representation or to form a political party that is not Islamic. I as a non Muslim can not hold an official post in the government..is that correct?


No. You are allowed representation. Assuming party politics is adopted in a shariah state (this is not the only type of democracy), a non-Islamic party would be allowed to form. You, as a non-Muslim could hold an official post in the government, on merit.
 
metacristi
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 01:25 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;161664 wrote:
You're part of the problem too. We don't need people foaming at the mouth with rabid hatred of their opponents. You should realize that they are just like you, trying to make it in the world. If they are wrong, they have to be reasoned with. Nobody is just going to sit there, be abused and then change their mind based on your angry words.

You act like it's the end of the world but it's not. Relax.



If he's only 'part of the problem' could you substantiate which is my 'fault'? Should we accept uncritically the muslim version? I don't think it is a good idea, sugarcoating islam can only lead to even more intolerance (instead of pointing the huge holes in the logic of islamic traditions we encourage them to believe even more that the unreformed islam is perfect). Telling the truth is not 'bigotry' (I'm definitely not a bigot, I even believe in multiculturalism, but properly understood, you'll never see me advocating discrimination of muslims, banning muslim immigration, deport muslims and so on). The problem is that the ideology of islam is indeed outside all reasonable standards and deserve a strong reaction; the fact that muslims take my criticism as a personal attack is their problem (too much dogmatism I'm afraid). Unfortunately the only rational conclusion one can draw is that islam, the ideology, is essentially violent at the core.

Many muslims may be indeed non violent but this is rather in spite of the doctrines of islam, moreover many of them are prone to a rapid evolution toward much more dogmatic views (they still see the qur'an as the exact and eternal word of allah and islam as the only cure for all ills of modern world). Finally yes it is the extreme militancy of islam (with a lot of taboos forced on us) which provoke strong reactions (be sure that I wouldn't have been so virulent at islam if the reaction to my first post here had been guided by reason). I'd say that exposing muslims to reasonable criticism is necessary, we must somehow teach them that they should use only reason to defend islam, violence, riots and the invariable cries of 'islamophobia' being never a real solution; they should learn that the only effective way to defend islam is by using good argumentation and not by banning alternatives and annihilating those who hold other views.


The Cartoonists Shall Enter First - excellent article; philosophers, politicians, arabists et altri should learn from the cartoonists to stop appeasing islam (indeed the most dogmatic and militant major religion: I understand that in 'South Park' Jesus surfs the net for porn, Buddha snorts 'lines of cocaine' etc whilst muhammad is...a mere bear; muslims should have been the last to be 'offended')...

Unmasking muhammad (online book, PDF)

The quranic deception doctrine of islam (see also this and this) - many do not know about this doctrine of abrogation and are easily deluded by muslim activists who have no scruple to tell lies to non muslims

What drives islam to be the religion of War

Explore the qur'an

Do you REALY think islam is the religion of peace, love and harmony? - this is the level of tolerance of muslims (don't delude yourself that many of these people are 'radicals'). This is where sugarcoating islam can only lead (we should rather teach them that islam is not so perfect, this is the only way to create muslim moderates). Although some depictions of muhammad are indeed exaggerated (provoked however by the aggresive muslim militancy, without this the depictions would certainly be more decent, probably almost inexistent) the idea that we have the right to depict him is not. Finally we must never forget that this (taboo on depicting muhammad imposed to non muslims) is only the thin edge of islamic agenda, the main target being the criminalization of all criticism of islam, rational criticism included. Appeasing islam on this is of no use and can only clear the way for other unreasonable demands of muslims.

The Inevitability of Sharia Law in the West- we have to say the truth, using Reason and arguments, about islam and its 'turbans of the mind' (it's also the best way to determine muslims to reform islam in non trivial ways). Now some say that we do not have to worry, we can safely accept some minor pretensions of muslims like the ban on depicting muhammad, for the situation is not so bad (there are few muslims in non muslim lands, demographic predictions on long term are highly unreliable, muslims in non muslim lands will probably adopt the way of life of the host nations on longer term, have less childrens etc) but let's be honest the number of muslims in non muslim lands (at least in some european countries) is rising sharply and it seems improbable that muslims will reform islam in non trivial ways without an external 'shock': at this rate it may be 100 years, possibly more I do not know, until they become a majority in some european countries.

Anyways what is very probable is that when muslims become sizeable in non muslim lands they will try to impose sharia in the Constitution. That's why, no matter what happens in the future, we have at least to try to teach the muslims that islam is not so perfect (I'm more optimistic than the author of the article that we can avoid banning islam, deport muslims, block muslim immigration etc) and to force them to reform islam in non trivial ways so that sharia in the Constitution to never be a valid option for them. The current, postmodernist, type of political correctness certainly cannot do the job.

Daily Star: Simply The Best 7 Days A Week :: News :: Ghetto Britain - this is what I label an abuse of multiculturalism (the future is bleak if the reality is this)
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 01:37 pm
@josh0335,
josh0335;161816 wrote:
No. You are allowed representation. Assuming party politics is adopted in a shariah state (this is not the only type of democracy), a non-Islamic party would be allowed to form. You, as a non-Muslim could hold an official post in the government, on merit.
So with this mind do you feel I should be content ? Im glad, eventually you made an honest answer that can be observed.

I will oppose sharia for these very reasons, as I value my freedom. It can never be classified as suitable for non Muslims never, ever. It opposes change and classifies non muslims as second class citizens, not something that would be tolerated by muslims if the tables where turned. I find it strange that I am classified blinkered and intolerant but I would never deny a Muslim his rights within my secular system but they would deny me mine in theirs. I thank you for your honesty. xris
 
metacristi
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 06:29 pm
@josh0335,
josh0335;161816 wrote:
No. You are allowed representation. Assuming party politics is adopted in a shariah state (this is not the only type of democracy), a non-Islamic party would be allowed to form. You, as a non-Muslim could hold an official post in the government, on merit.


Wishful thinking. Indeed many muslims (mainstream or not) are basically literalists, islam is the only major religion having a 'built-in' political program (which is 'absolutist', the word used by some imams in the West) and islam is a communitary religion, no one is allowed to 'move in front' too much (finally the progressists - those who advocate the total separation between religion and State & religion and Science - are a tiny minority). It's enough to look at the muslim dominated countries and at the fate of the dhimmis along history to understand what will happen; sadly the muslim progressists, and for that matter all those who hold unorthodox views (yourself included), will have to hide deep down their consciousness (all existing evidence points clearly toward this). In short there will be no equal chances for all citizens, free speech, real democracy and so on with sharia in the Constitution or influencing the laws (the unreformed islam is definitely religious fascism). Even if some innovations are implemented the unreformed islam returns invariably to its orthodox roots, sooner or later. The real solution? islam should become a purely personal religion as all the other major religions (the political part of islam should be totally dropped, marked clearly by the religious leaders and the so called islamic scholars as being at least obsolete). In short no sharia or other religious influences in state and science's affairs, full secularism & modern democracy is the only real way ahead.


How many more 'apostates' are silently suffering in Islamic states?
 
josh0335
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 04:37 am
@xris,
xris;161821 wrote:
So with this mind do you feel I should be content ? Im glad, eventually you made an honest answer that can be observed.

I will oppose sharia for these very reasons, as I value my freedom. It can never be classified as suitable for non Muslims never, ever. It opposes change and classifies non muslims as second class citizens, not something that would be tolerated by muslims if the tables where turned. I find it strange that I am classified blinkered and intolerant but I would never deny a Muslim his rights within my secular system but they would deny me mine in theirs. I thank you for your honesty. xris


Freedom is valued under shariah too, as just explained. I also just explained that in a functoning shariah state, the system would be suitable for non-Muslims as well. I also explained to you that it does not oppose change, because it is not a frozen set of laws. It does not classify non-Muslims as second class citizens, it considers all citizens equal. But that's only in an authentic shariah system, which many Muslims are striving for. Other Muslims are striving for a different type of shariah as well.
 
xris
 
Reply Wed 12 May, 2010 05:36 am
@josh0335,
josh0335;162110 wrote:
Freedom is valued under shariah too, as just explained. I also just explained that in a functoning shariah state, the system would be suitable for non-Muslims as well. I also explained to you that it does not oppose change, because it is not a frozen set of laws. It does not classify non-Muslims as second class citizens, it considers all citizens equal. But that's only in an authentic shariah system, which many Muslims are striving for. Other Muslims are striving for a different type of shariah as well.
I appreciate your views but I can never find them in reality. There are more evidence of a two tier system in an Islamic state than you profess. If you observe those states that have Islamic law as its foundation, it can not be questioned by secular means. It is dogmatic in many of its views, it can not revert to secular government. The Caliph is held up as example , is that your dream?
 
metacristi
 
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 07:32 am
@josh0335,
josh0335 wrote:

xris;161821 wrote:
So with this mind do you feel I should be content ? Im glad, eventually you made an honest answer that can be observed.

I will oppose sharia for these very reasons, as I value my freedom. It can never be classified as suitable for non Muslims never, ever. It opposes change and classifies non muslims as second class citizens, not something that would be tolerated by muslims if the tables where turned. I find it strange that I am classified blinkered and intolerant but I would never deny a Muslim his rights within my secular system but they would deny me mine in theirs. I thank you for your honesty. xris


Freedom is valued under shariah too, as just explained. I also just explained that in a functoning shariah state, the system would be suitable for non-Muslims as well. I also explained to you that it does not oppose change, because it is not a frozen set of laws. It does not classify non-Muslims as second class citizens, it considers all citizens equal. But that's only in an authentic shariah system, which many Muslims are striving for. Other Muslims are striving for a different type of shariah as well.


Yes freedom is valued. It is only for muslim males, preferably bearded (to paraphrase Pat Condell), with the condition to reject critical thinking applied to the basis of islam. Contrary to your claims the practice of life prove that sharia, even partial, in the Constitution cannot offer eqal chances to minorities: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix5OU6lLQNw (the copts, non muslims in general, are clear victims of discriminatory sharia which severely restrict the rights of the minorities; the copts for example do not have the right to be elected in the bar associations, pray outside churches etc). Finally islam has been tried in all its imaginable forms along history and always utterly failed. And yet some still have dreams of glory with it and try to persuade us that black is in fact white...Time to wake up and start thinking rationally. Be muslim but reject the political program of islam (no sharia), make islam a personal religion (as all other major religions). Only secularism and modern democracy work.

URL: http://able2know.org/reply/post-4140308
 
metacristi
 
Reply Sun 20 Jun, 2010 07:09 am
@metacristi,
metacristi wrote:
Be muslim but reject the political program of islam (no sharia), make islam a personal religion (as all other major religions). Only secularism and modern democracy work.


Sharia was definitely not conceived to give equal rights to all people:

" People of the Book were not permitted to show any disrespect toward Muslims or animosity toward Islam, the prophet himself or the Quran.
 If a Jew or Christian were sitting by the road and a Muslim walked by, the Jew or Christian must stand in respect to the Muslim.
 If a Jew or Christian were walking on the road, and he met a Muslim coming from the other direction, the Jew or Christian must turn around and find another road to walk through.
 People of the Book were not permitted to ride horses. They had to ride donkeys, and the Muslims could ride horses.
 People of the Book were required to ride their donkeys sidesaddle (not with one leg on each side of the animal as the Muslims did on their horses).
 People of the Book were not allowed to build their houses higher than the Muslim houses. (The height of the house was important because it was a symbol of honor. Muslims were always supposed to be above non -Muslims.)
 People of the Book were not allowed to drink alcohol in front of Muslims. They could drink alcohol in their houses, but they could not appear drunk outside their houses where Muslims could see them.
 Christians were not allowed to let Muslims see th e pigs that they were raising. The pigs had to stay hidden.
 Christians and Jews were not allowed to bury their dead during the daylight where a Muslim might see. They had to take the casket quietly at night to the cemetery and bury it. They were not permitted to cry for their dead in public where a Muslim might see or hear them.
 In the Jewish synagogues or Christian churches, people were not allowed to raise their voices loud enough to be heard outside the building.
 The Muslims did not want to see or hear People of the Book practicing their religion or their holy days. People of the Book could not cele brate in public.
 People of the Book were not allowed to try to convert Muslims away from Islam.
 People of the Book were prohibited from serving in the Islamic military.
 People of the Book were not allowed to help anyone declaring war against Muslims.
 People of the Book were not permitted to carry weapons.
 People of the Book could not testify against a Muslim in court.
 A Muslim could not be killed because of a Christian or Jew. In other words, if a Muslim killed a Jew, he could not be punished by death for that crime. (Muhammad said in hadith, "A Muslim believer cannot be killed for an infidel.")
 People of the Book had to wear special clothing and special colors that identified them as non-Muslims. Christians wore blue; Jews wore yellow; Samaritans wore red . Both men and women wore these colors.
 Christian women had to wear a sash around their waists.
 Christian and Jewish women had to wear shoes of different colors. In other words, the left shoe had to be a different color than the right shoe. They had to wear shoes that didn't match!
 Christians were not permitted to enter any public place without wearing a large cross around their necks. It had to be made of metal, and it needed to be heavy enough to be uncomfortable, probably about two pounds."

and so on...Many of these ceased to be applied now indeed but the remnants of sharia, regulating the behaviour of non muslims under muslim rule, survive and discriminate, just look at the 'muslim paradises' worldwide. Finally the mere fact that non muslims have to show unbounded respect to the irrational taboos of islam*, although allegedly they do not have to follow sharia, is discriminatory. That's why sharia has to disappear altogether from any modern Constitution (more generally it must not influence the laws); at most parts of it should be allowed (not in the Constitution of course) for people who accept it (rulings not binding and depended on voluntary compliance), those fully compatible with modern laws and principles...


*this will be valid even in the fantasy worlds of the so called muslim progressists who still insist with sharia influencing legislation
 
metacristi
 
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 05:18 pm
http://www.4shared.com/get/vVYmHAHG/An_infidel_in_Mecca.html - a very interesting account of islam from someone who understood it well; the ex-muslims, rational critics of islam, are the best source o information at this time when the western Academia seriously lowered the standards in order to accomodate islam with all costs. Not a positive image of islam, unforunately it is the truth.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/%201933859911/ref=nosim/nationalreviewon - this book hit the nail, the philosophy of 'submission' is directly responsible for the absence of non-trivial reforms in islam (it creates a strong underestimation of the value of human reason, that's why sharia is still considered by many as basically immutable and that's why even fiqh, islamic law, changed little along centuries)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ0rsUofpQM&feature=channel_video_title - the islam in Britain is far from offering a peaceful image...the ball is definitely in muslims' ground to prove that they are really capable of accomodating non muslims in spite of the teachings of islam

And now some explanations for my view (some of course accuse me of 'bigotry' etc). Well, as I've already said, I'm not a bigot and neither is criticism of Islam (going well beyond political correctness) 'ignorance'; nor do I believe in the dream of some (like Wilders) of preserving the 'purity' of the western Civilization (which is much more than merely pointing out that the islam of the last 1400 years is not really a 'melting pot' factor). Actually I have all respect for muslims as human beings but I reserve the right to heavily criticize Islam (which is threat not only for us but for muslims themselves).

I fully agree to let the radical imam shout hate on the streets as free speech but I do not also agree to fund bigotry, encourage militancy (via unreasonable appeasement) and let muslims believe even more that islam is perfect (cause no matter what some western apologetics of islam say many muslims really believe that islam is quasi-perfect and those who disagree cannot say this in public, islam is not yet a purely personal religion).

Exposing Muslims to a robust criticism of Islam, at an acedemic level, is not bigotry. The sad reality is that without a fully secularized Islam (Islam relegated at the level of personal belief like the other major religions, implying also sharia out of public life, fiqh changed in non trivial ways, open recognition of the mistakes like dhimmitude, the aggressive jihadic conquests of the past etc) there are no guarantees that it is really 'tamed' (one example with what has to be done, minimally, is here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123655519762565889.html).

The belief of the muslim modernists (who believe that Modernity is compatible with Sharia, although agree that there is much to be learned from the West) that their (still) religious approach can match full, or almost full, secularism is a baseless dream. Sadly where is sharia (large parts seen as immutable by the vast majority of muslims) there is also discrimination.
 
metacristi
 
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 01:29 pm
Some may accuse me that I have a fixation with islam. Not so, actually I oppose all forms of dogmatic ideologies which try to replace the values of Enlightenment (without any good justification), fundamentalist Christianity included. But rationality shows quite clearly that not all religious ideologies are equally dangerous and ignoring the fact that islam is the most militant and reactionary major religion (which barely has real moderates, in spite of centuries of exposure to Modernity) is definitely not the right path.

Rational criticism of islam has nothing to do with 'bigotry' (as some western apologetics of islam claim apriori, even without understanding the arguments). The real problem is whether minorities are capable to make the necessary compromises to create a 'melting pot' society, based on the values of Enlightenment (multiculturalism can only create more rifts), or not.

As i've already said while I do not think that the dream of preserving the 'purity' of the Western Civilization is a viable cause neither do I think that many muslims are capable at this time of making the absolutely necessary (non-trivial) compromises (they take too seriously islam, one can barely see real muslim moderates)... Sending to jail those who merely report about what muslim themselves say (involving violence, quoting the qur'an) is definitely the perfect anti solution.

The big problem with the islamic world (in spite of the existence of some reformists) is that the code of honor from the 7th century and the many other 'special mechanisms' of islam to prevent reformation / replacement (not existent in other religions) basically block all attempts at 'playing God' (modernize islam in non trivial ways).

islam has probably more hidden reformists than what we see at the declarative level (real reformists, capable to go 'far' from traditional views) but this is of no real use. If they do not have the capacity to make their voice heard in the liberal West why should we believe that they will do that in a society where muslims are a majority?

There are good reasons in fact to label the vast majority of the peaceful muslims as unconscious / passive carriers of the same dogmatic islam of the last 1400 years, always ready to become very aggressive again. The islam of the last 1400 years is a danger even for the muslims themselves. A secular islam is a must.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITyQyDS1q-o&feature=channel_video_title

Those who believe that without real reforms of islam things will stay more or less the same in Europe (if muslims ever gain some power) are totally wrong. As much as islam is not strongly secularized the requirement to show unbounded respect to the - demonstrably - irrational taboos of islam will continue to discriminate and probably (that's what existing evidence show) will finish by influencing even legislation (the taboos intended to stay there forever, islam is definitely religious fascism).

http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2011/08/egypts-brotherhood-declares-war-bikinis.html

A new 'golden age' of islam threatens to become reality in Egypt. 'Arab spring'. Maybe winter. I don't think anyone in her/his right mind wants to see implemented in Europe this distorted sense of what modesty means. 'islam is distorted by extremists'. What a good joke. There may be some real moderates in islam but unfortunately they are in severe minority and, due to the specific characteristics of islam, quite many of them are forced to hide deep down. Nothing really good can emerge from ousting the dictators (who could at least keep in check islam) if 90% of people think that islam should play a greater role in public life...

http://www.meforum.org/1754/peace-or-jihad-abrogation-in-islam

The reality is that behind the apparent 'peaceful' face of islam in the West (and not only) there is only tolerance (among religions etc) on the terms of Islam...i.o.w. no real tolerance at all (especially if muslims ever gain some power). islam badly needs non trivial reforms, which to strongly secularize the muslim mind. Unfortunately there are no good reasons to be optimistic that we will finally see a real, and durable, muslim Enlightenment in the foreseable future.

http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/2010/09/04/bring-back-islam%E2%80%99s-mutazilite-%E2%80%9Cgolden-age%E2%80%9D/

Robert Reilly is basically right (http://www.amazon.com/Closing-Muslim-Mind-Intellectual-Islamist/dp/1933859911) when he says that much of the islamic world has a theological problem which make societies strongly stagnant but unfortunately a mere re-hellenization of the muslim mind is not enough (even many of those who accept that human mind is important and can investigate critically even the principles of islam itself have never really gone beyond the period of 'scholasticism')...what is needed is capacity to think and act way outside tradition...


 
metacristi
 
Reply Sat 26 Mar, 2016 01:41 pm
Many bad things happened since the last post here and, not surprising, the situation got worse and worse. I'm afraid only a real Islamic Enlightenment could finally bring durably this religion in the 21st century (making very unlikely important returns toward its violent & discriminatory past):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/R2MAKJYWCXVNKQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00FVW8MH0
 
metacristi
 
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2016 06:23 pm
I think some explanations are still needed to show why islam should undergo a transformation and not a mere 'cosmetic' change. Unfortunately it is very rational to fear the islam of today.

The conjecture blaming mainly the West for the failures of the Islamic world is easily disproved for example by the Barbary Pirates episode (see below side note 1) yet we hear it again and again (among others we hear that even the long dead western colonialism is still a huge problem for the islamic world, be it due to the fact that even today some people in the West dare to use Reason and argument to criticize islam which is, allegedly, colonialism redivivus). In reality the West can at most 'catalyse' the apparition of new islamist groups (usually inadvertently, due to bad assumptions regarding the nature of islam, like al Qaida, ISIS etc) but what creates them, and the huge monstrosities we witnessed, is islam itself. 'Ghazi' style warriors have always existed in islam I'm afraid, often held in high esteem by the whole Islamic community. In reality the 'rabbit hole' is much deeper than what many people think.

Al Qaida, IS, Boko Haram, al Shabab and so on may be defeated soon but the religion itself will continue to produce such organizations in other historical contexts, which could even become mainstream in better circumstances, for example if the West declines and / or if the influence of the Islamic world grows. The crux of the matter is that Islamism is not a modern invention but (in a slightly modified form) also an integral part of the classical Islamic civilization, with strong roots in basic Islamic traditions. Part of the confusion in the minds of ordinary people comes unfortunately directly from Western Academia where even scholars of the old orientalist school (after 1945, active before Edward Said ideas conquered Academia) marched the often heard now idea that islam is not Islamism or at least that jihad as a religious duty to expand Islamic rule to the whole globe was secondary to more 'secular' reasons for conquest even during the Middle Ages. Yet, in spite of the shining new 'scientific' wrapping, we still deal largely with a counterpart of the 'scientific socialism', this is what happens when pure ideology (be it in the name of 'justice') is put at the basis of science. In fact at least Churchill's remark that "the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance" [unlike Christianity] has very strong evidential support.

The problem is of course that Muhammad, the 'right guided' caliphs, and many Islamic scholars of the middle Ages said something very different, the ideas of 'rightful booty' and islam come in the same 'package', the Umayyads were far from being 'quasi-secular' in spite of preserving some pre-islam characteristics, and generally in the middle Ages faith was very important (as a side note here neither is the alleged 'important' progress made by the 'classical islam' a viable conjecture, the fact that finally only the foreign intervention, of the European Powers, brought the Islamic world in the modern era says everything, in reality the progress was extremely modest, no reason to expect the necessary great changes in the future if the basic assumptions behind islam are left basically intact). Sadly the truth is that the islam taught and lived by Muhammad is islamist at the core and offensive jihad to extend islamic rule to the whole Earth was central both to the founder of islam and the medieval Islamic civilization (according to basic Islamic traditions; happily we can at least approach the islam taught by Muhammad, not all interpretations of islam are equally plausible, Islam is not infinitely elastic to interpretation). Moreover the Islam taught by Muhammad is also largely incompatible with Modernity even if jihad is pushed into the background, sharia is the antithesis of modernity and innovation; no surprise that the whole Islamic world is still characterized at best by 'half-sharia' states, with the medieval sharia at least a source of the laws which make the introduction of modern legislation conflicting with it very very difficult. Finally the postmodernist reinterpretations of islam, like those we see in the West which continue to keep the inerrantism of the quran, are unlikely to be the key to success, unfortunately the evidence over the last 70 years proves plenty that they cannot exist outside the strong pressure exercised by the non muslim world (by the way exactly because they are far far fetched, only by openly accepting that Human Reason has precedence over Tradition and even part of Revelation can they become viable). Nothing to be optimistic I'm afraid, fully justifying a much more critical stance regarding Islam I'd say.

Not so will claim some emphatically, we need mild approaches, we must strictly not criticize islam and the Islamic civilization in important ways, let them 'clean their own rubbish', the passing of time will solve all the problems. Unfortunately for them the conjecture that modern Western values can be rather easily accommodated to the Islamic world, via minimal changes, has now a very respectable age. This has actually been the leading conjecture in Western Academia for at least 70 years now and yet it proved consistently to be an extremely regressive one: in spite of a long exposure to Modernity the Islamic world returned sharply toward the past instead of looking toward the future. The main result of being magnanimous with islam was the opposite of what it was hoped, sadly the situation is way worse now than during the colonialist era (no, I don't think colonialism was something good, unfortunately this is the truth, at the time muslims were much more interested in Western Modernity than today). How long then should we refrain to put forward alternative hypotheses, largely antagonistic to the rosy views of the past, regarding the nature of islam? Ad infinitum till the Islamic law takes over the globe? The reality is that the ideologies of the 'poors' can be as damaging as the worst we saw in the Western world and we should be capable to recognize this openly. No amount of 'political correctness' can help here.

In reality what we need is a real and durable Islamic Enlightenment and this is not possible without important changes at the theological, educational and institutional levels of islam. In other words islam needs a transformation and here our help via criticism of Islam is absolutely necessary. Instead of defending the 'mainstream' islam of today (which preserve much of the infrastructure of the old medieval islam and keep the door way open for important returns toward the past) we should rather encourage the apparition of a 'critical mass' of muslims who are not inerrantist; only by exposing muslims to the idea that maybe islam is not the last word can we hope to achieve something on long term, the advent of a 'critical mass' of 'muslims 'moderate' in the western sense of the word, capable to 'direct' islam where they want.

The approach of 'progressive' liberals toward the same outcome via leaving islam basically untouched is pure fantasy, what they propose lead actually in the other direction, where islam 'directs' even more people's lives via important returns toward the past, especially if the West declines and / or muslims gain political and military power. Unfortunately there are ideologies which just cannot be improved much by being generous with them and I'm afraid the islam of the last 1400 years proves plenty of being one. Only truth can set us all free here.#

Those who are still insisting after this with 'islam is not a monolith' pseudo-argument totally miss the point. Yes we know that. The problem is that you do not solve much by making some (rather minor) concessions to modernity whilst still insisting that the quran is inerrant and Muhammad close to perfection. The more moderate muslims want to have their cake and eat it; islam, as they redefine it, is peace and equalitarianism, seemingly confirming the 'progressive' dogma that Islam is 'what people want'. Well I'm afraid this is not possible without also admitting openly that Human Reason has precedence over Tradition and even part of Revelation. Indeed the islam taught and lived by Muhammad says something else and, much more important, the sizeable part of the old infrastructure of islam which they still carry with them (hidden or not) let the doors large open toward the same violent and discriminatory past. History proved consistently so far that this is the case; a policy of 'small steps' is unlikely to work. The Islamic world is the only part of the globe where religious constitutions still survive (widespread), with the liberal forces extremely weak and having to make huge concessions to Islam. It is still Islam which strongly shapes culture and not the other way around, in spite of a long exposure to Modernity now. We have of course the majority of 'peaceful', at the moment, muslims. Unfortunately this is far from being enough to create modern civilizations based on universal human rights and other values of Enlightenment. Given also the fact that the islam of the last 1400 years has always had a violent `tail' I think that the necessity of large scale changes should be obvious to all rational people.

Side note 1 - Barbary Pirates had not been harmed at all by the newly created America and yet they attacked American vessels; as their ambassador to London explained to Jefferson and Adams in the 1780s (sounds familiar isn't it?):

"The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their prophet; that it was written in their Koran; that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners; that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners; and that every Mussulman who was slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise."
 
 

 
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