Islam’s ‘First True Reformation’ begins

Finally, The First True Reformation of Islam is starting
by Dr. Tawfik Hamid

A historic and potentially momentous event occurred on January 24, 2011 impacting the teachings and understanding of Islam.

To put that event in perspective, we have seen over the last few decades problems related to Islamism, including terrorism, suicide bombings, but also suppression of values of human rights in several Islamic societies.

Reforming the understanding of Islam has been suppressed for hundreds of years after the leading Sunni scholars stopped the process of Ijtihad or renewing the understanding of the religion. As a result, young Muslims did not have options to learn Islam except from anachronistic and old fashion interpretations and jurisprudence books.

On January 24, 2011, the first document advocating the renewing of Islamic teachings and understanding has been published in Al-Youm Al-Sabeii (“The 7th day”). According to the journal 25 leading Egyptian thinkers and Islamic scholars including scholars from Al-Azhar University contributed to the document.

“The importance of this event cannot be overestimated.”

The importance of this event cannot be overestimated. Here are the Journal’s main points that are the subject of renewal.

  1. New evaluation of the Hadith books and better selection for the Hadith of prophet Mohamed.
  2. Changing some traditional teachings regarding the concept that Non-Muslims must pay Jizzia (humiliating tax) to Muslims.
  3. Changing the traditional Islamic understandings in relation to dealing with women
  4. New understanding for the concept of Jihad
  5. Allowing Muslims to use Non-Sharia compliant banking systems.
  6. Better preparation of the preachers and allowing independent thinkers who were not educated in Islamic institutes to contribute to Islamic teaching and reform.
  7. Separation between the Mosque and the State
  8. Accepting that women and Christians can lead Islamic countries
  9. Modernizing Al-Azhar Islamic education
  10. Creating better relation with Non-Muslims via the school and houses of worship.

It is fair and accurate to say that this step and approach – if applied correctly – can be considered the first significant change that ever happened in the history of Islam toward its desperately needed reformation.

“The power of this step stems from the fact that it acknowledges the existence of a problem, addresses its root cause (s), and admits the need for a change in Islamic teaching and education.”

The power of this step stems from the fact that it acknowledges the existence of a problem, addresses its root cause (s), and admits the need for a change in Islamic teaching and education. On the contrary to the appeasing approach that denies the existence of an ideological component for the phenomenon of violent Islam, the previously mentioned honest approach is the ONLY approach that will ultimately lead to a real and long term solution for the phenomenon of Islamic Radicalism.

33 Comments

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  1. Yes, surely these Muslim clerics and reformers admitting to all the problems with Islam are just mindless Islamophobes ([url]http://freethoughtnation.com/images/stories/islamophobes.jpg[/url])!

  2. “Dear Acharia,
    “I find every paragraph of your article hiding a ton of negative assumptions.”

    Since you are unable even to identify the author of this article properly, I am reluctant to read any further into your screed. The person who wrote this article is a MUSLIM who was involved with radical/extremist/fundamentalist Islam until he woke up to its inhumanity.

    In that regard, Dr. Hamid’s words stand true – and, yes, they most definitely identify that there is a serious problem with Islamic ideology, which any thinking person could have discerned readily in any event.

    1. Dahmane has some points
      Dear Ms. Murdock,

      I subscribed to your mailing list and “religiously” follow all your emails and notifications.

      Though Dahmane misidentified the original author of this article, he/she does have some valid points of argument, especially about the money printing banking system of the west, the people of the book and the male dominant western society. Though the argument digresses a little from the topic of “reformation”, it is a very valid statement to say “follow before you preach”. I particularly find it very amusing and ironic when any western Christian talks about reforming Islam or other religion and any western expert on money matters talks about global economic or financial reforms. Eventhough these topics are not directly a part of the topic in hand, eventually they will be encountered and some day have to be answered first.

      I am not particularly talking about this article, but the whole religious issues all over the world linked to human rights, politics and financial systems. Zeitgeist movie is a very good example of how the “west” is more barbaric behind the scenes while accusing muslims all over the world.

      Peace, Health and Happiness.

      Best Regards,
      Krishna J.

  3. Of course, I agree with you. I also see that the conditioning is deep and broad, and without efforts like this one, there is no hope to overcome it and allow us to live peacefully with this dragon in our midst.

    People complain about “moderate” Muslims not stepping up and saying something, but when they do, they are shouted down or ignored. I’m trying to include their voices in the equation, rather than excluding them because they haven’t gone far enough.

    The fact is that, according to him, Dr. Hamid was himself ensconced in Islamic “radicalism” (fundamentalism), yet he found his way out and into true civilization. It seems like he can thus provide an example of how to do that with the hundreds of millions of others who have been conditioned by Islam.

    For these reasons and because he seems like a genuinely nice and intelligent person, I support his efforts in this regard.

    Here are some more important related sites:

    http://truthbeknown.com/islamquotes.htm ([url]http://truthbeknown.com/islamquotes.htm[/url])
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com ([url]http://www.thereligionofpeace.com[/url])
    http://www.faithfreedom.org ([url]http://www.faithfreedom.org[/url])
    http://www.islam-watch.org ([url]http://www.islam-watch.org[/url])
    http://www.jihadwatch.org ([url]http://www.jihadwatch.org[/url])
    http://www.theprophetofdoom.org ([url]http://www.theprophetofdoom.org[/url])
    http://occidentalsoapbox.blogspot.com/2008/11/islamic-crusades.html ([url]http://occidentalsoapbox.blogspot.com/2008/11/islamic-crusades.html[/url])
    http://freethoughtnation.com/womens-rights-in-islam.html ([url]http://freethoughtnation.com/womens-rights-in-islam.html[/url])

  4. I’m always encouraged when I see muslims and ex-muslims speak out and tell the truth about Islam. I’m sure some will still try to accuse them of Islamophobia, xenophobia etc. regardless.

    Infidelophobia ([url]http://www.freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3456[/url])

    The Origins of Islam ([url]http://www.truthbeknown.com/islam.htm[/url])

    Islam MUST Reform Now ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou2zPYRc7Iw[/url])

  5. Tugging on Superman’s cape?
    Sorry, but in view of Islam’s 1400-year history, particularly how it got started and spread, any latter-day attempt to reform it is like tugging on Superman’s cape. Imagine trying to reform the human sacrifice religion of Kali in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

    Keep up on daily global news of Islam free:

    http://tinyurl.com/islamwatch

  6. Tooth and Nail
    Taking in criticism and using it wisely is something most religious leaders won’t try, and they’ll fight tooth and nail to keep their positions of power and influence over their flock. For it is upon the backs of the people that tyrannical leaders even exist. Reform is a definite threat to those parasitical lifestyles.

    I applaud this mans efforts!

  7. health
    In 1844 Islam began its change to a more progrssive relligion with the advent of the Madhi Siyyid Ali Mohammad of Shiraz (The Bab (Gate) fortold by the Imans. This change to a world encompassing Faith has continued through the teachings of Baha’u’llah following the execution of the Bab. The teachings of Baha’u’llah fullfill the prophecies of the Return by previous founders of religious faith and advocate social and moral changes needed for society to advance as outlined in the article. The remains of the Bab are inturned on Mt. Carmel, Haifa, Israel.

  8. I’m Glad!
    Hey,

    I am glad that some Muslims see that they need to change their ways. Well after all, 70 million Muslims have converted to Christianity over the past 20 years in the Islamic Middle East because they did not like Muslims killing other Muslims. As soon as Muslims become more peaceful, the world will be a better place! :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

    Roger

  9. prophet at large
    Muslims have the simple blueprint for an Islamic Reformation within the name “Islam” itself. Muhammad seems unaware of the root of the word “Islam” in “salaam” or “shalom” in Hebrew, both words referring to the name of the Evening Star, a Venus god, called “peace”. Jerusalem was the first place on earth where God as peace was first worshiped. So the root meaning of “Islam” is not just “surrender to God” but “surrender to God as Peace.” Obeying this command would change everything with Muslims making them all into Ahmadiyyah Muslim types who actually can follow Muhammad’s religion without resorting to violence against their neighbors.

    I am predicting it will be Muslim women who really succeed in reforming Islam because they have the most to gain from such a change.

  10. Violent Political Islam
    While it is encouraging to see these educated civil people in Muslim world but I have known them earlier also who have been silenced by the radicalised fundamentalists by brutal killings. This spreads a chilly fear psychosis amongst the rest of the society which is then kept silent observer.

    This is exactly what they are doing in Kashmir and holding the state captive to their radical Islamist ideology. Mr Fazl Haq’s case in Kashmir is a blatant example. They just eliminate the dissenting voice and can not tolerate opposition of any kind. Al-Azhar University is a known well respected seat of Islamic excellence but the monster of barbarism does not recognise any sanity or gentlemanliness.

    Another recent example in Gujrat is where Vice Chancelor Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi of an institution run by a Deobandi Darul Uloom had advised that Muslims in Gujrat should try to come out of the eight year old problem i.e. Godhra scandal (initiated by LeT by burning the Hindu Kar Sevaks in a train) and should try to look forward. Gujrat is a number one state in development and in a recent election, Narendra Modi government has secured the record breaking votes including from Muslims too. Canada is investing heavily in Gujrat from a recent report in the media.

    VC Vastanvi ‘s this remark has irked the Deobandi leaders who have sacked him. But he is adamant even after apologising for his remark if that has hurt the feelings of some people. But the Deobandi group leaders are relentless too.

    In Pakistan in Islamabad, a group of radical Jamiat-e Islami students group had beaten up a professor in the college campus with impunity just because he refused to toe their line. Nothing happens in the Islamic countries because of the volatility of the rigidly controlled society ridden in poverty, squalor and oppression.

    Unfortunately the masses in Islamic countries have become so accustomed to their such dire state of affairs, they do not mind living in poor conditions. We have the examples of Tunisia and Egypt right now. Both countries are regarded as moderate muslim states besides so many more like Jordan, Turky, Indonesia, Malaysia &etc which are ruled by autocrats for years by oppressive forced rule by baton. Yet they are all poor nations comparatively.

    The malady has become so deep rooted that there seems no easy immediate remedy. But the time has become so much over ripe; that is demanding an immediate remedy. This is where there is a conflict of interest between the time factor on one hand and the demand of society for the urgent reformation on the other hand. These uprisings are a manifestations of this time lag only.

    Let us see what the time has in her womb? The more I have tried to peruse the Islamic society, more have I become depressed due to their rigid attitudes. Their reactions are very violent and instant. There is no thinking time left to ponder over.
    God bless
    Dr. O. P. Sudrania

  11. Islam’s ‘First True Reformation’ begins
    Dear Acharia,
    I find every paragraph of your article hiding a ton of negative assumptions. First: What a way to open the topic on Islamic reforms with terrorism and suicide bombing. However, for the sake of sticking to the topic I can only say to you go and understand this dirty game before writing nonsense to mislead naive readers. As for suppression & human rights violations, you better ask yourself who put these despotic rulers where they are today. If you don’t know that, please stick to your usual subject because this obviously is too complex for you to understand.
    Second: if you know that the Sunni scholars stopped Ijtihad you must also know that the Shia did not but you don’t mention it. The irony is Al Azhar who is behind this reform is in itself one of the biggest anachronistic, backward and old fashion institutions in the Islamic world. This doesn’t seem to bother you the least of course.
    As for the 10 points of reform some of them are just ridiculous and an insult to the intellect.
    They temselves need guidance how can they guide people? It’s like a bllind man trying to leade the blinds. Many rules of Islam are taken out of context or completely misunderstood because exegete interpret the Quran literally and therfore miss the real meaning altogether. The Quran clearly says that “2:269 He granteth wisdom to whom He pleaseth; and he to whom wisdom is granted receiveth indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the Message but men of understanding”. These so called thinkers can’t even map a change process let along plan a change and implement it.
    The problem of women is not an Islamic issue but first a men’s issue and second backward traditions are followed due to ignorance. Do you really believe that in the West the women have been given their rights or respect? If you do, you must also believe in father Xmas. Your women started voting after WWII as for our women they were in politics and education 1400 years ago. Read about Fatima the daughter of Prophet Mohamed and the sister of Imam Hussein who led a revolution against Yazid the despotic Kalif etc… Sadly, most Muslims are too ignorant to understand their own religion. So, the heart of the problem starts here. No need to go into Jihad because it’s another nightmare that is completely misunderstood and of course manipulated by some evil people to reach their Satanic objectives.
    i am not sure whether point four is a joke to mark a short break or real. but surely a person of your calibre can’t take this point seriously. So you want Muslims to follow your economic model that is based on credit and printing money to raise inflation so that international bankers’ account get fatter by the minute. Is this the banking system you or they want us to follow? You can’t be serious.
    Point 6, how do you want someone not educated in religious studies to contribute to Islamic teaching? Experts are needed in any reform but if they have no knowledge in the topic how can they tackle a rule they don’t understand? There are enough experts in the field of religion but the problem lies in the hands of those who manage these institutions today. Once they grab control they will never let go until they die if you know what I mean.
    Point 7 is Christianising Islam in order to prevent it from taking part in politics, social affairs & education. Islam is a way of life and it covers every aspect of life. If you were believing in god, would you imagine God who is suppsed to have created the whole universe tell you “Look my beloved, delve into everything but not government issues because it’s not his dominion and politicians are exempt from being accountable to their creator because he simply has no power over them. Wow, great, what kind of god is this and where is justice? Oh sorry, I shouldn’t have asked this question because in order to know justice you must know its people (those who apply it to the letter & not those who kill 1.5 million Iraqis then go to church). Point 8, I don’t know how can a caring loving woman mix with lying, war mongers, corrupt politicians? Can you please show me a Christian country who has a Muslim leader before asking Muslims to do it?
    Finally, the Quran is the first book who calls for respect to other religions. Where do you think the Jews run to when they were repeatedly persecuted by the God fearing christians in europe? NORTH AFRICA & TURKEY. Christians & Jews are called people of the book in the Quran and we are told to treat them with respect. I give you one proof: Algerians have been colonised by the French for 132 years and throughout this time 1/3rd of the native population was barbarically massacred after they were promised that the chrsitian French were coming with respect to free them from the Ottomans but soon after they landed soldiers were ordered to bring heads and only heads. Raping women and little girls then cut their bosoms, cut open pregnant women’s bellies just for fun. let along stealing people’s properties and charging them up to 20% interest per WEEEEEEK to throw them into total poverty and so they did then hand over what they had left from their land. Who is asking the French to pay back what they did to them? Nobody, because they believe the day of judgement will be the day every one will pay for what he/she did. But muslims today are called barbarians, Christian and Jew haters but I wish you leave your arrogance aside for a moment and think what you did and what are you doing today to the Muslims and the rest of the world before asking others to take your example.

    1. Fatima’s example is wrong
      Regarding Fatima, could you explain why her inheritance was cut off by Prophet? And under what abject state of penury and poverty she died?
      Also as to why the wives of the Prophet were denied any settlement save barest upkeep, while all Muslims in the expansive era when Prophet was alive and in death bed, gave one fifth of their wealth to the Prophet, which was freely given to his male descendant kith and companions like Ali etc
      If whatever excuse u furnish as a lofty motive, and so exemplary sacrifice, and altruistic, why Prophet himself didn’t deny himself a share and the males of his family, helpers and companions?
      Leave alone the spirituality in obtaining booties and a man of God asking for a share, of other people’s women and possessions!
      In the case of Yazid, again, did not Ali’s armies brandish his captive daughter at the battle field that lead to the enablement of Muslim armies to wipe out the Persians?
      Can you explain why violence is written all over Islam’s pages from day one?

      Turn the pagans (non-Muslims) out of the Arabian Peninsula.

      Sahih Bukhari 5:59:716

      Can you explain why they must? and why they did?

      what happned to pagans then? where are they now?

      You say Respect-

      Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

      Qur’an 9:29

      You call that Respect? you pretend you wont respect that command of Allah?

      Explain why this God wants me be subdued by you? and I must willingly submit to you, who are just my brother in humanity?

      The American historian Will Durant summed it up like this:

      “The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within”.[3]

      who was responsible for that? Arab and turk invaders or islamic doctrines quoted above?

      B4,52,256 As-Sab Bin Jaththama said, “The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan and was asked whether it was permissible to at-tack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger.”

      The Prophet replied, “The women and children are from pagans.” I also heard the Prophet saying, “The institution of Hima [reserved pasture land] is invalid except for Allah and His Apostle.”

      What kind of justification there? Did Americans use drones against them? to endorse killing women and children in battle?

      Also note- the early converts were still humane enough to ask this Prophet ‘Is it permissible to kill, or will it not be wrong or sinful?’

      What is the reply- and why is such qualms missing ?

      Be it call for assassination of ‘poets’, or the various banus of pagan Arab/Jew tribes, or its own central figures-

      Mohammed said, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?” One of his followers heard him and on that very night he went to the woman’s home to kill her.

      M239 The assassin, a blind man, was able to do the work in the dark as the woman slept. Her babe lay on her breast while her other children slept in the room. The stealthy assassin removed the child and drove the knife into her with such force that he pinned her to the bed.

      I996 In the morning he went to Mohammed and told him. Mohammed said, “You have helped Allah and his apostle.” When asked about the consequences, Mohammed said, “Two goats won’t butt their heads together over this.”

      M239 Mohammed turned to the people in the mosque and said, “If you wish to see a man who has assisted Allah and his prophet, look here.” Omar cried, “What, the blind Omeir!” “No,” said Mohammed, “call him Omeir the Seeing.”

      I996 The mother, Marwan, had five sons and the assassin went to the sons and said, “I killed Bint Marwan, O sons. Withstand me if you can; don’t keep me waiting.” Is-lam became powerful that day, and many became Muslims when they saw the power of Islam.

      What do you call such a line of action? other than ‘Terror’ism?

      The first ten Muslim converts, can you tell us how peacefully they died after embracing ‘peace’; that is Islam?

      Why they died in the hands of fellow Muslims and each other among the ten?

      Another issue is by now tiresome universal tactic of turning the issue around- which is accuse all parties other than Muslims, to have the moat and refusing to look at the beam in your own eyes.
      It can never be Islam, is a presumption mandated by its Faith.
      And if shown something went wrong, then its not Islam but Muslims who did wrong.
      You deceive yourself thinking you are doing a favour to Muslims with such illogicality of approach.
      Actually you are taking presumptive positions.
      For an outsider, he sees Muslims, even Arabs and Iranians, and the most religious are far more friendly and loveable people and very hospitable.
      Outsiders when they see extreme violence they do not blame them for it, but see it is due to what they believe in child like.
      Do you know how much gentle a man can be in Bagdad towards a non-Muslim?
      While bombing American forces. I could sympathise with him as a Nationalist, how can I sympathise when he bombs a procession of women and children?
      Yet he is very much the same guy whom I could swear meant every word when he hugged me as a brother, and very loving person.
      What made him do such things? Inspite of them being Muslims too, only a different version of ‘Truth made plain’ religion of Peace?
      If not for Jihadi doctrines of Islam?
      Islam now has become so much dearer than your own lives that, even in my appreciating your love, and humanity, you will suspect that Iam trying to cleverly destroy your Iman!
      This hate is indispensible to Islam and the Paranoia.
      Believe me, Ive been there, and even when bombs went off, some kids used to crack jokes at Muslims offering prayers, and the Azan. A clear sign of a tired and abused humanity.
      They are losing respect for Islam. Not just non-Muslim victims.
      For instance, are you still in denial when bombs are going off round the clock and Muslims who enter forums too display unwanted hostility even in words, and at no circumstance admit something is indeed wrong with their faith, but at the same breath point out wrongs of others?
      There are so many things that reflect poorly.
      Absolute denial of violence in words and deeds universally against non-Muslims and increasingly now against fellow Muslim sects like Shias and Shias against Sunnis, (vicious loop) and against critical Muslims.

      Attempting to sell what worked decades ago when Islamic doctrines and especially the unwatered down and unapologetic take on them, were unavailable for non-Muslims to study, (internet) and Muslim conduct which wasn’t this bad (bombs almost every other day), so it’s plain for non-believers to see what makes them do it-
      but this apologetic pedalling of dated excuses like Palestine, immorality of Western society, economic backwardness, American policy, ‘Islam out of Context’, ‘all Muslims are not terrorists’, Zionists….

      Not for a minute you stop to check if ‘Stereotyping’ is in fact what Muslims most unrelentingly and outspokenly do, everywhere, and you yourself ‘stereotype’ any critical input as’ Islam-phobia’?

      There are apostates- like Syrian Wafer sultana and Ibn warraq, who don’t concede or try what Acharya is saying- they categorically state Islam cannot be reformed.

      Your view is that since Islam is the most perfect Religion, there is no reason or cause for such a question.
      So problems must be always with outside Islam or others- non-Muslims.

      I can understand your thinking, but cannot sympathise with such a tunnel vision that harms Muslims more than others.

      Can you really say Pakistan after decades of Islamisation is a better place or an ideal place on earth? Or Iran?
      If not why not? Why always it is not Islamisation but wrong interpretation, out of context etc?
      If Islam is a ‘Truth made Plain for you’ be true, why there is so much ‘misinterpretation’, and no one seems to get anything positive from having more Islam in their lives and lands?
      And no one seems to be so far able to get it right- which we are told Truth made Plain and Straight path?
      Why is it that always, and I challenge you to provide just one instance where a country reaped anything good after embracing and increasing upon Islamisation.
      If they couldn’t get the ‘right version’ done in a thousand years, how do you believe its going to be done now?
      Doesn’t past record disprove the assumption?
      Finally, wasn’t Christianity very much claiming the same and enjoying loyalty of its flocks for centuries like Islam does today?
      Have you forgotten Galileo and the stakes?
      What makes you think Muslim intellectuals will not be capable of dismantling this Islamic dogmatism’s stranglehold and censorship, and bring about a Renaissance era.
      Have you forgotten Kalifas have already done that once?
      And Arabs and Turks chucked out the caliphate system?
      It’s only a matter of time before Muslims themselves will start asking questions, and those will have to be answered.

      So far either questioning had been suppressed or not enough effort spent at logic while answering satisfactorily.
      Because no one steps out of basic premise- which is Islam is the most perfect Religion.
      Its effects on ground- to any objective bystander least to say its victims suggest nothing of the sort.
      Muslims being the first victims, since the first ten converts, majority of whom died cruel deaths in fellow Muslims’ hands or in privation.

      1. Hi Aron, I read your post very carefully. I want to share my thoughts. The basic thing Western scholars ignore us that they just puck up Islam and its history from its historical context and begin to disect it like we would do in biology class!then everything seems barbaric. Place everything in their historical and cultural context and you would realize Islam was the most humane in comparison to other religions and nations. The beauty of Islam is that as shia says Fatima (a.s) was almost killed by Omar, but still Ali, his husband paid allegiance to Abu bakr and Omar. Muwayyiah and Hassan made peace and Hassan gave up leadership voluntarily. Hussain was martyred but not so called shias but the suunis of Madina fought war with Yazeed. You aksi mentioned the Khums, Muhammad (s.a.w) and his wives would nothing to eat except dates sometimes as long as six months. He denied request of Her daughter to give her servant. What did he do with all that Khums??? The community made by Prophet (a.s) believed eved in principles,(Abu Ayyub All Ansari, the supporter of Ali, fought wars under the command of Yazeed bin Muwayyiah) can you find such examples from Christian or Jewish history.

    2. which one is best
      When a naive reader try to make his idea, it is difficult. But one thing I understand is that in the book of Zechariah you have a phrase which specifies the end of three religions. Jew, Christian and Muslim. All these three religions are abominations for God. That I do believe. God is a Lady, the Mother of all life. 👿

  12. david llewellyn foster

    Good to see some movement in a positive direction Acharya and that you endorse such things, many issues are being raised here impossible to deal with all at once, but there are some general points that might be touched upon in a brief comment…
    1. It is certainly encouraging that there is at least a tacit recognition that Islam as both culture and community remains both literally and figuratively an open book, not an inverted caricature of some vaguely orientalist spectre that haunts the debauched imagination of the West.
    2. That intelligent debate and free discussion is both desirable and neither blasphemous nor dangerous.
    3. That change requires courage and real progress needs enlightened leadership.
    4. That even to think the unthinkable like “christians” (Heaven forfend) enjoying governing powers can arguably make it easier to think at all.
    5. That it is a short step from consideration and acceptance of the right of women to participate fully, that they should therefore determine the shape and dynamic of that agenda themselves.
    6. That fear can be overcome through creative reflection and luminous intelligence.
    7. That cynicism is unhelpful, while transparency builds trust.
    8. That an open mind and an open heart will grow stronger through reciprocal engagement.
    9. That money is only symbolic, and its logic simply instrumental, while true wealth is ultimately both natural and immaterial.
    10. That learning means nothing until it is internalised and lived.
    One could go on, but these are some general lines of reflexive contemplation and dialogue I believe some of us could follow, in order to allow others to pursue whatever types of enquiry they deem best and appropriate of their own choosing…

  13. Western Banking Sucks
    I have heard that Sharia law has strict rules about usury. Our banking system has impoverished us and many countries that have signed on to our world bank. Number six is going to stink like imperialism and will sink this whole thing. Where westerners can fathom no other system except one in which corporations control the money supply and peoples’ bodies like government pay interest and are accused of “printing” money: one wonders how Sharia could possibly be worse.
    This article has sparked my curiosity.

  14. The Socio-religious Turmoil and its Remedy
    After my last late night look and comment, when the editor sent me its confirmation of acceptance, it is my usual practice to revisit the post for further perusal. It was pleasing to see about ten more addition of comments full of adrenaline.

    In last one week, [b]Dr. Tawfik Hamid[/b] is the second Muslim scholar realising the problem in Islamic society from Egypt. The earlier one was from Saudi Kingdom viz. [b]Dr Ibrahim Al-Buleihi [/b]who is now a member of the Advisory Council to the Saudi King after his retirement. A soft spoken nice likeable gentleman.

    Both feel that there is a problem with the current “practice” in contrast to the theory, in the Islamic society as well as seminary. Outside Islam as well, there are some people like us who sincerely wish well to Islam and I repeatedly say that I tend to make constructive criticism only to get branded as an Islamophobe. But the critics should be welcome since they tell us our weaknesses that in turn affords us an opportunity to reform, edit and amend our lacunae.

    To put it in the words of De Al-Buleihi, “And here he argues that terrorism is the product of a flaw in Arab and Muslim culture”.

    No one is perfect in this world and if someone says so, s/he risks their sanity and judgement only to be ridiculed. This 21st century will belong to heads (pen) as against hands (sword). The medieval days are gone when we could silently decieve, ambush, kill and grab.

    Human mind has both negative and positive traits. Hell and Heaven are here only. They do not exist in an imaginary non-existent world. Our negative traits lead us to commit sins that leads us to the hell of barbs and jails. Whereas our positive traits lead us to good company which can lift us to sit on a throne and lead a heavenly life with all those Huries,
    handsome young servants and the good wine right here on this earth.

    Unfortunately as I always condemn the present day all religions in the form of [b]”Organised Religions”[/b] which have deviated from their role of leading the society selflessly; in stead they are using the religion for their material, carnal and business gains by misleading the society by their collosal mental jugglery and impostured arguments lovelessly. An average person even if s/he is educated in one field is very gullible and susceptible to an art of [b]”Suggestibility”.[/b]

    On this very principle, the present day advertising industry runs its business of billions and trillions globally. Organised religion is no different from it. The reason for this whole confusion and turmoil lies here in this very unconcious psychological societal factor.

    We know that from the period of [b]”Abraham”[/b] a few centuries ago, this cult of violent philosophy took a beginning. This has led to innumerable crusades in the past about one and a half millennium. Jews, Christians and Muslims are all imprignated in this (im)pious so called religious gory war for [b]”conversion by force” [/b]because they needed foot soldiers for two reasons – one for gaining a [b]’follower mass’ [/b]for their immediate sustenance and secondly for winning a oneman upship of [b]”number game”[/b].

    I have come across often some [b]”apologists”[/b] proudly declaring themselves as so and so number of followers making them the largest or the second largest religion! Yet they seem to forget the basic respect for [b]”Humanity”. [/b]This only leaves them as [b]”Monsters”[/b], I mean it and I repeat it, “It leaves them only as monsters”. They live in [b]”Hell”[/b] themselves and force their neighbours to live in the same.

    Unfortunately the present day Islamic society does not seem to have woken up and in stead of [b]”Ijtihad”[/b], they are basking in the darkness of [b]”Jihad”[/b] only at their peril and risk of extinction.

    Nature has been both kind as well as cruel. It gives us birth and sustains us in the prime of our life but do not hesitate ti kill us when our old age invalidate us, just as mercilessly and remorselessly. Hence those societies which still talk of [b]”Force”[/b] in the name of a religious ideology are worshipping the [b]”Monster”[/b] in place of [b]”God”[/b]. They may substitute the names of their own fancy, that hardly matters.

    I find a reason in Madam Acharya’s wakening up call to my beloved Muslim society for their good, in stead of wasting her this golden opportunity, however uncalled for it may be felt, but I strongly feel that she is just as a good well wisher as I humbly wish to pray to them. I know how fierce and well researched her comments, posts and Books are but it needs a patient brain and mind to see the wisdom in them. Our own perception makes the others either good or bad. That good or bad lies within us, not outside or in others.

    Before I finish, my humble submission to the Islamic society in the ten points that I read carefully including the caption in the post. I quote:
    “The importance of this event cannot be [b]overestimated[/b].”

    With my respects, I wish to clarify here, did Dr. Hamid mean here “overestimated or underestimated” because the meaning changes vastly. Just a small my confusion please.

    Secondly apart from Muslims and Christians which only forms less than half of global community, both the esteemed children of “Abraham” may
    kindly bear it in mind. Because I am one of those left out ones and please do not take away my right to live as well as of so many other billions.

    Sorry for a little long post but I may kindly be forgiven if it helps the cause.
    God bless
    Dr. O. P. Sudrania

  15. Exciting News
    Truly exciting news that those sections of Islamic belief will be modified. I am confused though are these scholars saying that they have received the modifications directly from Allah? The Koran was sent by Allah to Mohammad by angel Gabriel, are we now saying that Allah has had a change of mind, if so then who is the new prophet? I am so confused, please advise.

  16. krissthesexyatheist

    OK
    I think it’s a step in the right direction. I’m not against moderate or liberal religion. It’s the extremist that worry me (and the world).

  17. Dare to Dream
    My fervent wish is that this renewal will take less that 1300 years and be accepted by fundamentalists. LOL. Please, go for it!!!

  18. too little, too late…
    though it makes for nice headlines, and would have been a great idea several thousand years ago, an islamic reformation is like a drop of water in a blazing, starving and dead desert. too little, too late is an understatement for a system of beliefs so outdated, unnecessary, and actually criminal that is in perfect alignment with its other brother of patriarchal murderous mind control non sense: christianity. a reformation, so what? how about a complete erasure, obsolescence, and rendering useless of a fairy tale fantasy where women are fleas on the dog and bring to justice a heinous philosophy and consider all of the worlds patriarchal religions to be tried and convicted for the scoundrels and criminals that they are?

  19. This is all very welcome & way overdue. It’s good to see a few men stepping out for a change. It looked like the muslim women were going to have to do it all themselves for a while. Does anyone know if the mainstream media is bothering to notice any of this?

    I think it’s sad that so much of the world has to have their supernatural myths modified before they can see fit to stop murdering & oppressing people. But hey, whatever it takes to help with this problem is well worth doing.

    As for our friend Dahmane’s contentions…where do I begin…

    [quote]The problem of women is not an Islamic issue but first a men’s issue and second backward traditions are followed due to ignorance. Do you really believe that in the West the women have been given their rights or respect? If you do, you must also believe in father Xmas.[/quote]

    That’s one hell of a bald assertion to make. I’m forced to wonder where you’re typing that from. Saudi Arabia? If women haven’t been given their rights or respect in the west I’d love to see how you characterise their status as breeding stock & punching bags within Islam. Those backward traditions you speak of are backed up & justified by Islam in their holy writings.

    [quote]Can you please show me a Christian country who has a Muslim leader before asking Muslims to do it?[/quote]

    There are no Christian countries, silly. Islamic robots like you can’t seem to handle that concept. Religion doesn’t run nations in our part of the world anymore. That would account for the fact that muslims are pouring out of muslim-run countries like rats from a sinking ship to be welcomed into ours. The word is “secular”. Look it up.

    [quote]Finally, the Quran is the first book who calls for respect to other religions.
    [/quote]

    Bold-faced lie. Here’s what the Quran calls for:

    “Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them.” Surah 9:121

    “Muhammad is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.” Surah 48:29

    “Slay them wherever you find them…Idolatry is worse than carnage…Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme.”Surah 2:190

    “Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends.” Surah 5:51

    “Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme.” Surah 8:36

    “…make war on the leaders of unbelief…Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them…” Surah 9:12

    “Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]…until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued.” Surah 9:27

    I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers. Surah 8:12-13

    God’s curse be upon the infidels! Evil is that for which they have bartered away their souls. To deny God’s own revelation, grudging that He should reveal His bounty to whom He chooses from among His servants! They have incurred God’s most inexorable wrath. An ignominious punishment awaits the unbelievers. Surah 2:89

    I could keep quoting. No religious book ever had more hatred for other religions. And the Quoran & Hadiths ARE Islam.

    …What else…I don’t feel like quoting it all so I’ll just continue by saying that the particular economic model individual muslim countries adopt is less important than their rejecting the medieval theocratic forms Islam calls for. Stopping the oppression of the female half of their population & the fanatical hatred of all non-muslims should take priority over economic models for the time being.

    I noticed you keep pointing out that different countries in the west have done bad things. You seem to think that pointing this somehow gets Islam off the hook for it’s institutionalized violence, hatred & oppression. Curious logic. If something is wrong for the west to do it’s also wrong for others to do. Even if Allah or Muhammad gave permission for it numerous times.

    Not that we’re dealing with equal cases here at all though. Like most muslim apologists you lump all western people living in the last 1000 years into one single entity (“the west”)with a single opinion & a collective guilt. You talk about things done 1000 years ago in the present tense. This is a very Islamic trait. Very sloppy thinking.

    The truth is that the west has changed more in 100 years than Islam has in 1000 because we allow free thought & a diversity of opinions that Islam never will. We move foward while Islam thinks & acts backwards.

    The west has the capacity to progress & feel shame & remorse over even it’s recent history because it isn’t the same civilization century after century. Yet 1,400 years on Islam can’t bring itself to question the righteousness of Muhammad’s massacres or pedophilia.

    We have overcome or are presently overcoming everything apologists like you criticise us for while Islam can’t be questioned or criticized at all without hysteria, threats & acts of violence.

    One last qoute of yours:

    [quote]But muslims today are called barbarians, Christian and Jew haters but I wish you leave your arrogance aside for a moment and think what you did and what are you doing today to the Muslims and the rest of the world before asking others to take your example.[/quote]

    Deal. I’ll take you up on that. You’re confusing me with strangers from centuries past again, but ok. I’ve never oppressed anyone, beaten women, cheered while terrorists killed civilians, demanded the death of cartoonists & authors I disagree with, or invoked supernatural myths to justify any of these things. Will Islam ever take up that example? Can it?

    1. Of course, you’re wasting your time on this one, Jeff, although others may benefit from your comments.

      This person is doing pretty much what all Muslim apologists do – the same arguments over and over again. Then, when those fail, he tosses out a slew of insults and personal attacks, which were not passed through.

      What else is new? All he does is prove our point about Islam making people irrational and hateful.

      In the meantime, the following site is instrumental in showing this repeated pattern, including the favorite “tu quoque” argument you quoted last above. What “we” did to the Muslims? That’s the “blowback” argument, which is completely fallacious when one actually studies history and for the reason you outline above. Dr. Ali Sina would say this is a classic example of a persecution complex. And, again, it’s all part of Muslim apologetics – constantly crying victim even while being the aggressor. I posted a critique of violent [i]ideology [/i]from a Muslim reformer, and this individual thinks its all about [i]him [/i]personally, so he comes back with a host of insults and personal attacks. It’s because of precisely THIS irrationality and infantilism that we have a problem with Islamic doctrine. WE are not the problem here.

      How to Debate a Muslim ([url]http://sheikyermami.com/2009/06/16/how-to-debate-a-muslim/[/url])

      Islamic Crusades ([url]http://occidentalsoapbox.blogspot.com/2008/11/islamic-crusades.html[/url])

      Islam’s body count: 270 MILLION people, including some 80 million Indians – what did [i]they [/i]do the Muslims who invaded their country and slaughtered them mercilessly?

      But those facts don’t bother the apologist at all. He’s more concerned with us complaining about such unending bloodshed.

      Perfectly illustrating the need for reform as discussed in this post.

      All those who are enthralled to Islam [i]can [/i]free themselves. These sites are a great place to start.

      http://truthbeknown.com/islamquotes.htm ([url]http://truthbeknown.com/islamquotes.htm[/url])
      http://www.thereligionofpeace.com ([url]http://www.thereligionofpeace.com[/url])
      http://www.faithfreedom.org ([url]http://www.faithfreedom.org[/url])
      http://www.islam-watch.org ([url]http://www.islam-watch.org[/url])
      http://www.jihadwatch.org ([url]http://www.jihadwatch.org[/url])
      http://www.theprophetofdoom.org ([url]http://www.theprophetofdoom.org[/url])
      http://occidentalsoapbox.blogspot.com/2008/11/islamic-crusades.html ([url]http://occidentalsoapbox.blogspot.com/2008/11/islamic-crusades.html[/url])
      http://freethoughtnation.com/womens-rights-in-islam.html ([url]http://freethoughtnation.com/womens-rights-in-islam.html[/url])

      Good luck.

  20. Dream of reality that is….???
    |2011-01-29 16:29:35 Patti Outram – Dare to Dream

    How long did it take to build the World Trade Centre in NY and how long did it take to ground it? You may not need too much of a patience but may get a surprise of your own life time. Who knows???
    God bless
    Dr. O. P. Sudrania

    1. And wouldn’t that just please you to no end, “Doctor”?

      Islamic civilization can’t manage to create things like the World Trade Center towers but they sure can find a way to destroy them. But at least you can take pleasure in the idea of Islamic terrorists proving all of us right again & again by murdering more civilians, right? Sounds like you’re part of the problem yourself.

      1. Oh dear. I think you misread what Dr. O.P. has said here, Jeff. I’m not really certain what he’s trying to convey, but he’s a staunch supporter of my work and no friend of Islam, that’s for sure!

        1. I hope so. If so, I withdraw my hastily cobbled snarl & will kick myself in the ass (I have thick-soled boots & short legs). I get on the computer for a minute after 12 hour shifts & often have few braincells to spare at that point.

          Hopefully his point was that seemingly solid, immovable things can change or disappear suddenly. I’m thinking of communist Russia & the Assyrian empire at the moment but can’t spin a rhetorical flourish to make a decent point right now.

          I do see the people living in muslim lands gradually rejecting this stuff & identifying themselves with other things. It’s already happening on a large enough scale but no one makes an issue of it in the mainstream.

          We have a similar phenomenon in the west with people who identify culturally as Christians but aren’t religious in any way & functionally secular. Their parents were more religious & their kids will be more secular.

          They’re free to fence-sit & ignore the issue because Christianity has mostly lost the power to be obnoxious & impose itself on people the way Islam does today. Islam’s behavior is forcing muslims of the modern world to respond to the issue more immediately. I think we’re seeing that.

          Most people want to live normal lives & not be ostracized or forced into conflict with the rest of the world. Modern muslims in the west will absorb different values & sensibilities than their grandparents & won’t find it easy or attractive to defend terrorists & barbaric scriptures. People like Dr Hamid & Ayaan Hirsi Ali are the more pubic symptoms of a bigger trend.

      2. Dr. O. P. Sudrania

        Dream of reality
        Jeff, it was a satirical simile that you missed completely but I am glad that Acharya has kindly righted it.

        Let me expound it, “When I said about demolition of WTC, I tried to reflect the same on the Islamists to demolish them”.

        Regards
        Dr. O. P. Sudrania

  21. Hearsay Revealed Religions.
    As a Deist I find it a complete waste of energy trying to change, while still keeping a fantasy concerning Religion.

    The only revelation we have of our Creator is through Observation and Science and our Reason showing us in order to exist in the hardships of a changing environment is to help each other abiding by The Golden Rule.

  22. Cocious Analisis of dogma?
    For there to be a sobering anallisis of religious dogma so as to be [i]more[/i] inclusive and relivant within the confines of a societal structure is, in itself, a radical notion. If we could have such thoughtful reformation across the religious spectum, perhaps thier faith might hold better appeal to those on the proverbial fence.
    Though an athiest myself, I have found that those who have niether the intelectual dicipline, nor the internal fortitude to rationalize the conflicts of societal teachings verses spiritual desires and focus, religion is a nessisary guidance tool that betters thier conflicting emotions. With the reformation discussed – even as minor as it is – it opens the posibility of allowing the “lost” who seek guidance, to have less opotunity to be politically persuaded in one direction.
    This is, without a doubt, a truly momentous idea. Kudo’s to thoughtful ideals.

  23. I object My Lord~
    Author issues 10 points

    1— New evaluation of the Hadith books and better selection for the Hadith of prophet Mohamed.

    This is irrelevant reform. It may OR may not work.

    2— Changing some traditional teachings regarding the concept that Non-Muslims must pay Jizzia (humiliating tax) to Muslims.

    Unless and Untill you mention what change will happen, this remains unclear in our mind.

    3— Changing the traditional Islamic understandings in relation to dealing with women

    Unless and Untill you mention what change will happen, this remains unclear in our mind.

    4— New understanding for the concept of Jihad

    Unless and Untill you mention what change will happen, this remains unclear in our mind.

    5— Allowing Muslims to use Non-Sharia compliant banking systems.

    I do not think any muslim will take this seriously. They will prefer killing those who suggest this.

    6— Better preparation of the preachers and allowing independent thinkers who were not educated in Islamic institutes to contribute to Islamic teaching and reform.

    Really good thing but let us see how do muslims percieve this. Hope this does not creates conflicts in Islamic world.

    7— Separation between the Mosque and the State

    This will be indeed a blast in Islamic world if implemented.

    8— Accepting that women and Christians can lead Islamic countries

    This will be indeed a blast in Islamic world if implemented.

    9— Modernizing Al-Azhar Islamic education

    No comments, I donot know about that.

    10— Creating better relation with Non-Muslims via the school and houses of worship.

    This is too funny to be termed as a reform. It will take at least 11 decades to implement this. The reason is that according to muslim, the best way to better the relation is to stone non muslims to death instead of beheading them.

  24. true guidance
    Keep up with your good effort.

    We should try to look at our shortcomings and look at the others good.

    The efforts of mass media and its cheap servants seems like work hard to suppress the truth but now the independent media bring the truth for those want it in REAL TIME.

    Those who ready to be unbiased will look at the absolute truth but twisted minds may NOT have that ability.

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