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Reform-Islam

Type: Link

Type: News

Country: 
Morocco
News Date: 
06/02/2017
Summary: 

Casablanca – Morocco’s High Religious  Committee has retracted its Islamic ruling stating that apostasy is punishable by death and has decided to permit Muslims to change their religion.

The High Religious Committee in charge of issuing Fatwas (Islamic rulings) released a book in 2012 where it articulated its position on apostasy and argued that a Muslim who changes his or her religion should be punished with death, drawing on a widespread jurisprudence tradition.

Country: 
Morocco
News Date: 
04/05/2017
Summary: 

Morocco’s High Religious Committee decreed earlier this year that individuals who leave Islam should not face the death penalty for apostasy. This astounding ruling from a body charged with issuing fatwas (an authoritative religious or juridical ruling), reverses the classical sharia legislation that has stood since medieval times. 

Country: 
Egypt
News Date: 
08/01/2015
Summary: 

Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi's makes boldest effort yet to position himself as a modernizer of Islam and states professed goal to purge Islam of extremist ideas of intolerance and violence that fuel groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

.....

Country: 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
News Date: 
05/09/2016
Country: 
Australia
News Date: 
10/08/2016
Country: 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
News Date: 
11/01/2015
Country: 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
News Date: 
15/07/2016

Type: Opinion

Summary: 
  • However, the media-driven PR campaign backfired as the news of the opening of the Berlin 'liberal mosque' reached Muslim communities in Germany and abroad. The liberal utopian dream quickly turned into an Islamist nightmare.

  • Why do Muslim organizations in Germany fail to mobilize within their communities and denounce Islamist terrorism? Because, if there really is a belief that "international terrorism should not be depicted as a problem belonging to Muslims alone" this view seems to indicate that, in general, Muslims do not see it as their problem.

Summary: 

“Remember, what people read as the Koran is interpretation. The only thing that is Koran is the Arabic. The battle over interpretation is, what are the original words in Arabic? How do we actually define them? Many of them are fake and intentionally misleading interpretations,” he argued.

“The others that are about wars and battles, we need to separate and say, ‘You know what? Maybe it made sense in 620, 625 C.E., but we need to circumscribe those and say we no longer apply to today.’ You have to separate the historical part of the passages from applies to today,” he advised. “Muslims have done that with the rejection of polygamy that’s permitted, with the rejection of the cutting of hands for stealing, things like that. There’s a way to separate those things, and other ways to reinterpret.”

As a much more delicate example, Jasser noted there is a passage in the Koran about the permissibility of beating women, but he suggested it could be reinterpreted in a modern context as “going on strike” (i.e. separating from her) instead of physically “striking” her.

“There are modern ways to reinterpret the exact same words in a non-Salafi, non-Wahabbi, more modern liberal way while staying true to the authenticity of the script,” he stressed, referring to two schools of Islam that reject modernization and insist on highly literal interpretations of the Koran.

Summary: 

This idea that Muslims will quickly and en masse adopt Nawaz’s new age, spliff-smoking, liberal version of Islam is absurd – and dangerous. Considering the widespread hate and mistrust Muslims have for him and his organisation and the zero credibility he and Quilliam have amongst Muslims, unfortunately I have to reluctantly ask: who is his target audience?

Exactly what, or who, are you actually trying to reform, Mr Nawaz?

Everything about the words contained in the Koran and the example of Islam’s prophet Mohammed is the antithesis of free will, autonomy, freedom and democracy. If you sat down at a desk today to design an ideology with the express intention of being as hostile towards and incompatible with western civilisation as possible, you would produce Islam. The literal translation of the word Islam is “submission”.

Islam is a highly structured system of governance with roughly 6,000 sharia laws that dictate the actions and behaviours of its followers, both in public and private life. It’s a holistic system that commands Muslims to obey the will of Allah and follow the example of Mohammed as the path to eternal salvation.

Secularism is a betrayal of Islamic teachings, those teachings being unambiguously detailed in the Koran, Sura and Hadiths. Those instructions make clear that each and every Muslim should strive to live in accordance with Islamic law. To reject, criticise, or attempt to undo codified Islamic jurisprudence is considered highly blasphemous – a crime carrying the death penalty. This is the main reason the majority of Muslims are so hostile to any talk of reformation.

In essence Islamic “reformers” such as Nawaz are asking Muslims to denounce the life and teachings of the prophet of Islam and the words of the creator of the universe.

The Koran is believed to be the literal and perfect word of Allah. The text is said to be immutable (unchangeable), timeless.

Summary: 

Fantasy Islam: A game in which an audience of non-Muslims wish with all their hearts that Islam was a “Religion of Peace,” and a Muslim strives to fulfill that wish by presenting a personal version of Islam that has little foundation in Islamic Doctrine.

Summary: 

Progress can never be made if we can't satirise Islam, says Maajid Nawaz. The LBC presenter said we need the right to be able to blaspheme and criticise religion, because if people can't express their opinion verbally - they will turn to violence. Maajid passionately made the case for encouraging satire of Islam after writer and campaigner, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, said: 'We've had Life of Brian, now we need Life of Muhammad'.

Summary: 

Other examples of Islam’s inferior view of women can be cited. However, the above accounts are sufficient to conclude that under Sharia, “men are superior to women” (Q 2:228) and that “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they [men] spend their wealth to maintain them [women]” (Q 34:4). Sharia then enjoins upon its adherents a profoundly un-egalitarian ethic, whereby women are deemed inferior to men.[30]

People who are endeared to the egalitarian-Western principles, particularly those who are Europeans, must fight the proliferation of Sharia ideas in their homeland. But in order to fight a fascistic and misogynistic ideology like Islamism, it is necessary for adherents of egalitarian-Western principles to first understand the motivations of Islamists.

And, make no mistake, the reasons that Islamists advance for just about everything they do, including their oppression of women, are based almost exclusively on their religious ideology. None of the sources cited above are exclusively political or social in nature—they are religious Islamic sources.

Summary: 
  • The report implies that deradicalization, either in specialized centers or in prisons, does not work because most Islamic radicals do not want to be deradicalized.

  • Although France is home to an estimated 8,250 hardcore Islamic radicals, only 17 submitted applications and just nine arrived. Not a single resident has completed the full ten-month curriculum.

  • By housing Islamists in separate prison wings, they actually had become more violent because they were emboldened by "the group effect," according to Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas.

  • "Deradicalizing someone does not happen in six months. These people, who have not been given an ideal and who have clung to Islamic State's ideology, are not going to get rid of it just like that. There is no 'Open Sesame.'" — Senator Esther Benbassa.

  • "The deradicalization program is a total fiasco. Everything must be rethought, everything must be redesigned from scratch." — Senator Philippe Bas, the head of the Senate committee that commissioned the report.

Summary: 

Q: In the MRM’s inaugural press conference, you said American mosques that reject the MRM’s declaration of principles are part of the problem, while those that accept the principles are part of the solution. How many mosques did the MRM approach? Did most of these mosques accept or reject these principles?

A: We spent significant resources on this outreach over a period of ten months. We reached out through snail mail, e-mail, and telephone to over 3,000 mosques and over 500 known public American Muslims. We received only 40-plus rather dismissive responses from our outreach, and sadly less than ten of them were positive. In fact, one mosque in South Carolina left us a vicious voice mail threatening our staff if we contacted them again.

Admin: The response from contacting over 3000 mosques says it all! Placing faith in reforming Islam is like following a rainbow.

 

Summary: 
  • Iran's entire power structure and most of its civil society is centralized under the personal control of the Supreme Leader. In this way, Iran's dictatorship is every bit as entrenched as North Korea's, making the idea of traditional regime change a pipe dream.

  • The mullahs created a regime -- an entrenched revolution -- specifically designed to resist change or reform, adopting a unique theocratic structure that uses both Islamic ideology and brutal force to maintain absolute power.

  • There is but one regime, and it has no interest in "reform."

  • The membership of every single one of the many official-sounding bureaucratic organs is personally approved by the Supreme Leader. Indeed, any individual, or coalition of individuals who might serve as a check on his absolute power is, in fact, completely beholden to Khamenei's whims, making him the most complete and powerful dictator on the planet.

  • Elections in this regime are not indicative of any form of "democracy". Instead, they are merely a process of choosing among individuals vetted by the Supreme Leader. There are no factions based upon ideological differences, there is mere jockeying for position and the personal favor of the Supreme Leader.

  • Western governments' policy of providing concessions to the Iranian regime in order to empower "reformist" factions is based on a fantasy -- a fantasy which the Iranian regime deliberately encourages in order to fool naïve foreign leaders into easing sanctions and turning a blind eye to the nuclear program. In reality, Western concessions are strengthening Khamenei -- further reducing the possibility of change, and increasing the likelihood of outright war.

Summary: 

As news of fresh Islamist plots hit the newspapers over the weekend, we should remember when, last month, the Prime Minister made British values central to the fight against extremism.He didn’t refer to the abstract values liberals love to promote such as ‘respect’ and ‘tolerance’ that are so vague as to be of limited value. Instead he clearly articulated historically rooted British values:

  • democracy
  • the rule of law,
  • freedom of speech,
  • freedom of the press
  • freedom of worship

He also insisted that these apply to all regardless of their race, sex, sexuality or faith i.e. in this county we have equality before the law and one law for all, not shari’a for some and British law for others. This of course is not something new: these are historic British values because they have emerged over the centuries and become embedded in our institutions. In that sense they are deeply rooted. But too be honest, we have often lost sight of them.

Summary: 

Could it be true that Islam is not a religion? St. Thomas Aquinas, in defining religion, utilizes Cicero’s broad characterization according to which religion  “consists in offering service and ceremonial rites or worship” to “some superior nature that men call divine.” Aquinas adds that this definition applies to religion in general, but that further specifications may be derived from revelation:

It belongs to the dictate of natural reason that man should do something through reverence for God. But that he should do this or that determinate thing does not belong to the dictate of natural reason, but is established by Divine or human law.

Summary: 

The Golden Rule, in its negative or positive formulations, is incorporated not only in Christianity (Matt. 7:12), where Jesus declares it is a summary of “the law and the prophets,” but also in other major religions. For example, in Judaism, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor”; in Hinduism, “Let no man do to another that which would be repugnant to himself”’; in Buddhism, “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful”; in Confucianism, “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do unto others.”

I took this as evidence of the relative universality of rational ethical principles in the world. But in Islam, I could find nothing of the sort, rather just the opposite – a reverse Golden Rule, so to speak: “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Be merciful to one another, but ruthless to the unbelievers” (Qur’an 48:29); “Never take unbelievers for friends” (3:28). Furthermore, the commands in the Qur’an to slay the unbelievers wherever they find them (2:191), not befriend them (3:28), fight them and show them harshness (9:123), and smite their heads (47:4) – accentuate distance from the Golden Rule.

Summary: 

The minority of Muslims who support, and use, violence against infidels follow original, literal Islam.  They’re not “Islamic terrorists” – they’re legacy, Koranic literalists who use terror as a tactic to promote the conversion of non-Muslims who must convert to Islam or die.

Pure Islam is not a “religion of peace” and was never designed to be a religion of peace.

Instead, Islam is a religion that uses terror to enforce a dogma that defines behavioral practices that comply with the Koran and that define the regulations of daily life.

Summary: 

The status of Islam should be clarified if the debate on how to defeat terrorism is ever to bear fruit. Islam, I would argue, is not a religion in the common acceptation of the term as a community of believers dedicated to the loving worship of the Divine, the sanctity of life, and the institution of moral principles governing repentance for sins and crimes, making life on earth a stage toward a higher reincarnation, an ineffable peace, or a confirmatory prelude to eternity in the realm of a righteous and merciful God.

In fact, Islam is an unrepentant politico-expansionist movement clothed in the trappings of religion and bent on universal conquest by whatever means it can mobilize: deception (taqiyya), social and cultural infiltration, or bloody violence, as its millennial history and authoritative scriptures have proven. (See Koran 13:41, which is meant literally despite the attempt of apologists to launder its purport: “Do they not see that We are advancing in the land, diminishing it by its borders on all sides?”)

Summary: 

"Ghouse argues that all violence and intolerance committed under the banner of Islam is not due to the Quran:"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-source-of-muslim-extremism_us_57...

Unfortunately, its thesis is built on a faulty premise. Even if every single Muslim was to reject the Hadith and other “secondary books,” that wouldn’t change the fact that the Quran is saturated with violent and intolerant teachings that need no clarification from supplemental literature.

Summary: 

While Quranism resonates with the Western mentality—it’s simply the Islamic version of Protestantism’s sola scriptura—it is heresy in the Muslim world.  Mainstream Muslim scholars, including so-called “moderates,” regularly and often denounce Quranists as apostates from Islam.  They point out that Quran 33:2 commands Muslims to follow Muhammad’s example; and his example—his sunna, which 90 percent of the world’s Muslims, the Sunnis, are named after—is derived from the Hadith.

 

Unfortunately, its thesis is built on a faulty premise: Even if every single Muslim was to reject the Hadith and other “secondary books,” that wouldn’t change the fact that the Quran is saturated with violent and intolerant teachings that need little supplementation from secondary literature.

Well over a hundred verses call for nonstop war, or jihad, on non-Muslims.  If the “infidels” are beaten and refuse to convert to Islam, they must live as third class subjects and pay tribute “while feelingly humbled” (e.g., 9:29).  The Quran also prescribes draconian measures—crucifixions, whippings, amputations, stonings, and beheadings—as punishments; and it requires the absolute subjugation of women (e.g., 4:34), with particularly devastating results for non-Muslim women.

Summary: 

Sharia as practiced is not divine, and divine by definition should be flawless; Sharia laws cannot be divine by any stretch of the imagination.  It was a body of law created by men with the intent of serving justice to fellow beings.  Our own Constitution is a human effort and has been amended 27 times to correct the flaws. To err is human and Sharia law has major flaws that need fixing in order to reflect God’s law which cannot be anything but justice, fairness, kindness and mercy.

Summary: 

Radicalisation is a process. It can happen quickly or slowly, but in the context of Muslims there are some essential religious requirements. If a believing Muslim is to carry out a suicide bombing, they must believe that this is a good act in the eyes of God, and not an act that will automatically condemn them to spending all of eternity in Hell. The same applies to killing other people without ending your own life. If the Muslim concerned believed that killing a particular person or persons was going to automatically condemn them to spending all of eternity in Hell, they would not do it.

Summary: 

The leader of the 7 July 2005 bombers was Mohammad Sidique Khan who made a pre-suicide videotape; the link takes you to the text of the video. I don't believe that a man recording a video before committing suicide will lie about his motivation and have selected the following extract:

"Our religion is Islam - obedience to the one true God, Allah, and following the footsteps of the final prophet and messenger Muhammad... This is how our ethical stances are dictated. Your democratically elected governments continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world. And your support of them makes you directly responsible, just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters."

His videotape states clearly that he was motivated by his religious beliefs and not by some other aspects of his identity. We all have multiple identities; I am simultaneously British, Mancunian, Punjabi, Pakistani, Muslim, Conservative and Cantabrigian amongst others. Different aspects of my identity come to the fore in different contexts. Mohammad Sidique Khan's statement makes it clear that he was motivated primarily by his religious beliefs and not by some other aspect of his identity.

Summary: 

At its simplest, my view is that if the 7/7 bombers had believed that carrying out the bombings was guaranteed to result in them spending all of eternity in Hell, they would not have carried out the bombings. It is one thing to sacrifice your life in a noble cause, as they clearly believed they were doing. It is something quite different to kill yourself doing something for which you believe God will punish you for all eternity.

Summary: 

Condemning terrorism is easy and no Muslim organisation need fear any criticism from Muslims (or others) if all it does is to condemn terrorist acts. However, condemning terrorism is not enough if you are unwilling to acknowledge its causes. If you deny its causes, you cannot put forward a meaningful vision of the way forward.

The terrorists’ religious beliefs matter fundamentally

I am utterly fed up with hearing people, both Muslim and non-Muslim, argue that the religious views of the terrorists are irrelevant.

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