Friday, November 02, 2007

Alternative Muslim View Of Islam--Reforms????

OK---There may be a very few Muslims (I wonder how long it will be before any such are suppressed by murder or other means) who are carefully-and-cautiously examining Islam in the light of history and experience---For which please see the 2 November 2007 AmericanThinker article reproduced below. (ARTICLES CAN BE FOUND BY "GOOGLE" ACCESS BY ENTERING THE AUTHOR'S NAME: ALI ETERAZ)

Yet, even this excellent stylist cannot bring himself to condemn the worst verses of the Koran (Also reproduced below), which verses are the key block to any real changes in or reform of Islam.

November 01, 2007
Fascinating series on developments within Islam
Rosslyn Smith
Blogger Ali Eteraz just completed a seven part series in the Guardian on developments within Islam. I would sum up his theme by saying that the religious thinkers who influenced the Jihadists and the Islamists were those who supported dissent against the political authority of their own times.

Once forces of dissent get unleashed in a culture they become difficult to control. For every Bin Laden wannabe who reads the Quran for himself and finds support for violence against Muslim and infidel alike there are now even more like Laleh Bakhtiar, a woman whose translation of the Quran removed the permission for wife-beating based on her understanding of alternative meanings of classical Arabic verbs. In the author's words

"the same people who wanted to prevent the "westoxification" of Islam, who wanted to "purify" Islam, have ended up ushering the same thing that makes the west special: hyper-individualism."

In Eteraz's view the Islamic world is on the verge of its own Enlightenment as people increasingly come to realize that the separation of the political sphere from the religious one is in their best interests. Eteraz has obviously thought deeply about his topic and is passionate about helping the Islamic world modernize.

Unfortunately his own biases (the series contains a comparison of Karl Rove to the Mullahs one expects to find in the Guardian) sometimes get in the way of the clarity of his political analysis. Apparently based on the "right = bad: left = good" formula that has infected the academic and media culture, Eteraz labels his own prescriptions for reform within the Islamic World "leftist". There is nothing leftist about them. Most of the readers of this site would call his prescriptions classical liberalism.

Eteraz's inability to recognize his own biases can make him a jarring read at time. Besides the Christian conservative bashing, he frequently criticizes "the west" for seeking to reform Islam based on the cult of personality by seeking a charismatic anti-Bin Laden figure for Muslims to rally around. Yet on his own blog he's was at least initially down right giddy over the campaign of Barak Obama, an engaging figure whose appeal is almost entirely based on personality as Obama has no political accomplishments of note on his resume.

Ali Eteraz on Islamic reform:

Article 1: The roots of Islamic reform

Article 2: The Islamic reformation

Article 3: An Islamic counter-reformation

Article 4: Beyond Islamic enlightenment

Article 5: The making of the Muslim left

Article 6: Muslim secularism and its allies

Article 7: Post-Islamism


* verses which preach cruelty, incite violence and disturb public tranquility (i.e., 2:193; 8:39; 2:216; 9:41; 9:123; 66:9; 9:73; 8:65; 8:66; 47:4—15; 8:12; 69:30—33; 8:15—18; 25:52; 9:39; 9:111; 3: 169—171; 4:100; 48:29; 49:15; 2:154; 3:157—158; 8:59—60; 9:2—3; 9:29; 8:67; 4:84; 29:6; 29:69; 61:9—13; 9:36; 9:5; 9:14; 9:20—22; 4:95—96; 8:72—74; 3:142)
* verses which promote, on grounds of religion, feelings of enmity, hatred and ill-will between different religious communities (i.e., 4:101; 60:4; 58:23; 9:7; 8:13—14; 8:55; 25:55; 5:72; 9:23; 9:28; 3:28; 3:118; 4:144; 5:14; 5:64; 5:18; 5:51)
* verses which insult other religions as well as the religious beliefs of other communities (i.e., 5:17; 4:157; 5:116—118; 98:6; 68:8—13; 38:55—57; 22:19—21; 22:56—57; 5:36; 15:2; 72:14—15;41:33; 4:125; 25:27—29; 26:96—99; 3:85; 8:38; 31:13; 29:41—42; 37:22—25; 37:26—32; 25:17—19; 7:173; 21:66—67; 21:98—100; 16:20—21; 6:22—23; 6:40—41; 6:148; 2;221; 24:3)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many people talk about the need to reform Islam. Now you can stop talking and start helping.

With the help of our readers we went through the Koran and removed every verse that we believe did not come from Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. However, it is possible that we missed something, and we could use your help. If you find verses in the reformed version of the Koran that promote violence, divisiveness, religious or gender superiority, bigotry, or discrimination, please let us know the number of the verse and the reason why it should be removed. Please email your suggestions to

When we finish editing process, we would like to publish Reform Koran in as many languages as possible. If you could help with translation or distribution of the Reform Koran, please email us at If you could provide financial support, please visit our support page.

In Memoriam of Aqsa Parvez.