||2017-11-29 10:22:54, 조회 : 630, 추천 : 161
| Heretic |
Muslim Dissidents and Reformers
Last week we discussed whether or not a Muslim Reformation is underway. We concluded that Muslim Reformation is occurring due to many Muslims and non-Muslims speaking out against the religion that does not permit freethinkers. Yet, people like Brother Rachid and Walid Husayin are among the many people that want to turn the spotlight on Islam and question whether or not it is a religion of peace. Today, we will look at several Muslim dissidents and reformers to find hope in the reformation of Islam. In addition, we will look critically at the responsibility that we as Westerners are given.
How do we know that a Muslim Reformation is underway? By looking at the scores of Muslim dissidents and reformers that are risking their lives to speak against Islam and calling for reform. These dissidents and reformers are not people of power, rather, they are ordinary Muslims that have seen for themselves the problematic nature Islam carries. Ali names several people that you may be interested in looking into:
Maajid Nawaz (UK)
Samia Labidi (France)
Afshin Ellian (Netherlands)
Yunis Qandil (Germany)
Saleem Ahmed (U.S)
Zuhdi Jasser (U.S)
The people listed are not clerics but “informed citizens” that want a “fundamental reinterpretation of Islam or a change in the core doctrines of Islam.” Some of these people have left Islam altogether, some have stood in Islam and wish to reform Islam from the inside. Their main focus of reform is to look at the Qur’an and hadith historically and that the civil man-made laws should override the sharia law. How are these courageous dissidents and reformers questioning Islam at its core? Let us take a look.
Zuhdi Jasser is an American-Muslim physician. He created the American Islamic Forum for Democracy that is currently stationed in Arizona. As soon as you enter into the website (aifdemocracy.org), it states, “Engaging in the war of ideas against the ideology of political Islam.” Jasser wishes to divide mosque and state and also believes that the root of IS is because of political Islam and the supremacy of the Islamic state. Jasser has created the “Jefferson project” that “include the abrogation of all blasphemy and apostasy laws.” He believes that civil law should be placed above sharia law. He states, “If government enacts the literal law of God rather than natural law or human law, then government becomes God, and abrogates religion and the personal nature of the relationship with God. Government law should be based on and debated in reason, not from scriptural exegesis.”
Saleem Ahmed created a Honolulu-based “All Believers Network” in 2003 (allbelieversnetwork.net). This network promotes discussion about genuine interfaith. The network consist of people from different religions, like Christianity, Buddhism, Taosim and Islam. Ahmed argues that the more political and violent verses from the Qur’an are held with a higher standard than the spiritual ones. Therefore, he wishes to reform Islam doctrine. He writes “Islam: A Religion of Peace” to bring a spotlight on Islam.
Samia Labidi grew up in a traditional Islam home. When she was eleven years old, her sister married the founder of the Islamist groups MTI (El Nahda the Renaissance). Afterwards, her family became Medina Muslims and Labidi began to wear a hijab. However, Labidi’s mother felt too confined and took her and Labidi to Tunisia. Labidi writes, “My mind was sterilized gradually, unable to have access to freedom of thought, to myself… Women continued to be treated like incapable beings who need to be systematically under the guardianship of a close male relative in order to move, to exist, or even to breathe.” Labidi believes that religion should be separate from politics and she continues to remain active in carrying out this agenda among French Muslims.
Jasser, Ahmed and Labidi are all people from the West that wish to reform Islam. However, there are also many people that wish to see Islam reform that are from the Islamic world. For example, Kareem Ahmer is an Egyptian that was once a student of Al-Azhar. Al-Azhar is considered to be one of the best university for Sunni’s in Cairo, Egypt. After an attack at a Coptic Church in 2005, Ahmer decided to call Muhammad and his followers “sahaba” which means “spillers of blood.” Ahmer criticized his school about setting a path for “Islamic orthodoxy and intolerance of reformist views.” Another reformist Imam Yassin Elforkani is a Sunni that preaches in the Netherlands. He believes that the Qur’an is a divine text but the interpretations of the Qur’an are left up to human beings. He also argues that the Caliphate is just another means to gain more power for IS. Another reformist is Iyad Jamal al-Din who is a Shiite. He argued for the separation of mosque and state. He also favors civil law over sharia law and believes that civil law is the only way to guarantee freedom for each individual. He has defended religious diversity and does not believe in imposing religious views on nonbelievers.
While there are many dissidents and reformers in the West and the Islamic world that wish to reform Islam, what can we as ordinary people do to support this cause? Ali states, “It is the duty of the Western world to provide assistance and, where necessary, security to those dissidents and reformers who are carrying out this formidable task.” Muslim Reformation can only happen if we all begin to allow these freethinkers to analyze, debate and question Islam at its core. By silencing those around us by calling them “Islamophobes” will only prolong this reformation.
1) How do we know that a Muslim Reformation is underway?”
2) What do you think Zuhdi Jasser means when he states, “If government enacts the literal law of God rather than natural law or human law, then government becomes God, and abrogates religion and the personal nature of the relationship with God. Government law should be based on and debated in reason, not from scriptural exegesis.”
3) How are “Women continued to be treated like incapable beings who need to be systematically under the guardianship of a close male relative in order to move, to exist, or even to breathe.”
4) What do you think we Westerners need to do to help Islam’s reformation?