India Uncut

This blog has moved to its own domain. Please visit for the all-new India Uncut and bookmark it. The new site has much more content and some new sections, and you can read about them here and here. You can subscribe to full RSS feeds of all the sections from here. This blogspot site will no longer be updated, except in case of emergencies, if the main site suffers a prolonged outage. Thanks - Amit.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

For and against an Islamic Reformation

Salman Rushdie makes a plea for an Islamic Reformation:
It ought to be fascinating to Muslims everywhere to see how deeply their beloved book is a product of its place and time, and in how many ways it reflects the Prophet’s own experiences.

However, few Muslims have been permitted to study their religious book in this way. The insistence within Islam that the Quranic text is the infallible, uncreated word of God renders analytical scholarly discourse all but impossible. Why would God be influenced by the socioeconomics of seventh century Arabia, after all? Why would the Messenger’s personal circumstances have anything to do with the Message?

The traditionalists’ refusal of history plays right into the hands of the literalist Islamofascists, allowing them to imprison Islam in their iron certainties and unchanging absolutes.
Rushdie concludes that "[t]he Islamic Reformation has to begin here, with an acceptance of the concept that all ideas, even sacred ones, must adapt to altered realities." Read the full piece.

And for a well-articulated view that argues against the conventional wisdom of Islam needing a reformation, read Edward Feser's essay, "Does Islam Need a Luther or a Pope?" (This link via email, a few days ago, from Prakash Chandrashekar, a sometime guest-blogger at AnarCapLib.)
amit varma, 11:56 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

I recommend: