March 30, 2006
Moderate voices of Islam
Yes, there are some out there - more than one would think, and certainly at least as many as there are Christian's who are not of a fundamentalist mindset. I recently discovered a piece on this written by The Anchoress which sets out a very clear and well thought through discussion on the question of wither Islam and the West?" She has quoted extensively from the original source, but that is good since it provides a most interesting insight into the debate that is happening inside Islam, and an even better proposal for how we can and should all help those within the Islamic fold to regain the high ground of their faith from the Ayatollahs and terrorists.
At the risk of being accused of being a "Link W***e" I will include another to a separate post which highlights the debate surrounding the Abdul Rahman saga. In case you missed it, Abdul Rahman is a convert to Christianity from Islam and currently faces execution (despite official "pardon") from his former faith because of this. Theose within Islam who feel that their religion is being turned into a monster need all the help they can get to bring to an end the sort of scene reported from Afghanistan when Mr Rahman was first placed on trial, to quote -
On Monday, hundreds of clerics, students and others chanting “Death to Christians!” marched through the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif…
As long as the fundamentalist wing of any religion have that sort of power we are at risk of a re-introduction of totalitarianism in its worst form.
We, in the West, often argue that Islam must be reformed. To do so is to misunderstand the question and to completely misunderstand the principles of Islam. As The Anchoress has said, we may be well intentioned, but we are often acting in ignorance on this issue. What is needed is support for those who understand their faith and need to take it back from the extremists who currently have such a wide influence over it. Her original source stated -
Man has always come to the assistance of man. The Helpers of Medina to the migrants of Mecca; Indians to the Pilgrims; Ottomans to the Sephardigm; Albanian Muslims to the Jews of Europe. There are men and women in the West who wish to be of assistance to us. So what if they sometimes say things that you find offensive or incorrect. To correct them by way of friendship is much better than to sneer at them. We must judge them, not by their ancestors’ history, but by their love of the oppressed. We are clear, are we not, that there has been one too many Mukhtaran Mai? We are clear, are we not, that there has been one too many tyranny? We are clear, are we not, that there has been one too many Bin Laden? One too many 9/11, 3/11, 7/7, and Aksari Shrine and Shia massacre and Baha’i jailing and Jew-baiting. One too many Bamiyan Buddhas. One too many novelists accused. One too many suicides.
A sentiment I am very much in accord with. Blood has always called out for blood, so any bloodshed will simply lead to yet more bloodshed. Surely we, as Christians can understand that? Look only to our own "Reformation" which saw Catholics burning Protestants and Protestants burning Catholics, witches and anyone else who disagreed with whatever they felt was the "true" path. No one wants to see a repeat of this sort of approach, least of all in a region renowned for its volatility! Islamic fundamentalism is currently a problem for Islam in much the same way that the Inquisition was a problem for all Christians in the 15th to 18th Centuries. It was eventually put out of business by the rise of moderate voices and the realisation that our Gospel preached something very different to what the Inquisition was doing. So with Islam, there are voices and minds that are much more "enlightened" and "moderate" and they deserve our help in reclaiming their faith from the men of political ambition and violence who use it as a weapon in a war about power and wealth and which has nothing whatesoever to do with faith or religion at all.
Three cheers for a voice of moderation, now let's see what we can offer to help them!
Posted by The Gray Monk at March 30, 2006 09:00 AM
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it great to hear voices of moderate islam.i always believe change o r innovation most time dont have a precedent to follow, we have to break free, to take the road less travelled,we got to listen to the voices of moderate islam,i think media,state ,the general populace should give them a willing ear
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