A Reformist Muslim response?

I, among others, have been asking – rhetorically – “where are the moderate/reformist Muslims? We need to hear them!”

It seems one is speaking up – and this is a very heartening message:

Unlike some of my fellow believers I don’t think that the recent glut of Westerners calling for the reformation of Islam is due solely to an imperial Western ambition. I believe that much of non-Muslim engagement with Islam is premised upon a well-intentioned impulse. I believe that some Western antipathy towards Islam is due to decency. It is quite plausible that a generation that faced off against two totalitarianisms might be right about a third. It is also plausible that for every Westerner who calls for the destruction of Islam in order to defend the Western status-quo, there is another Westerner who agitates for change in Islam because has a Muslim friend who has been hurt by what passes for Islam, or has a glimpse (in Hafiz, perhaps in Ibn Rushd), of what Islam could be; and as such, is upset by what Islam today is not.

[...]
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. The task ahead will be difficult enough. If, then, there are those who will link their arms with us, we must not hesitate. When the moment of reckoning comes — and there is no reason to believe that time is not now — we will be in need of every able mind, profligate pen, and nervous smile. Do it out of pragmatism, or do it out of love, but do it you must.

All those then, theists, secularists, atheists, deists, refuseniks, peaceniks, Jews, Gentiles, Unitarians, Episcopalians, Baptists, Methodists, Philosophers, who wish to walk for humanity: speak up and do not stop speaking. Walk with the believers. There are believers who will walk with you.

There is interesting dialogue in the comments thread, as well. I took a quick look – very quick because I am headed out – and there is a quietly moderate tone through the pieces I read – albeit with careful concern as to where moderation might lead – I’m sure it is a difficult and complicated thing, to try to reform something so vast and visible, but I find it positive on a day that seemed very negative.

Gates of Vienna has some writings from a Danish Muslim who is also looking toward tomorrow with hope.

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • Sigmund Carl and Alfred
  • saganashkee

    Yes, it is good to hear a moderate Islamic voice. We need to hear moderate voices from all sides. Certainly the Christian side of the fence has had a mixed record when it come to speaking to each other, let alone speaking to Jews, Muslims, and all what else is out there.
    The bad guys are bad guys whatever label they put on their foreheads. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who they are regardless of what they proclaim and even if they are on your own team.

  • saganashkee

    Yes, it is good to hear a moderate Islamic voice. We need to hear moderate voices from all sides. Certainly the Christian side of the fence has had a mixed record when it come to speaking to each other, let alone speaking to Jews, Muslims, and all what else is out there.
    The bad guys are bad guys whatever label they put on their foreheads. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who they are regardless of what they proclaim and even if they are on your own team.

  • TheAnchoress

    eGAD I cannot believe I blew the link. NEVER BLOG WHEN YOU ARE IN A HURRY.

  • TheAnchoress

    eGAD I cannot believe I blew the link. NEVER BLOG WHEN YOU ARE IN A HURRY.

  • http://americandigest.org vanderleun

    One down.

    A billion minus one to go.

  • http://americandigest.org vanderleun

    One down.

    A billion minus one to go.

  • http://donsingleton.blogspot.com/ singleton

    I agree he sounds pretty moderate in that message, but I am not sure about other messages. See my post

    Specifically in his adult rated post on Apostasy he quotes some moderate Muslims and says “I don’t find this persuasive.”

  • http://donsingleton.blogspot.com/ singleton

    I agree he sounds pretty moderate in that message, but I am not sure about other messages. See my post

    Specifically in his adult rated post on Apostasy he quotes some moderate Muslims and says “I don’t find this persuasive.”


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