Islam reform? Don't hold your breath


Mohammad Naseem, considered a moderate, is the chairman of the city's central mosque. He called  Tony Blair a "liar" and "unreliable witness." He also questions the reliability of DNA evidence and the targeting of Muslims in the war on terror. The police brought him to Birmingham to rally support for their war.
An Indonesian Muslim body issued a fatwa condemning the liberalization of Islam:

"Religious liberalism is haram (forbidden)," said a fatwa, or doctrine, issued by the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) and seen by Reuters.

"This is a reminder for Muslims to follow the religion in a correct way and not to try to deviate from the principles," Ma'aruf Amin, chief the MUI's Fatwa Commission, told Reuters.

For Muslims to reform would entail abandoning their sacred book and traditions. The leaders throughout the Islamic world, who are educated in the Quran and the hadith, simply cannot make this leap. The mental shock would be too severe.

The best hope is for Muslims to remain nominal and not dig below the surface into their source documents. When they do, they become radicalized——at the very least they have permission to become radicals.

Sadly, Muhammad's example cannot tell them no. In the ten years he lived in Medina, he either sent out or went out on seventy—four raids, expeditions, or full—scale wars. They range from small assassination hit squads to the Tabuk Crusades in AD 630, during which Muhammasd led 30,000 jihadists against the Byzantines. Sometimes the raids or expeditions did not end in violence. But most did.

How can Muslims abandon the example of their founder?

James M. Arlandson    7 30 05