There has been lots of talk recently focused on the “Reformation” that Islam is currently experiencing. There are a handful of good people, Muslims, like Dr. Zudhi Jassar of Phoenix who is working tirelessly to bring a liberal view of Islam to life; and Ali Eteraz, who’s articles in the UK Guardian discuss the need to form a ‘Muslim Left’ which denies the legitimacy of theocratic governments.
However, these voices are lost in the cacophony of rhetoric from pro-Islamist groups such as CAIR, MAS, MSA, MPAC, ISNA, ICNA and the like. Then there is dawa, or “Islamic colonialism” being practiced and promoted far and wide by the “Turkish Delegation” through groups like the Turquoise Council of American Eurasians (TCAE), The Gulen Institute, and the Raindrop Turkish Houses which host countless receptions, breakfasts, socials, and trips to Turkey for public officials including everyone from the local firehouse, to city councils and mayors, to state legislators. These latter lobbyists forge relationships that serve to influence support and introduction of legislation particularly friendly to Islam.
Many self ascribed “experts” and “intellectuals” and bleeding heart “moderates” in American politics and academia have declared that Islam is struggling to emerge through a “Reformation” of the religion that will purify it and allow it to shed it’s violent and oppressive political nature, keeping intact those virtuous qualities of peace and benevolence with those who do not share the same beliefs. Usually they cite the Christian Reformation as the model for such a phenomena.
These pundits and commentators obviously have no grasp of religion of any kind, never mind the complex system we call Islam.
Firstly, I want to clarify that the Christian Reformation wasn’t about purifying or modernizing a “religion” or “faith”. The basis of the Christian faith, the Holy Bible, written by forty different inspired people over a period spanning 1500 years, was left intact and unchanged (although translated into several languages, which had been previously forbidden by Rome) throughout the process of the Reformation. The movement of “Reform” was a political move against the Papal authority of an organized Church over the whole of “Christendom”, which was a result unification of church and state by Constantine in 325 AD. There was nothing Biblical about this political move by the Emperor of Rome. Constantine unified church and state in order to preserve the Empire after Rome had failed to stamp out Christianity for 200 years. In fact, Jesus Himself actually taught separation of church and state when He was asked if the Jews should pay taxes to the Romans. His answer was “Whose image is on this coin? (Caesar’s) So then give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and give to God that which is God’s.” (Of course the image of God is in mankind.)
The Reformation was not about changing the fundamentals of the Bible. It was a political movement. Thus, the “Protesting” resulted in “Protestants” rejecting the authority of the Papacy. [Indeed it was a bit more complex, but in a nutshell this was the Christian Reformation.] While there were some liturgical and practical changes made, the Bible was still the foundational document delineating the teachings of the founder, that being Jesus Christ, the perfect model for the aspiring Christian. The “fundamentals” remain yet today.
The glaring problem for “Islamic Reformation” is this: The fundamentals are flawed. Not only the self proclaimed prophet Muhammad, but the Koran itself is rife with inconsistencies. But the inconsistencies are not even the main problem. (These may be understood when considering the Islamic principle of “Abrogation”. That is to say if there are two differing instructions on the same matter, the latter verse abrogates the former.)
The consistent themes of the Koran and Hadith carried by the enforcement of Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia Law) through an over arching political ideology are so intertwined they can never be separated. To live the fundamentals of Islam is to practice “Islamization” on a global scale because this is what Islam demands. There can be no separation of religion and state because the “religion’s” legal system must run the state, and will if Islam is allowed to run its natural course to fruition.
Islam is not simply a belief or a religion.
This has been the mistake of the last 50 years, especially here in America as well as Western Europe. To ascribe Islam as a religion gives it a free rein to infiltrate and affect not only culture, but politics and jurisprudence in a manner we would never allow another contradictory ideology or legal system.
Islam is a socio-political ideology with a religious aspect. In those nations or societies where Islam reigns supreme, competing religions or political movements are not only discouraged but forbidden. Just watch the news.
In order for a reformation to occur within Islam, first the Koran has to be open to critique and debate; It is not. Secondly, Muhammad must be availed to critique and scrutiny; He is not. Finally, Islam itself must be open to debate and self examination; It is not. Why? Because Allah, through his messenger Jibril, gave his ‘perfect Koran’ to his ‘perfect Prophet’. It is not open for doubt or debate; he reminds the reader about 200 times, “Do not doubt this Koran”. To change the founding document would be sacrilege and no doubt lead to “Fitna”, or civil war within the Muslim Ummah, the same way the standardizing the Koran did in the mid 7th Century. We have all seen the uproar caused by those who dare to criticize or characterize Muhammad.
This is the reason ‘Reform’ will never happen in Islam. If you take away the oppressive demand for submission; you have no Islam. If you rewrite the Koran to eliminate the Jihad, the racist element, the directives for dominating your women, the demand for world dominance of Allah’s perfect religion, then you have no Islam. If you eliminate the passages of Koran and Hadith regulating slavery, the supremacy of Muslims in society, and the directives to institute Islamic Law for the good of humanity, then you have no Islam.
Everyone knows that water consists of two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen. If you separate one hydrogen molecule from water, you no longer have water.
I must say I respect Dr. Jasser in his honorable intentions to separate the religion from the politics of Islam. But if you could do that, which you cannot, then you have no Islam. The very word “Islam” means “Submission”. This submission is not simply for the pious Muslim, but the Muslim is charged with the responsibility to advance the code of Islam into the culture or society until Islam reigns supreme and everyone, including non-Muslims, are subjugated under Sharia. Those Muslims who refuse this task, are shamed by the fundamentalists, who accuse them of “shirking” their responsibility. (“Shirk” is to disobey Allah)
Islam has already experienced its “Reformation”
Ibn Taymiyyah, 1268-1321, began a call to Muslims back to the fundamentals of Islam to follow more closely the teachings of Koran and Hadith. This was then refreshed and further advanced in the 18th Century by a student of Taymiyyah named Abd al Wahhab . Wahhab began to revive fundamentalist Islamic practices by first leveling the shrine at the grave of Zayd Khattab, the brother of the Caliph Omar. Wahhab contended it had become an object of idolatry. He then ordered the stoning of an adulteress, a practice which had become rare in the region. This kind of radical teaching brought some life threatening attention to Wahhab who left and settled in a village occupied by Muhammad Ibn Saud in 1740. Saud and Wahhab became inseparable and their heirs expanded their holdings by both dawa and military campaigns, gaining control of the modern day Arabian Kingdom. Their legacy continues today in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where Wahhabism is both protected and funded throughout the globe. Wahhabism is the foremost source of radical Islamic fundamentalism and has influenced more or less nearly every other school of Islamic theology, particularly in Sunni Islam, which accounts for over 80% of Islam.
Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and Seyyid Qutb, both Egyptians, carried on the torch of fundamentalism throughout Sunni Islam by their writings and leadership from the 1920’s until Qutb’s execution in 1965 for sedition against the government of Egypt. This influence is more alive today than ever before, and on a global scale. The push is on for Islam to dominate the globe in this century, bringing the entire world into “submission to the religion of Allah” and all governments using the Sharia.
Such is the directive of Islam. Not to convert everyone to Muslim; but to subject everyone to Sharia. Only then can there be peace in the world.
Good Luck Dr. Jasser!