Friday, September 11, 2015

This will not reform Islam

The famous British historian Niall Ferguson is married to the atheist Somali Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is famous for her anti-Islam views, and says that we are in a war with Islam and that it must be defeated.

She writes Why the United States Should Back Islam’s Reformation, in a academic journal:
The decision not to call violence committed in the name of Islam by its true name — jihad — is a strange one. It would be as if Western leaders during the Cold War had gone around calling communism an ideology of peace or condemning the Baader Meinhof Gang, a West German militant group, for not being true Marxists. It is time to drop the euphemisms and verbal contortions. ...
Okay, Islam is a religion that teaches violence. But is it going to change its doctrines to please some atheists and Americans?
although some American officials defined Islam as inherently peaceful, others argued that, like Christianity, it had to go through a reformation. ...

Like Christians and Jews centuries ago, Muslims today must critically evaluate their sacred texts in order to reform their religion. That is not an unreasonable request, as history shows. Of course, history also shows that the path to religious reform can be bloody. By the mid-seventeenth century, Europe had been ravaged by a century of warfare between Roman Catholics and Protestants. But the result was to create the room for the genuine freedom of thought that ultimately made the Enlightenment possible.

One of the most important of these freethinkers was Baruch Spinoza, a brilliant Jewish Dutch philosopher. For Spinoza, the Bible was a collection of loosely assembled moral teachings, not God’s literal word.
No, this is crackpot stuff. The Catholics had been critically evaluating their sacred texts from the earliest days. The Protestant Reformation was based largely on a rejection of that theology, and a return to a more literal interpretation of the Bible.

Europe has been ravaged by wars for millennia, not just a century.

If Islam is similarly reformed, then splinter groups will adopt more literal interpretations of the Koran. Like ISIS, which uses such interpretations to justify its beheadings, rapes, and destruction.

Spinoza had no significance influence on European culture. He is considered a hero to some Jewish atheists, but nobody cared about his silly ideas about the Bible.

I guess Ali is admired because so few people have the guts to criticize Islam, and she gets a free pass becaues people assume that she is some sort of poor African refugee. Ferguson is much overrated also.

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