Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Prophet not perfect, says Islamic scholar

Australian reported A leading adviser on Islam, Ameer Ali, has attacked Muslims who "blindly" follow their faith and fail to question the veracity of the Koran, saying that even Mohammed had "flaws". The chairman of John Howard's Muslim advisory board yesterday warned that Islamists would continue to breed jihadis unless the Koran was "reinterpreted" for today's society.

We certainly don't need a Middle Ages interpretation for a 21st century world.
He also said mosques were increasingly being used by imams to deliver sermons that were not open to discussion.
Any imam that believes that he knows the whole truth, and that no one can question him, knows nothing.
Dr Ali said the majority of Muslim clerics had for centuries imposed a "literalist" teaching of Islam, telling their followers that deviating from the written message would ultimately lead to their admission into hell.
These are the clerics that authorize killing of fellow Muslims that do not believe as they do, even though Surat an-Nisa,093 (Quran 4.93) says "If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (For ever): And the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him." And what is a Muslim? It can't be someone who follows what Mohammad said, because they think Abraham was a Muslim, and he lived long before Jesus did, and Jesus lived long before Mohammad did. Surat al-Baqara, 136 (Qur'an 2:136) says Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them. Therefore being a Muslim must mean belief in God, and that would be the God of Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus. Therefore Quran 4.93 must be saying that anyone killing a devout Christian, Jew, or Muslim will go to Hell. I wonder if that also means the cleric that urges them to kill also has a special place in Hell reserved for him. I bet it does.
"The times are changing and with the change of times, you also have to reinterpret the Koran," he told The Australian.... "The jihadists are interpreting the Koran literally and that's the problem ... Popular Muslims, because of their lack of knowledge about religion, are vulnerable to these sort of teachings.".... Dr Ali said it was "ridiculous" that some Muslims believed God would judge them on the "length of (their) beard". He said Muslims would be judged on their "character, their knowledge, their contribution to society". He said young Muslim Australians were slowly becoming more inquisitive about their faith. "Therefore they are going to ask questions when they grow up and that's a healthy trend," he said.

Robert Spencer blogged I do think a retreat from literalism is the only hope for the creation of any genuinely and lastingly moderate Islam. Some commentators point to the fact that for centuries -- notably, although not universally, in central Asia, Eastern Europe, and West Africa, jihad supremacism largely lay dormant and even dropped out of the Muslim consciousness. But simply to point out that that happened is not enough anymore, precisely because Wahhabi and Iranian Shi'ite recruiters are going into those countries and using chapter and verse of Qur'an and Sunnah to teach their Islam to these cultural Muslims. So for those cultural Muslims, and for any true moderates, it's no longer possible simply to ignore those jihad verses. They have to be explicitly rejected, and a non-literalist Islam constructed.

But also because of the mainstream character of literalism within Islam, this will be very, very difficult. Watch and see, for example, what kind of reception Ameer Ali's words get.

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