My next book will be a guide to finding the God of love within Islam — the God that loves not only Muslims, but also Christians, Jews, agnostics and… questions.
I believe the God of the Qur’an wants us to replace our fears, not replicate them in dysfunctional, violent, forms. Being majestic, this God is secure enough to handle any doubt, any inquiry, any experiment. After all, nearly every chapter of the Qur’an opens by describing God as the “most merciful and compassionate.”
By contrast, the god of tribal culture is segregationist, irrational, vindictive and petty. Too many Muslims revere this god in the guise of Islam. As the world-renowned Palestinian psychologist Eyad Serraj told me, “Islam was introduced to move Arabs beyond tribalism. But Islam has not conquered Arab culture; Arab culture has conquered Islam.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. A new generation of Muslims, especially those of us lucky enough to live in open societies, can change pernicious customs. We have the right — and the responsibility.
In Islam, our choices aren’t limited to conforming or leaving, as I so often hear from young Muslims who write to me in frustration. With my new book, I’ll show struggling Muslims how to embrace a third option: reforming ourselves. When we reform ourselves, we transform our understanding of faith. Not only do we renew what it means to believe in our Creator; we give our Creator a reason to believe in us.
Fear of God can thus be replaced with a genuine relationship.Yes, but only if Muslims agree to become, say, Christians. Which is never going to happen but which, all in all, would be far easier to accomplish than revising/revamping/bowlderizing the "perfect" Koran.