Wednesday, May 29, 2013

David Solway on the Trouble With Irshad Manji's "The Trouble With Islam"

The trouble, writes Solway, is that Manji
anatomizes everything that is wrong with her religion but makes a passionate case for its reform, including the revival of the faculty of ijtihad (independent thinking and counsel). It is hard to take her argument seriously. After 1400 years of nearly unchecked imperial conquest, with a holy book brimming with commandments to kill, mutilate, tax and enslave those it denominates as “infidels,” with hardline clerics in control of dogma today, and with terrorist regimes intent on bringing the West to its knees, can one credibly argue that Islam is even remotely susceptible to wide-scale, peaceful renovation? Moreover, reform would entail the gutting of myriad canonical texts, including the Koran, the Hadith and the five schools of Sunni and Shia jurisprudence, leaving nothing but a rump scriptural archive. Plainly, under the aegis of “reform,” Islam would cease to exist.

Update: Daniel's pipe dream--a "modern form of Islam":
Those who make all Islam their enemy not only succumb to a simplistic and essentialist illusion, but lack any mechanism to defeat it. We who focus on Islamism see World War II and the Cold War as models for subduing the third totalitarianism. We understand that radical Islam is the problem and that moderate Islam is the solution. We work with anti-Islamist Muslims to vanquish a common scourge. We will triumph over this new variant of barbarism so that a modern form of Islam can emerge.
Hasn't it emerged already? It's called Wahhabism, Salafism,  Khomeinism and, last but certainly not least, the Muslim Brotherhood.

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