Crosspost: Abdullah Al-Andalusi
The desire for the reformation of Islam tends to typically come as a demand made upon the Muslim world by external actors or influences.
Having been invited to speak in many debates and lectures about the question of whether there should be a reformation of Islam, I’ve observed that it is not a question that I or most Muslims raise, but one that is thrust upon us by others.
Generally, Muslims are well aware that there is no problem with Islam. Muslims understand that Islam defines human purpose in the cosmos, and offers a complete and consistent way of life that is designed to lead to human happiness and justice in this life and the hereafter. For Muslims, the author of the Quran, being also the author of mankind, knows humans better than anyone, and understands how humans should be organised and guided – therefore Islamic laws and solutions are perfectly balanced for implementation by mankind.
The desire for the reformation of Islam then, tends to typically come as a demand made upon the Muslim world by external actors or influences – typically by Westerners and those influenced by Western civilisation, i.e. “secular reformists”. Their demand for reform is based upon the false assumption that religion must be separate from state, and that Islam is comparable to Christianity’s problems with politics. However, there are a number of other fallacies and assumptions they make that quickly come undone under simple scrutiny.
A report commissioned by 5Pillarsuk.com reveals some interesting insights into the beliefs and views of Muslims in Britain. One hundred and fifty “influential” Muslim respondents across the Islamic spectrum were queried. The results demonstrate a problematic curve ball for neoconservatives and their endless efforts to target Islam and Muslims.
The questions revolved around normative Islamic beliefs, and across the board a generally high level of agreement with these beliefs was achieved. Participants rebutted dominant propaganda against Islam and Muslims. For instance, 100% agreed or strongly agreed that forced marriages are forbidden, and 100% agreed or strongly agreed that British Muslims are an “integral part of the UK”. It also established a high rate of agreement upon those beliefs and practices which are typically attacked by politicians in concert with the media, analysts and commentators:
- Segregation of men and women in closed public, or religious settings – over 80% agreed or strongly agreed
- There is no compulsion in Islam, no one can be forced to become Muslim – over 95% agreed/strongly agreed
- Hijab is an obligation in Islam – over 95% agreed or strongly agreed
- Niqab is a legitimate piece of Islamic clothing – over 90% agreed or strongly agreed (chart 16 is somewhat unclear)
- Islam is a holistic comprehensive way of life – over 97% agreed or strongly agreed
- Jihad as is mandated in the Qur’an is used to maintain or restore order, peace and security or to remove oppression and injustice – over 95% agreed or strongly agreed.
I am actually quite looking forward to this year. Neocons are set to go crazy making the task of exposing this toxic threat to British society all the more vibrant. And what better way to start this year with the discriminatory head of the British state, the Muslim-bashing Prime Minister David Cameron.
Cameron’s (epistemologically neoconservative) weltanshauung obsessively revolves around every career-opportunist hack, neocon prostitute “reformer” and neo-fascist’s scapegoat drug relief for Western insecurity: Muslims. How loved we are.
This third and final part directly continues from the Part II:
Deforming Faith and History to Serve a Neocon Agenda Part I: Rashad Ali
Deforming Faith and History to Serve a Neocon Agenda Part II: Sara Khan
Also operating within the well-oil neocon counter-extremism machine is the Quilliam Foundation, which brings us to Adam Deen’s rather expected (see here also) announcement of joining the cold war-era style state-validator organisation. In his blog piece announcing the squandering of his faith, Deen convolutedly explains why he wants to fight “extremism” but fails to convincingly explain why he would join an organisation born in the lap of another extremism – neoconservatism – which continues to legitimise neoconservative policies.
This equivocation-ridden nucleus in his piece indicates to the pseudo-intellectualism which comes head way in the second paragraph. Deen is, like Sara Khan, a fan of the deconstructionist, Khaled Abou El Fadl. The fanboyism, though, is taken to a new level. He writes,
“It may not be coincidence that al-Hakim al-Jishumiyya al-Bayhaqi (a Hanafi Mu’tazili jurist from the 12th century) in his book ‘Satan’s Epistle’ asks: “if Satan were given the chance to speak on the Day of Judgment, whom would he pay tribute to?” Al Bayhaqi concludes that Satan would end up praising and thanking every Muslim who adapted ideas that attributed to God things that were irrational, unjust or hideous.”
This is lifted from Abou El Fadl’s The Search for Beauty in Islam: A Conference of Books almost verbatim: