Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Break in the Chain

By Aussiegirl

This is an excellent article. Just to make a slight clarification, I have written elsewhere on the topic of Pope Benedict's words about Islam, and it seems that he was misquoted in a private seminar. The correct version seems to be that the Pope said it would be very hard to reform the Koran, because unlike the Bible, which is God's word as REVEALED to man, the Koran claims to be the very word of God DICTATED to Mohammed. But the only hope of the world is that Islam is capable of reformation. I wonder if Malaysia will be able to withstand the pressures of the fanatics, and I doubt that this sort of influence can be spread to the more rabid Arab practitioners of this tribal faith. However, it's true that the West has little to offer the Muslim -- and indeed the pornography and decadence has little to offer Western man, which is why we see such ennui and loss of faith in our own cultures. The true clash of civilizations in reality is one of faith.

The American Thinker

A Break in the Chain
J. R. Dunn
May 10th, 2006

No less an authority than Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out that since the Koran is taken as the very word of God—as opposed to the Bible, which is the work of men inspired by God – no interpretation is possible. (That this in itself is a form of interpretation is something we’ll overlook for the moment.) Any questioning of doctrine is a questioning of Allah himself, an act of heresy to be punished as such.

One result is that Islam is the sole religion whose “reform” movements always end up being reactionary. There has never been an Islamic Reformation or Enlightenment. Muslim “reformers”, ranging from Kharijites to Salafists, have shared the conviction that the days of the early caliphate – the direct successors of Mohammed – comprised a golden age of complete submission to Koranic teachings that must be regained at all costs. Throw in the fact that Sharia, essentially a desert nomad’s code, comes under the same religious aegis for no other reason than that Mohammed practiced it, and you have a social tragedy of civilizational dimensions. [....]

Malaysia is not alone. Reform efforts are apparent in other areas of the Muslim world. In India, which allows domestic relations to be regulated by Islamic law, the Muslim Personal Law Board is doing away with the infamous “talaq” law, which allows a Muslim man to divorce his wife by repeating “I divorce thee” three times.

Morocco, the Muslim state most exposed to the West (The Sultan of Morocco was one of the first rulers to recognize the infant United States – anything to annoy the British, it seems.) has gone a step further by overhauling Islamic family law completely, making women full partners under the law, with property rights, legal protection, and complete equality. An interesting point lies in the fact that the official commission overseeing the reform discovered backing for every last change within the Koran itself. [....]
Western secularism has nothing to offer the Islamic world. Muslims looking westward often see only “alcoholism, pornography, pre-marital sex, gambling and deviant social behaviours, namely homosexuality, prostitution and nudity”, in the words to one commentator. Members of the Muslim umma, the worldwide Islamic community, are on the horns of a dilemma. They have nothing in the common with the Jihadis, and need a method of finding their way into 21st century technological society without giving up the values that lend meaning to their lives.

Islam Hadhari offers a solution. While it may prove to be too artificial or lightweight for lasting impact, or too closely associated with Malaysia for easy export, it does provide a model. Other Muslim countries may prove resistant, particularly the Arab states, conscious of their status as protectors of Islam. But at the very least, Malaysia demonstrates that Muslims are aware of the problem, and are taking action. Such developments can give us hope that Islam will not always remain the Sisyphus of religions. This generation of believers may well be the one to push the rock over the hill.


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