The Middle East is starting to look more sensible about Islamic extremism than is the Obama administration. Isn’t that a sad thing to say?
Here is a Saudi Arabian author being interviewed on television, and he describes the problem. He notes, correctly, that there is little difference between the “moderate” Muslim clerics and the most radical Muslim Brotherhood jihadist supporters: Both groups preach the same concepts from the same revered sources. He suggests that Islam needs a Reformation like Christianity had, and not just a Luther but a Calvin as well:
Turki Al-Hamad: “I don’t want to make generalizations, but most of our sheiks and preachers – or those who call themselves preachers – are incapable of producing discourse that would counter the extremist discourse, because the extremist discourse draws upon the same texts and sources as most of our sheiks and preachers. Their interpretation may differ, but the source is one and the same.”
What would a reformation of Islam look like? Sadly, we are seeing a reformation of Islam, but we just don’t see it as reform. However, ISIS and other radical Muslims probably do.
Perhaps we should try putting ourselves in their shoes. When Europe experienced the Protestant Reformation, what happened? Didn’t Christians make a large-scale effort to return Christianity back to its first century roots. Because those in charge of the status quo fought the change, many associate the Protestant Reformation with religious warfare. However, because Christianity does not support violence (Substantial numbers of Christians are pacifists.), when people began reading the Bible in large numbers, the violence subsided.
What would Islam’s 6th/7th century roots look like? When Muhammad started spreading Islam, he did so with force. Muslims warred upon infidels and punished those who refused to accept their religion. The violent spread of Islam is still the way large numbers of Muslims view at least one aspect of jihad (Jihad: holy struggle or holy war?), and their efforts to form an Islamic Caliphate in the Syria and Iraq looks altogether too much like what has happened before.
Would publishing the Qur’an and encouraging people to read it help? No. The Qur’an encourages Muslims to war against and maltreat infidels. Therefore, when we consider how to deal with radical Muslims, we may wish to review the events that stopped Islam from spreading into Europe. We may wish to remember that Christians fought back because hostile Muslims left them no other option.