Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the prospects for Islamic reform, and makes some recommendations:
A poster at this website recently summed up the sentiments of many Americans and Europeans when he wrote: “I believe an enlightened form of Islam is developing, not least among Muslim immigrants in the west. If we don’t allow that to happen, we’ll be stuck with an interpretation of Islam tarnished by the anger and envy of people in the Middle East whose lives suck. That’s not to say that we should close our eyes to the radicals that are infiltrating our immigrant communities. But why not give the good guys a break?”
One may “believe” an “enlightened form of Islam” is developing — but on what basis has that belief been formed? Anecdotal evidence from a few Muslim acquaintances? Constant monitoring of the Muslim press and television? Scholarly works by Muslims re-interpreting Islam? Tutto fumo, niente arrosto. A lot of talk, a lot of waving about of the word “reform” but in the end, no conceivable or believable attempt to change the actual text of the Qur’an — how could it, the immutable word of God, be changed?
There has been, as yet, no plausible explanation from any Muslim “reformers” as to how, at this point, they might be able to convince the Islamic world at large that more than a thousand years of the fixed interpretation of the Qur’anic text should somehow now be changed. There has been no attempt to have their novel views of the Qur’an and Islam accepted by a billion mostly very simple Believers. How could anyone today who knows anything about Islam and the umma believe those Muslims living in the West who are good at being given grants by the Carnegie Foundation and others for various “reforming Islam” projects, when they explain that that they are indeed working on “reform” but without ever explaining how they think the Muslim masses could ever accept a reworking of the Hadith, so that many of those classified as “authentic” by al-Bukhari and Muslim would now be demoted and classified as “inauthentic”? It can’t be done.
And how would Muhammad receive his moral makeover, so that Asma bint Marwan, the Khaybar Oasis, the decapitation of the Banu Qurayza prisoners, the kililng of Abu Afak, little Aisha, and so much else, would somehow disappear from his biography? Can’t be done. One would like it to happen, and no doubt one’s plausible, amiable Muslim friends will do their best to make one believe that it already has happened among the great majority of Muslims. But it hasn’t. And how, in any event, knowing what we now know about Islam, can we conceivably trust anyone who, also aware of what Islam teaches, nonetheless persists in attempting to inveigle us into believing that it is okay, that it can be changed, that we needn’t worry about any except those “extremists”? It’s nonsense.
What is at stake is too important to allow us the luxury of self-deception. To begin with, there are individual liberties as opposed to the collectivism of Islam, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, free and skeptical inquiry, artistic expression, the equal treatment of women and non-Muslims. All of these have always been threatened by, or completely trampled by, Islam. One has a right to make decisions about Islam based on this evidence, as opposed to basing them on the soothing words and assurances of some nice Muslim friends or colleagues.
It is entirely possible to have those “nice Muslim friends” and still insist that one cannot make policy on that handful, who have an obvious personal stake in Infidels not becoming alarmed about Islam. But no can do. If they are sincere, it is they who have to:
1) Stop lying about the content of Islam
2) Admit that the overwhelming number of Muslims do believe what Islam teaches
3) Acknowledge that it would be foolish for non-Muslims to rely on some kind of promised, but never quite delivered (and impossible of delivery) “reform” of Islam
4) Acknowledge also that there is not time to wait for this “reform” or change of heart in any case — the Da’wa and demographic conquest of Western Europe could, within a few decades, create a situation of intolerable unpleasantness, expense, and physical danger for Infidels, and for their freedoms, their art, their science (as has already occurred but to an even greater degree.)
5) Admit that it is misleading to make judgments about Islam based on “moderate” Muslims — a telling phrase, that — that is, the unobservant, the indifferent, those who are either ignorant of, or deliberately wish to ignore, a large part of Islam.
They think that if they dismiss it, then Infidels should be willing to dismiss it as well.