Yet another indication of why large-scale Islamic reform is not on the horizon. “Indonesia: Egyptian Islamic scholar blocked from speaking at seminar,” from AKI (thanks to Fjordman):
Jakarta, 26 Nov. (AKI) — The Indonesian government has yielded to the pressure of the country”s traditional religious institutions and prevented an Egyptian progressive Islamic academic from speaking at an international Islamic seminar to be held in Malang, East Java, on Tuesday.
The organisers of the seminar said that Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd withdrew from the event under pressure from the government.
The director of Islamic higher education institutions Abdurrahman Masud said his office had received demands from “people and Islamic organizations” to bar Abu Zayd from attending.
It is believed that the decision was made under pressure from the Indonesia Ulama Council, a traditional state-sanctioned religious organization that has recently gained more leverage with the government.
Masud told the The Jakarta Post newspaper that “We suggested that Abu Zayd not attend (the forum) in Malang for its goodness and damage. It is not a ban but suggestion.”…
Abu Zayd is considered one of the leading progressive Islamic thinkers. He lives in exile in the Netherlands, where he moved after suffering religious persecution in Egypt for his views on the Koran as a religious, mythical and literary work.