Islam, internal discussion; pt 4

Maybe so. Most people arguing for this, though, aren’t the ones I’d want to take
sides with in a rerun of the 16th C. I doubt Freeborn John Lilburne would have
been lining up with Sarkozy, Berlusconi, Clarke, or Daniel Pipes.

When push comes to shove, I bet the Islamic Reformation boosters will be the
first to move up a hundred years and give those ungrateful savages a taste of
the Dialektik der Aufklaerung’s thick ugly side for not wanting to be civilised
by the CRS. The problem is that it’s not the Reformation they want, but
Enlightenment in the form Napoleon practiced it on Egypt in 1798. Something THEY
do to YOU.

State-prescribed belief: bad medicine, and one that European doctors have been
far too happy to prescribe in the last century. If the genuine heroes of the
Reformation fought for anything it was liberty of belief, the precondition of
the Enlightenment’s scientific achievements, but also the first thing the
various post-Enlightenment tyrannies destroyed in the name of their own version
of reason.

The problem with AFOE membership is that stuff like this gets used up on
internal emails…

Islam, internal discussion; pt 3

Alex,

a) I love the term „snack thinker“. She may well be, but her narrative lends a credibility most people do not have. She’s paying a high price being who she is and as such is probably entitles to being over-the-top at times. And, of course, there’s the Dutch history of pillarisation, which radicalises this debate in my opinion.

b) I don’t think most of the people I mentioned in the email are non-Muslims. But even if, given that almost no secular religious research into Islam is being conducted in countries where it is the predominant or state religion, I don’t think dealing with Islam from this perspective is necessarily wrong. And, despite the fact that he was certainly read to often by the wrong people, Bernard Lewis does still make some important institutional points, in my understanding. If he had not, we would not see this kind of rage on the streets. All this is a complex, and mostly political, issue, much less religious. Still – even though life in the 16th century wasn’t exactly fun for a lot of people, it was the time when European societies were able to be taken to the streets and fields for principles handled solely by their principes in earlier times. If you don’t buy the argument made by some with respect to Germany, that it was “reformation” that later caused the spiritual inspection and took the political out of the public realm when collective action would have been needed to avert a political disaster, ie that reformation is, in some sense, opposed to true democratisation, then reformation is what is needed these days. It would mean the unquestioned individual and social acceptance of a modern version of “cuius regio, eius religio” , and make the Jihad of Dar al-Islam vs Dar-al-Harb a solely personal, and spiritual one, not a “geographical” or national fight. Of course, it looks once again like Europe will be this battlefield, which is even more reason to deal with Islam, and Islamic modernisation even if you’re not a Muslim.

Islam, internal discussion; pt 1

a reference I read a while ago and found very interesting with respect to Islamic reform movements.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17054

Also, just two weeks ago, there was a highly praised symposium in Bonn with, among other speakers, Tariq Ramadan, about this very topic (some add. info, for those who read German) –

http://www.qantara.de/uploads/463/Schimmel_Symp.pdf

http://islam.de/4661.php

http://www.faz.net/s/Rub5C2BFD49230B472BA96E0B2CF9FAB88C/Doc~E51FA69281734495BB6E9C87271C8049C~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html

Interestingly I just found out that, Christoph Luxenberg (psd) has written a new book that is about to be published. If it is anything like his “syro-aramaean interpretation of Qran”, a book (which is my translation, I don’t think the book has been translated yet) in which he linguistically deconstructs the classical readings of the Qran, eg arguing that using the syro-aramaean reading the famous huris for whose attention martyrs/terrorists blow themselves up are not virgins but “crystal clear grapes,” this will be fuel to the flames these days.

Googling his name I found an interesting article in German in which he argues that alleged referenced to the hijab are, according to his reading of Arabic, referring to a “belt intended to cover the loins” rather than the head – http://www.phil.uni-sb.de/projekte/imprimatur/2004/imp040204.html (in German)

And Der Spiegel international called up Ayan Hirsi Ali and talked about caricatures and “Submission II”.

http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,399263,00.html (in English)