Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Reform of Islam

One of the stark contrasts I've noticed, particularly between christianity and islam, is that practitioners of islam are much more inclined towards the "book is perfect" philosophy. I'm guessing that the predominant reason for this, is that while the Bible was pieced together from many sources and translated many times, the Quran is still considered absolutely pure... ie, the purported original document written by those scribing mohammed's words is actually in arabic and in the hands of islamic clerics in Saudi Arabia. There are muslim students in my department here who describe the Quran as a 'perfect text'.... yes.. with a straight face... and yes.. PhD physics students.
This is coupled with the way mohammed effectively check-summed his work by requiring that the Quran be the only source for learning about islam, and that it can never be read in a translated version. Muhammed goes on at length in the Quran about how 'the jews rewrite the holy books to serve their purpose', so it's not surprising he put this in as a safeguard to his religion. As a result, muslim scholars will never refer to one of the several Quran translations with the term "Quran".

What this makes very *very* difficult, is any attempt to reform the religion. It basically puts Islam, by itself, into a 'take it or leave it' category.
If you have a beef with catholicism, you can take that beef up with the catholic church. And if you are compelling, you could actually have catholicism change.
I do believe that no such reformation will ever reach islam. I say this because to my knowledge, there has yet to be any reform in islam's 1400 year history. There's an offshoot in shia beliefs, but it's a very small minority (something like 10:1 population-wise), and they don't claim the Quran to be up for interpretation either.

Soon after 9/11, I really thought muslims needed to go through an 'enlightenment'-like period in their cultural evolution, but the more I read and learn, the more I think that Mohammed effectively locked out any possibility of that occurring through particularly deft maneuvers in his text.

This really bothers me, because it suggests that we eventually will face a war of extermination between 'everybody else' and 'islam'. ie, it's not just that nobody has convinced me that there are people reforming islam, but rather, nobody's convinced me that there is any possibility of reforming islam.

Here's hoping that I'm wrong.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

These excuses are tiring...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061128/ap_on_re_mi_ea/pope_turkey

Hint... if muslims want to prevent "islamophobia", try reining in yer damn terrorists... but they're not going to do it like this:

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=23480_Why_We_Rarely_Hear_from_Moderate_Muslims&only

I'm just really really tired of muslims inventing a persecution complex to justify why they aren't willing to condemn and crack down on islamic terrorism. A muslim can't make common cause with non-muslims against other muslims, even if those other muslims are the drugged-out head-chopping type. It's just sick.

Mainstream muslims need to once and for all agree to either support or reject islamic terrorism. I'm not certain I really care which choice they make.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Been a while

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1557842,00.html

The last thing I want, is for our prospective elected and appointed leaders to personally fear retribution from foreign powers for doing what they were elected to do.

One principle I developed a while ago, is that leaders elected and appointed democratically, should *only* be criminally behelden to the democracy which they served for things they do while in office. If the democracy isn't going to prosecute a leader, no foreign power has any business doing so.
This works both ways. A democracy can't abdicate that responsibility either.

This would not apply to non-democratic states, obviously.