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Saturday, January 02, 2016

Could there one day be liberalisation in Islam as there was in Judaism?

Extract from the article on “The Muslim Enlightenment Movement of the early 2200s” from the International Enseculopedia (2416 edition)

“… The Almustaniri ("enlightened") main motivation and aim was the modernization of the Muslims, in accordance with the rationalistic and liberal ideals of the Western Enlightenment. Members of the movement sought to acquaint their people with European culture, have them adopt the vernacular language of their lands, and integrate them into larger society. They opposed Islamic reclusiveness and self-segregation, called upon to discard traditional dress in favour of the prevalent one, and preached patriotism and loyalty to the new centralized governments. They acted to weaken and limit the jurisdiction of traditional community institutions - the Sharia courts, empowered to rule on numerous civic matters, and the Council of Elders, which served as lay leadership. The Almustaniri perceived those as remnants of medieval discrimination. They criticised various traits of Muslim society, such as child marriage - traumatized memories from unions entered at the age of thirteen or fourteen are a common theme in Almustaniri literature - the use of anathema (laenatan) to enforce community will and the concentration on virtually only religious studies.
“As long as the Muslims lived in segregated communities, and as long as all social intercourse with their non-Muslim neighbours was limited, the imam was the most influential member of the Muslim community. In addition to being a religious scholar and "clergy", an imam also acted as a civil judge in all cases in which both parties were Muslims. Imams sometimes had other important administrative powers, together with the community elders. To become an imam was the highest aim of many Muslim boys, and the study of the Quran was the means of obtaining that coveted position, or one of many other important communal distinctions. Almustaniri followers advocated "coming out of ghetto," not just physically but also mentally and spiritually in order to assimilate among non-Muslim nations…”

Couldn't happen? The above paragraphs are only very slightly adapted from this article on the 18th Century Jewish Enlightenment or "Haskalah".

But surely the Wahhabite version of Islam currently tearing up the Middle East is too ferocious to ever permit liberalisation?

So was Judaism at one point. Have a look at the Bible, for example the Book of Numbers, Chapter 25. Here's a snippet:

"6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

"7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;

"8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly."

That (and other things) brought me up short when I was trying to read my way through the Bible as a child.

Things will change, over time, once the worst have been dealt with. One hopes. In any case, the headbangers do not represent the majority, even now.


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Paddington said...

Yes - once they have had their civil war, and eliminated the aggression for a couple of generations.

Odin's Raven said...

Impossible! By 2200 Islam will have eradicated western culture.

Sackerson said...

Too defeatist, OR!