A close friend recently sent me an article that discussed a reinterpretation of modern Islam. The article began with this:
"ANKARA, Turkey — In a sterile, boxy stone building in the shadow of Ankara's central mosque, a group of Turkish scholars is spearheading a reinterpretation of the literary foundations of Islam that some have compared to Christianity's Protestant Reformation."
I believe that this is a vital part of the war against global terrorism. I also believe that this group has its work cut out. 1400 years of Islamic legal rulings will be questioned. The very culture of the Middle East would be impacted. You want to start a war? Start changing the culture of ANY large group. This is precisely what we are doing in Iraq. Many of the issues that I have stated as being sound reasons for our fighting a war in Iraq are present in modern Islam. A brief review:
1) Tribute. Payment of infidels to Muslim authorities where infidels are living on Muslim land.
2) Moral obligation to kill occupiers of ANY Muslim land. An additional problem is that once land is Muslim, it can not revert back to being non-Muslim.
3) Penalty for leaving Islam is death. (An Apostate) Once you become Muslim, you can’t change to any other religion.
4) All references to women and infidels as property. (Slaves)
5) A married woman who is convicted of adultery is to be stoned to death.
6) "In Muslim tradition, the world is divided into two houses: The house of Islam and the house of war".
7) Jihad. War may be waged at any time against Infidels and Apostates. "The presumption is that the duty of Jihad will continue (Interrupted only by truces) until the world adopts Islam or submits to Muslim rule." "Those who fight in the Jihad qualify for rewards in both worlds. Booty in this one, paradise in the next." (Bernard Lewis, The Crisis of Islam, Page 31, copyright 2003.)
Muslims are not supposed to obtain booty for their own gain. This was how armies were paid back in the 6th century. History is filled with examples of people who seized booty for personal gain. Muslims are no less human than any of us. It can be expected to happen, and I am certain that over the past 1400 years, countless Muslims have seized property for personal benefit.
8) Honor killings.
10) Islamic electoral policy has been classically summarized as "One man, (men only) one vote, once."
These are only some of the Issues. Modern Islam must change. The war in Iraq is in part about the changes that must occur for Islam to enter the modern world.
This Reformation (If that is what it is) can be a vital part of the change that is necessary. Let us all hope that they are successful in making the Muslim world adopt new ideas that are more compatible with the modern world. I would expect armed resistance for a long time before this is universally accepted in the Muslim world. However, the effort will be well worth it.