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Ahmed is convinced that only the Muslims themselves could be the answer to the “Islamists” and that the moderate Muslims must find the resources to counter what she called the “multi-head Medusa.”

“Only if we tell ourselves the truth, that the Islamists are a threat within us, can we confront them. The chasm between Muslims and Islamists is a deep one,” she said.

Israel Hayom | Muslim scholar: ‘I refuse to let Islam fall captive to the Islamists’ – by Reuven Berko, 9/27/2013

Between Islamic Jihad and Western Anti-Jihad, or perhaps better phrased, between the Islamist’s Believers and the More Strident of the Crusader West — that’s got the Kavkaz Center obsession working in it — reside the lives of approximately 1.2 billion persons.

Where the true religion mixes time in a forever present, leaving the virulent segment of believers forever fighting the Battle of the Trench, “another kind of Islam” would seem to want to join with the nations in progress across the many qualities of living.  As sensible as that may seem, as easy as it may be to do — just switch off the “contempt” and “hate” buttons — language-based perception — start with the child’s command of a globally antagonistic and misfitted social grammar; move on to the compression of time integrated with a powerfully romantic and barbaric scripture (for example, reference At-Tawba 29 — the binary or split Jihad/anti-Jihad views of the literature are abundant on the web); and wrap-up with alignment of ahadith, essential hearsay, to suit political interest, and don’t forget to add the black-and-white thinking (acceptable / not acceptable) accompanying it — precludes so convenient an answer.

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Narrators who took the side of Abu Bakr and Umar rather than Ali, in the disputes over leadership that followed the death of Muhammad, are seen as unreliable by the Shia; narrations sourced to Ali and the family of Muhammad, and to their supporters, are preferred. Sunni scholars put trust in narrators, such as Aisha, whom Shia reject. Differences in hadith collections have contributed to differences in worship practices and shari’a law and have hardened the dividing line between the two traditions.

Hadith – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – as viewed 9/27/2013.

With Muhammad’s death, apparently, the Religion of Peace seems to have become the Religion of Eternal Conflict, starting with the conflict between the Shiite and Sunni camps in their exercise of a) tribal choice in the b) absence of more clear successionary  instructions.  In the medieval fields of battle in an age much less comprehending of empiricism, enlightened reason (Shakespeare’s contribution to a pagan humanism that he would weave within and around the separate character of the Church — or ever mindful of it — more than 700 years later), it would be said that “God decides” even though what “decided” then (as now) would have been diplomacy, energy (brought to bear in battle), strategy, and steel.

The Jews have had issues with language too, but where the Torah teases minds into arguments — what is the meaning of an action, a passage, a moment? — injunctions to act as programmed in the adoption of attitudes and beliefs about others and with reference primarily to one’s own grandiose image as licensed to subjugate whole populations, a thing well demonstrated by either the invention or favored adoption of the Banu Quarayza legend, that behavior as primarily language behavior has and indeed has had other effects.

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For Muslim readers, perhaps the toughest chapters deal with Muhammad’s slaughter of the Banu Qurayza. Fatah denounces the story as invented by influential scholar Ibn Ishaq nearly 100 years after the Prophet’s death. No archeological evidence supports it. No Jewish text corroborates it. Yet the story forms part of Islam’s Hadith literature and the Sira, the biography of the Prophet, and has come to be regarded as divine truth, Fatah says.

The problem, the author says, is that Islam lacks a tradition of questioning religious texts. So far, no Toronto imam has joined him to reject the Banu Qurayza story. So far, no mosque has invited him to speak.

The Jew Is Not My Enemy: Tarek Fatah | Toronto Star – by John Goddard, 11/19/2010

More than merely modernity or opportunity, the “humanity of humanity” — there will be a page on that here — has long tempered Islam in its treatment of Jews, albeit capriciously, much in line with the fate of the Jews left exposed to the will of more powerful others whenever and wherever Jews have been in the minority position, and that from Roman times to this day.

As with the quintessential Jewish desire to band in the desert — in human evolutionary reality, who were those people who first gathered together and determined a good way, their way, and way of life that would leave dictators to their fates — or, as with Haman, defeat them? — Islamic humanism and humanists seem to me a more natural course for Muslims than that conceived, promoted, and disciplined by the God Mob even though their stripe seems to have been there at the beginning.

There may be in the above thought a patently Jewish perspective, but a glance at Islam’s more beneficent and merciful humans, certainly more so than the miscreants often mentioned on this blog, tells of something deeply universal operating across cultures and languages as one slips into the modernity of any epoch:  Eman Fahad Al NafjanIrshad ManjiM. Zuhdi JasserPervez Hoodbhoy, Mudar ZahranQanta AhmedTarek Fatah have each taken firm stances against “Islamist” drift while deeply acknowledging or affirming their relationship with Islam.  With such good people and scholars, every one of them, one wants to know whether theirs collectively will become the voice of a powerful Muslim “silent majority” — I don’t think they are that today in the world’s Muslim-majority states — rather than the expression of a highly educated, intellectual, western-oriented elite, which (look ’em up on YouTube) is how some may be played by the more Brotherhoodly among zealous coreligionists.

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It’s hard to look into the heart except through the mouth using for an instrument one’s ears.

Those I’ve named speak bravely, consistently, reliably and seem ever good voices and great souls.

They are influential in our global online village, and they’re not in the least alone — the fan base is pretty good, but perhaps its development may be likened to depositing vaporized precious metal on a suitable substrate — it takes a little bit of time and repetition to get from that process something solid and strong.

For the time being, I suspect the English speaking and Express Tribune reading Muslim complement to a still emerging global intelligentsia — we have each shared with the other a hearty “welcome aboard!” although aboard what may remain in contention — indeed comprises but a thin layer and kind in the amalgam of the earth-wide communicating whole.

Will Islamic humanism and humanists contain what needs to be contained?

Tune in (after the Sabbath).

Additional Reference

VCU Menorah Review, “An Open Letter to Tarek Fatah” by Richard Sherwin, Winter/Spring 2012.

The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism: Tarek Fatah: 9780771047848: Amazon.com: Books (2011)

Maimonides – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – as viewed 9/27/2013:

During the reign of the Almoravids, the position of the Jews was free of significant abuses,[14] but after another Berber dynasty, the Almohads, conquered Córdoba in 1148, they abolished the dhimma status (i.e. state protection of life and wealth) in some of their territories. The loss of this protected status threatened the Jewish and Christian communities with conversion to Islam, death, or exile.[13]

Maimonides fled to Egypt and became the personal physician to the Kurdish general and sultan Saladin and his family.

Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – as viewed 9/27/2013:

The coexistence of Muslims, Jews, and Christians during this time is revered by many writers. Al-Andalus was a key center of Jewish life during the early Middle Ages, producing important scholars and one of the most stable and wealthy Jewish communities and a relatively educated society for the Muslim occupiers and their Jewish collaborators, as well as some Christians who openly collaborated with the Muslims and Jews. María Rosa Menocal, a specialist in Iberian literature at Yale University claims that “Tolerance was an inherent aspect of Andalusian society”.[1]

Islamic Humanism – Lenn E. Goodman – Oxford University Press

Islam And Terrorism: A Humanist View, by David Schafer, May/June 2002

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