It’s not just the vice-chancellor of Jamia Azhar but others too that are now calling for reformation in Islam, something that was being done so far in a consistent and methodical manner only on Islamic website New Age Islam. Indeed, New Age Islam remains banned for the last two years in Pakistan for countering the Jihadist theology of violence being propagated on over 150 Jihadi publications in that country.
Thus it is gratifying that several other Muslims from different parts of the world are now coming out to demand introspection and change. Four well-known Muslim intellectuals, for instance, have appealed to all Muslim political and religious leaders to stand up and support what they term “democratic Islam.” They have called for a conference in France early next year that would “define the contours of a progressive interpretation of Islam firmly grounded in the 21st century.”
Shahin, Sultan. “Facing The Jihadist Challenge: Muslims Need To Refute Jihadis’ Xenophobic, Supremacist, Millenarian Thesis And Focus On Islamic Pluralism, Says Sultan Shahin At UNHRC In Geneva: Oral Statement at United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva, 27th regular session 2-27 March 2015.” New Age Islam, March 13, 2015.
In Judaism, God’s three gifts to His first two children are human consciousness, self-consciousness, and conscience.
The ethnic development of the technology may in some ways undermine the implicit and appealing universalism in the message, but in schema, this amounts only to urging the separation of the authors of ideas inherently dignifying and liberating from contemplation of those ideas as they stand on their own.
One or two cousinly additional thoughts for the reform minded: all figures depicted by the Torah and referred to as “prophets” by Islam have in the Torah been drawn as faulted people and distanced from God — in essence, disconflated, Moses included (God parts the waters, not him); the Torah also compels ethical and legal argument without end, for when God “proves Abraham” — tests him — the test is not defined, and whether of obedience or conscience (perhaps Abraham had been expected to speak his mind about the sacrifice of Isaac, i.e., to have been conscionable, not blindly obedient) is left to the listeners and readers to argue.
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