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I’ve never doubted Jasser’s sincerity but I have questioned the power of modern sensibility to “re-map” scripture. We’re beyond the age of miracles but not of religious sentiment, and to approach the updating of the legacy in scripture and related literature of Islam involves first overriding Muhammad’s warnings about tampering. On the part of modern and sophisticated people, I’ve seen two channels organizing effort to either interpret the Qur’an as a multilayered exercise in thought — and who is to say it’s not? — or, as Jasser and others have done, question the instructions and have the great conversation, and may both tracks lead away from the barbarism on display in Baghdadi’s emulation (so he believes) with ISIS in Syria-Iraq.

Related

ISIS – BackChannels supports the idea that ISIS was incubated by Damascus with the support of Moscow and Tehran, and that the method used we “de-selection” for combat and bombing early in the process that has become the “Syrian Tragedy”.

Chief in evidence: http://www.newsweek.com/us-accuses-assad-aiding-islamic-state-through-airstrikes-338582

More recent and related to the above as regards Moscow’s predictable style:  http://www.newsweek.com/russia-has-killed-more-syrian-civilians-assad-or-isis-last-month-report-426775

As interpreted by BackChannels: https://conflict-backchannels.com/2015/10/02/syria-assad-vs-the-terrorists-how-isis-defends-assad/

Islam

Mention is not endorsement, but as much may help move the conversation farther away from consideration of Baghdadi’s 7th Century display as immutable.

American Islamic Forum for Democracy

Center for Islamic Pluralism

Ex-Muslims of North America

LibForAll Foundation & International Institute of Qur’anic Studies

Muslim Reform Movement

New Age Islam & Rethinking Islam

Plain Islam & Islamic Society of Britain

Qanta Ahmed – National Review — BackChannels considers conservative American and Muslim physician and writer Qanta Ahmed a force of nature sufficient for mention as a figure representing a modern pluralist stance in Islam without reform and opposite the Muslim Brotherhood as regards leveraging concession from the rest of the world.

Wasatia

I have not subjected the list to scrutiny beyond the declared penchant of each for moderation and good.

Those who obsess on fundamental core tenets and advisements and hadith and sunnah may be expected to continue to condemn an unreformed Islam by way of its reflection from the past — the Religion of Peace web site conveys the tough critic’s perspective.  Whether the religion, which hundreds of millions of Muslims have assumed perfect from the start, has strength to weather genuine moderation and updating remains to be seen.

Political Psychology

“Cults of personality”, “dictatorship”, “fascism”, “feudal political absolutism”, “idolatry”, “malignant narcissism” — such terms revolve around the construction of feudal space and the will and rule of a single overwhelming and ruthless personality that through the carrot and stick of patronage and intimidation creates and manipulates a universe around itself.  On BackChannels, the great struggle with the past has been presented this way:

Feudal Absolute Power vs Modern Democratic Distribution

For Islam and for Muslims to integrate with the cultural complexities of modern, pluralist, and secular democracies, which may then develop stronger capitalist economies with social welfare attachments, may require some reconsideration of Muhammad’s conflation with God, whether generated originally or by clerics or others promoting their own power in supposed emulation.

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