23 April 2008


I have been spending too much time surfing the Internet and simply not enough time doing the work I am supposed to be doing! Perhaps it is time to change course and become a professional blogger...a sort of sell my soul to the blog devil and commercialize everything that I do and try and make a few bucks off my blog. Although, having a quick look at my stats it is not likely to be a very profitable venture!

But anyways. In my Internet travels I have come across plenty of stuff which has piqued my interest including some stuff on Islamo-fascism. It is a term I had heard in the past but had not really paid much attention to, but perhaps I should have been paying more attention to it, maybe we all should be paying more attention to it!

The definition:

Islamofascism is a controversial neologism suggesting an association of the ideological or operational characteristics of certain modern Islamist movements with European fascist movements of the early 20th century, neofascist movements, or totalitarianism. The word is included in the New Oxford American Dictionary, defining it as "a controversial term equating some modern Islamic movements with the European fascist movements of the early twentieth century". Critics of the term argue that associating the religion of Islam with fascism is offensive and inaccurate.

The thing that I see as being important here is a sort of "how will this play out?" particularly when the positions adopted seem to be diametrically opposed at and on almost all levels.

The simple argument for reform in Islam as I see it, or at least understand it, revolves around the position that the Qur'an is a gift from Allah, it has been recorded exactly in the manner that it was given to the Prophet Muhammad, and in essence this is the undistorted and perfect words of God, so why tamper with perfection.

In contrast and the flip side of this argument, and equally valid, is that the modern world is placing new demands on Islam to modernize its teachings in order to reflect modern society. These demands are being met with strong and vigorous resistance which is not always peaceful and non-violent. Simply, the Muslim societies that developed some 1400 years ago were vastly different to those that we encounter today.

Who will win this argument? That is the $64 question! But I do not see this being a rational, peaceful, and accommodating debate for the hearts and minds of Muslims throughout the world.

To be sure what inspired this post is my interest in religion, peace, co-existence, and harmony, plus having just read through, in part at least the site of Muslims Against Sharia and their blog. The cynical part of my brain fully understands that conflict and controversy is good for business but it is not good for people! It is especially not good for those people who live in conflict zones. It is also not good for those people willing to stand up and speak their minds irrespective of whether they are courting controversy for some other reason or hold legitimate beliefs in the positions that they advocate. The picture is something I pulled off the Muslims Against Sharia site.

As I have posted many times we as people need to enter into dialogue to address those issues that divide us, but ultimately there must be action to put "right" those things that the dialogue highlights as being in need of some correction.

1 comment:

Connie said...

Rob, Muslims Against Sharia participated in the following symposium, which may interest you.

Symposium: A New Koran?