Friday, October 22nd | 16 Heshvan 5782

August 3, 2016 7:36 am

Why We Must Promote Islamic Reform

avatar by Robert I. Lappin

The cover of a Koran. Photo: Wiki Commons.

The cover of a Koran. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Centuries ago, there were followers of Judaism and Christianity — specifically zealots and crusaders — who supported or committed violence and conquest in the name of religion. Nowadays, however, due to the reformation of Judaism and Christianity, it is extremely rare for acts of terror to be committed by Christians or Jews in the name of either religion.

Sadly, the opposite is true for Islam, which has been hijacked by millions of followers who support violence in the name of Allah. Most perpetrators of this violence and those who support it follow Sharia law, a legal code based on the Koran and other Islamic scripture.

Islam, the world’s second largest religion, is the fastest-growing religion. What Muslims believe and how they behave have enormous impact on the world. Co-opted by extremist religious leaders who seek political world-domination, Islam has become a vehicle of violence, intolerance and hatred. In this decade, millions of human beings, mostly Muslims, have been displaced from their homes and dispossessed of their belongings; millions more have been injured and maimed; and hundreds of thousands have been killed, often dying horrible deaths, in the name of Allah.

Millions of these displaced persons, most of whom follow Sharia law, have migrated to neighboring countries, including the nations of Western Europe, causing the stability of democratic governments to be shaken, and basic concepts of freedom and democracy to be threatened; this is because of the incompatibility of Sharia law with the concepts of individual liberty and gender equality practiced by their host nations.

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Growing acceptance and support among Muslims for a distorted interpretation of Islam, which teaches hatred of others, intolerance and violence, presents a daunting challenge for reformation — which must be brought about by Islam’s adherents. However, it is heartening that a brave, small, but significant number of Muslim reformers has emerged. Through humane and respectful interpretation of the Koran, these Muslims believe that reform is possible by transforming Muslim communities, to make them free from the dictates of fanatic fundamentalists.

It is incumbent on the non-Muslim community to provide full and enthusiastic support for these courageous Muslim reformers who seek to reform Islam based on three principles: peace, human rights, and secular government.

If peace is to be restored to our planet, Islam must reform.

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