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Islamic Reform: Holy Grail or Poisoned Chalice (Part II)
by Mary Jackson (May 2009)
I concluded Part I of this article (February 2009) by admitting that Islamic reform seemed like a lost cause. To be sure, my piece focused on what will not work: a pretty face (male or female), a pleasant personality in the case of spiky-haired Irshad Manji, or a plausible one in the case of the British Government’s Great Hope Ed Husain. Their approach, and that of too many Islamic reformers, is to sweeten Islam for the modern, Western palate. Whether or not they intend to deceive hardly matters. Adding the world “lightly” in a translation of the Koranic verse (4:34) enjoining the beating of “disobedient” wives does nothing to soften the blow for millions of Muslim women whose husbands know the truth. “Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them” stubbornly refuses to turn into “Give peace a chance.” The Koran says what it says, and is believed to be the unchanging, infallible word of God. Mohammed did what he did, and is believed to be the perfect man. Try as he might, can a reformer make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? In this second of three articles, I consider how such a task might be attempted. Attempted is the operative word – I offer no guarantee of success. more>>>