Image via WikipediaIt's a collection of short articles from various informed and interested activists and scholars. The one I found most refreshing in its unabashed and straightforward manner was the article by Tawfik Hamid, a former Islamic radical who is now an Islamic reformer. His article is entitled "Don't Gloss Over the Violent Texts." Here is an excerpt from his contribution to the collection on moderate Islam at the Wall St. Journal online:
Radical Islam is not limited to the act of terrorism; it also includes the embrace of teachings within the religion that promote hatred and ultimately breed terrorism. Those who limit the definition of radical Islam to terrorism are ignoring—and indirectly approving of—the Shariah teachings that permit killing apostates, violence against women and gays, and anti-Semitism.
Moderate Islam should be defined as a form of Islam that rejects these violent and discriminatory edicts. Furthermore, it must provide a strong theological refutation for the mainstream Islamic teaching that the Muslim umma (nation) must declare wars against non-Muslim nations, spreading the religion and giving non-Muslims the following options: convert, pay a humiliating tax, or be killed. This violent concept fuels jihadists, who take the teaching literally and accept responsibility for applying it to the modern world.
Source link (scroll down to get to Mr. Hamid's article; emphasis added by blogger).
I have to admire the honesty and courage of Mr. Hamid. Many Western "progressives" will ignore his warning just as many Western "progressives" ignored reports of Stalin's murderous ways back in the thirties, forties, and fifties.
As a Christian, I cannot help but to respectfully propose this option to Islamic reformers: the Gospel of the prophet Jesus ("Isa" in Islam) never once has Jesus using force or advocating military conquest. Although throughout history Christians have been quite violent and have committed many shameful atrocities, the founder of Christianity never remotely proposed the use of force by anyone for religious reasons. In my opinion, the ultimate, most practical, quickest, and most effective reform of Islam involves embracing the Gospel of the prophet Jesus as contained in the New Testament. With all due respect, the way of the prophet Jesus, of Isa, set forth in the New Testament is the best Islamic reform possible.