Reformist Muslim

Exploring possibilities for the future of Islam and other thoughts

Location: London, United Kingdom

Monday, August 29, 2005

Progressive Islam - A Contradiction!

Came across this piece from Avaris from Nov 2004 on the problems with Irshad Manji and progressive Islam at his excellent blog. Mr Moghul raises some extremely good points. Islam is most definitely about submission to God's will and it is true to a certain extent that Irshad Manji 'validates' Osama bin Laden by quoting selectively from the Quran and Hadith to progpogate her particular viewpoint.

Having said that, at the beginning of the post the writer speaks as to how he doubts that people can have true faith without having doubted it. Unfortunately submitting to the will of Allah also seems to inculcate people with a sense of superiority in their status of superior human beings who will be rewarded in the afterlife. This would not really be a problem if that confidence did not spill over into the world we live in but alas it does.

Therefore, I would suggest that part of 'progression' or 'reform' is about education and a realisation amongst Muslims that whilst they are perfectly entitled to have their faith in God, scientific evidence casts aspersions on this and that at least right now, having a secular, liberal, pluralist and democratic government is the best form of political organisation available to humankind.

That's it for now, I'll be posting more thoughts on a similar theme hopefully in the near future, in the mean time I'll recommend Mr Moghul's blog again.


Blogger Abdul-Halim V. said...


Somehow we have to come up with better words. I would consider myself progressive and Muslim but
I'm not sure that I completely and whole-heartedly embrace all the connotations of secular liberalism.

4:01 pm, September 16, 2005  
Blogger reformist_muslim said...


I agree with you about the problem of terminology and the negative connotations that people hold of words such as 'progressive' and 'liberal'.

I think that secular liberalism has to be explained in terms of letting each individual go about his business as he pleases. This may mean that some people will engage in activity considered immoral by Muslims but that this should be permitted as long as there is no damage to others.

It is hear that perhaps the experience of Muslim minorities in the 'West' as opposed to places like Uzbekistan is important.

Christian British women may not wear headscarves but they don't have problems with Muslim women doing so. If we transpose this to Muslim societies we begin to make progress.

Alternatively you can also argue as say Tariq Ramadan does that you extract the principles and have an ever evolving model based on the reality around you.

Anyways thats it for now. Will be checking out your blog.

6:04 pm, September 16, 2005  
Blogger Abdul-Halim V. said...


hmmm... maybe I will read more on Tariq Ramadan. I've not read him deeply but included links to a couple of his articles at Planet Grenada.

Hmm..but yes, in terms of "secular liberalism" I'm not sure that its a good thing. At least, not in the sense that it should be a goal in its own right.

I think one should definitely be patient and compassionate and understanding to people. There are annecdotes from the life of the traditional sunni imam, Abu Hanifa which exemplify that beautifully. But that is different, I think, from being permissive.

10:16 pm, September 16, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter