Sunday, April 21, 2013
As far as I can assess, Islam - when seen in terms of its historical origin and development - isn't quite as intolerant as extremists would like it to be, nor quite as liberal as liberal Muslims would like it to be. In this sense, both are guilty of ahistoricism. Both wish to uphold respectively idealized versions that do not correspond well with what history has to offer, and resultantly, the history is either distorted or conveniently ignored. 'Moderates' are probably more in line in terms of the severity of beliefs, but the moral zeitgeist has evolved significantly, so much so that this 'moderate' stance is no longer ethically justifiable.
The liberals are on the 'right side of history' as far as their ethical direction is concerned, but I do not think that any authentic theological reform can come out of an attitude as ahistorical as currently exists. Indeed, with this attitude of ahistoricism, there is no need to even acknowledge a need for theological reform; after all, Islam, revealed in its original form fourteen centuries ago, was already well-suited for practice in the 21st century!