We know how to reform Islam – it's time to actually do it, Muslims say [CNA]

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/size340/Muslim_chaplain_prays_during_Islamic_holy_month_of_Ramadan_Credit_DVIDSHUB_via_Flickr_CC_BY_20_CNA_6_24_15.jpgWashington D.C., Dec 4, 2015 / 04:14 pm (CNA).- Islam needs a “reformation” that can only be achieved by Muslims speaking out against extremism and promoting human rights, said a panel of Muslim public figures on Thursday. “If Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries are to be protected, we must demand the protection of non-Muslims within Muslim-majority countries,” said Farahnaz Ispahani, former member of the Pakistani Parliament, at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. Ispahani was part of a panel of Muslims speaking out against ISIS and Islamist extremism. The panel agreed that Muslims and Western democratic countries must not deny that Islamist extremism is behind acts of terrorism and human rights abuses worldwide, but rather work to counter that ideology. “As Islamic extremists gain power and rule, human rights abuses including oppression of women, homosexuals, and religious minorities, as well as governmental tyranny, sectarian warfare, and bigotry inherent in Sharia law come to the fore,” Ispahani said. Muslims should promote “modern pluralistic values” and “human rights” as established by the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, she added. “Right now there is no clear ideological campaign to fight ISIS and to fight Islamism.” “We have all heard ‘Where are the Muslim voices?’” that are speaking out against ISIS, she noted, adding that “here we are, and we have others like us.” While some have wrongly blamed all Muslims for Islamist terrorism, members of the D.C. panel said, others have wrongly failed to make any mention of Islam in condemning such acts. “Too much deflection has been happening on this issue,” said Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Muslims must acknowledge the fact that radical Islam has fueled human rights abuses and must push for a reformation that involves a “separation of mosque and state” with religious pluralism and respect for human rights, he said. When Islamist extremists commit acts of violence, Muslims must resist the temptation to simply say the extremists “are not Muslims,” emphasized Naser Khader, a member of the Parliament in Denmark of the Conservative People’s Party. Simply denying that the extremists are true believers excuses the moderates from having to advocate for reform in Islam, he explained. “We cannot say that the Islamic State are not Muslims. That is what they call themselves,” he said. ISIS has a state built on a “jihadist vision of Islam,” he said, murdering and enslaving other people “with the Koran in their hands.” “If we the Muslims do not face the problem of violence that links to Islam in our time, how will we ever succeed in ripping Islam out of the hands of these destructive powers and lift our religion into the 21st century?” he asked. The rights of women and religious minorities in particular should be central to an Islamic reformation, the panel insisted. Many Islamists, including ISIS, hold centuries-old standards for women that ignore “progressive changes” that have happened since then, the panelists said. They argued that misogyny is rampant in these Islamist sects, which insist upon segregation of women at mosques and schools and the role of a woman being only to fulfill a man’s needs. Islamist literature is “full of statements” against women’s rights, Ispahani said. The Islamist concept of jihad also needs to be refuted, said journalist Asra Nomani. Chapter 9 verse 5 of the Koran instructs to “kill the Mushrikun,” or those who equate someone else with God, she explained. ISIS members used this word when they beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in Libya in February. “Common sense prevails that that is both unethical, immoral, and illegal,” she insisted, adding that critical thinking will show that verse was from the 7th century when Mohammed was surrounded by enemies intent upon destroying him. “It is not a timeless verse that exists forever until today,” she said. “We now reject this literal reading so that it cannot be used any more as a sanction for murder.” “Our jihad is a struggle for reformation,” she continued. “We are in a struggle for the future of our world…it is a struggle of ideology.”


Full article…

Good article.


Very good. However which group in the 7th century equated themselves with God? Does it mean also that Muslims radical and moderate study history again?


I know the best reform for Islam. Convert them all. If St. Patrick could convert a whole country of pagans, we should be able to convert Iran and Saudi Arabia right? Pagans were even worse than Iran and SA!!!

Our Faith is the only true Faith with the fullness of Truth. We literally have God on our side. If the Saints of old converted people in the WHOLE WORLD, why can’t we convert our country? Why are we LOSING numbers of PRACTICING Catholics? You would be surprised how many don’t know basic things like something I heard today - you can’t receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin. I heard that over half of us don’t believe in the real presence of the Eucharist, yet most people receive on Sunday. Maybe I am hearing false statistics. I hope so.

“Everyone has their own beliefs.”
“Muslims worship the same God as us. We don’t need to try to convert them. Let them have their beliefs. We don’t want to offend people.”
“Don’t talk about politics and religion.”
“I don’t want to be uncharitable. I must be prudent.” (What is more charitable and prudent than saving souls from eternal Hell?)

We have so many excuses. If 99 people reject us and 1 person is converted - ONE PERSON WAS SAVED FROM HELL. And what if that 1 person converts 99 in the next decade?

But we can’t save them if we ourselves are not converted. We need the whole body of Christ in a state of grace, praying and sacrificing!!!

God help us to serve you and do your Holy Will. Help us to place your Holy Will above our daily lives and our desire to feel comfortable and avoid confrontation. I love you and I trust you. In Jesus Name I pray.

Mother please help us. In Jesus Name I pray.

I ask you all to pray for me, because I have often avoided confrontation and desired comfort when I should have been speaking up for the Truth. I often see Muslims and instead of talking to them and trying to convert them, I pray for them sometimes. Ask God to give me boldness and a love for the cross and a love for their souls and their childrens souls.

I love you all and I salute you all
I salute your Guardian Angels (I love you all. Please ask God to give me this grace.)

I would like to know in their work to be more kind…would they still kill a Muslim for leaving his religion?

www.NewAgeIslam.com is working as well to reform Islam from within, and some who comment in protest also come across as those with a problem.

I was encouraged to see Dr. Zudhi Jasser take some of the lead on this. :thumbsup:

This article is too vague.

What are “modern pluristic values?”

What does “separation of mosque and state” mean?

What is wrong with women being separate from men in the classroom or even in the mosque? Segregated Western schools still exist, and I don’t think they are controversial. Orthodox Jews also seperate women from men in prayer. Did the panelists even consider that Muslims might have good reasons for such segregation?

I think that, to a Middle Easterner, this article sounds like a bunch of Westerners want to force their religious and political beliefs onto Muslims, mainly because it is. The best example of this is here:

Many Islamists, including ISIS, hold centuries-old standards for women that ignore “progressive changes” that have happened since then, the panelists said.

A Muslims might see this as forcing a post-1960s Western feminist view of women over the Muslim view. Of course, “progressive changes” is too vague to be meaningful anyway :shrug:

From my point of view as a Catholic, these vague critiques sound the exact same as the ones used to criticize my own religion. What Catholic hasn’t heard the the Church is “outdated?” That the Church is trying to stop “progress?” :eek:

Christi pax,


With all due respect: how do these reformers intend to separate out Mohammed’s commands to wage jihad on infidels? Do they intend to specifically contradict and/or remove all relevant portions of their holy book?

Well I think they will need to figure out what to do themselves and see where they really are in their knowledge of their own Faith. As for us Christians looking in from the outside I think it would not be fair to bash their prophet. That will go nowhere or further frustrate Muslims if we start rejecting wholesale. Let’s pray for them. After all there are similarities between our Faiths.


Bashing figures in any religion won’t get people to listen, that’s for sure.

The radical Islamist (I’m using Daniel Pipes terminology here) rise goes back to about the 1920s. I believe the assisted the Axis in WWII and I know after the Americans came in and turned the tide of battle, some of them went over there to figure out who had beaten them and what they were like.

Prior to that, a decent chunk of the Islamic world were colonies of Europe and according to Robert Spencer, it had been that way for almost 380 years after the Siege of Vienna.

So this has been around for a while, but was under the shadow of a global depression, a world war and then the Cold War.

I had heard that privately, one of the big regrets of President Reagan was that the US wasn’t able to go after radical Islamism because of all the attention on the chess game of the Cold War and getting the economy back on track.

I suppose it’s no coincidence that America got it’s first taste of blood in the 1993 WTC bombing, about 4 years after the Berlin Wall fell.

Although I definitely do not identify with the PC crowd, I also don’t see that the Koran calls for jihad.

Amen. :thumbsup:

Actually, years ago, in my experience, Muslims are actually really friendly, even when you tell them that you think Catholicism is the right religion and argue so. They don’t take offense to it as much as Evangelical Protestants that I have met. We even exchanged gifts. You’d be surprised how friendly they can be.

Most Muslims have one spouse, pray, and tuck their Children in at night. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council also teach that Muslims do worship the true God, the God of Abraham.

Also, from someone who is considered a “social conservative” in the US, I find that Muslims tend to be some of our closest allies on issues such as abortion, gay “marriage,” consumerism, etc. Muhammad himself condemned the sexual immorality and greed of his time.

Christi pax,


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