Thursday, March 23, 2006

Open Letter To Reformist Muslims

I wrote something.

It's on my blog.

Check it out.

Unlike some of my fellow believers I don't think that the recent glut of Westerners calling for the reformation of Islam is due solely to an imperial Western ambition. I believe that much of non-Muslim engagement with Islam is premised upon a well-intentioned impulse. I believe that some Western antipathy towards Islam (when it is radical and debilitating) is due to decency. It is quite plausible that a generation that faced off against two totalitarianisms might be right about a third. It is also plausible that for every Westerner who calls for the destruction of Islam in order to defend the Western status-quo, there is another Westerner who agitates for change in Islam because has a Muslim friend who has been hurt by what passes for Islam, or has a glimpse (in Hafiz, perhaps in Ibn Rushd), of what Islam could be; and as such, is upset by what Islam today is not. I believe that there are many in the West capable of recognizing beauty -- and they have recognized the beauty that Islam was in the hands of Rumi, and also have recognized the potential of that beauty in Islam today, in Muslims today. This is another way of saying that I believe there are many in the West who are driven by the humanity of the Muslim, who faces daily in Iraq, in Punjab, in subversive mosques in Europe, the inhumanity of a utilitarian death theology.
The rest is on my blog.


Anonymous said...

some are ideological in nature and base their opinion of the inability of Islam to change on the idea that change would make Islam into something other than Islam.

Islam would be a great religion--if it weren't for Muhammad and the Koran. There is so much that would have to be gutted from Islam to make it less than lethal to the rest of the world that the patient would, of necessity, die on the operating table. I borrowed a quote in my last comment, and I think it bears repeating here: "Radical Islam is an insane death cult, and moderate Islam is its Trojan Horse in the West."

Pastorius, you claim that Christianity has changed and is still called by the same name. I maintain that when one begins removing fundamentals and core doctrines, a religion cannot possibly be the same thing, no matter what one may choose to call it. A "liberal Christian" may well be Liberal, but cannot be a Christian if they decide to start picking and choosing through which teachings they do and do not find palatable.

Christine said...

For obvious reasons, Islam has become tied to a physical security risk to a lot of us.

But, there are many of us out here who are actually more concerned with the risks, inhumanity and suffering of many who are Muslims in Islamic countries.

So, the changes we would like to see in Islam are not only for our own benefit, but for many who follow Islam.

No, we are not haters.

Anonymous said...


I'd rather not identify myself, for paranoia-related reasons that shall become obvious in a moment, but I'm a freedom-minded blogger in the Ottawa area with a blog at Blogspot and a Sitemeter. I don't talk about politics nearly as much as I used to, but I did post a few of the Mohammed cartoons, disclaimered to high hell, in the interest of supporting Danish freedom of expression (well, western freedom of expression in general), and in the interest of not wanting my own freedom of expression curtailed in order not to offend a few insane mullahs and the misguided Dhimmi-fied western activist groups who seek to appease them.

Yesterday, I got a rather alarming hit on my Sitemeter from a (Government of Canada) subdomain. When I looked at the detailed information about the hit, it was from someone from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the page they were looking at was one from early February where I discussed the Danish cartoons a couple of times (though it wasn't the page where I actually posted the cartoons themselves, since my archives are organized by week, and the entry with the cartoons was done on the Saturday of the previous week).

For whatever reason, the referrer (i.e. Google) wasn't shown, so I couldn't tell what they were looking for, but, as far as I can tell, nothing else I talked about that particular week (including a job interview, videogames, and (non-pornographic) Japanese anime) would be of the slightest bit of interest to the RCMP in a police investigation context.

It could be nothing. It could just be that a dinner-minded Mountie was looking for a review of a particular restaurant in a certain suburban Ottawa hamlet that I mentioned in passing. My fear, however, is that the RCMP has flagged me as a "person of interest" in a general Internet hate crimes investigation merely for discussing the Danish cartoons without outright condemning their insensitivity towards the "Religion of Peace", and, if that is the case, then I'm sure that my insignificant blog isn't the only one they've looked at.

I just want to advise Canadian bloggers who have posted or who have written about the Danish cartoons to keep a sharp eye on your Sitemeter (or whichever other counter you might use) for hits from the domain, and then look for details if your counter offers them to see if the RCMP is checking you out.

The Anti-Jihadist said...

Believing something can 'change' without having any logical reason to believe in such is blind, misplaced faith. I don't understand Pastorius' position. The burden of proof is on the Muslims to prove to us Infidels that they can 'change'.

Pastorius said...

Honestly, Anti-Jihadist, I don't understand your position either. The thing is, you don't seem to make logical sense to me, and I don't think I make logical sense to you.

Don't know what to do about that, but I like you anyway.


The Anti-Jihadist said...

You said my 'fool's errand' post made, and a quote, 'a strong case' that Islam cannot be reformed. Funny, I would take that to mean that you did understand my position, at least at one point. And now you say you don't understand now. Why is that?

Isn't my position, as spelled out in that post and in numerous other remarks, logical enough for you? Please do me the honor of pointing out the flaws in my strong case.

If I make no logical sense, why was I invited here to IBLOGA in the first place?