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Why Islam needs a reformation, explains writer Ayan Hirsi Ali in her book

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ms Hirsi Ali’s new book, “Heretic”: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now,” poses a contemporary question of need of  a reformation in the practice and interpretation of the Islamic faith.

Ali’s previous books : “Infidel” and “Nomad: From Islam to America, A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations ” talked about her personal journey and the problems that she faced due to her rational thinking.

While talking about her new book she said that any serious discussion of Islam must begin with its core creed, which is based on the Quran (the words said to have been revealed by the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad) and the hadith (the accompanying works that detail Muhammad’s life and words), reported Wall Street journal.

“Despite some sectarian differences, this creed unites all Muslims. All, without exception, now by heart these words: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah; and Muhammad is His messenger.” This is the Shahada, the Muslim profession of faith,” Hirsi said.

Five areas in which the Islamic faith needs reformation To Control Terrorism

Hirsi has identified five precepts central to Islam that have made it resistant to historical change and adaptation in her book. “Only when the harmfulness of these ideas are recognized and they are repudiated will a true Muslim Reformation have been achieved.”

Here are the five areas that require amendment To Control Terrorism:

  1. Muhammad’s semi-divine status, along with the literalist reading of the Quran.

Muhammad should not be seen as infallible, let alone as a source of divine writ. He should be seen as a historical figure who united the Arab tribes in a pre-modern context that cannot be replicated in the 21st century. Although, Islam maintains that the Quran is the literal word of Allah, it is, in historical reality, a book that was shaped by human hands. Large parts of the Quran simply reflect the tribal values of the 7th-century Arabian context from which it emerged. The Quran’s eternal spiritual values must be separated from the cultural accidents of the place and time of its birth.

  1. The supremacy of life after death.

The appeal of martyrdom will fade only when Muslims assign a greater value to the rewards of this life than to those promised in the hereafter.

  1. Shariah, the vast body of religious legislation.

Muslims should learn to put the dynamic, evolving laws made by human beings above those aspects of Shariah that are violent, intolerant or anachronistic.

  1. The right of individual Muslims to enforce Islamic law.

There is no room in the modern world for religious police, vigilantes and politically empowered clerics.

  1. The imperative to wage jihad, or holy war.

Islam must become a true religion of peace, which means rejecting the imposition of religion by the sword.

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“It is more in the nature of a public intervention in the debate about the future of Islam. The biggest obstacle to change within the Muslim world is precisely its suppression of the sort of critical thinking I am attempting here. If my proposal for reform helps to spark a serious discussion of these issues among Muslims themselves, I will consider it a success.’’

“Let me make two things clear. I do not seek to inspire another war on terror or extremism—violence in the name of Islam cannot be ended by military means alone. Nor am I any sort of “Islamophobe.” At various times, I myself have been all three kinds of Muslim: a fundamentalist, a cocooned believer and a dissident. My journey has gone from Mecca to Medina to Manhattan.’’ Ali adds to elaborate her standpoint.

The author considers her book is not a work of theology.

Note: Ms. Hirsi Ali’s new book, “Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now,” is going to be published on Tuesday by HarperCollins.

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