muslim enlightenment12 Sep 2005
Salman Rushdie lays down a framework for a true Muslim
reformation enlightenment. Some good, practical advice:
British Muslims, who are mainly of South Asian origin, should remember their own histories. In India, Muslims have always been secularists, knowing that India’s secular constitution is what protects them from the dictatorship of the (Hindu) majority. British Muslims should take a leaf out of their counterparts’ book and separate religion from politics.
As well as, uhm, shooting for the moon, as it were:
Reformed Islam would reject conservative dogmatism and accept that, among other things, women are fully equal to men; that people of other religions, and of no religion, are not inferior to Muslims; that differences in sexual orientation are not to be condemned, but accepted as aspects of human nature; that anti-Semitism is not OK; and that the repression of free speech by the thin-skinned ideology of easily-taken “offence” must be replaced by genuine, robust, anything-goes debate in which there are no forbidden ideas or no-go areas.
I don’t really know if any religion and “anything-goes debate” are really compatible, but hey, here’s hoping!