Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hey listen don't you let them get your mind

Some people just can't sit quietly by and let insanity run roughshod through their lives. Salman Rushdie is one of those guys, God bless him. You'll recall that most of the western world became familiar with the concept of fatwas because of his novel The Satanic Verses. In that vein, here's his latest go at stirring the pot, though he may be more akin to Sisyphus here. Thanks to Niner Charlie.

From the article:
The Koran was revealed at a time of great change in the Arab world, the 7th-century shift from a matriarchal nomadic culture to an urban patriarchal system. Muhammad, as an orphan, personally suffered the difficulties of this transformation, and it is possible to read the Koran as a plea for the old matriarchal values in the new patriarchal world, a conservative plea that became revolutionary because of its appeal to all those whom the new system disenfranchised, the poor, the powerless, and, yes, the orphans.

Muhammad was also a merchant and heard, on his travels, the Nestorian Christians' desert versions of Bible stories which the Koran mirrors closely. It ought to be fascinating to Muslims everywhere to see how deeply their beloved book is a product of its place and time, and in how many ways it reflects the Prophet's own experiences.


The traditionalists' refusal of history plays right into the hands of the literalist Islamofascists, allowing them to imprison Islam in their iron certainties and unchanging absolutes. If, however, the Koran were seen as a historical document, then it would be legitimate to reinterpret it to suit the new conditions of successive new ages. Laws made in the 7th century could finally give way to the needs of the 21st. The Islamic Reformation has to begin here, with an acceptance that all ideas, even sacred ones, must adapt to altered realities.

Holy shit, you mean that people should actually be allowed to ask questions about the beliefs they're supposed to hold? A dastardly radical idea indeed, Mr. Rushdie. One would think that satisfactory answers to questions that people have about their religion is the best way to deepen faith, and certainly shouldn't cause people to leave the fold...
Unless that faith is not able (or is not interested in being able) to provide such answers in the first place.

It's long past time that islam got its head out of the 7th century sand, and started living in the present.

Previous "Islamophobia" I've disseminated:
Blogs are "The Mediocre Satan"
How Harry Potter Wipes His Ass
Moderate Schmoderate
Saruman the Dead
Ding Dong the Bitch is Dead


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