Can Islam be Reformed?

Ibn Warraq:

But how likely is such a reformation in today’s Islamic societies? Can Islam institute such reforms and stay Islam? There are some, I believe, misguided liberal Muslims who want to have their cake and eat it. These liberals often argue that the real Islam is compatible with Human Rights, that the real Islam is feminist, that the real Islam is egalitarian, that the real Islam tolerates other religions and beliefs, and so on. They then proceed to some truly creative re-interpretation of the embarrassing, intolerant, bellicose and misogynist verses of the Koran.

But intellectual honesty demands that we reject just such dishonest tinkering with the Holy Text, which, while it may be open to some re-interpretation is not infinitely elastic. As a tactic it will simply not work either, because to trade verses with fundamentalists is to do battle on the fanatics’ terms, on the fanatics’ ground. For every text that the liberal Muslims produce, the mullahs will adduce dozens of counter examples exegetically, philologically and historically far more legitimate.

Reform cannot be achieved on these terms – whatever mental gymnastics the liberal reformists perform they cannot escape the fact that Othodox Islam is incompatible with Human Rights. There are moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate. Islam itself is a fascist ideology. There is no difference between Islam and Islamic fundamentalism, at most there is a difference of degree but not of kind. All the tenets of Islamic fundamentalism are derived from the Koran, the Sunna, the Hadith – Islamic fundamentalism is a totalitarian construct derived by Muslim jurists from the fundamental and defining texts of Islam. [...]

Abu Daoud says: I have already written about my perception of a Muslim Reformation which you can read HERE.


Anonymous said…
People talk about the need to reform Islam. Now you can stop talking and start helping.

With the help of our readers we went through the Koran and removed every verse that we believe did not come from Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. We would like to publish Reform Koran in as many languages as possible. If you could help with translation, editing, or distribution of the Reform Koran, please email us at

In Memoriam of Aqsa Parvez.

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