Ijtihad, malaise, Al Nahdah, the Maronites of Lebanon

The Arab World lacked the ability to revitalize itself until the
Renaissance (al-Nahdah) of the 19th century. The increasing role
of Europeans including their colonial rule in the Arab World and
the growing realization of Arab backwardness by many Arab in-
tellectuals, led to a desire for a renaissance. [...]

The thesis that the malaise of almost 1000 years in the Arab
World was related to the processes of Islamization, with its rule
against ijtihad, seems to be confirmed by the fact that the Renais-
sance was most vibrant in Lebanon where Christians formed a

Stringer, John. 'Christian Mission and Ecumenism' in Saint Francis Magazine, Vol 5:1, Feb. 2009. p 6.


Samuel said…
I tend to agree. Islam is inherently anti-change, esp. changes that challenge its authority. (Christendom no less guilty when it refused appropriate change, by its own scientists such as Galileo.) That makes it very difficult to allow for progress since progress will often be seen as apostate. That's why I commend Turkey's Atta Turk, who took the first steps to put Islam in its place. When he did that, Turks progressed and moved further ahead of their other Muslim counterparts. And I fear that now with the recent surge of Islamism in Turkey that it will be a time for regression.

As for Lebanon, Hizbullah is doing all it can to squelch that un-Islamic so-called Renaissance of the infidels. Progress seems to have been so identified with the West that any sort of progressive behavior can be labeled as 'Western' and hence un-Islamic---contrary to Allah's will. It is not easy not to challenge Islamic Sharia. That's the problem.

Another example of that same 'stupidization' is Cat Stevens. He was a great and creative musician (many of his old songs I still love), until his conversion when he entered that dark world that turned off the lights of his talents.

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