Well I have a suggestion. It seems to me that a reasonable definition of a moderate Muslim might be someone who is willing to publicly renounce and repudiate:
- the Qur'anic command to punish apostates with death.
- the Qur'anic approval of wife-beating under certain circumstances.
- the Qur'anic tradition of forced marriages and child brides.
- the Qur'anic tradition of honor killings.
Some might -- with some justification -- say that this would require Muslims to cease to be orthodox Muslims. It's something about which I don't know enough Islamic theology to have an opinion. But if there is any validity to it, or to the extent that there is validity, it would seem to throw the whole matter of Islmaic moderation into question. I don't say this is the case, and I certainly hope it is not.
Have I missed something? Any thoughts or suggestions?
I don't know much about Islam but from what I understand it is de-centralized. Such a pronouncement, then, wouldn't have authority unless it was drawn up in a sort of unifying contract. I don't know if that's right or not, but that is the first thing I though about.
It may be a gap in my knowledge, but are you sure honor killing is a Quranic tradition? Honor killing is a means for a family to redeem themselves from the disgrace brought upon them by a wayward daughter. Though it is strongly linked to Muslim circles, I believe it reflects a tribal ethic, not a Quranic tradition.
I've read at one catechism on islam. I suppose that makes me knowledgeable enough to be dangerous.
I would agree that if a group or individual rejects the things you list, that would be a fine definition of moderate. Probably calling them all Q'ranic might be erroneous for the reasons mentioned by Ignatius.
Not a bad set of ideas Gil.
Gil, you might want to include a renunciation of slavery on your list, also a renunciation of polygamy, also a renunciation of the so-called lesser jihad, directed against non-Muslims, real or perceived.
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