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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Why should we accept self-styled ‘progressive’ interpretations of the Koran?

[Top: the concept of [rights] is so slippery in the first place, that no non-Muslim should be surprised when slippery (taqiyya) Muslims mean something completely different by it than they, non-Muslims, do. For example, take the Islamic 'right' of a Muslim woman to be 'treated like a jewel' (which is often said by Muslim women in their own defence). This translates as meaning that a jewel (or a Muslim woman) should be 'protected' by keeping it (or her) under wraps and at home. Left: the InterFaith faith is the means by which Muslim 'progressives' do their da'wah (or proselytising) to non-Muslims. For example, they sell gullible Anglicans and Methodists the lies that 'Mohammed was a lover of the Jews' and that 'Islam is peace'.]

Let’s take just one aspect of the Koran: its constant injunctions to Muslims to obey each and every established Islamic authority and leader as the true ‘messenger’ or ‘voice’ of Allah.

The ‘progressive’ or ‘moderate’ Muslim may now say: This is simply the result of dictatorial or repressive clerics or religious leaders, in the past, corrupting the Koran for nefarious and/or individual purposes. Far from it.

The Koran is quite consistent and constant about the need to obey each and every established Islamic authority, from the leader, to the state as a whole, to the many clerics and religious leaders at a lower or more local level. Sura 4:59 states:

‘O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority.’

In any case, if 'modern' or ‘moderate’ or ‘progressive’ Muslims do say to us that in the past such clerics and religious leaders have 'misinterpreted' the Koran in order to serve their individual and/or nefarious ends, we can simply reply: How do you know that? What gives ‘moderate’ or ‘progressive’ Muslims the right, or even the intellectual justification, to say that these very many past interpretations of the Koran, etc., which have led to autocratic Islamic states and leaders, were inauthentic or even disingenuous? What is the trump card which moderate Muslims use which firmly and unequivocally establishes that their interpretation – which just happens to square with contemporary Western mores and values – is the correct or true one? Alternatively, how do we non-Muslims know that reinterpretations of the Koran which establish that Mohammed was a liberal and lover of freedom, are not just gross attempts to hoodwink Westerners – especially the gullible liberals – with some rather sophisticated Islamic taqiyya? Who is going to decide between the ‘reactionary’ interpretations and the ‘progressive’ ones? And even if there are people who can decide, who’s to say they are the right people to decide these issues?

Just because ‘progressive’ interpretations of the Koran may square with contemporary Western values and systems, and thus appeal to gullible liberals and those who hate to see wrong in any religion whatsoever, what makes them correct or true interpretations rather than interpretations which work as effective taqiyya against non-Muslims? Above and beyond all that, if a ‘progressive’ Muslim interprets Mohammed as a lover of peace and tranquillity, and the Koran as a work of pure pacifism (‘Islam is peace’), can we honestly say that such infinitely elastic interpretations are really acceptable? Can the Koran, even today, be interpreted in every which way possible – even if such interpretations bring Islam in from the cold to feel the warm glow of Western values and systems? In other words, how much taqiyya, how much bullshit, are we prepared to accept from Muslims who pass themselves off as ‘progressives’?

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