Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Muslim scholars speak out against extremism within Islam

In recent opinions published in the Washington Post and Al-Jazeera’s website, Muslims spoke out against the extremism and intolerance that is being perpetrated within the Islamic world. Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid, former president of Indonesia, writes about the seemingly extreme punishments laid out in Shari-a law. He speaks directly to the difference between what is said in the Koran-words directly inspired by God-and man-made laws based upon the Koran. Laws, being man-made, are subject to interpretation and revision is even mandated by one of the two key principles of Islamic jurisprudence which states "The law is formulated in accordance with circumstances.” The assertions by extremists that the Koranic laws are eternal are simply false, former president Wahid argues, and Muslims and Westerners alike must struggle for a more tolerant Islam. To read this whole article, click here.

Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, a Muslim scholar from Mauritania who now lives in the U.S., examines the historical tolerance exhibited by Muslims and how that important aspect of the faith is missing from much of modern Islam. Quoting phrases from the Koran, he points towards Muhammad’s understanding that conversion to, and even from, Islam is a choice that any may make. There is also a difference in morality and legality, as there should be in any place offering religious freedom, as the laws may not necessarily reflect to the word a religion’s moral code. To read all of this opinion, please click here.

Both of these pieces reflect a very tolerant view of Islam that is not widely publicized in the United States.


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