Thursday, January 24, 2008

Criticism of Islam

No, I'm not (at least directly) criticizing the religion. But here are two follow-up letters (A15, subscription required) to the article (my post) about scholarly study of the Quran. And here, in the words of Aurora, is a possible result of squelching this study. It is already happening.

Let us see two Muslims' replies to the article. I won't say it's not typical. Bold material is mine.

In the words of Ihsan A., Esq. in Dearborn, MI:

Despite general Muslim sensitivities to outsiders venturing into Islam studies ("The Lost Archive," page one, Jan. 12), I don't believe that there should be any taboos concerning who and what is allowed as a subject of study. One can only look forward to a day when Islamic texts and history are studied with the same scholarship and rigor that Christian texts and history have been. If the Quran etc. were studied by scholars as the Bible has been, it would fall apart.

From ancient times, the Quran has been memorized by many individuals, illustrating that it is the same as it has always been. I cannot think of any other book that is completely memorized around the globe by individuals, called Hafiz, many of whom don't even understand or speak the language. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Visit any Muslim group prayer and you will see what I mean. It never fails that when I am engaged in communal prayer more than one of the congregants will correct the Imam if the leader of the prayer makes a mistake while reading verses from the Quran. These Hafiz of the Quran have kept it the same.

And here is Tahir Q.'s opinion (Silver Spring, Md.):

I say to the Western scholars: Do not interpret the Quran for Muslims. Who said we're doing it for Muslims? We're doing it for ourselves so that we may know more about this often-militant religion. We Muslims are capable of interpreting the Quran for ourselves. No other people have shown the level of hostility to another faith as Westerners have shown to Muhammad, the Quran and Islam. Muslim terrorist attacks on infidel dogs, Zionist pigs, etc., anyone? It continues to this day. Islam doesn't need reformation; the Western mind needs reformation about Muhammad, the Quran and Islam.

It will be better for both of us. I beg to differ.

1 comment:

Aurora said...

Good observations, Hannah. It would be really interesting to see someone go through the Qu'ran with a fine-tooth comb and publish the findings, though he/she might end up in hiding like Rushdie.
Thanks for the link by the way. :)