Debbir D. in Paramus, NJ:
[Tahir's] peremptory tone...demonstrates precisely what is wrong with Islam and its "hands off" attitude toward scholarship. No religion is perfect, even as the primary texts of all major religions preach and teach the messages of virtue, love, compassion and peace. But some are more perfect than others. (oops, Animal Farm reference)
Many of the key texts of my religion -- Hinduism -- have been respectfully subjected to critical analysis by Western scholars -- without arousing...the wrath of its practitioners. The Bible is believed by many to be God's words, yet Western scholars (Jewish and Christian) have not shied away from delving critically into the Old Testament and the New. Why exactly is it so objectionable for Islam and the Quran to be studied the same way? Yes, why? If you have a good reason, comment on it. Understanding and respect for other religions can be advanced only through rational discourse, not blind faith in the literal truth of the text... There are a few slightly disturbing connotations in that last sentence, notably "literal." Which meaning does he mean? "The-author-said-what-s/he-meant-to-say," or "no-metaphors-allowed"?
Mike J. in Canton, Ga.:
Maybe that is exactly the problem: Muslims interpreting the Quran for themselves. Maybe it is time for "Westerner scholars" to get involved. Islamic terrorists have carried out thousands of deadly terror attacks since 9/11. And you wonder why Westerners have shown a level of hostility toward Muhammad and the Quran and Islam when compared with other faiths? You basically answered your own question. Take out at least one "maybe," and it'll be even better.Jay L. in York, PA, re Tahir's claim of, shall we say, Islamic victimhood:
Is he joking? Over the past quarter-century, literally thousands of innocent men, women, and children of practically all faiths have been murdered in the name of Muhammad, the Quran, and Islam, while the majority of Muslims either openly celebrated such acts or quietly stood by without condemning them. If any religion needs a reformation to bring it in line with modernity, it is Islam...Robert M. in Drexel Hill, PA, about the same thing:
...Really? In America, the law guarantees one the right to practice any religion one chooses. On the other hand, laws based on Shariah consign non-Muslim people to inferior status. Christians living in Muslim nations are continuously harassed, threatened and even jailed for "converting" Muslims. Name a teddy bear after the prophet, and you will also go to jail, no matter if you're on a selfless humanitarian mission... [emphasis in original]And finally, Charles S. in San Jose, CA:
Mr. Qureshi's response to study and interpretation of the Quran clearly characterizes the shortcomings of Islam -- lack of intellectual dynamism, curiosity, self criticism, inclusiveness and tolerance -- all demonstrated in his brief, articulate letter. And this one was even shorter!Also, check out this post about the article, linked at the bottom.