What Became of Tolerance in Islam?
September 16, 2001 12:23 AM   Subscribe

What Became of Tolerance in Islam? This is from a few days ago, but I don't think it has been posted here previously. An Islamic scholar reflects upon the ways in which Islamic culture, "that produced such tolerance, knowledge and beauty throughout its history," has recently been taken over by an "extreme form of puritanical Islam" that "does not represent most Muslims today."
posted by Rebis (3 comments total)
We all know that the Arabs invented algebra. Finally, Khaled Abou E Fadl has supplied the missing integer the recent horrible equation: intelligent, informed Muslim self-analysis. I find the notion that there are reflective Muslim intellectuals out there who are agonizing over this tragedy, a fact more comforting than the thought of U.S. war vessels steaming toward Afghanistan. Sometimes it seems that Muslims are less afraid to kill themselves than criticize themselves. More power to you and your kind, Khaled Abou E Fadl. (The only odd part of this article seems to me to be the remark about the fundamentalist "martyrs" believing that they will be ministered by virgins in heaven. I thought that this had been exposed as an anti-Muslim canard, and that the "martyrs" believe no such thing.)
posted by Faze at 9:38 AM on September 16, 2001

I guess you could see such fanatical turns in any religion. You could ask: "What happened to the tolerance of Christianity" in response to the violent actions being taken by many anti-abortionists. The progressive lack of tolerance towards the more and more liberal social and political state of the US by the more 'fundamentalist' Christian elements.

Perhaps it is the inevitable progression of all religions in a modernizing world, that the most fundamentalist sects break off into violent, intolerant factions seeking a return to their literal myopic readings of their holy books.
posted by HTuttle at 9:52 PM on September 16, 2001

Perhaps ONE significant point to make is that, in the US, we DO prosecute extremist fundamentalist actions which hurt others. I think what the world needs to see happen for a true peace to occur, is the Islamic states taking ACTION against their wayward factions. Short of that, we cannot, and SHOULD NOT bear their tolerance of these extremists, regardless of their constantly flapping tongues and lip-service about 'not all being like THAT'. IT is up to THEM to reel in the fanatics....OR someone ELSE will do it for them! Hence we are where we are today.
posted by HTuttle at 10:03 PM on September 16, 2001

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