ATbar Is Muslim Reform Possible and a Soluton for Radicalization?
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Is Muslim Reform Possible and a Soluton for Radicalization?

14/09/2016 | by Raza, Raheel  

Clarify I’m not speaking for all Muslims but reform-minded Muslims who understand that this is the only solution. Also we are not trying to reform the scripture but to reform the way Muslims interpret and implement Islam in their lives.

So you will appreciate and understand that it’s the violent aspect of Islamic teachings that have to be understood in a different light and the narrative has to be changed  before any possible change can be expected. Hate that is taught at a young age in Madrassas needs to openly challenged.

This does not mean that Muslims can’t follow their faith – it just means that secondary texts needs to understood in a humanitarian context. As Muslims we have done dis-service to humanity and our faith.

For e.g.

  • Apostates killing.

  • Beating women and stoning women to death for adultery.

  • Calling Jews "pigs and monkeys."

  • Declaring war on Non-Muslims to spread Islam after offering Non-Muslims three options: subjugate to Islam, pay Jizia (a humiliating tax), or be killed.

  • Enslaving female war prisoners and taking them as sex slaves

  • Fighting and killing Jews before the "End of Days."

  • Gay killing.

All this is unacceptable today. Canadian senator Daniel Lang told delegates to a public policy conference, “We need to recognize that radicalized thoughts lead to radicalized actions.”

Israel is the only country in the world that understands what radicalization and terrorism is about because you deal with it on a daily basis.

Idea of reform is just starting to take root. It will be slow and painful.
The first aspect of reform is to bring Islam and Muslims into the 21st century so stand for a respectful, merciful and inclusive interpretation of Islam. We are in a battle for the soul of Islam, and an Islamic renewal must defeat the ideology of Islamism, or politicized Islam, which seeks to create Islamic states, as well as an Islamic caliphate. We support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by United Nations member states in 1948.

The reform movement rejects interpretations of Islam that call for any violence, social injustice and politicized Islam. Facing the threat of terrorism, intolerance, and social injustice in the name of Islam, we have reflected on how we can transform our communities based on three principles: peace, human rights and secular governance.

Peace, National Security, Counterterrorism and Foreign Policy

We stand for universal peace, love and compassion. We reject ARMED jihad. 

We believe we must target the ideology of violent Islamist extremism in order to liberate individuals from the scourge of oppression and terrorism both in Muslim majority societies and the West.

We stand for the protection of all people of all faiths and no faith who seek freedom from dictatorships, theocracies and Islamist extremists.

We reject bigotry, oppression and violence against all people based on any prejudice, including ethnicity, gender, language, belief, religion, sexual orientation and gender expression.

We stand for human rights and justice. We support equal rights and dignity for all people, including minorities. We support the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

We reject tribalism, castes, monarchies and patriarchies and consider all people equal with no birth rights other than human rights. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Muslims don’t have an exclusive right to “heaven.”

We support equal rights for women, including equal rights to inheritance, witness, work, mobility, personal law, education, and employment. Men and women have equal rights in mosques, boards, leadership and all spheres of society. We reject sexism and misogyny.

We are for secular governance, democracy and liberty. We are against political movements in the name of religion. We are loyal to the nations in which we live. We reject the idea of the Islamic state. There is no need for an Islamic caliphate. We oppose institutionalized sharia. Sharia is manmade.

We that every individual has the right to publicly express criticism of Islam. Ideas do not have rights. Human beings have rights. We reject blasphemy laws. They are a cover for the restriction of freedom of speech and religion. We affirm every individual’s right to  participate equally in ijtihad , or critical thinking, and we seek a revival of ijtihad

We believe in freedom of religion and the right of all people to express and practice their faith, or non faith, without threat of intimidation, persecution, discrimination or violence. Apostasy is not a crime. Our ummah, our community, is not just Muslims, but all of humanity. we stand for peace, human rights and secular governance.