Islam walking a tightrope between violence and reform
The Islamic world is frontpage news. In places like Iran Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon a warlike Islam is facing off the West in increasingly harsh ways. In the West itself, Muslim communities grow in number as do conversions. But what might appear as a renaissance is in fact the sign of a profound crisis within the religion founded by the prophet Muhammad. Fr Samir Khalil Samir, a Jesuit and Islam scholar who teaches in Beirut, offers an across-the-board analysis of what ails contemporary Islam and the ways radical and progressive Muslims try to nurse it back to health. Here, exclusive for Asia news, is the first part of a series of article on the subject.
Violent fatwas worry Muslim governments
Rulers in Muslim countries are coming to terms with the fact that their religion is in a deep crisis. One sign is the growing number of fatwas or legal pronouncement ordering the murder of atheists, apostates, Israeli civilians . . . . But their calls for reform are just cosmetic. For Muslim governments the "violent and terrorist" Islam is a figment of the Western iimagination, except for a few liberal Muslims who are ready for self-criticsm. Here is the second in a series of articles analysing Islam's crisis, by Fr Samir Khalil Samir.
Imams' ignorance holds back cultural development of those who want to live according to Islam
As the demand for fatwas, responsa on what is or isn't lawful, goes up and the types of issues are increasingly wide-ranging, Muslims rely more and more on Islamic clerics and fundamentalists. yet in Morocco women are becoming imams. This is the third article on Islam in crisis, by Fr Samir Khalil Samir.
Training European imams is Islam's toughest challenge
Most imams in Europe are foreign-born and incapable of reconciling their own Islamic background with that of the West. When this is the case as in Great Britain some young Muslims can be tempted by terrorism. Here is the fourth article in a series by Fr Samir Khalil Samir.
Islam needs renewal from within, not withdrawal into itself, to overcome its crisis
The absence of a recognised authority and the ignorance in which Islam's religious world has fallen are among the main reasons for Islam's increasingly tragic situation. A re-interpretation of the Koran is needed but no one dares talk about. Here is the fifth and final article in a series about Islam in crisis by Fr Samir Khalil Samir.