Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The "Moderate Muslim" cont.

Spencer uncritically supports the Rand Corporations litmus test for the moderate Muslim (see my preceding essay on this blog).

Then, in the comments field of Spencers Jihad Watch post, the quixotic Muslim reformer Mohammed Tom Haidon (Google his name along with jihad watch” and dig around a little, and you might find a couple of instances of Hugh Fitzgeralds sardonic trimming of him) glides right through the opening Spencer effectively gives him:

I think there are some organisations which fit the RAND standard:

The International Quranic Center


The Qur'anist Path

Other groups include



These groups meet this litmus test, and more importantly they make real attempts to, theologically, respond to Islamist tyranny.

One more:


Lets check out these groups that Tom has recommended, one by one, shall we? This game is always fun, sort of like finding Waldospotting the loopholes in the manifestos of Muslim groups claiming to offer reform.

1. The International Quranic Center (www.ahl-alquran.org).

This is an organization headed by Ahmed Sobhy Mansour of Egypt who sought asylum in the U.S.A. in 2001. Mansour is a "Koran-only" Muslimi.e., he believes

a) There is a way to reform Islam using only the Koran and jettisonning the Sunna (and who knows, perhaps beginning to create a new Sunna from scratchwhy not? The world is their oyster!).

b) The Koran is good and is just fine to use for organizing the culture, societies and laws of Muslims.


a) Unrealistic. The numbers of Muslims who would accept a Koran-only movement would likely be insufficient for the safety and security needs of Infidels. It's certainly worth a try, but only as a back-burner project that should always yield to any safety and security concerns we might have.

b) The Koran has a quantity of content that is dangerous and unjust sufficient to put anyone who thinks otherwise under suspicion as either remarkably dullwitted, or deceitful.

2. Free-Minds (www.free-minds.org)

Ditto: same problems as #1.


3. The Qur'anist Path (www.quranists.org)

This one seems to be a little more nuanced:

...let it be stated, says their website, that ProGod.org does not take an Anti-Hadeeth stance.

Well, at least they are not so ridiculously unrealistic as the Koran-only Muslims. But accepting the Hadiths is hardly a satisfactory alternative. It only makes the putative reformism worse.

Explications of this stance which they make do not mollifyfor how can they?and only end up being examples of having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too gymnastics:

ProGod.org protests against adherence to the Hadeeths as divine guidance, and the idea that Muhammad was the perfect man for the following reasons...

Okay, so what does ProGod.org propose to do? Do they cherry-pick only those Hadiths that reflect well on Mohammed (while nevertheless allowing for his
imperfection” due to historical context”), and discard all those that reflect sufficiently poorly on his character as to render him unfit to be the basis for a religion? By what criteria and methodology do they do that? Islamic history is filled with deeply learned Islamic scholars who spent thousands of hours of lucubration sifting through all the Hadiths in order to determine credibility and authenticityand among those determined to be the most authentic (principally Bukhari and Muslim, followed by Abu Dawood) are thousands of statements about the words and deeds of Mohammed that disturb and dismay. Now these ProGod.org guys come along and ignore all that and create their own new tafsir? Based on what methodology? It seems the main methodology they will employ will be the aforementioned tendentious prejudicial cherry-picking. Aside from this being a blatantly myth-making enterprise, it will run into the same massive problems the Koran-only Muslims will face, for such a major re-writing of the Sunna (unavoidably implying that scores of great Islamic scholars throughout Islamic history were either stupid or evil) is hardly less of a nose-thumbing of centuries of tradition as is its wholesale rejection. Aside from these problems, it is evident that ProGod.org's agenda is basically the same as the Koran-only Muslimsonly they wish to pay a little token lip service to the Hadiths which, at the end of the day, will likely be insufficient to move the mass of tradition out of the way for the reform they unrealistically offer.


Islamic Reform (www.islamicreform.org)

Sigh... Another unrealistic, ahistorical, fantasy-based
Koran-only movement:

After the death of the Prophet Muhammad, a diabolic event happened. In direct contradiction to the teachings of the Quran, male clerics dedicated the religion not to God alone, but to a “holy” corporation...

Who were this holy corporation whom they blame for the corruption of the pure Mohammed and Koran? Why, of course, various descendants of Mohammed who corrupted his pure message in the interests of power, etc. Yawn. And what did this holy corporation set about to do to enable their corruption? Why, of course, they wove the complex tapestry of Hadiths and Siras to generate a Sunna, which has kept Islam in thrall to violent supremacists for the past 1400 yearsuntil... www.islamicreform.org came along to save the day! Sorry, Im not about to hand over the safety and security of the world to a pipe-dreaming website. Next!


5. www.19.org

Oh my God! Is Tom Haidon serious!? This group is mired in numerology, for Christs sake! Furthermore, among their articles is an article by Noam Chomsky (about which nothing need be said); one by Harold Pinter decrying the American government for being terrorist; an article by Mahathir Mohamad (the ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia who in 2003 delivered a speech about how Jews are taking over and corrupting the world and therefore the only technology Muslims need to develop is military!); and an article by somebody named Ana Peréz defending Hugo Chavez (¡Ay, que lastima!).



6. www.quranic.org

More Koran-only Muslims developing elaborate explanations for why the Koran is the best thing since sliced cheese, and why for some strange reason Muslims for 1,400 solid years didnt know that, and only now www.quranic.org (and the other rag-tag groups mentioned above) have finally discovered this and, by Gum!they will save the world from all those nasty radical Islamists!



All these groups recommended by
Tom Haidon could indeed, as he promises, pass the litmus test of the moderate Muslim so sloppily assembled by Angel Sabasa of the Rand Corporation (that name alone evokes the young, personable, up-and-coming Muslim-American grad student perfect for the job of helping the Infidel construct the squeaky clean Muslim as a broadly representative, let alone realistic, type). The problem, of course, is that the litmus test in question has enough holes to fly passenger jet planes through on a brilliantly sunny day in early autumn.

While I wish these various dreamers all the best in their mythomantic constructs, I would not squander any valuable money and resources and attention to support them. No: we have more important things to do.


Nobody said...


Tom & I had this discussion on both JW and IW. Among his calls to Muslims was one to follow 'Prophet Isa' - which of course begs the question of whether Muslims would then start following the Islamic Jesus.

Even the Quran-only Muslims would have to cherry-pick verses from the Quran, and explain why, between contradicting verses, one might be picked over another. And some of the hadiths, as Arch once pointed out on IW in the debates topics, are indeed improvements over the Quran: the Quran says that the worst thing in the world are disbelievers, where as there's a hadith that says that the worst thing in the world is one who loses his temper.

In short, I don't believe that any Islamic organization could genuinely pass Rand and still stay Islamic.

Erich said...


"I don't believe that any Islamic organization could genuinely pass Rand and still stay Islamic."

Actually, one of my points was that the Rand test has so many holes in it, most of the dubious Islamic "reformers" could pass it with flying colors (as long as they cleverly fudged a couple of details here and there).

Mohamed said...

Wrong, most of you would never accept a Koranist movement because it will give too much legitimacy to Muhammad, whom you reject. Thats why admitting that Koranist are positive means muhammad is, and many of you can not do that. So keep living in your own world, a world where Westerners and Jews can enslave, slaughter and rob anything, but no one else is allowed that privelege.

Keep dreaming.