Vote Charlie!

The Trouble With Islam Today’ by Irshad Manji

Posted at age 24.
Edited .

I didn’t finish this book, but I started these notes:

Book notes:

ijtihad, Islam’s tradition of independent reasoning, requires being familiar with Islam’s latest thinkers

The Prophet Mohammad reportedly said religion is the way we conduct ourselves toward others. There’s a distinction between Islam as an ideal and Islam in practice. “By insisting that there’s nothing the matter with Islam, we’re sweeping the reality of our religion today under the rug of Islam as an ideal, thereby absolving ourselves of responsibility for our fellow human beings, including out fellow Muslims”

No more than 20 percent of Muslims are Arab.

2: Seventy Virgins?

Herd mentality:

Jews publicize disagreements via commentaries in published scriptures and incorporating debates into the Talmud itself.

Most Muslims treat Koran as a document to imitate rather than interpret.”

hadiths, “authoritative” reports of what Prophet Mohammad said and did.

Koran doesn’t say whether Adam or Eve came first and has no mention of the rib. Yet soon after it says the husband is the provider and can beat his wife if he fears her disobedience. She doesn’t even have to do anything wrong.

At this stage, reform isn’t about telling ordinary Muslims what to think, but about giving Islam’s 1 billion devotees permission to think.”

Koran says to release any slaves whose masters find in them “any promise,” so “Muslims today can maneuver their way out of the seventh century with the Koran’s consent—if we opt to.”

Some claim Koran reflects Mohammad’s life, where he was at first compassionate but then became contemptful when threatened by Jewish tribes in Medina, etc. This “explains” verses that appear to authorize violence and jihad. But the Koran appears to be organized by verse size, so how are we to know which versus supposedly are to be understood “in context”?

New research suggests the word previously understood to mean “dark eyed virgin” might actually mean “white raisin.” Middle Eastern language specialist Christoph Luxemberg makes this case after tracing “the Koran’s description of heaven to a Christian work written three centuries before Islam in the form of Aramaic, the language Jesus likely spoke. …then Aramaic would have been translated by human hand into Arabic. Or mistranslated in the case of hur and” perhaps other words or verses.

Apparently Mohammad was illiterate and relied on scribes to write what he heard. At one point some satanic versus got recorded, which Mohammad later rejected, blaming it on temptation. And the Koran is perfect?

Ijtihad originated 750-1250 when Muslims in their conquests allowed captives to practice their own religions. Era of respect, intellectual pursuits, tolerance, innovation… largely Muslims were the warriors, but bright enough to plan for administering the empire… appointed mostly Jews to actually run things and serve as diplomats, bankers, etc.