In a world increasingly governed by ideals of democracy and pluralism, this program explores both the evolution of religion and freedom in Islam -- focusing on the recent rise of intellectual reform and the role of the religious intellectual -- as well the debate surrounding these changes.
Featuring Baber Johansen, Professor of Islamic Religious Studies at Harvard Divinity School; Ebrahim Moosa, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University; and Abdulkarim Soroush, philosopher, reformer, Rumi scholar, and former professor at the University of Tehran. Talal Asad, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center, moderates the discussion.
Talal Asad is an anthropologist at the City University of New York who has made important theoretical contributions to Post-Colonialism, Christianity, Islam, and Ritual Studies and has recently called for, and initiated, an anthropology of Secularism.
Using a genealogical method developed by Friedrich Nietzsche and made prominent by Michel Foucault, Asad "complicates terms of comparison that many anthropologists, theologians, philosophers, and political scientists receive as the unexamined background of thinking, judgment, and action as such. By doing so, he creates clearings, opening new possibilities for communication, connection, and creative invention where opposition or studied indifference prevailed."
Baber Johansen was appointed Professor of Islamic Religious Studies at Harvard Divinity School in 2005. His research and teaching focus on the relationship between religion and law in the classical and the modern Muslim world. He served as Directeur d'Atudes at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Centre d'Atude des normes juridiques), Paris (1995-2005), and Professor for Islamic Studies at the Freie Universitat Berlin (1972-1995). In 2006 he was appointed Affiliated Professor at Harvard Law School and Acting Director of its Islamic Legal Studies Program for 2006 to 2010. In 2007 he was affiliated with the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.
Ebrahim E.I. Moosa is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University. His interests span both classical and modern Islamic thought with a special focus on Islamic law, history, ethics, and theology. Moosa is the author of Ghazali and the Poetics of Imagination, winner of the American Academy of Religion's Best First Book in the History of Religions (2006) and editor of the last manuscript of the late Professor Fazlur Rahman, Revival and Reform in Islam: A Study of Islamic Fundamentalism. He was named Carnegie Scholar in 2005 to pursue research on the madrasas, Islamic seminaries of South Asia.
Widely considered to be Iran's leading public intellectual, Abdulkarim Soroush was born in Tehran in 1945. After studying pharmacy and earning his doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of London, he then spent over five years at Chelsea College, where he studied history and the philosophy of science. A broad scholar in many fields, Soroush is also an expert in Koran interpretation, Rumi, and Persian poetry. Dedicated to reform, many of his works attempt to give a new interpretation of the shari'a drawing on the fields of jurisprudence, hermeneutics, and sociology.
Ebrahim Moosa traces the fundamentalism of extreme Islamists to a lack of literacy about Islamic law and tradition. He says very few resources are put into studying and understanding the historical context of Sharia, giving way to "demagoguery and rhetoric."
Major world religion founded by Muhammad in Arabia in the early 7th century AD. The Arabic word islam means surrenderspecifically, surrender to the will of the one God, called Allah in Arabic. Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion, and its adherents, called Muslims, regard the Prophet Muhammad as the last and most perfect of God's messengers, who include Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and others. The sacred scripture of Islam is the Qur'an, which contains God's revelations to Muhammad. The sayings and deeds of the Prophet recounted in the sunna are also an important source of belief and practice in Islam. The religious obligations of all Muslims are summed up in the Five Pillars of Islam, which include belief in God and his Prophet and obligations of prayer, charity, pilgrimage, and fasting. The fundamental concept in Islam is the Shari'ah, or Law, which embraces the total way of life commanded by God. Observant Muslims pray five times a day and join in community worship on Fridays at the mosque, where worship is led by an imam. Every believer is required to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city, at least once in a lifetime, barring poverty or physical incapacity. The month of Ramadan is set aside for fasting. Alcohol and pork are always forbidden, as are gambling, usury, fraud, slander, and the making of images. In addition to celebrating the breaking of the fast of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Muhammad's birthday (seemawlid) and his ascension into heaven (seemi'raj). The 'Id al-Adha festival inaugurates the season of pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims are enjoined to defend Islam against unbelievers through jihad. Divisions occurred early in Islam, brought about by disputes over the succession to the caliphate (seecaliph). About 90% of Muslims belong to the Sunnite branch. The Shi'ites broke away in the 7th century and later gave rise to other sects, including the Isma'ilis. Another significant element in Islam is the mysticism known as Sufism. Since the 19th century the concept of the Islamic community has inspired Muslim peoples to cast off Western colonial rule, and in the late 20th century fundamentalist movements (see Islamic fundamentalism) threatened or toppled a number of secular Middle Eastern governments. In the early 21st century, there were more than 1.2 billion Muslims in the world.
WHAT A LOT OF BULLSHIT: 52% of all Islamic countries are women who like in Saudi Arabia are SLAVES YES LET´S BE HONEST SLAVES, So Islam until they free all their women are STUCK ON STUPID AND TOO PAY ATTENTION TO MUSLIM MEN, WASTE OF TIME HOW COME YOU OR THEY HAVE NO WOMEN PROFESSORS REPRESENTING ISLAM: SHAME MORE BULL SHIT FOR NOTHING THANKS FOR NOTHING, ISLAM STUCK ON STUPID!
All the comments the lecturers all for nothing, until equality for women is acceptable to Muslim Men all over the world, nothing else matters, ONLY FREEDOM FOR ALL MUSLIM WOMEN, until Muslim appreciated women as equals, nothing else matters. Until Muslim men lose their fear of women nothing else matters, no history, no science no ethics no morals and no equality for women and non-muslims. sorry waste of time this time!There is no such person a moderate muslim is not possible. Death is Islams equality, we are all equal when dead. Therefore paradise needed to be manufactured, like Mohammed taking the virgity of a 9 year old Ishia, no morality, no need for science, a belief in a life hereafter, only abuses the present the now. Wake up! free your Muslim Women. Ignorance prevails in Islam, women historically abused, mutilated, death-equality.
When we have finally banished religions to their fit place
How sure are you the world would be better without religion?
I think you might be introducing new ills in the process... Wouldn't you agree? What example is there of an atheistic society that has treated people better?
I'm with you that many evils are done in the names of religion. But not in assuming they are because of them.
What hope has the human race when a large proportion of the Earth's inhabitants still emerge from childhood brainwashed into an abject acceptance of the mythic fantasies collected and mulled over endlessly for more than a thousand years? Why cannot people awake and realise there can never be peace between communities whilst we give credance to these mutually exclusive fairy tales, these patently man-made and man-manipulated collections of self-justifying, circularly validating fiction?
When we have finally banished religions to their fit place alongside Thor, Mercury, Baal and Zeus, we may at last leave behind the ghosts of the many mistakes and atrocities of the past and concentrate properly on the future of all mankind and of the planet on which we spend our one and only life.
Meanwhile the world must suffer the consequences of the childishness typified in the above exchanges: grown men and women squatting on their holy books and throwing stones at one another.
Originally Posted by Mark Sullivan
What about the Phillippines? Why the violence there?
Why bomb a nightclub in Bali?
Your bias is blatant. I'll give you one example: What about the hindu nationalists of India? What about Tamil Tigers of Sri lanka?
If one cannot start with the principle that the murder of innocent humans is a precondition for all political dialogue to be fruitful, then we have nothing to say to one another.
Who is doing that, may I ask? You bias is so blatantly obvious.
-Wars in Muslim Lands- Gulf War 1 was to liberate a small, defenseless Muslim sovereign nation - Kuwait.
Care to mention that Bush aministration gave Saddam signals to attack since Kuwait was stealing Iraqi oil? And the sanction to Saddams's Iraq was because saddam stopped sleepig with US and you know it.
Saudi Arabia would have been next.
Care to mention about US administration in bed with Saudis's royal dictators.
We also (regardless of your notion of the rightness or wrongness) defended the Muslim population of Bosnia and Kosovo.
If you have to mention them being Muslims rather than the victims of genocide committed by the other group (Christians BTW), you are not American that the founding fathers wanted to see.
Gulf War 2, I wish we had never gotten involved in, but the past cannot change, was conducted with UN approval and with international partners to disarm a man guilty of killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims in multiple countries.
So, this is your justification? Well noted.
The good people of Iraq are better off as is the world without Violent dictators.
Then, how about the good people of saudi Arabia and Egypt. Don't they deserve the help (I am being sarcastic but I am sure that US would have done it if it can behave like in the heydays of European colomism)?
We are in Aghanistan in response to being attacked all over the world for decades, culminating in the 9/11 attack.
You are in Afghanistan because Taliban didn't give the gas deal to Clinton Administration.
Muslims may have used the reasons you listed above as justification for deliberately attacking civilian targets, but regardless,
we have the right to defend ourselves.
So do we.
-Corrupt political leaders that we installed - ALL leasders in the Arab world and many of the leaders in the Muslim world are corrupt, whether we installed them or not.
But, as the beacon of human rights and democracy, why remove Saddam only? Why not the House of Sauds? Or Egypt's Hosni Mubarak?
Mr. Arafat, Hamas, The Iranian mullahs - corrupt, repressive persons all - claiming to act in accordance with your faith.
They're politicians just like your Christian-professing Bush and Blair.
Is the fact that there are NO truly free, democratic countries in the Muslim world telling to you?
And you have in US? Do you think Obama would have made it to the White House if he didn''t sell himself to the Zionists?
Is it that perhaps the clerisy in Islam see an irredeemabl;e conflict between individual liberty and Islam, and they see themselves as necessary to protect the Faith?
The clerisy in Islam? You didn't watch the program, did you? There is NO clerisy in Islam.
-Poverty and poor economic conditions - Because of Colonialism?
Yse, the colonists left the regions with divide and conquer (in economic forms) via drawing the boundaries of these nation states.
The legacy of colonialism has both positive and negative sides. India struggled against British rule, and once they gained independence, toyed with socialism and a controlled economy and rapidly dropped to be among the world's poorest countries. Today, they have returned to the liberal Western notions of free markets, rule of law, private property, and their economy is growing rapidly and lifting their people out of poverty.
You don't know about India much, do you?
[quoe] This too is a result of colonialism.[/quote]
Really? Then how about pre-colonial period? Was India in poverty?
The one means of economic strength in much of the middle East is the development of petroleum products. This would not have happened without Western man's technology and investment.
Just as European Rennaisance would not have happened if it were not for the Muslim Spain's paving the way.
Aside from the petroeconomy, there is no economic development to speak of and no economic liberty among the common people of these states.
Other economic deveopment will come in time; there is no need right now. After all, "Necessity is the mother of invention".
This is the deliberate decision of the ruling class, not Western powers.
The decision of ruling class as the western world wishes.
-Siding with Israel- Yes we do. How could we possibly side with Hamas?
You could choose to side with justice including with starting to acknowledge the wrongs done by stealing the land via terrorism. cactus48Dotcom has detail info on that.
How could we have sided with Arafat?
Does that mean you must side with Netenyahu?
[quote] The "other side" has genocidal designs on Israel and its people. [quote]
And Israel didn't have the genocidal design? Zionists were not terrorists? Ever heard of Irgun, a Jewish terror organization?
If France proclaimed the illegitimacy of Germany due to historical wrongs (real or imagined) and its ruling party had in its charter a desire to "wipe Germany off the map," we would side with Germany.
Then why didn't you side with Palestinians when the Zionists terrorised them and drove them out with plans to either enslave them or annihilate them?
How could any nation do otherwise?
Yeah, how could any nation watch what the Zionists did (stealing lands via terrorists acts and then portraying Palestinians as terrorists)?
Despite verbal, military and political bombs being tossed from all sides in the tragic Arab/Israeli conflict, in my almost 50 years on this planet, I have seen NO serious desire for peace from the Arab side.
And you have seen it from Israel side?
[quote]Besides, Arabs are a minority in Islam. What on earth could an Asian Muslim in Indonesia have against Israel?[/quoe]
Oh, yes we do. We, brought up in Islam, are for justice. Our moral values are taught in our upbrining as Muslims. I personally do not practise any religion but my ethics and morality are still in accordance with Islam. And my identity is still Muslim.
-Isolation- Ever been to Dearborn, Michigan? Muslims, when migrating in large numbers, tend to self segregate. This is undrestandable. Many also refuse to assimilate and the native population sees this as an area of concern. Is it realistic for Muslims to move to Amsterdam or London or Paris and then demand Sharia? This mass migration is all a means of conquest through demography.
So, each Muslim individual in search of a better life, strategically plan, with other Muslims to take over Europe demographically? I am beginning to see your intelligence level.
Is it reasonable for the native populations to stand by as their culture and nations is undermined?
But must you label all the Muslims as terrorists or terrorists sympathizer?
Ever see the radical Muslims, many getting state supplied housing, medical care and education, gather in the streets of Britain and shout, "Death to Britain!" What is the appropriate response to this?
Deal wih that handful of radicals rather than making sweeping generalizations like you are doing.
Again, your attempt to appear a liberal minded, peaceful, honest Muslim is admirable, but you cannot be taken seriously unless you look at the problem of Muslim violence from the West's point of view, as we are constantly commanded to see things from the Muslim point of view.
Your attempt to appear as lover of democracy and human rights are admirable but you are noting but a racist hiding behind western secular values and democracy.
[QUOTE=Ascertain_The_Truth;43331]A-Islam was given to mankind ....quote]
Starting a discussion with this kind of line is not going to help.
Starting a discussion with the line "there is no compulsion in islam" would.
Originally Posted by blueberryredwood
Actions speak louder than words. The Hadith, which are based upon Muhammad's actions, demonstrate this.
Why do you even watch this program you ignorant fool. You do not have intellectual capacity to understand what these guys discussed. First, you lack historical knowledge including the fact that there are many versions of Hadiths which BTW are the Saying of Mohammad and not his actions - his actions are called Sunnah. You are a fool to attack Mohammad and muslims like this because ti clearly shows that you got NO clue of what you are talking about.
Muhammad's disciples offensively and unjustly invaded, massacred, enslaved and hegemonized: Armenia, Georgia, Caucasian Albania, Persia, parts of the western fringe of India, the Copts, parts of Greek land in the Byzantine Empire, the Berbers and the Assyrians.
Islam was spread primarily by the deeds of Muslim travellers. Even if power hungry human beings committed heinous crimes, it was not because of the teachings Mohammad but fools like you cannot possibly comprehend that, can you?
Muslim propagandists lie about the history of their own religion, and you can see that at the web's best collection of scholarly, academic sources on Islam: "Islam, Christianity & Civilization" http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=22133103984
Are you aware that we can clearly see the propganda you are trying to spread.
Muslims continued their wars of offensive conquest ever-after. Jesus, nor his disciples, nor their disciples for the first 300 years of Christianity ever attacked, massacred or hegemonized anyone.
Are you fxckn' kidding me? Do you want me to talk about The Crusades, initiated by the West and the Spanish Inquisition?
Come to think of it, neither did any of the early founders of any other major world religion. Only the founders of Islam spread their religion violently.
I can clearly see which sources you picked to get your information. Obviously, none of them are scholarly sources.
Actions speak louder than words, and there's no way for any modern Muslim, no matter how peace-minded or liberal-minded or equality-minded, to get around the examples of behavior that were set by the very men who personally knew Muhammad and were personally instructed by Muhammad in the (violent) ways of Islam.
You are an idiot.
blueberryredwood (and similar mindset) conveneintly failed to mention that non-Muslims also did what he/she claimed that the diciples of Mohammad did, failing ot understand that men do what they do using religons as excuse.
A-Islam was given to mankind in the world to free us from every form of slavery and oppression, to free us to have our life for our G-d Who created us. To have the honorable life and the good life that G d created us for. That is why Al-Islam came.
Q. 22.40; Check people to protect churches Mosque
"(They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right (for no cause) except that they say "Our Lord is Allah." Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another there would surely have been pulled down monasteries churches synagogues and mosques in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid His (cause); for verily Allah is Full of Strength Exalted in Might (Able to enforce His Will)."
And as I said it came not only come to liberate Muslims or to liberate those who would be called Muslims but it came to liberate all people who were denied religious freedom.
Muhammed (pbuh) said to protect the places of worship of other people from those who would profane those places, that's what Muhammed (pbuh) taught. So there people who had savages and ignorant people they did not care about the sanctity of those places. But Muhammed (pbuh) obligated his followers that if they saw such savages or such ungodly people threatening or profaning the sacred places of worship of other people, the Muslims were supposed to defend those places. And now we have gone crazy we want to hurt churches we want to see the churches die and crumble up. Some of us got a thing with Jews we can't live our own Religion without wanting to see all Jews dead, pitiful.
If G-d would gave me the power to start killing those who are wrong in Religion, I'd have to start right where I am and then with Jews and Christians after I get through you all. And I am speaking about the whole Muslim world, I'm talking about the Islamic world. I'd have to start slaying, killing right in the Islamic world first.
Today, learned Muslim authors of Islamic publications are discussing Al-Islam as a universal message for promoting human progress, social and economic justice, etc. One such publication is titled the Minaret of Freedom. I became acquainted with them maybe ten years or more ago, I was so happy to see educated Muslims in America embracing the idea of freedom and calling Muslims attention to the great idea of freedom.
Leaders in Al-Islam they fear to use language that the West uses when that language is really their own language sometimes. But they fear to use it because they are afraid that using it will cause them to be seen as friends of the West. Isn't that is a bad situation to be in, you can't even speak your own language for fear that someone is going to think you are the friend of your enemy. That is ridiculous.
Why don't you be a friend to those who think like you? Why don't you be their friend, why don't you be a friend of those who want what you want? And then join them and they will help you fight their own people who are against that. See Allah (swt), G-d, the Creator of all of us He will never help us if we are selfish and not standing upon truth and justice.
If we are standing upon hurt and bitterness, He's not going to help us, if we are not standing on truth and justice at the same time. Its ok, you are supposed to register, you are supposed to dislike hurt but you are not supposed to stand upon hurt. 'Oh My position is that you did me wrong!" No, my position is that wrong is wrong, whether done to me or anybody else.
So I am standing on the principle, not on the pain, not on the hurt to me, I am standing on the principle. A man can fight much longer fighting for principle, than he can fighting for hurt. After a while, you are not be hurting so much, you'll stop fighting. But there is need to continue to fight for the principle, because there are others hurting. Now here is the difference between what Al-Islam wants for society and what America wants for society. In principle, America and Al-Islam want the same thing for man, in principle. But in practice, they are different, America seems to put the emphasis and light on freedom, more so than on justice.
And the result is that the society is turned on to freedom, but not necessarily turned on to justice. And my freedom disrespect your freedom, and my freedom may clashes with your freedom. So the society suffers, because we are going after freedom but have lost the connection for freedom with justice. Freedom and justice are born together and freedom and justice and are to live together always. You are to never separate justice from freedom. In Al-Islam, justice is willing to sacrifice some freedom for a freedom or for a genuine freedom down the road.
But freedom in Islam is never willing to sacrifice any part of justice. It is not justice that you punish the victims to recover from the wrong or the injuries of the guilty, I know some of you are following what I'm saying.
Q.6.l64; None can carry burden of another
"Say: "Shall I seek for (my) Cherisher other than Allah when He is the Cherisher of all things (that exist)?" Every soul draws the meed of its acts on none but itself: no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. Your goal in the end is toward Allah: He will tell you the truth of the things wherein ye disputed. "
Hebrews 9.26; Remove sin by sacrifice himself
"For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
No that's why in Al Islam, we say: No bearer of a burden should bear the burden of another. Now I am not going to be your scapegoat, and I don't care if it is in the Bible, I am not going to be your scapegoat. You get some person that's guilty, you take the right goat out there and whip that right goat, slay that right goat. I am not the goat that did the wrong, don't use me. A lamb for sacrifice, you get one of them that did you some wrong man, I'm a lamb that won't be your sacrifice. Find the guilty lamb lets sacrifice that one.
I know the other side of the story, make the innocent pay the price for the guilty. See if this was true Islamic society of justice, freedom and equality, we would not have so many jails. Al-Islam would not tolerate this big population of convicts, no indeed. Something is wrong with a democracy that has such a large population of convicts. So don't think that our democracies are the same, don't think that because we believe in the same things in principle that we are the same. We are not the same, Islamic justice is not the same as American democracy.
This democracy will slay many innocent people and souls, will lose many families to destruction, in the name of freedom and democracy. This society tells Satan "you have as much freedom as the Pope of Rome. Now if he can't handle you then later for him? No, this is wrong, I don't know where they borrowed it from, I think they borrowed it from hell.
Revelations 1.18; Keys to heaven, hell
"I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
I read in the language of the West the Christians that they received the key to hell and heaven. Now I know what a righteous man can do with the key to heaven; he can help more souls get in there, but what in the world he need a key to hell for? We don't want to open the doors of hell to get any body; let you go in there, to break that door down yourself, you have to go there on your own, I'm not going to help you get to hell. And I'm certainly not going to open the door for the demons to come out of hell and come up here where we are. No righteous man would do that, open the door of hell to let demons come out to mess up our lives?
Q.4.76; Fight schemes of satan
"Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil: so fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan."
There is something wrong with a democracy that permits such an idea. I know you're hearing me so that should tell you brothers and sisters, believe me we have many, many comrades in arms in the Church and in the Synagogue. Don't think that I'm speaking on my own or just as a Muslim. No we have many brothers and sisters who stand on what I am telling you right now in the Churches and in the Synagogues. And we are free, too, as citizens of this country and we are going to shape the future of this country. And we are not going to be satisfied with Satan getting the same respect that the righteous people get.
In Al-Islam we are told to fight the schemes of Satan. And if this is one of his schemes, and it is, we are obligated as Muslims to fight that scheme. All Christians don't believe in this way of life to have satan on the loose to do whatever he wants or pleases to take as many down as he wants to, no. We have an obligation, the strong have an obligation to protect the weak from things that are harmful and satan is harmful. So the strong have an obligation to the weak to protect the weak from satan, yes we do.
The wise are to protect the foolish, the strong are to protect the weak, the healthy are to protect the sick, this is true Religion. This is Islam and true Religion, this is an obligation on us. Some will say "oh those people are dumb and their misery is their own problem, we know what could be done to turn them around or bring them around but we can't do that. If we do that, we'll be going against their commitment to let Satan have his Way", no.
They are not ready to fight those who greed for power, no they don't want to be drug addicts; they are not going to be drug addicts. They don't want to be alcoholics; they are not going to be alcoholics. But if they see a chance to make big money on alcoholism, on drugs they will not turn down that big money for a principle, to uphold a principle, no.
They then will justify it saying: "Well, they have all the help they need, they know it is wrong, so they go and buy drugs, use drugs, they know its wrong, they should suffer their own actions or their own deeds." No that's not human, the human being is a creature of intelligence and goodness. We are to appeal to your goodness we are to appeal your intelligence. And a human being can be deceived in his heart and can be deceived in his mind.