So-called moderate Muslims like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser have repeatedly claimed in radio and television interviews that all Islam needs in order to get away from its violent elements and also modernize itself to a more enlightened faith is to “undergo its own reformation like Christianity did in the 16th century.” Their basic argument can be broken down as follows:
- Christianity as manifested by the Catholic Church in the 16th century was infected with too much corruption, barbarism, and intolerance just like Islam has been since its beginning in the 7th century.
- The Protestant Reformation began the process of changing Christianity for the better by rebelling against the Catholic Church, and ultimately this reformation helped to eliminate some of the more egregious forms of corruption, barbarity, and intolerance, and it also paved the way for a more “enlightened” form of Christianity in general.
So Muslims throughout the world just need to follow the way of the Protestants of the Reformation era, and Islam will also change for the better. Easy-Peasy.
However, there are numerous flaws in this approach, and one of them that radio and tv hosts who profess a Catholic affiliation never take the time to correct (alas, they probably don’t know their own Church history well enough to do so if they were so inclined) is the bogus notion that the Protestant rebellion was a legitimate revolt against the One True Church established by our Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, as the long life of the Catholic Church has repeatedly shown, it has and will continue to reform itself from within when necessary and as prompted by the Holy Spirit, and it did so in the 16th century due in no small part to its theologically brilliant rebuff of the Protestant revolution that did indeed raise some serious issues that needed to be addressed. It should also be kept firmly in mind that no changes were made to the unchangeable Church doctrines because of the Church’s complete faithfulness to its founder Jesus Christ. As such, the Catholic Church continues on to this day while Christianity itself unfortunately continues to splinter from time-to-time into a variety of clubs founded by merely human (as opposed to the God-man Jesus Christ) standard-bearers with a hodgepodge of greater or lesser connections to traditional Christianity.
Nevertheless, and despite the erroneous historical narrative made by Jasser and his fellow travelers to falsely equate the 16th century Catholic Church with perpetual Islam (the moral equivalence fallacy) in order to present the optimistic vision of a reformed Islam in the manner of a fantasy Christian reformation of the past, the very notion of a so-called reformed Islam is laughable on its face. This is so because the Quran does not permit “reformed interpretations” of its passages that could help facilitate the reform of Islam… plus even so-called moderate Muslims insist on the remarkably obtuse and mass-delusional belief that Muhammad was God’s prophet and the ideal man that all Muslims must revere and emulate despite his objectively evil acts in direct violation of God’s laws. When confronted by the true historical record regarding the well-documented and oftentimes self-promoted acts of Muhammad, Jasser and his fellow travelers either deny that the actions occurred as reported, or they maintain that such things were necessary because of the times and circumstances. Isn’t it remarkable how this excusing of the inexcusable closely resembles the claims made by apologists of the former Soviet Union when they downplayed the obvious human rights abuses perpetrated by the Soviet leaders? Since those “more enlightened” Soviets were in lofty pursuit of the “workers’ paradise,” the murders of millions of innocents were just “regrettable necessities”…just like the murders perpetrated by Muhammad were “regrettable necessities” in pursuit of the world Islamic caliphate of peace.
Also very telling and laughable in this regard is Dr. Jasser’s own website with the oxymoronic title of American Islamic Forum for Democracy. In the section labeled Islamic Reform, the following statement is all that one has seen for at least the past few years: “Section still under construction.” This will likely remain the only entry because such a reform is simply not possible, and so despite his overall good intentions in seeking to reform Islam, this lack of any specifics provided by Dr. Jasser suggests that he may very well know that there can be no reform of Islam, especially as he apparently envisions it.
In a somewhat ironic twist, then, what Jasser and his fellow “moderates” can do to get out from under the objectively oppressive yoke of Islam is not imitate the wrong-headed Protestant Rebellion against the Catholic Church that was not justified, but actually follow the Protestant lead in making a clean break from Islam that would be justified. They can even practice some of the more benign practices of Islam they believe are valuable if they like (of course the best choice would be to convert to the Catholic faith), but no illusions of this constituting a reformed Islam should be entertained in the process. Unlike the Catholic Church of the 16th century that was capable of and did legitimately reform itself to clean up some abuses that should have prompted all Protestants of that time to return to the Church (but many had more selfish aims than just “reformation”), Islam does not and never will have the capacity to engage in self-reform, especially when its unchangeable foundation is based in large part on irrationally adhering to and perpetuating a galactically false myth that compels irrational behavior.
It is indeed a very, very strong myth, and even some presidents of the United States have ignorantly referred to and believe that Muhammad is a legitimate prophet despite the record. Even more, millions of people who continue to wonder how a man like Hitler could have mass hypnotized a whole people into following him in pursuit of his Aryan “caliphate” don’t hesitate for an instant in ignorantly accepting the claim that Muhammad was a messenger of God despite his own Hitleresque track record.
Many gullible folk also foolishly believe that Islam is at bottom a “religion of peace” that can be reformed to make it even more enlightened, but perhaps some slack should be cut to some of our fellow Americans who are members of the world-wide duped class. After all, they also believed that you could keep your doctor and your premiums would go down by supporting another delusion imposed on the people by another would-be world prophet. This “prophet” also promotes the killing of innocent people, and his particular favorite is the killing of innocent people in the womb as yet another “regrettable necessity” in the pursuit of “enlightened peace.”