At its core, the Protestant Reformation was a revolt against tradition in the name of scripture-in this case, the Bible. With the coming of the printing press, increasing numbers of Christians became better acquainted with the Bible's contents, parts of which they felt contradicted what the Church was teaching. So they broke away, protesting that the only Christian authority was "scripture alone," sola scriptura.I've heard repeatedly through the years, mostly from neocons and some on the tradcon right, that Islam is a "medieval religion" in sore need of a "reformation", presumably to temper its intemperate modern application. The above-linked article suggests that those who make these claims would do better to
Islam's reformation follows the same logic of the Protestant Reformation-specifically by prioritizing scripture over centuries of tradition and legal debate...While the medieval synthesis worked over the centuries, it never overcame a fundamental weakness: It is not comprehensively rooted in or derived from the foundational, constitutional texts of Islam. Based on compromises and half measures, it always remained vulnerable to challenge by purists
In this backdrop, what has been called at different times, places, and contexts "Islamic fundamentalism," "radical Islam," "Islamism," and "Salafism" flourished. Many of today's Muslim believers, much better acquainted than their ancestors with the often black and white words of their scriptures, are protesting against earlier traditions, are protesting against the "medieval synthesis," in favor of scriptural literalism-just like their Christian Protestant counterparts once did.
embrace two facts: 1) Islam's reformation is well on its way, and yes, along the same lines of the Protestant Reformation-with a focus on scripture and a disregard for tradition-and for similar historic reasons (literacy, scriptural dissemination, etc.); 2) But because the core teachings of the scriptures of Christianity and Islam markedly differ from one another, Islam's reformation has naturally produced a civilization markedly different from the West.This last sentence states the problem clearly. Who can blame the ummah for resisting the forcible subjugation and assimilation of their culture and their faith by an imperialist pagan secular liberalism, ironically midwifed and aided in no small part by evangelical Zionist Christians who were similarly dispossessed of their culture by secular liberalists?
Put differently, those in the West uncritically calling for an "Islamic reformation" need to acknowledge what it is they are really calling for: the secularization of Islam in the name of modernity; the trivialization and sidelining of Islamic law from Muslim society.
No, what these moderns are calling for is a counter-reformation of Islam, without quite realizing it. As such, they don't take seriously what they are proposing, not that their nihilism would afford them sufficient means to resist if they did. What's to worry about, anyway? After all, the counter-reformation in Europe, despite being horrifically bloody, failed to succeed, and even then yielded a cultural climate that gave rise to the Enlightenment and rationalism and the Golden Age of Western Civilization.
If one equates fundy Christianity with fundy Islam--as a great many liberalists do, despite the obvious differences between the religions when it comes to the values of tolerance, separation of church and state, monogamy, human dignity and the treatment of women, &c--what is there to worry about what sort of civilization that an Islamic reformation will yield? It'll be just like the one at present, correct?