The Problem With Reforming Islam

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The Problem With Reforming Islam

By Walid Shoebat



It’s a myth to think that there is a struggle between “moderate” and “extremist” Muslims going on in the Middle East; the war is between nationalists that love their national heritage and Muslim Universalists who attach themselves to Sharia. The use “moderate” implies that Islam can be moderated or is moderate. It’s not.


The problem is that we have not defined Islam’s views—that is—a war on capitalism, nationalism Jews/Israel/Zionism and Trinitarians. This is the core of Islam’s war throughout history. All four schools of Sunni Islamic thought: Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafii and Maliki espouse Islam as a political Universalist Jihadi movement. Ijtihad, the idea of freethinking is restricted and confined within the laws of Shariah.



Let’s first take Dr. Zudi Jasser, a self-described reformist who honestly does reject violence. Yet, it is clear that Jasser also rejects the idea that Muhammad or even Islam’s founders have exercised violence as the sunnah/hadith clearly describes.


Westerners look at the first, while they ignore the second.


Jasser promotes Muslim scholars to back his idea that Islam can be reformed. Yet even such reformers confess that Muhammad used force. Take Muhammad Said Ashmawi whom Jasser promotes as one of the greatest examples, he states “Arabs did not enter into Islam submitting and obeying as the Quran says, but they came as a result of the prophet’s control and rule over them by the Muhajiroun and Ansar. So their view of governance came from Muhammad ‘governed by a governor’, followers of a master and a king. This created a dangerous scenario on how to define the Caliphate.” (Al-Khilafa, M.S Al-Ashmawi, Pp 54.)


You cannot deal with Islam unless you deny the authority of the Quran and Muhammad, which Jasser isn’t prepared to do which Ashmawi does.



There is only one option left for the reformists, even Ashmawi had to resort to the Hadith having succumbed to Tahreef (textual corruption) (Pp.77, 78), which is like saying to devout Christians that the New Testament has been modified with insertions regarding the Kingdom of Christ, the hope of every devout Christian.  If Muslims follow this, there is no hope left in keeping the faith. Islam is a Mohammedan religion just as Christianity is Christ’s.  Removing Muhammad from the equation is as removing Christ from Christianity.


A great example when speaking of Islam is Mormonism. Mormons by large moderated in the U.S., its original faith was similar to Islam—warfare, concubines, execution of apostates…but it did not moderate of its own free will. It was defeated after the Utah War and the Mountain Meadow Massacre committed by Brigham Young. It was Mormonism’s presence under President James Buchanan and the influence of Christianity that suppressed their movement and influenced it and toned it down. It was through textual changes and much abrogation.



While Jasser calls for allegorizing the Quran he follows the strict literal ruling that alcohol is forbidden, by this he exercises a literal interpretation alongside the laws of Islamic abrogation since consuming alcohol was permitted in the first parts of the Quran. So if we take his model, the peaceful verses also can be abrogated which is the reason we have terrorism.



Jasser uses Ashmawi as one of his favorite examples of moderation of Islam. Yet Ashmawi describes the intent of the caliphate, which was to build a spiritual entity like Christianity (Jesus to Peter). He uses the Christian model. However, if the Muslim nation was “the best of all nations” and Islam was “the superior, pure, uncorrupted and unadulterated word of God” this solution would reverse the equation that stems from a confession by Ashmawi, that Christianity had it right and Islam didn’t since Muhammad according to reformists never intended a successor. (P.p 104)


Ashmawi compares Christianity’s vicar (Khalifa) to the spiritual-religious affairs while Islam’s Caliph is definitely in charge of civil affairs (P.p 105)


Jasser is to be commended for his stand against the Muslim Brotherhood-umbrella like CAIR, ISNA and others, however his organization only has 1500 members with only 13% being Muslim, yet he stated on the Dennis Prager show that 70% of all Muslims follow his style of Islam. Where did he get these numbers?



In my view, there is no real significant evidence of reformation within Islam; Jasser gives a false sense of hope. Reformation begins with theologians’ not medical doctors. We have no religious manuals in Islam that fits Jasser’s views.


Even Sufi Muslims who are touted to be moderate are Mahdists and if a Mahdi arrives we will have a fuehrer whose objective is to destroy the Jews and Christians. Jasser’s model creates a war on freedom since according to Jasser: “The problem comes when ill-advised trainers (like me and other “islamaphobes”) ‘equate political Islam and Sharia with Islam itself’”. This only serves to silence critics. As Zudi proclaimed: “They [critics of Islam] cannot be on the frontlines in an ideological battle being waged, which demonizes the morality of the faith of Islam and its founder, the Prophet Mohammed.”


You cannot have it both ways since as what Jasser says here would be extreme and is the same argument made by CAIR and their ilk that only serve an “alienation agenda”. Should Jasser as a medical doctor not alienate smokers? After all, according to doctors smoking kills. What about “moderate” smokers?


“Moderate” Muslims believe in Shariah as well and the “strategy” should never supersede freedom. As Jasser claims “Most should understand that strategically, identifying ‘Islam as the problem,’ immediately alienates upwards of one quarter of the world’s population.”


What about alienating Christians? Fear of alienation never serves the truth, as the truth is almost always offensive. When Muslims curse the Trinity, are Christians not being alienated? Muslims that are “alienated” suffer from a condition called intolerance.


The fear of alienation is destructive. Hinduism with its reincarnation if fully believed is destructive since a baboon becomes someone’s uncle. Do I alienate the Hindu by teaching him to remove baboons? Sati, the Hindu practice of burning widows was abolished thanks to Christians like William Carey and William Wilberforce. Did these righteous Christians alienate India? No, they saved women. Did they do it by respecting Hinduism? Hinduism had its own ‘Shariah’ that needed to be defeated. It was the love of God and biblical ethics that helped save women.


Islam hates the Trinity and according to Christian biblical theology, this is Antichrist (1 John 2:22). This definitely demonizes Islam, which is the core writings of my critics. But is their label of racism valid? Hardly, no matter how many times they beat their drums.


Jasser’s argument presents a dilemma; he is against using the word “Islam” when countering Islamists. But this is an impossibility since everyone who objects on us using “Islam” instead of “Islamism” are caught slipping, Jasser himself states: “Political Islam has a viral recurrence in the form of an infection, which needs a Muslim counter-jihad in order to purge it.” Islam is political, so to say “political Islam” instead of Islam is ridiculous and only proves useful as a ploy not to sound too “right wing.”


When does a strategy supersede truth? When does the end justify the means? Moderates are not defined by denouncing violent Jihad or the subjugation of women. Moderates are the ones that denounce Shariah with all its civil aspects—inheritance and marriage laws included.  Can a woman inherit equal portions of a man in Islamic Sharia? Can marriage between Muslim women with non-Muslim be acceptable? Should a pastor be able to purchase a mosque in order to convert its use as a church?


Is Jasser willing to condemn Shariah? If so, how can he then face moderate Muslims that believe in it? Which means that they are not moderate, how then can they justify believing in Shariah? Is the Northern Alliance of Afghanistan moderate? How so when they call for the killing Islamic converts to Christianity.


Such efforts simply create false hope based on a false premise. The problem is the literal interpretation of the Quran. The solution according to Jasser is to introduce a un-literal interpretation. The fact is; we only have few choices. If Capitalism is considered an “extreme” solution to Communism then socialism is the answer. But is it? Can we promote an oxymoron—“communistic capitalism”?


When it comes to Islam what we need is “Oxyclean” and not an oxymoron. Reformation of Islam is impossible since no one with common sense could espouse to reform Communism or Nazism.  Can we change Islamic inheritance laws without defeating Islam first? Will we succeed in allowing a glass of wine and pork chop to be eaten in Mecca without first defeating Islam? Will Zuhdi allow a Christian boy to marry a Muslim girl or allow a non-Muslim marry his daughter?


What will the return on investment be on the likes of Jasser? Jasser has very few followers while the Bible won two thirds of Africa, which less than fifty years ago was two thirds Muslim.


It is a myth to say that Christendom gained peace by allegorizing the Bible. The fact is that a Christian literalist is peaceful. No one can explain the Quran by avoiding the literal Hadith. No one can reverse the Quran—its Medina violent verses are its New Testament and the Meccan is it’s abrogated the old. Neither is self-deception viable since reformation and Ijtihad have limitations.


No, the Christian who denounces Islam does not do as Jasser suggests: “dismiss our most powerful weapon against the militant Islamists—the mantle of religion and the pulpit of moderate Muslims who can retake our faith from the Islamists”. When Jasser says: “we need to retake our religion” this falls under the myth that Islam was hijacked. When was it hijacked? Was it hijacked when Jews were exiled out of Arabia at time of Mohammad the Prophet of Islam?


Even when this issue of the massacre and the exile of the Jews from Saudi Arabia was brought up in a debate with Jasser, he simply denied it: “its impossible for a prophet to commit such a thing” he said, despite this being well documented in the Hadith of Al Bukari. So Dr. Jasser transforms from being a Jihadist to becoming a holocaust denier, and makes excuses for the violence of the Prophet Mohammad.


Its difficult to deny the bloody wars committed in the name of Allah when Omar ransacked Judea. If in doubt, read the works of Sophronius. Must Christians abandon history in order to reform a cult? Can a Muslim denounce Khalid bin Al-Waleed’s blood thirst on Persians after the coagulating of their blood clogged a ravine? Will Dr. Jasser denounce Tareq bin Ziad cooking Christians in Caldrons in Spain? Will he denounce Ali’s cry that “we are a people who drink blood out of the goblets of the skulls of our enemies”? Will he denounce the drinking of the blood of Muhammad by his companions as it dripped from his shield? Will he denounce Muhammad’s cry that “the trees and the stones will cry out there is a Jew hiding behind me”? Can Muslims cry out for the blood of the Martyrs of Cordova as much as Christians continually confess murders done by the Crusades?


The answer is yes, but this comes only through confession, which is the habit of Christians and Jews.


Deceivers are not only defined when evil men intentionally lie to destroy what is good, but also by well intentioned individuals who undermine what is obviously evil.


Walid Shoebat


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