Allow me to be objective please – all of you, particularly the Muslim readers: Steve is posing some very relevant questions. I personally have no way to answer them because I agree with him! Yes, you read it right, I do agree with him. There are serious issues with the INTERPRETATION of Islam which landed us in this hot water. I suggest that there has always been that problem.
The Hadiths for instance were collected in 9 huge volumes, 100 years after the death of the prophet. While I won’t for a second say that in the collection of the Quran – which also happened after the death of the prophet – errors crept into it, there is nothing stopping even some scholars putting in doubt some of the Hadiths. Now we all know that the Hadiths are part and parcel of Islam, but isn’t it possible that some things attributed to the prophet through the collected works might have never actually happened? Shouldn’t these Hadiths be scrutinised once again and evaluated? I bet if and when that happens a lot of questions are going to be answered, and we will find that Islam is nothing as these terrorists proclaim.
There has also been quite a number of discussions, articles written and seminars going on of late – after 9/11, which examined the applicability or interpretation of the Quran itself. Some scholars go as far as saying that the Quran should actually be split in two. One part containing the Suras which descended in Mecca, while the other should contain the ones which descended in Medinah. There are distinct differences between the two apparently: essentially the Suras of Mecca are the essence of Islam which we should all follow, while the Suras of Medinah are those dealing with events of the time, governance, wars etc. which do not hold as much resonance in this day and age. They are essentially the “sword” Suras which deal with topical events 14 centuries ago and are not as relevant now as they were then.
I don’t have the erudition required to decern a difference or form a theological argument. But my mind tells me that the above is logical. How can something that applied 14 centuries ago apply now? Isn’t the world completely different? Would you apply the same medicines available then to ailments afflicted on human beings now? Can a cure for common cold be applied with the same alacrity to cancer? I think not.
There are far too many questions, and unless we face them logically without the interference of emotion, we can never find answers, and really, never save as well as propagate the greatest religion the world has known.