Friday, March 3, 2006

Islamic Awareness Week - Can Islam Be Reformed?

Two intellectual scholars, Andrew C. McCarthy and Mansoor Ijaz, openly debate on an intriguing new website set up by the National Review called Opinion Duel about whether or not Islam can reform itself. It is a very absorbing article to say the least. Please be sure to start at the top and read the whole thing.

As President Bush has made clear from the beginning, we are at war with the terrorists, not the entire religion of Islam. Regardless of partisan criticism of this website, I believe that as well. When the United States entered World War II, it sought to eradicate the disease of Nazism, not to pick a fight with the entire German people. The same held true for the Cold War and the war in Vietnam, but as our enemies’ tactics grew more sophisticated, it became increasingly difficult to do just that. The question stands: Can Islam reform? Yes, if, and only if, it is willing and able to purge itself of the religious fanaticism which has twisted and contorted itself today. I have increasing anxiety over whether this is possible or not in light of the riots in Paris and the recent Mohammed cartoon protests. Preferably I as well as the rest of the United States would like nothing more then to avoid a war with the whole of Islam. It is a whole lot easier for us and the Islamic community to avoid such a clash of cultures. But unless Islam is willing to be under the microscope until Islamic terrorism is eradicated or is reluctant to do its part in the war against terrorism, our hand may be forced.