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05 June 2018

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searp

I am really at a loss when it comes to Sunni Islam. It seems to me that Shia Islam may have more hope, as it is "guided", so one would hope that leadership can actually have long-lasting impact...

ismoot

searp,

What you say is true and may be more true for you if you consider that the "Gate of Ijtihad" remains open in Shia Islam. pl

Mr.Murder

The only people I've known of either belief personally were Sunnis. Extremely moderate no less.

The majority is indeed Sunni in the faith. The notion of their adherence as opposed to tolerance is only within the context of places they're a minority and feel the need to conform to harsher standards.

It's rather alarming to hear their perception within the modes of western civilization's established policy advisors.

ismoot

Mr. Murder,

Whatever that meant, it missed me. pl

searp

Pat, About all I know on this is really from Karen Armstrong's book, which is excellent. It does talk about Ijtihad and basically says Sunni theology was cast in concrete about 800 years ago.

Do you have any comments on the ront-page 9/11 story in the NYT today?

ismoot

searp

Try "The Social Structure of Islam," Reuben Levy (out of print)

Or the "Encyclopedia of Islam."

In Re, the NYT, I read it. It is quite possible that a high level joint headquarters like SOCOM, which had no operational responsibilities before 9/11 would decide that such a report was either not credible or not their business.

The military like all other fields of human endeavor is mostly filled with people of limited imagination. pat

Commodore Sloat

I agree with the basic claim here but I think the call for an Islamic "Reformation" is misguided. It is ignorant of both Sunni Islam and of the real "Reformation," which was a revolt against clerical rule. Rushdie's and others' call for an Islamic Reformation ignores that one has been going on for years -- it traces its lineage through ibn Taymiyya and Qutb. It works very much to hurt American security interests. Read Christopher Henzel in the recent issue of _Parameters_ for further information on this point; the bottom line is that mainstream clerical rule in Sunni Islam is not the problem -- the problem is the Salafists -- these are modern Reformers (mujdadid) who advocate a return to the "wisdom of the fathers" and a purifying of Islam. Throughout the Sunni world you find that the clerical establishment often opposes these forces, sometimes violently. The only reason this particular group of Salafists have gotten so powerful is because they have been able to operate outside the state system and thus also outside of the rule of the clerical elite. The notion of ijtihad is actually a Reformation notion, in many ways, if one can be permitted to make such analogical leaps (and at the risk of gross oversimplification).

ismoot

Sloat,

Thanks for your input. pl

ismoot

Sloat,

I just re-read my post. I didn't advocate anything for the Muslims. What I advocated for us is that we not be naive with regard to the claims of "moderation" on the part of supposedly acceptable Islamists. pl

Commodore Sloat

I think I was reacting more to the comment from Rushdie than to your overall claim, which I agree with. (And of course it's not just Sunnis to beware of in this regard -- it's a very different issue, but the power gained by supposedly acceptable Shiites like Sistani ought to be scaring the hell out of neocons who claim to want democratic change in the middle east).

ismoot

Sloat,

I sure agree with that. pl

Hawi Moore

This is interesting

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