Kunwar Khuldune Shahid - "Don’t Blame the Taliban - Part III"
I've drawn attention to the Pakistani journalist Kunwar Khuldune Shahid and his criticisms of Islam twice before (here and here), and he has now published "Don't Blame the Taliban - Part III" (November 10, 2012) over at Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch. I should note that I read Spencer regularly but very critically because he has a tendency to shoot from the hip -- often accurately, I think, but sometimes off target -- and because he too often relies on snark that -- in my opinion -- mars his analysis. He wouldn't agree with me, of course, for he's defended his intentional snarkiness in response to criticism from others.
Be that as it may, I'd like to quote from Shahid's article, the third in his series taking Pakistani Muslim liberals to task for defending their moderate Islam as if it were the true Islam and not criticizing Islam itself, which according to Shahid is the Islam practiced by the Taliban. For instance, he cites the Qur'an 9:29 against the view that "Islam only prescribes 'defensive' Jihad":
"Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."He then explains its context to clarify its application to offensive Jihad:
Verse 9:29, revealed during the preparation of Battle of Tabuk, kick started the three-pronged Muslim course of battle - 1. Invitation to accept Islam 2. Demand for the payment of Jizya and 3. Instigation of war. This tradition was carried forward throughout Islam's expansionist phase; wherein refusal to accept Islam or pay Jizya was considered reason enough to launch a "defensive" war against the infidels. This trend was continued by the first four caliphs of Islam and the leaders that followed en route to formulating a gargantuan Islamic empire. Again, if the "blessed companions" of the prophet misapprehended his and Allah's ostensible concept of a "defensive war" the skeptics of Islam can be forgiven for the "misunderstanding" as well. Or of course it could mean that the prophet, the caliphs, and leading Islamic scholars understood the concept of Jihad rather well but the present-day apologists want Quran's message to appear differently, since the original command doesn't fit in too nicely with the modern-day norms.For Islam, in Shahid's view, a "defensive" jihad is what the rest of the world would call offensive! Is there then -- in Shahid's view -- no hope? Oh, he offers a glimmer:
Islam needs a massive revamp for it to become attuned with the present day, which should begin with not taking it [the Quran] literally as the word of a divine deity. One could then perceive the Sunnah as fitting for the political movement at the time, and mould the teachings to ensure their compatibility with the modern age. We would then have the ideology that the [liberal] Muslim apologists propagate, which although is quite palatable and tranquil, it is still light years away from the original Islamic scriptures and their teachings.In short, drop the universal Muslim view of the Qur'an as Allah's direct revelation. Well, good luck with that . . .