Sunday, April 13, 2014

Joseph Braude Talks to "A Saudi Psychologist on Jihadism, Clerical Elites, and Education Reform"

Joseph Braude

In an E-Note from FPRI, Joseph Braude reports on the Saudi attempt to rehabilitate jihadists, "A Saudi Psychologist on Jihadism, Clerical Elites, and Education Reform," which makes for interesting reading even if one retains skepticism about long-term results. For example, I found of interest this passage on the use of Islam as justification for terrorism, an explanation by the Saudi Psychologist:
It is a matter of how a group of so-called clerics interpret, or misinterpret, Islam. In Surat Al 'Imran of our Holy Book, it says, "No one knows [the Qur'an's] true interpretation except God, and those who are well-grounded in knowledge say, 'We believe in it. All of it is from our Lord.'" But some clerics stop in the middle of the verse, and just say, "No one knows [the Qur'an's] true interpretation except God and those who are well-grounded in knowledge." Then they put it to you that they alone are well-grounded in knowledge, and go on to use the half-sentence as a divine mandate for their own authority. If we claim that our religion is a peaceful religion, calling for peace between nations and between religions, then these false foundations need to be addressed.
A problem with this is that in insisting that no individual can rightly interpret the Qur'an, one means that reason plays little role, so one simply believes through an act of abject fideism. But even if the Qur'an is obscure, there are the hadith, which are often quite clear and very violent.

Nevertheless, the article (an interview, actually) is worth reading.

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At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rather than emailing you, I wanted to share with your readers this tangentially related link to a well-written Economist piece contrasting Dutch and American views on religious tolerance and free speech to give context to the controversy over Brandeis' withdrawal of its honorary degree to Ayaan Hirshi Ali. Given the steady long-term growth of the religiously unaffiliated in the US, I expect our attitudes towards public criticism of religion will align more closely with those of the he Dutch in the future.


At 12:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Link fixed.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Let's hope that criticism grows over time. Thanks for the link. I will take a look.

Jeffery Hodges

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