Aziz Poonwalla has a very nice site called Unmedia, which he strips down to just religious issues at Shia Pundit. I stumbled onto his site through an ugly altercation over at ismailroyer.blogspot.com. It’s great to find a well-written site from a muslim perspective that is fully engaged with American culture and unafraid to honestly critique what is worthy of critique in the muslim world. He gets extra points for noticing Alt.Muslim, which is a fantastic community news blog much deserving of wider recognition. Here’s an excerpt from Aziz’s site:
The point is that Islam is not the problem, it’s the interpretation. The solution is to replace the faulty interpretation (which is NOT supported by any actual religious authority) with a correct one (suitably referenced and supported by religious authority). The former is solely a power play, of tribal impulses. The latter is the essence of Islam, because contrary to Steven’s assertions, Islam and freedom are inherently co-resonant ideas.But Islamic apologists cannot avoid the fact that Islam in one form or another, whether flawed or valid, is heavily implicated in the problems the Arabs face, and will also be a major barrier to solving those problems
That’s not a fact, it’s a contradiction. It’s the interpretation that is the problem. Islam is the solution. It’s easy for SDB (Steven Den Beste – link) to argue that all interpretations are valid solely because they exist, but they are not equal. The religious interpretation of most Muslims is driven by a genuine need to apply the religion to the modern life. That’s not just unique to my community but is nearly universal throughout Islam.
However, in Saudi Arabia, the religious interpretation of Wahabism does not exist to act as a guide for the Muslim’s daily life. It exists solely to support the Saudi regime, in a delicate symbiosis with the radical priesthood. This interpretation gives the Saudis authority, justification, to pursue policies that predate Islam, including subjugation of women, cruel punishment of crimes, and not least, depravity and hedonism of the ruling class (subsidized by the general populace).