Muslim scholar: reform islam to alleviate poverty

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5122049025_75a1bc5ea9_Poverty-middle-eastI am always interested in the arguments of muslims who are pressing for reform of their own religion.

When we consider which voices from the muslim world we should heed; it is those who openly acknowledge the violence and bigotry inherent in orthodox islam, who condemn it, and urge the reformation and modernisation of islam; as opposed to those who argue that islam is peaceful and does not condone violent jihad – following this latter argument at best leads to cognitive dissonance in the West and the Islamic world, and at worst is deliberate deception designed to lower the guard of the West.

Dr Farrukh Salem appears to fall into the former category. This article which reports his work from 2009, mirrors the argument made repeatedly by The XYZ, that islam is a toxic ideology which holds its adherents in poverty and as slaves.  Having concluded that muslims are among the poorest of the poor, and among the most illiterate, he offers two possible diagnoses:

“1: Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak because they have ‘abandoned the divine heritage of Islam’. Prescription: We must return to our real or imagined past.

“2: Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak because we have refused to change with time.”

Likewise, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has called for nothing less that a “revolution” in the way islam is interpreted, and “a reading of Islamic texts in a “truly enlightened” manner to reconsider concepts “that have been made sacred over hundreds of years.””

It is people such as Dr Farrukh Salem and President Mohammed el-Sisi to whom we should be listening and offering our support, not those likes the grand mufti of Australia, who argues that we should be looking at the causative factors, ie, blaming ourselves, for Islamic terrorism.

Photo by Holding Steady

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David Hiscox
David has studied history and political science at Melbourne University. His thesis was written on how the utilisation of Missile Defence can help to achieve nuclear disarmament. His interest in history was piqued by playing a flight simulator computer game about the Battle of Britain, and he hopes to one day siphon the earnings from his political writings into funding the greatest prog-rock concept album the world has ever seen.