The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Sketching the political views of an Islamic scholar

Gabriel Said Reynolds is a Catholic. He hates pornography and he opposes redefinitions of marriage. In these days the latter may well get him fired, so I give him credit for bravery.

He agrees with Muslims that Israel is nearly always wrong. He retweeted this patent attempt at trolling Israel; he retweeted that Israel supports the Islamic State and al-Qaeda/-Nusra. As a Catholic, he might generally approve of all people living in South Syria but he has an investment in their Christians; and Christians aren't who're in charge.

On Islam he opposes the Daesh Caliphate (which he calls "ISIS"), People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad (which he calls "Boko Haram"), Saudi Wahhabism, and Khomeinism; especially "ISIS" equated with "Boko", with the formers' enablers in Qatar and the Saudiya a close second / third. As he notes, Daesh kills lots of Christians - also lots of Shiites.

He believes in Islamic reform - on the basis of the canonical text: The #Quran is clear that it is God's role to deal with apostates. It is not the role of humans to punish them at all: . (Personally I think that sura 9 is post-Marwani.) He seems to disapprove the journey from Shiism to Sunnism, and he supports the right to do the reverse. He accepts the Muslim Gospel - the Khalidi collection of Jesus ahadith. As a Catholic he can do that. I am less sure that he can say The more Catholic you are, the more you should respect Islam and Muslims. He only does this after reinterpreting Islam toward his own stance.

He approves of Catholics honouring Husayn. I wonder: to what extent is this failed power-play Christians' business?

At base, I think Reynolds is a meddler. He wants Islam to be something more like a Catholic / Orthodox sect, and he thinks he can do this by way of Shi'ism (through the Bahai?). It might be fair to see his work on "the subtext" of the Qur'an, historical and biblical, as part of a reform-project. His sideswipes (by retweet) of anti-Israel comments might be his actual opinion; but also serve (potentially) to raise his popularity among Shi'a-aligned Muslim reformers.

This is not my opinion, needless to say. My position of Islam is simpler: I want to find out its origins, and based on what I've seen so far I don't want any of it on me. So I don't bother with reform movements, oecumenism, or the rest of it. On the political side, I want to face it not with flowers and alliances, but with a shield and a sword. (Meaning their verbal equivalents, obviously.) Be not a Copt; be a Byzantine Greek... if Catholic, be a Roman.

His scholarship hasn't been affected so far. Let's hope it stays that way.

posted by Zimri on 13:53 | link | 0 comments

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