Muslim reform

In a recent editorial in the Washington Post, Glenn Greenwald says that the FBI was right not to arrest Omar Mateen before the shooting. I agree with his point of view in general, because I believe that our freedoms are more important than absolute security, which cannot ever truly be achieved. I also believe that we have long ago passed the point of diminishing returns, where increasing authoritarianism – and simultaneous loss of freedom – leads to increased security. We are giving up far more than we are gaining.

That being said, I would like to return to the analogy that Greenwald uses in his article, that of fatal car accidents. As he rightfully states, a large number of people die each year in fatal car accidents, and we recognize that this is “the worthwhile cost paid in exchange for the benefits of efficient auto travel and affordable cars”. We do a deadly calculation to decide that it would not be desirable to put in place severely restrictive speed limits (worse than they are now), excess traffic lights and stop signs (more than the excess we already have), and insane amounts of padding inside our cars. As he states, “we accept that some deaths are inevitable” and try to find a balance between convenience and accessibility versus fatal accidents.

car accident

However, if in doing this calculation we discovered that the large majority of fatal accidents were caused by one particular make of car, and that particular car maker was at best ambivalent and at worst deliberately making cars that would cause fatal accidents, we would not stand by and let that car maker continue to put more cars on the road. We would demand that car maker to have a recall to fix their defective cars and to put in place design changes to assure that defective cars would not continue to be put on the market.

mohammedThis is the situation we are in with Islam. While most Muslims are law-abiding and peace loving, Muslims are carrying out the vast majority of terrorist actions. And because the Islamic faith has not undergone a reformation, most Muslims living in the West are in a state of cognitive dissonance, where the demands of their faith’s sharia law conflict with the human laws and society in which they live.

Therefore, while the vast majority of Muslims are shocked and horrified by the actions of a small number of people of their faith, the demands of sharia and their cognitive dissonance prevent them from actively speaking out against these actions and demanding change within the religion. There is likely a proportion of these Muslims that are secretly pleased by the radical actions of their brethren, because this subtle backing, whether conscious or unconscious, helps to relieve the cognitive dissonance.

So what is to be done? Leaders in the West, and people in general, must push Muslims to demand a reform within their religion. The outdated and outmoded parts of their religion that push for the suppression, diminishing, and even death of women, homosexuals, and unbelievers must be condemned and declared no longer essential parts of the religion. If we are going to live and thrive together, we must find common agreement on these basic tenets.

One thought on “Muslim reform”

  1. “Leaders in the West, and people in general, must push Muslims to demand a reform within their religion.”

    While that would be nice, I think that has zero chance of actually happening and even if it did would go nowhere. I think the natural human reaction when a bunch of other humans try to tell you what you should do is to bristle up and do the exact opposite “ain’t no one gonna tell me what to do or what to believe!” Even if people did that Muslims and their leaders just would not listen. No more so then if people and Leaders in the West pushed the Catholic Church to permit priests to get married or to approve of abortion or approve of divorce.

    At the end of the day change can only come from the grassroots in a decentralized fashion. Even if the Muslim leaders decreed all those crazy bits were removed tomorrow there are still plenty of Muslims that believe that stuff, it’s not like they’re just gonna flip a switch and go “oh, ok, I guess I don’t need to kill infidels anymore”. Change has to come slowly and naturally over time with each new generation. As the hatred and pain of the parents generation recedes and the children have no knowledge of it and their children even less knowledge and so on, then we’ll see change. For example in the Catholic Church contraception is still officially verboten… but I’d dare say the vast majority of Catholics politely ignore that dictate. I imagine the same is already true for most Muslims… yeah, they know there is some bat crazy shit in the Koran, but they discount it for what it is and live their lives. For most humans their religion is not the MOST important thing in their lives. Only the crazy radicals of any faith take all the stuff literally… changing Islam would not change those folks one bit… I mean you still have Catholics that ignore Vatican II, arguably the biggest reform in the Catholic Church ever, and that was 50 years ago… and they still ignore it and do the Latin mass, no meat on Friday’s etc. My point being that top down change won’t change the minds of those not inclined to accept that change. The change just affirms what the majority are already thinking/doing. It would be nice window dressing to clean up the religion’s image, but it won’t change anything in the way of terrorism.

    The only thing to change the terrorism issue is to remove all western military presence in those countries so they will stop resenting the west so much + we won’t keep destroying their countries which then pushes their citizens into western countries causing even more inter-cultural conflict. Over time after all western military presence is withdrawn the generations to follow will forget or at least not find it so important that they want to disrupt their lives by traveling around the world to kill somebody for something that happened to their grandfathers.

Leave a Reply