Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

There are Muslims working to 'reform' Islam


Dear Editor:

I am responding to Richard Ries’ May 9 Viewpoint, “Beware the ides and tides of Jewish racism.”

In Mr. Ries’ conclusion he states, “It is well past time for Islam to usher in Reform movements of their own with equality for women and gays.” I agree with Mr. Ries’ conclusion however, non-Muslims need to understand the Islamic concept of ‘Ijtihad’ or innovations in Islamic doctrine.

Ijtihad is a technical term of Islamic Law that describes the process of making a legal decision by independent interpretation of the legal sources, the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Islam teaches the Qur’an is the exact words of Allah/God, which can’t be changed, altered, or innovated. For any man to put himself above the exact words of Allah is blasphemy and often punishable by death in a court of Islamic Law.

The doors of Ijtihad were officially closed some 300 years after Mohammad’s death. Therefore, we non-Muslims can’t dictate what the Islamic world should do in violation of strict Islamic doctrine and theology.

However, devout Muslim Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, is working aggressively in the United States to separate the religious rituals of Islam from its political arm. Dr. Jasser has paid dearly for his efforts at ‘reforming Islam.’ He and his family have faced several fatwa’s or death sentences and kicked out of three mosques he started in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

If Richard Ries truly wants to see Islam reform itself, as I do, he would be well served standing side by side with Dr. Zuhdi Jasser and helping him with his work here in Central Florida.

Alan Kornman



Reader Comments(1)

AbdurRaheem writes:

There is no possible way of relegating Islam to a private, interal worship like that which resulted from the Christian reformation. Islam governs every aspect of our lives, including the administration of a state. The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was a statesman who waged wars, concluded treaties, formed a constitution and sent out ambassadors. There can be no Islam without the shariah and there are not two sets of laws, one for the public and one for the religion.


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