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The True Islam


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Here's an interesting article I fell upon in a local newspaper the other day. It's an excerp from a book called "De l'islamisme", Of Islam. I don't agree with all he says but I thought some of you might like what he has to say about religion in general and I liked the openness with which he approached his religion in regard to judaism and other -isms. I hope you'll still be able to catch the essence of the text, it's originally written in french so I did my best to translate it as truly as I could.

 

True Islam, by Fouad Laroui.

 

Extracts from "De l'Islamisme : Une réfutation personelle du totalitarisme religieux" (Of Islam : A Personal Refutation of Religous Totalitarism)

 

Translation by Dark Helmet

 

When we read the Torah, the Bible and the Koran in this beginning third millenium, we can feel these very long texts revolve around one issue. But what can it be after all? By cutting the crap without remorse one could resume on a table, only one, what their real substance really is. Here it is (by restraining islam to its recapitulative aspect) : To be muslim is to be a believer in the way of the Koran. That is why Abraham is considered the first muslim.

But what is a believer in the way of the Koran? The 114 surats can be resumed to this : one must : 1. believe in a unique god, whitout equal, that we cannot see or imagine, cannot represent, and that is pure transcendance. Actually he's nothing. 2. To behave in everything with measure and humility, do good, search for peace and accord. There it is. Litteraly. Everything else is accessory.

Those who measure to the fraction of an inch the length of the scarf, who require four eyewitnesses before stoning, those who think they can talk to god, who shake in disgust at the thought of mixing milk and meat, those who refused me meat on fridays at the Casablanca college (although it was a secular college, they were cheap on that day), they are obsessed by what is futile and second. Faith does not need these monkey business. To contemplate in silence the stars beneath clear skies is better than all the sermons. To read a poem is a prayer. To melt in thought in the flying of a flock of birds dispense of collective prayer.

The true believer is the one no one recognize as a believer. If any believer (whenever he be named jew, christian or muslim) could stay in his room or his cave, alone, and stick to the aforementionned program he would be a thousand time closer to any god than any Tartufe, or rabbi Ovadia and the mollah Omar that poison our existence. How many wars, massacres and devastation would be spared....

What preceded -- a faith so simple, the faith of the coal worker -- is perfectly in tune with many verses of the Koran, for exampel : "God wants you to help you, he doesn't wish difficulty to you". Or "He doesn't impose upon you in religion any shame [...]".

Here again we must repeat the distinction between the spiritual and the religious that runs throughout this book. Spiritual is what links man to god, to the mystery, to transcendance. It is also the place whre are asked for each of us what is good, what is beautiful, what is true. The religous is what links a man to other man. The religious reinforce a groups cohesion, but today this causes a civil menace rather than anything else. In the end, which one matters most?

"O people of the book! Don't go out of the right in your religion" (surat IV, verse 171). A hadith of the Prophet warns of extremism : "I warn you of religious extremism, it has been the downfall of many nations that have preceded you". A hundred other examples can be found that speak in the same way. After that, how can one be extremist? The question may sound naive but it must be asked to the youth who constitute the hoped audience of this book.

 

A religion close to judaism and christianism

If you think I invented the minimal program shown above, read! The verse II, 62 says this : "The believers, the jews, the christians, the sabeeans (sp?), whoever believes in god and does good in the last days, all of them will have their reward at god's side. They have nothing to fear and nothing to regret."

The god of the Koran is sometimes very accomodating, unlike some islamists want people to believe... This verse is confirmed by the following verses : "Among the people of the book, there are some that recite all night the signs of god and bow down. They believe in god and in the last days, rebuke what is bad and do a lot of good (it's better said in the article). Those ones are virtuous and will not have their good actions constested". We can deduce from this that the paradise of the muslim is accessible to the jew and the christian -- and also to those mysterious sabbeans (sp). They don't even need to convert to islam. What a good "oecumenisme"(can't find a word in english for that, it's like doctrine or something...). Too bad we didn't stop at this. Jews and christians would probably see the muslim in another eye if they, instead of promising them hell, would announce them the good news. We'll all go to paradise! (...)

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