US and international law

International law vs US democratic practice

Lawrence Davidson looks at the role of the “war on terror” and, more importantly, special interests, such as the myriad Zionist lobbies, in undermining the United States’s adherence to international law. More »

Islamic State and Israel allies

ISIS and Israel allies against a Palestinian state

Jonathan Cook says Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is using the fear of the jihadist group Islamic State to tarnish the reputation of the Palestinian resistance, even though the two are completely unrelated. More »

No exit

“I escaped from Israel and lost my children”

Rick Myers, a US citizen from the state of Oregon, describes in an interview with Marianne Azizi the pain and suffering caused by Israeli laws, which take hundreds of lives every year. More »

Free Andargachew Tsige

Suppression of the innocent inside Ethiopia

Graham Peebles argues that donor-country indifference to the Ethiopian regime’s human rights violations begs the question what price is too high for the illusion of stability in the Horn of Africa. More »

Tide of religious extremism

Time running out for peace in Middle East

Uri Avnery says time is running out for Israelis to make peace with Arab nationalists, especially with the Palestinian people, before religious fanatics – Muslims and Jews – sweep across the region. More »

Islamic State aberration

An Islamic aberration

Jamal Kanj argues that the “Islamic State”, which is wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq, is a prodigy of George W. Bush, whose invasion of Iraq created the conditions for its birth. More »

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers and Yasser Arafat

Alan Hart recalls an encounter with arch-Zionist Jewish comedienne Joan Rivers who infamously declared that the nearly 2,200 Palestinians murdered by Israel in the Gaza Strip this summer “deserve to be dead”. More »

Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi

Jihadism and how to isolate, contain and defeat it

Alan Hart argues that jihadism cannot be defeated militarily but can be contained and eradicated if the US changes its foreign policy and Muslims reinterpreted the Quran to suit the modern age. More »

Douglas Carswell

UK Independence Party hugs Friend of Israel

Stuart Littlewood shows that far from standing for UK independence, the UK Independence Party’s latest “catch”, Tory defector Douglas Carswell, is a Zionist propagandist with a track record of stooging for Israel. More »

Zionism is the problem

“But is it good for the Jews?”

Lawrence Davidson explains why Israel and Zionism are not fit for purpose, and argues that Jews must distance themselves from Zionism and Israel, if only for their own enlightened self-interest. More »

Daily Archives: April 3, 2013

Ahmad al-Qabbanji, brave Islamic scholar

If it is hard nowadays to find an ordinary practising Muslim who is able to exercise his critical faculties and willing to embrace the modern world, you would have thought it would be impossible to find a Muslim scholar with these qualities.

If so, then meet Ahmad al-Qabbanji, an Iraqi Shi’i scholar with a difference. In contrast to the primitive Islamist charlatans permeating the Arab world these days – Salafis, Wahhabis, Muslim Brotherhood and the rest – Al-Qabbanji is against the notion of government by religious people – a theocracy – and also against an Islamic state ruled by shari’ah law.

Instead, he believes that society should be organized not on the basis of literal interpretations of Islam, but in accordance with “religious values and divine principles” and that, crucially, these values and principles must embrace modern universal precepts of human rights, freedom, pluralism and respect for others.

Al-Qabbanji says current Islamic scholars have shackled themselves with the understandings and rules of a bygone era, an era that passed “more than a thousand years ago”. He believes that if Islam is to be relevant, then it must embrace modernity and modern scientific thinking, as well as universal principle of human rights and freedoms. He calls this “liberal Islam”.

Those who understand Arabic can hear a profile of Al-Qabbanji, and an overview of his thoughts, in this nine-minute interview:

 

Controversially – and courageously – Al-Qabbanji challenges the consensus in the Islamic world which views the Quran as the literal word of God. Through a foresnic analysis of the Islamic holy book, he argues that there is enough illogic, non sequiturs and passages clearly based on ancient beliefs that we now know are plainly wrong, to show that rather than being the word of God from cover to cover, the Quran has in fact been added to and distorted by mortals over the years.

He cites, among many examples, passages from the Quran proclaiming that the Sun and Moon revolve around the Earth and that the sky was elevated and placed on pillars by God. Rather than being the words of God, these ideas, he argues, are products of the “age of ignorance” – the philosophy of the universe prevailing in the seventh century.

Arabic speakers can enjoy Al-Qabbanji’s analysis of the Quran in the short video below.

 
 

We salute the brave Ahmad al-Qabbanji and wish him peace and security in a part of the world where ignorance, bigotry and charlatanism are rife.