Gaza Under Attack July 2014

What more horrors are in store for Gaza?

Against the background of the silence – or complicity – of Western political and religious leaders towards Israeli war crimes in Gaza, Stuart Littlewood outlines possible scenarios that could bring about change. More »

Israeli soldiers celebrate Gaza killings

Why do Israelis continue to kill Palestinians?

Alan Hart argues that Zionist brainwashing and the occupation have dehumanized Israeli Jews to the extent that killing Palestinians comes as naturally to them "as pissing when the bladder is full”. More »

Free Gaza and Palestine

Deconstructing the Zionist view of Gaza’s horror

Lawrence Davidson debunks the fantasies and inventions of the Zionist view of the horror in Gaza, as represented by the thoughts of David Harris, the executive director of the American Jewish Congress. More »

Philip Hammond and Binyamin Netanyahu

Britain dies of shame…

Stuart Littlewood highlights Britain’s continuing shameful policies towards Israel’s aggression against the Palestinian people, noting that the new foreign minister, Philip Hammond, is as wedded to Israel as his predecessor, William Hague. More »

Gil Hoffman

BBC lets right-wing Israeli write for its website

Nureddin Sabir says that far from toning down its pro-Israel bias following mass protests, the BBC has allowed a right-wing Israeli journalist to peddle the Israeli view on Gaza. More »

Ben-Gurion airport

Hamas pricks Israel’s soft under-belly

Stuart Littlewood recalls that long before Hamas’s rockets closed Ben-Gurion airport – itself built on stolen land – Israel had destroyed Gaza’s airport, built with international aid and destroyed without a whimper. More »

Israel vs USA

US plays decisive role in Israel’s attack on Gaza

Jonathan Cook argues that Israel’s deception on Gaza aside, of greater concern should be the Obama administration’s decision to back Israel to the hilt and the US media’s silence on the matter. More »

Dead child in Gaza

Slaughter: Israel’s new “self defence”

Stuart Littlewood debunks the weasel-worded excuses dished out by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his newly-appointed foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, in defence of Israel’s blitzkrieg in the Gaza Strip. More »

Competition

Competition corrupts minds and actions

Graham Peebles examines the harmful impact of competition on the individual and society, and argues that for social harmony and justice to prevail, cooperation and sharing must replace competition. More »

Israel Hamas relationship

Israel’s ambiguous relationship with Hamas

Uri Avnery views the absurd propaganda surrounding the current Israeli aggression against Gaza, and examines Israel’s relationship with the Hamas movement, which is more ambiguous than Israelis would have us believe. 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.