Stop AIPAC

How Obama could take on, defeat the Zionist lobby

Alan Hart argues that US President Barack Obama can take on the Zionist lobby in Congress and win, but leaves open the question of whether Obama has the courage to do so. More »

George Galloway

They won’t silence Galloway with half-truths

Stuart Littlewood looks at how Britain’s Israeli stooges, notably the Jewish Chronicle and MP Mike Freer, have resorted to smears and half-truths to damn MP George Galloway and musician Gilad Atzmon. More »

TTIP threat to NHS

Scramble to conclude suspicious EU-US trade deal

With the UK industry in intensive care, Stuart Littlewood asks whether Britons should throw open the door and allow US big business to muscle in under cover of a trade treaty. More »

Netanyahu's war electioneering

Netanyahu trying to provoke war to win election

Uri Avnery explains why many Israelis believe that the sudden flair up on the border with Syria, caused by an unprovoked Israeli attack, was an election ploy by Netanyahu and his companions. More »

Pope Francis and Shimon Peres

A challenge for Pope Francis

Stuart Littlewood calls on Pope Francis to go beyond using fine and pious words, challenge Israeli crime in the Holy Land, and pluck up the courage to visit the besieged Gaza Strip. More »

Binyamin Netanyahu and Europe's right

Netanyahu, Europe’s far right find common ground

Jonathan Cook says Israel’s PM and Europe’s far right’s common vision is a Europe free of Jews, who should be in Israel, and free of Muslims, who risk undermining support for Israel. More »

Terror in Paris

Terror in Paris: how we got there and a way out

Lawrence Davidson views the Paris attacks in the broader contexts that contributed to them, and asks how much blood has to be shed before we honour the only escape route: international law. More »

Netanyahu waving at Paris demonstration

Paris attacks – Islamists’ gift to Israel

Uri Avnery argues that the jihadist terrorist attacks in Paris benefited Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli right and Zionism in general, and may also help entrench the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. More »

Jewish censorship

UK Zionist mafia’s onslaught against free speech

Stuart Littlewood looks at how Britain’s Zionist lobby is sabotaging freedom of speech by bullying politicians and journalists who speak the truth about Israel, most recently BBC reporter Tim Willcox. More »

Guernica

The nightmare we called the “Arab Spring”

Nureddin Sabir says the “Arab Spring” had been misunderstood from the start and, at least in Syria and Libya, what were said to be pro-democracy revolutions were in fact Islamist insurrections. 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.