Monday, November 17, 2014

Haroon Moghul (@hsmoghul) on the Islamic State and the 7th Century Canard:

Haroon Moghul; Twitter
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Whenever anyone takes the line that neo-purist fanatics of any ilk are "taking us back to the 7th--or 13th--century", I would like them to read this rather intellectual piece from Haroon Moghul. It's from back in June 2014, when the IS declared itself a Caliphate, but it's a good introduction.
There is a new declared Islamic State–and Caliph–what does that mean?
He asks. Then goes on to explain that
[T]o call a radical Muslim a transplant from the seventh-century may sound comforting to our Western ears, but it is profoundly offensive to the Muslim’s. What are you saying except that Islam’s founding generation was violent, nasty, brutish, short-tempered and narrow-minded?

For Muslims, however, seventh-century Arabia is not a long time ago in a desert far, far away, a very moving story with no contemporary consequences. It’s what we aspire to realize in our quotidian circumstances. It is the template. In the Muslim worldview, to be brief, God gives Muhammad revelation and Muhammad, in turn, embodies revelation, so we his successors know how to live it. Of course, in the absence of Muhammad, individual Muslims must struggle to apply their reasoning to understand what to make of that legacy in different circumstances. To call the Islamic State “seventh-century” is to say that they somehow reflect what Islam was, and is meant to be.
It’s giving the Islamic State the legitimacy it craves and does not deserve.
Read his whole argument at The Islamic Monthly (where Haroon is identified as an editor) at:
An earlier Storify of tweets I posted on a related thought can be seen here:

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