Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid: Extremism Isn't Islamic Law

He writes in today's Wash Post,
People of goodwill of every faith and nation must unite to ensure the triumph of religious freedom and of the "right" understanding of Islam, to avert global catastrophe and spare millions of others the fate of Sudan's great religious and political leader, Mahmoud Muhammad Taha, who was executed on a false charge of apostasy. The millions of victims of "jihadist" violence in Sudan -- whose numbers continue to rise every day -- would have been spared if Taha's vision of Islam had triumphed instead of that of the extremists.

The greatest challenge facing the contemporary Muslim world is to bring our limited, human understanding of Islamic law into harmony with its divine spirit -- in order to reflect God's mercy and compassion, and to bring the blessings of peace, justice and tolerance to a suffering world.
I always thought Unitarian Univeralists were a religion uniquely placed to bring law into harmony with divine spirit. Then I sat through a discussion of Doug Muder's Red Family, Blue Family -- the sermon where he rattles off divorce statistics suggesting atheists have lower divorce rates and concludes,
You have to understand the Right to criticize it effectively. Those divorce statistics, for example, really bug them. How can they frame themselves as the stronghold of family values if their families don't hold together as well as the atheists do?
That seems a lot like I'm right because I live a morvirtuousus life and not at all something that brings harmony between law and divine spirit. It really just seems like Muder's making himself the lawgiver because, well, he just plain deserves the task because of his family values.

Not convincing at all.. and probably against the law.

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