About George Weigel’s Comments

George Weigel,  Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.  commented on the Ulema’s missive in an interview  with (CNA).  A transcript is available at the missive’s home page.

Jihadism, while a lethal distortion of Islam, nonetheless appeals to certain tendencies in Islamic self-understanding that can only be successfully overcome by a re-connection in the Muslim mind between faith and moral reason.

History confirms the lethality of Jihad. The ravings and writings of Muftis & Imams the world over  confirm  its continued appeal.  But can it be overcome, and was there ever a link between faith and moral reason in Islam?  Is Jihadism a distortion of Islam?

In the Qur’an, Allah tells Muslims that  Jihâd (holy fighting in Allâh’s Cause) is ordained for you [Hilali & Khan 2:216]  prescribed, [Yusuf Ali] or  enjoined, [Shakir].  According to Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir :

Allah says, `He willed for you to meet the armed enemy ﴿rather than the caravan﴾ so that He makes you prevail above them and gain victory over them, making His religion apparent and Islam victorious and dominant above all religions. He has perfect knowledge of the consequences of all things, you are surrounded by His wise planning, although people only like what appears favorable to them,’

Al-Taubah 111 reveals the relationship between Allah &  Muslims. [Hilali & Khan]

Verily, Allâh has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allâh's Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Qur'ân. And who is truer to his covenant than Allâh? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success .

This receives ample confirmation in As-Saff 9-14. O You who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you from a painful torment. That you believe in Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad), and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allâh with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know! [10-11 Hilali & Khan]

That vitiates the distortion theory!!

About the ideological conflict Mr.  Weigel says:

 Making compelling arguments in favor of the free society will reconnect us with the great ideas on which our liberties rest. Putting faith and reason into conversation will strengthen the unity of our diverse society. Defending religious freedom, and supporting those Muslim reformers who seek to make an Islamic case for tolerance and pluralism, reminds us that American civil society is built on truths about the dignity of human life.

Can America find leaders willing and able to make the compelling arguments for freedom, justice & dignity  against Islam’s intolerance, triumphalism & supremacism?  Can Islam be reformed, considering its perfection and the immutability of Allah’s word?

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