need to define terms or can’t have a conversation
share points of view
don’t walk on eggshells
shari’a: etymology-path [to water]; often translated as law; more similar to dharma, why you conduct your life
pluralism: acceptability/embrac e of more than one way or modality of expression or behavior
pluralism as applied to doctrine:
pluralism of world-view
theoreductionist (only worried about God occasionally)
theophobic (God not on the radar, but not atheism)
exclusivisim vs. pluralism (only we are saved)
peaceful coexistence at the level of worldly operations
convert them?/tolerate and pity them?/embrace and recognize their expressions of taqwa?
do we need to “catch-up” to espouse peaceful coexistence?
is there a pluralistic way to practice shari’ah?
[begs the question of there being only one shari’ah]
who creates/interprets shari’ah?
turns over to panelists for self-introductions
now he asks the panelist to label themselves as liberal/salafi/shi’ah/sunni/conservative/etc.
[oh yes, this is very problematic, just like the grammar of this sentence]
a number of panelists simply identify themselves as “Muslim”
this is, of course, the privilege of power, they mean they are Sunni Muslim because they do not accept Ali as an Imam
theology and pluralism
not all theologies can be true, there can be only one truth
the issue is how you deal with difference
i can respect others, but not believe they are right
appreciate different notions of pluralism
trouble with islam today is literalism
qualifies it as sweeping statement
other faiths express this literalism
no central authority in Islam [so this literalism is not a tenet of faith]
there are orthodoxic and orthopraxic faiths, but we are not orthodoxic [argument would be stronger if we weren’t orthopraxic]
do believe Qur’an to be the word of God and thus incapable of error
humans are bound to err in all faiths
the Qur’an itself articulates the diversity within the faiths, and amongst other faiths
not a supercession of other revelations, but a continuation [and completion?] of other revelations
pluralism is natural
Faiz: How can there be unity amongst the different approaches to faith? How do you define unity?
need to acknowledge God’s law
unity is not uniformity
belief in one God is not belief in one way
referring to the cartoon crisis: we were upset by mocking the Prophet, who is not God. why do we engage in this idolatry of the Prophet?
outraged by cartoons not b/c of representation of the Prophet, but emblematic of rampant Islamophobia in Europe
we have no church, the ummah is the sum of the individual parts
no one of us can define what the ummah means, those who attempt to are heretical
Islam is tolerant b/c God is loving and is one
everything that God has created reflects the Creator
unity is based on the shahada
respect for historical and contextual understandings of the faith
draw on the ethical message of the Prophet
ijma serves as our Pope
Saleemah Abdul Ghafur
look at day-to-day life
living tradition that is something where people have a sense of arguing about something they agree is worthwhile
don’t like unity, prefer solidarity
what’s missing is a discussion of material reality
burden of unity is placed on the marginal
Prophet united with enemies by forgiving them and being compassionate and kind
these are the values we need to practice
not all Christians are exclusivist
does the ummah practice pluralism in the world?
at the turn of the century, for various reasons, sinning is no longer just sinning, but a sign of disbelief, resulting in loss of plurality
we don’t behave as if we are an ummah
directed to Irshad – what makes us Muslim? why must you be a secular Muslim as opposed to a Muslim secularist? – to the panel do we need to secularize Islam?
not arguing for secularizing Islam
arguing for opening gates of ijtihad
my faith is in Allah, not rituals
thrilled to be Muslim
the difference between secular humanism and Islam is Allah
we throw out a lot of terms and hadith
can be used to justify anything
let’s be careful about the words and how we interpret them
God has given us great diversity
we have more tolerance for sometimes Muslim than for theocentric Muslims
where does the closing of the gates of ijtihad come from as it is not in our tradition?
numerous schools were quickly reduced, something happened
no church or clergy in Islam? what is that? no religious authority?
authority is not divinely ordained, but come with scholarship
is the literalism we are seeing today a resurgence of Arab particularism over the universal message of Islam?
only one truth out there
legal thought has continued to grow and develop in ijtihad
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