My apologies for the delay in my response. Sometimes, it seems I have all the time in the world for weeks to buzz around these forums, and other times, very little at all but for a tiny peek.
I've put my study of this particular volume on hold until I completely finish The White Man's Burden, by William Easterly. Meanwhile, I'm also studying for my promotion test in March.
Me too, ive been busy as well for various reasons.
Try telling the Anabaptists, and others that both sides tried their damnedest to wipe out, how one side was more moderate than the other. I was hardly ascribing some humanitarian scheme to Luther. Rather, I was simply stating that he broke the Church's stranglehold on Europe. And he did. No one, to date, has crushed the stranglehold of religious authorities among the major sects of Islam.
Agreed, though Id like to point out that the violent Takfiri Salafi movement may be just that, or it can be argued as the FORMATION of an even more solid organization, that could be troubling.
This is being addressed. Within two generations, a huge portion of backwater Pakistan and Afghanistan will be literate.
I had hope for pakistan for a while, but now it's basically failing for too quickly.
The quran isn't linguistically complex. It's a frigging hodgepodge. I'll get to that soon, I promise.
I mention the complexity due to the inability of so many folks literate in arabic having a hard time totally breaking it down and understanding it, unless they particularly go into studying classical arabic language. I may not speak the language, but others that have often have a difficult time reading.
Can't make much comment as I myself don't speak arabic, my dad does though. Heard apostate muslims and arab christians comment on it's complexity as well. Although arabic Grammer has now changed alot, the quran was the basis of modern arabic writing and grammer.
This is about as much as i can debate this, particularly since I only have a very limited understanding of what they are talking about, as i still need to learn to read and write the language.
I bring it up only because of why i think it's relevent.
No, I think Madrassahs have already screwed things up royally enough, thank you very much. The key is secular education, so that the average person can read this gibberish for themselves.
The problem isn't the maddrasas(though one should not absolve them of guilt) the problem is 'do it yourself islam' that becomes it's own cliche. This is ESPECIALLY true in western jihadists, while the in the middle east violence is more domestic.
Madrassas atleast stress the existence and importance of past scholarship on religion, the 'do it yourself islam' however does not.
Madrassa has become an evil world in the last 15 years. Lots of different kinds of Madrassas, and often some madrassas are not even religious schools. Look at how the word/term is used.
Perhaps you'd care to qualify which 'big stretches' he makes?
It's a whole book. Don't think i have the patience to debunk a whole damn book.
Firstly, he was never a scholar. Simply reciting the quran doesn't create a scholar. And in many ways he DOES claim to be a scholar, he is advertised as such and his admirers often call him ''an islamic scholar''
Not to say scholars haven't done any harm in islamic religious history....both muslim and non-muslim.
The dude claims the west has a history of not attacking religion in it's scholarship. If anything, i say the west does an exellent job of critique of religion. Also, I think you probably guessed where i disagree with him, but to make it simple, his oversimplification of teh religious group.
At this point you've lost me. I have no idea what you're talking about when you refer to his respect for Sufism (he doesn't seem to have respect for any religion), or Spencer's 'taqqiya cop-out.
According to him, he finds the pacifistic mystical view of religion less harmful(IE like a sam harris) and yes, he seems to dislike all religion)
Think he mentions this outside of his book.
The taqqiya arguement was mostly rooted to Spencer, where he claims that whenever muslims denounce terrorism they are lying to the infidel using a term called Taqqiya(which many muslims are unaware of as well) which ACCORDING TO HIM means muslims can lie to protect islam. But what he fails to mention is that this is mostly a shiite concept about lying about what you believe to protect your life(when shiites were being oppressed) and from a sunni perspective it barely exists as the allowance to denounce your faith under torture. Ignoring the fact most scholars(and terrorists) are sunnis, this concept is almost a non-issue with terrorism or even it's persistence in culture.
Warraq does not mention this at all in his scholarship or writiing...until he started getting friendly with spencer. Never happened before. Basically, everytiem someone tries to textually refute him(spencer) or denounce terrorism, they come out and accuse them of taqqiya and say they are secretly extremists. It's such a cop out, and leaves even many muslims dumbfounded at what this funny word is.
To even pretend to appear objective would seem to derail the intent of this book.
It's important because it makes sure people know your trying to honestly get at the truth instead of just forwarding an agenda. You can write a book being sharply critical with that intent but still intending to be honest about it all. Some previous missionary critiques of islam were surprisingly filled with good scholarship, and even debunked misconceptions.
Truly, the politics of these people is fascinating, but I think we've gone fairly far astray of the topic at hand.
They, including their hatred of eachother is very relevent to the topic.
Meaning the Phd's and pioneers of islamic studies/islamic history with all the varying opinions, don't give many of these folks more than a glance as they don't take them seriously, even the academics that don't like islam.
Many of these academics all don't like eachother, with vastly different opinions on different things, yet despite being so different from eachother, they are collectivly branded as 'easy on islam' by the polemical writers, rejected by teh polemisists and the polemical writers are rejected by the Academics.