Last Fri 4/8/05, I spoke to a crowd of more than 100 activists at the Unitarian Church of Providence, RI on the issue of Progressive Islam.
At the begining of the talk I focused on needed general information about Islam for non-Muslim activists before focusing the talk on Political Islam and how it has been hijacking our religion for the past 15 centuries. The role of Muslim, non-Muslim fanatics, and the western intelligence in distorting the image of Islam and Muslims took great part of the lecture.
I presented my argument that progressive Muslims should draw clear line between the ‘religious’ and the ‘political’ in Koran and Sunna. Fanatics Muslims do not get this clear message of Islam. For example, the Prophet Mohamed (and Koran) had been dealing with specific political situations when he (or the Holy Text) condemned some acts of Jewish tribes of Meddina. That condemnation should not be taken against/extended to all the Jews (or Christians) of the world in our time.
The same argument is to be used in any part of the Koran/Sunna that seems to be contradicting with any basic civil and human rights of our time. This especially in the case of women status in Islam. The conservative Muslims are disserving Islam when they arrogantly claim that one man equal to two women. When The Koran and Sunna advocated this 1500 years ago it was a very progressive thing for women who almost had no similar rights.
I would like to pursue this discussion more in our next meeting