What Is Wrong With Islam Today? (Debate)

2016 ,    »  -   26 Comments
Ratings: 7.06/10 from 69 users.

For many years, the worldwide perception of Islam has become more confused and problematic than ever before. In the wake of radicalization and terrorist attacks, the customs and beliefs of the ancient religion have come under intense scrutiny. Defenders of Islam have urged for more tolerance, claiming that Islam is a religion of peace, and that 1.6 billion Muslims should not be held responsible for the acts of a deranged few.

Author Irshad Manji interprets the dilemma differently. In her book titled The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith, she places responsibility for the public's poor image of the religion at the feet of practicing Muslims themselves. The Al Jazeera documentary-debate What's Wrong with Islam Today? gives her a platform on which to express and defend her controversial views in a debate setting opposite journalist Mehdi Hasan.

Using the Quran's true teachings of independent thought as inspiration, Manji believes that it is the responsibility of Muslims all over the world to enact reforms in their own religion. In her view, the need for reform requires more involvement from moderate Muslims who denounce the violence, yet refuse to acknowledge the Quran's possible role in inspiring it. Manji calls for a rewrite of these questionable passages, assessing that a re-interpretation is necessary to remove any potential for murderous and oppressive activities based on misreadings of the text.

On a stage before a live audience, she is challenged at every turn by Hasan, who dismisses the idea that honest practitioners of the religion should cower to those with vile intentions. He argues that her viewpoint perpetuates a damaging and unjust stereotype. What follows is a heated and candid, but respectful exchange of ideas. Several passages of the Quran are examined down to the punctuation, as are issues related to traditional practices, female oppression, interfaith relationships, the response of admonishment from the Muslim community following the events of 9/11, and the hesitancy of Islamic leaders in tackling the debate surrounding their religion.

What's Wrong with Islam Today? is a thought-provoking and well-articulated examination of some of the most consequential issues facing our world today.

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26 Comments / User Reviews

  1. rv

    stupid book!

  2. EllBee

    "What is wrong with Islam today?" It is the same thing that has been wrong with Islam from the beginning! Debates and talks like this one tend to look at Islam as a religion only, which it is not. Islam is a total ideology dedicated to the submission of people, body and soul - religiously, politically and militarily.

    Ms. Manji, like Ms. Ayan Hirshi Ali, does not go far enough in her call for a reform of Islam. Without Islamic scripture, the excesses of Islamic terrorists would relegate them to mere psychopathic criminals condemned by all people, including Muslims, rather than Islamic jihadists condemned by a few.

    Islam, instead of preaching religion, politics and military conquest needs a reformation such as Christianity experienced. It needs to allow criticism of it's God, his prophet and the scriptural tenets and dogmas of it's texts. It needs to rise up out of the abyss of intellectual darkness and learn to live in an enlightened modern world. If Allah is what Muslims profess him to be I'm sure He would allow free-willed people to think for themselves and either accept or reject what they are being taught in madrasas and mosques.

  3. Greg

    The primary problem with Islam is the primary problem of Christianity and Judaism - the belief that the Quran, the Bible and the Torah are inerrant texts delivered to man by God. This belief is what empowers all religious insanity in the world today. Take away the belief in God-breathed texts and you take away all religious conflict that leads to violence.

    Once a well indoctrinated young person embraces as "insight" the foundational belief that these texts are the words of God (rather than the words of men) then that person becomes blind to the many contradictions and falsehoods contained in these texts.

    The truth is this. There is great wisdom in all these texts. But there is also religious delusion, falsehoods and contradictions in all these texts as well. Unless institutional religions begin to admit this fact there will be no progress in resolving religious conflict in the world.

  4. Brian

    All religions ore man made control devices that cater to those who are unable to accept the fact that every day is another day closer to death. Those unable to accept that fact either go crazy or turn to religion- often both. Religions have always depended upon fantasy stories to give the weak-minded some comfort from the fear of death. No lie is too great to be accepted.

  5. mike m

    This lady has hit it perfectly.
    So refreshing to finally hear what I've thought, spoken by someone else, and in front of many to hear.
    Finally, yes!

  6. corynski

    If you have to ask you're part of the problem...... Just read the book......

  7. Mark LaJoie

    Religion is belief in obvious nonsense. Those who have crippled their minds by accepting nonsense are easily convinced of any other nonsense, just as reasoning from contradictory premises can lead to any conclusion whatsoever.
    Religion, like an infectious disease, may kill some, cripple some, and leave others relatively untouched. The only possible good effect is to leave the sufferer immune to further attacks.

  8. Mats Winther

    Theologian Franz Rosenzweig analyzed Islam as a pagan religion. Arguably, this is why it cannot accommodate modern notions, such as democracy and equal rights for men and women. Like all forms of paganism, but also modern ideology (such as Marxism), Islam revolves around the earthly condition. I think that it arose as an answer to the demise of paganism, because many people weren't ready for a modern transcendental religion according to which God's law abides in the heart, the earthly paradise cannot be realized, and human nature is permanently crooked and impossible to perfect (see Augustine, "City of God").

  9. Christopher Logan

    This woman is either in denial or purposely misleading the public. Spreading false hope and the illusion of a peaceful coexistence with Islam. That will not happen. Here is why Islam will not reform.

  10. Susan

    The problem with islam is the same as it was in the 7th century, they are a barbaric terrorist, pedophiles , murders and rapist. Also, it is not "a few" most govt. intelligence believes 25-30% are terrorists, not a "deranged few"-ITS 400 MILLION TERRORISTS. The "moderate" muslims (WHAT EVER THAT IS) are basically happy to have the extremist do their work, murder gays, and ANYONE ELSE THEY WANT all for allah the murderous pedophile. islam needs to be eradicated from the earth, where is Vlad the impaler when ya need him?
    The USA commie islam loving racist soon to be gone liar in chief has let in 5 million in 7 years-So we now have an additional 1,250,000 million terrorists in my country and he wants to bring in more unvetted muslims. Yea, he is not trying to destroy my country.

  11. Jerry C Kays

    Irshad is a lovable advocate for Spiritual Truth ... to deny her is to deny such truth, truth is love not fear ... any religion expressed in fear is not truth.

    IMnsHO and E.

  12. .

    there are 3times as many versus that encourage muslims to think and rethink. Critically thinking muslim don't make me laugh, critically thinking religious people don't exist. they don't go to mosque or church or synagogue to think critically. they go there to get brainwashed so don't go saying these people can think for them self cos they clearly can't if they have to adhere to the word of a god.

    this verse is the best:
    You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them. (Quran, 17:36)

    ok how do i know you have given me hearing eyesight and a brain do i have to take your word on it. so clearly not even critical thinking went into writing this stuff

  13. fazel desai

    Stupid book , stupid writer. Arabs are NOT the majority muslims
    She needs more research. Aljazeera should not waste good prime time
    She talking rubbish.

  14. louise

    great shes just so right

  15. SHA

    Unfortunately, Islam doesn't have a new testament. The New Testament was the Christian's 'opt-out' option from the violence-prone indoctrination of the Old Testament. However, a majority of Christians opted-back in to support violence (crusades, slavery, colonialism, etc.) because they were sold the idea at the pulpit or by staged fake Christian leaders. Most people are good- natured and kind. So why did/does the sale work? Because, we humans, become violent, condone violence, speak violently, become even strangers to ourselves when we feel threatened (in whatever the form 'threat' takes). We all know this. Meditate to pray well.

  16. john

    Susan, i know you wont see this but you're a c*nt. Now, I was raised a Catholic but over the years have come to the same conclusion as Irshad. Religion is about your personal relationship with God or Allah or whatever that may be to you. The religious texts were given to us to interpret and take morals from so we can go forth and do good for the world. This lady is very good for the general islamic culture.

  17. Mark Brady

    she is so hypercritical, there is no god, get over it!

  18. Junaid Ahmed

    This lady need to do more research.

  19. Angela

    I agree, all religious text are up to interpretation. What do you take from it? Anyone who's upset about the points she's making is undeniably bitter that she doesn't agree with your certain ideology. In all honesty, none of us KNOW the truth. All that we believe is a matter of faith -- it's that simple.

  20. Soran Mardini

    Silly billy,
    It is not 'what is wrong with Islam today', but 'what is wrong with Muslims today?'

  21. Đave

    Your need to espouse your hatred for all religions does equate to an intelligent contribution just because you were taught your angry agnosticism at university. Islam has its problems and making any discussion towards a solution into an a clarion call to end all religions shows a lack of understanding of humanity as a whole.

  22. Mark Gaboury

    This woman is to Islam what liberal theologians are to Christianity. Why be a Muslim if you're going to believe that Islam is possibly not the truth?

  23. Mike

    All religions have flaws. All religions are false.

  24. Joey

    admit it. Muslim sucks!

  25. Sahil

    As long as I can see she got the support for the ones who are islamiphobic. She can't mislead 1.4 billion muslims by writing such book. She doesn't believe in prophet and Quran which are the main pillars of Islam. She say islam needs to be reform but i think she needs to reform as she is a gay women which is worst than anything in Islam. She never mentioned the nazis, the brutal of USA, the brutal of hetlar but she is only after muslims and Islam to be reform. In fact she doesn't belong to a real Muslim family. Most arabs are not real muslims and she wrote the book upon arabs as they don't even look at her as a muslim. She is been represented by the islamophbics and she is happy that she get support from people around the world. She was just deceiving the audience as well as the whole muslims by talking.

  26. Emad Hassan

    i love islam

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