What Is Wrong With Islam Today? (Debate)

What Is Wrong With Islam Today? (Debate)

2016, Religion  -   42 Comments
Ratings: 6.67/10 from 99 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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A sane human
5 years ago

What has islam contributed in the modern world - NOTHING - islam is backward it has no concept in the modern world.
Islam is ruled by fear,fear of hell and no paradise if you sin and death if you leave islam.
Islam will die off in 20 years as young muslims will be westernised and educated and will find the truth about islam on the internet and not from brainwashing imams and scholars .
Muslims stop wasting your lives on such HARRY POTTER NONSENSE.

5 years ago

You Abdulbasid exemplifies the problematic of Islam (fanaticism, omnipotence, arrogance, arrogance); ideologically impossible to learn from experience.
What makes it an idea to be correctable by reality is the PURE NARCISSIC CHARACTER OF THOUGHT

5 years ago

Having read all the comments til here, it is clear that Islam will not reform. Every comment from an Islamic or Muslim said there is no need and/or that the lady(Manji) didn't do her research well enough. They claim Islam is already perfection.

What is interesting to note is that those who claim Islam is a religion of peace are either ignorant or lying. Lying just as the Q'ran instructs them, to the "infidel". How can this be with those peaceful passages nearer to the front? Because the Jihad, kill 'em passages come later. And it also states that what comes later supersedes what was earlier. NIce little trick to fool the "infidel".

If the Q'ran is to be believed then any words coming out of a Muslim at any time directed to a non Muslim, should not be believed. Yet some Muslims who are not hiding behind the Q'ran to do evil things to others, are honorable and helpful to all. Hence I disbelieve those who talk of the Q'ran, mention their faith, or go to their mosque. Much the same as I raise an eyebrow for those who feel the need to do the same regarding Christianity. Their faith would be apparent to me, much more so in their actions, and those who feel the need to go on about it are those that seem have some issues. Yes the Bible says to spread the word but it also says not to cast your pearls before swine. And those shooting their pearls out of cannons(figuratively or literally) ...or out of suicide vests, not cool.

What the Muslims and far too many Christians don't realize is that their real enemy is the same as everyone's real enemy. A few may but it seems most Muslims don't realize that a number of their leaders are in league with that real enemy. What happens when their leaders convince young Muslims to suicide themselves in blowing up an oil tanker, oil pipelines that are of another country, or to cause war to break out in the Middle East? The Imam's rake in more money due to the hike in the price of oil. The war premium. Christian leaders such as the Bushes profited from this war premium. Note that two wars in Iraq and more, began with the Bushes.

Far more is made by the banksters who own or control the major oil companies. The real enemy is greed, for power, by the banksters, the puppetmasters behind the west, the owners of the central banks around the world. The Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and their compadres. The us and uk militaries are just minions.

Just as they are good at setting blacks against whites, democrats against republicans, so to are they good at setting Muslims against Jews and Christians. All to put more coin and power in their pockets. Much more power comes from the debt nations incur in war expense. These banksters own the so called defense companies as well.

Every time we in the usa hear of a Muslim attack upon us, many think, "kill 'em all". Same same for the Muslims who have atrocities put upon them from the west and from their "brothers" of a different sect of Islam. That of course IS the goal of the puppetmasters.

What I would like to ask all Muslims is: If you think your religion entitles you to kill or convert a non Muslim, then isn't it logical to think that someone else's religion entitles them to kill or convert a Muslim? If you cannot understand this line of thought because you have been so indoctrinated to believe that cannot be true because Islam is superior and therefore entitled to kill a non Muslim unwilling to convert, then you are not a human but merely a robot of your puppetmaster who profits from your jihad. What do you think the end result will be when you come face to face with those who don't think you are entitled to kill them or convert them? Real men who desire to be free. Free from you, free from person infringing upon them in any way?

Why do you think you have been and are being allowed into so many western countries lately? Are you so delusional that the average person wants you there or that their so called leadership thinks you are needed there? It is simply because most of the leaders are minions, or like minds with the the bankster/elite who see it as a way to foment turmoil and strife and a subsequent call for Martial Law. This martial law will not benefit you nor anyone but the bankster/elite in their goal of ever more power. They have enough money so their main desire now is to reduce the population.

The Christians who unnecessarily wage war on Muslims have a similar but not the same problem. They have been lied to about so many things. But not all things, when we have organizations like CAIR and members of the Muslim Brotherhood and several others Muslim groups which are all essentially the same group worming its way into the USA, working to bring its overthrow with the help of the past president who openly claimed he wanted to "fundamentally change America". What do you americans think that meant? You just ignored or thought it meant "change for the better" much like Trump's change to make it great again. Wrong assumption in the case of Obama who was a puppet of the banksters and their cronies who paid for his election and own the major media. Enough of this was knowable before you cast your vote. You just refused to do your homework.

Musliims, Christians, Everyone, wake up and smell the horrible coffee you all are addicted to. If you both came to your senses you could easily defeat your real enemy. If you don't, they will defeat ALL of you.

samuel irabor
5 years ago


5 years ago

The whole islamic world is very dark. They need some serious reforming and enlightenment.

5 years ago

The so-called moderator is biased, patriarchal, and anti-feminist! He is an ass.

5 years ago

No matter what you have to say or write to criticise or trying to vanish Islam. We are religious, and we are Allah's believers. And we steadfastly on His way. We need not to reform anything in Islam. Our Allah had already perfected our religion. Thus, nobody could reform our remind what the Almighty perfected.

5 years ago

Islam cannot separate religion from the state!

Emad Hassan
6 years ago

i love islam

6 years ago

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.

6 years ago

admit it. Muslim sucks!

6 years ago

All religions have flaws. All religions are false.

Mark Gaboury
6 years ago

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?

6 years ago

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.

Soran Mardini
6 years ago

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

6 years ago

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.

Junaid Ahmed
6 years ago

This lady need to do more research.

Mark Brady
6 years ago

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

6 years ago

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.

6 years ago

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.

6 years ago

great shes just so right

fazel desai
6 years ago

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

6 years ago

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

Jerry C Kays
6 years ago

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.

6 years ago

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.

Christopher Logan
6 years ago

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.

Mats Winther
6 years ago

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").

Mark LaJoie
6 years ago

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.

6 years ago

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

mike m
6 years ago

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 years ago

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.

6 years ago

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.

6 years ago

"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.

6 years ago

stupid book!