A Muslim Manifesto

Rejecting the Bad: A Muslim Manifesto
A Muslim Manifesto

By Mustafa Akyol and Zeyno Baran

"Who are the moderate Muslims, and why do they not speak up?" After being asked theis question over and over again since 9/11, particularly after the Danish cartoon crisis, Muslim intellectuals Akyol and Baran have proposed this Muslim Manifesto.
This is one of those essays I've been waiting to see. I hope imams the world over embrace it and encourage it as an authentic Islamic tradition.

I don't think there's much chance of that though. Here's a brief look at what I consider to be two of this manifesto's most important and, yes, enlightened, professions.

We accept the legitimacy of the secular state and the secular law. Islamic law, or sharia, was developed at a time when Muslims were living in homogenous communities. In the modern world, virtually all societies are pluralistic, consisting of different faiths and of different perceptions of each faith, including Islam. In this pluralistic setting, a legal system based on a particular version of a single religion cannot be imposed on all citizens. Thus, a single secular law, open to all religions but based on none, is strongly needed.

We believe that women have the same inalienable rights as men. We strongly denounce laws and attitudes in some Islamic societies that exclude women from society by denying them the rights of education, political participation and the individual pursuit of happiness. Like men, women should have the right to decide how they will live, dress, travel, marry and divorce; if they do not enjoy these rights, they are clearly second-class citizens.
Ramen! Or better yet, to avoid cynicism in such a serious and important matter: May it be so.

Then entire read is not that long. Towards the end they talk about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and profess support for a peaceful Two-State solution. It also includes some Qur'anic quotations supporting their stance and is well worth the read IMO.



  1. What a fantastic post. Thanks for sharing that and I'm going to cross post it at the old Bird Blog.


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