An article by Ziauddin Sardar, in the independent. He advocates muslims need to be critical of wahabism, provides the historical context or the islamic framework how this could be done and pragmatically it is to be done in the west outside the Arab Sphere of influence.
He prefaces this is our best hope. Good article nonetheless, to his defense assuming you have a sound comprehensive islamic curriculum that promotes critical and rational thinking of the religion , one that would oppose and counter the literalist view, how do you go about educating the Arab population?
State Britain Sponsored Islam does not sound very legitimate, certainly not much help to the Arabs living in the Middle East. Maybe a Sunni version of the online “khan academy”?
Considering how easily the wahabist are offended, the website will go viral, but it will equally be banned.
What about we educate Arabs Muslims to treat Saudi clerics as a drug manufacturers and wahabism as a drug? I would presume this would be the honest and socially responsible approach.
Here an excerpt nonetheless:
“Our best hope of dealing with extremism is to challenge the doctrines manufactured by religious scholars, from the past and present. The distinguished history of critical thought in Islam must be brought back from the periphery to the centre. And if its spread is hindered in the Muslim heartlands, then it must be exported back from the West.
In Britain, for example, it should be an essential part of the curriculum whenever and wherever Islam is taught – including faith schools and seminaries such as the Darul Ulum in Birmingham – as well as in any comparative religion classes. There should be a proper system of certifying imams, who clearly need much more than a traditional education that simply perpetuates uncritical acceptance.
What’s more, British Muslims need to create and defend the freedom to question and, if necessary, reject religious authorities of the past and present. And why can’t we see this theme explored on television, instead of the usual programmes about terrorism and the hajj? If nothing else, a TV series on free thought in Islam would supply some material to Westerners, so that they could engage with Muslims in a discourse based on mutual respect.
Finally, let us be heard. No doubt many Muslims want to protest against jihad. But, at the very least, we should also be rallying against the Saudi hijacking of Islam. ”