27 April 2015

Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now by Ayaan Hirsi Ali – review

She also believes that Muslims in the west have a vital role to play in forging a new identity for Islam. She divides followers of the faith into three distinct groups: the Mecca Muslims, the large majority who represent the more tolerant side of the religion, as articulated during Muhammad’s early Mecca period; the Medina Muslims (or the jihadist wing) who are inspired by the harsher aspects of the Qur’an that Muhammad is thought to have expressed during his later consolidation in Medina; and the Modifying Muslims – those dissidents and reformists who actively challenge religious dogma.

The reformers and extremists, writes Hirsi Ali, are currently locked in a battle to win the hearts and minds of the mass of passive Mecca Muslims. She claims to be hopeful that the reformers will prevail, yet she produces little evidence to support such an outcome.

Instead, her strengths lie in showing the difficulties in bringing about reform – not least the widely held belief that as a final and perfect rendition of God’s word, Islam is powerfully resistant to the very concept of reinterpretation. [The Guardian] Read more