ISIS’s compounded ignorance is criminal but not a theology

We must always be alert to motives behind calls for reform. The actions by ISIS are being used as an opportunity to call again for Muslims to “reform” their tradition or to reject Islam as unfit for modernity and the world we all share. This call is insidious because it makes condemnation of ISIS the launching pad for a sweeping attack on Islam itself and all Muslims. Most Muslims have nothing in common with those joining this murderous group; in fact, the overwhelming majority of ISIS’s victims have been Muslims. ISIS men say, “Obey us or you will die,” while others take the opportunity to say, “You are dying because you are not reforming.” In other words, it is their fault for taking Islam as a living tradition seriously.


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