The Need For a Muslim "Copernicus"

A (Mini-)Manifesto

No! we (Muslims) are not the center of the world; far from that.
No! we(Muslims) are not the holders of “Absolute Truth”.
And nothing… absolutely nothing justifies the horrors committed in the name of Islam.

Islam should be first and foremost a vehicle for assimilation and tolerance. It’s a cultural matrix for identity.

The levels of intolerance and violence committed in the name of Islam have reached awful heights. Moreover, this is fuelling racist and irrational attacks on Muslims.

Islam, as any other religion, carries a potential of violence and extremism. There’s an urgent need for a profound reform of the religious institutions and a modern reading of Islam itself. We (Muslims) can not afford anymore watching our intellectuals and the elite of our societies fleeing their home countries because of a suffocating freedom’s environment and the devastating state of Human Rights, caused either by authoritarian despots or by fundamentalist crazies.

We (Muslims) must have the courage and integrity to engage in the painful process of introspection, to identify our religion’s failures (at least in the way it is used and abused) at helping most of Muslims embrace modernity and secularism in the most smooth and healthy way possible.We should have the honesty to recognise the dangers of conflating religion and politics.

We should allow free thinking and freedom of conscience. People should never be forced to believe in a Superior Being for the only reason that they were born Muslims. A critical reading should always be permitted of the so-called “sacred texts”, and the public should have his say in all matters of public life.

Women are and should be considered absolute equals of men (arguably, the Moroccan “Family Code” should be held as a model.)
All forms of corporal punishment or death penalty should be abolished. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be a base and a commitment in that matter.
Whilst it is true that many Muslims have their lands occupied, that civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq are killed on a daily basis in the name of the Western civilization (or in the name of Islam), that others are oppressed in their own countries by despots supported, financed and often armed by the West, we (Muslims) should have the intelligence to distinguish on the one hand the Western civilization and its overwhelming benefits on the peoples of the world, and on the other hand, the ill-advised foreign policies of some of the Western leaders often motivated by a neo-imperialistic mindset.

( look at the conversation taking place on BBC’s World Have Your Say’s blog)
(picture by

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