Muslim community needs religious reforms: Al Sayed

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Dubai, Oct 5 (UNI) The conflict between Islam and the existing political order has never been so intense as it has been over the past few decades, Lebanese scholar Radwan Al Sayed said.

The Muslim community required religious reform to overcome the crisis in ties between religion and the state and between religion and society, Dr Al Sayed said at the majlis of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

''The political Islam movements, which emerged in the 1950s, revolted against Westernisation or modernisation and now globalisation. They also revolted against the traditional Islamic establishment, '' the Gulf News quoted him as saying.

The revolution against the West and the traditional religious establishment had led to the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood and ''Hakimiya'' or the Islamic concept of sovereignty, which meant the establishment of an Islamic state as a prerequisite for maintaining Islam, he further said.

Analysing the current situation of the main political Islam groups, he argued that there was a conflict over the representation of Islam which had been divided on three fronts.

''There is conflict within Islam itself between the conservatives (generally represented by the religious establishment), the revivalists (who advocate violence as a way of changing the status quo) and the neo-reformists, who work on a new project addressing the role of religion in political order,'' the professor said.

''A second front has been opened between the State and these groups as to who should have the power to represent Islam and how. And the third dimension to the conflict is the West's intervention in these internal debates about reform and its attempt to impose its own Islam, '' he added.

A strong adviser of reforms in the Muslim community, Dr Al Sayed felt that an Islamic State could not be the solution for such crisis, because such solution was based on a false premise that Islam was absent, and had to be revived in our social and political universe.

Accusing all parties for the crisis, he said repression against the Islamic establishment in certain Arab countries under the pretext of setting up a modern state had enticed acts of violence.

''Islamists should shun all forms of violence and the State should respect the religious establishment, which should be modernised to respond to the current challenges,'' he added.


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