Updated: Nov 2, 2020
There is much talk by many world leaders including Muslim leaders about Islam needing to be reformed. Terms such as 'Radical Islam' and 'Moderate Islam', 'Religious Islam' and 'Political Islam' are being bandied about.
All these terms are nonsensical, according to Turkish President Erdoğan the head of Turkey since 2003., who emphatically says, "..... Islam is Islam and that’s it."
What then is Islam?
Islamic scholars claim,
Islam is the word of God verbally revealed by the Arch Angel Gabriel to their prophet Muhammad over a 23 year period (609 to 632 AD).Muhammad is the last and perfect hence final messenger of God succeeding numerous previous messengers of God.
Much after the death of Muhammad in 632 AD, the revelations were brought out in text form by numerous scholars, drawing upon the memory of Muhammad's companions who survived him. These revelations verbal/text is called the 'Koran' (meaning 'Voice of God' in Arabic).
Muslim scholars insist that since the Koran as was revealed to Muhammad in Arabic. The 'Voice of God has to be read and recited only in Arabic.
This has the disadvantage that of the 280 million Arabs only 35% are literate, and in the rest of the world where there exist another 720 million to 1 billion Muslims unable to read or understand the Koran. So they have to blindly follow and obey what is told to them by Mullahs (clerics) who are literate in Classical Arabic and have an understanding of the Koran.
The Hadith is the codification of all Islamic thinking and practise covering worship, prayer, social practice, military, politics and economics and is based on a vast collection of examples from the life of Muhammad which all Muslims are instructed to emulate.
The Hadith compiled by various scholars over a 200 year period after the death of Muhammad has numerous confusing and often contradictory interpretations. It has thus has led to numerous branches of Islam and the never ending discord between Muslims.
Islam, is not just a religion but a total system, an ideology. It governs all aspects of a Muslim's life without exception. The price of disobedience or non compliance are extremely harsh and can even result in death.
This is why the maximum amount of Muslims deaths in the world are the result of Muslims killing other Muslims, because the perpetrators of the killings believe that the other Muslims are not the right type of or not good enough Muslims.
Because Islam is immiscible with all other philosophies and ideologies, by its very nature it is intolerant of non Muslims and 'impure Muslims'.
Instead of the State, Muslims are under the total dictates and control of clerics. The clergy see their authority as coming directly from God and hence higher and beyond the control of the Nation State.
This duality of authority, goals and approaches always creates conflict in every non Muslim or minority Muslim society, be they secular democracies, monarchies or communist regimes. No Nation State of any consequence will ever be willingly accept a challenge to its total authority.
This is why every non Muslim state or society is at odds with Islam.
The conflict arises from the question, should governments or should the clerics, decide on all matters particularly military and political ones?
Depending on our individual view, Islam may be considered good or bad, but we must know one thing for sure, Islam cannot be changed. The world can only accept or deny it.