The Fantasy of Islamic Reform

“Moderate Islam” has hit a rough patch.

Thanks to the actions of the Islamic State, more and more Westerners have become aware of the scriptural justification for murder, rape, slavery, and all the other wonderful sharia-based practices now spreading across Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Libya. It’s becoming harder and harder to support the assertion that the “extremists” have misinterpreted the Islamic religion.

As a result, over the past few months, a different approach has been suggested: reforming Islam. I received the following email today from an American non-profit organization that works to counter Islamic violence and repression:

“Progressive Arab Voices on Islamic Reform”

How do we explain the appeal of groups like ISIS to Muslim believers? Where are the borderlines between their Islam and that of other Muslims? Who can give us answers to this?

This conference brings together leading Arab Muslim thinkers who provide cutting-edge analysis of what is powering Islamic radicalism. Their courageous diagnosis for reform goes far beyond what we are accustomed to hear.


The event coincides with the launch of a new publication: Reforming Islam: Progressive Voices from the Arab Muslim World featuring penetrating essays from the authors of the Almuslih website

This is not the first set of Muslim voices to promote Islamic Reform. “Moderate Islam” has become passé; reforming Islam is all the rage. Would-be reformers of Islam are suddenly popping up all over the place.

In several comment threads here over the past few weeks Hesperado and DP111 (and possibly others) have pointed out that the proposal to reform Islam is a fallback position for Muslims in the West. The previous position — that Islam is not inherently violent, and most Muslims are “moderates” who are peaceful — has become unsustainable. Therefore prominent Muslims who interface with Western media, think tanks, and politicians — the most important operatives in the information war — are retreating to a better-fortified position, where they may more effectively protect core Islamic doctrine.

They are saying, in effect, “You were right all along — parts of the Koran and the hadith are violent. Therefore Islam must reform itself. Listen to me and other enlightened Muslims, and we’ll tell you how it can be done.”

Now begins an attempt to work around the Doctrine of Abrogation, get rid of certain explicitly violent scriptural passages, reinterpret other more ambiguous ones, and then PRESTO! A new, better, reformed Islam is born.

Meanwhile, the core of Islam, with its mosques and doctrines and jihad and followers, remains essentially unchanged. If the faithful are patient, in a generation or two they’ll have the numbers to enforce whatever kind of Islam they want throughout the West. They just need to hunker down inside a sturdy redoubt until the trouble has passed.

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How do I know that’s what all these reformers are up to? Well, I don’t — and that’s precisely the problem: I can’t know for certain until it’s too late, because deception is built into the system. Once again, I’ll draw on the comprehensive research performed by Major Stephen Coughlin to illustrate what I mean.

Most readers will have already heard of taqiyya, which is generally understood to mean lying for the sake of the Islamic faith:

Al-Taqiya — a concept based on Quran 3:28 and 16:106 as well as hadith, tafsir literature and judicial commentaries that permit and encourage precautionary dissimulation as a means for hiding true faith in times of persecution or deception when penetrating the enemy camp.

“Concealing or disguising one’s beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of eminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury.”

Taqiya has been used by Muslims since the 7th century to confuse and split “the enemy”

One result is the ability to maintain two messages, one to the faithful while obfuscation and denial is sent — and accepted — to the non-Muslim audience.[1]

The law on Islamic “slander” illustrates the application of sacred lying to practical situations:[2]

(2) “Do you know what slander is?” … “It is to mention of your brother that which he would dislike.”

(3) “The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim. He does not betray him, lie to him, or hang back from coming to his aid. All of the Muslim is inviolable to his fellow Muslim…”

So lying is forbidden, but even the truth can be forbidden under circumstances. If I say something about Islam that is true, but Muslims do not want anybody to know, I am still guilty of Islamic slander.

Every rule must have its exceptions, and slander under Islam is no different. Reliance of the Traveller gives six reasons for permitting slander, but I’ll quote only one of them, “Permissible Slander,” r2.16:[3]

Slander, though unlawful, is sometimes permissible for a lawful purpose, the legitimating factor being that there is some aim countenanced by sacred law that is unattainable by other means.

So if a Muslim cannot advance sacred law except by deceiving someone, he is allowed to deceive that person. And if his goal is considered mandatory under sharia, then lying is mandatory.

“Baron,” you say, “are you telling us that we cannot trust Muslims because they are lying to us?”

I have no way of knowing whether or not they are lying to us. My point is this: we know Muslims are obliged to obey these rules, so at any given moment they may be lying, because Islamic law requires them to lie under certain circumstances. These facts simply put us on notice that somebody has the ability and the right to deceive us, according the professed doctrine of Islam.

Now we get to the heart of the matter: “Talebearing (Namima)”, § r3.0 and r3.1:[4]

In fact, talebearing is not limited to that, but rather consists of revealing anything whose disclosure is resented… The reality of talebearing lies in divulging a secret, in revealing something confidential whose disclosure is resented. A person should not speak of anything he notices about people besides that which benefits a Muslim…

This bears no resemblance to our understanding of what slander or defamation mean. It is fundamentally different.

And all this is obligatory. All Muslims are required to obey this rule. If we have maneuvered ourselves to the point where the only people who are allowed to tell us about Islam are “moderates” and “cultural experts”, then our ability to acquire knowledge has been subordinated to what Islamic law says we are allowed to know.

This is why we Counterjihadists have an obligation to undertake the due diligence necessary to understand what has happened to us, and what is being done to us even now. It is our professional responsibility to do so.

And it also shows us why we can’t take the word of Muslims about the real meaning of Islam — reformed or otherwise.


1.   William Gawthrop, Islam’s Tools of Penetration, CIFA Working Brief, 19 April 2007, slides 6, 7, 15.
2.   Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Reliance of the Traveller (Revised Edition,1991, amana publications, Beltsville, Maryland), at § r2.6
3.   Keller, Reliance of the Traveller, at § r2.16
4.   Keller, Reliance of the Traveller, at § r3.1
5.   Keller, Reliance of the Traveller, at § r3.1

35 thoughts on “The Fantasy of Islamic Reform

  1. It is quite plain. What is happening after the attacks in Canada ,for instance, is regroup and lie. Keep lying and wait for a time of better oppotunity to further the islamic agenda.

    • It should be obvious by now that the ordinary every day Muslims way of being in the world is to lie cheat and steal. Having a laugh at the kufar who still isn’t sure if Ali is lying to him or not. Better start a clean sweep now before all we have to sweep is rubble.

  2. Oh my. Your explanations are becoming ever more succinct. I remember when we started looking at Islam it was (for me) an attempt to understand those 19 bridegrooms, that icky last will and testament of Mohammed Atta, how those who had studied science and engineering, etc., – how all of that worked together to create the poisonous snakes coming at us from the Middle East.

    I was so sure that under all that were the majority every day Muslims who wanted the same kinds of things the West did. It was a painful journey, growing up and away from my wishful thinking and arriving here, at what you’ve described.

    The mourning is over. They are what they are, and what they are is abysmal. They have held back themselves and millions of others as they destroy, kill, and maim in the name of a prophet who probably suffered from a lesion on his occipital lobe that prevented him from being aware of his left side. And that turns out to be the most benign thing we can say about him and his bizarre prohibitions.

    How far might we have come without the obstacle of Islam, the cruel examples of Islam, the hatreds and petty paranoias of Islam? That part doesn’t even bear thinking on.

    • Yes, agreed, we in the West have been projecting our own values onto Islamic culture, the concepts of ‘Moderate Islam and Reformed Islam’ are examples of wishful thinking.

      The possibility that the ‘Other’ can be a threat to liberal democracy is heresy to multiculturalists.

  3. At the end of the no glossing over, coating, whitewashing the pottery by professors, apologists, . . . etc. does not help. The pottery leaks and shows what’s inside.

  4. I believe Hesperado pointed out that by positing the existence of a moderate Islam which could live peacefully and accept Western mores, non-Muslims are encouraged to support moderate Muslims. This involves funding them, not offending them by barring all Muslim immigration, giving them airtime, giving them access to the doors of power and influence.

    In other words, non-Muslim society should recognize the existence of canonical totalitarian, murderous Islam, but to encourage the “moderate” element, should limit the steps it takes to protect itself.

    It actually sounds like a tempting proposition, as we are at the present taking no steps to protect ourselves whatsoever. It becomes a race: do enough Muslims get in the door, so as to permanently affect the political process, before enough non-Muslims recognize that basic, every day Islam is extremely dangerous and corrosive? There is no doubt that to have Muslims talk about the basic violence inherent in Islam would open public discussion that has been previously suppressed by our PC media.

    It’s a huge mistake for non-Muslims to think, though, they can influence how Islam is expressed. The most hopeful development for Islam is in Egypt, where the Sissi government is actively suppressing the Muslim Brotherhood, and is actively defying the Obama administration to do so. Once Muslims reject Islam, they will do so by themselves. Once Muslims reject Islam, they won’t need US aid or support, as technology, science, limited government, and individual ethics will become available to them.

  5. There is a pretty simple method by which Muslims can reform and still be believed by the rest of us. The council of imams, or whatever it is called in each country, and particularly the muftis, can get up and make a public statement, as an open letter, specifically repudiating, without any reservations, the following doctrines:
    (1) that the Muslim community is obliged, or at least permitted, to make war on infidel states with the purpose of establishing an Islamic government;
    (2) for the purposes of (1) this includes the idea that “defending Islam” includes conquering and imposing an Islamic state on others to make it more easier for people to become Muslims;
    (3) that under an Islamic state, other monotheists must pay a special tax and be subject to various other restrictions as second class citizens – with particular emphasis of on curtailing their rights to preach to Muslims; and
    (4) Muslims who leave Islam must be punished – particularly by death.
    If they make this public statement the rest of us will know they have crossed the Rubicon, and will cause every other “unreformed” Muslims to brand them as heretics – and probably mark them for death.
    But they can’t do it. It would be like a group of bishops publicly renouncing the Great Commission, or the divinity of Christ.

    • For that to occur every influential Muslim would need to have an epiphany at the same time in recognizing the dysfunctional and self – destructive ideology that Islam is and would then need to possess the intestinal fortitude to broadcast their realization. Otherwise, it would be just business as usual in Islam for those who speak out against the straitjacket that Islam is and who may expect a death fatwa for their temerity.

  6. Completely agree with your assessment Baron. It becomes obvious to those who study Islam and all it encompasses with an open mind, that Islam is the complete antithesis to civilization no matter what brand of civilization it is. Islam does not promote civilization as the civilized understand civilization to mean, therefore it must become incumbent on every one of us who values their own culture and civilization to reject Islam and those who self-identify as Muslim as a matter of simple human survival.

  7. The Muslim apologists are like mountebanks selling adulterated and poisonous tonic, confidently professing their product is safe. But word gets out that many deaths and sickness are linked to its consumption. Subsequently, the tonic business goes into decline. Needless to say, the snake oil pushers do not want to lose their despicable trade, so they start a charm offensive about how their product is improved. But in reality they made no change; they only lie to lull the people back into complacency. As the consumption of the poison declines, the people’s general health returns. Regrettably, queues for tonic purchases once again appear and the mountebanks flourish, until sickness and deaths scare the people away again. Despite the presence of persons charged with ensuring public health and safety, the cycle continues. The officials do nothing. Instead, they blame the illnesses and deaths on some unrelated causes, while insisting the adulterated tonic has nothing to do with the deaths. Incredibly, they even allow more mountebanks in among the populace. The cycle is repeated: illnesses and deaths increase; sales plummet; health improves; charm offensive recommences; tonic sales pickup; health declines, and so on. After some time the whole populace, at the hands of the mountebanks, decline in health either physically or they become psychologically impaired. In the end, they succumb to the predations of the tonic pushers, as they become dependable consumers of the poison.

  8. And this is why, much as I admire Geert Wilders, his apparent belief that muslims living in the Netherlands who swear an oath of allegiance to that country will be loyal to their adopted country, is naive.

    • No not naïve, very clever. Look up what would be required of the Muslim to swear allegiance to and that any self-identifying Muslim would never do because it goes against Islamic doctrine.

      • Swearing an oath of allegiance to the Netherlands in all sincerity would run counter to islamic doctrine. But a muslim who remains loyal to the ummah is most certainly permitted — even encouraged — to swear such an oath in order to deceive the Infidel if doing so advances the cause of islam. And gaining residence in dar-al-harb to breed like rabbits and suck up the resources of the host country most definitely advance the cause. Your mistake is in assuming that swearing an oath of allegiance to an Infidel state is to be taken at face value. If isn’t, if you’re a muslim.

        • Your limited understanding in taking up an oath of allegiance by a Muslim to the Dutch state obscures the agenda for why there would be such a requirement. At present in Holland no immigrants are required to abide by any requirement other than to obey Dutch law.

          Once an oath of allegiance is taken up by immigrants then the means to deport the oath taker upon breaking the oath – and most Muslims in Holland would be in breach of that oath if it was in place today – becomes available. And likewise, those immigrants who would refuse to take up the oath. Under a government led by Geert Wilders many Muslims would then be deported!

          I may be Muslim? Probably about as much Muslim as what you are.

          • I’ll try this one more time, after which I’m afraid I’ll have to give you up as a lost cause.

            Would having a litter of kids violate the oath? No.
            Would availing themselves of every single free social service, including the education of their children, violate the oath? No.
            Would building mosques violate the oath? I’m guessing probably not.
            Would residing in such large numbers in certain sections of Dutch cities that the indigenous Dutch unfortunate enough to live in those same sections feel like strangers in their own land violate the oath? No.
            There are probably several dozen other kinds of activities or behavior that muslims could and do engage in that wouldn’t violate any oath to the Dutch state, but would serve the purpose of demoralizing the indigenous peoples, weakening them economically, culturally, spiritually, and advancing the day when islam rules triumphant.

            I would have thought that any casual visitor to this site who isn’t stupid or a fool would, within a couple months, realize that a signed piece of paper, an oath or a promise give by the muslim to the Infidel means absolutely nothing to the muslim. Even a requirement that each and every muslim had to be indistinguishable from a native Dutch in word, deed and appearance (right down to bleaching their skin white) would merely slow down, not stop, the muslim onslaught.

          • You are kidding aren’t you? You honestly can’t think of just one activity by an immigrant Muslim that if having signed an oath of allegiance to the country he/she has migrated to would get them expelled as breaching their oath and therefore an undesirable citizen?

            So save you sarcasm and instead try to work out the many reasons for why an oath of allegiance would soon have the Muslim numbers declining in any Western nation that adopted that approach.

  9. There´s a very easy and quick way to reform Islam (and I think the only one): to dismiss the Medinan period and to keep only the early Meccan period of Islam, regarding both Q´uran and Hadith.

    Meccan period was not that different from cristianism. No religion is perfect, but it was nice enough. Medinan period can be define in one word: psychopaty.

    Can they say “we reject the medinan period”? I had this conversation before with a couple of “moderate” muslims. They just couldn´t.

    Who knows? But I wouldn´t bet on it.

  10. Islam hasn’t been reformed for 1500 years – in spite of Isis-style actions during all of that time…

    So why, suddenly, would it be reformed today? Because a few infidels have become upset about what’s happening in Iraq and Syria? When the powers-that-be in the Islamic world are the likes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey?

    Either this is indeed a heavy dose of Taqiyya, or these Islamic “reformers” have been smoking something too strong… either way, in all likelihood, it’s not going to happen.

    As for those who’d say “but now we know about human rights, have technology, are progressive – so things are different…” – any different to how things were in the 30s, when the League Of Nations wanted to bring peace to the world, the Geneva Convention was still young and thinkers dreamed of a world united in peace, harmony and progress? We all know what happened next…

    Now, with even more technology in our smartphones and laptops, it’s easier than ever for authorities to identify and track down “undesirables”… is this the blueprint for a tolerant and liberal world – Islamic or otherwise?

    • I do not want to be picky, but “Islam” did reform when the Abbassids overthrew the Ummayyads and became much less tolerant.
      There were many echo’s of this style of reform from then on in the Islamic world. A decadent ruling class first suppressed the zealots and then was overthrown by them. The latest being Wahhabism and the Ottoman Empire.
      Reform in Islam means “restore pure mohammedan worship”

  11. Mistranslations:
    Maybe we should have more precise terminology for what is mistranslated as “slander”. A desktop dictionary says, “slander (a.k.a. calumny) = the utterance, in the presence of another person, of a *false* statement damaging to a third person’s character or reputation” (emphasis added). In Islamic doctrine (‘Umdat al-Salik, r2.6), what is (mis)translated as “slander” means saying something that a fellow Muslim doesn’t want you to say, whether it is true or not. Is there already an English word that is equivalent to this Islamic concept of slander?
    Similarly, “namima” might be a more-precise, less-misleading word than “talebearing” or “defamation” for “revealing anything whose disclosure is resented (by a fellow Muslim?)”.

    The essayist writes, “So if a Muslim cannot advance sacred law except by deceiving someone, he is allowed to deceive that person.” What we might call the Gruber application of this principle is: “So if we cannot advance our healthcare law except through deception, we are allowed to deceive the stupid American voters.” See

  12. Now I divide all Muslims into two groups. Not Shiia and Sunni, but honestly murderous jihad Muslims, and lying taqiyya Muslims.
    Radical Islam is real Islam. “Moderate” Islam is its Trojan horse in the West.

    • And could that “moderate”, trojan horse Islam be even more dangerous than its outwardly violent, murderous version? What if all Muslims were like Isis? Would it not be easier for countries like the US and Britain to deal with them, if they didn’t have to differentiate between the moderates and Jihadis? So could this be why many choose to be such “moderates” – making it easier to hide amongst the infidels which they hope to one day eradicate, or rule over?

  13. Now when Sweden shall become a muslim country and consequentially is flooded with muslim doctors and nurses, apply it to the best of thy ability to avoid them.

    Do not let your health and your recovery be a concern of allah, the murderous, abrahamitic hate and gangster god – he who compiled the koran, the world’s foremost religious hate doktrin.

    Consider that allah is considered almighty by all muslims – all muslims are believers – an ‘infidel muslim’ is ‘not’ a muslim, s/he is an absurdity; there are no moderate muslims – only muslims and exmuslims. Read below the main argument for this call. There are many others, such as the incompatibility of science and islam.

    Insha’Allah, inshallah = “if alah will”, or freer, “we must trust in allah” which is a common Arabic phrase that is added to the end of a request.

    For a muslim the phrase expresses a person’s confidence in the hatefull Bedouin god allah and the awareness that nothing can be accomplished without the will of allah and his collaboration. The phrase also stands for: “… if all goes as it should,” “… we hope …” or “… hopefully …” – that is an expression that a muslim hopes it will be as expected; no matter how carefully you plan.
    Da Capo
    Torsdag 13 nov 14:34

    Ej mindre viktigt än dagens ämne!

    Nu när Sverige skall bli ett muslimt land och följdriktigt övöses med muslimska läkare och sjuksköterskor, gäller det att efter bästa förmåga unvika dessa. Låt inte din hälsa och ditt tillfrisknande bli en angelägenhet för allah, den mordiske, abrahanitiske hat- och gangsterguden – han som sammanställde koranen, världens främsta religiösa hatdoktrin.

    Betänk att allah betraktas som allsmäktig av ALLA muslimer – ALLA muslimer är troende – ‘icke troende muslimer’ är ‘inte’ muslimer utan en absurditetdet; det finns inga moderata muslimer – bara muslimer och exmuslimer. Läs nedan det främsta argumentet för denna uppmaning. Det finns många andra, som t.ex oförenligheten av vetenskaplighet och islam.

    Insha’Allah, inshallah = “om allah vill”, eller friare: “vi får förtrösta på allah” som är en vanlig arabisk fras som läggs till i slutet av ett önskemål.

    För en muslim uttrycker frasen människans förtröstan på den hatiske beduinguden allah och medvetenheten om att ABSOLUT INGENTING kan åstadkommas utan allahs vilja och samverkan.

    Frasen står också för: ”… om allt går som det ska”, ”… får vi hoppas…” eller “… förhoppningsvis…” – det vill säga ett utryck för att man hoppas att det blir som man tänkt sig; oavsett hur noga man planerar.

  14. The ‘progressive kaffur’ defence – where the in the moment ‘kaffur’ crime had nothing to do with Islam and the muslim perpetrator should be acquitted.

  15. Islam is backwardness preying on modernity and progress. Too bad for the surviving Muslims if it does not go a la plan. Who knows what a creative mind may come up with in this ever changing world and technology.

  16. Islam will have to re-open the “Gates of Interpretation” for any Reform.

    If enough jihadis die, Muslims may re-think the literal Koran.

    Until they do, they die.

  17. All true of course but reform of islam is impossible as the Koran is the direct word of god and to change it is heresy punishable by death under islam.

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