Here's the funny thing, the Quran if you have read it, is about as perfect as an original religious text gets.
Unlike the various trans-generational translations and transformations of other religious books, the Quran was written in the same original Arabic that is spoken in most of greater Arabia today.
Written as a single poem, it has rhyme, rhythm, meter and everything you need to sing it. In fact the Quran is almost always sung mostly. Sung beautifully.
Understanding the Quran however, is an altogether personal thing. You might read the same verse as I read, and we can both disagree on the exact intent and meaning of it.
For example, (and to stay topical) you can read the verse on what to do about an adulterous woman. You might apply the stoning clause. However I could just as easily apply the clause that requires her to simply deny the false accusation 5 times publicly, and she would be free to go.
To make things even easier to misunderstand or worse, misinterpret drastically, the Quran comes complete with a set of randomly applied, arbitrary hadiths or interpretations of the various verses made by unauthorized, unregulated, or uncertified groups of men who collectively agree to call themselves "religious experts". These run the gambit from highly intelligent western-style and western-educated, to the village mollah. Anyone with a pen or a gun, can interpret the Quran and write up a hadith to explain it, it seems.
The hadiths are at once the same mortal source of utter confusion and clarity of the grand mystery and quiz of an immortal Quran. And there in lies the problem facing Islam in today's modern Western world.
Islam and the Quran with it's semi-official but altogether unofficial hadiths, now finds itself exposed of the many inconsistencies and inherent argument weaknesses, largely unbaked and not-ready-for-prime-time, reeling in an aftermath of entirely misunderstood, disastrously misinterpreted, and taking the indefensible loser position as Western cultural misanthrope.
Islam, as presented, for lack of a better word, and frankly, Islam as told through the current version of the Quran is unpresentable to a modern world in it's current form and fit. Which is why Islam often wants to change the world to fit it.
There are many many many many examples of it, and by it, I mean medieval bizarre rituals and seemingly meaningless interpretations of behaviors that simply do not fit into this Western modern world, in which many decisions are made by the increasingly godless silicon chips we drown ourselves in.
As Islam stands today, one could very easily argue that the integrated circuit violates Sharia law making all technology that uses it Haram. Actually that would make a good fatwa!
For a more realistic example that I won't mention, take the whole hejab and women's rights issue, which as an example of Islam's inability to fairly modify it's position, demands far more examination than I would even dare to undertake.
The one example I will offer up of why Islam needs to change in order to be accepted and survive, is the daily prayer.
Inarguably one of the five pillars of faith in Islam, the daily prayer, funnily enough seems to last all day long making the faithful follower an outcast, and a largely useless and unproductive member of society. If you pray as much as Islam wants you to, you're going to be out of a job in the West. Muslims are only going to be accepted in the West if they are as productive as their infidel counterparts.
The 6 daily prayer times exactly prescribed by an inexactly unauthorized "religious leader" who puts out the schedule online, requires me to pray exactly at the following time, for today (tomorrow's prayer times are different), the time zone I live in, here in the US:
Salat (Prayer) 5:32am
Fajr (Dawn prayer)6:44am
Dhuhr (Mid-day prayer)1:08pm
Asr (Afternoon prayer)4:44pm
Maghrib (Sunset prayer)7:30pm
Isha'a (Night prayer)8:44pm
To fully integrate into this society or to not, requires Western society to change around me the believer. I can handle the morning and night prayers if you let me combine them into one on either end of the day. That works for me. Because it works for everyone. Even if they don't, Christians and Jews and even atheists would do well to pray once in the morning and once at night to clear your head, and if you like, thank god for being all they can be. If they don't already. Islam can even sell that as a highly redeeming value of the package. You can see the TV ad for it.
So, everyone can do a quick "howdy do" in the morning and a "thanks for letting me live today" before you go to bed. No problem. No Argument.
However, even if I could bang them out in my legally prescribed 2, 15 minute daily breaks, and on hour for lunch hour at work, I'm not really able to mingle and socialize and make and maintain friendships with co-workers and such during the day. Being Muslim makes me not have any non-Muslim friends.
So, I am going to have to lose 3 of the day prayers right off the bat. If Islam wants me to stick with it, it is going to have to cut me some slack.
Just to allow Muslims to become part of Monday Night will require some serious re-examination, and more rescheduling.
As you can see, not only is it not easy, it's almost impossible being Green.
As this one simple example of the sheer submission that today's version of a seemingly unbending orthodox Islam shows, if you cannot let the Muslim slide on a few things like prayer, or the hejab, or diet, you are going to further alienate Muslims from Western society and culture. And by alienate I mean appearing to be an actual alien from another planet.
The current view of Islam by very real god-fearing folks in Gainesville, Florida, is proof that Islam is the one who is intolerant. Intolerant of changing it's own very weirdness, as observed by Western culture and society who sees Islam as unwilling to meet it halfway.
However, if you reform and re-interpret Islam and iron out these kinds of wrinkled areas in which Islam grates and grinds counter to the grain of Western society and culture, acceptance and tolerance of it by becomes a whole lot easier.
Sadly, Islam in almost all incarnations suffers from a general lack of humility and worse respect for people and their religions that are far more established than Islam, and have come before it.
Precisely because Islam refuses to adjust itself at this time in history, it appears to be defiant in the face of those who respond by defying it.
The fierce pride by which a Muslim will force his wife to stay at home, and his daughter to wear the arbitrarily prescribed hejab to American public school, is perceived by the Church in Florida as the sin of vanity.
And rightly so.
Because if you think you know, when the truth is that you don't really, actually, you are wrong.
An Islam that refuses to accept the good in other ways, other cultures, and other faiths, and allow the inherent god-given right of the infidel and even and especially the apostate, to choose a path other than Islam, can certainly not demand or even expect to be, included.
Most religious experts in Islam whether they be full IRI certified Ayatollahs, mollahs, muftis, or Brooklyn-bred emams, seem to be inflexible in this area of co-existence.
However this is not unusual in an organized faith, that is desperately trying to maintain and grow membership against hostile market forces, and exactly like any other religion who is unlikely to allow mass departures if alternatives to it become too popular among it's flock.
Too many Kafirs it seems, is never good for the coffers.
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