Can Islam Be Reformed?

The title question is in no way meant to be provocative, let alone insulting. But the world, including vast numbers of Muslims, needs this question answered.

After having studied Arabic at college and lectured on comparative religion for decades, and having devoted years to writing my upcoming book comparing American values with leftist and Islamist values, I have become convinced of two things regarding Islam: It must be reformed, and it can be reformed.

Both suppositions are highly controversial. Few believing Muslims think that Islam needs to be reformed; the suggestion would strike most religious Muslims as absurd, if not insulting and ultimately blasphemous. And it would strike many non-Muslim critics of Islam as naïve. As Lord Cromer, British consul-general in Egypt 1883 to 1907, put it in a quote known to all Western students of Islam, “Islam reformed is Islam no longer.”

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