Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the former Muslim who has escaped to the West to protect her very life from the Muslims who murdered her filmmaking partner, Theo Van Gogh, is calling for a reformation of Islam similar to the Reformation instigated by Martin Luther in 1517.
Here’s how Brian Stewart, writing in National Review Online, sums up Ms. Ali’s noble aspiration:
To this end, Hirsi Ali proposes five amendments to Islamic doctrine: dethroning Mohammad as an infallible prophet, and scrapping a literalist reading of the Quran; elevating the rewards of human life over those of eternal life (with the ancillary purpose of delegitimizing martyrdom); replacing the most barbarous parts of Sharia with practical man-made legislation; promoting concerted action to stigmatize those tempted to take religious law into their own hands; and, last, repudiating the theological warrant for jihad.
Here is her problem. The only kind of Islamic “reformation” that is possible has already happened, and she doesn’t seem to realize it.
The Lutheran Reformation was caused by a return to Christianity’s holy book, the Bible, and what it teaches about man’s relationship with God. It was in reaction to those who had drifted from its precepts and were offering a corrupt, watered-down version of genuine Christianity.
So Luther brought the Christian religion of his day back to basics: Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”), sola fide (“by faith alone”) and sola gratia (“by grace alone”).
But Ms. Ali, rather than calling Muslims back to their holy book, is calling on them to abandon it. The Qur’an, as she told Jon Stewart the other night, needs to be the first thing to go. It must be minimized in importance in the Islamic world. It must be treated as something with no more significance than a driver’s manual.
When she said this, Stewart, burst into an involuntary spasm of laughter, because expecting 1.6 billion Muslims to abandon a book whose every word, they believe, was dictated by Allah himself is manifestly absurd.
I applaud Ms. Ali for wanting Muslim reformers to step forward and make an effort to blunt and soften the true nature of Islam, but it is a hopeless and futile task. Islam is what it is, and it is naive and foolish to believe that it can be anything else.
In fact, the only way to reform Islam is by turning Muslims into Christians.
Reforming Islam by asking Muslims to reject Muhammad and the Qur’an is no different than seeking to reform Christianity by asking Christians to reject the deity of Christ and the Scriptures. It is not ever going to happen.
Luther brought about his reformation by bringing the faith community of his day back to the authority of its holy book. A similar reformation has, in fact, already taken place in Islam. That’s what 9/11 was all about - returning Islam to its roots and to the authority of the prophet and the Qur’an.
What happened on 9/11 was the Islamic equivalent of Luther nailing the 95 theses to the Wittenburg door. On 9/11, Muslims declared that they were bringing the faith back to its foundational principles. Islam was being reformed and purified.
From this point forward, they declared, the Islamic faith will operate through a devout commitment to follow Allah’s very words, including the words that command his followers to kill infidels.
The guiding scriptural principle in Luther’s reformation was, “The righteous shall live by faith.” The guiding scriptural principle in the modern Islamic reformation is, “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them.”
The hijackers of 9/11 believed, like Luther, that the community of faith had become soft and indulgent and corrupt, and needed to be reformed through a manifestation of a pure and undefiled religion. In the case of Islam, this means exterminating the pigs and apes of Christianity and Judaism and establishing a worldwide caliphate at the point of a sword.
So unfortunately for Ms. Ali, Islam has already been reformed in the only way possible. The 9/11 hijackers have brought it back to its most pristine and undiluted form. Just as Luther returned the Christian faith community of his day to the authoritative revelation of his God, so Muslim jihadis are returning the Islamic faith community of our day to the authoritative revelation of their god. And that’s the problem.
As long as the religion of Islam exists on earth, until its god is finally cast into the lake of fire, there will be Muslims who wish us harm. Christian nations who are not prepared to protect their liberty and their people with force will become roadkill on the highway of history.
In the end, it will be us or them. It always has been and always will be.