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Jakarta Post

Reformed Islam: Between hatred and critical thinking

  • M. Syafi’i Anwar

Cambridge, Massachusetts   /   Tue, May 29 2012   /  09:04 am

Are Indonesian Muslims committed to a reformed Islam? This question arose during an informal discussion among Indonesian post-graduate students at Harvard’s Science Center cafe recently.

It was not easy to answer that question as they had recently been following the Irshad Manji saga and the increasing threat of Muslim hard-liners in Indonesia.

Along with the hard-liners’ success in failing Lady Gaga’s planned concert in Jakarta, another crucial question was asked: Where is Indonesia heading? No one could answer that question.

Let’s focus on Manji’s ideas about reformed Islam, which has sparked controversy in the Muslim world, including Indonesia and Malaysia.

In fact, most ordinary Muslims have not read Manji’s books, The Trouble with Islam Today ( 2003 ) and Allah, Liberty and Love ( 2011 ).

Consequently, they easily fall prey to the p...