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Progressive Muslims
an article by David Kimball

We are what we receive. And if all we receive about Muslims is its extremists, our perception of the reality of Muslims will be that they are extremists. But how do we get to receive more realistic information of what the non-extremists are like? It takes a definite effort because we will not receive it from the news media, nor the entertainment media.

That is why Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), has published an excellent magazine on the Muslim Renaissance. This issue of Muslim Renaissance describes the "birth of a new paradigm in a major world religion" by presenting progressive Islam as a parallel to progressives in religious, political, and social milieus. It presents it as much more the mainstream global representation of the Islamic faith and as hidden from the view of mainstream society.

In the introductory editorial, Rabia Terri Har states that historic Islam has always been "opposed to oppression in all its forms and Progressive Islam aims at restoring this original vision of freedom through the liberation of all humanity from coercion and subjugation. Progressive Muslims are therefore unwilling to let empires conveniently define peace as the absence of struggle against their power. And they are against the West calling for 'Islamic reform' as an imperial attempt to undermine Muslim resistance to cultural domination."

He then goes on to say that "by contrast, the actual Muslim Renaissance that is now underway is effervescent with ideas about making domination itself a thing of the past. Progressive Muslims come together in this endeavor with progressives of many other faiths. And to such a project, nonviolence is essential."

The magazine contains features such as "Nonviolence in the Islamic Context", "An Africana View of Progressive American Islam", and Sisters in Islam: A Voice for Everyone". This is a great publication for seeing "them" as "us".

More information may be found at the FORUSA website.

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How would we define a progressive Muslim?,

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Here is a rough translation of

Ramadan: the culture of peace

by Mustapha Cherif

Fasting is to be at peace. If someone tries to bother us, we can answer quietly: "I am fasting. "The concept of peace in Islam is central, in addition to being one of the beautiful names of God, Salam, the importance of which is at least equal to Rahman, the Merciful.

Ramadan calls, first of all, for a culture of peace. This concept is directly related to living together in peace. In this sense, peace requires recognition of the other, keeping in mind that there is no peace without justice. The action reflecting this orientation is that of sharing, which must be conducted in a reasonable manner. To accept differences, personally, in human relations, needs to be with an open heart and mind. Hospitality is a virtue.

The responsibility of the Muslim imperative of justice

The concept of peace in Islam is greater than any other: it is religious, human and cultural and beyond.

The qualities of the believer, generous, hospitable, good, all converge in the sense of achieving peace vis--vis oneself, others and the world. . ...more.


This report was posted on October 24, 2004.