Tom Holland (“In search of the prophet”, 6/6) suggests that “recognising that the stories told about Mohammed are largely fictions bred of a particular context and period should facilitate the emergence, during the course of the next century, of a clearly Western form of Islam.”
What evidence is there for this rosy view of the future? The stories have been around for centuries. Who among Islamic clerics would be the first to say that they are tall stories? Foolishly brave ones, I would suggest. And even with the violent parts of the Hadith excised, the Koran (the very words of Allah) will remain immutable and will serve just as well to inspire the jihadists.
Thinking that Islam will morph into something akin to Anglicanism is mindlessly optimistic. Islamists are not milksops and never will be. Unless we wake up to that, the next century will bring sharia, not kumbaya.
Peter Smith, Cremorne, NSW, Australia