Reza Aslan effectively provides us with a perfect Marxist (or at least materialist) analysis of Islam (if not of other religions). Or at least Aslan does so when he’s rationalizing or explaining the systematic and large-scale violence done by Muslims almost every single day in at least two dozen countries.
Aslan essentially argues (without using these precise words) that Islam is a mere “epiphenomenon of material conditions” (as Marxists once put it).
Basically, the argument is this: all the violence actions carried out by Muslims in the Muslim world and in Europe have absolutely nothing to do with Islam. It’s all really to do with economics, colonialism, ethnic conflict, the malign influence of the West… anything as long as it isn’t Islam.
So why would a Muslim be saying that Islam is a mere epiphenomenon of material conditions? The answer to that is simple. A Muslim would need to say such a thing in order to excuse Islam of all the negative and violent actions done in its name…