Islam itself cannot be reformed – Sam Harris is wrong

The violence is in the Koran.

The debate between Sam Harris and Ben Affleck on Bill Maher’s show generated a lot of controversy.

Harris said Islam is the mother load of bad ideas and Ben Affleck retorted it is an ugly thing to say, it is racist. Of course Islam is not a race, but it helps to shout “racist” if you run out of arguments.

Islam is an idea and no idea, whether good or bad is above criticism. Good ideas welcome criticism. Bad ideas want to silence them because they have no defense against them.

Affleck is wrong. That does not mean Harris is right.

Harris contended, “Hundreds of millions of Muslims are nominal Muslims, who don’t take their faith seriously, who don’t want to kill apostates, who are horrified by ISIS [Islamic State] and we need to defend these people, prop them up and let them reform their faith.”

Reforming Islam the way he envisions it, is an illusion.

His error drives from the fact that he equates Islam to Christianity, and concludes that since Christianity was once upon a time a violent religion and then reformed, Islam can do the same.

Even though at one time the religion associated with Jesus had become violent and intolerant, there is nothing violent and intolerant in his teachings. The Crusades were the response of Christendom to jihad, and the Inquisition was the copycat of mihnah, a practice started by Caliph Ma’mun, which means “inquisition.” They have no basis in the teaching of Christ…