Welcome to the Islamic Reformation

Welcome to the Islamic Reformation

Reza Aslan

11.9.2006

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan is the Middle East Commentator for NPR’s Marketplace and Muslim Affairs Analyst for CBS News. His first book, "No god but God", has been translated into half a dozen languages and was short-listed for the Guardian (UK) First Book Award, which is awarded to the best new literary talent. In this book, Aslan attempts to separate Islam’s extremist fringe from the moderate majority. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Slate, Boston Globe, The Washington Post, the Guardian, the Nation and has appeared on Meet The Press, Hardball, The Daily Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Colbert Report, Anderson Cooper, and Nightline. He is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. His most recent book is “How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror,” followed by an edited anthology, “Words Without Borders: Writings from the Middle East,” which we will be published by Norton in 2010.

Muslim Scholar Reza Aslan spoke about his first book “No god but God,” in a presentation titled “Welcome to the Islamic Reformation.” In his presentation, Aslan attempts to separate Islam’s extremist fringe from the moderate majority. It is his belief that today’s Islam is undergoing a reformation, much like the Christian and Jewish Reformations of the past. While Islamic scholars in the past have issued Fatwahs and deciphered the Koran, today the Muslim individual is deciding for his or herself how to practice Islam. Aslan also asserts that like any other reformation, the Islamic Reformation has its own share of violence and extremism, explaining the emergence of Osama Bin Laden and radical ideology of Al-Qaeda. Alsan notes that Western countries, particularly the United States, are misinterpreting this reformation as an attack on the West. Instead, these Muslim “reformers” are attacking a form hierarchal Islam from the past.