Waleed Al-Husseini on Fundamentalism and Reform in Islam

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Waleed Al-Husseini founded the Council of Ex-Muslims of France. He escaped the Palestinian Authority after torture and imprisonment in Palestine to Jordan and then France. 

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What about the pressing concerns of the moment? Miniskirts can make headlines. What are the fundamental issues right now?

Waleed Al-Husseini: The fundamentalism is the headline for this moment. What I mean in terms of fundamentalism is not only the jihadists who are bad, but also the miniskirts making the headlines in the media and making everything amiss in one country, this then takes over social media.

This is the fundamental issue. Every time, you will find something: summer coming soon. So there will be people discussing the issues around the Burkini. You will continue to see these headlines that make it seem like the Dark Ages.

Exactly, Muslims in there mini-society in Europe and the USA live in the Dark Ages. They live it in Arabic and Islamic countries.

Jacobsen: What about Muslim leaders who want an internal-to-Islam reformation? Is this a possibility? How far will it go?

Al-Husseini: This is our problem. Even if some Muslims need it, the population will not accept it. Last year, Jordan wanted to change the school’s lessons plans, reform it, but what happens often was people not liking this because they want to learn Sharia!

That is why even at this time it’s impossible for reform in Islam. Now, it’s like reform in Nazism, in their time when they have the power. Islam has the power. The religion has the connections and the money. So, it is impossible. Maybe later they can! In this time, yes, it is impossible.

Because the 1st religion to have a revolution of light was Islam in the time of Muʿtazila. That time was one of the best things about everything! Because they were looking for Quran at most as a historical document and nothing more!

So, we have problems because they believe this Quran is for every time and everywhere!

And for me, anyone can believe that he is a terrorist.

Jacobsen: What part can the ex-Muslim community play in the reformation of the faith and providing a safe way out for those trapped by religion and culture?

Al-Husseini: We are the reason for making many Muslims use the term moderate because of us. Because they don’t accept killing us, the non-believers or ex-Muslims! We know more from the inside.

Most of us know the Quran through its original language, in Arabic, which is the strongest translation of the Quran! And we know the ways of them, and will never be in these traps.

We showed and explained this. We can be part of a united Muslim front, who really want to help against the fundamentalists. And try it help our pal to be in the modern life, not stay there in the 7th century while we are in 21st.

Jacobsen: Insightful and cutting once again, my friend.

Image Credit: Waleed Al-Husseini.

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