Video: What is wrong with Islam today- Muslims? Discussion at Oxford Union


The controversial Canadian author Irshad Manji discusses Islamophobia and the need to reform Islam.

Is there really a problem with Islam today? Critics see Muslim women as downtrodden and sectarian conflict dominates the headlines, but for many Muslims this is a gross misrepresentation.

In this episode of Head to Head at the Oxford Union, Mehdi Hasan challenges controversial Canadian author Irshad Manji, writer of The Trouble with Islam Today and also Allah, Liberty and Love on the need to reform Islam, the notion of Ijtihad, the problem of Islamophobia and what Muslims need to own-up to.

Manji is an author and broadcaster, but also the director of the Moral Courage Project. She strongly believes that Islam needs reform. Mehdi Hasan challenges Irshad, asking where the problem lies, and whether critics sometimes encourage Islamophobia.

“Muslims are the trouble with Islam today,” says Manji. “We have allowed tribal culture to colonise the faith of Islam. It’s the behaviour of Muslims that defines, in every generation, what Islam is.”

Read more in Al-Jazeera:

Additional Reading

Manji – Another Pawn Advanced, A so-called Insider Exposed by Ansar Raza

Categories: Europe

5 replies

  1. I happened to watch the conversation while sitting in Germany. Ms Irshad Manji is right to that extent that reformation or new interpretation of Islam is needed. She suggested need of the Ijtehad. The biggest problem with such scholarly people is the lack the actual spirit of Islam which is possible only through attachment with some one who gets divine guidance from God. In current era founder of Ahmadiyya Community claimed to have such live connection with God. However majority of Muslim scholars has rejected the claim which founder of Ahmadiyya Community made that he is also the reformer of the time. The Ahmadiyya Community founded by this reformer is paving the way for the spread of reformed Islam quite effectively. The biggest objection on Islam that it preaches Jihad has been reinterpreted by the founder of Ahmadiyya. As per Ahmadiyya view point current is the era of Jihad with Pen and not with sword. Ms Manji asks for Ijtehad. Ahmadiyya Community is doing it continuously according to the requirements of the time. To understand the real and reformed Islam one has to study the ideology presented by founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community where answer to many current questions are answered. However one has to remove the specs of prejudices and hatred. Just by closing eyes and declaring Ahmadiyya out the pale of Islam will never serve the purpose. According to the prophecies of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) only Messiah and Imam Mahdi can interpret and reform the religion Islam which Ahamdiyya Community is doing amicably since last 125 years. So please follow and try to understand the teachings of community and you will find answers to all the questions. Similarly if the media like Aljazeera sincerely wants correct answers to raised objections against Islam it has to facilitate the Ahmadiyya Community scholars to answer such questions.

  2. Jazakallah Zubair sahib for your detailed comment. Just to clarify one issue. Islam cannot be reformed. Muslim can be and must be. Islam is the last and final message to humanity, but it can certainly be re-interpreted for relevance to current realities. This is what was done by the Founder of Ahmadiyya movement under direct divine revelation.

  3. I watched the whole of the video.

    Manji is certainly articulate in describing what is wrong with the non-Ahmadi Muslim society.

    But, when it comes to what is wrong with her, she evades, rationalizes or explains it away.

    There is certainly plenty wrong with Manji’s self serving and opportunistic understanding of Islam.

  4. The “reinterpretation” that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community offers is, in fact, a move back to the original. As stated by our colleagues (specifically Zubair saheb) Manji does fine to oppose mainstream Islam but she doesn’t seem to think the reinterpretation takes us back to the original Islam.

    That is our difference of opinion. She believes Islam needs to mold itself based on new conditions. We believe Islam already had rules and regulations for those new conditions.

    For example, it is one thing to say verses of Jihad should be abolished. It is another thing to say verses of Jihad were conditional on conditions that no longer apply today. We hold the latter view while she holds the former.

    [Qur’an 22:40-41] “Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them — Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ — And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty —”

    Condition 1: Wronged
    Condition 2: Driven out from homes
    Condition 3: Because they said ‘Our Lord is Allah’

  5. this is one certain and clear expression to not just islam but evrey deities. i love her last comment do not impose you believe on any one …..
    people need just knowledge to be able to differentiate or separate religion, and politics. because religion is tool of oppression and is more peculiar to the muslim world the so called muslim fail to understand tradition and culture or custom. for example, the arabs muslim cover de`mselfes up and the men put on the white robs thats their traditional dressings not religion some one in far africa or america will do the same dressing and will say is religion please we need teaching to understand peoples culture and any deity sepeately…
    #more teachings#

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