For a Humanistic Islam

Elham Manea pleads for a Humanistic Islam:

The re-Islamisation of Arab societies gave ground to the belief that there is indeed only one version of Islam, the one exported from the heart of Saudi Arabia: Najdi Wahhabi Islam [2]. People seem to have forgotten how colorful and diverse Islamic traditions were. Islam in Tunisia or Morocco was different in its interpretation and scope from that of Oman or Yemen, and Egyptian Islam was certainly different in its spirit from that of Saudi Arabia. People also seem to have forgotten that their identity rarely revolved around their religious beliefs, as we are made to believe today. They were Arabs or Kurds, Egyptians, Yemenis, or Tunisians, not Muslims in the first place.

This re-Islamisation of Arab societies was combined with constant calls, by Islamic parties who have become a powerful political force on the Arab political landscape, for the implementation of Shari’a laws. ‘Islam is the solution’ – such was the new motto espoused by these Islamic political parties. Society seems to have bought this claim.

The message of the ‘Diary of an Arab Woman’ is that it was time to challenge this claim. It was time for a humanistic Islam.

This humanistic Islam presented in the Diary bases its argument on four components: identity; a free and rational Islam; forbidden areas of thinking; and the woman - a human.

And given recent political history, the re-Islamisation of non-Arab Muslim societies is also funded and propagated by those that believe that the only version of Islam is Wahhabi Islam.

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