Dec 17, 2015

Rundle: Islam does not need a reformation, but the West might

Violent fundamentalism does not come out of Islamic nations. It comes out of Islamic nations that have been violently occupied by Western powers.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Good lord, is it “Islam Needs a Reformation” time again? I swear, every year it comes earlier and earlier. You’ve barely put away the stuff from “Cultural Relativism is Destroying the West” week, and the next thing you know, the op-ed pages are putting up “Islam Needs a Reformation” pieces. Mr Tony was first, there were a few of them in the shimmering Bombora of newsprint that is the Oz’s weekend’s Inquirer section, and The Age got into the act, with a groaner of a piece from crusty old Paul Monk, a man famous for dedicating his early ’80s BA honours thesis to Lech Walesa and Solidarity. Soon after this dedication, the Berlin Wall fell. Just sayin’ …


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14 thoughts on “Rundle: Islam does not need a reformation, but the West might

  1. brendan wynter

    Bloody good. The “they need a reformation” don’t seem to have the first clue about what the actual reformation entailed.

  2. dcparker

    Every now and then, GR astonishes me with his erudition, whilst at the same time debunking ridiculous positions adopted by others. It was almost self-evident that Abbot calling for a “reformation” in Islam was crazy given his own adopted position (e.g.- in a minor example – with the “morning after” pill) however the elaboration of it here is masterful whilst also educating many (me at least) on some major trends

  3. Ian Brown

    Another excellent piece from Mr Rundle.

  4. AR

    Credit where due but this bit of sophistry has the feel of “here’s one I prepared earlier”.
    BTW the alleged Turkish grain ships sailed up the Boyne to Drogheda, not Dublin. Prez Mary unvielded a plaque commemorating the largesse.

  5. Peter Hannigan

    Great article. I am not excatly sure what sort of reformation people are calling for. The Christian one led to wars with millions of dead over a few centuries and produced some very nasty fundamentalist protestants who could easily rival any Sunni fundamentalist in the extremity of their views. Some of them are still around – it is not so long ago the more extreme end of Presbyterianism (the wee frees) in Scotland would chain up children’s swings in playgrounds on Sundays so that they could not play and so dishonour the sabbath.

  6. CML

    I despair…what a lot of intellectual twaddle.
    Meanwhile…women in Islam are totally subjugated, men can practice polygamy, lunatics can lop ‘non-believers’ heads off, free speech is non-existent and there is no political representation for most believers.
    But no….Islam doesn’t need reform??? What garbage!
    How many Christians or (like me) atheists do you know who carry on like this? Admittedly there are a few mad fundamentalist J*ws around, but everyone can just ignore them! I notice you are careful not to mention the latter, Guy…only the Christians get it in the neck…very politically correct!!

  7. Dogs breakfast

    “Glancing at that from outside, one would conclude that it is a wasteland of anger, misplaced pubic emotion,”

    It’s the pubic emotion that gets me every time!

    As for the piece, sure, it goes hard after the Christians, but as a firmly ex-christian, anti-whatever religionist, it only seems right that the Christians are the point of GR’s attack as it was in response to the reformation groupists, who were, fundamentally, Christians.

    How many people would know that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are just branches (factional ructions – ha!) of the same religion, only separated by the following of a new interpreter.

    I have argued, somewhat unfortunately, with my kith and kin that Christianity is no more enlightened than Islam, but that is an argument that cannot be won.

  8. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    CML, since you know your political correctness textbook like the back of your hand perhaps you could nominate yourself to head the ‘reformation’ of the Islamic faith – on behalf of atheists. And if you look at the most populous Islamic country in the world, Indonesia, where does your “women in Islam are totally subjugated, men can practice polygamy, lunatics can lop ‘non-believers’ heads off, free speech is non-existent and there is no political representation for most believers”, present itself? Although I don’t personally know any Christians or atheists who “carry on like this”, I can think of a few from history who have had a pretty good shot at such glory. Hearing one religionist carry on about the shortcomings of another religion, or non-religion is only slightly less boring than debating the science behind virgin birth. We just have to accept that it’s ‘settled’.

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