This book aims to establish and legitimise the discussion of Islamist political agitation and militant violence as manifestations of a religiously-defined problem with modernity. It seeks to allow bold and counter-intuitive opinion to be heard amid the gathering tide of anti-democratic and xenophobic currents that seek to devalue the commonality of human values. To do this it presents the viewpoint of Arab Muslim intellectuals who stand at the epicentre of the problem and who, with their cultural bi-lingualism, present the most nuanced and at the same time the most radical solutions.
The essays are taken from the website www.almuslih.org and are in-depth analyses that are unambiguously reformist in purpose, courageous in tone and cut to the heart of the problems besetting the Arab Muslim world. They focus on freedom of expression and progressive thinking, on religious pluralism and diversity, and they challenge static elaborations of law that rely upon an uncritical acceptance of foundational sources held to be immutable in form or interpretation. Reforming Islam, along with its associated website, can serve as a reference source to help the reader, Muslim and non-Muslim, understand the full intensity of the debate taking place within Islam.