The Holy Father on Islam

More on the discussions at Castelgandolfo

Some more detail is coming out about recent discussions by and with the Pope on the possibility of reform within Islam. This article has links to other articles discussing the debate the Pope's comments have kicked up. In sum the earlier brief note on this blog that the Pope seems to believe reform of Islam is not impossible, but nonetheless likely to be exceedingly difficult, (in other words, "don't hold your breath") would seem to hold. Interestingly this later Chiesa report indicates that if reform is to come it is likely to be from areas such as Turkey, Indonesia or from Western Muslims. The labelling of 'so called' Western countries is also interesting, this a tacit acknowledgement that parts of Europe are no longer in the West? Eurabia? Key excerpt:

"The Holy Father is well-informed enough to know that there have existed and that there exist today, probably increasingly, other interpretations of the Qur'anic evidence with regard to a theology of revelation. These considered Muslim views and approaches do not (yet?), it would seem, inform the thinking and approach of a sizable Islamic movement or organisation - and we do not know what future problems lie ahead in this regard - but it does exist and is vividly discussed in many places, both in academia and beyond.

"An open debate on these matters does not yet seem to be possible within the Arab world but Turkish and Indonesian society grant relatively more room for airing and discussing such ideas, and the so-called Western countries offer even more space".

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