Let Islam go out of business

…The person who wants to modernise Islam is like that forgetful genius who wants to invent a machine in his/her garage, which can turn copper into gold! Is it good for Islam to become modern? The first question is why should Islam be modernised and why do they insist on this? If someone says that slavery can also become humane, I will ask them why they insist on making slavery humane; is there a lack of modern and humane schools of thought? One should ask persons promoting modern Islam, whether they themselves are modern Moslems? If not, then why are they paving the way for oppressive and historically backward monsters to continue their existence in new forms? Let’s assume that Islam can be modernised; why are they helping it to do so? Leave it, let it be as it is and let it go out of business. Notwithstanding this, in my opinion, their depiction of ‘modern’ is limited, which is why they says Islam can be modern. Probably, if Islam allows a woman to go to school with a knee-length skirt or to become a judge as long as she does not speak of her sexuality, then Islam is modern from their point of view. Now this won’t do.

Islam has no place in what I call modern (in fact this word is also relative) nor in the society that I would like to live or in the modernism that I think we deserve. Islam must be uprooted. Just as some people believe in fascism and still strongly believe in patriarchy, some also believe in Islam. Islam’s track record is much more apparent than that for anyone to attempt its rescue…

Elsewhere in the interview, Mansoor Hekmat says:

…as I have said before, we are witnessing an anti-Islamic revulsion and a popular cultural struggle against Islam in Iran. As far as the ideological battle against Islam and exposing the foundations of this religion are concerned, for a free-minded human being, religion is part of the ‘lumpenism’ in society, which must be put aside. If this struggle is taking place now, it is thanks to communists like us, and even that is limited to what is available to a political organisation. In Iran, we do not have a large-scale social and national movement of enlightened intellectuals loudly proclaiming, ‘we do not have a religion; we are atheists,’ whereas Europe was full of intellectual giants who stood up to the powerful church and expressed their views. They criticised superstition at scientific, philosophical and social levels and many paid a price in doing so. We do not have intellectuals in Iran with the same political and intellectual courage. Today, Mr. Khatami’s friends are called ‘alternative thinkers.’ Consequently, perhaps it is up to the Iranian working class and the Worker-communist Party of Iran to bring this struggle to its end.

– Islam is part of the lumpenism in society, Mansoor Hekmat, June 1999



I’m blogging every half an hour from 9am to 3pm GMT in support of the Secular Student Alliance blogothon. The SSA is trying to raise £100,000 by 16 June.

Try to support the SSA if you can. If we’re going to beat the religion industry, we need to support organisations promoting secularism and reason.


  1. Tugce says

    Discussion on how islam can be modernized or not always had dissappointed me. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly do believe that discussion on any topic is good. But for some reason, this one gets stuck very easily. I never understood why people would criticize a muslim’s effort to spread a modern/westernized/humane (whatever you call it depending of your point of view) understanding of islam. In a normal world, (let’s say in a free western society)a practicing muslim is the person who experiences and defines islam. And it is very possible for some of these people to have different understandings of the religion. I once heard you saying something along the lines of “we need to criticize islam as it is being forced on people by islamists, because that is what counts as islam not someone individuals peaceful beliefs. You are saying a humane islam would only be plausible if we all forget about what political islam did to people. All I want to say is that religions and their practices are composed of what meaning people ascribe to them. There are plenty of muslims who believes islam already promotes equality,peace,justice. Many muslims already think that a woman can go to school with whatever skirt she likes, many muslims believe what you call sexual apartheid is against their religion. Many muslims are not obsessed with people’s sexual lives or women’s existence in the society. Many muslims see faith as a personal issue and only focus on what they feel about it and live their faith as they like. I truly wish that those people will be shaping the future of islamic faith, and if you sincerely believe that a modern islam only lengthens the life-span of a backward belief system and your fight is to eradicate backwardness, I am willing to call myself anything but a muslim and fight with you. In the end only what “I” believe in matters not some stupid label.

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