Editorial: "The Qur'an Offers Clues About 'Mosque and State'"

December 5, 2001

Source: Newsday

On December 5, 2001, Newsday featured an editorial by Hassan Zillur Rahim. He writes, "Western critics have raised certain questions about Islam in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack on America that call for soul-searching and thoughtful response by Muslims. Chief among them is the issue of 'mosque and state.' ... Traditional Muslim theologians have suggested an integration of the two. Modern Muslim men and women must revisit this view, and add to or amend it with their own knowledge and understanding." He continues, "American Muslims must take the lead in this effort, because in the United States we have more freedom and opportunity than Muslims in other parts of the world. In America, we need not fear fatwa (religious ruling) from anyone, and we can practice ijtihad (independent reasoning) to make the teachings of the Quran resonate with new meaning for modern times. We understand how an enlightened Islamic life is possible in a pluralistic society. We are informed by history, but are not hostage to it."