Moderate Muslims Call for Reformation of Islam

January 9, 2004

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0109/p01s04-wome.htm

On January 9, 2004 The Christian Science Monitor reported, "Khalid al-Ghannami and Mansour al-Nogaidan were once subversive sheikhs, religious leaders espousing the same tenets as Osama bin Laden and his acolytes. But they both embarked on spiritual journeys - separately - and now embrace a more moderate, inclusive view of Islam, and act as the most outspoken public boosters of religious reform in Saudi Arabia. In fact, they made 180-degree turns from far right to left, and now say they want a broad reformation of Islam, something akin to what they say John Calvin or Martin Luther kicked off in Christianity. That's no small quest in any part of the Muslim world, much less Saudi Arabia. The birthplace of Islam, Saudi Arabia adheres to a branch of the religion known to many people as Wahhabism, as well as tribal cultural traditions. The struggle over how to interpret Islam politically is not only important for Saudi Arabia, but for many foreign countries that receive billions of dollars in aid from Saudi Arabia - for building mosques, supplying Korans, and teaching their brand of Islam."