But are they?
An excerpt from the article:
n Afghanistan, 300 brave women marched to demand a measure of equal rights, defying a furious mob of about 1,000 people who spat, threw stones and called the women “whores.” The marchers asserted that a woman should not need her husband’s consent to go to school or work outside the home.
In Pakistan, the Taliban flogged a teenage girl in front of a crowd, as two men held her face down in the dirt. A video shows the girl, whose “crime” may have been to go out of her house alone, crying piteously that she will never break the rules again.
Muslim fundamentalists damage Islam far more than any number of Danish cartoonists ever could, for it’s inevitably the extremists who capture the world’s attention. But there is the beginning of an intellectual reform movement in the Islamic world, and one window into this awakening was an international conference this week at the University of Notre Dame on the latest scholarship about the Koran.
“We’re experiencing right now in Koranic studies a rise of interest analogous to the rise of critical Bible studies in the 19th century,” said Gabriel Said Reynolds, a Notre Dame professor and organizer of the conference.
And a comment from a reader:
"Absolutely, but note that there is an increasingly large number of "Christians" in the US (and I suppose elsewhere) who decry biblical scholarship as the work of the Devil. They prefer charismatic, uneducated leaders who will open the book to whatever page comes up, read the text that God points their finger to, and lead off from there, as they believe they are then hearing the Word of God, and these people are as increasingly intolerant of any religious views differing from their own as anyone in the Taliban or any other fundamentalist religious group is."
What do you think?