Reza Aslan Quotes
But perhaps the most important innovation in the doctrine of jihad was its outright prohibition of all but strictly defensive wars. Fight in the way of God those who fight you, the Quran says, but do not begin hostilities; God does not like the aggressor (2:190). Elsewhere the Quran is more explicit: Permission to fight is given only to those who have been oppressed … who have been driven from their homes for saying, ‘God is our Lord’ (22:39; emphasis added).
In times of economic distress, it’s only natural for people – and Americans have done this for many years – to look for a scapegoat. Depending on where you live in this country, the scapegoats are either, frankly, Mexicans or Muslims. So, you know, God save you if you happened to be a Mexican Muslim in America right now.
As with all journeys, the Way has an end, though it should not be imagined as a straight road leading to a fixed destination but rather as a majestic mountain whose peak conceals the presence of God. There are, of course, many paths to the summit-some better than others. But because every path eventually leads to the same destination, which path one takes is irrelevant.
If you ask a Saudi Imam why women in Saudi Arabia can’t drive, he’ll say, ‘Because Islam demands it.’ But that’s absurd, because – first of all – Islam demands no such thing; and secondly, the only country in the world in which women can’t drive is Saudi Arabia. The inability to understand the difference between a cultural practice and religious belief is shocking among self-described intellectuals.