|It places an
intermediary between the soul and God, which is then used by various vested interests to
direct our faith not to God, but to their own dogmas and need to control the world.
Similarly the Hindu view, while honoring the books of the sages, never puts any holy book
as the last word that we must uncritically accept. Our own direct perception of truth is
made the highest authority.
Clearly the world
needs a more critical examination of Islam, both historically and ideologically. The
Islamic world stands where Christianity was in the Middle Ages, preventing anyone from
questioning its beliefs in a manner on par with the Inquisition, yet with the economic
power of billions of petrodollars. Religion should be objectively examined not only from
the light of reason, but also according to a dharmic or yogic view.
Such intellectual critiques were made of Christianity
several centuries ago. But Islamic society is not yet open to such self-examination.
Though a fatwa and death threat has been issued against him for his views, Anwar Shaikh
has invited Muslim scholars to debate freely with him whenever they like. So far no one
has taken up his challenge. Even if one does not agree with such critics as Shaikh, there
is no reason that their lives should be threatened because they question Islam.