Ignatius on Russian Meddling

Islam & Reformation

You often hear that Islam needs something like western Christianities Reformation.  This good article from The Atlantic disagrees.  It reminds us that the 16th century Ottoman Empire was more religiously tolerant than most of the European Christian states.  And its analysis is that the current state of the Muslim world is closer to that of post-Reformation Europe, when there has been great division leading to sectarian violence.  The article argues that what Islam needs is a John Locke or a Moses Mendelssohn, not a Martin Luther, its own version of the Enlightenment.

Here is the closing paragraph:

If the Protestant Reformation teaches us anything, it is that the road from religious fracturing to religious tolerance is long and winding. The Muslim world is somewhere on that road at the moment, and more twists and turns probably await us in the decades to come. In the meantime, it would be a mistake to look at the darkest forces within the current crisis of Islam and to arrive at pessimistic conclusions about its supposedly immutable essence.


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