The Fabric of Belief

An article in VICE News reports that more than a hundred Muslim Scholars from around the world have made the ‘Theological Case’ against the Islamic State (IS, a.k.a. ISIS). In no uncertain words do the authors denounce IS(IS) as un-islamic.

While it is nice to finally have some muslims speak up against the horrendous atrocities committed in the name Allah, it is entirely pointless.

So a bunch of scholars have gotten together to interpret Quran and Hadith in a certain way in order to show ISIS that their interpretation is wrong. The problem is this: neither side can convincingly prove the other side is wrong – they have equal rights to claim that their interpretation is correct. Looking at the bloody history of religions, a case can be made that the more ruthless and bloody you are, the closer you are to scripture – and that is by no means limited to Islam. Furthermore, no holy Scripture has ever been shown to be ethically sufficient to pass a modern litmus test. A millennia old code of conduct simply can’t – no matter how much parsing is involved.

What we have here, essentially, is one group of courtiers lecturing another group of aristocrats on the correct way to embroider the emperor’s new robes.