City of Brass

City of Brass

Qur’anist reformers under persecution in Egypt

There is a school of Islamic interpretation called Qur’anism that I hadn’t heard of before, which adopts a Qur’an-centric approach to religious practice with a liberal mindset towards reform and political freedom. Naturally, they are being persecuted for it – even in Egypt:

Many Americans do not realize that there is a war being
waged in Egypt against Muslim reformers. These reformers call
themselves “Koranists” because they focus solely on the Koran and
advocate a modern interpretation of Islam that rejects Shariah law.

These self-declared leaders of the “Islamic Reformation” number in
the thousands and are connected globally through the Internet. For
nearly a decade, as this movement has gained momentum, they have come
under increased attack from the Egyptian government for their religious
ideas. Al Azhar University, which is based in Cairo and is the leading
center for conservative Sunni learning in the world, has rejected the
views of the Koranists and has sought to systematically dismantle the


There is an interesting and vibrant discussion on the topic of Qur’anism over at Talk Islam, including some actual Qur’anists themselves. It is a great debate to gain insight into some of the variety of religious thought within Islam, since the audience at Talk Islam is quite diverse.

  • Jonah Talley

    Really awesome post. Really..

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