I'm not one to insist that you must be muslim to discuss Islam, but most of the time when non-muslims do discuss Islam the result either provokes anger or amusement in the muslim observer. Which, is really the choice of the muslim observer in question. I've decided it's better for my long-term sanity to adopt the latter.
There are however times when someone makes what I consider an honest attempt at inquiry. One such is by a new jewish blogger, Dafydd ab Hugh, who makes an analogy to "Methodist" Islam. The comments devolved quickly into the usual jafi cesspool, despite a truly noble but ultimately failed attempt at restoring perspective by Dean Esmay.
I intended to leave a short comment, but am not keen on registering with TypeKey, so I'll just post my comment here and send a trackback ping. Basically, in a nutshell, Wahhabbism IS the Reformation of Islam, sort of - and we should be discussing an Islamic Rennaisance, not a Reformation, anyway.
Here are a number of posts from past archives, both here and at other sites, that I think are relevant to the discussion. I think that given how much attention has been paid to the question of an Islamic Reformation in the past by muslim and non-muslim bloggers alike, that reading these past discussions is really basic due diligence for someone honestly interested in the topic today.
Wahabism IS the Reformation?
A dialouge of unprovable assertions
Wahabis/Salafis Again (by Zack)
Note, Bill Allison took some exception to the Reformation/Wahabism analogy. He also has pointed out that the Reformation was NOT a "progressive" vision of faith (contrary to Dafydd's assertion). If anything, Luther sought a return to even stricter orthodoxy!
I also think that the recent Brass Crescent Links Roundup would be useful counterweight to the more hostile commentators at Dafydd's blog. And this little Primer on Islam post has even more linkage.
No I don't really expect the jafis among us to read let alone appreciate the nuances of these previous discussions. However, it may be useful to bring them to the fore, in terms of stimulating more honest inquiry. I hope that Dafydd at the very least takes an interest.
And you know what, as long as I'm plugging old stuff, here's one of my favorite posts: Islam and Freedom. Enjoy.
Note, Tarek Heggy is beginning a series on Islam at Winds Of Change that should at least be noted. I disagree with nearly all of his assumptions and postulates. I don't know if Heggy is mulsim or not and it's not really relevant, but figured I'd just mention it for completeness.