This is very interesting, and something that really needs to be fearlessly embraced in my view. There is no reason for Muslims to fear for the essential principles of their faith in such a pursuit, even though it must be said that the status of the Qu’ran is even more critical in Islam than that of the Bible in Judaism and Christianity.
The author of that piece linked above is Alexander Stille. I am currently reading his The Future of the Past (2002), “a fascinating journey through Egypt, China, Sicily, Somalia, India, Madagascar.” This is a really wise book, if wisdom consists in the ability to get beyond ideological baggage and see ambiguities. As John Freeman says:
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