A Catholic Islam.

Author:Reilly, John J.
Position::Correspondence - Letter to the Editor

In his useful essay, "Islamic Counter-Reformation" (August/September), Paul Marshall says that hoping for an "Islamic Reformation" makes little sense because Islam already has so many Protestant features. To that, I would add two points.

First, in The Decline of the West, Oswald Spengler claimed that Islam is a Reformation, or perhaps the Puritan phase of a Reformation, within what he called Magian culture. In this instance, old Oswald was on to something.

Second, Islam has already tried Mr. Marshall's suggestion of moving in a "Catholic" direction. Shia Islam (once a larger part of the Muslim world than it is today) already has a hierarchy and a "magisterium." As we see in the Islamic Republic of Iran, however, these features do not always serve to mitigate Jihadist tendencies.

John J. Reilly

Jersey City, New Jersey

Paul Marshall replies:

Since my article loosely applied the Christian...

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