One of the curses befalling the muslims is the lack of culture and intellectual tradition that allow differences and disagreements. Partly this is due to the muslims disproportionate contribution to the number of dictators,despots and absolute monarchies and sultans.
The positions of muftis and mullahs were created to assist rulers to subjugate. Where the contentof the message could not be changed, they use the monopoly of its intrepretation to control the minds of those being ruled . Dissents are considered unislamic. The battle of for the minds of the masses is best reflected in the continuous political battle between the sunni and the shia. During the early years of the sunni versus shiaa, it has been reported that one hadith issued by the sunni will be followed by another hadith of rebuttal by a shia and vice versa.
The ability to resolve conflicts particularly those involving religion and politics do seem to be lacking and wanting.
There is this interesting book “The Ethics of Disagreement” by Taha jabir alAlwani. I find the works of this muslim scholar a worthy read . Intelectual and robust rather then the cut and paste approach we find in many. The cut and paste authors have only ghazali and bukhari and muslims to quote from . This an excerpt from the book
“Our crisis is in fact an intellectual one, and it is very serious. When intellectual activity and output in the Muslim world is sound and when the Muslim Ummah once again derives its fundamental and highest legitimacy for its existence from attachment to the Qur’an and the Sun nah, it will then be able to uphold the message of Islam and build a civilization despite the hardships and severity of our material circumstances. We are assured in the Qur’an that “with every difficulty there is ease” (94: 5). ”
One of the traditions we learn from the Western intellectual tradition is the ethics and culture of debating. We should encourage healthy and intellectual debate.