After the dramatic, topsy-turvy political inversions of 2017, all bets are on the table. Could we see a moderate Islam revolt against the 7th century barbarism that Islamists see in their holy scriptures? If they do, and only a person who was comatose for the last couple of years would be so foolish as to suggest it’s impossible, my first questions are: what do we get in its place? Can there be such a thing as “moderate, inclusive Islam?”

Well, Judaism did it, Christianity did it, so hypothetically speaking, Islam could as well. The daunting obstacle, in my view after years of studying Muslim scriptures, is that a moderate but pure form of Islam can only emerge after a cauterising fire has cut the Qur’an to about a quarter of its current length, and the canonised texts read alongside the Qur’an are revised so strictly that they’ll hardly be recognisable to the broad mass of contemporary Muslims.

Truly, if that happens, I might be tempted to believe in miracles

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