Mustansir Mir, writes of Those Intrinsic Intellectuals in the Islamic World. He discusses the inability of the traditionalists and modernists within Islam to enter into any sort of dialogue:
Attempts have no doubt been made to heal this rift between the traditionalists and the modernists. But so far they have not borne fruit. Their rejection of each other is almost total. The traditionalist thinks that he has nothing to do with what he dubs irreligious and immoral modernism. He, therefore, rejects it with completeness worthy of his blind dogmatism. The modernist, on the other hand, looks down upon all tradition as the principal cause of backwardness and misery. And so he spurns it with a perversely rigid attitude.
The traditionalist is mistaken because he fails to appreciate the true nature of the modern challenge. The modernist falls into error because he fallaciously thinks that anything rooted in the past is antiquated. The traditionalist blames modernism for having weaned Muslims from Islam, their mainstay, while the modernist accuses traditionalism of making the disastrous attempt of putting the clock back. The two are not prepared to listen to each other because each thinks he is in the exclusive possession of the truth. So while things stand as they do, it is well nigh impossible to affect a compromise between the two parties. And, one is disposed to think, even if some kind of compromise were affected, it would be no more than a patchwork, with the fate of a patchwork.
His solution is a pipe dream of a new intellectual class that is more knowledgeable than the traditionalists but more modern in their approach.... The sad thing is nothing in the middle currently exists. How many from the extremes will move to the center??? Not many I fear.