Andrew McCarthy proposes that we start asking politicians whether or not they think Islam needs reform. McCarthy's a thoughtful guy, and he has a point, but he hasn't reflected philosophically on the question. What does it even mean to ask "Does Islam need reform"? Islam is a religion. A religion either points to the true ground of the divine or it does not. If it does, then what sense is there to reform it? The structure of right and wrong, whatever it looks like, follows from the divine expression.
If it does not, then of course it ought to be reformed -- which is not to say that "it" needs reform. A religion that does not point to the divine is just a set of conventions, and a set of conventions has no needs. It's just something people do. People have needs. A longing for the divine is one of those needs for many people.
So the question really ought to be, "Do you think Islam is true?"
And, then, only if they answer in the negative, the second question is, "How should Muslims reform their faith so that they do in fact genuinely connect with the divine?"
Now, the proper thing to say about the second question is that anyone who is not a Muslim can only have an advisory opinion. We're not going to be the ones reforming Islam -- we're just going to be giving advice about it. Of course, what I said before holds for these. Even Muslims who want to reform Islam must first reject that it correctly captures the divine expression. They also must first admit, however tacitly, that they do not in fact believe what is taught by their faith.
The first question is the one that matters. It's only even sensible to talk about reform if you deny that Islam is true. Saying that has consequences we should face honestly.