Shari'a vs. Civilization
(Overwhelmed by the support I have received from readers in the Netherlands, I have decided to make this post in support of Geert Wilders [Thanks to GoV for the banner]. Hello to my Dutch readers from your Hindu friends in India. Let us fight side by side.)
Modern civilisation is based upon a few axioms. These are held as self-evident, and while not every society has been able to arrive at successful practice of them, most would agree with them in principle. These are:
1. Equality of all human beings in the eyes of the law. In particular, men and women are equal in the eyes of the law, and members of all religious groups are equal in the eyes of the law.
2. Freedom of beliefs in general, and religion in particular. A person is free to choose his beliefs, including her/his faith and the manner of her/his worship.
3. Freedom of expression and freedom to dissent. Freedom to intellectually scrutinize any doctrine, including a religious one.
4. Belief in democracy as the ideal mode of governance.
Once again, while no society has arrived at this perfect ideal in practice, most modern nations would agree to all four axioms in principle. There is one more axiom which is so basic that we usually no not even discuss it anymore and take it as assumed.
5. Emphatic and categorical rejection of the institution of slavery.
However, Islamic law (Shari'a) is categorically and emphatically opposed to ALL 5 axioms of modern civilization. Let us inspect each one in turn.
1. Shari'a law denies equality to women and to non-muslims. Both the Kuran and Hadith - the foundations of Shari'a law - assert that women are inferior to men, and this is reflected in Shari'a law. In particular, the testimony of a woman is worth only half of a man in a Shari'a court.
Similarly, since the Kuran and Hadith assert that "unbelievers" are not the equal of muslims in any manner, the testimony of a non-muslim is worth only half of a muslim.
Once again, this is not just the case with "radical Islamists", but has been agreed upon by all 4 schools of Sunni jurisprudence (Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali, Maliki) since their beginning.
2. While Islam exhorts all muslims to wage continuous war (Jihad) upon non-muslims in order to expand the Islamic state, Shari'a law does not allow any muslim to leave his faith. This includes someone who may have originally been of a different faith before converting to Islam, and now wants to return to her/his original faith. The penalty for a muslim who leaves Islam is death, according to all 4 schools of Sunni jurisprudence. This is based on numerous Hadith where either Muhammad directly says that those who leave Islam must be killed, or his close companions bear witness to him having said so. In several Hadith, this sentence is actually carried out (i.e., a former muslim is put to death, and this is recorded in the Hadith). Indeed, there is a Hadith which records the execution of such a person (who was originally Jewish, became muslim, and reverted to Judaism).
Shari'a law also does not give non-muslims the right to build or repair their places of worship. It does not allow idol worship as a means of worship, and generally approves of the demolition of the temples of anyone it considers "polytheist" or "idolator". This has been used to justify the destruction of literally thousands of Hindu temples all over India during the dark centuries of Islamic rule. Even today, strict implementations of shari'a law demolish idols, such as the Taliban's destruction of the centuries old Bamiyan Buddhas.
3. Shari'a does not allow any sort of open discussion of Islam. Islam is held to be a doctrine straight from Allah, binding upon humans for all time and in all places. Hence, criticism of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad is punishable by death. This is part of law even in countries that do not have full fledged Shari'a law, such as Pakistan. Under Pakistan's Tauheen-e-rasool (literally "disrespect of Prophet") act, any criticism of Muhammad is punishable with death. To my dutch readers: Theo Van Gogh's murderer was only doing this duty as a muslim and following the example of Muhammad who ordered the assassination of the aged poetess Asma Bint Marwan in 624AD. She was murdered in her sleep as her five children played nearby, all for merely criticizing Muhammad in her poetry. Islam does not tolerate criticism.
4. Shari'a is a strict alternative to democracy. In other words, Shari'a posits itself as a political system, and does not recognize the legitimacy of any other political system such as democracy. Every single school of Islamic jurisprudence says governance by Shari'a is the only acceptable form of Islamic government. Indeed, bringing about such governance by Shari'a law is considered the ultimate goal of the muslim "umma" (muslim nation). Democracy is categorically rejected as an acceptable system of governance. Almost every Islamist writing pours scorn on democracy and secularism as "western inventions" that are "contaminating the muslim ummah."
5. Islamic law consecrates slavery in a very central way - as the "war booty" of Islamic holy war (aka Jihad). All schools of Islamic jurisprudence say that it is the religious obligation of muslims to wage continuous war (Jihad) upon non-muslims and extend the boundaries of the Islamic state till all other religions are either extinguished or "subdued." Now what is to become of the defeated "Kafirs"? That is where Islam prescribes slavery, following the example of Muhammad. All schools prescribe the enslavement of the women and children of the Kafirs (and the killing of all males of fighting age, generally defined as males having pubic hair) captured after defeating non-muslims. The enslaved women become sexual property of their muslim masters, and all schools of Islam allow the masters to sexually possess them. The chronicles of muslim invaders of India such as Mohammed Bin Qasim, speak gloatingly of the tens of thousands of Hindus enslaved and dispatched "in installments" to Baghdad and Damascus, and thousands of Hindu women enslaved for sexual purposes.
One should not be fooled into thinking that the Islamists have relinquished such thinking. Recently a senior ideologue of the largest Islamist party in Pakistan - the Jamaat-i-Islaami - assured Pakistanis that once Hindu India is conquered, the Hindus will be enslaved and distributed among Pakistani muslims. The atrocities upon the Darfurites by muslim arabs also follows the Islamic blueprint for Jihad upon Kafirs to the word - a fact carefully hidden by the leftist media. The Darfurites are not "pure muslims" - following their animist beliefs alongside Islamic ones. Thus, they are kafirs and fit to be exterminated, enslaved, and raped. This is the underlying ideology of the genocide in Darfur. European readers will now understand why some of the muslims protesting the Danish cartoons would chant "we want your women as war booty", etc. Enslaving the women of infidels as "war booty" is a central tenet of the Islamic doctrine of war.
So Islamic Shari'a law is opposed to all five basic axioms of modern civilization as we know it. It is not a coincidence that Islamic societies "look very different" from free societies. I have not even gone into issues such as barbarity of punishments (such as stoning to death, chopping limbs etc. which are imposed under Shari'a law). I am speaking simply of the basic axioms that underlie modern human civilization and society and which mankind has generally come to agree upon, with the one exception of Islam. Islam rejects all these axioms. To accept any imposition of Shari'a law, no matter how "harmless" it is deliberately made to appear, would be tantamount to rolling back centuries of human civilisational progress. I particularly appeal to British readers of this blog to understand that by allowing even a mild form of Shari'a, they are allowing the imposition of a system that does not accept women and non-muslims as complete human beings and forever relegates them to a status between human and animal. Is this what Britain stands for these days? I am appalled. Please, my British readers, raise your voices now.
What I have written here is not something our venal politicians will openly state. But these are the issues we face today. In India, as evidenced by the Shah Bano case, politicians are only too eager to please their muslim vote banks by allowing limited forms of Shari'a. Shari'a law has been allowed in limited form in Britain - a startling new story in Europe's lack of will to stand up to this civilisational assault. The Indian media, in a characteristically spineless display, did not give any coverage to the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) posters saying "No to democracy, No to secularism, Yes to Shari'a" which appeared in many muslim localities of cities including Mumbai. Make no mistake - rejection of democracy and secularism, and their replacement by Shari'a, is core to Islamist teaching. It is up to honest intellectuals to inform the public about what Shari'a means.
It means the end of civilization as we know it.