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Islam Is Islam Incompatible with Western Liberalism?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Gyani Jarnail Singh, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Hi friends,

    This speech was given by Homa, who was very active in the fight to
    keep Sharia law out of Canada. Due to that victory, Jewish and
    Catholic family arbitration in Ontario is now also under the civil
    domain.

    Please ignore the typos and misspellings as this was her own rough
    draft of the speech.

    Wish more 'Muslims' would open their eyes and their minds.

    homawpi@nosharia .com

    http://www.nosharia.com

    416-737-9500

    Feb 5,09

    Speech delivered at panel discussion entitled: "Islam is incompatible
    with Western Liberalism", hosted by Oxford Union, England, Feb 5th,
    09.

    I will start with practical aspect of Islam to prove Islam is
    incompatible with the norm and values of the liberal democracy and
    leave out the theory part. Since there are countless scholars sitting
    on benches of universities, in on-going meetings, and conferences
    globally working on that part. For this purpose I will focus on
    reactionary rules of Islam on individuals, in particular children and
    women .I will then discuss the limitation and restrains that this
    religion put on freethinkers and seekers of freedom of expression to
    prove that liberation or moderation in Islam is nothing but a utopia.

    In Islam individuals have no rights or dignity, Islam identifies
    people and individuals by their religion: Non-Muslim and Muslim. This
    is a concept that cannot fit to any of modern definitions of
    citizenship. No civil society can function based on such defining
    identity. Dividing the society based on such clear-cut identity
    ultimately creates a society based on discrimination or ghettos. The
    legal aspect of such a division is beyond comprehension. Identifying
    groups of people or a country by their religion by default would mean
    denial of individual's right and dignity, to place collective
    "minority rights" above individual rights".

    Women in Islam are degraded totally as individuals, and are treated as
    slaves. Their position in society is worse than their position in
    family settings. They are considered either as the daughter of a male,
    or a wife of a male. She would need that male's permission to travel,
    to work, to rent a place and study; without that permission she is
    denied all her rights as a human being. She is fully responsible to
    honour her family by keeping her virginity or else she deserves death
    by honour killing. She must be submissive and allow the male of the
    family, father, brother, uncle or grandfather, to find her a husband.
    In some cases when they can not find a husband for the oldest daughter
    she will be forced to accept a temporary marriage contract (Sigheh),
    as short as one hour. Formation of a Haramsara: keeping as many wives
    as possible in one place, or what is now known as Polygamy which is
    marriage of one man with more than one woman. Child bride as young as
    9 years to men as old as her grandfather, are all proofs that Islam
    is incompatible with the Western liberation.

    Some might argue this is not Islam. These are done by way of culture.
    This can be a moderate argument. But my question is who is going to
    separate these? Where is the line? In reality the ones who are strong
    believers of Islam practice this culture. Even in heart of England
    under the name of freedom of religion, in so-called Muslim communities
    women and girls are being physically abused, forced to marry, deprived
    of their individual rights.

    I wonder if the ones who believe Islam is compatible with modern
    civilization can distinguish the difference between civil and criminal
    matters when a so-called Islamic husband beats his wife or daughter.
    Do you consider this act as a crime or a civil matter? How about
    child-marriage? Do you consider it as a crime or religious obligation
    of a religious father? How about forcing a child to have Hijab and
    depriving girls of interacting freely with others and enjoying sports,
    music and dance? Do you consider it as negligence and child abuse or
    is it a family matter and freedom of practicing their minority rights,
    their religion?

    In Islam, freethinking is a sin deserving of punishment. In reality,
    all religions are such, but most religions have been restrained by
    freethinking and freedom-loving humanity over hundreds of years. Islam
    was never restrained. Islam as a political movement can work as a
    killing machine without any remorse and this is what humanity has
    experienced throughout history and still suffers. Islam as a religion
    cannot be compatible with modernism. Islam cannot tolerate any
    criticism; and its critics will face death by Fatwa like Salman
    Rushdie, or will be assassinated in public so that others will learn
    their lesson like Van Gogh. Announcing Holly War against people who
    oppose Islamic views is another reason for Islam to stay incompatible
    to western values and liberation. Physical punishment is promoted
    throughout all its verses of Koran. It applies to everyone: to the
    people who convert to other religions, to the ones who criticize Allah
    or Mohammed, to disobedient women, to women who are involved in
    adultery. The list goes on and on.

    I question the ones who believe Islam is compatible to the Western
    civilization. Please for a moment picture women, children, gays and
    lesbians being hung on cranes for just practicing their private
    individual civil rights. Would you still say Islam is compatible with
    Western values?

    On the question of liberation or moderation of Islam, I must say in
    reality no theology has ever been liberated. Theology is the
    antithesis of liberation, regardless of whether it is Christianity,
    Buddhism or Islamic. It is like saying librating slavery or librating
    fascism. Slavery needed to be demolished so that universal rights of
    all individuals could be gained. The influential leaders of the
    Abolition Movement of slavery never demanded reform in slavery, never
    attempted to moderate slavery! Instead they fought to demolish
    slavery totally and indeed that was the only way to get liberated from
    slavery.

    Centuries ago Christianity was defeated in a great confrontation as
    you all know; Europe was the centre of the struggle against it.
    Intellectual giants stood up to the powerful church, they criticized
    superstition scientifically and philosophically and managed to educate
    all members of society. As the result Christianity was pushed back to
    its right place but never liberated, in fact Religion became private
    matter of individuals. Once religion was separated from state,
    humanity slowly but surly became immune of religious aggression and
    its dogmatism.

    But Islam has never been challenged. There has not been a powerful
    political and philosophical anti-Islamic movement that could be turned
    into a historical achievement. Instead the Western governments lifted
    it during the cold war in confrontation with the Soviet Union. Taliban
    were armed to their teeth and unleashed to do all they can against
    this so-call enemy of humanity, so Islam rose as a political movement
    and had ambition for political power. It recruited its Man Power (army
    of God) through Islamization and of course Koran has enough material
    to serve this purpose. All religious dogma, and ceremonies, all forms
    of religious activities that were incompatible with people's civil
    rights and liberties once more under the flag of Sharia law were
    raised.

    It gave every right to its true practitioners to impose the
    oppressive rules of Islam on people in a brutal manner: be it throwing
    acid on unveiling women, or beheading sex workers after raping them,
    to call for Fatwa against people who challenge Islamic views.
    Execution, dismembering (chopping hands and taking eyes out), death by
    stoning, bloodshed and even assault on children were ruled as a
    punishment of a crime in relation to blasphemy and rubbery.

    With the rise of political Islam the general outlook of society has
    shifteddrastically not only in the regions run by Islamic state but
    also onthe global scale.

    Just because the leaders of this political move want
    their share, they want recognition. They want more power not only in
    Iran, Palestine and Afghanistan. They want their share in the heart of
    the West too. Islamists would not hesitate to do anything in order to
    push back its oppositions and gain recognition by the governments in
    the West. To them recognition from the Western governments can be
    achieved through terrorizing people by implanting bombs in the busiest
    streets, cinemas, subway stations, hospitals and schools and also by
    creating a parallel power structure "Sharia Court" within the
    surrounding societies. No doubt humanity suffered a great deal and
    will feel the pain for many years to come but one can not say what is
    happening today is a 'Clash of Civilization'.

    The courses of political events in various countries during and after
    the Cold War from Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Somalia and the
    Soviet states can only be evaluated as a power struggle between two
    forces. One being the force for secularism, and the other the force of
    political Islam, not the clash of civilization as Huntington suggests.

    In regards to the question about the battle against Islam and
    religion, that is being raised, in Iran and its comparison with the
    European struggle against religion.

    I must emphasize, what has happened in Iran under the Sharia law, from
    enforcing sexual apartheid to mass execution, has built a constant
    confrontation between Islam and people. What we are witnessing in Iran
    today is a growing movement against Islam, in particular political
    Islam.

    People witness the direct implementation of Islam on their
    lives. People are well aware that what really happened in Iran,
    Afghanistan, Algeria, and Nigeria was the rule of true Islam. People
    in Iran do not believe in moderating Islam. They are uprising against
    the roles of Allah. In various cities and provinces of Iran, veils
    which are the symbol and flag of Islam and its holly books, were put
    to fire. People have been resisting the compulsory Hijab and some
    faced harsh punishments as the result, 100 slashes in public and long
    term imprisonment, some lost their lives.

    All these daily struggles of enlightenment against Islam show the
    significant struggle for De-Islamisation. I strongly believe people
    in Iran soon will liberate themselves from Islam. And of course some
    are rushing to save Islam
    from falling, the notion of moderating or Librating Islam rose when
    people put the veils on fire, when people were resisting God's rules
    and regulation.

    Khatemi and Refsanjani are both well known as leaders of political
    Islam, both became presidents of the Islamic state in Iran. During
    their presidency they became the cause of all inhuman attacks against
    humanity. When they saw veils on fire at demonstrations and riots,
    they too rushed to save Islam, and over one night they became
    reformists and defenders of the moderation of Islam.

    The advocator of these notions claim: what takes place under the name
    of Islam has nothing to do with Islam but is the result of
    mis-interpretations of the Koran. I believe the Advocators of
    Moderating Islam are trying to pave the way for oppressive and
    historically backward slavery culture, to continue its existence.
    People are well aware that Islam has no place in modern society.

    The ones who insist that Islam can be modernized are the ones who
    want to
    maintain their religion and its survival. Slavery could never become
    modernized. One can argue that if Islam allows a woman to go to school
    with a knee-length skirt or to become a judge or a member of
    parliament as long as she does not speak of her sexuality then Islam
    is modern. This, of course is their view of liberation, which is a
    century away of what I call liberation. To make my point clear Islam
    or any other religion cannot be forced upon people. The society, just
    like any other form of life is ever evolving and changing in order to
    survive. Any ideology that is put forth to restrict that evolution
    cannot work as it goes against the very nature of existence.

    In response of the question of 'would Islamic teaching and Sharia law
    be tolerated in a liberal society?' I would like to draw your
    attention to the recent victory in Canada against Sharia Court and
    faith based arbitration. The movement of secularism under the banner
    of "One Law for All", rose in confrontation against Sharia Court and
    managed to gain separation of religion from the justice system, no
    more faith based arbitration. I am certain Sharia law or any religious
    laws and regulations will not be tolerated any more, not in our modern
    society.

    The movement of secularism has over 100 years of history.
    This is a movement for separation of religion from state. This
    movement is for the universal rights of women and children. It is for
    "One Law for all" and that is progressive and modern law. It is for
    one system of education, one system of court. This movement aims to
    bring about the civil rights and equality of all. The fact that people
    demonstrated before the Canadian embassies in England, France,
    Germany, Netherlands, Holland and Sweden, and chanted "no to Sharia
    Court , no to faith based arbitration", proves that Sharia law and
    regulation will not be tolerated. This Victory in Canada can only be
    described as a conscious voice of people who do not want the
    interference of religion in state, simply because they are well aware
    of religious aggression, people would not allow history to repeat
    itself. No, they are not going back

    "Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy the
    interposition of a deity...it is more humble and I believe truer to
    consider him created from animals" (Charles Darwin)
     
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  3. pk70

    pk70
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    SPN Sangat ji
    It is a truth, better face it. In real Islamic law, there is no place for liberalism or moderate concept of human rights etc. The Muslims, who claim to be liberals and moderates, could be torn into pieces if they go to live in the countries where this Islamic Law is enforced. All scholars considered to be moderate have failed to put a dent in the authoritarian thought empowered by Islamic religious scriptures. Islam would always, therefore, remain in collision with all modern thinking and all other faiths without hope of any reconciliation what so ever.
     
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  4. Amarpal

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    Dear Khalsa Ji,

    By itself, no religion is bad. It is how the followers practice it that makes the difference.

    Where there is poverty, the same religion becomes dogmatic and cruel. Where there is affluence and education the same religion become liberal.

    Islam is one of the very ancient religion. It is a religion which has protected the rights of women. Even today, muslim women in India are healthier tham the non muslim women; the blood count of muslim women, on the average is better than their non muslim counterparts. Killing or aborting a feamale child in muslim family, I have not heard about. The sex ratio in muslim community in India is much better than we Sikhs.

    True, literacy level is low in Muslim population of India, there are non-religious historic reasons for it. But things are changing now for the better.

    Ther is social awareness in them, during the Id festival that followed terrorist attack in Mumbai, muslims in India participated in the festival is a very subdued manner, wearing black band. Is this not a good sign? They felt one with India, even the Govt of Saudi Arabia supported India, their very senior minister came to convey the feeling to our Govt.

    We should not keep the historical blinds on or work with mental block from the past. We cannot go back in time and create a desirable present, but we can make a new and good beginning now to create a lovely future.

    We must give future some chance.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal Singh
     
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  5. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Just like culture's are different Religion's too are different Wecan't say all religions are good


    Not True Middle East do not have much poverty Infact most of the funds for terrorism comes from them

    Islam is the religion That oppressed the women most.Women hardly have any rights in it

    High Sex ratio does not mean that condition of women is good.Many women right's activists
    have raised issue that by only forcing people to have girls is not solution.First make the girl child wanted.By having more girls and then treating them bad One cannot claim the condition of women is better

    Saudi arabia is biggest source of terror funds they don't even allow non muslim's to worship in their country

    one should not ignore history.India was divided in 2 countries which became 3 .2 have muslim majority and what is the condition of non muslims their?In bangladesh alone population of hindu's declined from 22.7% in 1951 to current 8.5%.pakistan very few hindu' sikhs left.History have shown us that where ever muslim rule started the population of non muslim's declined and ultimately vanished
     
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  6. pk70

    pk70
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    It is nice to have hope and nice dreams, though very seldom they materialize; I had my share.
    Muslims I socialized with here in US, a few of them were very nice people, actually better than so called Sikhs who talk against them; however, this is what they feel when they disclose in whispering , “Singh ji if we go back to our country and live the way we live here, we will be persecuted .. " That is the truth though hard to swallow for those who seek harmony in the world. Many liberal Muslim Scholars have been trying to change the impression of Islam especially with Sufism inclination, now question is this, how far they are successful?
    I have stopped looking at people as Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims or Christian but human beings with different views and beliefs; I feel, there is a reason why people believe and think different way, in other words it is HIS Ordinance.
     
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  7. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    These so called liberal muslims are more interested in pointing fingers at other religions and demanding more rights for muslims in non muslim countries.They speak with with their loud voice when there is discrimination against muslims in Non muslim countries But for muslim countries they hardly say anything to change their laws or give more rights to minorities.I have never seen any news about muslim clerics criticising or demonstration by muslims against Saudi Arabia for rights of non muslims.Sometimes I feel they are silently supporting saudi laws
     
  8. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Basically.."What I have is MINE....Now give ME whats YOURS so that I can make it MINE"
    Each and every country that has a Mulsim minority..has an ongoing "revolution..battleground..unrest..demonstrations...under various conditions etc.. for "restoration of the rights of the muslim MINORITY".... Phillipines..Thailand..Burma...UK..USA..Canada..many many others....BUT where there are Muslim MAJORITIES...total silence on non-mulsim minority rights... WHY ?? Pakistan..Bangladesh..Saudi Arabia..Kuwait..Dubai..etc etc...
    Perception....and the Islamics have to work hard to change the world's perception OR really demonstrate equality...:)
     
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  9. Amarpal

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    Dear Khalas Ji,

    Most of the ancient religions are like that only. i will now take some of the lines from the original articale as posted here and speak.

    'In Islam individuals have no rights or dignity, Islam identifies
    people and individuals by their religion'


    The dominat religion of India too divide people based on caste. The previlages are graded according to the caste; the lowest one are relegated almost to animal kingdom. The other religions are also treated similarly. In many of their temples I cannot enter as Sikh. President of India. a Sikh could not visit a temple in Kerala due to this reason. Shrimati Indira Gandhi, then prime minister of India was refused entry into temple at Puri, she went to court and won the right to enter the same. Ancient religions are like that only.


    Women in Islam are degraded totally as individuals, and are treated as slaves. Their position in society is worse than their position in family settings. They are considered either as the daughter of a male, or a wife of a male


    This is the case with the ancient religion of India. Even Indian constitution also supports it. Women, as per 'Laws of Manu' based on which the sociology of the said religion works, has no right. They are treated as the lowest of the lowly class. Some time back court in India ordered a woman, who was living with another man, to go back to her husband, not because her womanhood was getting violated but because the rights of her husband were getting infringed. Woman as per Indian legal enactments i.e. the marriage code of the said religion does not consider woman as independent entity; she is some male's, wife, daughter,or sister. Ancient religions are like that only.


    Physical punishment is promoted throughout all its verses of Koran


    Similar methods are prescribe in Laws of Manu' also. In case any woman or lower caste person tries to hear the verses from Vedas, boiling oil was supposed to be poured in both of her or his ears. Ancient religions are like that only. This even exist today: to a post graduate Brahimin person I taked about a audio CD on which 'Gayatri Mantra' is recoded 108 times. I was told by him that this is against their religion ans women are not allowed to hear Vedic Chants. Ancient religions are like that only.


    In the original articale under reference, if you replace the word Islam by some other ancient religion, mostly, it will apply. What i donot feel very happy with is that the west is Targetting Islam. It will do lot better if they look into their own religion and bring it to conform to the western liberal values. They say that their Prophet was to only son of God. They say that woman was made from the rid of the man, while the science just proves the opposite i.e. the male is modification of female.

    It is my opinion that Khalsa Panth should read but donot get involved in such observation. We our selves have to do a lot to spread Sikhi among ourselves.


    Remember: When we start lookink for defects in others we forgo our power to discover ourselves and thus loose the power to change.


    It is good to know about all these. One must keep in mind that we too have come out of one of such religion which our ancesters were practicing. There is a possibility that we too may have some of such tendencies hidden in us which come to the fro when we are streessed by circumstances. It will help if we can identify this and rectify the same to evolve as a better Sikh and a better Human


    With love and respect for all.


    Amarpal Singh
     
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  10. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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  11. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Its true that Hindu's divided people on the basis of caste but they have accepted this fault
    Though it will take time to eradicate caste mentality of Indians.Also hindu's are not implementing Laws of manu smriti or demanding That laws of manu smriti should be imposed.It is muslims that always demand that sharia laws should be imposed

    Again I am saying reforms took place and are still taking place.Hindu women now don't sati themselve though there are 1-2 cases that could be heard.On the other hand In saudi Arabia Women still cannot drive cars.where are the reforms?

    Many of the feminists movement started in west.How many women liberation movement started in islamic countries?
     
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  12. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Guru Teg bahadur Ji said all these things and many more to Aurengzeb.... There was a long long discourse in which Aurengzeb tried to convince Guru Ji to convert to Islam..accept the superiority of Islam...etc etc..Guru Ji told him..Far from there being ONLY ONE "true" religion..there will soon be One more...The Khalsa...in addition to Islam and Hinduism
    Guru Ji still lost his head...because Aurengzeb had the power to remove it...and he miused it to the hilt....
    Yes we can say all these nice things.....brotherly things..peace and respect...love..etc etc...BUT it takes the other side to accept/appreciate...otherwise....we too lose our heads..IF we make the mistake of taking it at face value when the other side has no such equally noble intention....Bhai Khaniya...showed one side...anyone knows of a representative from the other side that can compare with Bhai Khaniya Ji....i will appreciate the name...

    2. The SGGS openly DECLARES brotherhood of Man..equality of sexes.. caste less society....etc etc..even though SIKHS may not be following the SGGS to the Letter. In this case the SGGS CANNOT be faulted on even a single account...no hatred..no oppression..no discrimination... etc is encouraged via SGGS...ALL there is is LOVE LOVE LOVE ..and MORE LOVE....there is no need to "change" or alter any tuk of SGGS.....that may be found incompatible with modern world society standards SIMPLY BECAUSE THERE IS NO SUCH INCOMPATIBILITY...BUT can the same be said of the other holy books ??
     
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  13. Amarpal

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    Dear kds1980 Ji,

    When Indian constitution and earlier the ligel enactments were frame by British, Laws of Manu were the main laws that influenced their formulation. It is because of this that women do not have an identity of their own. You may refer the book 'The :aws of Manu' a penguin classic publication

    When already what they wanted is largely provided, why will they ask for it.

    With love and respect for all.

    Amarpal Singh
     
  14. Questioner

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    kds1980 WERE U DROPPED ON UR HEAD AS A CHILD? IF NOT THEN BACK UP UR CLAIMS WITH SOMETHING IMPORTANT... EVIDENCE!!! I FEEL NOTHING BUT HATE AND RESENTMENT COMING FORTH FROM UR HIGHLY UNINTELLECTUAL EXPRESSION ON ISLAM. I'D DEBATE U BUT JUDGING FROM UR LEVEL OF EXPERTISE IN THE FIELD, I DECLINE. FOR THE SAKE OF PEACE, PLEASE, GIVE IT A REST.

    Questioner ji

    You have some very intuitive contributions and SPN hopes that you will continue to contribute in this way. But please observe forum rules at the same time. The use of capital letters makes it look like you are shouting at us. And it is not acceptable to speak to kds ji as you have. Please consider my remarks a friendly but firm warning. Thank you, aad0002
     
  15. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Point out what is hate in my posts and then I will reply to you
     
  16. Questioner

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    there is so much rubbish being posted by ignorant individuals. if u like what they say then keep believing the hype, but if u want truth then delve a little deeper. lets focus on the definition of what western liberalism actually is??? anyone know?
     
  17. spnadmin

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    Questioner ji

    Without specific examples of statements you object to nothing can be discussed. Without those examples all a forum member can do is make a guess as to what it is that he/she said that is bothersome to you. If someone asks for specifics and then your response is another accusation without those specific points, then the conversation can't go forward. Please make an attempt to be responsive. Then the discussion will be a true exchange of opinions and points of view. Thanks
     

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