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Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:02 pm
by The Cat
Is Islam compatible with Democracy?

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2007/ ... cracy.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
When we elect people to important positions, we want them to take care of our interests, not ephemeral “global interests.” How can we rely on the people entrusted to work for us if they openly state that they don’t feel any loyalty towards our country? According to British philosopher Roger Scruton, members of our liberal elite may be immune to xenophobia, but there is an equal fault which they exhibit in abundance, which is oikophobia, the repudiation and fear of home....

For this democratic process to work there has to be a loyalty and identity that precedes political allegiance. We must have a community that has primary common interests. This has no real counterpart in Islamic countries, where the ideal is the global Ummah and the Caliphate. Concepts such as the nation state or territorial integrity have no equivalent in Islamic jurisprudence, which helps explain why democracy is so hard to establish in Muslim countries.

Scruton notes, however, that the Western personal state is now under pressure from two directions. Supranational institutions are destroying the sense of membership from above, while massive immigration without assimilation is destroying it from below. The European Union, among others, “is rapidly destroying the territorial jurisdictions and national loyalties that have, since the Enlightenment, formed the basis of European legitimacy, while putting no new form of membership in their place.” And although it makes sense for individuals travelling from Third World countries to settle in the West, they may thus unwittingly contribute to destroying what they came to enjoy the benefits of in the first place:

“The political and economic advantages that lead people to seek asylum in the West are the result of territorial jurisdiction. Yet territorial jurisdictions can survive only if borders are controlled. Transnational legislation, acting together with the culture of repudiation, is therefore rapidly undermining the conditions that make Western freedoms durable.”

Scruton raises some difficult questions: Does globalization make it easier for Muslims to realize the idea of a global Islamic community, which has always been an ideal but far from a practical reality? Does it also put pressure on the territorial integrity of coherent nation states? If so, does globalization strengthen Islam while it weakens Western democracy? These questions are difficult to think about, but for the sake of survival we need to ask them and find an honest answer.....

This dilemma can be solved by stating the following: Our goal is not democracy in itself, meaning elections and one man one vote, but freedom of conscience and speech, respect for property rights and minorities, the right to bear arms and self-defense, equality before the law and the rule of law - and by that I mean secular law - in addition to such principles as formal constraints on the power of the rulers and the consent of the people. Free elections may be a means of achieving this end, but it is not the end in itself. We shouldn’t confuse the tools with the primary goal.

Two central concepts in sharia are the notions of “blasphemy” and “apostasy,” both incurring the death penalty. These laws are incompatible with the ancient Western ideas of freedom of conscience and of speech. Thus, sharia is anathema to the goals of democracy. Sharia is also hostile to equality before the law, since Islamic law is based on the fundamental inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims, men and women, free men and slaves. Moreover, it does not provide any protection for minorities, since non-Muslims are supposed to be unarmed and their lives and property subject to the whims of Muslims at any given moment.....

According to Salim Mansur, associate professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, “Democracy is in a cultural sense an expression of the liberal modern world that situates the individual as the moral center of politics and society. (…) It is the idea of the inalienable rights located in the individual, rights that need to be protected, nurtured, and allowed the fullest unhindered expression that makes democracy so morally distinctive from other cultural systems. From this liberal perspective, the common error about democracy is to view it as a majority system of governance. In a democracy based on individual rights, on the contrary, it is the protection of the rights of minorities and dissidents that reflect the different nature of politics within the larger context of democratic culture.”........

One great obstacle to establishing democracy in this cultural sense in Muslim countries is that Muslims have been taught from birth that non-Muslims can’t be expected to enjoy the same kind of rights as Muslims do. (...) As Ali Sina says, “According to this hierarchy (blood money), a Muslim man’s life is worth 33 times that of a Hindu woman. This hierarchy is based on the Islamic definition of human rights and is rooted in the Quran and Sharia (Islamic law). How can we talk of democracy when the concept of equality in Islam is inexistent?”
That's the bottom line...

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:50 am
by CuteCoot
The Cat wrote:
According to Salim Mansur ...
Mansur is a devout Muslim who clearly understands and supports true democracy. He's not an Islamist or mainstream Muslim though he is simply a Sunni and not, for example, a Sufi or Ismaili. Not all Muslims are alike.

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:25 am
by The Cat
Salim Mansur is an Ismaili according to this article...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salim_Mansur" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Mansur has been accused by Canadian Islamic Congress of using "provocative, self-serving rhetoric", and for "promoting an anti-Arab and anti-Muslim agenda". He is an Ismaili Muslim.

At a press conference on October 2, 2008, Mansur stated that "Islam is my private life, my conscience...[but] my faith does not take precedence over my duties...to Canada and its constitution, which I embrace freely;" "I am first and most importantly a Canadian;" "only in a free society will you find Islam as a faith and not a political religion." Mansur also criticized New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton, whom Mansur said "has gone to bed with Islamists", because he is running candidates in Ontario and Quebec who are closely identified with the push for Sharia law.
Sounds like he's either using taqiyya or that his stances do not represent Islam at all.

So the question remains: Is ISLAM compatible with Democracy?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_democracy" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
If democracy is for the people, of the people and by the people, Islam prohibits many areas on which these fundamentals can not be practised. In Islam only God reserves the right to make laws while in democracy people make laws. As these are exact opposites of each other democracy (as understood in West) is incompatible with Islam. This prohibition of Law making by people is reiterated in many verses from Quran,

"Do they then seek the legislation of (the Days of) Ignorance? And who is better in legislating than God for a people who have Faith." [5:50]

"And whoever rules not by what God has revealed, those are the wrongdoers." [5:45]

"The rule is only for God." [12:40]

"And He (God) allows none to share in his rule." [18:26]
Some Muslims will argue back with the Koranic concept of 'consultation' as written in 3.159: ''It was by the mercy of Allah that thou wast lenient with them (O Muhammad), for if thou hadst been stern and fierce of heart they would have dispersed from round about thee. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs. And when thou art resolved, then put thy trust in Allah.....''

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:09 am
by CuteCoot
The Cat wrote:Salim Mansur is an Ismaili according to this article...
Anyone can write any old BS in a wikipedia article. No citation, no credibility.
Sounds like he's either using taqiyya or that his stances do not represent Islam at all.
Mansur is the first to acknowledge that his understanding of Islam is not mainstream, certainly not in the Arab and Middle Eastern world. His understanding of Islam is more typical of the Indian subcontinent and neighbouring regions, even into Afghanistan. That's where he's from himself (India, Bangladesh).

Daniel Pipes also argues that Islam is or can be compatible with democracy. Barry Rubin is another who sees Islam as capable of shedding Islamism. So it's not an isolated view.

Some Muslim apologists use taqiyya but it's pretty evident if you read enough of their writings. Mansur is very straight up and never takes an apologist stance. Islam is a private faith for him and that's that. Like Zuhdi Jasser for the US, Mansur is grateful to Canada for allowing him the freedom to hold to his own Islam. This freedom would be denied him in many Muslim countries.

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:15 pm
by The Cat
CuteCoot wrote: Daniel Pipes also argues that Islam is or can be compatible with democracy. Barry Rubin is another who sees Islam as capable of shedding Islamism. So it's not an isolated view.
Well, Daniel Pipes argued that Islam -without the Shariah- would be compatible. But is this realist?



http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blog ... exist.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
To render Islam consistent with democratic ways will require profound changes in its interpretation. For example, the anti-democratic law of Islam, the Shari'a, lies at the core of the problem. Developed over a millennium ago, it presumes autocratic rulers and submissive subjects, emphasizes God's will over popular sovereignty and encourages violent jihad to expand Islam's borders. Further, it anti-democratically privileges Muslims over non-Muslims, males over females and free persons over slaves. For Muslims to build fully functioning democracies, they basically must reject the Shari'a's public aspects. Turkey's first president Mustafa Ataturk frontally did just that in his country, but others have offered more subtle approaches. Mahmud Muhammad Taha, a Sudanese thinker, dispatched the public Islamic laws by fundamentally reinterpreting the Koran.....

Globally, the compelling and powerful Islamist movement obstructs democracy. It seeks the opposite of reform and modernization -- namely, the reassertion of the Shari'a in its entirety. A jihadist like Osama bin Laden may spell out this goal more explicitly than an establishment politician like Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but both seek to create a thoroughly anti-democratic, if not totalitarian, order. (...)

Despite this scorn, Islamists are eager to use elections to attain power and have proven themselves to be agile vote-getters; even a terrorist organization (Hamas) has won an election. This record does not render the Islamists democratic but indicates their tactical flexibility and their determination to gain power. As Erdogan has revealingly explained, "Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off." Hard work can one day make Islam democratic. In the meanwhile, Islamism represents the world's leading anti-democratic force.
http://www.danielpipes.org/347/are-toda ... -democracy" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The Islamic Republic of Iran provides the most important case study. So long as the shah ruled, Iranian Islamists made promised to replace his autocracy with an open, democratic system. Even as he took power, Ayatollah Ruholllah Khomeini promised real democracy (an assembly "based on the votes of the people," to use his words). Once in charge, he partially fulfilled this pledge: Iran's elections are hotly disputed and parliament does have real authority. But there are some important limits. First, only candidates (including non-Muslims) who subscribe to the official Islamist ideology may run for office, so the parliamentarians represent a narrow spectrum of Iranian opinion. Second, the non-elected Supreme Guide (in the old days, Khomeini, now 'Ali Khamene'i) has far more powers than the elected government, including control of the military, police, intelligence services, courts, electronic media, and schools. The regime in Tehran thus offers a very limited - almost token - version of democracy.
Oriana Fallaci in The rage and Pride wrote that during a synod, held by the Vatican on October 1999, an eminent Islam scholar addressed the stunned audience declaring with placid effrontery: "By means of your democracy we shall invade you, by means of our religion we shall dominate you". Can a theocracy like Islam gives in to the equality of women, of non-Muslims, unconditioned human rights and freedom of expression?
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Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:26 am
by CuteCoot
The Cat wrote:Well, Daniel Pipes argued that Islam -without the Shariah- would be compatible. But is this realist?
I find Pipes to be well informed and his views well thought through so, yes, this is realistic. Whether it will happen or not is another thing.
Oriana Fallaci in The rage and Pride wrote that during a synod, held by the Vatican on October 1999, an eminent Islam scholar addressed the stunned audience declaring with placid effrontery: "By means of your democracy we shall invade you, by means of our religion we shall dominate you". Can a theocracy like Islam gives in to the equality of women, of non-Muslims, unconditioned human rights and freedom of expression?
Well, that's just one incident. This Islamic scholar represents one kind of Islam, Mansur (and Jasser and others) a different kind of Islam. At this point in time, according to Pipes and Rubin, the two versions are struggling to take over the wheel in steering Islam this way or that. It's really anyone's guess which side will win.
Rubin wrote:The best image to use in order to understand this situation is neither to see the car’s driver (Islam) as inherently bad (as does the “Islam is the threat” camp) or inherently good but facing a would-be hijacker (the “Islam is a religion of peace” camp). A more accurate view is of a battle over the steering wheel by contenders who both have a claim to ownership. Both may be reckless drivers but the main danger is the Islamists, those who want to run us over and then drive the car and all its passengers over a cliff.

source

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:47 pm
by The Cat
CuteCoot wrote:I find Pipes to be well informed and his views well thought through so, yes, this is realistic. Whether it will happen or not is another thing.... At this point in time, according to Pipes and Rubin, the two versions are struggling to take over the wheel in steering Islam this way or that. It's really anyone's guess which side will win.
It all seems to revolve around one's notion of the Shariah: traditional fundamentalism or liberal interpretation. We know for a fact that stoning, for example, isn't mentioned in the Koran as a punishment for adultery yet implemented in the Shariah. Such inhuman treatment, although enshrined in the OT, has been outlawed in Judaism in the year 30! Wikipedia, under 'stoning' says: ''The normative teachings of Judaism approve the death penalty in principle. While the standard of proof required for application of death penalty is extremely stringent, and in practice, it has been abolished by various Talmudic decisions, the situations in which a death sentence could be passed effectively are impossible and hypothetical.''
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoning" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A debate between Daniel Pipes (DP) and Muqtedar Khan (MK) -excerpts.
http://www.danielpipes.org/1167/debate- ... -democracy" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
MK -The maqasid (objectives) of the Sharia is to establish social justice, equality, tolerance, and freedom of religion in societies. The Hudud laws are a tiny part of the Sharia. Some of these laws are not even Qur'anic; they are taken from the Old Testament, such as stoning the adulterer (Deuteronomy 22:24). Yes, I believe that when the Sharia is interpreted and implemented by educated, enlightened, and compassionate people it will establish social justice and coexist harmoniously with a democratic polity. But if uneducated, angry, and bigoted people take the law in their hands and presume to speak on behalf of God, then tyranny is the most likely outcome.

DP -Professor Khan confidently tells us that the Sharia as he understands it will "establish social justice and coexist harmoniously with a democratic polity." But this is argument by assertion. He has not provided any basis for this optimism. So far, the record in countries where the Sharia is applied -- Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan -- is less than encouraging..... No: the Sharia harks back to a decidedly antidemocratic sensibility in everything from its emphasis on God's will (not popular sovereignty) to its privileging of Muslims over non-Muslims. For Muslims to develop functioning democracies requires that they put aside the Sharia or transmute it into something quite different from what it is understood to be today.
As far as I know the Shariah doesn't even have a word for 'civilian' and nothing like the ''Render unto Caesar...'' (Mt.21.22) to help it out.

But how much of the Shariah is -truly- Koranic? Very, very little indeed...

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:56 pm
by CuteCoot
The Cat wrote:But how much of the Shariah is -truly- Koranic? Very, very little indeed...
That's right. It relies a lot on the traditions and you can cherry-pick those to arrive at a democracy-compatible Islam just as much as an Islamist Islam. Neither is inevitably right or wrong.

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:50 pm
by The Cat
CuteCoot wrote:
The Cat wrote:But how much of the Shariah is -truly- Koranic? Very, very little indeed...
That's right. It relies a lot on the traditions and you can cherry-pick those to arrive at a democracy-compatible Islam just as much as an Islamist Islam. Neither is inevitably right or wrong.
Many, many months ago I've conducted a research over the meaning of Shariah in the Koran proper. Let's see: It's only written 4 times: fully in 45.18 while its derivatives are found in 45.16; 42.13 and 16.123. What do they refer to?...... Mostly the seven Noachide commandments!

viewtopic.php?p=100835#p100835" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://i-cias.com/e.o/sharia.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Sharia is often referred to as Islamic law, but this is wrong, as only a small part is irrefutably based upon the core Islamic text, the Koran. Correct designations would be "Muslim Law", "Islam-inspired", "Islam-derived," or even "the law system of Muslims." This is well known to most Muslims, yet Sharia is always referred to as "based upon the Koran", hence it is the "will of God." One sees traces of many non-Muslim juridical systems in the Sharia, such as Old Arab Bedouin law, commercial law from Mecca, agrarian law from Madina, law from the conquered countries, Roman law and Jewish law. Also, calling the Sharia 'law' can be misleading, as Sharia extends beyond law. Sharia is the totality of religious, political, social, domestic and private life.
The must of Allah's Shariah are clearly given in some Koranic verses: 17.22-36; 2.83-84 and 6.150-157 which accepts the Mosaic laws -for that time-, yet endorsing Jesus' abrogations in 5.45 (likely Mt.5)! The reported Koranic abrogations in 16.101 (70th); 2.106 (87th); 13.39 (96th) are NOT referring to inner changing within the Koran but to Allah abrogating the former acknowledged Korans (Taurah and Gospel). Thus, when not abrogated, they DO constitute Allah's Shariah! Yet the core of Allah's Shariah must be understood as the seven Noachide laws as Furkan (2.53, 185; 21.48; 37.117, 25.1; 3.3; 8.29) and Messaniy (15.87 & 39.23). But they are told and trained to believe that furkan refers to the opening sura!
viewtopic.php?p=104171#p104171" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=5519" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

2:185 The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, (...) and the Criterion (of right and wrong).
(...) Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you.


viewtopic.php?p=99434#p99434" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Sharia and Fiqh
In reality, the ritualistic Islam isn't set by the wordings 'Deen' or 'Islam' but by the terms 'Sharia' and more specifically by its 'Fiqh', and even the Koranic 'Sharia' has very little to do, if anything at all, with how you should clean yourself or pray. Sharia in the Koran is only written once, in 45.18: ''And now have We set thee (O Muhammad) on a clear road of (Our) commandment; so follow it, and follow not the whims of those who know not.'' This clear road of commandment (singular) is found in 45.16: : ''And verily we gave the Children of Israel the Scripture and the Command and the Prophethood, and provided them with good things and favoured them above (all) peoples.''

A derivative for Sharia' is in 42.13: ''He hath ordained for you that religion (Deen) which He commended unto Noah, and that which We inspire in thee (Muhammad), and that which We commended unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying: Establish the religion (Deen), and be not divided therein.'' This is stressed AGAIN in 16.123: ''And afterward We inspired thee (Muhammad, saying): Follow the religion (Deen) of Abraham, as one by nature upright. He was not of the idolaters.'' The Deen and Sharia of Islam (and of Muslims) are that of Abraham, Moses and Jesus... NOT the one invented later around Muhammad! Their own prophet was called to follow them -exclusively-!

So, the whole Fiqh tradition runs counter to the Koranic message! It can't be proven from Abraham, Moses or Jesus... How's that! 6.112:
"We have permitted the enemies of every prophet, human and jinn devils, to inspire in each other fancy sayings, in order to deceive"
On 42.13, where a derivative for 'Shariah' is mentioned (excerpts)
http://www.theholybook.org/content/view/4285/94/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The verse uses the word, will, for the Laws ordained for Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, but it uses the verb, reveal, for the Last Messenger. Will implies strong advice and giving special importance to certain things.... The verse first mentions Prophet Noah, and continues to talk about the Last Messenger, and then the other great Messengers. This is because Prophet Noah, is the first Messenger to whom a comprehensive Law to govern life was willed. Preserving and obeying the Law is indispensable for establishing the Religion and preserving it from distortions, changes, and corruptions.

The Law has the same meaning for the Religion as the skin has for the human body. The main reason why the Religion lost its originality and purity after the Prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, upon them all be peace, is that people either ignored or neglected the Law, or changed it, or disobeyed it. Negligence of, or disobedience to, the Law is also one of the basic reasons for the internal divisions among the communities of the Messengers after them, and for the deviations witnessed concerning the essentials of faith.
Those laws were certainly not that which we now find in the Shariah, the Fiqq and Hudud! They have been duly pelted under the carpet...

Joseph Schacht on the origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence
http://www.answering-islam.net/Books/Sc ... uation.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
According to the ancient schools, traditions from the Prophet as such do not as yet possess an overriding authority; only Shafi'i, obviously under the influence of the pressure group of traditionists, upholds consistently the doctrine that when there exists a tradition from the Prophet, no other argument is valid. Shaf'i's work is full of monotonous repetitions of this essential doctrine of his, and it is clear that this doctrine was a startling innovation in his time. It is certain, too, that the great mass of legal traditions which invoke the authority of the Prophet, originated in the time of Shafi'i and later(see below); we can observe this directly by following the successive stages of legal discussion and the ever-increasing number of relevant traditions incorporating gradual refinements. It can further be shown that legal traditions from the Prophet began to appear, approximately, in the second quarter of the 2nd century A.H. (i.e. 750, thus from the emerging Abbasids......)
viewtopic.php?p=98118#p98118" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So... much of the Shariah has been constructed afterward, from the Hadiths, in total disobedience to the explicit Koranic injunctions! By idolizing proper names such as 'Allah', 'Koran', 'Arabic' or 'Mecca' and by giving to man-made added distortions over terms like 'Sharia', 'Din' and 'Islam', Muslims aren't worthy of that name... by which they end up idolizing themselves! How's that for shirk!

No matter how Muhammadans believe that they're Muslims, they aren't... according to the precepts of their own holy book. Anyone following the man-made Hadiths contradicting the Koran (as in stoning) isn't a Muslim but a Muhammadan hypocrite as per 9.23-24 & 95-98 (etc)!

22.78: And strive for Allah with the endeavour which is His right. He hath chosen you and hath not laid upon you in religion any hardship; the faith of your father Abraham (is yours). He hath named you Muslims of old time....

The Fiqh, Hudud, nowadays Shariah, and... hardship came later like a straitjacket, transforming Muslims into Muhammadans: idolaters!

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:22 am
by CuteCoot
The Cat wrote:The Fiqh, Hudud, nowadays Shariah, and... hardship came later like a straitjacket, transforming Muslims into Muhammadans: idolaters!
This is probably not quite how Mansur or Jasser might put it, but it's very close to how they see things, that's for sure.

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:58 am
by The Cat
Historically, and most unfortunately, a liberal Islam has always been crushed, the example of Averroes vs. Ghazali comes to my mind.

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:52 am
by enceladus
The Cat wrote:Is Islam compatible with Democracy?


No. It's that simple.

You only have to look at the brainwashed Muslims holding placards saying things like "freedom of expression - go to hell" to see that.

In Islam, it's a case of "Muslim good - non-Muslim evil". Doesn't matter if the non-Muslim has a list of good deeds a mile long. Doesn't matter if the Muslim has a list of bad deeds the same length.
- enceladus

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:13 am
by CuteCoot
The Cat wrote:Historically, and most unfortunately, a liberal Islam has always been crushed, the example of Averroes vs. Ghazali comes to my mind.
Here is an oldish article on Shariah by Zuhdi Jasser: Getting Real on Shariah.

You're right about the persecution of Islamic liberals historically, and contemporary liberals like Mansur and Jasser would fully agree with you on that. They are urging the West to continue to give them shelter against the Islamists. Appeasing Islamists is not helpful in this. Identifying Islam with Islamism is not helpful either.

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:22 pm
by The Cat
Thanks for the link. Here's a small excerpt:
That reform away from governmental Shariah will take generations regardless of the denials and apologetics of imams like Rauf. Certainly, aside from government, a modernization of Shariah is very important and commentaries like Mr. Rauf's demonstrate that there is certainly a profound need for real reform and in fact all Muslims have a stake in our legal tradition being updated. At the minimum we must first defeat the ideas of theocracy.
The so-called legal tradition at the basic of nowadays Shariah has been found massively faulty by experts like J. Schacht and I. Goldziher.

The Islamic world needs to make a gigantic Mea Culpa on the very foundation of their laws: the hadiths. In fact the Arabic name for 'school of laws' is MADHAB which has a similar root with the Arabic for religion: Muzdhab, not found in the Koran. What has been translated by 'religion' is the word 'DIN' (which is close to the Hindu concept of Dharma: ie. Cosmic Order, and of the Ma'at Egyptian concept): The Natural Laws ordering the world.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C4%ABn" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maat" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Somewhere in time, and Theophanes (760/818) is the first to report it, Islam became a muzdhab of its own. It crystallized more firmly through Shafi'i, from whom Muhammad's sunna started to become lawful, a ''startling innovation'' (J. Schacht) in response to the Mutazilites, Abu Hanifa and the Kharijites. They substituted Muhammad's sunna to that of Noah, Abraham and Jesus which the Islamic prophet was enjoined to follow (88.21-22).

30.31-32: Turning unto Him (only); and be careful of your duty unto Him and establish worship (ie. commitment), and be not of those who ascribe partners (unto Him); Of those who split up their DIN and became schismatics (shiya'aan), each sect (hizbin, error: 23.54) exulting in its tenets.

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:33 pm
by CuteCoot
Quite a strong message today from Salim Mansur: Mosque Really About Pushing Sharia Law

Some quotes (my emphasis):
Through indiscriminate violence, radical Islamists have succeeded to define Islam in terms of Sharia — Islamic law constructed more than a millennium ago by legal scholars that is, putting it mildly, entirely obsolete in the context of modern philosophy, science, democracy, gender equity and individual rights and freedom — and jihad, or sanctioning of violence, in the name of religion.
Since religion is all politics for radical Islamists, Islam as faith is absent from their hearts. They are Muslims with hearts as black as their politics.

A black heart cannot be a receptacle of God’s mystery. If Islamist extremists had God in their hearts they could not bring so much grief in the name of Islam.
This is the first time I've seen Mansur writing so forthrightly on the matter of Islamic faith and writing so boldly of God and the heart. It's great to see.

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:35 am
by The Cat
Thanks again, the whole article worth to be given here, so there it is (I've edited paragraphs, an old habit of mine...):
The swirling controversy over the Ground Zero mosque obscures what should be obvious, at least since 9/11, about the behavioural pattern of radical Islamists engaged in stealth jihad, or “lawfare,” to advance their strategic interest of securing concessions by Western governments for Sharia. In generating this controversy, and then pushing hard on it by insisting on the constitutionally protected right of freedom of religion to build this mosque in the vicinity of Ground Zero in New York City, Islamists behind the project have masterfully succeeded in greatly dividing Americans as the ninth anniversary of 9/11 approaches.

What we are witnessing here is radical Islamists once again, as in the Danish cartoon controversy — or the controversy surrounding the wearing by some Muslim women of niqabs or full-face coverings, or the push for censorship on grounds of hate speech — taking hold of the legal-political framework of liberal democracy to secure grounds for their anti-liberal agenda of advancing acceptance of Sharia in the West.

Through indiscriminate violence, radical Islamists have succeeded to define Islam in terms of Sharia — Islamic law constructed more than a millennium ago by legal scholars that is, putting it mildly, entirely obsolete in the context of modern philosophy, science, democracy, gender equity and individual rights and freedom — and jihad, or sanctioning of violence, in the name of religion. Mosques for radical Islamists are centres for preaching, recruiting, fundraising, networking and engaging in the political work of advancing their strategic interests.

Once it becomes clear who the people are behind the Ground Zero mosque — variously known as the Cordoba House or Park51, which Stephen Schwartz of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington, D.C., among others, has been painstakingly assembling for Americans to judge for themselves — then there should be no mistaking about its political nature disguised as religion.

Feisal Rauf, wearing the title of Imam or a Muslim religious leader, is deeply embedded in the global Islamist network of activists and organizations. One of Rauf’s closest associates, for instance, is the former prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir bin Mohamad, and a virulent anti-Semite on public record. Rauf is another soft-peddler of Islamism in the West associated with the politics of Muslim Brotherhood.

Those who are familiar with Tariq Ramadan will recognize how greatly Rauf is cut from the same cloth as this grandson of Hasan al-Banna who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during the early decades of the last century. Since religion is all politics for radical Islamists, Islam as faith is absent from their hearts. They are Muslims with hearts as black as their politics. A black heart cannot be a receptacle of God’s mystery.

If Islamist extremists had God in their hearts they could not bring so much grief in the name of Islam. But Islamist extremists are contemptuous of the golden rule. It is this contempt in full display when they insist God is their accomplice in whatever they do. If Rauf and company were truly men of God and not radical Islamists, their hearts would choke with remorse for the controversy they have fuelled over their project. And then they would do the right thing, renounce building the Ground Zero mosque and apologize to the American people.
Quite ringing the bell! By going ahead with this project, Islam is showing its heartless agenda! It can't abide to the Golden Rule...

So we're back to Oriana Fallaci's reporting that during a synod, held by the Vatican on October 1999, an eminent Islamic scholar addressed the stunned audience declaring with placid effrontery: "By means of your democracy we shall invade you, by means of our religion we shall dominate you".

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:34 pm
by Ibn Rushd
Excellent thread! Yes Islam went against its original 7 commandments.

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:05 pm
by CuteCoot
Another useful resource here: A Symposium: What Is Moderate Islam?

There is a good range of both Muslim and non-Muslim views. I think it's two Jews and four Muslims actually.

My preferred viewpoint is the last one by Akbar Ahmed, "Mystics, Modernists and Literalists", so I will post that one in full (my emphasis).
In the intense discussion about Muslims today, non-Muslims often say to me: "You are a moderate, but are there others like you?"

Clearly, the use of the term moderate here is meant as a compliment. But the application of the term creates more problems than it solves. The term is heavy with value judgment, smacking of "good guy" versus "bad guy" categories. And it implies that while a minority of Muslims are moderate, the rest are not.

Having studied the practices of Muslims around the world today, I've come up with three broad categories: mystic, modernist and literalist. Of course, I must add the caveat that these are analytic models and aren't watertight.

Muslims in the mystic category reflect universal humanism, believing in "peace with all." The 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi exemplifies this category. In his verses, he glorifies worshipping the same God in the synagogue, the church and the mosque.

The second category is the modernist Muslim who believes in trying to balance tradition and modernity. The modernist is proud of Islam and yet able to live comfortably in, and contribute to, Western society.

Most Muslim leaders who led nationalist movements in the first half of the 20th century were modernists—from Sultan Mohammed V, the first king of independent Morocco, to M.A. Jinnah, who founded Pakistan in 1947. But as modernists failed over time, becoming increasingly incompetent and corrupt, the literalists stepped into the breach.

The literalists believe that Muslim behavior must approximate that of the Prophet in seventh-century Arabia. Their belief that Islam is under attack forces many of them to adopt a defensive posture. And while not all literalists advocate violence, many do. Movements like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the Taliban belong to this category.

In the Muslim world the divisions between the three categories I have delineated are real. The outcome of their struggle will define Islam's fate.

The West can help by understanding Muslim society in a more nuanced and sophisticated way in order to interact with it wisely and for mutual benefit. The first step is to categorize Muslims accurately.
I think it's important to see the "mystic" Muslim as not necessarily a Sufi, even though Rumi is described as a Sufi who exemplifies this category. I've found that a Muslim can be a Sufi (belong to an order of Sufis or be training under a Sufi master) while belonging essentially to the third literalist category. On the other hand, a Muslim with a strong belief in universalist humanism can be a simple Sunni or Shia with no connection whatever to any Sufi sect or school. This is, for example, the case with Salim Mansur.

I like how Akbar Ahmed has written about this and I recommend his categories of understanding.

Re: Islam VERSUS Democracy

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:11 pm
by The Cat
Turkey in Radical Revision of Islamic Texts, Robert Pigott.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7264903.stm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The country's powerful Department of Religious Affairs has commissioned a team of theologians at Ankara University to carry out a fundamental revision of the Hadith, the second most sacred text in Islam after the Koran. The Hadith is a collection of thousands of sayings reputed to come from the Prophet Muhammad. As such, it is the principal guide for Muslims in interpreting the Koran and the source of the vast majority of Islamic law, or Sharia. But the Turkish state has come to see the Hadith as having an often negative influence on a society it is in a hurry to modernise, and believes it responsible for obscuring the original values of Islam. It says that a significant number of the sayings were never uttered by Muhammad, and even some that were need now to be reinterpreted. (...)

The argument is that Islamic tradition has been gradually hijacked by various - often conservative - cultures, seeking to use the religion for various forms of social control. Leaders of the Hadith project say successive generations have embellished the text, attributing their political aims to the Prophet Muhammad himself. Turkey is intent on sweeping away that "cultural baggage" and returning to a form of Islam it claims accords with its original values and those of the Prophet.

Prof Mehmet Gormez, a senior official in the Department of Religious Affairs and an expert on the Hadith, gives a telling example. "There are some messages that ban women from travelling for three days or more without their husband's permission and they are genuine. "But this isn't a religious ban. It came about because in the Prophet's time it simply wasn't safe for a woman to travel alone like that. But as time has passed, people have made permanent what was only supposed to be a temporary ban for safety reasons." (more within...)

According to Fadi Hakura, an expert on Turkey from Chatham House in London, Turkey is doing nothing less than recreating Islam - changing it from a religion whose rules must be obeyed, to one designed to serve the needs of people in a modern secular democracy. (...)

Significantly, the "Ankara School" of theologians working on the new Hadith have been using Western critical techniques and philosophy. They have also taken an even bolder step - rejecting a long-established rule of Muslim scholars that later (and often more conservative) texts override earlier ones. "You have to see them as a whole," says Fadi Hakura. "You can't say, for example, that the verses of violence override the verses of peace. This is used a lot in the Middle East, this kind of ideology. "I cannot impress enough how fundamental [this change] is."
See also: Interview with Mehmet Gormez, vice-president of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, or Diyanet.
http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/200 ... h-project/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

On the koranic abrogations, please see my study:
viewtopic.php?p=104171#p104171" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
''The abrogation is a theory coming up in the late 10th century by some Muslim scholars notably Ahmed Bin Ishaq Al-Dinary (d.940/318),
Mohamad Bin Bahr Al-Asbahany (d.944/322), Hebat Allah Bin Salamah (d.1032/410) and Mohamad Bin Mousa Al-Hazmy (d.1170/ 548),
whose book about Al-Nasekh and Al-Mansoukh is one of the leading references on the subject. And every bit of it is utterly hypocrite!

Seems to me that the abrogations mentioned are referring to the Arabic additions to the former Korans sent down (Torah, Gospel) and
that they weren't meant at all to apply -within- the Arabic holy book. The (Arabic) koran is thus -solely- abrogating the former Torah and
Gospel, yet when -and only when- they are conflicting. Let us review them in their context.......''