What is it about Islam that lends itself to tyrannical regimes, violence, corruption and the gross, open, unrepenting violation of human rights, as seen in the theocracies that operate in its name?
There’s plenty of room for reform in Islam. Much like Christianity, which was a hard-headed, intransigent, deadly institution up until a few centuries ago (parts of it still are), Islam needs to go through some long-overdue changes. To be respected and embraced, it needs to respect human rights in turn, not only for its adherents but also for those who don’t subscribe to it.
Truth be told, Islam has a long way to go. As it stands, at this moment in time, the religion is host to some of the most restrictive, oppressive cultures on earth.
If you disagree, I’m all ears.
Until the opposition comes up with a valid response, let me say this: the oppressive, restrictive cultures I’m referring to exist in the form of brutal theocracies (see Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Taliban-controlled-territories in Afghanistan, parts of Somalia and the Sudan, among others), where sharia law is enforced with an iron fist. These places are prisons for both body and mind, where individual thought and pluralism are considered crimes.
Other Muslim countries, some of them more moderate, or secular (in principle), are lucky enough not to be run directly by clerics, yet they have an undeniably deep Islamic state running through them. Applied theocracy makes their society repressive all the same (see Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, Pakistan, among others), and I wouldn’t put them on the top of my places-to-move-to list either.
Bottom line is that one way or the other, whichever way you spin it, Muslims wear a leash around their necks, while a whip scars their submitted souls daily.
In coming articles, I intend to criticize the Muslim world’s proclivity toward such abuse – of oneself and others – which takes place in the name of God, holy books, prophecies, caliphates, world dominion, and deliverance.
We Need To Talk About Islam!
Let’s be honest with ourselves. Islam doesn’t like the rest of the world in the slightest, a sentiment all too apparent to anyone who can put two and two together. It believes it has the world’s morals down to a T and that no ethic, system, or code of conduct other than its own can prescribe a righteous way of life. It’s not interested in what anyone has to say. As a result, it’s not welcome in the global community. Having that kind of an attitude precludes it from meaningful interaction with others.
You may deem this a gross generalization, but I will prove you wrong by pointing out manifestations of Islam on the national and international level. You can’t get more accurate than that. If it happens across the board, across countries around the Muslim world, then it is not a gross generalization. It’s a fact.
‘It’s My Life, I Do What I Want To…’
‘What’s the problem with people being Islamic and righteous?’ some ask. ‘People have the right to choose their faith and do as they please, right?’
Not exactly. First of all, ‘doing as you please’ has its limits, which usually involve not hurting others.
Islam does hurt others, en masse, especially women.
Second, self-persecution is not the issue. (Yes, this is where we’re at, arguing about one’s right to persecute oneself in the name of one’s right to practice one’s faith in any way one sees fit. Damn you political correctness!) It has to do with persecuting others. How Islam persecutes everyone who doesn’t submit to it.
For example, as everyone and their grandmother knows by now, other religions don’t thrive in Muslim states. They’re kept captive, at best, in a tight room, under a very low ceiling, if not buried altogether under the dominant faith.
Plus, women are oppressed across Muslim territories, in various degrees, the worst of which are truly horrific.
So are homosexuals. They’re persecuted, stigmatized, repressed, and hunted down like animals.
I’m not exaggerating or scaremongering. Go be a woman or a homosexual in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, Qatar, Iran, Afghanistan … see how that works out for you.
Not so keen, are you?
Wait, there’s more. In addition to all this, infidels i.e. non-Muslims, are in broad strokes deemed second-rate individuals i.e. people who haven’t been illuminated into Submission. Maybe not de jure, but certainly de facto. I’m not being facetious. This is what it boils down to: Submission to Allah’s rule, as represented by his clerics on earth.
Don’t believe me? Go practice your religion openly, and talk about it, and organize panels and seminars in the above countries to promote it. Be an atheist and teach people to doubt and investigate everything in Saudi Arabia and the Maldives, in Iran and Turkmenistan. See how that pans out.
Good luck to you!
See, in most Islamic territories, free thinking is frowned upon. Challenging tradition is unacceptable. Criticizing Islam is blasphemy, which is punishable by a number of harsh ways, some of which involve excruciating pain, or death. The word of God is final. The word of his agents on earth is final. Their power is total.
So is the power of the dictators in charge, and one can say that the oppression is a matter of politics, not religion, but the politics stem from the religion, sometimes directly, other times in roundabout ways. In some cases we’re dealing with theocracies, countries where the rule of the land is based on — and carried out in the name of — religion.
Countries that are not theocratic have other problems. They may suffer secular dictatorships, or be subject to a deep state. Whatever the case, they operate on a culture of submission, which is what Islam is, by definition. (Just like Russia, a secular state, draws its fetish with absolute power from its Christian orthodox culture, a denomination hostile to reform, unused to debate, and partial to rule from above — just so we’re clear that culture and religion intertwine in all faiths.) No one is allowed to embrace anything but Submission to the ruler. Many times it’s a secular dictator, other times it’s Allah Himself. Whatever the case, in the vast majority of Muslim countries, one is taught to submit to Allah and do as his agents bid, with little to no excpetion. Those who disobey are deemed sinners and blasphemers, risking their souls in the afterlife, not to mention their safety and health in the here and now.
Part Two to follow.
This article was originally published in Urban Times