UI – Part 365 – Secularism – How Muslim Countries Should Be Governed
Secular Muslim Governments
The best governments for Muslims dominated areas may be secular. Leaders may or may not be Muslim. Laws established would benefit everyone, not just Muslims. Moderate Muslims and fundamentalist Muslims can live side by side, along with Christians, Jews, agnostics, atheists and even skeptics, as journalists, comedians or bloggers. Visitors would be comfortable knowing they will not be attacked for being of a different persuasion, such as from the West. Democracy may not be the framework, except possibly for elections, as in Tunisia, even Iran. But the authorities I would expect to be dictatorial. Why? This is the way Muslims countries have been governed since Muhammad. It is what the people are accustomed too, and certainly what the religious scholars prefer as their Allah wants control. After WWI changes did occur is countries like Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran where western influences, modern practices, were being adopted. Style of dress was modern. Treatment (human rights) and education of all people, including women as almost equals, prevailed. That has changed. The starting point in my look back into history was around the time of the Iran Revolution (1979), followed by the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.
Secularism is problematic for the political Islamists or the fundamentalists. It is not the way the scholars of Islam interpret the Quran, the Hadiths and the example of Muhammad. It may be the modern way, a pathway to a tolerant and pluralistic common ground. However wherever there are students of Islam that dig far deeper into the Scripture than their cultural heritage of being a Muslim provided, the chances of becoming radicalized are significant. The student will discover the platform for Islam was laid in the 7th century by the example of the self-proclaimed Prophet, Muhammad, even though the history lacked recorded evidence for almost 200 years. In their education classes the teachers, the master scholars of Islam, relate the time, habits, sayings, and practices of Muhammad as doctrine, regardless of the evidence or lack thereof, from a timely documented perspective. It is their example speaking through intermediaries. If the prophet repeated what Allah said, it was put into the Quran, otherwise his words, became Hadiths. There is no room for discussion or doubt, or questions. The facts are taught as they have been said and interpreted.
1924 Cairo Quran
Until 1924 in Cairo there were multiple interpretations of the ancient Arabic that was used in writing the Quran, many in significant ways at odds with each other. So much at that time for the statement that the Quran is consistent, never modified. Consensus brought about one interpretation of the Quran to fit all of Islam. Who is to say that in its final form it is the correct or that which Allah would affirm as his word? The interpretation by scholarly individuals that brought about Wahhabism, or Salafism, has become the standard for Saudi Arabia, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood. It is Sunni, but the hard line Shiite, as in Iran, is no less dogmatic and practiced in the art of brutal punishment for those who stray from the dictates, to include the dissenters, the doubters. Sura 9 is the same for the devout Shiite as it is for the Sunni.
The ideology of Islam when applied according to the fundamentalists has no room for other religions or lack of religion. The Bible informs mankind we are all equal in God’s eyes. That is not the case for the Quran or Allah (as reported by Muhammad). To take a moderate view is for them to be a heretic, subject to the punishment prescribed in the Quran, touched up as needed by Hadiths. To live in a society that offers free will is anathema, as the goal for Islam is to build a virtual wall around All for Allah and keep temptations at bay.
Applying logic to Islam is to persecute Muslims, in the mind of the Islamist. However, consider this reasoning. How can temptation be eradicated from a society of Muslims? If all the world were just Muslims, no more Christian slave women to rape or abuse, no more homosexuals to upset the sexual righteous standards of Islam, no one to produce alcohol or decks of cards, even roulette machines, no more cities like New York or London to visit and avail the dominant male to what freedom offers, no more infidels to convert, no more non-Muslims to produce the oil that fuels their economies, and so on, what would a Muslim do? It would be 5 pillars day after day after day. It would be men and women without hands. It would be daily stoning for adultery, a Muslim man or woman caught acting outside their marriage. What they miss, thus the logic, is the heart of the human, the tendency to sin, an inherent weakness. It cannot be kept away. Islam will never be perfect. Free will is free will, and disobey they will, regardless of Allah’s will. They will just have to keep killing each other. Where is this rationale in error? Islam is a diabolic illogical ideology of hatred. They will always need someone to hate. It sharpens their swords and keeps their hearts black.
In an all Muslim world the population would be engaged in daily prayer and the productive elements of society would be lacking. Who would plow the fields, manufacture needed goods and provide the services. What would they eat? How would they eat, or survive?
Can Islam be reformed? If history can speak it will say attempts to do so have failed. The fundamentalists will simply take up arms against those who alter the strident course. Their attacks will be by surprise and overt. They will eliminate as has been the case since Islam began any who decide on a path that might alter the master scholars entrenched convictions. The numbers of those seeking a new season for Islam, a New Furqan, will be kept low, by design and the constant application of the sword of Muhammad. Territories not currently under the rule of law of Islam will be future lands to conquer and those who resist will continue to be labelled the aggressors as they resist.
Before WWII Afghanistan and Iran were very ‘westernized.’ The term ‘westernized’ I believe is a poor choice as it allows for the fundamentalists to vent hatred towards the West – America and Europe and other free countries. The term should be ‘modernized.’ Women freely attended schools and were not required to wear hijabs or burkas. Shops sold clothing worn throughout the world, not just in confined Islamic controlled areas. Education was not dominated by teaching Islam, but the rudimental subjects needed for business, for seeing the world and and becoming more a part of the world. That changed after as fundamentalist Islamists began to gain control of the respective governments and change these emerging new worlds back into the dust of the 7th century that was being buried. Sharia was returned as secular forms of government were stopped. We are experiencing a parallel to history in Turkey today as Erdogan, the President, is making attempts to return this democracy to a state whose rule of law is more Islamic than secular, and thus more theocratic.
Reform would begin in the form of secular ruling bodies within the borders of Muslim dominated countries without a parallel need for a national religion. When this becomes more common there just might be hope. But I doubt it will ever happen as the Islamists will always be with us. The influence of a supreme being, our creator, and his discoverable scientific and moral laws, should remain, and be fully considered in the framing of common law. Common law must be for everyone and the majority cannot supersede divinely inspired laws. Gravity is gravity, the scientific laws are undeniable. At the same time good versus evil, where a choice is possible, moral laws, must not have the wants of humans dictate that which everyone knows in their mind, heart and soul is wrong. Abortion is an example.
The Secular Obstacle
The following two quotes provide a nutshell view of Islam and secularism:
“Both non-Muslims and orthodox Muslims feel that Islam is not compatible with secularism. Fundamentalist Muslims totally reject secularism as anti-Islamic and haram. Maulana Maududi, founder of Jamat-e-Islami-e-Hind had said, while leaving for Pakistan in 1948, that those who participated in secular politics were raising flags of revolt against Allah and His Messenger. The Saudi Ulama, too, denounce secularism as strictly prohibited in Islamic tradition.” – Asghar Ali Engineer [(10 March 1939 – 14 May 2013) an Indian Musim reformist-writer and social activist]
“Islam is declared to be incompatible with secularism because in a secular state there is no place for divine laws, and secular laws are unacceptable to Islam. Also it is believed that in Islam religion and politics cannot be separated. On these grounds secularism is totally rejected by orthodox Muslims. They also think that secularism is atheistic, and atheism has no place whatsoever in Islam. Islam strongly emphasizes faith in Allah. These are some of the grounds which make orthodox Muslims uneasy with the very word secularism. Islam emphasizes life hereafter and secularism means only those matters which pertain to this world. There is no place for the world hereafter as far as secular philosophy is concerned.” – Asghar Ali Engineer
Is there no hope?
Grace and Peace
Don’t forget to get your copies of the books, The Damascus Quran – a Novel, and The Wonder of Terra. Available online: Amazon and TomBalderston.TateAuthor.com