12 September 2016
The Search for the "True Islam"
As we American remember those lost in the terrorist attack of 11 September 2001, one thing has not changed: spokespersons of the Western dhimmitude continue to remind us that the terrorists do not represent the "true" Islamic faith. George Bush consoled Americans in 2001 with the assurance that Islam is a "religion of peace." And fifteen years later, after Bush destroyed Iraq and laid the groundwork for rise of the Islamic state, our new theologian-in-chief thinks it is important that we understand that ISIS odes not represent true Islam. The terrorists, so it goes, have hijacked Islam for their own insidious political or financial purposes. The majority of Muslims are peace-loving adherents to "the religion of peace."
True enough (Praise Allah for that!), but not especially informative.
So where do we find the "true" Islam?
Where exists the Islam that is a religion of peace and an attractive faith bringing hope and well-being to its adherents?
It is difficult to say. The Islamic world itself is divided between Sunnis and Shiites, each claiming to represent "true" Islam. The leading Sunni nation is the custodian of the Islamic holy sites, Saudi Arabia. Their main challenger for leadership in the Muslim world is the largest Shiite nation, the Islamic Republic of Iran. Do either of these nations exhibit the "true" Islam, one that Westerners might find attractive?
Freedom House rates Saudi Arabia among the worst nations regarding natural and civil rights.
The Koran and Sunna serve as the kingdom's fundamental law. A cabinet appointed by the king writes legislative proposals, which become law after ratification by royal decree. There is no independent judiciary. Political parties are illegal and no opposition to the monarchy is permitted. With no input into the either the constitution or laws, the people of Saudi Arabia are truly subjects rather than citizens.
The Saudi regime does not recognize basic rights such as freedom of speech, association, and religion. The law requires that all Saudis adhere to Islam. It forbids public worship by other religions. It restricts the religious rights of Shiite Muslims, including the construction of Shiite mosques.
Woman are not permitted to drive and acquired the right to voted in local municipal elections only in 2011. They do not even possess the right of freedom of movement without a male relative.
The criminal justice system uses torture as a mean of interrogation. While most people in the United States believe that some crimes deserve death for perpetrators, the Saudi regime regularly hands down death sentences for robbery, kidnapping, drug trafficking, adultery, and sorcery.
Freedom House rates Iran not much better. This Shiite nation is ruled by a supreme leader chosen by a Council of Experts. Members of the Council of Experts are elected by popular vote after nomination by a Guardian Council consisting of six theologians. A president and legislative assembly, too, are popularly elected after candidates receiving approval by the Guardian Council.
The regime restricts fundamental freedoms. Speech, assembly, and religion are restricted. Only recognized minorities religious faith receive toleration.
Like in Saudi Arabia, women possess few rights compared to Western women.
Iran's criminal justice system, too, uses torture as a method of interrogation. Suspects are subject to indefinite detention.
Consensual sexual intercourse between two unmarried people, as well as homosexuality, can result in a hangman's noose.
A couple of young gays face Islamic justice in Iran
Maybe these regimes do represent "true Islam." Perhaps only the millions of average Muslims who quietly live their lives like the rest of us truly speak for Islam.
On that score, published results from Pew Polling are not very encouraging. Large majorities of average Muslims support those religious teachings about morality that one might expect: the condemnation of adultery, homosexuality, alcohol, and suicide. And like most other religions, they believe that their religion is the only path to heaven.
Most disturbing, however, it that Muslims from the Middle East and East Asia also express significant support for such things as Sharia law, polygamy, honor killings, and even suicide bombings.
While Western politicians routinely and rightfully condemn Islamic extremism, the difference between the extremists and every other Muslim appears to be one of degree and not of kind.