The myth of 'Liberal' Islam, deconstructed
By the Anti Jihadist
In my recent comparison of two Malaysian Muslims, Doctor Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad and Hafidz Baradom, Mr. Baradom himself responded by leaving a comment. In part, his comment reads:
As I've stated in the commentary of my piece, if a non-Muslim (kafir is such a derogatory term) does not take to education, well, fine. Leave him be. ... And the world is not made of merely my co-religionists. It is merely whether they are open minded enough to accept differing points of view...
OK, I can respect views like these, and doubtless so can many others. After all, he sounds reasonable enough, especially for a Muslim. So what's the problem?
The problem is this: by sounding so reasonable, so tolerant, so open-minded, that the kuffar -- yes Mr. Baharom, that is the undisputed Islamic term for unbelievers -- are bound to think that enlightened and commendable traits like tolerance and open-mindedness are what Islam is really all about.
This is a critical mistake many, especially in the West, have already been lured into making. Lured into making by smooth-talking snake oil salesmen like Baharom, by Muslim allies on the left wing of the Western political establishment, by the politically correct mainstream media, by those in academia, and by many others.
For in fact, Islam is not at all what Hafidz Baradom says it is. Rather, Islam is a belief system that has long been codified in Islamic scripture. Islam is what its founder Mohammad is documented as doing in his life--his examples, his actions, and the lessons he promulgated to and left for his followers.
Baradom's arguments are typical of so-called 'liberal' or 'moderate' Muslims, so it's worth analysing Baradom's assertions. By comparing four of Baradom's assertions from his recent column with teachings from authentic Islamic sources, and by critically examining Baradom's assertions themselves, the truth about Islam should readily come to light.
Assertion One: ...the first basis of the religion [Islam] itself is to find moderation.
This blithe statement about Islam's alleged moderation blatantly flies in the face of facts. In one well-known, notorious example, all schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree that the penalty for attempting to leave Islam is death. There are numerous websites (including this one blocked in Malaysia) that are replete with countless horror stories of people whose sole 'crime' was to stop believing in Islam. Few, if any Muslims stand up for the rights of these persecuted people. Baradom's silence on this matter -- and how could he argue to the contrary -- amounts to his tacit agreement on this point. Furthermore, the Quran itself is filled with contempt and hatred for non Muslims and followers of other belief systems, calling them liars who will burn in hell, among many other vile things. And the distilled extremism of pure Islam goes far beyond these examples. Does any of this sound in any way 'moderate' to anyone?
Assertion Two: If a non-Muslim says something wrong, we are told, through Islamic teaching, to educate them and find a peaceful solution...
Note that there is no implicit right of free speech at all for non-Muslims. Hence if an infidel says something 'wrong', which in this context probably means anything critical of Muslims and/or Islam, then the Muslims must directly intervene to 'educate' the person. 'Educate' sounds so rational and soothing, but Mohammad's own life and example strongly argue against this. For instance, when satirical poets repeatedly criticised Mohammad during his prophetic career, Mohammad had them ruthlessly assassinated, including Asma bint Marwan, a mother of five. Well, I'm sure that's one sure way to 'educate' troublesome non-Muslims. In fact, all majority Muslim states have laws on the books that criminalise criticism of Islam, and in some countries, this criticism -- mere words -- is a capital crime. These long-standing laws are challenged by no Muslims, and in fact enjoy widespread support in the Muslim world. Does this sound like a 'peaceful solution' to anyone?
Assertion Three: Islam dictates that we are only to resort to violence when there is clear provocation, not before.
This statement is in fact a startling admission that Islam is a belief system that indeed sanctions violence at some point. As to what constitutes 'clear provocation', this is left undefined by Mr. Baradom, although our liberal Muslim friend goes out of his way in his article to assure us that Mohammed cartoons in a Danish newspaper is not sufficient provocation. Very well, Mr. Baradom, so what would sufficient provocation be? Actually, this is already well defined by Islamic orthodoxy. Quran 9:29 says plainly that Muslims are to, "...fight [non Muslims] until they pay the Jizyah tribute tax in submission, feeling themselves subdued and brought low." Therefore, in accordance with this verse, as most of the world is still Kuffar -- I mean non-Muslim -- the mere existence of the infidel world amounts to a clear provocation. And the resulting violence, carried out by Muslims, against non Muslims, is what we see happening all around the world on a daily basis.
Assertion Four: Muhammad ... and his followers would never have called for a jihad on the basis of a blog...
Two things in particular strike me about this fourth and final assertion, First, many Muslims and Muslim apologists get quite worked up when anyone has the temerity to suggest that 'jihad' means 'holy war'. No no, we are told that 'jihad' really means 'a peaceful inner spiritual struggle'. Right? Well, Mr. Baradom has just informed us that jihad indeed equates to holy war. Does that make Mr. Baradom some sort of 'Islamophobe'? And secondly, we already well know what Islam's lone prophet did to his critics during his lifetime. So with Mohammad's own example to guide all Muslims for all time, how can anyone assert that Muslims should not violently react to criticism of their belief system, when Mohammad's own actions teach the polar opposite?
Mr. Baradom's fantasy Islam should be exposed once and for all for what it is -- a sham and a fraud. Islam as a belief system can never be open-minded, nor tolerant, no matter how much Hafidz and other 'liberal Muslims' may wish otherwise. Remember that Mohammed is fourteen centuries dead, so we shall not be hearing from him ever again -- even if he's changed his mind in the hereafter -- and Islam's core texts as laid out by by Mohammad are not subject to revision or reform. On penalty of death, I might add.
Mr. Baradom -- assuming you are a man of goodwill -- and others reading this, should never forget this salient fact: while there may indeed be moderate Muslims, Islam itself is decidedly not moderate.