Time and time again we hear that Islam is a religion that emphasizes the equality of people, the accountability of leaders to community, and the respect of diversity and other faiths. That it is a faith which is fully compatible with democracy. However, such statements are rich with false dreams and void affirmations.
In my previous two blogs I revealed the teachings of the Quran, Islam’s holiest book, regarding two very important issues; freedom of religion and equality. The two articles addressed the treatment of people of other faith under Islamic law, and the status of women in general. The outcome of these articles was very obvious; Islam despises women and does not offer others any type of religious freedom under which they can worship and have their rights be protected at the same time.
Today I like to continue on with the same theme, with the emphasis more on the overall concept of Islam Sharia Law. However, the angle I will be taking has to do with the myth of the so called Islamic Democracy and the hope for new era in the Middle East.
Not that many people realize that in order for Islam to accept the concept of democracy, a cultural reformation must take place at first. Such reformation will have to cause drastic face lifting of values and beliefs that must be compatible with Islamic teachings and its religious values. In other words, in order for the Middle East to have any hope for any democracy, under Islamic ideology, there need to be a major adaptation of Islam and its Sharia Law. However, the concept of and Islamic democracy is a wishful thinking.
For how can Islam offer any type of democracy when it teaches certain realities as the ones discussed below:
Democracy & Islam
Any system of man-made law is considered illicit under Islamic law, for whose adherents Allah already has provided the only law permitted sharia. Islam and democracy can never co-exist in harmony.
The Quran clearly teaches that “. . . if any fail to judge by the light of what Allah has revealed, they are no better than unbelievers.” (Q 5:47)
“The sharia cannot be amended to conform to changing human values and standards. Rather, it is the absolute norm to which all human values and conduct must conform.” (Muslim Brotherhood ‘spiritual leader’ Yousef al-Qaradawi)
Freedom of Religion and Apostasy
The established ruling of sharia is that apostates are to be killed wherever they may be found. This ruling is derived directly from the Quran “Anyone who, after accepting Faith in Allah, utters Unbelief, except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith—but such as open their heart to Unbelief—on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.” (Q 16:106)
And from other classical Islamic sources such as:
“Leaving Islam is the ugliest form of unbelief (kufr) and the worst…..When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostasizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed…There is no indemnity for killing an apostate…” (‘Umdat al-Salik, Reliance of the Traveler, Chapter 08.0-08.4)
Islam explicitly teaches it is superior to every other culture, faith, government, and society and that it is a religion ordained by Allah to conquer and dominate them. This sense of superiority comes directly from the Quran, with instructions such as these below:
Islam is the only acceptable religion “And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.” (Q 3:85); Muslims are superior to all other faith groups “Ye are the best of Peoples, evolved for mankind.” (Q 3:110); Non-Muslims are “the most vile of created beings” (Q 98:6); Muslims should only extend mercy to other Muslims “merciful to one another, but ruthless to the unbelievers” (Q 48:29).
The founder of The Muslim Brotherhood once declared that “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” (Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood).
The Real Question
With teachings like the ones above, how can we have any hope of an established democracy in the Middle East, when Islamic ideology and Sharia Law are its biggest threat, and will serve as its own obstacle rather than its self-motivation.
The real question to ask is:
If Islam is a religion that promotes democracy and freedom, then how come we do not hear of such freedom under the current Islamic regimes in the area, whether it is Saudi Arabia; a pure Islamic state, or Egypt, a semi-democratic state.
And if someone would argue that the real reason for the current crisis in the region has to do with the lack of an Islamic state, and then we are left with a puzzling question; how can an Islamic state be the real answer to the problem when it promotes teachings as the ones listed above. At the end we are left with a myth called “Islamic Democracy.”
The Quran Dilemma
More Quotes About "Palestine"
"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".
- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -
"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".
- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -
"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".
- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".
"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".
- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -
"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".
- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -
"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".
- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -
"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".
- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -
"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".
- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -
"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".
- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -
"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".
- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -
"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".
- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -