How Islamists Use Secularism against Democracy
Ishaan Mohan Bagga
Criticizing Islam is not politically correct – The term is ‘Islamophobia’. You better keep your doubts about Islam to yourself else you’ll be quickly tagged as one with an anti-Islamic agenda. A Hindu right winger. An RSS agent. A Kafir. A Non-Believer.
Freedom of religion is one of the basic principle of democracy. It tells you to not discriminate on the basis of religious beliefs. This is the basic premise of religious liberalism – and believe it or not – it’s a noble sentiment. This sentiment of religious equality has brought much needed peace to our world. It just not smart to bleed each other dry over religious differences – our forefathers have done enough of it.
Islam’s Natural Immunity To Change
Religion, by nature, is flawed – the new western educated breed gets that. Now it’s considered alright not to take religion too seriously. As the idea of ‘optional religion’ grows in society, the stronghold of organised religion is gradually becoming weak. Most religions of the world are ok with it. The idea of letting individuals control the involvement of religion in their lives is acceptable now. Those times are gone when millions were collected by governments to wage war in the name of God. This is the natural evolution of religion.
Though, Islam has managed to stay completely immune to these changes. The rules of Islam make it impervious to any modern ideas. As a result, the present version of Islam has lasted way past it’s expiration date. While more tame versions like Sufism and Ahmadism have largely been discarded as pseudo-Islam.
This is the result of the extreme emphasis in Koran to preserve Islam in it’s original form. The original form of Islam – is a dogma with a single goal of world domination. If it’s goal was limited to spread the message of Allah then it would have been similar to the other organised religions of the world. Other religions don’t hard-sell their God, not at least at the gun-point like Islamic fundamentalists. At worst they lure you with freebies – but Islamic fundamentalism fully sponsors the killing of non-believers. This is similar to ‘the lord’ of the Old Testament of Bible, except that ancient barbarism is thriving under Islam today, in 21st century. The Kingdom of Allah, in a fundamentalist view, is a barbaric place and it hates change, progression or evolution – of any kind.
Based on your religious affiliation you must have already formed an opinion about my religious agenda in writing this. You could be a Muslim who has already formed a wall of denial – I understand, nobody likes to hear negative things about ideas which you’ve been taught to pay utmost respect, right from your childhood. I have no wish to corner one religion when the corruption in religion is a universal phenomena. But Islam is different – and not always in a good way – which I’m just going to explain how. Before that …
Full Disclosure: I’m not an atheist. But I do have my doubts about the existence of God. Am I a spiritualist? Sure, may be. My father is a Hindu. I don’t care about religion that much. I bow my head when I pass a temple, mosque or a church because my father taught me to, when I was a child. I have watched my share of mythological TV shows – because everybody watched them in the family. They were comically entertaining. I have had close friends from all religions – thanks to India’s diversity.
Though, I rarely visit places of worship – I find them boring. I find Hindu temples unnecessary wet (just my opinion)! I have visited Gurudwaras and I find the musical prayers very comfortable and soothing. Haridwar’s evening prayers and the sound of morning-namaz are my second favorite on this list, peacefulness-wise. I find Zen-Buddhism‘s teaching most close to taking you anywhere near a spiritual-awakening. I also find the principles of Jainism’s universal ahimsa highly commendable, if not follow-able.
I’m your everyday liberal and I do not have extreme thoughts (good or bad) about any religion, including the one I was born into. Religion doesn’t figure into my list of everyday priorities at all. If you’re nodding your head by now, I’m You.
It is common practice to use religion to manipulate it’s followers for personal gain by it’s controllers. It is happening everywhere to varying degrees. More simple-minded people fall for this farce, while people who’re more spiritual, scientific or wise can see through it. Despite this rampant degeneration of holy-men today, followers take comfort in the fact that at least their prophets (Jesus, Buddha, Mahavir, Nanak etc) were pure souls – their teachings guide them in dealing with the world and after. Good thing is that none of these prophets personally created any of their respective religions. It’s after their demise, their followers compiled their teachings and communions formed, which later took the shape of larger organised religions.
Prophet Mohammad – A Marketing Genius?
Mohammad (may peace be upon him) died at the age of 61, after conquering the whole of Arabia and uniting it under the code of Islam. This ‘conquering’ wasn’t spiritual or peaceful; it was a bloody and barbaric affair – like the imperialist royalty of the medieval world.
Jesus was crucified, Buddha took samadhi, Mahavira took the oath of complete non-violence, but Mohammad lived by the sword. Is it a surprise that he taught his followers that it’s ok to slain the non-believers? Islam starts brain-washing a child from his formative years that how kafir is the enemy. Is this the message of Allah? Jihad involves the spread of Islam through violence – and it is one of the key duties of every Muslim. Most people in our world are born into a religion. Choosing your own religion is still a very radical idea in most parts of the world. According to Islam, every non-Muslim is born into sin. You don’t get a choice – either convert, or die. This is not a religion, this is a battle-plan.
Imagine if the notoriously sham holy-man of India – Nirmal Baba – with a huge following becomes a religion in 200 years and has millions of followers. Does that mean his message is genuine? Telling people what they want to hear – serves as a good strategy for him to make simpletons believe into his ‘divinity’. This is 21st century. There’re many scam artists like him across the world. If in today’s age of science – such con-men can accumulate large crowds – imagine what a cake-walk it would be for the tricksters of 570 AD.
Mohammad was a very intelligent man. He didn’t control people by acquiring power through political means – he became their warrior prophet instead. He knew religion will create a much bigger army for him. He told his followers what they wanted to hear. He recognized Moses / Jesus and added his name to the list of prophets. He told them that Allah speaks through him. He was charismatic – people believed him. His audience were barbaric tribal men – so he gave them rules which appealed to them. And what do men want? More wives, more sex, easy divorce. He gave them that. He told them it’s ok to hit your wives to discipline them. He also told them that temporary marriage is ok because Allah allows it. Women were never his audience, which kind of explains the condition of women in Islamic countries.
One man could take as many wives – so powerful rich men acquired as many ladies as they could. They were thankful to Mohammad for providing them with large army of followers, more women than ever, easy pro-men laws, treating women like property, legalizing perversions like incest, pedophilia etc. Now, there were many poor men left who couldn’t get any ladies – so Mohammad very cunningly used this artificially created deficiency of women and gave these sexually-frustrated men the dream of 72 beautiful virgins in heaven. That was the gift of Allah to his soldiers. This marketing strategy is still working for Islam.
Mohammad gave the message of Muslim brotherhood, not human brotherhood. He told them that wherever they’re it is their foremost duty to spread Islam. He told them that their allegiance to other Muslims is far superior to their countrymen. He told them all non-believers are Kafirs – who should be converted or killed.
He created Islam like a franchise – wherever it goes – it remains loyal to the ‘message of Allah’ over Everything Else. Now if this message of Allah was that of harmony, then Islam would have actually been a religion of peace, like it claims. Instead their very teachings are the biggest endorser of violence. You could go in denial about this – but text from Holy Koran is being used every day in Islamic countries to suppress freedom, exploit women and against modernization. You should notice that wherever Islam is in minority, it is the most ardent supporter of secularism – but the moment it becomes a majority – all principles of secularism and religious freedom are lost. An Islamic state has no place for non-believers – and it’s only goal is the spread of Islam. This is real sneaky stuff. That is why there’s nothing like ‘liberal Islam’ or ‘secular Islam’.
Islamic fundamentalism has no place for logical reasoning or questions. You’re not allowed to question Allah. What do you think – modern Muslims don’t see the very glaring flaws in their beliefs? Off course they do – but there’s no forgiveness in Islam for blasphemy or apostasy. Islam likes to preserve it’s beliefs, no matter how archaic, inside an un-penetrable fort. It resists western modernization to stop new ideas – this is the main bone of contention of Islamic world with the west. Liberal democratic ideas have the potential of creating worst kafirs in Islam.
Like other religions, Islam too could have evolved overtime, if Mohammed hadn’t closed that door forever. He declared himself as the last prophet – and his words were final.He created a religion which is still frozen in time. Islam does everything to resist change. As a matter of fact, it takes pride in being the purest religion in the world. What Muslim world doesn’t realize is that – what doesn’t change, rots. Overtime Islam is proving to be it’s followers’ worst enemy.
Good Muslims / Bad Muslims
I know what you’re thinking – all Muslims are not bad people – or terrorists. I’m happy that this fact occurred to you and I respect you for that. I’m not writing for the people with Hindu or Christian agenda – my goal is to open a discussion which has dead-locked reason below several layers of propriety and political-correctness. The good Muslim people you know – who respect their women and their freedom, who respect other religions, who believe in the ideas of democracy – these people are not ideal Muslims per the standards of fundamental Islam. These are the people who’ve subconsciously realized that goodness lies outside dogma – and their religion shouldn’t be the center of their lives.
Hence, do not judge the Muslims that you know by Islam and do not judge Islam by the Muslims that you know. Muslims and Islam are two completely different entities. Your average Muslim is being played at the hands of fundamentalists for centuries now.
No Muslim should ever be harassed because of his/her religion. Like you and me, they’re too born in their religion – and unlike others it is not easy to leave Islam. Fundamentalists don’t let you go without a fight – and most often you die in that fight. Many free thinkers have lost their lives in that process.
Islamic fundamentalism is a lot like Communism. Communism has it’s appeal in idealism enforced through control. The idea of communism appeared great on paper – but in practice it became an untamable monster – and made a few people extremely powerful. Islam has the same appeal. Those who convert to Islam – are tired of extreme consumerism of west and Islam seems like a completely opposite option, almost ascetic in it’s teachings. But that is just a cover for recruiting you into Allah’s army, with one and only one goal of spreading Islam, far and wide.
Your average pseudo-intellectual liberals see the world in black and white. The cunning nature of Islamic fundamentalism is beyond their grasp. Islam (mostly the large presence and control of fundamentalism) is a bigger problem today than ever. With the advancement of technology in weapons, who knows how long could we can control the nuclear technology or chemical weapons from falling into one of the Islamic terror organisations. And this danger is not from across the borders anymore – it is home grown. It is from the spreading fundamentalism on our own soil. If you go by the principles of Muslim brotherhood Islam is already bigger than any country in the world. According to statistical predictions by 2030, 26% population of the world will be following Islam. Mohammad has won – but Muslims have lost.
The solution is smarter Islam management. This is the only peacefully enforceable solution to keep this monster of a religion from further engulfing the world. Japan is already pioneering this. We need to start seeing how Islam has been playing secularism against democracy. Democratic countries need to put constraints on the further spread of Islam:
- Democratic countries need to communicate to the Islamic nations that they should expect secular treatment for Islam when they open their own countries to secularism.
- Muslim law (Sharia) bodies shouldn’t be allowed to run parallel constitution for Muslims.
- Women in Islam need immediate emancipation – they’ve suffered long enough – more opportunities need to be created for them.
- Madrassas which have been the source of drilling flawed ideas need to be closely watched for their content – no need to stop their traditional education – but Muslim youth needs to be brought under the purview of mainstream open education.
- Laws related to monogamy and the number of children need to strongly enforced – this is high priority for local Muslim economy.
- Civil Liberties of followers shall not be allowed to be suppressed in the name of religion. When constitution of a country ensure certain freedoms – no muslim law board should have a right to veto them in the name of sharia.
Conclusively, it needs to be communicated to Islamic fundamentalists in our respective countries that it’s followers can enjoy the fruits of democracy – but on only condition – that any anti-democratic, anti-freedom, anti-equality dogma will not be tolerated in the name of Islam.
Islam is a sensitive subject – and needs to be managed carefully. It is important to make secularism more competent in dealing with rogue religions than leaving the job to other religion’s fundamentalists – who’ve their own respective anti-muslim agenda.
I’d like to emphasize again that I have no intention to hurt anybody’s religious sentiments. Neither do I speak from an arrogant place of an atheist who take pride in putting down people’s faith. There’s no way to have a solution-oriented discussion about Islamic terrorism – without bringing Islamic fundamentalism in the picture. I believe the onus falls on the new generation Muslims to take over the charge of their respective communities and protect them from getting hijacked by fundamentalists.
But every religion is flawed?
True, some more, some less – not equally. You can’t make a fair judgment by saying that every religion is EQUALLY flawed. In present era, the reality that needs to be acknowledged is that something has gone really wrong with Islam, without falling into the traps of political correctness. One needs to frankly introspect that why Islam is more prone to misuse, so much that it’s own identity is in danger. The meaning of Islam has changed, that is the sign of danger. Good Muslims need to work towards breaking this self-hypnosis that Islam has fallen into. An open attitude towards self-inquiry and introspection is the only way. Men and women have suffered through a most horrendous history to achieve democracy as a politically stable system. Everybody owes it to our ancestors to not go back into the medieval age – besides blood, there’s nothing there for anybody. Courtesy of (IndianExponent)
Jews of Two Worlds @ http://www.khabar.com/magazine/cover-story/jews_of_two_worlds_indians_in_israel