We’re all aware of the “issue” that is Islamic extremism and Jihadi terrorists. But as soon as we begin to discuss this issue, we’re met with the obvious retaliation, “this is not indicative of Islam and is the fault of a tiny minority of Muslims – stop generalising”. In fact I don’t want to discuss Islamic militarism today but rather the far greater issue of Islamic moderatism. Sharia law is something that affects the overwhelming percentage of moderate Muslims and this is the really big issue we’re not dealing with.
This article today is inspired by the dialog between Maajid Nawaz and Sara Saleh on ABC’s The Drum.
I think it is very obvious that if government itself is to persist anywhere in the world, theocratic regimes cannot continue to exist. If freedom is to be righteous and valued in any society, secularism can be the only way to support such an ideal.
It’s very well documented that human rights are stifled under any Islamic theocracy. This is because these governments function through Sharia law that is based off both the Quran and Hadith. I don’t need to explain the stupidity in attempting to run a dynamic 21st century civilisation off the back of torpid scripture written 1,500 years ago.
I could rattle off examples of the indignities and oppressive Shari law for days. Women are horrifically oppressed. The treatment of Muslim women (not just a tiny minority but all of them) who live in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, and several other countries is perhaps the finest example of inequality the world over.
It’s not only the putrid treatment of half the Muslim population that’s indignant either, but also their barbaric juridical system. Petty acts such as drinking alcohol will warrant caning or lashing. Married female adulterers will be stoned to death. Unmarried female adulterers will receive a hundred lashes. Stealing will see your right hand amputated while banditry will see your hand and foot cut off.
However, the biggest issue of all is apostasy. In order for humanity to overcome this disgusting theocracy, there must be a massive influx of apostates. It’s happening right now in the Christian faith because most Christians live in a free, secular society. But when the penalty for apostasy in Islamic countries is almost certainly death, how do we expect people to leave the faith?
Children are born into religion all over the world. The epoch as well as location in which you’re born will determine what religion you have. You don’t get to pick whether you’re brought up a Jew, Christian, or a Muslim. Or whether you’re brought up worshiping the Judeo-Christian god, Allah, Thor, or Zeus. But in secular societies, this luxury is afforded to you once you decide to think critically about your faith and whether you wish to recant or not.
At a certain age, people will often question their faith and what they believe in. This, undoubtedly, happens in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Afghanistan as well. But the difference is that these people dare not commit to apostasy for fear of their lives – despite not being intellectually invested in Islamic ideals anymore.
There is no community for those seeking to leave the faith. There is no means for apostates to seek refuge from the theocratic tyranny that has imposed their dated and iniquitous values from the day they were born.
Terrorism and extremism is a problem. But it’s a tiny problem in comparison to the humanitarian disaster that is Islam in all its moderatism. For humanity to progress, Islamic apostates need to be enabled, encouraged, and safe to recant.