An interview with Ibn Warraq Summary:
A Sufi writer, director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism he blames the rise of Islamic fundamentalism on Wahabism, a puritan Islamic sect that has enormous influence in Saudi Arabia, and through them, throughout the world, The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role in Terrorism.
Schwartz replies to accusations of Islamophobia. Indeed, some define Islamophobia simply in terms of public image: When any criticism or negative presentation of Islam becomes identified with Islamophobia, when any scholar who does not play the role of apologist can be so dismissed no matter how substantial his or her research, then the label has shifted from an important designation and legitimate accusation to a weapon of propaganda designed to smear opponents.
In such cases, Islamophobia becomes a particularly powerful form of demopathic discourse, insisting that any criticism of Islam is a form of demonizing hate language. The problem arises when we look more closely at the data. The two cases, however they may share this similarity in being both the objects of vilification, differ in most ways.
The Jews were a minority in German and other European countries, with an understandably passive public discourse, and an extraordinary commitment to public law, as witnessed by their own passive obedience in assembling for deportation.
Despite this public profile of Jews in their culture, Germans were taken over by a ruthless ruler who had plans for world conquest and genocide, and appealed to them by accusing the Jews of everything he planned to do.
Muslims today represent over a billion people — possibly the most numerous religion on earth. They largely do not have societies, and certainly not polities, ruled by law.
By the standards of civil societymale violence has few restraints honor-killings, vendettaassassination. Muslims openly make calls for world conquestviolent attacks on civilians — Muslim and non-Muslim — glorified as holy martyrdom; and a virulent discourse of world conquest and slaughter; and consider any Muslim who denies that terrorism in a part of Islam as a Kafir unbeliever.
Insofar as Islam is genuinely a religion of peace and tolerance for non-observant Muslims and non-Muslim neighbors, then sweeping generalizations about its ruthless imperial tendencies is indeed a form of Islamophobia.
Nor need one express such concerns by demonizing. In order to explore where legitimate criticism crosses the boundary into demonizing hate speech, we must establish a fair approach that applies the same rules to everyone and enables us to register evidence soberly.
Otherwise, demopaths can demand that no one criticize them, even as they engage in the worst kind of hate-speech and violence. Proponents of this perspective, including scholars like John Esposito and popularizers like Karen Armstronghave dominated progressive public discourse for several decades.
The situation seems more than ironic. The US President, a man who had not even read the Quran in translation, tells the Muslims and the rest of the world what their religion is really about?
In the meantime, radical Muslims, fully conversant with the contents of the Quran openly disagree and declare Islam a religion of war and conquestand moderate Muslims noting Islamist use of violence in silencing criticism, bewail the role of Western intellectuals, who, alone, continue to insist that Islam is a religion of peace.
It is one thing to call oneself a religion of peace, another to act on those principles. The most disturbing aspect of Islam at the moment, is the reluctance of Islamic leaders has to denounce Islamic terrorism.
In July ofinternational representatives from Muslim nations opposed a UN attempt to condemn violence in the name of religion. Since the London bombings, a distinct shift to a more accommodating Islamic position at least in public declarations has occurred, but it is not clear how much that shift is a response to a fear of retaliation.
Perhaps the best way to illustrate this fundamental problem with Islam and civil society right now is the Muslim attitude towards those they label apostates Muslims who leave the religion. Islamic law holds that apostates deserve death. Right now, the people who qualify as apostates, and are therefore deserving of death, are Muslims who criticize Islam or call attention to problems and the need to reform.
The standard response from the Islamic world to the voice of moderate Muslim dissent is outrage and death threats which effectively silence those voices. Again, since the London bombings, there has been some movement towards condemning terrorismalthough critics have questioned the value and sincerity of the fatwa.
The situation has a recipe for mafia-style protection rackets and a culture of homerta silence where violence and its threat control public discourse. The terrible tales of Iraq, Darfur, Algeria, etc.!of apostasy in Islam. Irtidād, or apostasy, is defined as turning away from Islam In this essay we shall therefore first examine the body of Fiqh.
The Position and Status of Fiqh It is held by some scholars that the Qur’ān is eternal, “The Law of Apostasy.”. 2. totalitarianism – islam has no seperation of church and state: sharia law governs all. there is no free will in islam: only submission to the will of allah as conveniently determined by the imams who spew vapors to feather their own nests.
there are no moderate muslims: they all support sharia law. For Muslims, apostasy – the renunciation of one’s religious faith – is a sin punishable by death in many parts of the Islamic world.
We discuss apostasy with Ibn Warraq, critic of Islamic fundamentalism and author of a recent book “Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out”. Criticism of Islam has existed since its formative stages. The penalty for apostasy in Islamic law is death. Islam is conceived as a polity, not just as a religious community.
It follows therefore that apostasy is treason. Edward Said, in his essay Islam Through Western Eyes. Sharia law and the death penalty Would abolition of the death penalty be unfaithful (‘indispensables’) in Islam Madhhabs Schools of Islamic law Mafasid Harm (for the individual and society) Maliki Sunni school of jurisprudence Riddah Apostasy Salat Prayer Sariqa Theft.
The controversy over the Afghan Muslim convert to Christianity has brought to the fore the issue of the Islamic law of apostasy. According to the dominant view of the Muslim scholars, the punishment for a Muslim apostate is death.