Ali Salman: Moving away from the ‘Political Islam’ bogeyman

This is the text of my speech at the Europe-Muslim World Democracy Forum organized by the Europe Conservatives and Reformists Group led by MEP Syed Kamall on 19th February 2019 at the EU Parliament, Brussels.

Let me begin by thanking MEP Syed Kamall and MEP Amjad Bashir for giving me an opportunity to speak in this important forum and also for meeting some old and new friends here in Brussels!

I will start my contribution by referring to the introductory paragraph of the agenda which pertains to this session. In my view, this short passage is a good summary of not-so-good understanding about the nature of “Political Islam”, liberal democracy and minority rights in what we refer as the “Muslim world”, but let me quickly qualify it by calling it Muslim-majority nations, or may be even OIC member countries.

I will respond to these well-understood positions:

  1. Political Islam has an impact which has raised suspicion towards non-Muslims, leading to violence and curtailment of religious freedom.
  2. Muslim intellectuals are making efforts to legitimize legal and political equality of Muslims and non-Muslims.
  3. Religious minorities are declining in Muslim-majority countries.

Hence the hypothesis is: political Islam is suppressing religious minorities despite intellectual efforts by modern Muslim scholars to reinterpret Islamic knowledge and define legal and political equality between Muslims and non-Muslims, which is failing.

Let’s unpack Political Islam. In simple words, it is the idea that in Islam, the religion commands total life, including politics. Pakistan’s Maulana Mawdudi was one of the most prominent proponents of this idea which has proved highly influential in inspiring worldwide political movements. Once considered his protégé, another Pakistani scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamidi (considered his anti-thesis) has turned the whole idea of Political Islam on its head – by arguing that setting up a political authority is not a religious obligation of Muslims.

Not just intellectually, but at the level of  realpolitik as well, Political Islam has failed. Let’s do a quick survey.

In Pakistan, Political Islam has no mass following and what we observe now is actually scattered pockets of support which is actually rooted in ethnicity, sparse urban following, and/or manifestation of support from the military establishment.

In Malaysia, Political Islam does have street power to stop major reforms but it does not have the power of delivery. PAS has remained in power in the North eastern state of Kelantan for more than forty years and Kelantan remains the poorest state of Malaysia.

In Iran, where Islamists actually brought revolution, the economic situation remains worrisome despite of enormous oil reserves and the power that Iranian clerical regime holds over the policy making. We are just witnessing what terrible economic consequences an oil-rich country can bring on its people- in the shape of Venezuela.

In Bangladesh, Political Islam never flourished, though what we now see is another form of democratic fascism where rule of law has been shattered.

In Indonesia, two largest Muslim organizations, Muhammadiya and Nahdlatul Ulema remain highly influential but not involved in direct politics.

In Turkey, AKP is associated with Political Islam, but this position is contentious and rivalled, and before it entered into current authoritarian phase, it is credited with significant economic development.

These large countries, undoubtedly, democratic in the sense of procedural and institutional framework, comprise almost half of the OIC member countries population and half of its GDP show that Political Islam is now dead.

Let me now turn to the status of religious minorities in some of these countries. I am more familiar with at least two countries mentioned – Malaysia, where I am currently based; and Pakistan, where I come from.

In the case of Malaysia, it is correct that the non-Malay population (particularly Chinese) which has remained a minority but exert economic influence, is decreasing. However, in Malaysia, all policies have ethnic lines, and in this case, these lines neatly overlap with religious lines. Hence, to argue that political Islam in Malaysia is responsible for suppressing religious minorities is not tenable.

In the case of Pakistan, it is true that religious minorities, that includes both Muslims and non-Muslims by the way, are finding it increasingly difficult to survive. However, it is not correct to attribute this failing of the state to political Islam in Pakistan.

In Pakistan, the constitution actually provides for equality and non-discrimination on the basis of religion, gender and ethnicity, however the state remains abysmally weak to enforce its writ, giving individuals and groups extra ordinary power to act as a state within state. However let’s appreciate that even in Pakistan, the courts are now striking back. Two landmark judgements- Tasaddaq Jillani in 2014 and Saqib Nisar in 2018- show the importance accorded to protection of religious minorities by the superior courts. Most recently, the Chief Justice of Pakistan has upheld the Supreme Court decision to acquit Asiya Bibi who unfortunately had to spend nine years in the prison on death row, before acquittal. A couple of years ago, a trial judge found the killer of slain governor of Punjab Salman Taseer guilty of the murder and awarded capital punishment to his assassin, Mumtaz Qadri, who was hanged. (The judge left Pakistan since then!)

As should be obvious by giving these two disparate examples, the problems faced by religious minorities are not caused by “Political Islam”- rather we can find absence of rule of law and poor governance as primary factors.

There is no inherent incompatibility between Islam and democracy and also Muslims communities worldwide are desirous of representative governments. However the quality of these democratic institutions are as good or as bad as anywhere else. In Europe, we see that the right wing, ultra- nationalism is getting more democratic space; in the US, we find that democratic choices have led to ‘America, first’ symptom.

Obviously the basic administrative ability of states in most of the Muslim majority countries is significantly weaker than their counterparts in Europe and US and hence the discussion over the future of liberal democracy in the Muslim majority countries is often blind sighted by discussion on Political Islam. It only helps in masking real problems.

Let’s now turn our attention to the intellectual dimension of the status of minorities in Islam, which is highly contentious one. In fact, the debate on ‘equality in Islam’ always ends up at two major criticisms – women and minority rights – leading to this claim that Islam does not allow equality on the basis of gender and religion. I will restrict myself to the issue of minority rights here.

To begin with, let’s establish a simple fact, which will demonstrate gravity of the problem.

Quran- the main source of Shariah- provides supportive and critical sets of arguments about equality between Muslims and non-Muslims. I will mention two verses for each position.

For example:

“You are the best community evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong and you believe in God. If only the People of the Scriptures had believed, it would have been better for them. Some of them are believers but most of them are transgressors.”

Al-Imran, verse 110

“O you who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians for friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other. He among you who turns to them for friendship is [one] of them.”

Al-Ma’idah, verse 51

These verses become the basis of arguments in support of Muslim/non-Muslim animosity.

But we also have “other” verses.

“Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians and the Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does good, they have their reward with their Lord, and there is no fear for them, not shall they grieve.”

Al-Baqarah: 62

“This day [all] things good and pure are made lawful to you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful to you and your food is lawful to them. And so are the chaste from among the believing women and the chaste women from among those who have been given the Scriptures before you.”

Al-Ma’idah 5: 5

After a thorough review of Islamic literature on this issue, eminent contemporary jurist and scholar Hashim Kamali concludes that the “the text here permits beneficial exchange, hospitality, and inter-marriage between Muslims, Jews and Christians.”

Kamali follows by an extensive commentary on the sources of hadith and fiqh literature as well as contemporary discussions by Muslim intellectuals on this subject.

The broad conclusion is that the fiqh has disagreements on the equality and ultimately it becomes an issue of interpretation rather than an explicit religious commandment.

Hashim Kamali concludes rather boldly and I quote:

“[Hence] it becomes necessary to abandon all that is disagreeable to the general regime of equality between Muslim and non-Muslim citizens, whether it is the jizyah, military service or employment to government positions, except for the office of the head of state, which should be reserved for Muslims.”

In addition to these intellectual efforts, let me also say that in most of the cases, the constitutional law in Muslim countries provides for equality and shuns all types of discrimination. This means that the post-colonial Muslim societies and nation-states have actually resolved this tension pragmatically. They have resolved the ‘minority rights’ problem at the level of fiqh, at the level of law and at the level of politics. The bewildering chasm between this statement and actual situation on the ground in the Muslim lands should invite our attention to the status of the rule of law, good governance and ‘civilizational Islam’, rather than ‘Political Islam’ or superficial discussion on the compatibility between Islam and liberal democracy.

Ali Salman is CEO of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) Malaysia and CEO of Islam and Liberty Network, a global platform for researchers and academics. An economist, public policy expert and a think tank professional, he has worked in the government, private businesses, NGOs, and universities. This first appeared at Islam and Liberty Network.

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63 Responses to Ali Salman: Moving away from the ‘Political Islam’ bogeyman

  1. Rafe Champion

    What is the position of political Islam on Militant Islam? Just a matter of Rule of Law?

  2. Helen

    So Malaysia is chucking out Chinese is because of ethnicity? Just like Turkey did the Armenians? And therefore this is not Islam? your statement

    Hence, to argue that political Islam in Malaysia is responsible for suppressing religious minorities is not tenable.

    becasue of ethnicity is wrong – because you do not refer to the concept of Kuffur – or anyone non muslim – and it’s effect on the decline of minorities in Muslim countries.

    You can’t pick and choose the Koran.

  3. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    But we also have “other” verses.

    Al-Baqarah: 62

    Al-Ma’idah 5: 5

    nice try, these are abrogated verses. They are null and void and can be used to deceive the kuffar.

    All moslems are liars, the cult of death can never be trusted.

  4. These large countries, undoubtedly, democratic in the sense of procedural and institutional framework, comprise almost half of the OIC member countries population and half of its GDP show that Political Islam is now dead.

    So if only just over half of non-Muslim Australians wanted a ban on Muslim immigration, “Islamophobia” would be dead?

    However the quality of these democratic institutions are as good or as bad as anywhere else. In Europe, we see that the right wing, ultra- nationalism is getting more democratic space; in the US, we find that democratic choices have led to ‘America, first’ symptom.

    So the position of “progressives” in the USA is equivalent to the position of dissentients in Iran?

    The food of the People of the Book is lawful to you and your food is lawful to them. And so are the chaste from among the believing women and the chaste women from among those who have been given the Scriptures before you.”

    Al-Ma’idah 5: 5

    After a thorough review of Islamic literature on this issue, eminent contemporary jurist and scholar Hashim Kamali concludes that the “the text here permits beneficial exchange, hospitality, and inter-marriage between Muslims, Jews and Christians.

    Where’s the bit about Muslim women being allowed to marry non-Muslim men?

    “[Hence] it becomes necessary to abandon all that is disagreeable to the general regime of equality between Muslim and non-Muslim citizens, whether it is the jizyah, military service or employment to government positions, except for the office of the head of state, which should be reserved for Muslims.

    Oh, that’s all right then.

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    Zippy – no. Ali is a good friend as are others in the Islam and Liberty group. They are not liars.

  6. woolfe

    Without complete separation of Church from State there can be no democratic state. Unfortunately Gaia is not separated from our state.

  7. Confused Old Misfit

    In simple words, it is the idea that in Islam, the religion commands total life, including politics.

    Then what is the difference between Political Islam and Islam qua Islam?

    … in the US, we find that democratic choices have led to ‘America, first’ symptom.

    In the USA we find that democratic choices have led, as they should, to America first.
    I cannot think of any Muslim majority (or Muslim ruled) countries that put American interests above their own. Some of their citizens seem to have a preference for the USA as an immigration destination.

    America is America because its institutions have until very recently allowed free expressions in literally all aspects of civil life.
    I cannot imagine any Muslim majority country with the equivalent of the American constitution’s First Amendment.
    Islams welding of religion to politics has created a problem and a fault line between our cultures.

  8. jupes

    Who is this fuckwit kidding?

    Taqiyya on stilts.

  9. Sinclair Davidson

    Oh, that’s all right then.

    Our own head of state has to be a member of the church of England and forbidden from being a Catholic.

  10. [Repeat with one alteration – got put into moderation for quoting a Muslim’s reference to they who must not be named.]

    These large countries, undoubtedly, democratic in the sense of procedural and institutional framework, comprise almost half of the OIC member countries population and half of its GDP show that Political Islam is now dead.

    So if only just over half of non-Muslim Australians wanted a ban on Muslim immigration, “Islamophobia” would be dead?

    However the quality of these democratic institutions are as good or as bad as anywhere else. In Europe, we see that the right wing, ultra- nationalism is getting more democratic space; in the US, we find that democratic choices have led to ‘America, first’ symptom.

    So the position of “progressives” in the USA is equivalent to the position of dissentients in Iran?

    The food of the People of the Book is lawful to you and your food is lawful to them. And so are the chaste from among the believing women and the chaste women from among those who have been given the Scriptures before you.”

    Al-Ma’idah 5: 5

    After a thorough review of Islamic literature on this issue, eminent contemporary jurist and scholar Hashim Kamali concludes that the “the text here permits beneficial exchange, hospitality, and inter-marriage between Muslims, [Jious] and Christians.”

    Where’s the bit about Muslim women being allowed to marry non-Muslim men?

    “[Hence] it becomes necessary to abandon all that is disagreeable to the general regime of equality between Muslim and non-Muslim citizens, whether it is the jizyah, military service or employment to government positions, except for the office of the head of state, which should be reserved for Muslims.

    Oh, that’s all right then.

  11. Behind Enemy Lines

    I’m sure if someone digs hard enough he’ll find a pony buried somewhere in all that manure.

    Me, I couldn’t be bothered. I’m content to let these chaps debate political islam to their hearts’ content . . . back home, thank you very much.

  12. notafan

    If muslims can eat the same as the People of the Book (which is a misnomer as far as Christianity goes but whatever) how come we have halal certification here in Australia?

    I would like to see the comments about the koranic verses debated by someone within the muslim community

  13. None

    False analogy Sinclair. The reason why that is the case is because the Queen of England is also the head of the The Church of England. If you want to disestablish The Church of England in England go ahead but there are all sorts of constitutional difficulties so you’re going to have to live with it and it’s not as if she interferes in either the church or the state. State leaders of Muslim countries are not religious leaders. Islam does not have any centralised authority. The substitution game doesn’t work when you try to substitute a lemon for a banana.

  14. John Brumble

    He’s not being intellectually honest, though, is he Sinclair? Where Zippy refers to abrogated verses, the two given in contrast are very, very mild and we all know that they are far from the worst.

    Meanwhile, even if the two he does give are not abrogated (or at least are still relevant), they are far from conciliatory. Take the first for example – suggesting that you should not worry about believers because they shall have their reward with the Lord. Such a line is a common exhortation when referring to those who died. Perhaps even those who died due to it being better for the others to have believed?

    But perhaps I’m being unfair and there are better verses. If that’s the case, I’d like your friend Ali to provide some better verses, please. The ones given are poor at the task he’s set them.

    Recently, I purchase a remote controlled car for my child. It had a picture of a car going “off-road” on it. I bought it because our garden provides a good, tiny dirt track. The car didn’t go off-road, though, despite the picture on the cover. I found out later that the picture on the cover was contradicted by the small print in the manual “do not use on dirt”. So there’s that. I took it back. I was more concerned about what the car actually did than what the picture on the front designed by marketers indicated it did.

    I applaud the work of any organisation that works to bring people together. The first step is acceptance.

  15. bespoke

    Ali Salman, Every time a western leader bans some one like Milo or restricts speech they are sending the message that Muslim’s are to volatile.

  16. jupes

    An example: Taqiyya Man:

    Most recently, the Chief Justice of Pakistan has upheld the Supreme Court decision to acquit Asiya Bibi who unfortunately had to spend nine years in the prison on death row, before acquittal.

    Reading that, you would think that Asiya Bibi is a free woman. Well no:

    Asia Bibi, the mother of five who spent almost a decade on death row for a crime she did not commit, is reported to be in dire physical condition as she continues to be held in a safe house in the Pakistani city of Karachi. Bibi, 53, was acquitted of blasphemy last October after the Supreme Court ruled that the accusations had no evidential basis. Since then, Bibi has been granted asylum in Canada, but as yet has not been released from her home country.

    RTWT to witness what the Pakistani people think of not following Koranic blasphemy laws.

  17. jupes

    Imagine, there are people who actually believe a Muslim when he tells them that political Islam is now dead.

    Words fail.

  18. A Lurker

    You’ll forgive me if I take all of what was written by the guest author with a double-B truckload of salt.

  19. Tel

    You can’t pick and choose the Koran.

    In literal terms, yes you can and indeed pretty much everyone picks and chooses some aspects of their religion. At least eclectic Westerners admit that’s what they are doing.

    As to whether the majority of Muslims will choose to follow along … probably not … but then they spend a lot of time breaking up into sects and whacking each other already. One more breakaway isn’t going to change much in that respect.

  20. The author states that Political Islam has failed.
    He does NOT say Political Islam doesn’t exist.
    Ergo political Islam exists. (Co-rule by the Saud and Wahabbi for example)

    Individuals or groups who do not believe in the separation of church and state, do not deserve the offer of citizenship of those places that do believe in the separation. That would be called “undermining ones self.”

    We are undermining ourselves.

  21. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Zippy – no. Ali is a good friend as are others in the Islam and Liberty group. They are not liars.

    Then why is he using abrogated verses? The only reason these cancelled verses remain in the koran is to deceive unbelievers into thinking that islam is a religion of peace. To hide the true nature of the koran its authors scrambled the verses and ordered them by length, obfuscating the timeline, stories and meaning. Certain verses provide guidance as to which verses are valid and which are not.

    You need to have a good look at dawah, muslims will alway attempt dawah with unbelievers. Muslims in the first instance will attempt to convert the unbeliever with kindness through dawah, which is islamic outreach, the aim of which is to disarm figuratively and metaphorically the unbeliever and get them into the cult or at least have them onside.

    Due to this intricate and complex system of deception (taqiyya kitman tawriya muruna) you can never be sure exactly where a muslims stands. To suggest that political islam has no interest in the mentioned countries or does not have a role in politics is totally disingenuous.

    You can test a muslim by asking about taqiyya, if he says it’s a shia thing you know he playing games with you or if they say jihad is just an inner struggle then you can be sure they are taking you for a ride.

    It takes very little digging to uncover the lack of veracity in the above claims

    An entire section of Pakistan’s constitution, for instance, is dedicated exclusively to Islamic provisions. Article 227 holds that all existing laws “shall be brought in conformity with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah […] and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such injunctions.” In addition to this well-known “repugnancy clause,” that section further establishes the Islamic Council, comprised traditionally of Islamic clerics or scholars who carry enormous interpretive weight, to advise on such legal matters. Likewise, a dedicated Shari’a court is established under Article 203.

    The only valid interpretation of what your friend is saying when referring to political islam is groups like the taliban, nevertheless there are no shortage of hard core parties in pakistan.

    Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (F)
    Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Assembly of Islamic Clergy, Fazl-ur-Rahman Group, JUI-F) is an ultra-conservative religious and theocratic party which, in 2002, formed a ruling coalition with Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and with the PML(Q) in Balochistan. It currently holds 15 seats in the National Assembly, 5 seats in the Senate, 17 seats in the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 8 seats in the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan. Its economic policy is socialist and moderate.[8]

  22. John

    There’s a far simpler test of the veracity of these comments. When Catholics are as free to build their Churches and propagate their religion in Muslim dominated countries as Muslims are in Australia, then I’ll believe them.

  23. Tel

    There is no inherent incompatibility between Islam and democracy and also Muslims communities worldwide are desirous of representative governments. However the quality of these democratic institutions are as good or as bad as anywhere else. In Europe, we see that the right wing, ultra- nationalism is getting more democratic space; in the US, we find that democratic choices have led to ‘America, first’ symptom.

    I’m guessing that by “ultra-nationalism” you mean people who wish to exert some small control over their own borders without that option being taken away from them by some group of people far away. The sort of position that would automatically go without saying in oh say Malaysia or Pakistan.

    How you you distinguish between common or garden nationalism, and ultra-nationalism, hyper-nationalism or any other kind of nationalism? I think it’s important to get these terms clear and precise.

    As for “America First”, if someone put forward the idea that Pakistan’s main purpose was to keep India as happy as possible, give them everything they ask for … how would your average Pakistani politician react to this suggestion? No, it’s a serious question … you have a problem with Americans wanting to prioritize their own needs, so go right out there and show me a country full of Muslims that prioritizes the needs of non-Muslims. Just pick one and give me the details.

  24. Tel

    In Indonesia, two largest Muslim organizations, Muhammadiya and Nahdlatul Ulema remain highly influential but not involved in direct politics.

    The jailing of Christian Jakarta Governor “Ahok” on blasphemy charges would have to be a classic example of political Islam in operation. The hard liners put out leaflets with Koran verses saying that no Muslim may ever be ruled by a non-Muslim. When Ahok tried to argue against this a large mob took to the streets and demanded he be imprisoned and the courts buckled under pressure. If this isn’t political Islam, I don’t know what is.

  25. Confused Old Misfit

    There is no inherent incompatibility between Islam and democracy and also Muslims communities worldwide are desirous of representative governments.

    How does this concept fit (or not fit) with the strictures of the Koran and Hadith?
    Democracy and representative government can only truly exist in a secular culture.
    Again, can any one conceive of a Muslim majority country with an article in its constitution similar to that of the American First Amendment?

  26. Tel

    Ali Salman, Every time a western leader bans some one like Milo or restricts speech they are sending the message that Muslim’s are to volatile.

    I’m pretty sure it was the black hooded antifa goons, not the Muslims, who went spac at Milo.

    The empty head egg boi shock troops are a lot bolder and more entitled than your average Muslim. I blame our education system for those.

  27. Tim Neilson

    Our own head of state has to be a member of the church of England and forbidden from being a Catholic.

    Anyone who doesn’t like it can emigrate, campaign for a republic here, or campaign for an amendment to the Act of Settlement in the UK.

    What are the options in an Islamic state?

  28. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Understanding abrogation in the koran

    Naskh has been defined as

    “Abrogation, revocation, repeal. Theoretical tool used to resolve contradictions in Quranic verses, hadith literature, tafsir (Quranic exegesis), and usul al-fiqh, whereby later verses (or reports or decisions) abrogate earlier ones.[14]
    an exegetical (explaining) theory of the repeal or abolition of a law for divine commands in the Quran and the Hadiths, wherein the contradictory verses, within or between these Islamic scriptures, are analyzed.[11] Through Naskh, the superseding verse as well as the superseded verse(s) are determined for the purposes of formulating Sharia.

    The rule is simple later verses override earlier verses where they contradict as in the example on christians & juden your friend provides. Muslims can be deceptive because the length of verse ordering obfuscates which is earlier and which is later.

    Nevertheless one does not need to dig hard because all the early verses are peaceful and all the later period verses preach violence. Each reflect the period of mohamed’s life where he tried being a prophet to no avail then later started looting and waging war and spreading the cult by force.

    So the rule for us kafur is easy, where a verse is peaceful it will almost certainly be an early verse and in conflict with later parts of the koran which preach hatred and violence.

  29. Confused Old Misfit

    Our own head of state

    is largely ceremonial and uninvolved in the day to day policy making that is the task of her government.
    If she chooses to leave the CoE she is free so to do.
    She will lose her crown.
    She will not lose her life.

  30. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Bill Warner has done a sterling job of removing duplicated stories and placing the verses back in the correct order, it’s an epic read. I strongly recommend it.

  31. John Brumble

    I think Tel gets close, but doesn’t quite go all the way. The problem, such as it is, is not normal people of one or another stripe; the problem is those who would demand others think a certain way. So when Mr Ali writes about how inclusive Islam can be, he’s missing the point. The very best thing someone looking for peace and understanding to do would be to publicly castigate the likes of Waleed Ali (or if that’s a step too far, a non-muslim apologist for bad behaviour) for trying to excuse bad acts. Catholic priests and Imans have failed vulnerable youths in different ways. Amd in both cases, there is a response required from the church hierarchy and adherants that doesn’t involve deflecting responsibility.

    It’s perfectly reasonable for people to be worried about violent attacks. Trying to pretend there is nothing wrong is as bad as pretending that everything is wrong.

  32. Mater

    The problem, such as it is, is not normal people of one or another stripe; the problem is those who would demand others think a certain way

    Yep. It’s kind of a moot point when this sort of thing is on Australian streets and obviously well connected in to community.
    Go to 6:03 and watch for about 5 minutes. Watch further for more. There is a problem.

    Asking Muslims If We Can Criticize Islam – Sydney, Australia with Armin Navabi

  33. bespoke

    Tel
    #2962976, posted on March 18, 2019 at 8:05 pm
    Ali Salman, Every time a western leader bans some one like Milo or restricts speech they are sending the message that Muslim’s are to volatile.
    I’m pretty sure it was the black hooded antifa goons, not the Muslims, who went spac at Milo.

    Yes it is I was thinking more about image being created in the west that Muslims cant stand criticism. Iv seen very robust debate the hajib etc on Aljazeera that you would not see on the ABC.

  34. Lutz

    Is someone here ignoring the last 1400 years of relentless islamic attack and subjugation of the surrounding states (still happening in Africa) by focusing on some minor inconsequential quibbles. Since they have found that warfare doesn’t get the results the invasion is now taking place by abusing our free societies through migration. Looking back to the 50s and 60 Islam was not a problem, but became one when the Saudies started spreading their extremist wahhabi madrassas all over the world.
    Concerning the author, he/she should talk to more Indians and Chinese in Malaysia and how they are discriminated against through the government and financial institutions for example.

  35. Zatara

    – When your national laws include the offense of ‘Blasphemy’, invariably applied to those who criticize Islam or Laws specifically directed at a particular religion or sect…
    – When you have state funded and operated ‘religious police’…
    – When your laws forbid the importation of the Bible or the Torah…
    – When your laws prohibit the establishment of churches, synagogues, shrines, etc…
    – When being caught practicing a different religion can land you in prison…
    – When your state universities turn out more graduates in Islamic Studies than any other field…

    Then ‘political Islam’ as you describe it, is alive and kicking.

  36. Rob MW

    These large countries, undoubtedly, democratic in the sense of procedural and institutional framework, comprise almost half of the OIC member countries population and half of its GDP show that Political Islam is now dead.

    If they were able, victims of Political Islam would argue differently. On the other hand, strict adherents to political Islam have no need to be politically strong, their strength lay in the normality of humanity’s fear of fear.

  37. Paulgf

    This article is disingenuous garbage. Nice substitution of religious minorities for minorities in general. Ask a gay Muslim how he is treated in most Islamic countries ? Of the 4 countries that openly still killing gay people, Iran , Saudi Arabia , Somalia, all have a form of political Islam , Iraq the fourth technically isn’t political Islam but is Islamic nonetheless. To these persecuted gays political Islam is more than just a bogeyman , it is a symbol of death.

    The problem most liberals have with political Islam is its adherence to sharia law over secular laws, meaning the Quran is interpretated today as it and the Hadiths were written , mostly over 1000 years ago. Yes technically political Islam isn’t inconsistent with democracy or representative government. Even J.S Mill would agree with that . But that argument doesn’t mean anything if you understand what the terms truly mean. Democracy is the rule of the mob essentially and representative government just means that representatives of the mob then rule in a government.

    What is important is rather liberal democracy and not just not democracy per say but where voting rights are supported by recognition of other inalienable rights like free speech, right to practise religion free from discrimination, right to sexual freedom etc. Political Islam is alive and well and growing in many parts of the world not dying as this author asserts. I have no issue with that as long as it stays there but I do have issue when I see Muslims who immigrate to the west then seeking to make themselves subject to their own sharia law not the rule of law of their new found home.

    One could go through the quoted verses he has rolled out and find many more that are preaching the polar opposite particularly with respect to Jews. If political Islam wasn’t a problem explain to me how 19 of the 21 Arab League states do not recognise the existence of Israel and still openly call for its destruction as does Hamas who basically runs the Palestinian terroritory. As of just last Wednesday Hamas were quite happily lobbying missiles into Israel, to be shot down by there iron dome but not reported by the western press as it doesn’t fit the false narrative being pushed to us just as this author is also pushing.

    I welcome Muslims to Australia but they need to come to this country accepting not only democracy but secular law and the other tenets of human rights that go with a secular society but accepting they are free to practice their religion as they see fit. People here have a right to express that view without being labelled a white supremacist or being accused of triggering mass murder which is offensive and disgusting. But this author needs to know some of us are not idiots and don’t swallow this article at all which is misleading on so many levels.

  38. C.L.

    … the constitutional law in Muslim countries provides for equality and shuns all types of discrimination.

    LOL.

  39. struth

    Imagine, there are people who actually believe a Muslim when he tells them that political Islam is now dead.

    Words fail.

    Yep.

  40. Rabid Koala

    Meanwhile a muslim just committed a terrorist attack in Holland….

  41. David Brewer

    What threatens the world is not “political Islam” as defined here.

    As defined here, “political Islam” is just political parties with an Islamic agenda, i.e. those that wish to introduce Sharia law. Those parties are only active in countries with a substantial Muslim population. They would generally make things worse in those countries if they came to power, although merely kicking out the existing kleptocracies may provide some temporary relief.

    What threatens the world is simply Islam itself as derived from the Koran and Mohammed. The reason is that Islam includes a total program of behaviour and social organisation which is antithetical to freedom as it has developed since the Enlightenment. Taken as a whole and with fair allowance for different possible interpretations of multiple statements in the holy texts, Islam licences the subjugation of women, the persecution of unbelievers, religious war, special hatred of Jews, cruel punishments for homosexuality, adultery, and other transgressions, the death penalty for apostates – and so on.

    Having lived in Malaysia, I find the author’s arguments familiar. I would not necessarily share the distrust of them that some Cats have expressed; in fact I suspect he is perfectly sincere. Many Muslims are, and are also moral people in their personal lives, partly at least from following religious precepts. As Carl Goldberg says (see his The Logic of Islam on youtube), Muslims are not our enemy…but Islam is.

  42. Sinclair Davidson

    I would not necessarily share the distrust of them that some Cats have expressed; in fact I suspect he is perfectly sincere. Many Muslims are, and are also moral people in their personal lives, partly at least from following religious precepts.

    Isn’t this the argument we should judge people by the quality of their character and not the colour of their skin, their religion, or their nationality?

  43. Sinclair Davidson

    Ask a gay Muslim how he is treated in most Islamic countries ?

    Or how gay people have been treated all over the world up until very recently?

  44. Zatara

    Or how gay people have been treated all over the world up until very recently?

    Because gays were thrown to their deaths off rooftops at the order of the state all over the world?

    Recently or not.

  45. Zatara

    Isn’t this the argument we should judge people by the quality of their character and not the colour of their skin, their religion, or their nationality?

    How about we judge them by their actions first?

    Scholars can debate their character later.

  46. DD

    David Brewer at 7:30 am.

    Muslims are not our enemy…but Islam is.

    Wrong!

    Muslims are the followers and proponents of islam so muslims are our enemy.

  47. David Brewer at 7:30 am.

    Muslims are not our enemy…but Islam is.

    Might as well say school shooters are not the problem, guns are the problem.
    Guns….Islam…both tools. Some are kept privately in the home, some are used for violence.

  48. Fibro

    Couldn’t bother reading past the organising headline.

    Europe-Muslim World Democracy Forum organized by the Europe Conservatives and Reformists Group

    Just shut it down.

  49. David Brewer

    David Brewer at 7:30 am.

    I would not necessarily share the distrust of them that some Cats have expressed; in fact I suspect he is perfectly sincere. Many Muslims are, and are also moral people in their personal lives, partly at least from following religious precepts.

    Response: Sinc: Isn’t this the argument we should judge people by the quality of their character and not the colour of their skin, their religion, or their nationality?

    A. Yes

    Muslims are not our enemy…but Islam is.

    Responses:

    DD: Wrong! Muslims are the followers and proponents of islam so muslims are our enemy.

    Baa Humbug: Might as well say school shooters are not the problem, guns are the problem.
    Guns….Islam…both tools. Some are kept privately in the home, some are used for violence.

    A. Muslims are people; therefore agents, not tools. To the extent that they propagate Islam they will almost certainly not be doing us a favour; see your comments and suggestions the other day Baa Humbug. If they take the militant aspects of it seriously they may have declared themselves our enemies. Yet in a discussion with them of something which is precious to them one is unlikely to make any impression if one assumes they are insincere.

  50. David Brewer
    #2963985, posted on March 19, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    A. Muslims are people; therefore agents, not tools.
    I agree. That’s why I said, and you copy pasted…

    Guns….Islam…both tools.

    I said Islam is a tool (it is).
    I know Muslims are people, therefore agents, I was born one.
    However I must admit that my analogy of school shooters and guns reads arse about to what I was trying to say.

  51. jupes

    Isn’t this the argument we should judge people by the quality of their character and not the colour of their skin, their religion, or their nationality?

    In a homogeneous western society yes. However not when their religion is Islam.

    Violent Muslims come from, live among and are supported by non-violent Muslims. Officially* over four times as many Muslims in Australia fought for Islamic State than are members of the ADF.

    What is the point of allowing these people to live here? What is the benefit to Australia and Australians?

    * No doubt a gross under-exaggeration.

  52. Win

    RIP Nigerian Christians.You died in vain .
    Congratulations Nigetian Muslim militants you got 120 infedels and the global MSM by their silence condoned your jihad.

  53. vicki

    For an analysis of the hypocrisy of the many commentators re the Christchurch massacre:

    https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/03/15/new-zealand-the-barbarism-of-identity-politics/

  54. Confused Old Misfit

    I welcome Muslims to Australia but they need to come to this country accepting not only democracy but secular law and the other tenets of human rights that go with a secular society but accepting they are free to practice their religion as they see fit.

    It appears to me that the practice of their religion as they see fit often is in conflict with democracy, secular law and human rights in many of the countries to which their diaspora has carried them.

  55. David Brewer

    Baa Humbug – I did indeed misread your point because of the analogy, sorry about that and thanks for clarifying.

    Your suggestions the other day, though they sound drastic, may be part of the eventual solution. I suppose reason is not likely to be a big part of that solution, but we can try. There are ex-Muslims, there are “moderate Muslims” who by the definitions of Islam are non-Muslims, and there are real Muslims who are willing to engage in rational discussion which in the odd rare case may lead to some enlightenment of them or us. There is also human nature which in the end rebels against the oppression of totalitarian ideologies. I think Goldberg has got it taped, although he too will sound extreme to many.

  56. @David Brewer
    #2965011, posted on March 20, 2019 at 5:49 pm
    No worries Dave.

  57. jupes

    In Turkey, AKP is associated with Political Islam, but this position is contentious and rivalled, and before it entered into current authoritarian phase, it is credited with significant economic development.

    Never mind that their president just called for Aussies to be sent home in coffins.

    Great call Salman you fuckwit.

  58. jupes
    #2965344, posted on March 21, 2019 at 12:25 am

    In Turkey, AKP is associated with Political Islam, but this position is contentious and rivalled, and before it entered into current authoritarian phase, it is credited with significant economic development.

    Great call Salman you fuckwit.

    Good call Jupes.
    Erdogan was buddies and partners with the Islamist Fatullah Gulen. They long planned their take over of Turkey. Erdogan would be the political half, and Gulen the religious half. (Just like the Saudi and Wahabbi).
    They had a falling out over how fast the Islamist part of the plan would be implemented. Gulen thought he could get himself another politician, but Erdogan fvcked him up first.
    Now Gulen is in the USA establishing and overseeing hundreds of islamist schools. America would do well to turn over this cancer to Erdogan.

  59. stackja

    Has Erdogan forgotten about Jamal Khashoggi?

  60. stackja
    #2965880, posted on March 21, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Has Erdogan forgotten about Jamal Khashoggi?

    Yeah, those sorts of events are opportunities for Erdogan to test Donald Trump’s resolve. He tried it with that American pastor.
    But The Donald wouldn’t bow and scrape like his predecessor or the cowardly Europeans so Erdogan has kept his head down for a while.
    He’ll try again. He’s having a go at Australians at mo, as usual just before the Anzac day commemorations.

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