-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
At the Peace Conference Scandinavia 2013 held is Oslo, Norway, nine Shaykhs (Islamic leaders) spoke about the values of Islam to a claimed attendance of over 4000. The chairman of Islam Net, Fahad Ullah Qureshi addressed the question of Islamophobia in western media.
As shown in the video, Qureshi asked the audience, who were common Sunni Muslims, if they “supported stoning or whatever punishment Islam or prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) commanded for adultery or any other crime.” The audience was virtually unanimous in their support for these punishments.
The organizers of the conference then ask the key question:
Now what does that tell us? Either all Muslims and Islam is radical, or the media is Islamophobic and racist in their presentation of Islam.
According to this reasoning, since most Muslims hold these views, they can’t be extremists. They might not be extremists when compared to other Muslims, but they are extremists when compared to those who support the concept of basic human rights.
The freedom to use one’s own mind to justify or reject beliefs is the most fundamental of human rights. When one must conceal their non-belief for fear of death or imprisonment, that individual feels isolated from human society.
Of the seven countries where atheism is punishable by death, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mauritania, and the Maldives, all have established Islam as the state religion. For atheists, Islamophobia is a rational belief.
To those who project western mores onto Muslim societies, this video should exhibit the folly of such fanciful efforts. This video is the perfect argument for secularism, James Madison’s “perfect separation” between church/mosque and state. Without the power of the state, these Shaykhs can be fearlessly dismissed as fools. With the power of the state, they are fools to be feared.
As written by the organizers of this conference, the problem is not “Radical Shaykh,” it’s Islam.