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Susan

Reader comment on item: Ban Islam?
in response to reader comment: Still no reply on why freedom of religion is a thing of christian based countries?

Submitted by Homefront (Australia), Oct 8, 2007 at 21:40

Susan,

Freedom of religion is only a principle in Christian based countries perhaps for the same reason that multiculturalism is a unilateral phenomenon (as Mark Steyn pointed out you cannot be multicultural in Saudi Arabia). The principle that there should be "no compulsion in faith" is a Janus faced mistruth within Muslim societies. It is tempered with the historical reality of jihad and jizya which deprived non-muslims of basic human and proprietary rights and punished them economically for their failure to acknowledge the "one true faith".

One person who commented on the two faced nature of Islam's extremely compromised theoretical freedom of faith was an 11th century Jewish doctor in Baghdad. The Islamic mob's reaction was instant and predictable and the doctor was forced to flee. This illustrates another thing we and the Islamic world do not have in common - an ability to examine oneself and reason critically so as to improve our social technology.

Multilateralism has filled us with the false belief that occidental standards of human rights are universal - so a muslim migrant from north africa is as good as a Swede fleeing the Islamisation of that imperiled country. But what constitutes a human right in Europe or the USA is very different to what is regarded as a human right in Morocco. An anecdote that comes to mind is a tale told by Australian supermodel Annalise Braakensvwald. She made the mistake of riding alone in a cab to her hotel in Morocco.

She was fully clad in a burka but the cab driver spotted her green eyes. Exclaiming that she was beautiful he offered to divorce his wife and marry her. When she politely decline he stopped the cab and attempted to sell her at public auction. She took refuge in a nearby hotel. Annalise regarded this little incident as cute - but one wonders at the implications for a multicultural society such as Italy when men such as the cab driver push past a minority into a significant minority then a majority. I doubt that Italy will be as nice a place to live.

Social technology as expressed by increased recognition of sexual minorities and new forms of free artistry and expression which is driven by the ability to critically examine oneself does not inevitably move forwards - it can move backwards as well. Acceptance of the standards of premodern medieval Islam as being equal to that of liberalised democracies such as our own is one such great leap backwards. I pray that we can survive it - but remain doubtful.

Homefront.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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