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Sadly democracy and human rights are at odds with the Islam faith even with a moderate interpretation

Reader comment on item: The Rushdie Rules, 25 Years Later

Submitted by JAMES MATKIN (Canada), Nov 9, 2014 at 20:38

Yes there are divisions about the interpretation of Islamic law, particularly between the literalists and the figurativists, but this reality doesn't help much on what is most important to the world - democracy and human rights under ISLAM. Muslim's from either perspective are subject to the principle that "democracy and human rights are fundamentally at odds with Islamic faith." Muslims are "duty bound to recognize that God is the sovereign and God's sovereignty precludes human beings from being free to conduct their own affairs as they see fit." This key issue is well articulated by the moderate US law professor Khaled M. Abou El Fadl in his recent book, "The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam From the Extremists."

While the professor adopts a moderate stance on interpretation he accepts and documents how truly iniquitous the literalists, "puritans" in his typology, have become about human rights. He recounts the horrible incident in Saudi Arabia in 2002 when a fire accident at a public school causes at least fourteen young girls to be burned to death because the religious police prevented the girls from escaping and barred firemen from entering the school to put out the blaze. The only reason for this wicked action is that "the girls were not properly covered, and mutawwa,un did not want physical contact to take place between the girls and civil defense forces for fear of sexual enticement, presumably in the midst of crisis." [page 250]. Proessor Fadl explains,"Not prperly covered meant the girls were either missing the neqab, a veil concealing their faces, or the 'abaya, a cloaklike wrap covering their bodies.. The day after the event the Saudi government ordered the newspapers to desist from publishing anything about the tragedy." [page 251]. The professor concludes: "There are no words to describe the moral depravity of this incident.

Another issue not covered in this excellent Danish conference on Muslim extremism is that the vicious schism between Sunni and Shia has been poisoning Islam for 1400 years. Professor Fadl asserts that this division transcends both literal and moderate interpretations of the holy texts. The conflict is on the rise in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Bahrain, Libya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Egypt, and even London as issues of identity, rights interests and enfranchisement find sectarian expression according to Professor Paul Valley writing in the Independent. Seehttp://www.independent.co.uk/n...

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