Rebuttal to "dhimmi no more"
Submitted by Leah (United States), Sep 1, 2006 at 11:21
I would agree that Shariah Law is against democracy. Shariah Law believes that G-d should control everything, including politics. Democracy believes in separation of church and state. That said, it is still possible to have a combination of Shariah and democracy, just as in Israel, there is a combination of Jewish Law and democracy. Shariah Law can be adapted to democracy even though, as you rightly point out, it cannot be made synonymous with it.
I do not believe that democracy is a bad thing...I never said that. perhaps that was meant purely for z? What legal system would I prefer? In America and most other countries, democracy. In Israel and certain Muslim countries, a blend of democracy and religious law.
As for the tax non-Muslims have to pay, that is because they are exempt from an other tax that Muslims have to pay. It evens out the taxes. The restrictions on building a church or synagogue is: nobuilding new nes or repairing old ones. As long as you maintain the churches/synagogues that are already built, this is not a large problem. Jews in Moorish Spain reached a high level of prosperity, producing thinkers such as Maimonides, Judah haLevi, and Dunash Ben Labrat.
Economically, Jews had few prohibitions. The only real one was against holding office; however, this law was repeatedly ignored; Jews were, in practice, allowed to hold office. There were some religious restrictions, but they were relatively minor and did not interfere with one's right to practice a non-Muslim monotheistic religion, as long as one did it quietly.
You say that non Muslim montheists must be humiliated. This is inaccurate. They must be "made to feel subdued" in the presence of Muslims. This makes sense: in the presence of a true, good Muslim, I would feel full of both respect and awe. Islam is a great religion and those who have truly manages to capture its message and meaning in their lives have great accomplishment. Incidentally, does anyone know the precise Arabic word used in that Sura, as well as its various shades of meaning? This information would be appreciated.
As for polytheists, the Hebrew Bible also tells us to kill pagans. Repeatedly, it associates paganism with all sorts of evil, such as child sacrifice. The punishment for a pagan is death by stoning. Intolerance against pagans is not new to monotheism. Might I recall the midrash in which Abraham smashes his father's idols? That's a very accurate story in terms of telling us about the Hebrew Bible's tolerance for paganism. If a town worships idols, the Hebrew Bible tells us, we must destroy that twon, lest they tempt us to worship idols (Deut., 16: 17-18). Nevertheless, this does not excuse the Muslim intolerance for polytheism/idolatry. However, there all also parts of the Q'uran that state: "two each people [i.e., religion] I have sent a messenger..." and "let there be no coercion in matters of faith..." So, the Q'uran is directly contradictory. One moment it is saying that all polytheists are evil and should die; the next it is saying that G-d has sent a messenger to each religion. I see two ways for a moderate Muslim to interpret this:
- that pagans do not understand what they are doing, and that very few of them actually, spiritually believe in multiple gods; those who do will commit evil deeds in the name of their gods
- that these contradictions are what make monotheism so intellectually meaty: that G-d is one, and yet can be found in different ways; that G-d is merciful, yet also just and, so it seems to humans, cruel. These contradictions are meant to be studied with the goal of intellectual and spiritual growth rather than taken literally.
Jews and Christians have resolved their issues with pagans. So can Muslims.
" Do you believe that freedom of religion is a good thing?"
Though this was probably meant for z...Yes. I do. Faith because one will otherwise be killed is not true faith. True faith is believing because you feel it in your heart, not because if you don't believe, you'll be killed.
.Ah Abul Qasim aka Muhammad had no like for polytheists and as per Qur'an 9:5 polytheists have one of two choices: convert to Islam or be killed. The warm and fuzzy Islam.
But this is not all: The prgmatic Muslim invaders of India realized that killing infidels is messy and they stand to lose the jizya tax, so surprise surprise Muslims now include Hindus and Buddhists among those who must pay the jizya! So much for logic.
6. Would they (polytheists) be killed?
The answer is yes unless they convert to Abul Qasim's religion.
7. Do you 'z' believe that freedom of religion is a good thing?
I will be waiting for his answer to this question with great anticipation.
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".
Reader comments (1244) on this item
Comment on this item
Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes