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filipino liberal - separation of church and state

Reader comment on item: The Clash to End All Clashes?
in response to reader comment: Conservatives support free speech when it benefits them.

Submitted by Sidda (United States), Feb 21, 2006 at 11:18

No matter how you want to spin it, there is just no way you can compare the political dimensions of Islam with that of Christianity. I have already told you that Islam BY ITS VERY NATURE is a comprehensive political, economic, and social belief system as well as religious. That is not the case with Christianity. Jesus specifically said, "render to Ceasar what is Ceasar's and render to God what is God's." There are no texts in the Quran to support any separation of mosque and state; there is no separation of mosque and state allowed under Sharia law. We have civil courts in our lands; in pure Islam Muslims have Sharia courts run by the clerics.

In Nigeria right now, Muslims are trying to impose Sharia law on the Christians. In Canada a few months ago, there was a push by Muslims to introduce Sharia courts in Canada. It was only averted by protests by women's groups and secular Muslims. I mean are you seriously trying to compare whatever residual effects the Catholic church has in modern secular government with Sharia Law? I frankly don't care if they want to live with 7th century religious laws in their own lands as long as it doesn't affect me. But then there's that little exhortation by Mohammed to his believers to "wage jihad until Islam covers the earth and all unbelievers either convert or agree to pay the jizya (poll tax) and live in submission to Muslims." THAT I've got a problem with.

Yes, in the past Christianity did mingle itself with politics. But, not because it was following any directives in the Bible to do so. It took centuries for Europe to separate itself from ecclesiastical influence; that is why they are so insistent on their secularism today. We in America did not have this history so much because the people who founded the country, having experienced the negative effects of mixing politics and religion, wrote into the 1st Amendment of the Constitution, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." I suppose each country has a unique experience and I cannot comment on the Philippines as I am not knowledgeable.

Well, my friend, you'll have to make up your mind whether you'd rather live in a mostly (if not 100%) secular Philippines, or one ruled by Sharia law. As a woman, I can tell you my mind is already made up that I would rather DIE than live under Sharia Law. Women are still stoned to death in some Islamic countries which strictly follow Sharia law and honor killings are routinely carried out. You should maybe go online and look up a video of one of these stonings (if you have a very strong stomach). If the fundamentalist Muslims are successful in their quest for world dominance, they will bring this wonderful program of Sharia to all of us.

I don't completely dismiss past historical events. But the point is that they are in the past; there is nothing I can do about them. As far as the crusades go, I have already explained that they were a European RESPONSE to Muslim expansionism. Muslims conquered the Holy Lands and refused Christians access to them. They had also conquered Spain and gone as far as the gates of Vienna. The Europeans pushed them back out. So, don't speak about the crusades as though they were completely unprovoked attacks on Muslims for no reason.

I am not going to feel eternally guilty over what another group of people did 800 years ago so another group can play the eternal victims. There was plenty of blame to go around on all sides. I am concerned about the here and now; I know what side I'm on, and it's not the side of anyone who would impose Sharia Law on me if they had the chance.

And as far as the Christian evangelism goes, well that door swings both ways too. Saudi Arabia and other oil rich Gulf states spend billions all over the world to convert non Muslims to Islam (and to radicalize existing Muslims to Wahhabism). It is called da'wa. In fact, Muslims are not supposed to even befriend non-Muslims unless it is for the purpose of da'wa. On the other hand, it is against the law in Muslim countries for Christians to evangelize Muslims (although I do concede that it takes place nonetheless). So, why the double standard? Why is it ok for Muslims to prosyletize in Christian or Hindu or Buddhist countries, but not the other way around? Well, I'll tell you. Because if a Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jew, or atheist decides to leave his religion and convert to Islam, he is wished "good luck." If a Muslim turns from Islam (apostacy) he has a death sentence on him. Yes, apostacy is punishable by death in Islam.

So, like I said, it's your choice as to which system you'd rather live under (secular democracy, however imperfect, or Sharia Law). I've already made my decision.

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