Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blasphemy law and State of fear


Blasphemy law of Islam is anachronistic. It is, nevertheless, a vital component of religion, Islamic culture and Islamic law (Sharia) as it is used to suppress any dissent or criticism of Sharia law itself. Totalitarian systems never tolerate any criticism and Islam is more than totalitarian system; combined with its ideology of expansionism by any means, it is fascist to the core.

With regard to non-Muslims, blasphemy law can also become an instrument in the hands of some Muslims to persecute, harass, victimize and threaten non-Muslims (as we have seen in the two previous posts) because of absurdity of law that can be seen from the fact that it rests entirely on the words of accuser.

What makes this blasphemy law more deadly and baneful is the resonance that accusation of blasphemy like burning of Koran, disrespect to Islam and dishonoring Prophet Mohammad strikes with Muslim masses; even rumors of blasphemy by non-Muslims are sufficient to trigger massive violence by Muslim mobs. The wide support for blasphemy law among Muslim societies can be seen from results of opinion polls conducted by pew and reactions of Muslims in Pakistan to killing of Salman Taseer. In Pakistan, after the birth of a rumor of blasphemy, even courts acquitting the accused will not save the victim.

There are apologetics who would say that poverty may be the cause of such irrational anger besides madrassa education. Are 500 lawyers showering rose petals on killer of Salman Taseer products of madrassas? Are those people who supported Salman Taseer in face book using English language and internet products of madrassas? The answer is clear for those who wanted to see what is right before their eyes; the answer is what is in Islamic sacred texts and what they say and their Prophet did. Good education or English education does not mean that Muslims are less likely to be Islamic or less likely to hate non-Muslims. It is proven beyond doubt that in most countries (esp. countries like U.K, Pakistan and U.S.A) well educated people are more Islamic than their parents were.

How is it that Muslims are so sensitive to criticism of their ideology (or to perceived slights or insults from infidels) apart from the fact that their holy and sacred texts condemn blasphemy and advocate death for blasphemy?  Is it not surprising that reports or rumors of blasphemy will bring out angry mobs on to streets while deadly suicide bombings like the latest suicide bombing that killed 80 Muslims in Pakistan do not produce similar outrage from Muslims? I just outlined some reasons for such outrage and also its (Blasphemy law) overall impact on society

Their (Muslims) view that Muslims are superior and are supposed to be dominant and rulers in this world coupled with the view that infidels are inferior, subhuman and perverted transgressors deserving suppression or subjugation for the sake of preservation of world - as Allah revealed these in Koran, it is only na├»ve on part of non-Muslims not to believe that Muslims do not believe in such things esp. after uncovering of what is taught in many mosques and Islamic schools – and its implication that superiors (Muslims) will never take or tolerate insults from inferiors (non-Muslims).

Added to this feeling of superiority, which in turn is alleviated by their past military conquests, feeling of humiliation resulting from the reality that USA or some infidel countries are dominating this world (or earth) and relatively low achievements of Islamic societies compared to others in many fields is simply another reason.

Finally, Blasphemy law serves Islamic purpose very well. Whether Christians in Pakistan have been terrorized by Muslims using allegations of blasphemy law or Coptics of Egypt and Hindus of Bangladesh (and also Pakistan) have been terrorized by abduction of their women, terror serves purpose of Islam in encouraging infidels to convert to Islam out of concern for their safety (here, here).

A Muslim commentator said that instilling terror in to hearts of non-Muslims is one of aims of Jihad and also a directive from Allah (verse 8:12). He also stresses terror is not just means but also an end state (here). All this means reducing non-Muslims in to a miserable state of fear and terror from which they dare not oppose discriminatory Islamic rule (or law) and continue living as non-Muslims with liability (i.e. paying jizya and accepting humiliation terms under Sharia); of course there is another choice available to non-Muslims: convert to Islam. (One can see now the idea of ‘no compulsion in Islam’)

Considering actions of Prophet Mohammad, there is more than basis in using state of fear, terror and therats to convert infidels to Islam and this approach is always open to Muslims as Koran says Prophet Mohammad was an example in moral code, ethics and conduct to Muslims to follow for eternity. If he did something, Muslims can very well do it. The Arabic expression to describe this kind of threat is 'aslim taslam' meaning 'be a Muslim and you will be safe'. As the following hadiths show, there can never be any real security to non-Muslims in under Islamic law or in Islamic society.
Allah's Apostle said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah." (Sahih Bukhari; vol. 1, book 2, # 25)
It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira who said: We were (sitting) in the mosque when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) came to us and said: (Let us) go to the Jews. We went out with him until we came to them. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) stood up and called out to them (saying): O ye assembly of Jews, accept Islam (and) you will be safe........He said to them (the same words) the third time (and on getting the same reply) he added: You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I wish that I should expel you from this land Those of you who have any property with them should sell it, otherwise they should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle (and they may have to go away leaving everything behind). (Sahih Muslim; book 19, # 4363)
Suhail reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said on the Day of Khaibar: I shall certainly give this standard in the hand of one who loves Allah and his Messenger and Allah will grant victory at his hand.......Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) called 'Ali b. Abu Talib and he conferred (this honour) upon him and said: Proceed on and do not look about until Allah grants you victory, and 'Ali went a bit and then halted and did not look about and then said in a loud voice: Allah's Messenger, on what issue should I fight with the people? Thereupon he (the Prophet) said: Fight with them until they bear testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger, and when they do that then their blood and their riches are inviolable from your hands but what is justified by law and their reckoning is with Allah. (Sahih Muslim; book 31, # 5917)
THE AFFAIR OF FADAK: When the apostle (Prophet Mohammad) had finished with Khaybar, Allah struck terror to the hearts of the men of Fadak when they heard what the apostle had done to the men of Khaybar. They sent to him an offer of peace on condition that they should keep half of their produce. Their messengers came to him in Khaybar and he accepted their terms. Thus, Fadak became his (Prophet Mohammad) private property because it has not been attacked by horse or camel. (Ibn Ishaq, page 523)
Every Islamic society and culture is conditioned by such teachings and in that atmosphere, the only way for non-Muslims to be assured of security is conversion to Islam which could explain why no. of non-Muslims is dropping in Islamic societies. At some point, the will of infidels to hold on to their native belief cracks down in the face of harsh constrains of Sharia law and hostility of Muslims.

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