The Conflict Between Western Values And Islam
Islamic apostate Nonie Darwish writes at Gatestone Institute:
According to Western values and the Western understanding of the word, "religion" is supposed to be a personal relationship with God, where free will is of utmost importance; the believer has authority only over himself or herself when it comes to religious laws or punishing sins (such as leaving the religion or committing adultery) -- quite different from criminal laws intended to protect society. Western values also allow followers of a religion the freedom to proselytize, but never by resorting to government enforcement.
Bottom line, the Western definition of religion is in harmony with the Biblical values of the human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that all human beings are created equal under the law. It is considered a basic Western value to view God, family and country as a top priority.
Now let us compare these values to Islamic values:
1. Muslim citizens have the right to punish other citizens with humiliating, severe, cruel and unusual punishments such as death, flogging and amputation, for sinning against Allah, the Quran or Islam. Those "crimes" include leaving Islam, being a homosexual, or committing adultery. And if the Islamic government does not enforce such punishments, any Muslim on the street has the right to apply the punishment against another Muslim and not be prosecuted. That is why apostates, such as myself, cannot visit any Muslim county; the fear is not only from Islamic governments but from anyone on the street.
2. Being a Muslim is not a personal relationship with God, as it is under the Bible, but is enforced by the state at birth. When a child is born in Egypt to a Muslim father, the birth certificate is stamped "Muslim" and all government-issued documents as well. A child must learn Islamic studies in school and practice Islam throughout his life. In Egypt, the twin sons of a Christian divorced mother were forced to take Islamic studies and become Muslim just because their originally-Christian father converted to Islam. Today, in Egypt, I am still considered Muslim and such a status could never change if I ever lived there again.
3. Islamic law and leaders rely on government enforcement -- under penalty of death -- to keep Muslims within Islam and to convert the minority Christian population into Islam. Islamic sharia law, obliges Islamic states to enforce religious law, and if the Muslim head of state refuses to follow religious law, sharia permits the public to use force to remove the head of state from office.
4. Islam claims to be an Abrahamic religion, but in fact Islam came to the world 600 years after Christ, not to affirm the Bible but to discredit it; not to co-exist with "the people of the book," Jews and Christians, but to replace them -- after accusing them of intentionally falsifying the Bible. Islam was created as a rebellion against the Bible and its values, and relies on government enforcement to do so.
The tenets above are just a few of the differences in values between Islam, the Bible and the Western concept of religion. What the West does not understand is that Islam admits that government control is central to Islam, and Muslims must demand to live under an Islamic government sooner or later. That might explain the reason for the eternal violence in nearly all Muslim countries, between government being in the hands of a religious theocracy or of the military. Islam, as it is practiced today, has violated all Western definitions of religion and values.
Political and legal (sharia) Islam is much more than a religion. Is the First Amendment a suicide pact?
My earlier post, "Why Islam Likely Can't Be Reformed":
In short, [author and political scientist] Samad says -- and is surely right -- that to reform Islam, Muslims must put aside Mohammed and the Quran.
This is why I think Islam cannot be reformed.
To explain further what he's saying:
To reform Islam, Muslims have to get rid of Mohammed as a role model they must emulate. The man raped, looted, mass-murdered, and took a 6-year-old as a wife. He was, it seems, a psychopath using Islam to serve his needs.
And Muslims have to stop seeing the Quran's words as Allah's words, to be unquestionably followed. This is how the Quran has been set up. However, for Islam to not be a pernicious force on this planet, Muslims have to start seeing the Quran's dictates as seventh century dictates, "to be read in the context of the seventh century." In other words, not appropriate for modern life. So, no, Muslims should not be murdering apostates, for one.
I doubt that these changes can be made or made in any reasonable amount of time.