WHEN SOMEONE says that some of the passages of the Quran are violent, and that Islam itself is political, what do you call that? It’s an important question. Strangely enough, I’ve heard it called “racist,” which seems very odd. Islam is not a race.
I’ve also heard it called “Islamophobia,” which is also strange, because it is not a phobia.
It is religious criticism. But it’s more than that, because Islam is not merely a religion. Islam is also a political system with political goals. So instead of racism or Islamophobia, we could call it religious or political criticism.
But if you call it that, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it. In a free society, it is a perfectly legitimate activity to criticize religious doctrines and political systems. It’s perfectly all right, for example, to point out that the Catholic church frowns upon birth control, or that communism and free enterprise are incompatible.
So when someone explains the political ideology contained in the Quran, it is a completely legitimate activity, and anyone who calls it racism or Islamophobia either doesn’t understand what they’re saying, or, more likely, they are trying to censor the person. That kind of censorship is out of line in a free society.
The fact that exponents of pure Islam will not tolerate criticism of Islam is one of the main criticisms of Islam. The fact that the Quran itself is adamant about disallowing any criticism of the Quran (and calls for a death sentence for doing so) is one of the most legitimate things to criticize about the Quran. If someone doesn’t hire a Muslim simply because the applicant is a Muslim, that is discrimination, and that’s a different issue. If someone beats up a Muslim because he’s a Muslim, that is a hate crime and is illegal, immoral, and should be punished.
But criticism of Islamic doctrine? It can and should be done.
Where it gets tricky is immigration laws. There has to be some selection. If you have a Muslim applying for immigration, what do you do? The person himself may not be in favor of following the violent instructions in the Quran, but how do we know? Because he is a Muslim, and because the Quran contains political goals and ideas, he is more likely to be subversive and ascribe to doctrines that we would consider treasonous than the average applicant.
What do we do about that? If anybody has some answers, let’s hear it (in comments). This is, I believe, one of the most important issues that arises out of the study of the Quran and the Sunnah.
One possibility, of course, is to stop Muslim immigration.
It is also possible to give an immigration applicant a lie-detector test and ask about their intentions within our country. In the U.S. they have to learn a little about the country and swear an oath of alleigance, but under taqiyya, a Muslim with the intention of helping to overthrow the government would be allowed by Islamic doctrine to swear the oath without intending to keep it, so that requirement is not enough.
Another possibility is to allow Muslims in, but really crack down on preaching jihad within the country. Most countries have laws against sedition or treason, but so far as I know, no country has enforced those laws against Muslims preaching in mosques. But once the precedent was set, it would be a straightforward matter. (Read more about the relationship between sedition and Sharia here.)
Are there better ideas? Let’s compile them here in the comments for easy reading by voters and politicians. We need a solution. It would be foolish for democratic countries to keep importing people who want to overthrow their government. Not all Muslims do, of course. But pure Islam, straight from the Quran and the Sunnah, is very clear about the obligation to wage jihad and establish universal Sharia law. That means overthrowing democratic governments.
The longer we ignore this issue, the bigger the problem will be when we finally tackle it. The immigration issue is open for discussion. But the freedom to openly discuss and criticize Islamic doctrine is not an issue at all. We have the right to freely discuss it. Period.