Sunday, August 29, 2010

Literalism and Islam

One has to separate Islam from the way Muslims practice it. Within Islam are many many things which were intended to be evolutionary and thus not frozen in time or to be taken literally. These have to do with worldly matters ( Huquq Ul Muamelat). The spirit of Islam ( Huquq ul Ibadat) is non negotiable and all worldly matters must be guided by this spirit.
There is and there needs to be greater flexiblity within Fiqh if it is ever to be taken seriously by other than literalists.
In matters of relations with non Muslims, Muslim majorities have a duty to protect their minorities and allow them the freedom to practice their own faith. Muslim Minorities have to be faithful to the law of the land in which they reside. India and Pakistan are very poor examples of the way they deal with their minorities. While the Ottomans were very fair to their minorities, these same minorities turned against them when the Ottoman empire crumpled. The Europeans are quite concerned about their Muslim minorities becoming the majority in time. Saudi Arabia and Israel are downright abusive towards their minorities.
The Muslims do not practice their religion well when it comes to dealing with non Muslims and are in need of reform but they are part of a bigger and more global issue. The US is a good example of how it deals with its minorities inside its borders but a terrible example of how it deals with Muslims world wide.

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