“Apologetics and Sophistory” , Unfortunately , Don’t work

via H Balakrishnan published on October 14, 2009

Letter to Indian Express

Dear Sir,

Reference ” Iran and the poverty of political Islam “ – (TNIE-14 OCT).
 ( http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/print.aspx?artid=949mYfDRtic= )

I must confess, that I was in stitches when I read the learned professor holding forth: ” Islam is a comprehensive belief system which embraces the political system. Moreover, Islamic concepts such as freedom (al-hurriya), equality (al-musawat), justice (al-adl), and consultation (shura) can be found in a multi-party democracy. Hence, Islam is quite  compatible with our modern political system”. Q.E.D. !! Yes Sir !! in these ‘dark days’ when the Dragon is flexing its muscles in the N.E., the ‘Pakistani Rambo’ is walking free and laughing at the sheer impotency of his ‘Kafir’ neighbour, and the ‘Red Swathe’ from Pasupathinath to the Western Ghats is increasingly becoming a reality, we could certainly do with some ‘Hyde Park Speakers Corner’ humour !! Many thanks to the ‘ learned professor’ !!

Coincidentally, I had just finished re-reading the monumental and ‘courageous’ scholarship of ‘ India born – U.S.A. exiled Muslim apostate’- Ibn Waraq’s ” Why I’m not a Muslim”,
Prometheus Books, N.Y., U.S.A. (1995).  He cites the example of a book published in Feb 1989 – ” L’Islam en QUESTIONS “, in which twenty four Arab scholars reply to the folllowing five questions posed in the book:

– Does Islam retain its universal vocation?
– Could Islam be a system of government for a modern state?
– Is an Islamic system of government an obligatory step in the evolution of the Islamic and Arab peoples?
– Is the ‘return to Islam’, the phenomenon that is observable in the last ten years in the majority of Muslim countries, something positive?
– What is the principal enemy of Islam today?

Ibn Waraq wrote:

” It is clear from the scholars’ replies that a majority of these Arab intellectuals do not see Islam as the answer to the social, economic, and political problems besetting the Islamic world. Nine writers give an emphatic and catagoric ‘NO’ to question 2. Another six are equally emphatical in favour of a ‘secular state’. Even those writers who answer ‘YES’ to question 2, do so very tentatively in responses hedged with qualifications
such as, ‘ provided rights are respected ‘, or ‘ as long as we have a modern interpretation of Islam ‘, etc.  Almost all of them find the ‘Return to Islam’, a negative phenomenon, and consider religious fanatacism as the greatest danger facing Muslims”.

One of the intellectual in the above book was Rachid Boujedra, an Algerian novelist, playwright, essayist, communist and self-confessed atheist. To the question ” Could Islam be a system of government for a modern state “, Boujedra wrote:

” No, absolutely not. Its impossible; that is not just a personal opinion, its something objective. – – -. Islam is absolutely incompatible with a modern state. – – -. No, I don’t see how Islam could be a system of government “.

Did Ibn Waraq anticipate the sophistory and apologetics of our learned professor of today’scolumn? !! Waraq wrote:

” Muslim moderates, along with Western liberals and the woefully misguided Christian clergy, argue in a similar manner, namely, that Islam is not what Khomeini has applied in Iran. But the Muslim moderates cannot have their cake and eat it too. No amount of mental gymnastics or intellectual dishonesty is going to make the unpalatable, unacceptable, and barbaric aspects of Islam disappear. At least the ‘Islamic Fundamentalist’ is being honest and logical, given the premise that the Koran is the Word of God. Khomeini’s actions directly reflect the teachings of Islam, whether found in the Koran, in the acts and sayings of the Prophet [Hadiths], or the Islamic Law based on them [Sharia]. To justify the call to murder implicit in the Fatwa on Rushdie, Iranian spokesmen examined the details of [Prophet] Muhammad’s life. There they found numerous precedents for political assasinations, including the murder of writers who had written satarical verses against the Prophet”.

Khomeini himself responds to Western apologists and Muslim moderates as :

 “ Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world. – – But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world – -. Those who nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war”.

As Ibn Waraq noted: ” If the Koran is the Word of God, as Khomeini and all Muslims believe, and its mandates are to be obeyed absolutely, then who is being more logical, Khomeini or the Muslim moderates and the Western apologists of Islam?” Q.E.D.

May I also add, in India – the ‘ Nehruvian Secularists ‘!!

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, the seat of Islam, had stated: ” The democratic system that is predominant in the world is not a suitable system for the peoples of our region – -. The system of free elections is not suitable to our country”.

As Ibn Waraq wrote:

” At least King Fahd has had the honesty to admit the incompatibility of Islam and democracy. Meanwhile Western Islamic apologists and modernising Muslims continue to look for democratic principles in Islam and Islamic history”.

As our learned professor has just done in your columns !!


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