Sharia is not friendly to freedom
Professor Allan Bloom opens his 1987 classic, The Closing of the American Mind, with this provocative statement: “There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative….” While at the time this may have sounded audacious, now, in the second decade of the 21st century, we know this is reality.
The United States, as a free society, was founded in moral and metaphysical (as well as aesthetic) absolutes. Both truth and goodness are rooted in God’s character and in His created order. These assumptions are abhorrent to modern man. Bloom writes that modern education has worked to replace the nation’s founding principles with moral relativism.
[Students] have all been equipped with this framework early on, and it is the modern replacement for the inalienable natural rights that used to be the traditional American grounds for a free society … The danger they have been taught to fear from absolutism is not error but intolerance. Relativism is necessary to openness, and this is the virtue, the only virtue, which all primary education for more than fifty years has dedicated itself to inculcating. [emphasis added]
In the postmodern world tolerance is the one absolute virtue, and “intolerance” the only vice. This new concept of tolerance, derived as it is from atheistic moral relativism, accepts all ideas as equally valid. This produces cultural relativism, a state in which an individual cannot disagree or critique anyone else’s position. This is leading to a stifling of free speech and “safe zones” on university campuses and the stripping people of free speech and religious freedom in the larger society. [See articles here and here.]
This has not always been so. The Judeo-Christian framework inspired tolerance toward others even if you disagreed with their ideas. Such a dynamic promoted civil discourse and a vigorous pursuit of truth.
Modern tolerance accedes to any idea, accepts any behavior and even promotes evil. The only idea rejected by modern tolerance is the “intolerance” of moral and metaphysical absolutes as found in Judeo-Christian theism. The so-called secular tolerance opposes freedom of religion and seeks, instead, freedom from religion, specifically the moral framework of Judeo-Christian faith. Somehow, progressive elites both tolerate and protect the intolerance of Islam and will not grant the same liberty to Christians and Jews. Dorothy Sayers observes,
In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.
In contrast, people of moral character love life, justice and beauty; they are intolerant of lies, evil, injustice, and the hideous. They hate slavery and love freedom.
Sharia represents a threat to freedom in the West
But Western freedom, rooted in the Bible, is threatened by a growing religious tyranny: Sharia.
Islam promotes Sharia law, a set of governing religious statutes based on the Quran and the Hadith (“a collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad that, with accounts of his daily practice [the Sunna], constitutes the major source of guidance for Muslims apart from the Quran”). In most Muslim states, Sharia is the law of the land. A majority of Muslims living in Western societies think Sharia law should take precedence over secular laws. One survey of Muslims living in Europe found that 66% believe that Sharia is more important than the laws of the country where they lived. Fifty-one percent of Muslims in the USA say the same.
Sharia is fundamentally opposed to the equality of men and women, freedom of religion, of speech, of the press and of basic human rights. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born Dutch-American activist, author, and former Dutch politician. She writes, “My central argument is that political Islam implies a constitutional order fundamentally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and with the ‘constitution of liberty’ that is the foundation of the American way of life.”
As we wrote in the first post of this series, Muslims will use freedom in Western nations to impose Sharia law and thus end freedom. Those immigrants from Muslim nations who fled religious and political tyranny for freedom, will, because of their attitudes toward Sharia law, usher in the same oppressive system they fled. Short of reformation, Muslims will tolerate free elections until they win one, and then will impose Sharia law. Ed Straker’s article in American Thinker ends with these ominous words:
[Muslim emigrants] come fleeing a failing culture and then promptly impose that culture on their new home when their numbers become large enough. Their new territories become no-go zones for non-Muslims, and they effectively become self-governing with Sharia law.
- Darrow Miller