Why Islam is the Problem

by Lorna Salzman

A misunderstanding by many liberals is that "radical" Islam is different from "moderate" Islam. However, no such distinction exists with regard to the doctrines and mandates of sharia law which all observant Muslims are bound to observe in all aspects of daily life.

In a revealing debate on Perlentaucher, Feb. 5, 2007, and reported by the signandsight blog, between Turkish-German feminist author Necla Kelek and writer Ian Buruma, Kelek brought out the relevant proof of this. Here is part of what she said:

"Islam is a social reality. Despite all differences of detail, in its writings and its philosophy it constitutes a cohesive view of mankind and the world. Let us look at the question of human rights and women's rights, for example. In those areas, Muslims are very united indeed.

On August 5, 1990, 45 foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the highest international secular body in the Muslim world, signed "The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam". In that document, Muslims from around the world expressed their common attitudes towards human rights. It was intended as an appendix to the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Cairo Declaration is not binding under international law, but it illuminates the global attitude of Islam with respect to fundamental rights. The fact that it constitutes a minimal consensus, rather than an extreme view, makes it all the more illuminating.

The most important statements of this document are to be found in its two final articles:

Article 24: All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Sharia.

Article 25: The Islamic Sharia is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification (of) any of the articles of this Declaration.

And in contrast to the UN Declaration, the Cairo Declaration's preamble states that the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference reaffirm 'the civilizing and historical role of the Islamic Ummah, which God made the best nation that has given mankind a universal and well-balanced civilization'.

Unlike in democratic institutions, there is no talk here of the individual, but rather of the Ummah, the Community of the Faithful, the collective. As a logical consequence, the Cairo Declaration acknowledges only those rights specified in the Koran..'

Article 19 of the Declaration states: "There shall be no crime or punishment except as provided for in the Sharia;.

Article 2, paragraph D maintains: 'Safety from bodily harm is a guaranteed right. It is the duty of the state to safeguard it, and it is prohibited to breach it WITHOUT A SHARIA-PRESCRIBED REASON (emphasis added by Kelek). ... Koran's Sura 17, verse 33:
'And kill no one, for God has forbidden killing, except when you are entitled to do so'...'.When a person is killed unjustly, the nearest relation has authority to take vengeance'.

Equal rights are not proposed in the Declaration. Rather in Article 6 it states: 'Woman is equal to man in human dignity'....but not in rights, since the Koran's Sura 4, verse 34 stipulates
'Men are elevated above women, for God has placed them so by nature'. Thus men are given authority to exercise social control over and to denigrate women.

She goes on: 'no one in principle has the right to suspend or violate or ignore its (sharia) commandments, in as much as they are binding divine commandments, which are contained in the Revealed Books of God and were sent through the last of His Prophets'.

So states the Cairo Declaration. That statement not only runs contrary to human rights in general,it is an indirect justification of vigilante justice."

Both scholar Ibn Warraq, in his "Virgins? What Virgins" and "Defending the West", and author Robert Reilly in his "The Closing of the Muslim Mind" elaborate on the unitarian and authoritarian nature of Islam and sharia law, and leave no room for doubt about the fact that there is one body of law and doctrine alone in Islam and that all Muslims are bound to observe it in all aspects of their lives, whether in the mosque, at home, or in public.

Since death is the prescribed punishment for apostasy - leaving or denying the faith - few Muslims have had the courage or integrity to criticize or denounce the many abominations and violations of human rights contained in the Koran, the hadith or sharia law. The furthest they will go is to denounce violent acts committed by others. However, they most often celebrate these if they are committed in the name of Islam against nonbelievers, Jews and Americans; many Muslims in the Arab world celebrated in the streets after 9/11.

The conclusion that Islam, not aberrant Muslims, is the problem is inescapable and undeniable.

© 2002 Lorna Salzman. All rights reserved. Material may be quoted with permission.