Yesterday I had the honour (yes, really it was) of being retweeted by the estimable Glenn Greenwald – a man whose work I greatly admire. [Preserved for posterity here: https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/676418447182573568 ]
Predictably Maajid Nawaz and his usual pack of faithful attack dogs seized upon a past tweet of mine wherein I was actually clarifying a technical point – that murder means unlawful killing as opposed to a judicial execution (whatever you make of the morality of it) – in order to cause Mr Greenwald (who is openly gay) embarrassment. Mr Nawaz also lied by stating that I am “pro-ISIS” despite me making clear my opposition to many of their policies and even the ethos whence such policies emanate. For my full appraisal of Islamic State you can read my blog post of last year: https://t.co/cugREd0hE4 or simply refer to the following tweet: https://twitter.com/GleamingRazor/status/676577238309994496
Anyway, to clarify the issue around homosexuality I wrote this:
A society is a collective of individuals bound together in a permanent relationship united under a common ideology. Disparate societies have widely divergent conceptions of how relations between their constituents ought to be managed and regulated as well as the criterion for enacting legislation to further the same.
Islam means (in one form of its tri-consonantal Arabic root) “submission”. It is the abnegation of one’s personal moral agency and for submission to the will of the Almighty. Life is a temporary sojourn on Earth, the purpose of which is to worship God in all that we do, followed, after death, by an eternal existence in either eternal bliss or eternal damnation. Quaint, frankly even absurd, as that might sound to millions of Western minds in 2015 nevertheless such is the Weltanschauung adopted by some 1.5 billion Muslims (I’m sorry but I don’t count ex-Muslims as ‘Muslims’). The ideological basis of Western liberal democracy is that the individual has the inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness – whatever his personal conception of that might be – free of encumbrance from both Church and State excepting what is strictly necessary to preserve the entitlement of others to the same. As you can see, two very different outlooks on life.
The social philosophy of Islam is very much based upon ensuring the good and wellbeing of the collective even if that occasionally impinges on the freedom of the individual. In truth every society – including liberal ones – sanctions absolute personal freedom, even in instances where there is no direct discernible causal nexus between the prohibited act and the infringement of another’s personal liberty. Every society recognises, at some level, that an individual’s actions will often have an impact beyond their own personal wellbeing. When considering the legal determination of a particular act legislators will often consider the impact on the surrounding community, recognising that while the potential harm from one individual undertaking such an act might well be sufferable the cumulative effect of (potentially) millions of such acts most likely won’t be. It is for that reason that the consumption of most intoxicating substances is prohibited (although bizarrely the most destructive of all of them is permitted).
What acts deserve to be sanctioned and which deserve free license are, in a liberal society, determined by popular opinion which of course is in a state of permanent flux. In an Islamic state, by contrast, such determinations are the emanation of sincere enquiry into the divine texts and the ancillary sources indicated thereof. Where the divine texts are clear about the prohibition of an act and upon the punitive sanction applicable to it is the Muslim’s duty to hear and obey. Ultimately we recognise the limitations and fallibility of the human intellect as compared to the infallibility and omniscience of the Creator:
“…But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” [TMQ 2:216]
“It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.” [TMQ 33:36]
[Incidentally it is verses such as these that will ensure apostate “reformers” such as Maajid Nawaz have zero chance of success. A fact that open apostates such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali have implicitly acknowledged via her demand for Muslims to disavow concepts such as Qur’anic inerrancy.]
A regards Hadd punishments then I have already written about them here: https://maskedavenger1.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/ramadan-musing-on-the-hadd-punishments/ with a short follow up (after a comment from a Harry’s Place moderator) here https://maskedavenger1.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/a-reply-to-a-comment/
I have mentioned the case of homosexuality within these short pieces but I would like to clarify three vital points here:
- Islamic law sanctions actions, not beliefs. The Islamic state is enjoined to preserve righteousness in the public arena, not to pry into people’s private affairs. What a man does privately and keeps private is of no concern of the state.
- Naturally Shariah law only applies in an Islamic state.
- “Islamists want to kill gays.” Extremely misleading and to illustrate why I’ll use an analogy much favoured by many Islam-hating demagogues. Often such rabble-rousers will draw a parallel between the Nazis hatred and want to kill Jews and “Islamists” supposed fixation on executing homosexuals. The analogy is flawed on two counts. Firstly for the reason I have mentioned in point (i) – the Nazis by contrast didn’t care whether a Jew kept their Judaism private – the fact that they were of Jewish blood was in of itself a death sentence and there was nothing the condemned could do to avert it – not even by recanting their Judaism. Secondly they had a policy of active extermination meaning they would hunt out Jews even those in hiding. The Islamic state never had and never will have such a policy. Don’t ask, don’t tell. In fact the Prophet (saw) instructed judges to find every reason possible to avert imposing the hadd punishment: “Ward off hadd punishments by means of doubts.”
May the peace and blessings of Allah (swt) be upon our master Muhammad. Ameen.