Religious Freedom Is Indivisible: Muslims Should Seek it in Islamic Societies Too

Religious Freedom Is Indivisible: Muslims Should Seek it in Islamic Societies Too

A Story by New Age Islam
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We were permitted to defend ourselves with arms (a form of Jihad, albeit a lesser form) because if we had not done so, people may not have been able to worship in temples, monasteries, churches, synag

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The Swiss ban on minarets is having an echo in India. Abdul Sami Bubere of the Mumbai- based Sahyog Cultural Society is reported to have said: “The extremely provocative decision undermines the freedom of religion and principle of co- existence. The referendum is akin to tyranny of the majority. It will only encourage fundamentalism. The ban should be immediately lifted as it would serve the purpose of jihadis who misinterpret Islam.”

Though I won’t use such strong words, I fully agree with the sentiments and thoughts expressed in the above sentiment. The analysis that “it will only encourage fundamentalism” is also correct. It is actually happening. The fundamentalists are taking advantage of the situation created by the Swiss ban on minarets and the French ban on burqas (veils).  But then the question arises in my mind, how come we get agitated only when our own religious freedom is at stake in non-Muslim societies. We do not worry when Muslims themselves, not to speak of non-Muslims, are not allowed religious freedom in Islamic societies.

We were permitted to defend ourselves with arms (a form of Jihad, albeit a lesser form) because if we had not done so, people may not have been able to worship in temples, monasteries, churches, synagogues, etc., all those places of worship were God is remembered and God’s praises are sung.

Renowned Pakistani scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamidi writes: “The Qur’ān asserts that if the use of force would not have been allowed in such cases, the disruption and disorder caused by insurgent nations could have reached the extent that the places of worship �" where the Almighty is kept in constant remembrance �" would have become deserted and forsaken, not to mention the disruption of the society itself:

وَلَو�'لَا دَف�'عُ الل�'َهِ الن�'َاسَ بَع�'ضَهُم�' بِبَع�'ضٍ لَهُد�'ِمَت�' صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَمَسَاجِدُ يُذ�'كَرُ فِيهَا اس�'مُ الل�'َهِ كَثِيرًا (٤٠:٢٢)

And had it not been that Allah checks one set of people with another, the monasteries and churches, the synagogues and the mosques, in which His praise is abundantly celebrated would have been utterly destroyed. (22:40)

Apparently we were allowed a lower form of Jihad, the Qital, that involves fighting, so that we could safeguard the human right of every individual to freely sing the praises of God in any kind of worship place he likes, be it a monastery, a temple, a church, a synagogue, or a mosque.  But how come, we feel concerned only when it is a matter concerning a mosque and do not bother if states, particularly Muslim and avowedly Islamic states do not allow temples, monasteries, churches and synagogues to function or create hurdles in the way of non-Muslims singing the praises of God in their own way. 

Not only that. We have scholars who claim that while non-Muslims have perfect freedom to practice their religion in an Islamic state, (though in practice they are not mostly allowed that freedom), Muslims do not have that freedom. Once born to a Muslim parent, you are doomed for ever to be a Muslim or else. Well, your throat will be slit, no less. Indeed, there are “revered” ulema (scholars of Islam) in various schools of thought who say that if someone is seen so much as not attending Friday prayers, his throat should be slit.

© 2019 New Age Islam


Author's Note

New Age Islam
The Author has been write in the field of Islamic World News & New Age Islam.

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Added on February 19, 2019
Last Updated on February 19, 2019
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