A Muslim Declaration Against Shariah, Violence

Monday, 16 Aug 2010 12:47 PM

By Tawfik Hamid

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After the problem of ground zero mosque has captured the public's attention, it becomes clear that Muslims who want to integrate should distinguish themselves radical Islam. Without making such a distinction the U.S. and the rest of the world will remain divided on the issue.

I suggest the following declaration.

We are Muslims who want contemporary understandings of Islam to replace any radical (Salafi/Wahabbi) interpretations of our religion. We therefore declare that:
 
1. Redda law, the Shariah that allows the killing of Muslims who convert to other faiths, must be banned in Islamic teachings and in Shariah legal doctrine. Islamic countries that practice Shariah must stop and admit that freedom of belief and the right to convert to other faith or believe is a basic right that must be given to all Muslims.
 
2. Current mainstream Shariah doctrines justify the use of violence against women. They encourage men to beat their wives to discipline them. They allow women accused of adultery to be stoned to death. These doctrines are barbarically inhumane, non-egalitarian, and teach Muslim children to be violent. These teachings must be ended by reinterpreting the Islamic text that justifies such violence.
 
3. Traditional Shariah doctrines teach Muslims that they must engage in war so that Islam will dominate the world. When Islam becomes dominant, non-Muslims are offered three options: to convert to Islam, to pay Jizzia (a humiliating tax), or to be killed. These doctrines run contrary to modern respect for diversity and for personal freedom of speech and belief. This understanding of jihad that seeks domination of Islam over other peoples must no longer be regarded as an Islamic value and its teaching as a duty for Muslims must end.
 
4. Jews are individuals who deserve the same respect accorded to all individuals. The Islamic teaching that Muslims must fight and kill all Jews before the end of days is totally unacceptable as it does not exist in the Quran. All teachings that encourage anti-Semitic attitudes, violence or disrespect toward Jews must be declared un-Islamic.
 
5. Slavery is a crime against humanity. All Shariah laws that justify slavery in our modern times must no longer be taught. Muslim scholars must have a clear and loud voice against slavery.
 
6. Shariah currently permits the killing homosexuals. These laws are advocating a crime against our fellow human beings. They must be declared un-Islamic and their implementation must be considered criminal.
 
Future Muslim generations must be protected from these destructive doctrines, interpretations and customs.

Violent Shariah doctrines must be replaced with clear and unconditional explanations of why they no longer are valid.

Anything short of a fully clear and unequivocal stand against these doctrines indicates passive approval. Therefore, all Islamic leaders who genuinely consider themselves to be Muslim moderates must post these principles in English and in Arabic in full public view on their websites and declare them in media outlets.

Failure to publically post and support these principles should be interpreted as clear evidence that a leader's mosque or Islamic organization is radical.

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