Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Islamophobia on

Since the release of Fitna, I've been taking quick looks at JihadWatch every day. The main author of JihadWatch is Robert Spencer, who has been posting articles since 2003. I'm sure he was quite active elsewhere before that date.

Anyway, he has lead me to reconsider Islamophobia. A large section of the Fitna movie is about the growing number of Muslims in general, and specifically in Netherlands. So, why are people afraid of Islam? Well, one of the many reasons is the common understanding of the Muslims intolerance towards non-Muslims, which is cited many times in the Fitna movie. There is a verse in the Quran (can't find the reference at the moment) that says something like, fight Christians and Jews until they convert to Islam, or let them pay (gezia) for being non-Muslims.

To be honest, Islamophobes have every right to be afraid. If someone comes up to me telling me that I have to do something or else he'll kill me, then yes, I'll be repulsive. However, I know that I can respond to all quotes from the Quran that are mentioned in both Fitna and JihadWatch, but I'll talk about the mentioned verse.

The problem with most people is that they take verses literally, and not the general idea, or the specific historical event. Let's take a look at modern day taxes. Why are there taxes? Because there are departments in the country you belong to that do not generate revenue. Like what? Like building roads. How is the country going to build roads except from taxes? How is the country going to pay for the police or the army without taxes? Exactly. So, what was there in the old times of Islam? There was a system (and still exists) called Zakat. Zakat is basically a social system that attempts to give whoever who cannot generate revenue some funds from those who can. Kind of a social equilibrium system. Now, how was that possible during the old days? Non-Muslims had to pay something, kind of a tax. The fighting part before it? Well, at those times everything went via fighting; fighting for land, for honor, for money, etc.

Finally, does that apply to these times? Hell no!! Everyone pays taxes. People have evolved to use politics. Is it legal (according to the Sharia law) to not follow that verse? Definitely yes. The Creator would not be divine if He didn't know that times change and people evolve.

On the lighter side, the word "Jihad" makes you ponder its meaning. Jihad basically means to fight for a cause. How far are you supposed to go? It depends on the person really. Some women would give their lives fighting for women's rights, some Iraqis would give their lives for freedom, others would blog in the comfort of their homes (myself included). Sarcastically, that would make Robert Spencer a Jihadist, fighting against Islamisation.

Edit: It's Gezia not Fedia, thanks Uma.


Anonymous said...

Very nice Mamlouk, I have to admit I'm very surprised, you usually come off sounding a bit anti-Islamic. Must say this was a very good level-headed post.

Mamlouk said...

I'm not anti-Islamic; I'm far from it. I'm anti-religious, where Islam is the most that I can criticize (as I am namely a Muslim).