Islam is a threat

Oskar Freysinger: Is Islam a Threat?

I reported last week on the difficulties faced by Oskar Freysinger, the leader of the Swiss People’s Party, when he attempted to give a lecture in Brussels. Twice denied a private venue, he eventually gave his talk in the Flemish Parliament, thanks to the intervention of Vlaams Belang leader Filip Dewinter.

Mr. Freysinger gave his speech in French, and it has now been translated into English, thanks to the dedicated efforts of our French correspondent l’échappée belle. It is an excellent exposition of the extensive damage inflicted by mass Muslim immigration on the legal systems and national cultures of Europe.

Baron Bodissey

Oskar Freysinger: Is Islam a threat?

Conference in Brussels October 9, 2010

To preface, allow me to note that at the end of this first decade of the 21st century, questions and debate have become a challenge in the EU.

First, the Diamant Conference Center in Schaerbeek closed its doors to me under pressure from the mayor and the police on the leaseholder of the room, and then it was the turn of the Crowne Plaza Hotel to deny me a room. Its owner had at least the elegance, after having first accepted and then rejected the conference, to meet us, Marcel Castermans and me, to express his embarrassment of being unable to fulfill his commitment. “However,” he advised during this interview, “The Crowne Plaza is no exception as to its rejection. Currently, you will not find any hotel room in Brussels prepared to welcome you, as political pressures are too great. You see, I am a businessman, and cannot go against the system “. The manager of the Crowne Plaza didn’t know how right he was, because the owner of a third venue, who originally gave his approval, recanted just this morning.

This is why Europe is running adrift: Not because of fanatics who occupy the land, but because of cowards who let them do it.

I am, however, happy with the outcome of this matter, which sees me now speaking in French in a Flemish parliament hall. Thanks to Philip Dewinter, the only person this morning to support free speech in this city of Brussels which has been placed under the wet blanket of an anti-liberty clique.

Intolerance and censorship are now the preserve of those who have only the words “openness” and “tolerance” on their lips. Paradoxically, our fight for freedom, is also conducted for them and their children, despite the fact they are trying to muzzle us.

For now, I’ll try to summarize in three quarters of an hour the argument that prevailed when we, Switzerland, decided to give a strong signal to Islam by banning the construction of minarets. Is Islam a threat? If yes, in which areas and in which ways? These are questions I will try to answer without any animosity toward Muslims as individuals, because they are often the first victims of a pitiless dogma leaving them little choice in managing their lives.

1. All religions on an equal footing

At the beginning of this reflection we should ask ourselves how any rule of law protects the religious peace within the state. This can be accomplished via a secular legal regime that places itself above religious dogma and which guarantees equal treatment to all faiths. The protector must be placed above the protected so that its protection is effective and granted in the same way to all.

Religious faith is inherently unprovable and therefore beyond any checks. That means for a legislator ensuring equal treatment to all religions, that faith X and faith Y are necessarily at the same level, and that men are free to choose their religion, so as to be able to move from one religion to another. Religious freedom is also the oldest fundamental right of any modern constitutional state.

However, once religious faith is politicized, the dogmatization of policy threatens. One religion then influences policy to the point that it eventually bans, isolates or oppresses all other religious beliefs (see Iran, Afghanistan, etc.), while at the same time imposing a dogma (unprovable and unchanging).

Let me point out some instructive cases related to the blasphemy law introduced some time ago in Pakistan, which presents itself as a democracy:

  • In early July 2010, the Christian Zahid Masih of Model Town, not far from Lahore, was forced to flee and hide with his family after being accused of blasphemy earlier in the month by the Muslim Manat Ali, who stirred up a fundamentalist lynch mob. Zahid is alleged to have used as a bathmat a panel on which are inscribed some verses from the Koran.
    • The family of a 26-year-old woman from the Punjab, Rubina Bibi, the mother of three children, who was charged and imprisoned on false charges of blasphemy. Due to her desperation, she now believes she has come to an agreement with her accusers: the withdrawal of charges, and thus freedom, in exchange for her conversion to Islam. In March 2010, Rubina was accused by a Muslim trader following a discussion on the sale of a food product. Court hearings took place under heavy pressure from Islamic extremist groups. To reach an out-of-court settlement, the court told the Rubina family that charges would be dropped if she converted to Islam.
    • In February 2010, Qamar David, a Christian from Lahore, in prison since 2006, was sentenced to life imprisonment for blasphemy. For three years his family and his lawyer have been subjected to threats and intimidation. “The conviction is based solely on the statements and testimony created artificially, the fruits of hatred and prejudice,” says the lawyer Parvez Choudry.
    • In January 2010, Imran Masih, 26, from Faisalabad, was sentenced to life imprisonment for blasphemy. A neighbor accused him of burning a copy of the Koran. The young man was the victim of a trap: while cleaning his shop, he wanted to get rid of some books written in Arabic (a language he does not understand) and asked the advice of one of his neighbors who first authorized him to do so and then accused him of blasphemy.

    Recognizing this, the problem that Islam poses to Western democracies is not primarily theological in nature, but above all political and legal.

    2. Competing conceptions of law

    In Switzerland, as in any democracy worthy of the name, every law is democratically legitimized. This means that our laws can change, unlike Islamic religious law, which is irreversible and autonomous because it is considered of divine origin: it is given once and for all, and is not accountable to anyone. Sharia is based on the Koran, which was given to the prophet Muhammad in a state of mystical ecstasy. The Koran exists as an uncreated law in heaven and was made accessible to humans by Mohammed. Sharia law is based on yet another source, the hadith, which by their source value are placed at the same level as the Koran and comprise information and actions taken from the prophet’s life. There are, according to Koranic schools, various viewpoints at this level. Certain hadith are accepted by some and rejected by others. Within the religious texts a great variety is found which leads to opposing views and practices.

    Finally, all contradictions in the Koran as well as areas that are not resolved are set by the Ijma which represents a consensus of self-appointed lawyers (the scholars) who makes fatwa (legal rulings). The problem is that the alim (scholars, plural) are said to be the ones who “know”, and are therefore knowledgeable when it comes to scientific matters of faith. Thus we understand why faith is regarded as knowledge in Islam, that is, a scientifically verifiable area. This view is hardly reconcilable with our idea of faith, and leads to serious consequences in practical life. As opposed to the inhabitants of the 57 member countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference, the Swiss people may, under our conception of law, broadly participate in the political process through the instruments of direct democracy. We could, for example, delete the reference to the Almighty in the Federal Constitution. In contrast, the populations of the Islamic countries mentioned above do not have the right to challenge Sharia, which in these countries is equal to immutable scientific knowledge, equivalent to the Swiss admitting the fact that earth is round and revolves around the sun. The time when the church tried to ban this knowledge is gone; Galileo virtually represents the beginning of the emancipation of modern science from religion.

    The Turkish Constitutional Court has come to a decision, upheld by the European Court of Human Rights, that Sharia is the antithesis of democracy and intends to usurp the state’s role as guarantor of individual rights and freedoms. In this context, the following statement by Dalil Boubaker, former president of the French Council of the Muslim community, is remarkable: “Islam is simultaneously religious, community, law and civilization.” The Organization of the Islamic Conference of States — which as mentioned, includes 57 states — has made a similar observation: “Islam is religion, state, and complete organization of life.” Under this principle, the Organization of the Islamic Conference of States accepts the General Declaration of Human Rights only to the extent that it does not conflict with Sharia.

    It is precisely this tendency of Islam to control both private life and the public organization of society, and thus its overall influence on the design of people’s lives, which distinguishes Islam from other religions.

    Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. practice religion primarily as an individual conception of life without a significant legal and political component. They respect politics and the law, but also the sciences and the arts as autonomous “systems”, while writers and artists who criticize Islam should expect violent reactions from the guards of the Islamic religion. Remember the death sentence against Salman Rushdie by the Iranian head of state, Ayatollah Khomeini, in 1989, or the destruction of Danish property in Muslim states after the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in 2006.

    Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist, lives in hiding under the threat of a fatwa. Having survived three attacks, he often changes his town and country, never leaves home without armed escort and turned his home into a fortress. This hell has lasted five years. Enough to discourage other practitioners of “misplaced” humor.

    3. Historical roots of Islamic law


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