Since starting the Examine Islam petition I have felt the need to explain why I and so many others signing the petition believe Islam ought to be banned in the Western world.
Clearly laws in different countries vary, but I take Germany’s hate speech laws as my basis for an example which I believe we need to roll out in all Western nations where we value our independence and right to defend our culture against Islamisation.
German hate speech laws were laid down mostly with de-Nazification in mind, post war, but also with the experience with the failure of democracy in Weimar Germany (i.e., inter-war Germany). The common perception was that one reason for the failure of democracy in Germany at that time was the intense hatred, propaganda, and even street violence of the far right and far left. Essentially, the liberal German state gave anti-liberal groups the freedom to undermine it, and these groups ultimately succeeded.
In response to this, the laws and lawyers of post-war Germany acknowledged as an implicit principle that of “wehrhafte Demokratie” — “fortified/resisting democracy”. In other words, the law in a liberal state should have the capacities to limit forms of action, but also speech, that effectively set out to undermine or destroy the liberal/democratic state itself. What is meant by “liberal” or “democratic” is very narrow, and of course influenced by historical experiences — it means the rule of law, basic forms of democratic government, and a set of basic, “classical” rights. It is from that background that one can understand hate speech laws, but also a wider set of other laws, e.g., the role of the German supreme court in forbidding parties and societies which are against basic democratic principles. (The KKK, for example, would be forbidden in Germany.)
Every liberal and democratic state gives rights and liberties to its citizens, as both the German and American states do, together with the rest of the EU, Canada and others. In doing so, these states no longer stay “morally neutral”: they implicitly accept that these are prime and undeniable goods that have to be given to or prevented from being taken from, each and every individual. This implies a duty of the state to do the best to secure these liberties and rights to all individuals. Forbidding speech that ultimately aims to undermine them can be a part of that; it’s a way of defending the core values that underlie the society we live in.
Of utmost importance is the expressive (or symbolic) significance of anti-hate speech laws: they re-affirm and publicly express the values we in the West were shaped by and stand by – freedom, tolerance, equality before the law, democracy, human rights, the scientific method. Enlightenment values all, but also directly inspired by the Judeo-Christian model.
By forbidding the worst forms of hate speech, the state publicly pronounces and emphasises that it is not neutral with regard to a narrow and restricted set of fundamental values — such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law and equality before the law.
From a philosophical, social, political, or historical standpoint, the reasoning behind the law is as important as the law itself. In the US, laws which would ban hate speech are considered to be an affront on the basic pillars of society. In Europe, hate speech itself is considered to be an affront on the basic pillars of society.
I can’t think of a more significant distinction between US and Europe than the source of the thing we call “freedom”.
Suppressing Islam, which calls itself a ‘religion’, is morally acceptable when one examines the core texts of Islam – these amount to hate speech and run counter to core human rights. The Koran, Hadith and Sunnah make up a set of rules by which Muslims must life their life. These are enshrined in Sharia law. It is no coincidence that:
“The Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights ruled in February 2003 that Islamic Sharia law is “incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy.” The court said that a legal system based on Sharia law “would diverge from the European Convention on Human Rights, particularly with regard to the rules on the status of women, and its intervention in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.” (Examine Islam Petition).
“Most Islamic countries have signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, in 1948, Saudi Arabia abstained from the ratification vote on the Declaration, claiming that it violated Sharia law. Pakistan—which had signed the declaration—disagreed and critiqued the Saudi position. In 1982, the Iranian representative to the United Nations, Said Rajaie-Khorassani, said that the Declaration was “a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition” which could not be implemented by Muslims without conflict with Sharia. (Wikipedia).
Theocratic Islamic regimes such as Saudi and Iran’s consistent flaunting of Human Rights law (beheading, stoning and hanging gays and adulterers and imprisoning critics for example) show how Islam is fundamentally incompatible with Human Rights. These nations say so themselves! They are Islamic nations, theocratic regimes, telling the West that Human Rights laws are anti-Islamic – what more proof is needed?
Please take the time to read the examples of violence and hate in Hadith and Koran. These are from the accepted sources used by Muslims worldwide. Perhaps all Muslims have not read them, or perhaps they don’t feel like acting on them. But it is clear – to be a good Muslim, Muhammad explicitly told Muslims that he was the perfect example who should be emulated. This is what Isis and Boko Haram and Al Quaeda are doing. This is what all the terrorists in the West over the decades have been doing, and this is precisely what Muslims want when they demand Sharia law, Muslim schools, Mosques and Islamic satellite TV channels which spread hatred of the West.
An example amongst too many from the Hadith –
“The Prophet ordered for some iron pieces to be made red hot, and their eyes were branded with them and their hands and feet were cut off and were not cauterized. Then they were put at a place called Al-Harra, and when they asked for water to drink they were not given till they died. (Abu Qilaba said, “Those people committed theft and murder and fought against Allah and His Apostle.”)” goo.gl/4wKdrQ
An example from amongst countless in the Koran:
“And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out, for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter”. 2:191
“Fighting is prescribed for you, and you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not”. 2:216
“Of the Unbelievers: “seize them and slay them wherever you find them: and in any case take no friends or helpers from their ranks.” 4:89
Please see more ways here of how Islam’s tenets breach specific Human Rights law.
Muslims outside of Muslim-majority nations (eg in the West) have now started demanding that their issues are resolved by Sharia courts – this is already happening in the UK. They have started demanding that their children receive Islamic education which effectively brainwashes children into the cult of Islam, creating a loyalty to Islam that overrides any patriotism they would have for the nation that nurtures them.
Islam is a lifestyle rather than a religion. It is also a cult – leaving Islam results in the death penalty, as does criticising or questioning it.
“Narrated By Abu Zur’a bin ‘Amr bin Jarir : The Prophet said during Hajjat-al-Wada’, “Let the people be quiet and listen to me. After me, do not become disbelievers, by striking (cutting) the necks of one another.” goo.gl/WoIFx2
‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.’” – goo.gl/P9wuV7
Banning Islam is essential – whilst it will without a doubt amplify the extremes, at the same time it will lower the general acceptance of such ideas since it would now be goings against society’s norms. This would result in strengthening our accepted Western values, and remove the acceptance of the tenets which run counter to them. This is a worthy trade-off for society as a whole, as it will stop hate preachers from openly preaching violence and death to unbelievers. It will allow states to cut off transmissions of pro-Islamist propaganda TV such as Islam Channel. It will allow states to block access to Islamist web content and social media.
Does the idea of inferior and superior humans and that the inferior deserve to be eradicated help society/humanity in any way? There are some things that are simply not desirable. It’s historical a touchy subject, because it went too far. We had the debate in the past, we even acted on it, I don’t see that it enriched the world so much that it would be worth it.
Allowing them to speak their piece, expose their ideas, and appear in public only exposed their weakness and ignorance. This is a better approach.
Freedom of assembly was and is still legal in Germany. There are lot of nazi rallies everywhere around Germany on certain dates (historically significant dates) and you bet there are easily 100 times more anti-nazi protesters. Problem is: These require time and money. Spending so much of public money and a lot of peoples’ time is not really the ideal scenario. But as long there are people “stupid” enough to follow those ideologies, they are a necessity.
Once someone is enthralled in an ideologic belief system, it’s very hard to get them out of there. Therefore, lots of education and lowering exposure of/to dangerous biased ideologies seems to be a good way to go.
Let me finish this post with a more personal note: Pleasure discussing with you, have an upvote for such a good debate post:-)
I disagree with the premise that words cause harm in this sense. And even if I did agree that they caused harm, the harm prevented by censorship would have to be weighed against the harm done to the basic human right of free expression.
I know, this one’s hard to grasp as long we don’t have methods to empirically show the effects of psychological abuse the same way we can take a look at a wound and say “hey, this guy’s hurt”.
I extend the basic human right of life and “non-harm” (I don’t know, is there a similiar word for “Unverletzlichkeit” in English?) to psychological abuse and state clearly “Words can be weapons. To deny such a fact in the face of bullying and hate speech is like denying the fact that knifes can be weapons after being stabbed.” (I wish I could quote someone famous poet saying that, but it’s only something I came up with a minute ago.)
So, there we are. We came to the conflict of basic rights. Now we can start prioritizing. I, for one, would set the individual right to life without harm higher than the individual freedom of speech. I should have the right to say “Shut up!” when someone insults me. (Exaggeration! I meant simply asking him to stop, so any further act would be deliberate and a (albeit very small) crime).
I don’t plan on preventing anything. The idea of small scale prevention is blind idealism. They will pick up traces sooner or later. But if they learned that this ideology is wrong for that and that reasons, they will recognize those and be strenghten in their non-extreme believes. You don’t have to see it black/white as a complete ban from existence. They are still available, they have to, for history’s sake. If you want to read “Mein Kampf” in Germany, you still can. You will have to settle for a commented version though. It puts the biased bullcrap in context and shows you the flaws and errors where the original keeps silent.
Most Islamic countries have signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, in 1948, Saudi Arabia abstained from the ratification vote on the Declaration, claiming that it violated Sharia law. Pakistan—which had signed the declaration—disagreed and critiqued the Saudi position. In 1982, the Iranian representative to the United Nations, Said Rajaie-Khorassani, said that the Declaration was “a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition” which could not be implemented by Muslims without conflict with Sharia.