Do Many Western Muslims Consider Liberty a Sin?

Writing in The Independent, Yasmin Alibhai Brown, says they do

Things get even more complex when you think about freedom and Muslims. Muslims living in the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia or Turkey have no freedom to say what they think about the political system or the faith. Turkey imprisons more journalists than any other nation. Iran is the second-worst country for journalists and bloggers. In Pakistan people are tortured for blasphemy – often false charges trumped up to keep people in line.

Last Friday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Raif Badawi was dragged out of prison in shackles, brought in front of the mosque and flogged 50 times for “insulting Islam”. Imagine the scene: worshippers who had just finished praying to a merciful God then watched the merciless punishment. This will happen every week until he has been lashed a 1,000 times. He will also spend 10 long years in a Saudi prison. His body and mind will thus be shredded. Badawi, an activist, had started a website, the Liberal Saudi Network, and shared some of his perfectly reasonable views. For that he had to be punished so severely that no one would ever try to do the same again.

In Pakistan, Afghanistan, most central Asian states, Egypt, Syria, Algeria, Libya, even “liberated” Iraq, people know they must not say what they think about their rulers or their imams, not even to neighbours or friends. The only choice is to conform and live, keep your boiling thoughts locked in your own head. Imagine the psychological consequences.

This supports my belief that maybe we should start referring to Radical Muslims as Totalitarians. Surely such a title fits, as they wish to control, and control totally, the lives, words, and deeds of everyone under their control. And, as the author of this piece points out, many Western Muslims who have the blessings of liberty, reject it

Large numbers of Western Muslims are disturbed by the rights and liberties they have inherited and sometimes reject them. Meanwhile Muslims who have never known real freedom yearn for, indeed die to get those same liberties and human rights. That gap between Muslims who have and don’t want and those who crave and can’t have grows bigger all the time. For too many British Muslims, familiarity breeds contempt for freedom. They talk about it not as a priceless entitlement but a peril, out-of-control hedonism and lasciviousness – as a sin. I find that deplorable.

After my book Refusing the Veil came out last year, some female Muslim acquaintances organised a soiree for me to read from it and discuss its contents. These were reasonable, educated women. Here are some of the comments made:

“Why did you have to write this; who gave you permission?”

“Even to think these thoughts is wrong, and you go and publish them? If you were in a Muslim country you would be in jail.”

“If your mother was alive she would have slapped you for writing this.”

When I replied that my mother refused the veil when she was 22, the woman came back: “Then I feel sorry for you. She was the sinner and she made you one too.”

“OK I have not read the book because it will dirty my pure thoughts, but if you are a Muslim, you follow Islamic rules without question. Are you even a Muslim?”

Go read the rest, it is disturbing, and sheds light on the very dark truth about Islam. Is Islam more about control than about anything else? It seems that way in too many cases. And, in truth, it is only Muslims that can change these realities. That so many are either too afraid, or too deeply indoctrinated by the teachings of radical Islam will make that very difficult.

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