"Secular" Islam

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A summit was held a few months ago in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA to promote a “secular version of Islam“. This Summit was an international forum spearheaded by Muslim secularists and was organized and sponsored by the Center for Inquiry in partnership with the International Intelligence Summit. 

Many who attended issued a declaration at the end of the summit. While many of the clauses of that declaration are in tune with Islam and its teachings, there were others that clearly are based on faulty and presumed premises (e.g. submitting Islamic practices to criticism or condemnation when they violate human reason or rights). The fact is that mainstream Muslims do not believe that any of it’s teachings violate human rights – rather Islam came and through its principles and teachings, it protected the weak, elevated the status of women, lay down rules for protection of minorities in Muslim lands and many other such principles.

The text of the declaration issued by the “Muslim secularists” read as follows:

We are secular Muslims, and secular persons of Muslim societies. We are believers, doubters, and unbelievers, brought together by a great struggle, not between the West and Islam, but between the free and the unfree.

We affirm the inviolable freedom of the individual conscience. We believe in the equality of all human persons.

We insist upon the separation of religion from state and the observance of universal human rights.

We find traditions of liberty, rationality, and tolerance in the rich histories of pre-Islamic and Islamic societies. These values do not belong to the West or the East; they are the common moral heritage of humankind.

We see no colonialism, racism, or so-called “Islamaphobia” in submitting Islamic practices to criticism or condemnation when they violate human reason or rights.

We call on the governments of the world to

reject Sharia law, fatwa courts, clerical rule, and state-sanctioned religion in all their forms; oppose all penalties for blasphemy and apostasy, in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights;
eliminate practices, such as female circumcision, honor killing, forced veiling, and forced marriage, that further the oppression of women;
protect sexual and gender minorities from persecution and violence;
reform sectarian education that teaches intolerance and bigotry towards non-Muslims; and foster an open public sphere in which all matters may be discussed without coercion or intimidation.
We demand the release of Islam from its captivity to the totalitarian ambitions of power-hungry men and the rigid structures of orthodoxy.

We enjoin academics and thinkers everywhere to embark on a fearless examination of the origins and sources of Islam, and to promulgate the ideals of free scientific and spiritual inquiry through cross-cultural translation, publishing, and the mass media.

We say to Muslim believers: there is a noble future for Islam as a personal faith, not a political doctrine; to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha’is, and all members of non-Muslim faith communities: we stand with you as free and equal citizens; and to nonbelievers: we defend your unqualified liberty to question and dissent.

Before any of us is a member of the Umma, the Body of Christ, or the Chosen People, we are all members of the community of conscience, the people who must choose for themselves.

The declaration obviously was critiqued by many Muslim organizations. Your thoughts and analysis on the declaration are welcome.

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5 comments… add one
  • Khalid

    As Salaamu ‘alaikum

    This is quite clearly a ‘declaration of kufr’ and only serves to strengthen the ‘umbrella of kufr’ that prevents the ‘rain of Islaam reaching the people.

    Wa Salaam

  • Segiru Sule

    This type of declaration could only have come from those who are ‘ashamed’ of their faith. Or better still, those who are not even believers. Religious or spiritual matters are not ‘subjectable’ to scientific research or enquiry. So, the declarants of that so-called ‘declaration’ are not only ignorant but blatantly mischievious.

    In the first place, they (declarants) are a faceless bunch of strange bed-fellows. They call themselves, – BELIEVERS, DOUBTERS AND UNBELIEVERS. No right-thinking individual would take such a group of fellows seriously. It is better for them to take a stand. Let them move away from the centre of the road – it is too dangerious. They should either be (1) ‘believers’, (2) ‘doubters’ or (3) ‘unbelievers’. They cannot belong to the three camps all at the same time. Because they are ambivalent, I am not going to take them seriously. However, let them known that Islam does not encourage/preach honour killing, forced veiling, forced marriage, oppression of women, female circumcission, etc, as alleged. Indeed, Islam practically defend and protect women in a special way. A sura(chapter) is devoted to women. Those who are interested should go a read it for themselves. (SURAT AN-NISA).

    They also talked about separation of religion from state. They betrayed their ignorance of the fact that religion gave rise to the state. The very foundation of ‘the state’ is anchored on religion, hence separating them 100% will be near impossible. The western attempt to do so is what has resulted in lesbianism and state sanctioned sodomy. Now, a man can marry a man and a so-called pastor joins them in ‘holy matrimony’. Friends and relations will attend the ceremony. A woman can also marry a woman. If that is what they mean by separating religion from state, Islam will have none of that. Sharia laws are devine laws which are not subject to human or scientific examination. THOSE WHO HAVE EARS LET THEM HEAR. Masalam.

  • Maysoun

    Salam aleikum. Christian, yews buddhist , hindus all practist adultery.Al humdiallah iam a convert to Islam and iam proud of it. Salam

  • Ana

    Assalamu Alaykum. Well I guess the declaration has obvious meaning to those muslims who now and understand their religion in the right order. Some reason that they quuoted out refering violation of human rights, I mean where does Islam sa that a woman is forced to marry some one she doesn’t want. Or she should be circumcised or what eve they said. WHERE EXACTLY DID ISLAM PUT THAT FORWARD TO BE PRACTICED? Rather its the thing that some people in the muslim nation practice. Does all what the people inthe muslim nations do according to Islam? Thts the first question to be asked of. Rather the declaration should b based on how to eradicate some cultural , non-islamic practices. I don’t like this kind of things which are done in the name of Islam that Islam says this and says that or whatever. THIS IS TOTALLY WRONG. Those people should know about Islam and differentiate b/n culturalpractices and ISLAM before they say something about it. Well I guess there should be knowledge of something before speaking of it . And when talking about things of we don’t know, The Qur’an states it clearly that we abstain from such acts.
    And whatever they say Alhamdulillah we do our job according to the right ways.

  • Um Adam

    Thank you for posting this article full of ignorance and kafir values and idealogy. I love Iqrasense for the simple fact that it makes u readers think critically about these issues. It didn’t post this article shooting it down, they let us see it for ourselves. I love you guys for the sake of Allah..May Allah reward you for all the good deeds.

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