(Use Control + to enlarge)
In regard to radical or extremist Muslims of the Islam ideology, the classical Islamic experts did not approve or legitimize what is known as terrorism. The terrorist practice of suicide bombing “has no justification in terms of the Islamic ideology, law, or tradition. There is a difference if followers of Islam practice Shari’ah Law. Islam does not discriminate between military and civilian targets, but rather between Muslims and non-believers. The non-believers’ blood can be legitimately spilled.
Jihadists interpret Islam laws to mean everyone should be governed under Islam’s Shari’ah. Shari’ah Law is often referred to as “The Way”. Jihad means to be powerful and convince less powerful people that it is to their best interest to follow them. Some scholar’s note that reference to Jihad in the Quran regarding war refers to a time when Islam was under attack by warring tribes in 7th Century Arabia. Islam’s Shari’ah Law maintains strict laws regarding the conduct of war.
Radical supporters of any faith may interpret their faith in an extreme way…sometimes not according to the religion’s intent. Islam’s prophet, Mohammed, advised, according to reputed narrator Al Bukkari, “Do good deed properly, sincerely, and moderately. Always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course whereby you will reach your target of paradise.” The word moderation is mentioned many times in the prophet’s speeches
As of now, Islamic law is not conforming with modern society although it “appears” Muslims living in the United States do not follow Shari’ah Law. However, that reasoning could change any time. Perhaps Muslims especially need to reform their religion as Martin Luther did with Catholicism. He did not like some of their religious rites and also did not agree with their asking for money for their religious rites. This was the reason for the breakaway from Catholicism and naming the new religion Reformed and later another religion named Lutheran.
Opinions differ sharply on such subjects as prayer habits, attire, celebration of Muslim holidays, and how children should behave and dress. For example, a woman choosing to walk down a street in Tehran without covering her hair and body would be considered radical, but in another Muslim country, such as Turkey, it would not be considered radical.
A topic that inspires controversy regarding moderate or radical practices is the choice of Muslim women to cover their hair, face, and body. The Quran commands women and men to be modest in manner and states that women should cover their beauty in public and “draw their veils over their bosoms.” The verses are not specific regarding whether women’s hair should be covered although the prophet’s wives reportedly covered their hair, and many Muslims believe that is necessary. The word “veil” was also used more generally in religious sects to refer to a curtain concealing women or to her general style of dress. This vagueness has resulted in varied interpretations from covering the body and leaving the hair exposed to covering everything except the eyes. Looks like a good idea for someone, male or female, to hide under that costume.
Rape is considered a crime in all countries, but Shari’ah courts in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Syria, and Tunisia, in some cases, allow a rapist to escape punishment by marrying his victim. In other cases, the victim who complains is often prosecuted with the crime of adultery.
Shari’ah authorizes slavery using the words “slave” and the phrase “that which your right hand owns” to refer to women slaves, seized as captives of war. Muslim men could have sexual relations with female captives and slaves. In Africa, and elsewhere, a non-Muslim female slave who bore children to her Muslim “master” became legally free upon her master’s death, and her children were presumed to be Muslims like their father. Starting with the 20th Century, Western legal systems evolved to expand women’s rights, but women’s rights under Islamic law have remained tied to the Quran and their fundamentalist interpretation by Islamic experts.
Muslim history discourages record keeping and delays the introduction of modern accounting. These factors alone have played a significant role in retarding economic development in the Middle East. It is debated and doubtful that Shari’ah courts could be integrated into the American religious arbitration system if they adopt requirements as American rabbinical courts have done. For all of America, it is doubtful this would work.
United States bills aimed against use of Shari’ah Law have been introduced into some states and have passed in a few of them. These bills have generally referred to banning foreign or religious law in order to not allow challenges. Scholars state Shari’ah is not compatible with democracy particularly where the country’s constitution demands separation of religion and the democratic state. On the other hand, the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam promotes free speech with Shari’ah Law. The Declaration states “Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah.” Often members of religious minorities are being lynched, killed, and incarcerated in Muslim nations on flimsy accusations of insulting Islam.
Is it time for the Earth and its people to move forward in a “Spiritual Way” in the 21st Century? The “Spiritual Way” encompasses all religious people who have found a personal connection to a Universal God through Spirit. The Spiritual outlook for the different areas of the World relies on how the World relates to their personal relationship to the aspects of God and/or their higher Spiritual belief system. The “Spiritual Way” is to understand how the Universal forces or energy work, and this is mostly accomplished by meditation. To be able to assist people in finding a comfortable way to Universal knowledge, the uncomfortable or unpleasant situations within the World that are occurring now need to be understood. As the World turns, so do the Spiritual aspects of life unfold with the truths of the reality of being. By accomplishing this, a person shall be more free to truly understand why they are born in Earth. They shall be more free to understand the gifts of the Universe such as the knowledge that Thomas Edison, in his Spiritual intuitiveness, had in regard to electricity in addition to many more intuitive scientists. This is explained in “The Larger Spiritual Order & Universal Scheme of Things-Simplified“. If more hue-man Minds are not Spiritually adjusted by Spiritual thoughts, Love for humankind cannot by fully understood.
We shall return to the MENA (Middle East North Africa) countries and their relationship to Islam next month.