Thursday, September 30, 2010

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Taqiyyah

I just got Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's 2004 book, What's Right with Islam (the tome that layed the groundwork for the interfaith cleric's Cordoba mosque initiative), from the library. Here's what the imam has to say vis-a-vis how Islam and America's Declaration of Independence, for heaven's sake, are muy simpatico:
What's right about America is its Declaration of Independence, for it embodies and restates the core values of the Abrahamic, and thus also the Islamic, ethic. Since human liberty is one of its aims, and reason the method by which we justify our political order, then the cardinal moral truths from the Declaration of Independence that flesh out the Abrahamic ethic are:
That all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness--that to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the Consent of the Governed.
As defined by our rights, we are equal; no one human being has rights superior to those of other human beings. We are born with these rights; we do not get them from anyone or any government. Indeed, the opposite is the case: whatever rights government has come from us, the governed, by our consent. And our right to the pursuit of happiness implies that each one of us has the right to live our lives as we wish--to pursue happiness as we think best--provided only that we respect the equal rights of others to do the same and do not infringe on their rights in this regard/ America's founders thus outlined the moral foundations of a free society--and in the process, an Abrahamic society. These beliefs are fundamental to all Americans and may be said to constitute the American "religion" or creed that all Americans subscribe to and believe in. The are also beliefs fundamental to all Muslims, who regard these beliefs as essential to Islam.
You can see why Rauf was such a hit on the interfaith cirucuit--because he pushed appealing bromides about a fellowship of the "Abrahamic" (which, incidentally, is an entirely Islamic fabrication that was picked up by interfaith-minded Christians and Jews; I learned that from Mark Durie's excellent book The Third Choice).

As for the truth: Daniel Pipes captures it very well, I think, in the October issue of Commentary:
Sharia contradicts the deepest premises of Western civilization. The unequal relations of Muslims and kafir cannot be reconciled with equality of rights. A sovereign God cannot allow democracy.

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