Ibn Warraq on Islam

April 6, 2011

Eric MacDonald quotes Ibn Warraq:-

“Let us then turn to Islamic extremism, what is very often called Islamism. Here some distinctions made by Ibn Warraq are important. He distinguishes Islam 1, 2, and 3, as follows:

Islam 1 is what the Prophet taught, that is, his teachings as contained in the Koran; Islam 2 is the religion as expounded, interpreted, and developed through the Traditions (hadith) by the theologians and jurists, and includes the sharia, Islamic law, and the corpus of dogmatic theology; Islam 3 is what Muslims actually did and do and achieved, that is to say, Islamic civilization, as known to us in history …

And then he goes on to point out that when he speaks of the incompatibility of Islam and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he has Islam 1 and Islam 2 in mind, whereas, at times, Islam 3 was much more tolerant than Christianity of such things as homosexuality, while Islam 1 and 2 are very relaxed about circumcision, yet in Islam 3 it is universally practiced. But then he goes on to say:

Islam, in the sense of Islam 1 and 2, is indeed a threat to, and totally incompatible with, democracy: Islam 1 and 2 do not accept democracy’s core principles of religious tolerance; freedom of conscience, belief, and expression; the separation of church and state; equality before the law; and notions of citizenship and loyalty to the state. There may well be moderate Muslims [Islam 3], but Islam [Islam 1 and 2] itself is not moderate. The so-called Islamists or Islamic fundamentalists are acting canonically, that is, following Islam 1 and 2 to the letter.

To my mind this is an exceptionally important passage, and it should stand as a warning to us. Islam itself is incompatible with human rights, as so many people, like Bruce Bawer or Hege Storhaug, Ayan Hirsi Ali and Paul Berman, Wafa Sultan and Nonie Darwish have been telling us for so long. In other words, Islamic extremism, Islamism, is not extremism; it is canonical Islam. When women in Britain, dressed from head to toe in black cloth, hold up signs in front of 10 Downing Street saying that “Shariah will Dominate the World,” they mean precisely that.”