Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Freedom to Speak

The freedom to speak is an enshrined value of the Western world. Something they pride themselves on and wish to promote in the Muslim world. So when the Danish cartoons happened, it was the freedom of speech debate which took centre stage. When the film Fitnah was created it was all protected by this freedom of speech value. One should be able to criticise and debate ideas, with openness as this is what creates a society which thinks about what it believes in, and questions it. So questioning the Islamic traditions in fitnah was the freedom to question and probe. Depicting the Prophet SAW as a terrorist was all about questioning the place of Islam and the Prophet SAW.

Therefore one would hope that the ability to question and debate the values embedded in the society all around us would be encouraged, urged. However the recent war on terror in Britain has set quite a different standard for Muslims, when it comes to their ability to speak and debate freely. If Muslims voice their different views about politics, society and question the norms which people swallow as universal around them, freedom of speech suddenly has no place for them. If Muslims believe that the resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan is fully legitimate, as these lands have been bombed and destroyed, masses killed without any type of consent of the people, then are we supporters of terrorism? Because we believe in the self-determination of a people who are in the hands of foreign occupation? Did not Britain fight back during the Blitz? Did they welcome the bombing of their cities and embrace the Germans with open hands? Would we call those who assisted in the war effort to counter the blitz, insurgents and terrorists, simply because they wanted sovereignty in their own land?

What about those who believe the values of the people of the Muslim world should shape the way they live. The Muslim world should be allowed to let their way of life manifest itself in society and wiithin the state. Is this barbaric, backward if they want to live by the just Economic system of Islam, which distributes the wealth of the state to the poor, instead of letting the rich and elite accumulate it? A system which provides stability putting the interests of the people first, above the speculative markets? What about if they want their social values to manifest in society so that men and women maintain a respect towards each other instead of being encouraged to sexualise one another? So that family units are sanctified over individual's freedom to run after desires and temptations. Is this extremism? As if you call for a Caliphate, the Khilafah system, for the Muslim world, believing that democracy only perpetuates tyranny of man, allowing corruption of power and wealth; you have rejected the values of the West and have gone to far for this society.

But is this not the West who prides itself on the debate of ideas and values? Is this not the West who encourages people who criticise and discuss what leads to better societies? More harmonious societies?

Questions. Questions. No one seems to really answer. The problem is, the Government today, the prospective Conservative Government today is banding around alot of what will never be allowed. Extremism will never be allowed in British society, terrorism will never be allowed in British society and as Cameron has promised, he will ban Islamic groups who call for such terrorism once he comes to power. But Cameron has been quick to shove the debate about productive values in a very broken society which he wishes to mend, under the carpet. As these Islamic groups are those who are not and have never been engaged in any type of violent extremism, but have always been at the forefront of speaking out against colonisliam, occupation and the ability for Islam to solve the broken problems of society in the Muslim world. They want to discuss what values could potentially mend a society broken socially, economically and politically. So clearly Cameron's promise to ban such groups essentially means the promise to ban discussion and debate about values in society and silence those who actually think and don't just adopt the status quo blindly - That democracy is supreme. Rather maybe Cameron could stop to think - The reasons why some Muslims believe and call so wholeheartedly for Islamic law in the Muslim world, is because they wish more than anything for justice to return to our world today, the ceasing of the rich usurping the poor, and the powerful oppressing the weak. Something he could actually learn from maybe?



Comunidad Islámica de Ávila said...

Assalaamu alaikum

Muslims can´t enjoy their right to speak, while non-muslims turn their freedom of speach into a freedom of insult.
The Pope enjoyed his freedom of speech calling the best human being ever to live on earth (PBUH) a blood thirsty man, the danish cartoons were also just one of many manifestations of this freedom of insult disguised as freedom of speech.

Also, to dare deny the holocaust or even question the 6million number is punishable with years of jail.

Freedom of speech is a right every human being must enjoy, but western societies have turned it into a void term.

SubhanAllah I was writing an entry about this subject, however it's in Spanish.

Barakallahu feekum,


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Anonymous said...

Double standards pervades the western way of life, their ideology, philosophy, values and slogans.

For those living in their society, most dispise their way of life and are being bullied by the governments to follow their values. Whilst historically, non-muslims living in Islamic societies were permitted to practice their religions freely but chose to embrace Islam.

That's the difference between Islam and Secularism!