Safi Kaskas is a close friend and guest blogger. As an American Muslim, here’s what he thinks about my previous blog, “Muslims, Human Rights and Human Wrongs,” https://ricklove.net/?p=723. Enjoy!
Thank you for being faithful to Jesus’ teachings. As an American Muslim, I thank you for reminding other Americans of the two greatest gifts this country has – Jesus and the Constitution. Jesus teaches each one of us to love our neighbor, while the Constitution guarantees basic human rights to each citizen, the equality of all, and love in a national context, otherwise known as justice.
I can almost write your same article and send it to a Muslim audience, with verses from the Qur’an to support my argument of tolerance and justice for all those that live under an Islamic majority state.I can even bring forward an intellectual discussion about the six principles of shariah, that are derived from the Qur’an. All Islamic religious rules must be in line with these six principles of shariah formulated by Islamic scholars over a thousand years ago:
- The right to the protection of life.
- The right to the protection of family.
- The right to the protection of education.
- The right to the protection of religion.
- The right to the protection of property (access to resources).
- The right to the protection of human dignity.
However, Shari’a is a set of religious principles and is not the law of the land anywhere in the world. The 50-some Muslim-majority countries have civil codes. Saudi Arabia claims that all its laws are based on Shari’a, when in reality they are mostly in contradiction with the six principles mentioned above. If Saudi laws were aligned with the principles of Sharia, they will have to affirm the right of religious freedom for every person and community and defend the right of Christians (and Muslims) to express their faith freely. The Qur’an teaches: “There is no compulsion in religion: true guidance has become distinct from error, so whoever rejects false gods and believes in God has grasped the firmest hand-hold, one that will never break. God is all hearing and all knowing” 2: 256.
However, in today’s world, being Muslim does not require a governmental imposition of something called “shari’a law,” any more than being a Christian requires the implementation of “Biblical law” – though there are, of course, a tiny minority of both Christians and Muslims who do advocate such things. What is needed in every state of the so-called “Muslim world” is a constitution that protects the basic rights of each citizen regardless of race, color or creed. In other words, a constitution similar to the American constitution is, in my opinion, the best expression of shari’a. What we don’t need, however, is for the United States to send its forces to impose “democracy” around the world.
In the United States, Muslims need to be loved not in word, but in deed. Love expressed in a social context is justice. Their neighbors need to help them understand that they are equal and welcomed. The majority of American Muslims defend the Constitution with their lives (I have relatives in the Marines). It should make sense for Americans to be an example in neighborly love and justice when the Gospels require it and the Constitution protects it.