Friday, March 25, 2016

Islam and the Question of Religious Liberty (1)

In this extended series, I want to engage in some patient thinking. I believe informed choice on any matter is not possible apart from a true definition of terms, and it is such definitions I pursue.

Also, up front, I ask all Muslim persons who are interested: Am I being honest in representing Islam on its own terms?

Islam is historically a one-way religion. Whether a person is born, converts or is forced into Islam, he or she is not permitted to leave.

Yet too, Muslim persons, like all of us, are wired for full human liberty, in religious, political and economic terms. This is at the root of the aborted "Arab Spring" (apart from some tentative success in Tunisia) -- a desire for freedom.

In the face of ISIS and other threats of Islamic jihad against the West, here is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that can give great protection. And similar language can be contextualized for other nations.

All citizens, visitors and other persons living in the United States, or its territories, must affirm the following:

“I affirm that all persons living within the jurisdictions of the United States of America have full religious, political and economic liberty under the rule of law.

“I thus affirm that all such persons are free to change their religious, political and/or economic affiliations as they see fit, free from any forms of coercion.”

I will look at this further in my next post.

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