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Freedom Of Speech Does Not Mean Freedom To Hate

01/18/2016 09:21 EST | Updated 01/18/2017 05:12 EST

This Armada that sails against us, carries in its bowels the Inquisition. God forbid it succeeds, for then there will be no more liberty in England, of conscience or of thought. We cannot be defeated ~ Elizabeth - The Golden Age

Dan Barnes' post in the Edmonton Journal mentions that three speakers invited at the University of Alberta for Islam Awareness Week have defended themselves against criticism by concerned Canadian citizens. He writes that the "[Muslim Student Association] MSA condemns all forms of hate against groups, including hatred against the LGBTQ+ community."

Amongst the invited speakers, Abdullah Hakim Quick mentions in his blog post about giving a wrong impression through his "moral reprimand" to a group of gay Muslims about 20 years ago. Al Andalusi defends himself in his blog post against charges of extremism leveled against him. Jamal Badawi mentions that the reports linking him to the Muslim Brotherhood were a myth.

However, Quick clearly says in his "reprimand," "the punishment is death, and I am not going to change this religion." How do such clear words give off a "wrong impression?" Is he perhaps stating that such punishments would not be carried out in Canada but in an Islamic state, which we should strive for?

In his defense, he writes that he has been "respectful of the rights" of individuals. Yet, in his video, he clearly states how a "brother" referred to a barbeque setting with some gay men as a "filthy disgusting thing" in a "respectful way." How does one refer to other community members as "weird looking" and "filthy" in a "respectful way?"

In his defense, he writes that when he made the "supplication for God to purify Islam's third holiest shrine from the filth of the Christians and the Jews" he was simply asking God to heal the spiritual corruption of "some members of religious groups." How does the latter later qualification follow from the former general statement?

Al Andalusi writes in his defense that Caliphate is an "integral" "part of Islamic belief" shared by 65 per cent of Muslims in a poll. On his association with the UK based Hizb ut Tahrir, which calls for establishment of an Islamic state, he refers to it as a peaceful group. On homosexuality, he claims about gay men that, "if you believe it's not a sin, that's not part of Islam, they can't be Muslims." He has also waffled on the question on the death punishment for apostasy.

Badawi's writings clearly allude to Qur'anic verses 5:47-53 to support an Islamic state, claiming that those who refuse to "rule or judge in accordance with what God revealed" are "unbelievers, wrongdoers and rebels."

There is no issue of context or misrepresentation of such views, which are clearly available in their videos and their own defensive writings for anyone to read and listen.

Islamic grand teacher, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, who is in self-imposed exile due to death threats, has clearly stated that the root cause of Muslim terrorism is religious ideology. He has identified four teachings that constitute such an ideology:

1. The punishment of kufr (disbelief) and irtidad (apostasy) is death and must be implemented

2. Only Muslims have the right to rule, non-Muslims were meant to be subjugated, when Muslims obtain power they will overthrow non-Muslim governments

3. There should be only one Muslim Caliphate

4. Modern nation states are unIslamic and constitute kufr (disbelief)

Religious ideologues will not openly call for violence, but will casually ignore human rights violations, such as that of prisoners of conscience like Raif Badawi and Waleed Abu Al Khair in Saudi Arabia.

Just as the greatest target of groups like ISIS and the Taliban comprise of fellow Muslims who are deemed apostates, the brunt of exclusivist ideologies is directed to fellow Muslims.

Religious ideologues would like to proselytize and create enough mass following to achieve their political goals. It is this stealth tactic that causes others to espouse "Islamophobic" sentiments.

Supremacism feeds supremacism. The recent sex attacks on women in Cologne, Germany has led to counter attacks on refugees. This cycle of hatred and violence must stop.

We can stop this violence by embracing diversity and by recognizing that Islam is not about instituting a supremacist political order but about tazkiyya nafs (perfecting one's ethical character).

How can we condemn hate against the LGBT community but socially ostracize LGBT Muslims as outside the folds of Islam? How can we speak of human rights but support salvific exclusivism and Caliphates?

In essence, the MSA must recognize that if it is an umbrella group of all Muslim students then why are speakers from Shii, Ismaili, Sufi, Zaidi, Bohra, Ahmadi, progressive and Universalist Muslim communities conspicuously missing at Islam Awareness Weeks?

Why must all the speakers come from the same exclusivist ideological bent nurtured by petro-dollars?

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