In the wake of the Muhammad cartoon contest attack, the Charlie Hebdo massacre, tens of thousands of Muslims worldwide flocking to join ISIS, and the chronic oppression of women and minorities in Islamic nations, millions of people are taking a second look at Islam. Journalists, politicians, Muslims, and the public are realizing that something is fundamentally different about the religion. With every Islamic inspired beheading, bombing, burning, crucifixion, hanging, kidnapping, raping, shooting, stabbing, beating, lashing, amputation, and stoning, the difference becomes clearer.
If nations are serious about addressing the root cause of Islamic violence and oppression, they must stop deceiving themselves about the cause. The world must acknowledge the features of Islam that make followers more susceptible to acts of terror and tyranny and put out to pasture the discredited excuses of Islamic apologists.
Just like it would be absurd to say all governments are the same and equally benign, it is the height of irrationality to believe religions are the same and don't differ in their dangerous teachings. While nearly all religions can teach violence and oppression, each religious text and founder is distinct. What they emphasize means the difference between extreme non-violence, as is the case with fundamentalists in Jainism, or extreme violence, as is the case with fundamentalists in Islam.
If the mainstream media persists on shielding Islam from criticism in the name of political correctness and religious sensitivities, the cycle of Islamic violence will continue ad infinitum. Only when we show moderate Muslims that we care more about saving their lives, improving their well being, and protecting their human rights than we care about possibly offending them will we be able to take our first steps towards ending the violence.
Three key aspects of Islam make it different and more dangerous than other religions: Sharia, Jihad, and Muhammad. Please feel free to reference and share this with the many apologists who still remain ignorant or in denial.
1. Sharia: Islamic law, called Sharia, is the only religious law that is incompatible with democracy and human rights. Wherever Sharia is embraced by an Islamic nation, oppression of women, religious minorities, gays, atheists, and ex-Muslims follows. Cruel and unusual punishments are employed and fear is used to control the population.
In Sharia, if you're a Muslim who commits apostasy and renounces Islam you will be killed. Women have unequal rights in divorce, inheritance, freedom of movement, freedom of dress, and freedom of employment. Sharia supports killing or punishing gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender people. Sharia enforces blasphemy laws by stating those who criticize Islam, including the Quran or Muhammad, should be killed or severely punished.
The inhumane treatment of people in Sharia is why the Supreme Court of Turkey, a fledgling Islamic democracy, has effectively banned Sharia. It is also why the European Court of Human Rights ruled Sharia "incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy."
According to Pew Research Center, a 2013 poll of Muslims worldwide revealed the majority believe Sharia to be revealed by Allah and not created by man. Since Sharia is the law of God, no manmade law can supersede it. Ones allegiance is to Sharia, not secular laws.
As a legal code, Sharia blurs the line between faith and government, making the two indistinguishable. Consequently, religion becomes the rule of law and there is no separation of church and State. This diverges from Christianity that says render unto God what is God's and Caesar what is Caesar's and from Jewish law, Halakha, which says Jews should follow the laws of the land they live in.
While some Islamic nations only embrace the civil law aspects of Sharia, for many Sharia is fully implemented and encompasses the personal, cultural, social, political, economic, and legal aspects of life. Though Sharia can be understood differently by the various schools of Islamic jurisprudence, it is often interpreted very strictly as it is in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, Brunei, and many others Islamic countries. It's no coincidence that these countries have some of the most atrocious human rights records in the world.
The strongest evidence that Sharia makes Islam more oppressive than other religions is the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights (CDHRI). 45 Islamic nations have signed the Cairo Declaration that proclaims a number of human rights only to renege on them if they contradict Islamic Sharia. It is a devious way to give the appearance of caring about human rights when in reality it guts the historic 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by declaring Sharia the only source for Muslim 'human rights'.
To even call the CDHRI a declaration of 'human rights' is an affront to the principles of human rights. The Cairo Declaration is an attempt by the majority of Islamic nations to enshrine religious inequality and oppression for eternity and create an Orwellian parallel version of 'human rights' to compete with the UDHR. They believe it is a Muslims 'human right' to oppress and be oppressed, to carry out cruel and unusual punishments, and to treat women and non-Muslims as inferior.
The Cairo Declaration offers no protections for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or equal rights. For instance, Article 2, section D of the CDHRI states "Safety from bodily harm is a guaranteed right. It is the duty of the state to safeguard it, and it is prohibited to breach it without a Sharia-prescribed reason."(Emphasis added) Endless 'rights' are no sooner given then they are taken away by declaring that Sharia supersedes all laws guaranteeing human rights.
In case there was any misunderstanding the signers of the declaration included Article 24 that states "All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari'ah." If any rights guaranteed in the Cairo Declaration contradict the Sharia, the Sharia always wins. If any of the rights of the Declaration are not found in the Sharia, then they are not 'guaranteed.' Islamic nations would have saved a lot of time had they simply called it the 'Cairo Declaration of Sharia Over Human Rights'.
No other nations on earth have set up a parallel version of 'human rights' to undermine the UDHR in the name of religion. By doing so, Islamic countries have declared Islamic Sharia to be incompatible with human rights and Islam very different than other religions. I unequivocally agree with them.
2. Jihad: Islam is the only major religion to have violent resistance, or violent Jihad, embedded into its sacred scriptures and endorsed by the founder. While Jihad can mean to struggle to improve oneself, Jihad meaning 'violent struggle' is prevalent in the Quran, Hadith, Islamic history, and modern day Islam. One need only turn on the evening news to see Jihad in action.
No matter where you go in the world, no matter their economic or educational background, race, age, gender, profession, or country of origin you will find a minority of Muslims turning to violent jihad. No matter where you go in the world, no matter their economic or educational background, race, age, gender, profession, or country of origin you will never find any Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Mormon, or humanist followers committing violent Jihad. Violent Jihad is unique to Islam.
Since no other religion has the doctrine of Jihad, we should expect more Muslims to succumb to violence then followers of other faiths. That is exactly what is happening. What would truly be baffling and in need of an explanation is if Muslims weren't turning to violent Jihad.
Here are but 3 of the many quotes in the Quran and Hadith supporting Jihad. If you read them in context as I suggest you do, it will only reinforce their support of violent jihad.
"Fight those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the people of the Scripture until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." Quran 9:029