Islam or Liberalism – Which One is Better for Humanity?

Abdullah al Andalusi


Channel: Abdullah al Andalusi

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To learn more about how to critically engage and understand Western political philosophy, and its attendant political and ethical systems, courses are available by the krein Institute, which can be accessed via the link below in the description

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as salaam alaikum Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh and welcome

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the speakers here with us today can hear me now somebody can cut while they come Salaam Abdullah Yes, yes, I can hear. I can hear you boss. And Professor Rp. Okay, I'm back to Alright, awesome. Awesome, we inshallah, well, we're already getting get started. So on behalf of WUSA, the Macquarie University Muslim Student Association, we want to welcome everyone tonight, and thank you all to spend this particular Friday night, or whatever time it is globally for you guys.

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Tonight, emphatically emphasize not debate,

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which I think is great, because too often our discourse is sort of boils down to which side dismembers the other when there's a real sense in which what we're trying to do at least is get a dialogue, a discussion, and a weaving through some of the nexus of the complex ideas

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to arrive at some truth. So the topic tonight is liberalism and Islam. That's the topic and the importance, I think the importance of this topic is a little bit hard to underestimate, because there's a real sense in which the traditional Muslim today has experienced the brunt of the expansionary, liberal enlightenment project in both, I guess, its epistemic form, for sure. But also, there's also a sense in which there's a political and military expansion that Muslims have to contend with simultaneously. So I guess going forward is there's a tension, the tension is there's a real need for debate, both of these traditions, the, on the one hand, we have the liberal,

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enlightened tradition, which comes from the rights of man discourse through to the modern international system we have today built around the UN Declaration of Human Rights, this system of aspiring nations, so all the rest of it,

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sort of, in many in many senses at odds with Islam, which is a 1400 year old aqeedah, or worldview, with a long history of its own tradition and jurisprudence. And both the sort of claiming the right to legitimacy as frameworks for for for world building. I think that's, that seems to be what's happening on the one hand, right, on the other, the charges that are made about Islam, about its backwardness, its savagery, its medieval quality, if you like, these charges are a product of a colonial legacy. These are a product of a world orientalist worldview. And they are sort of part of an apparatus that has dislocated, dismembered and sort of exported chaos to many parts of the Muslim

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world. It is a post colonial lens by which the Muslim world is seen. Its but by which it's imagined itself, imagine anyone who's under the pretense that any of these structures of racism are sort of over, you really only need to turn to some of the news on what's been happening in Afghanistan, in terms of this portrayal of the barbaric Afghan and the US sort of savior complex, if you like,

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with the main weapon, the main epistemic weapon being you are not liberal, like we are, right, you are not enlightened like we are. And so it is our hope, as part of the event committee. And I think everyone on board is sort of on the same page about this, that these discussions can cement on alternative vision for what it means to put competing worldviews on the table space that we can carve out for ourselves as human beings and interlocutors to engage on the front of ideas, right, with respect, courtesy and a healthy commitment to sort of a pursuit of truth. So our two speakers tonight,

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Abdullah andalusi.

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Just there who is joining us from the UK, thank you so much for your time. Brother. It was that brother, the Anderson, Professor Graham oppy. Abdullah is an instructor for the Department of oxygen ontology at the Quran Institute, the teak UI, and he's also a co founder of the Muslim debate initiative. Dr. Graham oppy is a professor of philosophy at Monash fellow of the Australian Academy of humanities. He's one of the foundation editors of the stellar Australian philosophical review. He, he did his BSc in ba from Melbourne, and he's got a PhD from Princeton and has around 10 published books, I believe, from a range of philosophical topics, but mostly I'm specializing in the

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philosophy of religion. He's also published works in epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophy of science. So we'll start off with,

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I guess, introductory comments, we structured the discussion to be sort of loose, but in some degrees, there was a little bit of structure and we'll start off with either of you about the question of what is Islamic law, what's liberalism and given the relative diversity and variants within each tradition

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Can we get a sort of initial parameterization of the discussion so to speak?

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So do you want us to discuss both the definition of liberalism and Islamic law? Or just just I think I think just so we get a handle of the terms yeah for sure.

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Abdullah you can go first if you if that's all right, Professor

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Yeah, I don't mind I'm I'm quite happy to say a few things. But I'm quite happy for Abdullah to go first as well.

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All right, the floor is yours.

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Okay, this man that Rahim, Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa Salatu. Salam, the beeketing. Mohammed where and he de Venus? I'm sorry. So yeah, so someone who went up to about a CAPTCHA to everyone that down there. So it's a bit of a mixed up regarding the

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Australian Eastern Standard Time, and you had like a local daylight savings, which wasn't reflected in the kind of Google So unfortunately, I do apologize for that.

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So yeah, we'd like to thank the, the, the MSA for inviting me and I'd like to thank my respected interlocutor, Dr. Gray more before attending, so kind of just to kind of dive right into it. So basically, a lot of the discussion always be around definition definitions are very key to to any kind of discussion, we need to have some kind of understanding or common ground of terms that before we can discuss, what comes out what flows out of those times, and the how it relates to the world today. So in essence, liberalism, kind of in a nutshell, is a political liberalism, or secular liberalism, in a nutshell concerns, the prioritization of the individual above all other kinds of

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political concerns. So the individual human being, being the event being the most important, or most preeminent value, overstate society, religion, or any other higher narratives. And least this is the this is the official, you could say, or a of a particular stream of the definitions of liberalism.

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That's in theory, some people might say in practice, it means that the harm principle so that you can, everyone should be allowed to do what they want by the state, as long as they don't harm people, or people should be given another definition is people should be given as much rights as possible, as much freedoms as possible, up to the equal freedoms of other people.

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The key term is as much as possible, and there's a big discussion as to what even what that means, what is possible, and what is prudent, as well. So that's kind of liberalism. Some might say that liberalism doesn't really offer any higher narrative, it's just a pragmatic means of organizing political societies, in the presence of, let's say, competing ideas of what is good, or don't many of the liberal thinkers did suggest what is good or who's tried to define it, because if the state is going to live wanted to pursue what is good, and make laws against what is bad, it needs to have its own definition of what is good and bad. And so the state now has to adopt some particular

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definition. So in essence, that's kind of the the creed of liberalism summated as for Islamic law?

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Well, there are kind of two aspects to this discussion. I think one is,

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in terms of what these things what these ways of life, or what these worldviews do, is they deal with, what they should way of way of life a worldview should do is they should deal with obviously, a an idea of meaning. And then an idea of how to organize human beings according to a higher meaning. liberalism does like that doesn't like any particular high meaning other than a some type of type of pragmatic calculus to to avoid, quote unquote, conflict, but it doesn't specify why conflict is bad per se, other than it could, it could impinge upon the fundamental value of the human being. Now here's the issue. liberalism posits that humans are independent.

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They, they used to say used to say that they have a natural right to freedom based on what they would like before they came into society. So humans were like individuals in the wild, roaming around as individuals in perfect freedom, but because they feared violence from each other, they formed a societies and made a social contract. The issue is that that that never really corresponded with what we can see from anthropology and ancient human beings. And so what we find is that the model which that you could say the first liberal thinkers based their system on is inaccurate when it comes to human beings the ontology is wrong humans have been have lived in

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family units, extended family units, sometimes up to 30 people

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in in a kind of

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self supporting system, they were taught language they were taught skills by and they will coach it and they were taught the beliefs of that particular clan or kind of nomadic group. And this has always been humans, humans have never been individuals roaming around in the wild by themselves. So the entire premise of liberalism was based on trying to restore that in that natural, right, you could say, to human beings, they will use to be free as individuals before. So now we're going to try and make them as free as possible in this political state, for them to do whatever they want. Because that's they they're naturally individuals. Whereas as we know, humans, if you look at both

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the human psychology and sociology, we certainly are what we have psycho sociologists, because humans are not actually only individuals, but we interrelate a lot of our own identity, our way of thinking tastes, is shaped by society, including our ability to speak languages. So that's the issue of the that's the problem with the liberal ontology. dysthymic ontology is quite different. And I'll kind of submit Islam and Islamic law. The first aspect of Islamic law is it deals with meaning there has to be a relation between the system and well basically a higher understanding of the of the world, the cosmos. So the Islamic worldview, upon which the Islamic law emanates from states that

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all things exist in nature with natural regularities of their existence. We call these regularities laws. So everything in the universe has natural laws upon which he operates, by which he operates natural objects do not have the capacity to do all of them. They're determined laws. And all objects that are in this universe, everything that exists in the universe, from the sonic worldview bears testament to the creator of the universe, and not only their existence, but also the behaviors that they have been determined where by either the laws of their the natural laws of their existence, they bear testimony to God as the creator of them because God creates both these things and how they

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behave. So first, the sonic worldview views the purpose of all things to be manifestations of this aspect of God.

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Humans as creatures whose bodies are material do share the same purpose as everything else in this universe. However, we have a few attributes that are the material things do not have, namely, we are created with intellect, and freewill. And both were created to bear witness to the creators of these particular aspects, intellect and freewill. Like every other attribute in this universe, bears witness to the the creator which made them in the first place. But how do they bear witness? Well, in essence, the intellect bears witness to God by

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human beings coming to knowledge of the Creator via our intellect. And the the manifestation of the the creator's creation of the Free Will can only come by the manifestation of the Free Will IE making choices, which can only be done through voluntarily in terms of our purpose, voluntarily making those choices and our purpose in manifesting that God through every aspect of our being means we have to use free will which to make choices, but also to make choices to voluntarily submit to unnatural law, something that other everything else in universe doesn't have that percent purpose. It just submits to its natural law normally, whereas we asked we have to voluntarily submit to our

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natural law.

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Natural Law is what we apprehend as principles the Quran describes man has been given dignity.

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What makes us dignified over animals and other things is that we can follow ideas and principles and not just following based motivations haphazardly, triggered by our environment and instincts. So our choice, our choice, rather than his life is to basically voluntary submit to our natural law to those higher principles, which God has ordained for us. And over choosing the alternative paths which which is more based motivations which are triggered by accident and haphazard reality. Now,

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we shouldn't we shouldn't we have a choice to either make our intellect to try to apprehend truth and knowledge. Of course, we can also have a choice to make apprehend be slaves to our material desires, rather than any higher meaning. Our natural laws must be apprehended for the mind. They come in the form of revelation of commands and duties from divine authority related to actions and ex mutual expectations of people towards each other. Some of these aspects are personal, some are transactional, and others are collective duties and targets that must be met. So this is how Islamic law now relates to to higher meaning and the form it comes in. Now, what are the aims and measures

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of Islamic law? Islamic law considers humans to have a nature in essence, you could say essentialism. So we have a particular need

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With tendencies and needs, the aim isn't to repress any tendency or need, but to channel them such that human beings fulfill their innate nature without engaging in life choices that are self defeating, self destructive, or defeating or destructive to others.

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With regards to society, Islamic law isn't individualist, but neither is it collectivist. But something but somewhere between a kind of golden mean between the two. So Islamic law treats humans as both individuals with duties and concerns, but also because human beings have parts of our mind which are directed to social influence and engagement. For example, we have mirror neurons, which actually is kind of allows us to imitate, you know, our parents, when we're growing up to imitate other human beings by actual action, animals have it too. So there's part of us that actually is hardwired to be social. And that's an ad to be affected by the external world other than ourselves.

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Islam looks at public opinion, and public morals as real entities that must be infused with the higher meaning of life. This is because society of which we have a word for it is not just a social contract, but a conforming force that needs to be tempered by principles, and not corrupted by individuals wishing to introduce or normalize new self defeating or self destructive customs, and behaviors in society. And I'll kind of finish up with a narration from the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam, which I think is quite beautifully encapsulates this. So the Prophet Mohammed that to paraphrase and narrate the narration, the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu, wasallam, is narrated

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to have said that people like societies, like a peep is like a boat with two decks, some people on top deck, some people in the bottom deck, when those on the bottom deck and wish to get water, they asked those on the top to go over the sides and, you know, fetch some water for them, and take it down to them. But if an individual in the bottom deck said, let us drill a hole, through our part of the boat to get water directly, and not trouble those on the top, if those are the top allow them to do that. And now those in the bottom to drill a hole for that part of the boat boat to get water directly, to be self sufficient for themselves, the whole boat would sink, and if they were

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prevented from doing so then the whole boat would be saved. So what's interesting is that individuals acting on their own individual self interest, it may be even in this particular generation, they're even acting for the betterment of society they fought, let's not trouble those on top, let's not trouble those on top, let's get water directly from our part of the boat by drilling a hole in it, if they went out to do so the whole boat would basically sink. So in a nutshell, that is Islamic law is related to to higher purpose and meaning which is also very vital. For humans, humans seem to have a desire to engage with higher meaning and higher purpose for

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themselves. And Islamic law is based on on that ontology ontology of higher purpose higher meaning a creator for the universe. And of course, that humans have a

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nature which requires higher meaning and higher principles and, and believes that they should be integrated. So what you believe your purpose in life should be integrated with the values that you live by, but also by society. And whereas I'd say liberalism argues that it seems to argue very naively, that you're that people, anyone can believe in their particular meaning for themselves, meaning of life, but that will somehow have no effect in on their life's affairs, and will not lead to any problems and conflicts, which we will perhaps discuss later on in this this, this discussion. So anyway, that's my two cents on both liberalism and Islamic law. So hopefully, we can discuss

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those things. But Abdullah

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Yeah. Professor, Bill, let you take it from here.

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Okay, so there's, there's a lot in what was just said, and it will probably be useful to pick over some of it sort of bit by bit. So I think that

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way to think about liberalism from the kind of high level standpoint that you're thinking about it is that we start with the supposition that society is going to contain lots of people who have different comprehensive conceptions of the good. So there are going to be people who have different religious conceptions, there are going to be people who have different non religious conceptions. And we know

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before we start, that there are not going to be arguments that are going to persuade people who have one particular conception, comprehensive conception of the good to swap to swap to another. There is no argument strong enough to bring about convergence

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amongst people agreement on what's the correct

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Comprehensive conception of the good. And so the

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thing that

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the liberal state is designed to do, is to allow people with different comprehensive conceptions of the good to live together.

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And the way that this works, which Abdullah, I think, correctly described, is to suppose that the best that we can do is to allow each person as much freedom in pursuing their particular comprehensive conception of the good as is consistent with allowing everybody else that same degree of freedom in pursuing their comprehensive conception of the good. Now, it's not the case, either that this means that liberalism entails a kind of atomistic individualism, or that it entails a kind of nihilism, right?

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What matters, whether people are nihilists or not, is going to be their own comprehensive conception of the good, whether people,

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community minded or individual or not, is going to depend again, on their comprehensive conception of the good. And most people, if you think about the kinds of things that they're going to value, they're going to rightly value friendship, they rightly going to value love, they rightly go to value family, they're rightly going to value having meaningful projects to pursue in their lives. And on and on, there's a whole lot of things. And the expectation is that the liberal state is going to facilitate people in pursuing all of those things. So the outcome is not going to be

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some kind of nihilism, that's not going to be some kind of individualism, either. It's just that the design of a state takes into account from the very beginning, that you're not going to get agreement on any comprehensive conception of the good as for example, is given in a religion such as Islam, or Christianity, or Judaism, or Hinduism, or any particular secular, comprehensive conception of the good, of which there are various varieties, as well. I'm to take one particular example, you might think that there's a kind of version of Aristotle's account of human flourishing, which makes a pretty decent, entirely secular conception of what the good life of human beings consists in. But

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it's fairly secular, and it doesn't leave any particular role for religion, whereas the liberal state is quite happy, allowing that people can be full participants in the state and pursue whatever their religion is just so long as they're happy to allow other people to pursue their particular comprehensive conceptions of the good. Right. So that's a beginning of an account about what liberalism is

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on the question about Islamic war.

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So when when, when we were told that we're going, we're going to be talking about this, I interpreted the expression, Islamic law in a kind of narrow way, right in terms of law, the kinds of laws that are going to govern society. And I thought that I would like to hear from you a bit more about exactly what you imagined the content of Islamic law is because there's several different things that you might mean by it. If you think about Islamic tradition, you might mean something like the law that was given by the jurists, you might mean something like the law of the Guardians of public order, what the governor's in the place actually enacted, or you might mean something wyke

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law that's much more directly

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grounded in the Hadeeth as, for example, or harvest since Law Office came to think wider in the 19th century, and these are different and conflicting understandings of what Islamic law is, so maybe we can start but I mean, I'm prepared to say quite a bit more about these maybe if you want me to talk a bit longer, I can talk a bit, talk a bit more about my understanding of the law of jurist. I don't know whether you want me to do that or whether you want to jump in at this point.

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I think this is a really good story of the law. If you wanted to

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know sorry. I was gonna say please do, maybe give a case study or something that you would like to

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okay. So okay site sites. I will say

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So and you can you can correct some of this at the end, right? So some of it at the back of staff, it's going to be very broad brush, and I'm going to get down to a quite detailed case.

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So the My understanding is that the Islamic judges tribunals were traditionally quite restricted restricted to things like family law, inheritance charity. The reason is because the standards of proof of criminal law that the judges set were so high, that legal conviction under the law was pretty much impossible to get. Why was that? Because when, in the early ambassade, period for political reasons, jurists were asked to formalize law as prescribed by the Quran and the Hadeeth. The jurist deliberately chose to formulate the laws so that it'd be impossible to get convictions under them. And why was that? I think, and this is probably controversial, but I think that the

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jurists thought it would be unconscionable to turn the prescriptions in the head east directly into law. Why then keep the laws? Well, that's a good question. Some people think maybe, because they're meant to act as a kind of deterrent. But if you know that you're not going to be prosecuted under the laws, that's not going to work.

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Perhaps more plausibly, because the laws are meant to enshrine values that it's thought will be good for us to measure up, right. So we kind of value them as as an object, but we don't want them to apply to us. Something like that. So here's the example is a very well known example, according to the Moore's law in connection with fornication, or adultery, in the absence of any other considerations for adult males have to testify to observation of penetration, right. And that's a circumstance that's going to be very hard to achieve. Of course, confession might lead to conviction. And we'll come back to that, because I want to talk about a very critical case that

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involves confession, but it need.

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The other obvious thing is pregnancy. Right, it's pretty hard to deny the evidence if you're pregnant.

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what could possibly said at this point? Well, there were two standards of things that had to be established with certainty before you could get conviction. Right? So there are two two further tests. Maybe there are others, but there are sort of like these two, one of them was the kind of sleeping fetus test, right? Perhaps you've been

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married previously, but you're divorced or widowed,

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it has to be ruled out that you're the parent of your child isn't someone that you were married to at the time that they were conceived. And according to the story,

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for any length of time, to five, some people thought five years, some thought seven, the fetus could sleep, and then wake up and grow. And so there was an ad, if the person was a widow, or, and the timing was right, you couldn't establish beyond that, that this wasn't a case of sleeping fetus, and so you couldn't get a conviction. Okay, now, that's not going to wait for people who've never been married. But the other air and this one was much more, kind of worked much. more comprehensively was the kind of bathhouse right so if you

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had been to the bars and bars were quite common. The Muslim

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Empire inherited the Roman Empire, basically, in the Republic vows, everybody were and everybody loved to get the birth. And bathing was segregated. there been a period when the men would bathe in periods when women would buy. If a woman went to the bars after the men had been there, and some house and Simon had liked it to the water. The woman could be inseminated. And so you could acquire a child that way, in order to get a conviction, you have to rule out that that was the way in which the pregnancy had developed. And it was extraordinarily difficult to prove that you didn't have a case of bathhouse or sleeping photos. Now,

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I'll add one thing at this point before I talk about the particular case. In the 1530s.

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And Egyptian Muslim, I'm not exactly sure how to pronounce his name. It's something like Al Maliki wrote, and I've got a translation from Marian homes kit from her book, The lineaments of Islam. He said, it's not now and that stoning, based on the establishment of proof has ever occurred in the history of Islam. But and it's pretty clear that the intent of the jurors was that there should not be convictions under this law, and it's not the only law

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Now you might think I mean, some people listening might be Well, yeah, but that was that was a long time ago, what's it got to do with the current day. So let's consider another case. An actual case, very recent one in Nigeria, the late 90s, early 2000s, the case of Amina the wild, right. So she's northern Nigeria, and not in northern Nigeria in the late 90s, there was great enthusiasm to introduce Sharia law and it was introduced.

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It happened that she got pregnant, she and her boyfriend went before the court charged with adultery.

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Somewhat naive way she was up first, she confessed and was sentenced to death.

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My boyfriend who was up second, denied that he was involved and say, he was set free. See how this is going to lead to a kind of interesting legal problem.

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Of course, independently, you may remember the producer, it was a, it was a very well known case, that produced outrage around the world, from all kinds of awful people who are very strongly anti muslim.

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And I'm not interested in that part of the story. What I'm interested in is what happened. So there were two more trials. So I say she went back to the court two more times. The first time when she went back, the thing of substance that happened was that I asked her

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about her boyfriend, is he the father? And she replied,

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he denied it in court. So no, that was her reply.

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So now there's a question about who is the father, right? There's obviously a reason at this point, because it's not him. And they don't have another candidate. When it goes back to court, the third time decision is reached, that they'd been a violation of proper procedure, in the arriving at the verdict, in the initial case, that she was guilty when all they had was her confession. And you know why that is because they hadn't ruled out. other possibilities, the bathhouse possibility. And this, although it wasn't relevant, in this case, the sleeping faders possibility, and so the case was dismissed.

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and she was allowed to go for a now that's in 2000 2001 2002. So this is an application of Sharia law that's still standing. And we still still using the same kinds of tests that were proposed by the jurists. Right. So that's one thing that one thing that you might mean, when you say, introducing Islamic law, is supposing that that kind of rule, and that kind of judicial procedure should be introduced everywhere.

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So that's one thing that you might be

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different thing that you might mean. So obviously, back in the early bassie, period, there was this difficulty they had, they'd asked the jurists to produce law. But it turned out that it is kind of not very useful as a penal code. And so there's a need to develop some

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alternatives. And the development of that alternative was just left to the, what you might call the guardians of public order, the governors, the police, and so on. And I'd assume, though, I'm not 100% sure about this, that there's just a code that grew up, and that it's the kind of civil code that you would expect the bureaucratic administration to have. And it deals with all kinds of matters relating to the law, because the law is very diverse, but it included criminal matters.

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And that's something else that you might mean by Islamic law. And you might be suggesting that they adoption of Islamic law, which should be to adopt that particular code, or, and third thing, I'll be very brief about these, the third thing you might think, is following so So, I mean, the history here, again, you might contest this, but I think that I'm getting the history roughly right.

00:34:33--> 00:34:47

Well, have you had this sort of proposal that we should go back and ground Islamic law much more firmly in the very early part of Islam, in the whites in the

00:34:49--> 00:34:53

Quran, Corona, what we can glean from the Hadeeth. And

00:34:55--> 00:34:59

the reason why this proposal actually got picked up

00:35:00--> 00:35:28

Up was because of something else that's kind of well known in Islam that Islamic states are not supposed to make war with other Islamic State. And but there was this convenient pretext that a state would use to declare war and other states if they could deem that they weren't really Islamic. And the idea here was to allege that the states that hadn't been grounding vailable, very directly in

00:35:29--> 00:35:39

the Hadeeth, were not properly Islamic. And so there's a different conception of Islamic war again, a third one. And so my question is,

00:35:40--> 00:35:47

when you're talking about Islamic law, exactly, what are you talking about one of these three, something else, some combination of them? Or what?

00:35:50--> 00:35:56

Okay, well, thank you very much for this the Can I bring raising the issue of,

00:35:57--> 00:36:04

you know, kind of looking at Sharia Islamic law system and how it would operate. So, in essence, there is only

00:36:06--> 00:36:15

Muslims who have different schools of thought we might, we might disagree on a few things. But in essence, we actually mostly agree than disagree on Islamic law.

00:36:16--> 00:36:32

In essence, this fabric law system as applied by 1300 years of Muslim political rulership under a caliphate system, so the caliphate is basically the successor ship to the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam in his political role.

00:36:33--> 00:36:35

How is well documented?

00:36:36--> 00:37:22

Yet we have different schools of thought of jurists in jurisprudence, which are all valid and subject to discussion amongst Muslims, but would they generally agree on the main basic things, so what you're describing is huddled, so which is called the limits of God, and the limits of the limits of God upon society, to prevent types of social corruption, social corruption, to kind of give a definition of that is, humans aren't islands unto themselves, humans are very suggestible. And humans actually can be coerced to conform to society, even if the law doesn't make them want to call be coerced, or to conform to science, we have peer pressure, social pressure,

00:37:23--> 00:38:11

is why you have women in the West, for example, having you know, high rates of bulimia and anorexia, body dysmorphia, because of peer pressure from unbounded, you know, fashion magazines that can depict literally inhuman concepts of, of women, airbrush, not actually what even the models on these pictures actually look like, airbrushed and changed, and women thought they have to, in order to be valued by society, because these magazines have the ability to influence society and determine what is considered to be attractive. And because as human beings, we want to conform to society. By and large, no matter how individualistic, we might claim we are women actually then feel unhappy about

00:38:11--> 00:38:19

themselves high rates of depression amongst women and are happy about their own bodies, where whereas if you were to point to any og any, any,

00:38:20--> 00:38:30

any platonic form of women's body, like what is the platonic form, what is the standard woman's body upon which everything should be measured by in nature, there is no right because every into every woman is, is equally a woman,

00:38:31--> 00:38:46

in essence, but the fashion magazines have been able to determine now now that this is as what is the quote unquote, platonic form of, of women's bodies and that women want to conform to that, that's just one example. I'm going to be bringing up to date as many others. But the issue is this.

00:38:48--> 00:38:54

Islamic law understands the need for law in the first place. And in this might be very obvious, but

00:38:55--> 00:39:09

human humans are not all the same, right? Some are more intelligent than others, some are physically stronger than others. Some have better immune systems than others, as COVID illustrates to us we're better able to deal with COVID in particular.

00:39:11--> 00:39:40

However, if you were to put a whole bunch of people in society and just say, right, well, the Lord's gonna treat You're the same. So have acted and you can all enjoy equal unfettered access to resources to opportunities to happiness, where it is, where it depends on environmental context. Like where you live, or what have you. humans aren't going to the outcomes aren't always going to be the same. In fact, they're mostly going to be not the same and many people are going to be

00:39:42--> 00:39:43

manipulating other people.

00:39:44--> 00:40:00

So in Islam, we view this as the strong oppressing the weak. In essence, we kind of say that we have a consequence in Islamic law to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak is a very key aspect of Islamic law. Now what you described in in these particular cases, yeah, of course.

00:40:00--> 00:40:47

The hadoo laws, the laws that have the limits of God, the threshold, the evidentiary threshold is higher deliberately. So, it is actually meant to function as a deterrent mostly because of that evidentiary, high kind of level. However, if it can be applied, and it was applied in the time that Prophet Mohammed, Salah Salem, you asked me what model we look to, we look to the Medina and model the model of the first Islamic State, which is the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam, to Islamic state of Medina, and how he applied these roles, how he was the one who taught us to basically try to find a way out or then actually punishing someone. So if we can find any doubt in the evidence

00:40:47--> 00:41:31

against someone, when it comes to the horded laws, then that is grounds for the non applicability of the of the of that particular punishment on that individual. So the Prophet Mohammed sort of told us, he also because he told us about Mercy. Mercy is a key aspect of Islamic law, it's not there just to to punish every single perpetrator. But really, it's there to prevent public corruption, where people go out into into the public realm and commit acts of indecency and obscenity, to to normalize those things, and then create a public in an environment that then in a way, forces, not by law, but by social compulsion people to conform to those things. So young people today are feel

00:41:31--> 00:42:14

pressured to lose their vision, their validity, for example, the idea of saving yourself, for marriage is not invoke, right and you even get bullied. Because of that. Now, liberalism can't do anything about that. Now bullied as long as the bullying isn't, isn't physically bullying, ribbing people. And you know, as I said, like joking about people about how they're still virgins is considered to be, you know, a fair comment in liberal societies, but it affects psychologically affects people so affects the self esteem of all boys, girls who are pressured into it, and they might not want to do it. And then when they kind of have all fall into this life pattern of, of,

00:42:14--> 00:42:28

let's say casual sexual encounters, it actually then diminishes the chance of a successful marriage. So studies have shown that the more partners some people have before marriage, the greater likelihood that they will never be happy in marriage.

00:42:29--> 00:43:15

Whereas people who've actually had very few partners, even if not even no partners, have actually had the most successful marriages, according to many studies. So this is just one this is just one tiny aspect of liberalism. There are there are much more aspects there more gaping aspects like the liberalism's understanding of economics, and freedom ownership, which allows people to, to basically dispose of their wealth as they see fit of though that is implemented many regulations of the years. But that, that kind of you kind of open approach to economics, at least initially led to in the 19th century, at least, you know, 1% of Americans, owning 80% of the wealth 80% of the wealth of America

00:43:15--> 00:43:16

was actually much more

00:43:17--> 00:43:30

or equal in the 19th century, the bilderbergers and the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds and so on. So these massive conglomerates and so on, so forth, and that that caused so much trouble, so much issues that they had to, in a way,

00:43:32--> 00:44:13

revamp liberalism, classical liberalism failed, and they revamped it to social liberalism, or the modern liberalism that we have today, which is much more hands on is much more regulatory. And the state starts having ideas or positive freedom, based on a conception of what human good should look like. Now the state starts to adopt particular ideas of what is human good, whether it's utilitarian or social idealism, I think has had the DayZ idea of the the purpose of individuals is self realization state must facilitate individual flourishing or individual self realization. But what does that even look like? What do you mean by Self Realization within now the liberal state has to

00:44:13--> 00:44:44

adopt certain ideas about what Self Realization looks like. In Francis case, self realization looks like people who are free from religion so that they can be free to not follow religion, but the Freedom from Religion means that we have to create a society whereby people don't feel socially compelled to follow religion. And to do that the French implemented these hijab bans and niqab ban niqab bans and public job bans in schools and at universities and in public institutions.

00:44:45--> 00:44:59

Because it was trying to free the women from social compulsion by their religious community, right? So they're going to be compelled by the state to save them from social compulsion. Right now

00:45:00--> 00:45:07

That's a legitimate interpretation of liberalism. Because, you know, if we had a French intellectual here, they'd probably give you much better argument on this than I could,

00:45:08--> 00:45:10

as to why it's valid.

00:45:11--> 00:45:57

But of course, Anglo Saxon systems don't really accept that, anyway, not to kind of go back to what you said about Islamic law. So the system I'm referring to is a system that was implemented under the many Caliphate dynasties for 1300 years, very well developed, sophisticated legal system, with the aims of protecting people from self destructive, and self defeating ideas that being pushed in society, leading to human misery and depression, which is now such a ubiquitous modern phenomenon, which kind of highly correlated to Western countries today, rates of depression, anxiety, and so I have some statistics that I can reference, but I don't think it's is really disputable. Whereas in

00:45:57--> 00:46:34

countries where they've they've did surveys, or they've looked into mental health, maybe South America, much more family focused, more kept the Catholic Church is a bit more bit more, you could say, meddling in society, not saying that they're forced for good necessarily, but the society is more rigid conscious, I suppose, even though it is under a secular type system. But the Catholic Church has been more influenced, you could say in that society, as well as in Muslim countries, we see rates of depression and anxiety, much, much, far, far, far less. Again, I'm not saying any particular Muslim country is a paragon of Islamic law. Currently today, Muslim world is a product of

00:46:34--> 00:46:57

colonialism. And so the systems are mostly secular. By and large, however, what we do see is that summit law aims to protect people so that they can actually live according to their purpose if they so choose. As for you all the things that you mentioned, I'll kind of just want to briefly respond. You said that people have different beliefs. And there's no points of convergence that people

00:46:59--> 00:47:13

that you can make in society, you can't make everyone agree on that meet me not that meaning, that idea of good purpose in life, and so on and so forth. That's That's correct. You can't You can't make people even agree that the earth is round.

00:47:14--> 00:47:46

However, in western political philosophy, as I'm sure you're very aware, you can't make people agree on anything there either. In fact, I think there's a common joke about liberal political philosophers, which is that liberals don't agree on anything except the name, liberalism. So there's a we all believe liberalism, but they don't agree actually, as to what it even means, or how it is interpreted. There is no holy book, which at least limits the possible interpretations that you can have of liberalism.

00:47:47--> 00:47:50

So, for example,

00:47:51--> 00:47:54

in the western political philosophy, the idea of what does equality mean?

00:47:55--> 00:47:58

I don't have to just remind you, probably another minute or two,

00:47:59--> 00:48:14

just in the interest of time because we are running, we do have a lot to cover ground and we want to get to question and answers. There's a lot of questions in the audience. We welcome the audience to putting their questions and we will definitely get to them. But you just just one more minute, one or two more minutes.

00:48:15--> 00:48:18

Okay, sure, no problem. So,

00:48:19--> 00:48:32

Western history is replete with bloody revolutions and cold wars, which which involve a lot of proxy hot wars, just on the idea of what is equality between individuals? What does equality mean between individuals?

00:48:33--> 00:48:36

You might know it as Marxism, socialism,

00:48:37--> 00:48:54

classical liberalism, social liberalism, we have Neo Marxism, we have post Marxism. We have concepts that would argue that because of the idea of equality, which we were meant to believe in as liberals, which I'm not a liberal, I'm saying that they will say as we all tend to believe in equality

00:48:55--> 00:49:12

they'll say that let's say Australia, for example, you your national language, being English, is actually against equality because you're prioritizing the oil pro giving preeminence and privilege to the language of one ethnic group one, less sales, ostensibly

00:49:13--> 00:49:57

historically originated ethnic group over other ethnic groups. If you if use gender pronouns, you're giving this is not equal to those people who might not want to, to identify with any particular agenda, you actually kind of pigeonholing them into a particular gender agenda and the agenda itself is involves discriminatory treatment and so therefore, it is a social construct that should be abolished, or at least, should be understood as a voluntary identity, not something that the state should impose. And not should not come with any social expectations with it. But these are minor things. Of course, how wealth is distributed, is the biggest, biggest issue with liberalism. Some

00:49:57--> 00:49:59

people say that was the common saying

00:50:00--> 00:50:21

possession is nine tenths of the law. And when it comes to the freedom of ownership, that will be called capitalism in liberal societies, there's massive disagreements as to how well should be distributed, if it should be distributed at all. And this, this has led to wars and revolutions throughout the world, in any state, every state that has ever applied

00:50:23--> 00:51:02

kind of Western enlightenment, political philosophy, or liberal liberalism philosophy. So those are the kind of issues I wanted to raise. So the question is, where do we reach a convergence? How do we make convergence in liberal societies where there is disagreements on the verge what what it means to be equal? What it means to be free? What is the role of the state and how, how much reach to the state have, every aspect disagreed with many of these disagreements? If not, most of them have been backed by people willing to be violent to defend their concept of justice, their concept of liberalism, or at least you could say, general liberal philosophies from the enlightenment. So that

00:51:02--> 00:51:05

would be my initial comments and thoughts on that.

00:51:09--> 00:51:11

Okay, so I should say something

00:51:12--> 00:51:30

about liberalism, I guess, at this point, and the way that I'm thinking about it, some of it will fit with things that you said, and some of it doesn't, really. So I think that the, the way to a really good way to understand liberalism is to think about

00:51:31--> 00:51:38

history of a particular country, like Britain, and look at the inward and look at the way that liberalism develops.

00:51:39--> 00:51:42

And I guess, the kind of

00:51:43--> 00:52:21

foundational moment is going to be the overthrow of religious conformity. So the end of the Wars of religion around the time of the Treaty of Westphalia, and the idea that religion, it's, it's just a mistake, to let there be a state religion. So that's, that's going to be a commitment that pretty much all liberals share. A second plank, which in Britain comes at slightly early with English Civil War, is the overthrow the aristocratic privilege, division of powers between King and parliament, the end of mercantilism, the emergence of middle class, right, this is

00:52:22--> 00:52:42

for the beginnings This way, you can see liberalism starting to emerge as a kind of as a philosophy as a way of thinking about politics. Third plank is some movement on suffrage and property rights. So this is question about who gets to vote.

00:52:43--> 00:52:57

And so we have this introduction of periodic collections, there's a kind of skeletal Bill of Rights, the separation of powers between legislature, executive and judiciary, and there's some broadening of the scope of who gets to vote.

00:52:59--> 00:53:02

Once we get to the next bit, which in the beginning,

00:53:03--> 00:53:12

looked one way and then later this kind of this kind of playing keeps changing. And this is related to the point that you were making about the many different liberalism's

00:53:14--> 00:53:47

The reason is because of historical recognition of unsatisfactoriness of different things. So initially, there was kind of so you find this in someone like Adam Smith has fitted pretty large extent, there's a commitment to laissez faire economics and minimal state. The idea is to government provides just what individuals and markets can't provide. And that's a kind of classical kind of liberalism. And so what you get is guarantees of certain freedoms, like religion, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly,

00:53:49--> 00:53:50


00:53:51--> 00:53:52

not much more.

00:53:53--> 00:53:53


00:53:55--> 00:54:00

if you know your British history, that a 20 to 1930s were pretty grim time.

00:54:01--> 00:54:07

There were lots of problems due to inequality. Something else that you mentioned, things like poverty,

00:54:08--> 00:54:29

depression, despotism. So what replaced the kind of view about the minimal state was development of government programs to address poverty, disease, ignorance and discrimination. So you get various functions that are taken over by the state to try to improve the welfare of people.

00:54:31--> 00:54:59

You shouldn't think of that, you know, the development of government programs to address poverty, disease, ignorance, discrimination, and so on and central planning. They rather kind of supplementation or correction. So this is the era of trade unions, social services, progressive taxation, the introduction of estate and death, taxes and a whole lot of things like that. That takes us out kind of to the to the professor

00:55:01--> 00:55:06

roughly the period between the wars, certainly, including the two wars, in the Great Depression,

00:55:07--> 00:55:21

led to a recognition in many quarters that you're gonna need something like rational economic planning and a whole lot more welfare. And so you get the introduction and introduction of pensions,

00:55:22--> 00:55:26

unemployment benefits, National Health, a whole lot of things like that.

00:55:28--> 00:56:23

Unfortunately, the, from the point of view of some liberals, the next historical development from the 1970s, saw a kind of stagnation in debt, and lead to return to the kind of more conservative libertarian approaches that you saw right at the, at the beginning. Now liberals divide on where they stand with respect to the planks that go from very minimal state, to very large welfare state. And the kinds of criticisms that you can make are going to be very different depending upon where the liberals see my own view, we'll see maybe not even on the sixth plank, but somewhat further out than that, I think that the state has a great deal of responsibility with respect to welfare. But

00:56:23--> 00:56:37

that's all about providing the conditions that make it possible for people to realize whatever are they comprehensive conceptions of the good. And it's perfectly consistent with

00:56:39--> 00:56:54

liberalism, that you have a very welfare state, but you also have a commitment to the kind of foundational things that were mentioned at the beginning. So separation of church and state.

00:56:57--> 00:57:04

And freedoms of speech press assembly, and so forth. For sure,

00:57:05--> 00:57:12

may be just mentioned very briefly that I said that liberals kind of share the idea that you shouldn't have a state religion.

00:57:13--> 00:57:15

I think, you know, the situation of Britain, basically.

00:57:16--> 00:57:29

Not really not so actually, I mean, Britain, I mean, in theory, anyway, is actually not secular state, the head of church is the head of the state in the Queen Elizabeth the Second, there's also your head of state as well.

00:57:31--> 00:57:43

In in Australia, although surely it doesn't have a state religion. So the the Anglican Church, or the Church of England is the state religion, and the state Church of England.

00:57:44--> 00:58:27

Now, interestingly enough, Britain, this is a bit of a quirk of Britain, Britain viewed that the Church of England was necessary for freedom for plurality of religious beliefs in England. How so? Because they had this paranoia about Catholics taking over reinforcement for many, many centuries. And what it was argued to give Catholics emancipation, or you could say, equality in the 19th century was because it was argued that we don't have to worry about Catholics, they'll never be able to take over, because our church is an established church, the Church of England, and that is a protection against Catholics. It's like how Israel has this state. It makes this law about

00:58:28--> 00:58:59

the state of some kind of State of Israel law which says that the Israel will be a Jewish nation state, even though it has citizens who are meant to be equal citizens who are not Jewish. Right? So the argument was from those who right wingers who made that law in Israel was that this is actually to protect Israel's Jewish ethno national nationalist character. Likewise, in Britain, having a state church being Anglican was to protect against the those wayward Catholics and the the potpourri, as they say, right?

00:59:00--> 00:59:17

So, liberalism actually doesn't really specify in particular, I mean, secularism isn't 100 isn't strictly necessary for liberalism, it's more the actual the kind of the equations you use for the system, rather than the actual structure itself, per se.

00:59:18--> 00:59:22

But to kind of highlight, highlight a point which is

00:59:23--> 00:59:40

when the world has difference of opinion. People have different ways, ways of life, different religions. And Islam doesn't envision itself as something that must make everybody be under Islamic law. By the way, this is actually a misconception.

00:59:42--> 00:59:45

Christians and Jews, for example, who lived in the Middle East,

00:59:46--> 00:59:59

they they you know, they could drink wine in their religion. We obviously we believe our cause and intoxicant and obviously we're not we are prohibited from drinking it and also from permitting it to Muslims. But Christians and Jews don't believe that wine is

01:00:00--> 01:00:36

Wrong for themselves. They were allowed to drink it in Islamic Islamic lands, they Christians could eat pork, there was even pig farms in noted no significant ones in the stomach Iraq in the 10th century, one of those particular scholar that was walking in the countryside and in in notice that those pig farms that was going on, or this is a Christian area, and that was like understood to be the case that while Christian de pigs, we don't, but they do. So what's going on here, I would say that Islam actually manages plurality better than liberalism.

01:00:37--> 01:01:12

Because the point of Islamic law is to obviously help Muslims have a conducive environment, to the human nature to fulfill their purpose in life. But for those who don't believe in the Islamic purpose of life, Islamic law, while it might underpin the security of the lands and the state, and hence will prevent robbers and invading armies and things like that. It's not there to make Jews, Muslims and Christians and Zoroastrians, and others, better Jews, Christians, and Muslims westerns are but make them better Muslims because they're not Muslim. So in Islam,

01:01:14--> 01:01:23

it's Christians and Jews could actually have their own law courts, their own law courts their own, in some cases, even their own police in and semi autonomous areas

01:01:25--> 01:01:36

where they're free to come and go from it. But these areas were basically under their own jurisdiction basically, guaranteed by the caliphates protection, and they had their own law system, there was no issue with

01:01:37--> 01:02:20

them living their own community lifestyle, no one was telling them that they're against the they are not following the values of the state, or the national character, they're not following the values of the of the nation, or they're not integrating in or assimilating into the into the wider society, there was no such challenges in liberal societies. However, the idea of a one law for all sounds very laudable at first, but when you actually think about how you apply this, you're basically saying that one law might be determined by the majority that say, or at least representatives of the majority, will will basically impose one particular law system on everyone, including the minorities

01:02:20--> 01:02:43

that might disagree with those the law system. And it might basically that that can involve a form of intolerance, where communities are told that you can't do certain practices, because it doesn't conform with the law of this country. Or you're not allowed to have your own law system because that is a that is in derogation of the of this one more for all.

01:02:44--> 01:02:48

What you find is that Muslims and historically Jews, but as sometimes also Catholics

01:02:50--> 01:03:05

were their own law systems were viewed as active threats to the state. Right now as Muslims, Muslims, a practice of just even voluntary Islamic law courts or more like tribunals are not really Islamic than all courts really, but they're just tribunals

01:03:06--> 01:03:47

are viewed as a threat to the state and the state. Now, state must clamp down upon these or regulate or, or get involved in their religious life and affairs, because it is viewed as a as a threat. So those are the issues that liberalism has a problem with tolerance of multiple ways of life other than its own, I'd say in practice, whereas Islam actually allows separate law systems for Jews and Christians and others to practice their own laws amongst themselves within a kind of negotiated law between everyone acting as a as a as a universal on and all aspects which involve inter Community Relations. So that would be the issue. I think that Islam kind of

01:03:48--> 01:04:31

offers more tolerance than liberalism only because Islam doesn't view itself. It can't view itself as imposing itself on everybody. Because the purpose in life is to voluntarily choose the to worship the creator to recognize his existence, and to follow His commands that must be done voluntarily can't be done by imposition. Whereas liberalism believes that liberalism itself is universal justice for mankind. And so if it's universal justice for mankind, and every human on Earth has a right to liberalism, whether they like it or not. And so it means that the only be one law for all in every liberal state, but it can also mean that liberal states can exercise expansionism or rather,

01:04:31--> 01:05:00

colonialism as it's called to import or to export its ideology to the world, because it believes that every human being has a right to what it calls with its own definition of human rights, irrespective of whether those people like it or not, or agree with it, or accept it and so on and so forth. I know that this difference of agreement amongst liberals on liberal interventionism, usually there's a discussion as to when when you can intervene or not, but colonialists

01:05:00--> 01:05:01

was justified from a liberal

01:05:02--> 01:05:05

rubric. And I think just just so finally,

01:05:07--> 01:05:29

when we discuss, you know, liberal societies, there's many aspects that I do want to raise, which is, for example, that you, you might have an idea that people can do as do as they please do as they want. But this assumes that people's kind of desires are fully autonomous, they come from themselves, no one can influence them, no one can,

01:05:30--> 01:05:36

can kind of cajole them into any particular activity, but also that the state ideal.

01:05:38--> 01:05:48

I think there's a lot of things happening here. Yes, specifically, there was that point, I think that was raised about how liberalism claims to purport

01:05:49--> 01:06:11

to facilitate different conceptions of the good. And your response to that being that it's possible that Islam facilitates pluralism, perhaps better than liberalism does. And that that was that was sort of an answer. And we'll get to individualism about what what liberalism does for individualism afterwards. But I'd like to get some thoughts from Professor hoppy if that's if that's all right.

01:06:12--> 01:07:00

Okay, so, I mean, I think that there are a few things to keep separate in the discussion. One thing is about the distinction about the laws that you apply within a state, and what you think governs the behavior of states. And liberalism was a doctrine about what happens within a state. It wasn't a doctrine that spoke to relationships between states, and there's a chi and there are kind of very obvious differences here, because within a state, you've got a government, all the citizens are subject to the government, the nations are not subject to any kind of ruler. And so you shouldn't be thinking, as you very quickly said, that liberal theory was used to justify colonialism. That's

01:07:00--> 01:07:32

actually I think, not true. So that's, that's one thing I wanted to say. Another thing that I want to say is that the way that liberals will think about this, the set of laws that you devise, when you're devising the laws for a liberal state is a minimal set of laws. It's just the laws that you need, in order to make it possible for people to pursue their comprehensive conceptions of the good, as far as they can limited by everyone else being able to do it as well. And the laws don't.

01:07:34--> 01:08:23

There, there are lots of additional laws. On top of that, when it comes to the question that was just asked, right about which kind of state provides more freedoms to people? I mean, you can think about it in theoretical terms, or you can think about it in historical terms. And it's worth looking at the history here. And thinking about, for example, how under the Ottoman Empire, Christians and Jews, and let's say atheists actually feared, what freedoms did they have, what sorts of opportunities were there for them to pursue the good compared to what happens in a liberal state, when you think about the opportunity, say, in Australia, for Muslims to pursue their conceptions of

01:08:23--> 01:08:40

the good, it's worth thinking about the very limited freedoms that Christians and Jews had at times under the Ottoman Empire. So I mean, sometimes people say there wasn't much here, they had to pay extra taxes. But that was justified because

01:08:41--> 01:09:22

the, the Ottomans were providing them with protection forces, right. But that's kind of silly, because the Christians were also forbidden to carry weapons off, beaten to ride on horseback, and they were forbidden to be in the armed forces. So that particular justification in various times in place, so that particular justification won't work. There were things like, for example, and this is a kind of indication about the state of mind that Christians weren't allowed to own houses that overlooked the houses of Muslims and Muslims had to be on the high ground. And again, it's obvious what the reasoning is here. There's a worry about insurrection. There's a worry about people

01:09:23--> 01:09:37

rebelling against the state, if everything was is hunky dory, as you've been pretending that it was, none of this would be the case. Right? There are a huge number of limitations. And that's, that was just the good case. Right? for Christians, and

01:09:39--> 01:10:00

Jews. There are worst cases and in the Ottoman Empire. There are worst cases for various groups of Muslims like the Levy's for example. So you know perfectly well, in 1514, the Salton arranged massacre of 40,000. Anatolian Levy's right? That doesn't sound like right

01:10:00--> 01:10:28

And you can go on right? I've picked one example, there are 1000s. There are 1000s of egregious examples in liberal states too, when it comes to that kind of behavior, you're not going to get anywhere trying to make a historical case for somehow rather, the way in which people are better able to flourish under Islam than they are under liberal states. It's also worth thinking about

01:10:30--> 01:10:36

apostasy. This is another good thing to think about. Sometimes people say,

01:10:37--> 01:11:07

I believe you said on occasion that really the issue was about sedition, rather than about apostasy. But think about, for example, the period between 40 and 63 and 1844, under the Ottomans in Bosnia and Herzegovina, were apostasy from Islam was punished with the death penalty. And the reason why that was given was that perceived conversion away from Islam was regarded as a threat to the survival of Islam. It doesn't sound like sedition to me.

01:11:11--> 01:11:12


01:11:13--> 01:11:21

well, let's, let's go for it in the same order you mentioned and I would say you said that liberal theory was never used to justify colonialism, because

01:11:22--> 01:11:31

states in their international relations, were not subject or beholden to, to laws, whereas domestically, they're beholden to their own laws.

01:11:33--> 01:11:34

I think I would disagree.

01:11:35--> 01:11:55

JOHN Stuart Mill, if you will, many he wrote made me tracks about how colonialism can be justified and white and why it's a good thing for me, and he talked about, about what can motivate and what should be the policy of liberal states concerning foreign relations with, quote unquote, barbaric nations.

01:11:57--> 01:12:10

And it didn't require the barbaric nations attack first, but rather, that eventually they will have to be subdued. And they will have to be controlled with an iron fist, until they are able to be improved by

01:12:11--> 01:12:20

intellectual discussion, ie, he viewed as they adopt liberalism, then they didn't know they can be independent and autonomous, and they've reached a mature maturity.

01:12:22--> 01:13:01

Now, the thing is this, that when any state goes to war, the state has to explain to its people why it's going to war, it can't just say, Hey, we're going for money, we're going for wealth or fame, the people just wouldn't accept, especially in in representative systems whereby, you know, political parties want to get reelected. So they make excuses like, or that they have to give some justification that the people will accept the very least, whether it be civilizing the natives, we're doing it for their own good, we're educating them for their own good, we have to go over there and give them superior enlightened values. The domestic policies in these colonial states were

01:13:01--> 01:13:19

justified and even explained based on liberal models of what they liberal missions to states, which are viewed as not liberal, which is, they are in states of backwardness. Going, they went to India, for example, made these arguments about the changing education system.

01:13:21--> 01:13:48

Or to to better and to give Western books and Western philosophy in order for the natives to basically be educated because their own books are basically all their own rude lights, quote, unquote, ie their, their own books on insufficient to give them some kind of enlightenment. This this is also Lord Cromer was saying this in Egypt. So, label theory has been used justified colonialism very much. So

01:13:49--> 01:13:55

Tocqueville mentioned discusses this, as well as many others.

01:13:57--> 01:14:04

Today, we know this as liberal interventionism of a different kind, so be spreading democracy might be what would they will say today,

01:14:06--> 01:14:18

not just weapons of mass destruction, trying to locate them, but spreading democracy for its own sake, is also a key argument or spreading freedom was also used to justify the war in Afghanistan, which has now obviously completely failed

01:14:19--> 01:14:59

to from the from the western perspective of trying to change and impose a foreign system upon the people. So I would I would very much disagree. That liberal theory has not been used to justify cronyism indeed, it was centrally located in justifying colonialism, because the people wouldn't accept any other any other reason why you're going around the world and sending British troops to die for what purpose. You mentioned about that how Christians and Jews fared in the Ottoman lands different times. I'm here to defend and advocate and explain and discuss Islam Islamic law, not some of the policies which which have at times been non Islamic by various

01:15:00--> 01:15:22

regimes or systems throughout all these policies throughout the human Muslim history. So in terms of how non Muslims ought to be treated, we have the Prophet Mohammed, Salah, Salah, giving us a model to go by. And that model was more or less successful, such to the point that many Christians actually didn't want to accept

01:15:23--> 01:16:09

kind of a modern automatic auto minimization, whereby everyone would be made fully equal citizens of a, of a state, they wanted to remain actually, under the static system, which is where they will be people on the contract or after Denmark, meaning people on the on the covenant, because in a unitary, one rule, one size fits all states, they would be they would lose some of their privileges that they enjoyed under Islamic law. This is when the Ottomans were under liberal influence for a time and liberals tried to introduce Western based citizenship concepts. So there was actually opposition from including Armenians, which, which is, they oppose the idea of this kind of unitary

01:16:10--> 01:16:20

optimization, where everyone was made equal citizens, they actually wanted the system before that to to remain and be the same as it was before because whether they had autonomy,

01:16:22--> 01:17:11

non Muslims are not meant to be, are not meant to be at all, kind of humiliated, or we have prohibitions by the prophet Muhammad sallahu wa sallam from from doing so very clear once we have, we have guarantees of the rights of non Muslims under Islam, from the Prophet Mohammed, a son who said that anyone who harms a person on the covenant is as if it has harmed himself. Also with that women are not allowed to humiliate or to take anything from them without their consent. We have this explicitly mentioned in the narrations by the prophet Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam. So not even to humiliate, or to make them to kind of mistreat them at all whatsoever, and to and they have enjoy

01:17:11--> 01:17:29

their rights, right to do their religion to their way of life and how they tend to live it more fully than they could in a liberal state, which might make certain criticisms. For example, in England, we had a case of, especially with a Christian preacher, who would mean he was arguing against,

01:17:30--> 01:17:37

I think lesbianism, he made it, he's doing some street preaching, and he was making ultimate against lesbianism. And he was arrested for hate speech

01:17:38--> 01:18:22

in the UK, and he was just preaching the Bible from his perspective. I mean, I can France, I could mention France, but on a press too much in France, because France only was one case or only one particular case. But in the West, mainly advocating religious positions could be viewed as intolerant, preaching intolerance, or hate speech, even though these are positions, which are based on religious books that people just preach in their region, calling to their own rival way of life, it could be seen as offensive, the West does have limitations on free speech, as you know, and it also has means to control people's speech beyond just laws. So in England, we there was a variety

01:18:22--> 01:19:10

of, of policies implemented by the British government against Muslims. In the UK, whether it was kind of banning Muslim groups from attending, or being able to use whole facilities to have rallies or gatherings to harass and interdict Muslim charities. So that Muslim charities, their operations are either disrupted or illegal, they don't get charities things, they're not allowed charity status in the first place. And the ideas of what is extremism, which is a subjective term was used to kind of limit and measure kind of social acceptability of Muslim organizations on all Muslim speakers. We know that in America during the issue of the Cold War, there was the McCarthy era, but also there

01:19:10--> 01:19:28

was interdiction against by the state against a kind of black nationalist movements or even civil rights movements in in the United States of America, which was done by a stencil by by government agencies, which can make life difficult for what they deem to be people who are

01:19:29--> 01:19:43

social undesirables, quote unquote. So there's a lot of there's a lot of policies that the kind of Western governments do implement. And when it is discussed as to whether it is valid to implement those policies,

01:19:44--> 01:19:59

the the kind of response is always extensively that, you know, people who are not liberal and can't really get the benefit of liberal protection. If they themselves if, if they were in ruling power would not be liberal themselves. This was a

01:20:00--> 01:20:09

Kind of ruling by the European Court of Human Rights on the issue of the hijab ban, and when at one point in time when Turkey was was banning her jobs to

01:20:11--> 01:20:40

the European Court of Human Rights actually went on the side of the arguments made by these respective countries. That in essence, the principles of secularism can be defended by such policies. There was a Germany banned the right to assembly of an Islamic group in Germany, and that was defended on the on the grounds that the Islamic group wasn't democratic, and therefore shouldn't enjoy democratic protections. So these are these are the kinds of issues which lead to choice a colored past.

01:20:42--> 01:21:08

When it comes to how liberalism is interpreted to give tolerance to other people, we see that also there's other issues of example, there's bans on on halal and kosher slaughter of meat, because of the the concepts of what is animal welfare has to be involved in interpretation of animal welfare being applied on Jewish communities on Muslim communities. They did try to in Germany, they tried to ban

01:21:10--> 01:21:56

circumcision amongst Muslim Muslim communities. And it was only saved by the Jewish community coming out and saying that this will affect us as well. And this is like, Are you trying to limit you know, Jewish practices in Germany? And so then that was relented upon. But the argument that well, if we all were against female genital mutilation is argued that male circumcision in Jewish communities and Muslim communities, the argument is, is that not male genital mutilation? And should we not then equally be against that that's the argument that was used to justify interference and intolerance of religious practices by communities. And that's just some examples. You mentioned apostasy, the

01:21:56--> 01:21:59

apostasy laws, or should we say, the laws of

01:22:00--> 01:22:01

or against

01:22:02--> 01:22:39

sedition or being being Renegade? That's a different discussion. But in essence, from the Islamic perspective, Islam just understand something about human nature that liberalism may might overlook, because of its commitment, its ideological commitments to certain formulas. it overlooks the fact that there is some humans can fundamentally some humans can fundamentally destroy or corrupt the edifice of their own civilization to the point that you can you create very dark chapters in human civilization, due to these individuals rising to power. So for example,

01:22:41--> 01:23:24

liberalism has a tendency to, to sometimes collapse into fascism, because of certain sociological, but also ideological process processes. The states do try to the liberal approach to these to, let's say, fascist and far right rising is to be wary to use state harassment techniques to make life difficult for fascist or or far right. But it's not always able to prevent them getting into government, under a populist government, and then implementing certain discriminatory measures against minorities, as most people don't probably don't know, is that Hitler wasn't the only job in Nazi Germany wasn't the only fascist government that's ever given risen to power in Europe.

01:23:25--> 01:23:40

fascism has risen in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, Japan, a few other countries, the look, if I could just ask the experience to the question, which is, what does that have to do with Islamic apostate modes?

01:23:41--> 01:23:49

Well, this is what where I'm coming to which is that there are some individuals which there what they will say what they will do,

01:23:50--> 01:23:56

if if allowed to continue to destroy the edifice of a civilization because of their ideas are going to basically fundamentally

01:23:57--> 01:24:40

are abrogating the whole basis of the of the state as it was that gives people their rights. So in Islamic system, the idea is understood that when Muslims have made a commitment to Islam, or published the basis of the Islamic State, is Islam. And the basis of the of the rights and protections that Islam gives to everybody is the Islamic worldview. If someone who has given who has committed to that in an Islamic State then chooses to make a public reneging, not a not a discussion or a debate about it, or they say I have doubts that's not a problem to say you have doubts or let's let's sit down to discuss this. But someone to say that you know what, I'm actually going to make a

01:24:40--> 01:24:59

public renouncement of my my political allegiances, my political commitments that I have offered I have made public I've made a political commitment. So in Islam if to die doesn't mean you change your mind is to duck means you you throw off the your commitment, the commitment you've made, you've now you throw it off, you turn you renege

01:25:00--> 01:25:23

Your political commitments you become a renegade, quite literally, then Islam deems that that is a existential threat or potential existential threat to to the society. If someone says I you know that they want to renege it and they leave the society, there's no iron curtain, there's no nothing to stop people from leaving. But it's time understands that there are certain things which are

01:25:25--> 01:26:05

existentially threatening, which could lead you want to prevent rise of fascism you want to you want to prevent someone who might come up and say, You know, I think as, as a Muslim, I'm going to abrogate Islamic ideas that non Muslims should be treated with tolerance. We would say, this person has rejected Islam and is a renegade, and you can't let this get person get to power or Melita community to get to power Otherwise, it will lead to mean the abrogation of the very rights of the state to everybody. So Islam is pre kind of more honest, and more understanding of how humans interact. It's not about humans can, can follow popular ism, not because they're intellectually

01:26:05--> 01:26:24

convinced of it. I think Donald Trump really has illustrate this point. No matter wherever he did, no matter how many facts he got wrong, no matter how many facts that he based his policies on that was demonstrably wrong. People still followed him. These these demagogues are quite concerning and worrying. liberalism doesn't have a defense mechanism against them,

01:26:25--> 01:27:04

which is, ultimately and can't prevent demagoguery from getting into power and then committing oppression. Islam essentially does. So that would be my explanation of the law interdite and why it is necessary and the wisdom for the law. And I think it's a manual can't mention I will just mention his last point. Emanuel Kat mentioned, that he believed that anyone who tried to question the legitimacy of the state upon which all the laws and foundations are based upon, has has practically committed tradition. And he believed that tradition deserves the death penalty. This was Emmanuel Kant. He thought that the state, the state is necessary for the implementation of rules and laws in

01:27:04--> 01:27:40

society. And if anyone was even to question the very legitimacy of the state by going back to its origins, saying like, how do we, how does this government or this king How does this represent our so even if it is an elected democracy? Where did we vote on the on the constitution? We don't believe the state has legitimacy because we didn't vote on its constitution. I wasn't there. 200 years ago, anyone says that kind of speech, Emmanuel can't believe they were practically committing sedition, and, well, highly dangerous. So this is an essence Islam perspective, you obviously you might disagree of it, but I think it's it's very more efficient way of preventing,

01:27:41--> 01:27:52

like far right, fascists and very nasty individuals from coming to power, and abrogating the very laws of Islam that provide security protection for people.

01:27:55--> 01:28:37

grain, what do you make of it? So there's so many things going on, it's hard to keep track of them all. And there's a bunch of distinctions that I would want to throw out. So I, one thing is to distinguish between liberal theory, what the theory says, and what liberal theorists have said, when they're speaking about other matters, and when it comes to the question, I mean, when when I said, Look, liberal theory is a theory about the state. It's not a theory about international affairs. And you started talking about what some liberal theorists said about international affairs, that doesn't mean that what they were giving you was some consequences of liberal theory, they were just giving

01:28:37--> 01:28:55

their independent views about how they thought international affairs should go. And it's that's just got no consequences for liberal theory as a theory of the running of the state. Right. So so there's, there's that there's another thing is that

01:28:57--> 01:29:02

liberalism, like Islam has a very long history. And I

01:29:04--> 01:29:32

you have to draw a distinction. One distinction is between theory and practice, what the theory tells you so in answering some of the questions, you appeal to the idea that Muhammad said something, and that somehow or other, in short seem to ensure that nothing bad could be done by liberal states or something like that, because it was part of the theory. Right? Not not something that you could really explain as a concrete provision. Right.

01:29:34--> 01:30:00

And another thing is, and this is another point about history, that certainly with liberalism, there's a development over time, and the theory improves. And there are ideas that were had by the founding fathers people why Hume and Locke and cat that have been disavowed by subsequent generations of liberal

01:30:00--> 01:30:19

Also you can't prove anything by appealing to things that they said. There, there's, there's, it's kind of hard to keep all this stuff straight. If you kind of keep jumping backwards and forwards between theory and practice what people said once upon a time, what people are saying now, and so on. And so

01:30:20--> 01:30:28

the conclusions that you're trying to draw, and I'll take it that one of the things that you wanted to argue was that

01:30:29--> 01:30:33

Islamic states are going to be much more stable than liberal states.

01:30:34--> 01:31:24

It depends, right? The the, if you if you look at the UK, for example, it's hard to say exactly how long it's been a liberal state, and how long its history extends. But it's never really seemed to be seriously under threat of becoming a fascist state. Maybe you think that Mosley was in with a shot just before the Second World War. But that seems extraordinarily improbable to me, right. And it may well be true, that also when you have to remember that the states are not islands, they exist in a world where there's all kinds of other state, all kinds of other things going on. And the pressures on liberal states may lead them to behave badly, and sometimes to perform better at sometimes in

01:31:24--> 01:31:33

other times, but they still look like very robust institutions. And you got to be careful about drawing too much,

01:31:34--> 01:31:42

too, too strong inferences for a very small number of data points about what's happened in the United States in the last five years. So

01:31:44--> 01:32:26

I think I think this is a good time to actually move into some of the q&a, because this this question about praxis and theory actually arose. So one of the questions was, to what extent is liberalism responsible for the excesses of liberalism? And to what extent excess of I guess liberal regimes they made? And to what extent is Islamic law responsible for the excesses of I guess, the history historical instances that, for example, as the graham oppie was, was, was mentioning, so can we get some Can we get some idea about how the relationship between practice and theory

01:32:27--> 01:32:32

I think that's a very good point to raise. In fact, that's actually something I was going to raise

01:32:33--> 01:32:38

in response, so. So the professor says, quite, quite

01:32:40--> 01:33:12

aptly that there's liberal theory and as liberal theorists, and so just, let's say, just because maybe one of the founding fathers of America might have slaves, that doesn't mean that that liberalism believes in slavery, which I totally would concur with him on that. But his but then this brings us to the fundamental problem of actual liberalism itself. What is the Holy Book of liberalism, the texts that we can refer to the limits of the amount of interpretation that can come from, from liberalism, a set of parameters to it?

01:33:13--> 01:33:55

Well, there isn't any. So then what then makes something liberal what what so what is liberal theory? It's not a platonic form that floats around that we can access and refer to, but liberal theory is, is anything that liberals say it is, is my point. And when I was talking about john, when I was talking about sorry, people, liberal theorists advocating colonialism or what have you, it wasn't perhaps them just saying, I think colonialism, colonialism is a good idea. They wrote detailed tracks, relating their own thinking, the thinking there on the books, in fact, on liberty, the classical book by john Stuart Mill talks about imperialism and colonialism and justifies it in

01:33:55--> 01:34:19

his own book on liberty, which is viewed as a great reference for, for classical liberals. But for social liberals, mostly, I think we under social liberalism today, as the most dominant form of liberalism. You can also want to read all the books by john Stuart Mill like on one one book was called on the treatment of barbarous nations, which he published in 1874.

01:34:20--> 01:34:25

He discussed that in bit more depth, but you can see his justification for

01:34:26--> 01:34:51

colonialism and imperialism in his book on liberty, which is a very seminal book of political philosophy by john Stuart Mill, if ever you're going to study the political philosophy of john Stuart Mill, upon which much of the current day modern liberalism or social liberalism is, or at least from the Anglo Saxon perspective is certainly based upon, on liberty is the, you know, the most preeminent book of his. So

01:34:53--> 01:35:00

he didn't really write the book saying, you know, his mind is on what Liberty means and how I can use utilitarian

01:35:00--> 01:35:41

Due to the terrorism to justify, oh, by the way, just on the margins, here's how just here's why I think cronyism is good idea and it's not related to my other ideas, no he, he used. He went from his liberal theories into how it relates to colonialism being a good thing under certain circumstances against quote unquote, barbarous nations, including one of those being India. But he also mentioned all the barbarous nations like Algeria which was colonized by the French. So that's why there is no separation between liberal theory and liberal theorists, if the liberal theorist is using is making a philosophy called what politically philosophical argument

01:35:42--> 01:36:10

about something related to their their other ideas, then it's part of liberal theory, I would say, there is no set there's no Holy Book of liberalism, which is why you'd probably get more diversity in interpretation, and hence more lack of clarity in political philosophy, where it is not related to a holy book, then one where you have a holy book which at least limits the amount of possible interpretations that one can can produce.

01:36:11--> 01:36:56

As to the practice of the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam sayings to the actions of Muslims, we can make a quite a definitive border between those two things we can certain circumscribe that the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam is, as we believe is a prophet, and his sayings are the basis of our ethics of our law. But Muslims activities or actions are not and can never be. And so if the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam said, if the Quran says something, it has absolute authority, from our perspective and, and overrides anything else that we might want to bring later on. And I think that is a good thing, having laws and ideas,

01:36:57--> 01:37:09

founded upon immovable and immutable bases, prevents people from abrogating these ideas later in life, or late later in, in, in a civilization. So if people

01:37:10--> 01:37:37

just to kind of explain so I want to give an example, because I made a claim, I made this claim a couple years back, and then I was actually quite heartened to see that there was a an author, who actually made the similar claim about how liberalism fails, and what happens when liberalism fails. So fascists are not people who just wear jackboots and wear, leather, you black level uniforms. fascists are basically people who

01:37:39--> 01:38:20

come to this kind of idea, which is that they believe in the rights of the individual to, they also believe in the rights of individual However, they point out something they say that if there's no God, or God is not important for the rights of the individual. And you know, society doesn't really you know, that your rights as an individual, or your human rights don't come from, let's say, you know, the animal kingdom or the natural world, and nor from God. So who are what is giving you rights? Where do rights exist, who is make who's actually kind of giving you in protecting these rights for you, what is the state, so then the fascist is simply make the conclusion that if there's

01:38:20--> 01:38:41

no God, or if God's not important, if 422 deliberation were in politics, so now your secular view, and there is no natural rights, the only basis for your rights is that the state recognizes that you have these rights, and therefore, then the state must be more important, then

01:38:42--> 01:39:02

then your individual rights, because without the state, there is no individual rights. When when a philosopher or even a liberal comes to that conclusion, then they can they then become, you could say, fascist, which is the idea that the state is the most important institution, because it is the foundation of all rights and therefore should be protected and therefore

01:39:03--> 01:39:16

should be defended and strengthened and so on, so forth. So that's in essence, what fascism and why why liberalism, under certain economic and social conditions walk usually has collapsed to fascism. Many times

01:39:18--> 01:39:22

the professor up he has mentioned about Britain as an example. Why not Britain?

01:39:23--> 01:39:31

collapse into that, so very good. That's a very good question, mainly because I think Britain has a lot of anti democratic

01:39:32--> 01:39:37

policies, including the fact that it has a unelected

01:39:38--> 01:40:00

house, where you have Lords which are meant to present prevent us are meant to defend the traditions, British traditions, and the monarch which underpins that so if a fascist government got into power in Parliament, in theory, the Queen obviously is meant to step could step in and dissolve that Parliament and the House of Lords.

01:40:00--> 01:40:18

will prevent popular wrist, politicians from getting fascist laws passed through the lower house. So it's meant to so you have this very anti dem, deliberately anti democratic. So it's deliberately is one reason is to prevent popular ism from gaining control of the of the state.

01:40:19--> 01:40:30

And I think now that will be it for kind of discussing between practice and theory of practicing theory. And that's what I think I have to say. Anyway, to illustrate my point,

01:40:31--> 01:40:45

I'm just going to, because in the interest of time, by the way, we only have around 11 minutes left. It is it is around 10 1510 o'clock pm in Australian time. So it is getting a little bit late for the audience. So

01:40:46--> 01:41:20

while you're responding to that, I'm just going to layer it on with it. Perhaps another question from the audience. And this was sort of in response to I guess, Abdullah is making the claim that there's a centrality that the Islamic tradition has that we can sort of put a discrete boundary around, right. So this is within the tradition, this is not this is history, history is not legal precedents. This is legal precedents, legal precedence is in let's say, the form of their heads or the whatever jurisprudence that we have. And that, perhaps liberalism and this is one of the questions I was asked.

01:41:23--> 01:41:46

Is it true then that liberalism fails to have this first principles approach of creating a boundary by which it defines what is and isn't liberalism, and in failing to do so, carves open the space for, I guess, projects, like the colonial project, which was to enlighten the rest of the world with a very Eurocentric vision of what it means to be the good, right? Because

01:41:48--> 01:42:28

it's very possible that in the attempt of trying to create a society where all conceptions of good are allowed, in reality, what once you know, laws are actually written in place, it is fundamentally one conception of good that is put forward as Criminal Lawyers as legal law as economic law versus another. Right, I guess that's my, that would be a question that I would give to Professor open. Okay, so there's a few things I wanted to respond to. And if I forget any of them, remind me. So first of all, I wanted to respond to the kind of the vulnerability to fascism argument. So

01:42:29--> 01:43:08

if you thinking and you see it, as I do towards the kind of welfarist, end of liberalism, you or perhaps beyond it, right, you're going to think, very likely that something like the principle that Rawls offers that inequalities in society are gonna be justified only insofar as they rise up the worst off, if you've got a commitment to something like that, you're not going to be vulnerable to fascism. That's a kind of completely anti fascist thought. Right. And the, the,

01:43:09--> 01:43:11

the kind of general point about

01:43:13--> 01:43:14


01:43:17--> 01:43:23

point you wanted to make a point, the point you just made, I'm forgetting already, again, tired, it's getting so like,

01:43:25--> 01:43:25


01:43:26--> 01:44:16

right. So yes, the point about the idea that somehow or other in trying to make room for competing conceptions of the good, you end up committing to a conception, that actually isn't true, they just that just misrepresents The, the liberal position, because the idea is that we have competing, sort of comprehensive conceptions of the good. And each of us, whether singly or collectively, in groups of whatever size is entitled to pursue these conceptions consistent with allowing everybody else the same degree of latitude in pursuing them. That's not now a comprehensive conception of the good. It's not a conception, about the meaning of life, about what makes life worth living, and so on.

01:44:16--> 01:44:59

It's a framework that enables people to, to pursue their substantive conceptions of the good without imposing any particular substantive conception upon them. And that's going to be quite different from what you get in a state that's controlled by religious authorities where there is a particular conception, a conception submit, says that the good flows from particular garden, this particular set of ad acts that have been issued by God and those can constitute the framework for proper behavior and so on, where there's no prospect of getting agreement across the world's religions on those particular edicts and so forth. So I think

01:45:00--> 01:45:02

Actually that worry is quite misguided.

01:45:03--> 01:46:00

It's not that liberalism offers you a comprehensive conception of the good. On the contrary, it's aimed, it's designed specifically to enable a pluralism about comprehensive conceptions of the good. And this is a view that applies at the level of the state and the design of the state. And what it emerged out of, well, as, as I said before, in the UK and in Europe, was out of the kinds of conflicts that arise when particular concepts of the good were allowed to sort of track who was the reigning monarch, and the kind of added chaos that ensure that every time you got a change in who was the monarch from being Lutheran to being a Calvinist to being a Catholic, and they're having

01:46:00--> 01:46:05

them saying, so my values are now the values of everyone, which led to

01:46:06--> 01:46:19

enormous social dislocation as people tried to flee to find a country where the rule was consonant with fair values and to avoid getting killed by the people had two competing values and so on.

01:46:20--> 01:47:13

So it arrived, it arises out of experience about what happens when you entrench a particular comprehensive conception of the good as in the state, rather than taking the liberal alternative? What if a response was made, hypothetically, that this is a very contingent problem with the Christian and European experience with what Christendom has felt, and Christian have experienced as its reigning paradigm of religion, politics if we were to articulate it, whereas the the conception of what religion politics looks like, in let's say, many periods in the Islamic caliphate, or have, obviously with a huge amount of variances between them, but overall, within his jurisprudential

01:47:13--> 01:47:16

tradition, is a relatively

01:47:17--> 01:48:04

relatively accommodating in the sense of having particular legal codes in particular, let's say religious traditions being allowed to, say have their own courts have their own judicial bodies, in a limited capacity, of course, but but allowing it far more so than let's say, the Christian tradition ever did. And far more so than liberalism today, in its modern formulation, with its universalization of an homogenate, in its insistence, on homogeneity as the judicial Maxim, by which we by which we measure right and wrong, is there a sense in which the anxiety we have about the non secular is fundamentally something that's inherited from a Christian tradition. So I'm not sure that

01:48:04--> 01:48:26

there's that much difference. And we can argue about these, right? I mean, everyone knows that there's kind of tensions between Sunni and Shia, but there are plenty of other Muslim groups that were persecuted throughout history, um, you know, Drew's his maelys, our whites, there are lots of them, that were persecuted under the Ottoman Empire. And

01:48:27--> 01:48:32

it's, I mean, they kind of significant difference, perhaps, is that,

01:48:33--> 01:48:59

more or less from the beginning, there was a very large majority, very large Sunni majority, whereas for at the time, that Christendom disintegrated, there were roughly three equally sized powers, that would make it if it's true, a purely contingent fact that kind of accident of history. I mean, if you look at the way that different religions get on, if you look, for example, at the petition of India,

01:49:00--> 01:49:02

or you look at

01:49:03--> 01:49:20

conflicts in, say, China, between Muslims and Buddhists and confusions, and so on, there's nothing that singles out any particular religion is being more problematic or less problematic than any other as far as I can say.

01:49:22--> 01:49:23

For my project,

01:49:25--> 01:49:38

when the idea that liberalism doesn't really kind of like you could say, arbitrary between competing conceptions of the good, but instead, remains neutral and facilitates different conceptions.

01:49:39--> 01:49:49

I'd say that it will state for a state to make any kind of legislation it simply has to and I'll give you some examples. Let's take one typical example. So

01:49:50--> 01:50:00

cocaine went let's go to cocaine. So cocaine is something which is a drug and obviously it can be taken and it can be taken voluntarily.

01:50:00--> 01:50:43

People will take one can take it voluntarily. As a life choice they think that while not imbibing all intoxicants such intoxicants is a life choice for them. And they that's their conception of the good is to be built up as they say. But due to social idealism kind of dominating a social liberal thought it was deemed that this is against the individual's own self realization, to make the to enslave themselves to such an intoxicant. And therefore, such drugs should be outlawed. For the good of the, for the individual's own good, even though the individual might say, I might take cocaine recreationally, I can control it all. But even if I can't, it's not for you to tell me that it is

01:50:43--> 01:50:53

against my own conception of the good. So social liberalism, and in this case, driven by social idealism, not utilitarianism, necessarily.

01:50:54--> 01:51:29

Although I suppose you could make a utilitarian argument while you can make a utilitarian argument for actually even why drugs are actually even maximizing pleasure. But the the other social idea is arguing which, which is that it goes against the individual's own self realization, it also led attempts by social labels to even ban alcohol. But in America Anyway, it was successful for for a bit in England, it wasn't that successful instead, they just impose a sin tax on it not assign tax, but a sin tax, a tax on sin, all right, to try to dissuade people in theory from drinking alcohol, it doesn't really work just raises the prices of alcohol.

01:51:30--> 01:51:38

But that's the state having an idea of what is good and what is bad for the individual against the individual's own conception of it.

01:51:39--> 01:52:18

The idea that also for example, you might say, Well, okay, what about other examples can we bring but there's, I don't want to kind of make this go on too long. But I'm going to bring them one other example, a current example has occurred in the UK. So in the in the state schools, there is a controversy over teaching, same sex, same sex relationship, relationships in, in schools to kids, many parents saying that we didn't, we don't concern for our kids to be taught the same sex relationships are of an equal moral value to different sex relationships. But then the counter argument is Oh, but this is against the quality. So the quality is that all these different life

01:52:18--> 01:52:37

choices are all equally valid. And therefore, kids deserve an education as to all the different life choices they can choose. And they must be told that it is of equal, these are equally valued or valuable, or equal moral worth life choices. But this is now the state dictating what is good and what is bad. What is morally equal, what is morally not equal.

01:52:38--> 01:53:04

Some has some have argued, some atheists have argued that teaching children, the religion of their parents, is a form of child abuse. It prevents the children from making an informed decision later on in life, if they came from a more neutral perspective that hasn't reached a policy just yet. But that's arguments that people have made from a liberal basis, even though they are not actually state policy at the moment.

01:53:05--> 01:53:23

But last but not least, I suppose. We see this controversies in both UK also in Canada and many other liberal countries, concerning practices by religious communities, like for example, divorce, or marriage in divorces. In England, the argument was that if a if any

01:53:24--> 01:53:49

couple go to a a Jewish or a Muslim arbitration kind of counsel, and they get an arbitration, which is deemed to be unfair from the perspective of the of British English law rather, even though there is no directive in English law to override if the judge thinks it's not, it's not a fair point, his own opinion or her opinion, they can override the

01:53:50--> 01:54:35

they can override the arbitration, even a Jewish court or a Muslim or Jewish Beit din, sorry, and then Muslim tribunals. So this is the state interfering in the religious communities, rights and arbitrations according to their own concept of conception of the good. So these are these are just a few examples where you have this kind of interference. Just that's where I will kind of I'll just say as examples, but just to give you a reference of what I said earlier about fascism, sorry, the individual, this, the UK academic, we talked about how liberalism has a tendency to collapse into fascism is called Philip blonde. He wrote an article in 2015, but I actually wrote an article in

01:54:35--> 01:54:59

2013, saying the same thing. I don't think he read me but it was it quite interesting. So he said this in his article in May of 2015. He said, fascism may not be like liberalism, but the two are ideological cousins. He discusses a bit more about how liberalism leads to fascism in many in many situations, due to the in the kind of the intellectual continuum. They

01:55:00--> 01:55:06

But it's just an interesting point, I just want to mention who said it, because who else said it rather than myself?

01:55:07--> 01:55:18

Just to just to highlight that it's not my own individual opinion. But it's also shared by other academics of political philosophy in the UK anyway, just want to throw that out there.

01:55:19--> 01:55:34

Probably finish up with one last closing. Very, very good for sure. Just very quick comment. So some of these examples don't involve comprehensive conceptions of the good, right, it's hardly a comprehensive conception of the good that you've just got to

01:55:36--> 01:55:45

snort cocaine for the rest of your life. Right. So that example really doesn't count. Right? That's not what the

01:55:46--> 01:55:59

the, the kind of rawlsian framework is aiming to maintain neutrality between, there's a question about paternalism that does come up for liberals. But

01:56:00--> 01:56:42

many people think so I mean, your your example kind of interesting with alcohol, because my country like Australia, has used a kind of series of nudges, either one period of time now, to drive down tobacco consumption for various reasons. And it seems to good effect. And my prediction is that the future is going to see a similar kind of campaign for alcohol. In countries like Australia, are a series of nudges. So nothing, nothing very draconian, but coupled with the kind of British approach of raising the excise steadily, which has happened with tobacco as well.

01:56:43--> 01:56:54

And in for reasons having to do with the fact that actually for most people, health is one of the is going to be part of the

01:56:56--> 01:57:23

the sort of comprehensive view about what the good life people consists in. And this is just a way of helping them to achieve what they really want. So that would be that's on that alcohol, tobacco, one on the religion and child abuse. One. I think that actually the approach that that takes that line is kind of illiberal. Right. It's not respecting the

01:57:24--> 01:57:57

autonomy of Ansari, what should I say it's not respecting the comprehensive conceptions of the good of the parents who wish to raise the child in their religion. And I think that it's just that mistake, to claim that it's child abuse, for parents who want to raise their children in their religion. So I don't think that liberals are gonna particularly have a problem with that one, either. I guess there's not enough time to continue through the rest of the I'll just stop.

01:58:00--> 01:58:21

Yeah, just quickly, then I'll say that. I think the I think you're probably aware of some atheists and others and their arguments about children being taught religion by their parents of being child abuse, because they say the parents are making the decisions on behalf of the children. So the child is not making their own choices on this matter, and it will affect them later on in life.

01:58:23--> 01:59:01

Perhaps not in their best in their own best interest. I know you said that health is an issue that surely everyone would like to prioritize, but some people say, you know, live now die young, who cares right? As long as you enjoy the moment that's a that is a conception of good which if you're if you're if you tell people No no, you can't enjoy your life at the moment, to the level you want it because it's going to affect your health later in life. They would say you're imposing your conception of the good upon myself, even though you might deem it to be universally held. It's just not in which might be but University sharing these ideas of health being good, is different from

01:59:01--> 01:59:09

prioritization. So might say I don't prioritize my health as much as I want to prioritize my short term enjoyments for example,

01:59:11--> 01:59:12

that'd be that'd be my point.

01:59:13--> 01:59:29

But also I think last thing I want to finish I'll probably finish off this and round this whole thing up, say I haven't mentioned and I wanted to mention it. I forgot to mention it is just really more to explain, saying about Islam, Islam values, the family and protection of the family. Now I know conservatives do to

01:59:31--> 01:59:53

put they do it for a slightly different reason. But in Islam, the family is very important. Having stable family units, having happy family units, is extremely important. Now liberal states don't. Politicians won't say that they don't value the family. However, they can't prevent the many things that attack the institutional family.

01:59:55--> 02:00:00

It's such as the type of example as

02:00:00--> 02:00:32

society with advertising. advertising is committed to exploring sexuality and sex to sell consumer goods, is going to be advertising to every individual that whether they're with their husband or their wife, there's always going to be better options, better sexual opportunity for themselves, sexually exploring their desires is a good thing. It is these are the messages that are allowed to be said, in a liberal society, not by the government. But it's because there is no attempt to restrict

02:00:34--> 02:01:06

serious serious attempt to restrict such advertising such things that you get, you get problems of adultery, you get problems of the collapse of marriages due to lack of trust, you get the you get the problems that people aren't even happy in their marriages, because they've been because they've been told by various social forces, which liberalism doesn't curtail that they should be, they should explore their sexuality so that they know what they like, before they get into marriage, but it has the opposite effect they actually unhappy in marriage studies have have shown

02:01:07--> 02:01:22

that's just really the tip of the iceberg on these on as many issues but when you have the type of divorce rate that you now have in the West, which isn't just about two people going their own way, but it's where people two people got in their own way, and that there's kids involved needing to broken homes and families

02:01:24--> 02:02:05

which is studies have shown has correlations to antisocial behavior in the in the children to criminality, there is a positive correlation that studies have shown all these these are social problems, which liberalism can't really can't really deal with and still be liberal at the same time. Arguably, there's also the issue about economic you know, the economic issues, which are by far the largest aspects of liberalism itself. The fact that you know, you could have with a freedom of ownership allows you to have set up gambling casinos and things like this, or gambling shops, that betting shops that open up usually in poor areas to exploit the poor from them false hope of

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getting out of their poverty, by spending more of their money that they can't afford to spend on this, on this kind of very slight hope that they might actually get themselves out of poverty, these types of exploitation of human beings, the fact that liberalism doesn't prevent those who are influential, both socially and, and politically,

02:02:28--> 02:03:06

or at least, at least socially, anyway, the media moguls and many others, from telling people what to want, making them want things, they don't want the whole point of consumerism, the success of it was that people used to buy things only because they need it. But now, they will going to be encouraged to buy things they don't need in order to maximize profits. And as I said, anyone who studied psychology at university in Sydney, in Sydney, you've got you've got two main job prospects for you. One of them is to be a psychiatrist or psychologist. And the other one is to be in advertising. Because you know how you'll be knowing how to hack people's brains, so to speak, and

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make them one things they actually didn't need, and will not ultimately bring them happiness. Anyway. So you so this goes back to something that Professor oppy said right at the very beginning, which is, yeah, liberalism doesn't tell it doesn't tell people what is good. But it allows society to chaotically tell people what is good and in such in such a state of nature, quote, unquote, but not a natural state. And it's such a state of nature, the strongest will oppress the weakest. And the whole point of Sharia is to protect the weak from the strong, and to prevent the social space from being dominated by the manipulators, which cause so much suffering, depression, anxiety,

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dysmorphia, body dysmorphia, broken marriages,

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and narcissism. All these proven demonstrated by studies to be highly correlate in western states with a long history of applying. Applying liberalism. So that would be an essence Mike, you could say is a meeting point of my of one of my main arguments throughout this entire discussion.

02:04:11--> 02:04:23

Thank you so much, Graham. Since he's he has sort of had his lost sales. And he did begin the discussion of if you wanted to have some concluding remarks. I'm more than happy to open the floor for you.

02:04:25--> 02:04:50

It's getting really late. It is yes, yes. Yes, it is. And we were supposed to have some chance to talk to the audience. Yeah, yeah. Some, some more questioners would have been great. We did go through around three or four questions, but yeah, for sure. It would have been great to have a couple more questions and answers. But in Sydney, it is now 10:30pm on a Friday afternoon. And I assume everyone's sort of got their own lockdown schedule. So I'll leave it up to you, do you?

02:04:52--> 02:04:59

Okay. Okay. Well, well, thank you so much for both speakers. I think in a normal event, maybe we flew everyone down and by

02:05:00--> 02:05:15

Everyone into an actual auditorium at a university there will be an opportunity to give you guys gifts. But being the zoom meeting that we're in right now you're going to get it in an email as a voucher. So that's

02:05:16--> 02:05:23

you know, I don't know how to make that an official thing Why don't how do we said that too though, I'm not too sure. But you can check your emails.

02:05:24--> 02:05:57

I'd like to thank I'd like to extend a warm thanks to Professor RP for attending this event and engaging the Muslim community I know he's used to debating on and discussing with Christians so I would like to thank him very much for his earnest discussion with us engaging with us and hopefully we'd like to see more continued engagement between Muslim community and yourself and many others going ahead and future so thank you very much. Yeah, I can definitely second that I can definitely say that. Thanks to both of you as well for the event.

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All right. Well, Zach, go ahead and thank you so much for everyone online who has attended and made this event fruitful for the audience who has asked question answers. We apologize obviously for the initial delay as well as not being able to do maybe a couple more question answers, but we hope it was a good time. We hope it brings benefit in the show like gives us all something to think about.

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With that, I will send you guys bid you farewell and inshallah until next time.

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Alright, so now I can. Good night guys.

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To learn more about how to critically engage and understand Western political philosophy and its attendant political and ethical systems. courses are available by the krein Institute, which can be accessed via the link below in the description.