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Secularism vs Islam

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Abdullah al Andalusi

Channel: Abdullah al Andalusi

Episode Notes

TV Debate: Can Secularism produce peace and prosperity?
Channel: ABTV
Show Name: The Big Questions
Date: 14 November 2010
Guests:
Abdullah al Andalusi (member of MDI)
Suran Lal (member of National Secular Society)

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Salam alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. And welcome to the big question we're discussing does secularism bring peace and prosperity to society? We have a slightly different format to this evening show. We're joined by two respective guests, Sunder Lal, who has been a council member of the National secular society for over 30 years. And Abdullah andalusi, who is a convert to Islam from Portuguese origin. He has been active within the London Dawa scene for several years, and is currently director of the Muslim debate initiative. Sundar Abdullah, thank you very much indeed for joining us for Lidl this evening is we're going to have an opening address by Sundar for 10 minutes,

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followed by a rebuttal from Abdullah for five minutes. And then Sundar will have the opportunity to engage in a counter rebuttal for two minutes, after which we will open the phone lines for your questions. We will then reverse the format. Abdullah will give his address for 10 minutes rebuttal by sundown for five minutes cash rebuttal, Bob de la for two minutes. And again, we will open the phone lines for your calls. So without further ado, we'll pass it over to you.

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alaikum. Ladies and gentlemen,

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before I start, I would like to clarify some of the terms that have been used, like peace, prosperity and secularism,

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peace, prosperity,

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these things are not so hard and fast as generally understood. I mean, everybody wants peace. But we thought we would never get it was the reason because peace is only worthwhile if it comes with justice. peace without justice is is nobody's trying to achieve

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peace in that sense.

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A group or a society or a person who thinks that it will bring justice then he can bring peace. If there is no justice, there is no peace. And I will try in my little speech to make it open. That is a secularism, which provides more justice to everybody. So the chances are will be that secularism will bring more more peace than any other system. Now, the second thing is secularism. secularism, sometimes people think is godlessness. Well, strictly speaking, secularism is not godlessness. secularism basically is opposed to organized religions. You see, God comes in various shapes and sizes with various definitions, and some people even call nature God. So I mean, there is we are

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opposed to organized religions. We are secular in that sense. We do not believe that there is any life after this, for all practical purposes, that it may be, but we don't know of. And then again, the term of prosperity, prosperity is also something which

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secularism is very much concerned because other the God, people are the religious people, their main goal is not to provide prosperity, a good Muslim would like to be less prosperous, but a good Muslim. So, if it is prospect, prospect, prosperity, not which is consistent with his ideology, then he probably will not that light, that kind of prosperity. So, in in business, we are secular people, we don't believe that there is any life after death, or anything will happen to me. I mean, once I died a story closure so far as I'm concerned here, so we only think in terms of the life in this world. And so we are more concerned with prosperity than other people, because other people can

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offer Janet.

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Other people can offer closeness to God. Other people can ask after live with so many things, we are not in a position to offer them any of those. We can only think in terms of the world as we live in. And so we are more in a position to offer prosperity because we are not going to worry about what will happen after death and how things will happen. After that.

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So I like to make the point here that it is the secularists only who can bring more peace. And the reason is one, one reason is that in very earlier society, people lived lived in one clear cut group. If you live in a Muslim society, they are all Muslims, they all believe one thing. And then there is one people who don't believe in one thing. So secularism in the US, that guy can deal with Muslims. But these days times have changed. Muslims come in various shapes and various sizes, and so much so there is so much difference between the Muslims themselves these days, that the difference between secularism becomes a little bit irrelevant. All we want is that everybody, every faith,

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every ideology should be treated equally. And that is what secular is about the We don't want any privilege to one kind of faith because it's not we are living in 21st century, if you give privilege to one group, then the other groups say this is not a this is not it, we should also want some privilege. So we what we do that in actual life, we secularism believes that there should not be any privilege to any religious organized groups, and your religion should be treated as a matter of your personal belief. And this is also a little bit strange, because I was born in India, and you probably will be surprised to know that I learned my first secularists lessons from Muslims, because

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in that culture, about secularism, a Muslim more or less, culturally we do, we tried to bring some division between Muslim cultural Muslim, religious, Muslim, ethnic Muslim, so culturally, there were Muslims I learned about I mean, if you go into in the old culture of India, there is so much the whole world of poetry is full of non Islamic things. They always say, we love deep ideals. We don't live in poetry, although in actual life, the dead, but theoretically, they said, well, religion is my personal affair. Religion there can always be divided into theoretical and practical. And for the most people in India, it was that if you ask if you ask you who you are, they will say I'm a Muslim,

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and the conversation stops there. Nobody used to ask those people, what kind of Muslim you are. What do you think? What do you don't think about that in my personal affair, so I learned, strangely enough to be

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secular by the Muslims. But nowadays things have changed. People have become more and more radicalized. They're trying to become more and more what they think what a true Muslim is. And a different definition of a true Muslim from one group of Muslim is not the same as the definition of a true Muslim from another group of Muslim it things are so difficult these days, that the Muslims not only have to deal with kuffar Catholic, they have to deal with most of the Muslims because most of the Muslim like you go, I mean, I come from Indian background, we used to live Shia and Sunni. So, happily together, there was no problem the Hindus lived, because the Kings although they were

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nominally Muslims, they were very secular Muslims and Hindus did not have any problem in living in their rule for hundreds of years without any problem, but nowadays, what happens that people want to say the king is Muslim, if the rulers are Muslim, they should deal with things in this way, not this way. And and the problem there is that it is it is not one only group and in so many groups, which groups if a Sunni group says we want things this way, then this year will not I agree that this thing should be done this way. So we the secularists are, the better persons in that way that we said, Look, your religion is your affair, we do not want to deal. We do not want to deal with your

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personal beliefs. We only believe that we should be worried about what is happening in this world. And that is why I can secularist offer a better choice, because we are not in the business of providing you heaven. We are not in your prep business, to provide your clothes this with God, these things we don't believe in and they create more divisions, then they try to solve it. So that is why I think secularism is in a better position to offer you peace and prosperity because we treat everybody equal and the religion should be treated as a matter of personal belief. Thank you. Thank you very much indeed. So there you have it. Abdullah secularism is the is the way forward. And what

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do you think about that? Well, thanks for inviting me on the show and you know,

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Thanks, Ron, for a interesting discussion on on your views and secularism. I believe that secularism cannot provide justice, mainly because secularism has no values. Sufism, in its basic form is essentially essentially what all religious considerations are separate from government. That's all. But a secular state, like Syria is a secular, so to speak, is a secular state as France or England in terms of its secular character, but their systems of government differ wildly, because although you can be secular, it doesn't mean that there is now a certain particular kind of values that you have to adopt just because you're secular. So for example, Saddam Hussein, he was a secular ruler,

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and he ruled with with secularism with an iron fist. Whereas if you take Switzerland, which is also a secular country, it's not so oppressive, or minus the, the issues of guarding the minarets and, and so on. So what is secularism? And this this topic is the idea itself, different multiple interpretations?

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You know, someone comes with a concept such as that, well, religious beliefs have different interpretation, but secularism has more difference of interpretation than any other religious system. For example, you could be a nationalist and a gala. terian a meritocratic, you can be an autocorrect. And you can be even a Christian, Democrat, and all be set at the same time. Our government rarely changes different schools of thought mud hubs. And it's just, there's no people rising up in protest. Well, maybe except today, perhaps with the budget cuts. But you see, these are the issues with which people say but no one ever says, well, because you can't implement it because

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which interpretation Are you going to implement? You see? Brilliant, aren't fully enter in in Turkey, remarked about all the chaos and kerfuffle in Turkey because he said, because of different interpretations of secularism, all this trouble is happening. So it doesn't work on that basis. He says, We don't believe in an afterlife. Well, not all secularists would agree. Some people could say that john Locke, one of the famous, you know, founding fathers, intellectual founding fathers have in a sacred tradition was a practicing Christian and I believe in Christian even wrote a book on the reasonableness of Christianity. So he wasn't a disbeliever in afterlife. He said that Muslims don't

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want prosperity. While our history proves otherwise. We drove civilization for hundreds of years in developing material wealth, possessions, and of course, economy. Even developing one chicken system and you know, various aspects of modern banking system minus the interest of course, he says that secularism is offers mature advancement, because it has no morals. So it has no, it's not concerned with afterlife. That's fine, but it also offers no morals at the same time. Because all morals in secularism, historically speaking, were taken from Christianity. So the belief in free will and culpability came from Christianity belief in a soul belief that we're all equal. This came from

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Christianity, because it's not based on material considerations. That philosopher Louis pointment said that we must be equal in the eyes of God, because we're not equal in any other consideration. So they borrowed this also they borrowed you know, the kinds of morals they believe in, for example, incest is banned a lot of secular countries. Why? Because it was banned in Christianity. Before it.

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He said that well see in today's world societies is heterogeneous was back in in history, it was mostly homogenous. So there's only one kind of people living on society. Well, you obviously haven't read the history of the Middle East, which was had all kinds of religious sects, ethnic groups, coaches believes in a big melting pot. Islam is no stranger to different beliefs living amongst, in fact, the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu sallam, obviously, the the founder of Islam, lived in a city where they had Jews and Christians living with him. So we know it's no stranger to a heterogeneous society. And we dealt with that, which I explained in my second part. And he said secularism is not

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about privilege. Well, I would say it is if you want the majority group in a democracy, a secular democracy, unless you believe in a secular autocracy, of course, then the majority group will get their interests, whether it be Hindu nationalism, like obviously, you're probably very well aware in India. like it'd be

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various majority's Motherland, in South Africa, South America, in Kenya, in Thailand, there is fighting infighting, civil wars and so on. In secular countries, there was these findings. So this is the problem that secularism doesn't bring a stop to infighting. It causes infighting more than it actually removes it. Racism is a secular as a problem of sexism. The rich also have privilege over the the poor and that's a big comment against secularism. And these are the many issues so I don't think in any of these issues that you've mentioned.

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you've provided a clear cut case where secularism itself provides a clear cut interpretation of what it is prevents infighting. It causes prosperity seeing as most secular countries in the world are in poverty. So you know, just because the a the Brazilian football team is a Latin team doesn't mean that all Latin teams are now. Now we know top class football is true. So just because the West is sick doesn't mean that now all secular countries must be prosperous. And I think that kind of sums up my critique. Well, there we have it. So Sunday, secularism is about as diverse as religion according to the law.

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Can you can respond to what he says? He said, No, he wants secularism to proper to have produced one ideology do or don't believe it, that is the way to go. secularism is not like one particular group of Islam or one particular group of religion, which has, which has decided that this shouldn't be should that be done that way. This should not be that way. For instance, what women's rights are, what, how what rights should we give to women are not given. When we discuss in Parliament, we just discuss it openly. We don't even bring religion into it. Discuss openly what everybody's idea is, what women's rights should be. Similarly, what any, any other like, like an Islamic we all know

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that. Adultery is punishable with stoning to death. Well,

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we don't have anything like that we simply say, if there is a major adultery should be treated as a crime, or not a crime, let the people decide, irrespective of their own purse group of religious beliefs. And we don't provide an ideology, we are not like a religious group to give you a one ideal that this is the best way and you must accept it. Otherwise, you are not going to MIT let everybody have equal say in the matter, and let nobody get any privilege, because he believes in one group of religion. And you see the given the exact example of these things. I mean, I can also give an example saying the trouble in Afghanistan, if you ask the people in Afghanistan, they they want

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their religion, they don't want secularism. So

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that is why they don't want it and you want to you want to give them prosperity, they said no, we would rather have less prosperity with our religion. So prosperity is not something that is

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the religion should speak of, because religion is not about prosperity. Religion is mainly concerned with your your going towards heaven going towards God to going towards afterlife, we are not interested in these things. And for other things, everybody should have an open mind. And she even now I say, if somebody says this is right, good. I listened to his argument. But if he said, I believe in Hinduism, and Hinduism, he said, then I said, Well, look, don't bring that Hinduism into it, you say, if you think something is right, give your argument irrespective of what Hinduism is don't need even to bring Hinduism into it. So all matters of religion should be your personal

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beliefs. That is what I say these days, it is not possible. Otherwise, look what is happening. As I said, in Pakistan, they are putting bombs in and she has meetings when they're playing. I mean, what sort of religion is this? We you can say, Islam says this, Islam says that, but the problem with Islam or any other religion is that there is no one Islam. Your Islam is not the same as that Islam of the other person. And his Islam is not the same as Islam of the third person. So when you claim to speak about Islam, you are actually giving your personal opinion about Islam. Nobody has a right Islam is not like a pope, who is the authority. I mean, if you're a Roman Catholic, there is a there

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is any disagreement between any Roman Catholic groups. And if one group says this, and the other group of Roman Catholics say this, then they will simply go to the Pope, and the pope will decide which one is the right way. And in Islam, that is not the case. Everybody has got his own right to think what Islam is and what Islam is not. And it will impose your view of Islam on every sect of Islam, the Muslim themselves did not accept it. So there is no secularism is basically there is no alternative when the people believe in so many heterogenous ideas. I have so many heterogeneous ideas and so many beliefs then the best option is leave your beliefs leave your personal beliefs on

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one side come with the social if you have got any views how does how the progress of society should be done talk about it, but don't bring that Islam says this so it should be like that on a Catholic says Roman Catholics in the row. The Roman Catholics think this so I mean like he like the

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Pope says

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that contraception is banned in Roman capitalism. I mean, what it is, I mean, the whole world is not going to population of the world is getting worse and worse. And one of the reasons that the prosperity is not coming is because the population is growing all the time. I mean, look at what is happening. So, the thing is that prosperity comes by many other means. Religion has nothing to do with prosperity. Religion has nothing to offer about prosperity. religion should limit itself to offer you what is the best way after life, how you can improve your life and how can you get closer to God? How can you get closer to heaven and leave the matters to the in the secular hand?

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secularism does not give you one ideology. It leaves no thanks version Sunderland, council member of the National secular society. Thank you very much indeed. We'll hear from Abdullah very shortly. But let's first take your call Salaam Alaikum.

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Brother, who is your call address to my brother in the middle?

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So go ahead. What's your What's your question? Okay. My question is because it is actually expanding about how religions are divided this religions called this group that group and wherever we shouldn't be talking about groups if we talk about Hinduism, Islam or Christianity as well. The main source if we look at our books, Hindu, Vedas, Quran, Islamic book, or Bible, the original Bible, all of the answers about equality and everything is given in our books. Do you not believe that?

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Sure. Okay. You do join us we'll stay on the line.

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Right. Now, you coming about Hindus and Vedanta, very few Hindus read way down. Very few Hindus even have seen Vedas. Vedas are only restricted to scholars who want to study Sanskrit and read the Hindus and don't practice anything that is in the VEDA. And the current day Hindus have nothing to do in for all practical purposes to VEDA. So if you think Vedas are the basis of Hinduism, you will not be correct. Okay.

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Well,

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now you are talking about Hinduism. Thank you very much for your call, yes, Hindus, Hindus don't have a single book.

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Hindus don't have like Christians, or Muslims or a book. And Hindus don't believe in that book. And even let me bring up the lead and show this one to the, I think what the Bible might be trying to say is that religion provides a basis for believing in the concept of equality.

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We are just atoms and molecules, I might be more intelligent than someone else, or less intelligent, or stronger or less stronger, or bigger than or less or smaller, or less effective. We're not all the same. We're not all have equal ability. So where do we get this idea that we are all equal, just being the concept of race and species is debated amongst biologists? Because it is just an arbitrary construct. So where do we get this idea that we are all equal, and what we see in these different religions is that we all possess a soul, which is a metaphysical element, which is equally all defined inside us, which cannot be dissected into a microscope or looked into which is equal. And

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this provides the basis for the concept of equality, different size. So because often, the point is that religions squabble amongst one another. So what Sundin is saying is, you know, we'll run in squabbling. Let's just rotate the secular path, and we'll all live happily ever after. Under which nationality and what section of which population? Are you going to look at? If I was in India, for example, should I be if I was a Hindu, I'd be supporting Hindu interests against the minority, Christian and Muslim, which led to massacres and killings in India. And it's ongoing, these these kind of problems. We see in Kenya in fighting a where people took machetes to each other, Rwanda,

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and so on and so forth. So secularism doesn't suppress or keep or eliminates factionism. People just find all the areas such as nationals, which is a secular concept, nationalism to fight over. So I'll put that just under that secularism is just a hodgepodge of incoherent inconsistent ideas. But it is not about the idea that all secularism is simply that let everybody be treated equal. It's very easy to say all religions teaches everybody to be cold. But the fact of the matter is, no religion teaches everybody to be equal. And I will give you an example in Hinduism, and I will give you an example in Islam. I have my knowledge of Christianity is not very good, so I can't tell about it.

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Now look at this, in in your Islam, only about 30 seconds. So

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the book very clearly says that those people who don't believe who are not believers are worried

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Then what?

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animals. So you

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also says that before God made a mankind, we all were equal and had equal choices, by our choices, we are judged to be higher or lower than each other. And even in this system in Britain, if you commit a crime, then you're not equal to someone who hasn't committed a crime. So it's not there what you respond to, yes, I will answer it. What God decided when he created many another pattern, but religions do not treat equality, religions always give pro privilege to those who believe in that religion.

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Very clearly, the Bible says, and I will have got to the number if you want me to tell you that don't mix with Christians and Jews, they look after their own people. And if you mix with them, you are one of them. And I've got the quotation.

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Okay, now, you can you could sum up in a couple of seconds, and then we'll go to a break so sure. Well, there's no point the current addressing people that don't believe in it, they say we'll do this because I said, Well, we don't believe in it. So what's the point you have? The court has to dress those people who believe in it, to implement it. That's it. That's a basic prerequisite for any belief system, ideology or political idea. And again, secularism doesn't believe in equality secularism, it doesn't believe in anything except the separation of metaphysical consideration or religion from society. So do not miss this I'm sure you'll again respond to respond to the

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opportunity rather to respond to Abdullah when he gives this presentation. You're watching the big question live on Ellen bait TV we're discussing whether or not secularism brings peace and prosperity to society. We shall see you in a few minutes a Salaam alaykum. warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

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Salam Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. And welcome to the big question we're discussing whether or not secularism brings peace and prosperity to society. My guest this evening, my guest this evening, are Abdullah andalusi. It was a convert to Islam very active in the data field, both internationally and internationally, and is currently director of the Muslim debate initiative. And also to represent the national secular society. We have Sunder Lal, who has been a council member of the National secular society for over 30 years. Thank you very much indeed for joining us. The structure of the discussion this evening. We have heard from Sundar Lau so we're now going to go

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straight over to Abdullah, who will give us a 10 minute presentation as to why religion perhaps is is is is the solution. And why secularism is is not so overt you. Sure, thank you.

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I think basically to highlight the issue.

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Religion is prescriptive, it has it, it has positive ideas as it posits ideas to believe in and concepts. Now secularism doesn't posit anything. It just has one negative point to say which is there should be no metaphysical considerations or religious considerations in politics. However, because of this big vacuum and secularism they've had to import Christian concepts from the west, specifically from their past, such as equality, morality and moral culpability, because we have possessed freewill. freewill again, is not a materialistic concept, just ask the communists. But what is a what religion can do or what rather specifically for example, Islam, and my kind of

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perspective was, if you look at history, it had a multicultural system that was unparalleled. Islam is not about imposing itself on others. So for example, if the Christians and Jews were not forced to live under Sharia law, they will give them their own locals. A lot of times, a few Western scholars have noticed that in Spain and Portugal or andalas, it used to be called where I'm from. The Jews and Christians went to the Muslim law courts, because they found better justice there. However, they were not forced to go to the Muslim law course. And they had their own law court set up. And they were allowed to advance their careers in various strata of society without no

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restrictions on this. So this is the summit multicultural system, which was continued by

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for you know, for 1300 years in various forms and shapes, regarding internally within Islamic thoughts, different schools of thought. And what Islam says is that everyone is allowed their own interpretations of Islam, and the state doesn't get involved in Muslim theological discussions. So we saw throughout history, some scholars were getting so angry with each other, they even call each other non Muslims and you're Catholic. They say you are non Muslim. And the state then say, Okay, well, I'm gonna now treat these. I'm going to classify these people as the

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legal status for not being Muslims, because x y Zed scholar said so? Well, no, because the state didn't get involved in theological disputes. But what the state did do is the state did implement Islamic law based on its interpretation. And when one leader passed away, another leader, or group of scholars would be around to interpret the law to the best of their abilities in their particular time. And what they believed was the strongest ideas. So Islam allows a plurality of different ideas and beliefs, and talking as a Sunni, when I see in Pakistan, in my shear brothers being blown up and killed, and so on for the football, this, I say this is not Islam. This is not what I'm called on to

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believe. These people are sectarians, I don't know for various issues. Some cases are manipulated by external powers for other kind of agendas. And this is the problem which is happening is ignorant people, people who are ignorant about what Islam says that actually causes this sectarian strife. And I think going on to a bit more detail of how Islam manages non Muslims. Well, what Islam does is as Rousseau, the famous Western philosopher said, that we are all under contract with the state because the state, it should be neutral, we have a contract the state state will provide us with the bare minimum requirement, which is for protection, the state is Institute for protection of

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individuals. So what Islam says is to move to non Muslims who are not obligated to follow Islamic spiritual commandments for society and social

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moral imperatives, these people are only given a status whereby they are allowed to be protected by the state, they'll have, you know, a Police Force and Army protecting them, they only have to pay tax to provide his protection, nothing else, everything else, if they want to build their own churches or synagogues, they don't have to look to the state to do it, they can raise their own taxes, and they'll have a lot of surplus because they won't be attacked as much as they were taxed in all the states, which, in effect, the secular state makes everybody a dem me, of me is a non Muslim citizen under the circumstances that the Arabic word, but a secular state makes every one of

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them because you're all under contract to the state. Well, you know, whereas in Islamic State, we we don't want people to, we don't want people to be forced to adopt Islamic belief systems or morality, just because we are Muslims are ruling the state. So we allow them to be different. We're not like France, France says that this is a secular state, everyone must eliminate religious symbols from public life, you must conform or in England when you had a Catholic adoption agency, which was forced compelled to

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allow you to adopt children to gay couples, which Catholics don't believe in. So why are you forcing the Catholics who didn't ask for state funding in that particular case? Why are you forcing them to conform to a set of values that they don't believe in Islam allows them to believe in whatever values that they want to believe in and to live by those values. This is true multiculturalism, true tolerance. Now, when you say tolerance, I'd say acceptance of difference. And this is the right the correct context. I would say preferably that not it's not religion, that should be put into the personal life because religion like for example, take one person will come out said that, you know,

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do not neglect this life do not neglect this business world in life. That is that we are we live in the in the material world. And so religion is there to instruct us how to live in the material world. So it is nonsense to say that religion is only for spiritual affairs originals for comprehensively your purpose in life. So I would say that second is if you don't want to follow vision, that's fine. But you should keep secularism to your personal belief and not force it into the political sphere, or other people, I think secularists are radicals, who have to secularize themselves and keep their own beliefs to themselves. If you if you don't want to follow religion,

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that's your choice, but don't impose your supremacist ideas on all the people who don't follow those ideas is unfair. And also, I think, I guess just to kind of state, what Islam did in terms of progress. Islam believes that it is ideal, that the ultimate purpose of mankind is to worship God. Now, God commanded us to help each other if people are sick or people are poor, what should a Muslim do a Muslim should invest in industry, he should invest in better hospitals, he should develop the latest medic medical research to help the poor to help the people who are sick and want treatment. And historically speaking, Muslims progressed the concepts of of hospitals, Ward system, treatments,

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tools, equipment, research, to fulfill this divine obligation and they develop a seismic system of economics or rather, the prophet Mohammed Salim gave us this excellent economics, which prohibited interest to stop wealth concentrating only in a small amount of society. And that's

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versus pesticides, the rich people being the privileged, a few over the minority of the majority who are not privileged. So second doesn't eliminate privilege doesn't eliminate inequality. And a lot of secular countries. In fact, most secular countries, with the possible exception of communists were not true secularists in a strict sense, are have this imbalance and inequality in wealth. So he says, How can you live in a system which which is prescriptive, I say, how can you live in a system, which is not prescriptive, you'll have more trouble, more factional infighting, more people killing each other. Almost virtually all the wars of the last century was done between secular states,

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including World War Two, which in a secular nation, which had which believe in democracy, you had fascism and fascism, again, is a secular ideology is consistent. Second, you can't say that Hitler, or Nazi ism was a system that comes from Christianity, you're from whichever belief system because it's not it clearly, it wasn't. It clearly was a secular materialistic worldview based on race. And they they took that to the to the nth extent and did some atrocities based on that concept, that secular consideration. So at least in religion, we have a moral system that says, You can't do this, you can't kill people just because it conflicts with your material interests, colonialism, what was

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that utilitarianism, the based on the ideas of Bentham and mill, the two secular philosophers that you can basically do some evil to do greater good in the future, we hope so they justify colonialism, saying it was better for the natives to be under our dominant dominion, then under their own dominion, because we are superior and they invaded and they killed many people justifying this, including India, as you're well aware, based on their secular ideology. So sacred has caused more harm to the world in a short 200 years 200 has been alive, then religion ever has shown Well, I'm glad to see director of the Muslim debate initiative. Thank you very much indeed. So it's under

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law that there you have it secularism you ideology has caused cause far more problems than religion is nothing about ideology. secularists don't believe in afterlife, but we don't want to convert anybody to in that belief, we say, let us discuss any problem in their own right, we don't have we don't want to impose that. You should also not believe in God. Yes. If you want to believe in God, you are welcome to believe in God, as long as you also let me believe in what I do. So we don't prescribe anything. And secular is

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one, one thing you said here, I don't like this thing, which is always told by some people, Islam says that, and Islam says that it doesn't mean anything to me, because what the President Zardari of Pakistan said his Islam is this and what the Taliban said his Islam these days. And if you ask me my opinion, what Taliban said is more Islamic than what Zardari says because Taliban sacrificing their own life. They are getting themselves killed, Zardari doesn't he's not getting killed for his brand of Islam. So when it when it comes to what Islam is, do not tell me what Islam is because it will be decided by the Muslims themselves. You don't have to tell him Islam says this, because Islam does

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not say one thing. And the second thing again, again, you said equality, since when religious belief bring equality, Hinduism did not bring equality Hinduism said that is a Brahmin you are superior, if you are not a Brahmin, you are inferior. You Sam say the same thing. If you are not a Garfield, if you are not a Muslim, you are not even a human being Heineken, very clearly written in Quran itself, that if you are not a believer, you are worse than you You are not even equal. Forget about being equal equality between believers and believers of those. So if there is a Shia, he believes in equality of all Shia is Sunni. He believes in the equality of all Sudanese, but they don't believe

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in equality of human being. They have never believed in it. And that is why one group of Islam and I can give you an example. You said if we don't prescribe Islam, there were there were Ahmadiyya Muslims. They are here in very good number and they are not here. They call themselves Muslim, but Pakistan say look, you cannot call yourself Muslim, because in her ideas, you are not Muslim. So the Ahmadiyya were banned, far, far, far far. They will be corrected, if they say they are Muslim, they will be put into prison, because that is the official word come to Pakistan government. So equality never comes for religion. Religion does not believe in equality. If you don't believe any religion

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does not believe in equality, equality is not a religious idea. equality is a secular idea. When we say let look everybody equal and you are talking no at one time of fascism. Let me tell you a very clear thing about fascism. Islam is very good when it is in power. It is it can be kind, it can be considered, but when Islam

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feels threatened. It has no I mean, nothing like like in Pakistan, they are killing the Christians, like in Iraq, they are killing the Christian Why? Because the Muslims there are feel threatened, when they were in power, there was no problem with the Christians, the Christians used to live there. But Islam is a very dangerous religion. If the Muslims themselves feel threatened, that we are in trouble, then in that case, they have no mercy for anybody, if you are not a Muslim, and the whole idea of equality is between even even the book very clearly says that the Muslim should be kind to Muslims, but not hard to non Muslims. So where do you get your brand of Islam? I have read

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Quran I have read Quran so many times I keep reading it and you have your eye brand of Islam is very limited brand of Islam, you know very little about Islam, you only need to know about your brand of Islam. So don't tell me Islamic Islamic that because you

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and I can give you a further example of the state there were some

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troubles between Islamic groups and the Pakistan government decided that let us let made a committee and a commission and the commission was asked to find out the reasons and that these type of things don't happen in future and you know what, they had 1000s of pages of their report and they say sorry, we cannot do it because we can occur contact at all no limit. We contacted religious of all Muslim women, but when the William has come not given to all of us agree to who or who claims. So how can we decide? Is London not given to Alabama agreed on who is a bushel? And another thing about fascism? I give five seconds. Okay? Just before going I tell you, to me Islam, moderate Islam is

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very good. But look what happens. If you are not a Muslim, you are welcome to become a Muslim. Like Like if you are not a mafia man, you are not you don't have to go compulsion to become join mafia. But once you join and virtually been killed, and that is a very clear verdict of all Islamic schools are Islamic schools believe that if a Muslim leaves Islam, he should be killed. And you call it justice. So so the law, thank you very much. Let's argue about the law. You've got two minutes to respond. There's quite a lot to respond to. I'll be I'll be brief. The Prophet Mohammed Salah Salam said that the blood money of the Jew and Christian is equal to the blood money of the Muslim. So if

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a Muslim is killed, and instead of retaliation, for this killing, the bad money is asked for is equal to in another situation a Christian or Jew is killed. This is equality. He said that the Mohammed also said that anyone who kills or harms even me, a non Muslim citizen, or even a Muslim state has harmed me, the prophet Mohammed Sawsan, who we love very dearly said, Whoever is harmed as there may has harmed me. And there's many other Hadees which are in our in our text, which I can quote you at another time, perhaps, show me two sacred politicians which agree on anything consistently. That that's, that's something that's quite a challenge in itself. And he says that in

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Iraq, that's killing of Christians when they free Iraq, and the Muslim ban has been framed many times. And there's been a long history of Christians, Jews, and Muslims living together harmoniously. What you could say in Iraq is this factional infighting. You could blame it on the secular history, the modern secular history of Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, whereby people who, after this were unleashed into factional viewpoints, and a lot of people weren't even religious, you had non religious, Sunni, killing non religious shears, they probably wouldn't know the difference themselves. But just because this name, and of course, because of sacred democracy, which advocates

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factional self interest, you have this fighting so that secularism to blame there is a sacred and believes in equality, again, is not mandated by equality, I taught by a second mentor, you've got it from religion. He says that a son does not believe in equality because a character is not a human being. No, Islam does not believe in metaphysical equality because of your choices. And likewise, in a secular state, if you choose to be a criminal, then you are less of a citizen or you have less rights than someone who chooses to be fine, upstanding, as long as it's choice. So we both have the equal potential to be make the right choice and therefore we are intrinsically equal. That's what

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Islamic belief in Islam doesn't believe that Kevin is a human being because the Prophet Muhammad himself said, Whoever heard to demean has hurt hurt me. So this is not he wouldn't do this to an animal now, would he? Now, he said, and I think to finish off, he said that separatism does not believe in an afterlife, but then again, okay, if that's the case, then why is to stop them when, for example, they have this situation whereby they can invade a country to get as resources otherwise, people will be poor. But when it goes in, you have to kill other people. The benefit to its own people is it'll get rich and there'll be no social problems with its own country, or it can

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do the moral thing and not invade and become poor.

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Self under the social turmoil and trouble within its own country? Well, if you're just looking at materially, you just go invade and take the resources, what's to stop you? This is what utilitarianism is all about. It's a it's a Western political philosophy derived from secularism. And this is the problem. Whereas in Islam, we we have to see be just even against to be witness to justice, even against yourselves, or let not hatred of others make you depart from justice is what the Quran says. So even if there's a material benefit to something, if it is injustice, or immoral, we have to abstain from this. And this is why Islam gives a superior moral system and a superior

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system for peace, then settles in terms of the London Lucy, thank you very much indeed, we've got a couple of comments from Facebook in relation to what you've been articulating. And here it says secularism is a kind of confused political system that always rest on oppression, inequalities, social indiscipline and corruption. And this has no room for peace. Now, I would put to you that during your your presentation, you said that secularism does not describe anything. It's not a political party, who said it does not impose its views, of course, but yet in France, which is a claims to be a secular state. And obviously, you were quite critical of religion on the basis of

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there are many different interpretations of religion. So presumably, if we apply the same criterion to secularism, France is oppressing assault its own wants to wear their job, they're being told that they cannot do so because it would infringe upon the secular values. So is that the

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government is doing is French government business?

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Does not claim that we are a secular, but it does it says that our secular values? Yeah, we all have values? Yes. What will the tech sector?

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Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's right. That's right. Even, even even in many even

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secular secularism, we leave it to the country to decide secularly whatever they do, and we can't be blamed for it. You

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want to give a privilege to one party or the other? And the base, the basis of what what the French government has done has not brought Islam. So secularism is about as inconsistent as religion and isn't it?

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The only thing we agree, secularists are it's a coherent inconsistent idea. That's not the hard part, we simply say that religion should be a matter of personal belief, that is what we are, we are not hard, but we don't say that this means this and this means do you think therefore, you agree with the French standing, that secular values need to be protected in France? Because yes, and therefore the hijab should be banned? No, yeah, hijab got banned for other reasons. I have not brought Islam into it, you is to protect the secularists yet. They have not brought it they simply say this is like, like the buses say, if the bus wants to go see a pass a pass of a woman, then it

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might have to see the face of the woman. If the passport office want to make this law. Job is bad in France universities.

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A dog is banned in many parts in Turkey. But

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again, that's all based on centralism. So you've got two different views of secularism? No, we have not two different views, we simply leave. Okay, so let's agree to disagree. Let me put that question to you Abdullah. The fact is that religion is a hodgepodge of incoherent inconsistent ideas. You know, theists, although they believe in religion are in a particular engaging anarchy if you want to because you just can't make up your mind as to which God you want to follow. Well, Islam has a treatment of this. Firstly, for non non Muslims, they are allowed to believe whatever they want to believe they want to believe in X, Y, and Zed God x y&z spirituality. That's fine. We don't believe

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in one law for all because we don't believe in imposing our ideas and beliefs.