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Apostasy Punishment in a Liberal State
Channel: Mohammed Hijab
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So the Bravo asked the question about apostasy.
Yeah, so the punishment for apostasy and Islam. So
I think a lot of time we asked this question,
what is the punishment for apostasy in Islam?
And the more interesting question for me recently has been,
to what extent can liberalism? Or does liberalism? Or do liberal philosophers
talk about this? Because that's, that's, for me a really interesting discussion. And the argument goes as follows. Right, you say that Look,
everyone should have freedom of belief. It's a human is an individual human right.
And therefore, if someone changes their religion, they should be free to do so based on human rights, and based on the fact that they should have freedom of consciousness and thought
that argument is not a bad one because it actually coincides with the Islamic understanding of freewill. And actually, it coincides with the verse in the Quran which says like Crawford Dean tucked away in a rush to mill high. And chapter two, verse 256 of the Quran, which there's no compulsion in religion, that truth has been made clear from falsehood.
So the the idea that there should be freedom of consciousness and freedom of belief is actually a principle part of the Islamic discourse, because we believe that there are two things that's here, which is freewill. And there's determinism of Allah subhanaw taala, that he writes things, etc. So we believe everyone does have a right to believe in whatever they want to believe. And
the idea is not one off. And this should be very much stressed in Islamic discourse. It's not one of individual belief.
This has to do with social contract. Okay. Now, this is a big term in political science. What do we mean by the term social contract? Now, in liberal philosophy, there are two things right.
There's the primacy of individual and the right to do whatever they want without intervention from the government. And on the other hand, you have the universality of law.
You're stuck between two things. As a liberal,
you have the primacy of being an individual, you're an individual, right, you have the freedom to do whatever you want. And for a liberal, especially a libertarian, they'll say you should, the government should keep away from putting obstacles in the way of the individual so that he can be as free as possible, right?
But then, obviously, they they realize almost all liberal theorists realize the need for number one representation. And number two, law, which is why they have social contracts. Now, why is social contract? social contract is, number one, is forced upon us. So by virtue of the fact that I'm a British citizen, you're a British citizen, as well, you're a British citizen. Now we're gonna have to check on that.
By virtue of the fact that we're British citizens, we have to abide by British law. And that's not something we have any say on. Because of the citizenship that we carry. In other words, we're forced into a social contract. It's not a social contract, which is voluntary or something I have any choice in, right.
The terms of that social contract indicate that I have to follow the law of this country, isn't it? Okay. So almost all liberal theorists agreed with this. Now, the question is
not one of personal belief, I can believe whatever I want to believe, from a liberal perspective and from an Islamic perspective, and not not have any punishment in any context exerted on me in any way. Because belief is something which is personal, and believe is something which is between me and God. And it's only known through the publication of that belief or profession of that belief in public settings. Right. So in other words, people don't know I believe, unless I go and declare it.
To what extent
are what are referred to as
laws of Apostasy?
Which is that for example, if I come out and say, I'm no longer say, for instance, a Christian I'm not going to use the Muslim example, say, it's a Christian country. And I come out and say, I'm no longer Christian.
To what extent can social contract theory the likes of which was which was advocated by people like Rousseau, and obviously, john Locke, before him, Thomas Hobbes, and almost all liberal theorists, even j. s mill, can it facilitate for kind of punitive punishment for those who announced their faith publicly? Now, I'm gonna make a very bold claim here. I'm putting Islam to the side right now.
Putting a stamp to the site. It's not about Islam. I'm going to say that from my reading of liberalism, that can be facilitated. What am I talking about? I'm saying quite clearly, that if someone comes in a liberal state, which also claims to be, for instance, krisztian, which can happen, according to Jason mill,
that number 1.1, that in that liberal state,
it would be, it could be seen as a rupturing of the social contract. If someone professes publicly, yes, that they are not x faith anymore. That is if that faith is connected with the social contract. Why is your evidence for this? I'll give you the evidence for this right now. JOHN Locke wrote a book, obviously, everyone knows it called the two treatises of government. I think he wrote this in 1687. Well, he also wrote a book called on tolerance. In chapter 19, of this book,
in chapter 19, of this book on tolerance,
he talks about Jewish states.
JOHN Locke talks about Jewish states, and if it's not, Chapter 19, is somewhere in the book. And he says, it's legitimate to allow Jewish people to implement Mosaic law.
And we know full well that and Mosaic Law, there are laws of Apostasy. And he continues by talking about the social exclusion of a certain amount of certain people of different faith groups. He talks about Mohammed ins and atheists. Now, Muslims wouldn't say this, by the way. So in essence, you could argue that Islam
applies a more rigorous type of liberalism than john Locke himself. Why? Because Islam says, in an Islamic State, or sama governance, if you're a Muslim, or a Christian or Jew, you can live in your respective province
Now, someone will say, but then they say that you have to pay the jizya. But according to the Hadith
jizya is one dinar.
So it's a tax, it's a tax that almost everyone has to pay for the protection of the people. One dinar is less than the cat, which is usually typically 20 dinars of nisab.
So therefore, the jizya is less. So this idea, this false notion of jizya being a discriminatory tax, it's only discriminatory against Muslims, because Muslims have to pay more, by the way.
If you want to call it discriminatory Muslims actually have to pay more as a cat. Yeah.
So going back to what I was saying about apostasy, I came across in manual Kant's work. And I also came across john Stuart Mill's work. And it was a manuscript that was attributed to john Stuart Mill, which actually specifically talks about blasphemy law.
And he talks about blasphemy law. And he says, john Stuart Mill says,
john Stuart Mill actually says equivocally, that
if killing someone, this is john Stuart Mill, not the Prophet Mohammed, not Moses, not Jesus is not a medieval text. This is one of the prime figures of liberalism in the Victorian era, and Britain, by which influence most other subsequent theorists take their liberalism from he actually says in that manuscript that killed them. Yes. He says, kill them, kill them, if you have to kill many of them kill them. In other words, it seems to me and Emanuel can have some similar things.
It seems to me that the question we should be asking is not whether Islam allows apostasy law. It's where the liberalism allows apostasy law, because actually, when we look at the primary source materials of the most regarded liberal theorists, the highest, the founding fathers of liberalism, it would seem that a social contract theory could in fact facilitate of a kind of Apostasy law. To that from a liberal perspective.
Islam is something quite similar in many ways, but has some fundamental differences.
So there's a man who's one of the prophets, companions Yeah, the list of people who went after Conan.
And those lists of people were people who had rejected Islam, that they were not Muslims. The process of adult kill is fairly minimal. That certainly the the hypocrites are in the lowest pit of the hellfire. They are not Muslims. They are not believers. They are not Mormons. Yes.
Yet there was no apostasy, punishment applied to those individuals. There was no apostasy thing applied to them. Why? Because they were
Got into personal belief. So I'll be I'll be unequivocal in saying this, that which regards to personal belief is that is different from that which is expressed publicly, and thereby from a liberal perspective before it even becomes an Islamic one ruptures the social contract. Now, the question is, is it fair? And is it okay? Is it possible? Is it conceivable in a liberal state?
bearing in mind social contract theory to have these laws?
And therefore, can liberalism? Can a liberal state slip into a kind of nationalistic state intolerant state? The answer is, unfortunately, yes, that is the elasticity of liberalism. liberalism, because of the tensions between the primacy of individual versus the universality of law could sway in either one of the two directions, could either become very much libertarian in the sense that, you know, we don't even allow, I mean, think of it this this way. Yeah. libertarians would argue Why do we have seatbelt laws? Yeah, we have cebolla. You know, you have to go in your car. You have to put on a seatbelt, don't you? But why Why'd you have to put on the CBOE? Why is
that a libertarian would argue, this is a paternalism. They'll say, it's like the state is acting as your parent Now, put on the voice not to leave even if I hurt myself as well, your business if I help myself, someone could argue a libertarian would definitely argue that even if I hurt myself in a car crash, it's not i'm not harming anyone else. By doing this. Why are you telling me what to do? So I'm allowed to drink alcohol. Think about this, because this is the this is the ignorance of some people have their own philosophy, right? I'm allowed to drink alcohol. Yeah. And in some places, smoke weed, and have, you know, unlimited amount of sexual partners. polyandry. And that could cause
problems for myself. sexual problems. All of that is permissible. But I have to put on a seatbelt. I mean, does that sound reasonable to you seriously, think about it. I'm allowed to compete in mixed martial arts, where I could injure someone and die. I can go to a play rugby, but I have to put under the seatbelt? What kind of answers is this? Think about it. It doesn't make any sense. Let's be honest about this. Yeah. Why are Why is the state telling us you have to put on the seatbelt? If I if I don't put on the seat, but when I have anyone else? Think about it? Am I gonna have money? I'll have myself? Yes. Well, I'm not going to harm anyone else by not putting my super.
my point is this. My point is that liberal philosophy can go into different ways. Yeah. You have on the left side, let's say for sake of argument and extreme libertarianism, where we don't want the state to get involved in any matter. Yeah, like, for example, we shouldn't have seatbelt laws. That's one side. On the other side is when liberal philosophers will say Actually, there should be restriction. And that should be enforced through the context of social contract theory into the universality of law, which should be applicable on the individual law should be applied. And john Stuart Mill says something very interesting. You know, he says, He says, for instance, he goes, if a
husband and wife they have sex in public,
is that harming anyone else? You could argue? No, you could argue No, not physically harming anyone. If for example, not to point anyone out. Someone brings his wife and you know, in the park in the middle here, sorry to say has sexual takes his trousers off? Yeah, and all of those things. Sorry to say, I mean, is that gonna harm anyone? No, they're having sex, you can decide to leave, you can go. You don't have to look at it. You can't you don't need to be offended by it. Why? Why is that censored? Yes. You could argue this. Yep. I understand the children and all that. But we can have an area where they can do it. No problem. You can have an adult Park. Why not? Right?
Yeah, no, I'm just I'm just Yeah, I agree with you. I agree with this point. I'm not telling you should I agree with you? Yes. Yes, my friend. I agree with you. Yes. But I'm saying. So john Stuart Mill said, Look, there's some things this way. He said, there's some things which to our sensibilities. We have a culture. And that's not acceptable in our culture. And he says, Therefore, the universality of law in the social contract should put restriction. So hey, john Stuart Mill is talking about and on liberty in his book, he's saying that there are certain things which should not be accessible for people, ie having sex with your wife, in public spheres, or your husband. Yes. So
the question is, now is Israel because what should be allowed to be done in publicly without fear of reprisal or other or otherwise, a fear of a consequence from the law? This is a thing that liberals struggle with. That's why you have different schools of thought within liberalism and elasticity of liberalism. Yeah, it's not something which can be liberal now. Now the question is, when they come to us, is what I'm going to say to everyone to answer your question. Sorry, I'm, when they come to us and say, Look, you need to modernize. What did I say? Say you need to modernize Muslims. You know, you need to modernize what
You mean? Come on, tell me What man? What do you mean by? Well, yeah, what do you mean by modernized? I want to know what you mean. Yeah. Okay. You'll say, Look, I'm By the way, when I say white man, I'm not talking about you know, I'm talking. Yeah, the western man. What do you mean? What do you mean by? All right? I'll tell you what you mean. You mean become more liberal? Because that is the dominant ethic in the Western world? Yes. Okay. Now I'm liberal. I have embraced liberalism. Brother, I've today. Okay, what do we do? Let's go look at the liberal books.
Let's look at the works of john Locke. And john Stuart Mill and Rousseau forum.
I'm not an ambassador for Saudi Arabia. Yes, I agree with you all. I don't.
Yeah, I agree with this point. I agree with that point. Yeah. Yeah. Sorry. Going back. I'm a liberal now. Yeah. So yes, I've embraced liberalism. Let's go to the books of the liberals. So we find within the books of the liberals, you have you have a spectrum of understanding of the question. The main question is, to what extent should the government intervene?
And you don't have one answer for that you have 10 answers from 10 different liberal thinkers? Yes. So here's, here's what I'm saying to you. Is that going back to apostasy law? Yeah. Going back to apostasy law. I'll come to a strict after because I can't. Yes, I agree. I agree with you, brother. Yes. Yes. Yes. You have to have rules. Yes, that's that's my that's my argument. I agree with you. Yes, I agree with you. You're the man made a good point that you must have rules, otherwise people will be chaos anarchy is right. But the question is this.
Yet Think about it. Think? Have you ever thought about this before? They're talking about human rights.
So to what extent kind of liberal state institution not institutionalize the law universalize it and apply a death penalty for those who don't go against it? Well, according to john Locke, according to john Stuart Mill, according to your manual can, according to john Rousseau, Rousseau, according to almost even Voltaire, I believe as well, according to almost every liberal, they have full right to do that because of the social contract. Therefore, don't tell me about liberalism. I mean, that's what that's the issue here. They come with a false pretense. They don't even know their own philosophy. That's the issue. They don't even know their own philosophy. That's why America gets
away with penalty just penalties. They have a death penalty in America. It's not against liberalism, to have a death penalty. It's not against it.
Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
That's a political question. If you're asking about parliament, obviously going back to Charles the second and his, but we don't want to go with this country. There's a whole there's a whole tradition. And if you want to go back to William the second William the first William the Conqueror, the 1066. I don't know how far back you want to take this.
go back to the normal humans. I don't know. I don't know. So hey,
ladies and gentlemen, don't be deceived is my is my is my point. When you ask, this is the presupposition which we have to investigate. Because when they say human rights, what do they What do they actually mean? They mean, 1948 Convention of Human Rights that was put in place after World War Two, that's what they that's what they mean. Right? All right. So that convention, if you read it, it's got 30 articles, it's got 30 different points, 30 different points. And every one of those 30 different points, you have the right of this, the right of that the right of this right of that.
here's my criticism of the whole thing. I've got criticism of the whole, I've got a criticism of the whole thing. I've got criticism,
you know, when you tell someone, you've got a right to do something, if I tell you, brother, you have the right to do this, you know, you know what it's telling you to do to be entitled, that's what it's telling you to be right. So it's a negative way of asserting something. It's a look, you have this right, it means you're entitled to this. The question is, why does this Why does the UN Declaration of Human Rights 1948 not have anything on responsibilities? Because by telling you, you have a right, it's telling you what you deserve, but it's not telling you what you need to do.
And that's the problem with a lot of the rights culture that we have at the moment. You have the right to this you have the right. You have the children, a child has a right to education, but a teacher does not have a right to a responsibility to teach. How does that even work? You need to counterbalance rights with responsibilities. That's that is a communitarian criticism, which has been made of
liberal human rights culture. Look, I want to wrap up by saying yes, I want to wrap up by saying in the in the context of the West, we don't believe in if someone changes their religion, yes, whatever it is, Well, hi. There, we don't care if they're Muslim. We don't
We don't, even in the context of Islamic State, we don't care about personal beliefs. The extent to which we care about personal beliefs is the extent to which it's connected with concepts of rupturing a pre existing social contract, which is put in place with the permission, yes, of the individual, because after they have to pledge allegiance, they have to give legitimacy, legitimacy of that state. So in some, I would say, the laws, the punitive laws of Islam, and this is my final statement, my final statement, every single unit of law in Islam,
the death penalty, is what they call punishment. Every single one of them can be justified not islamically, through liberalism, and through the social contract. Yes, we will be going away from libertarianism, but you can justify it through the universality of law. So it's not even a liberal critique of Islam if we're honest with ourselves, and therefore it has no moral or ethical basis. It's just a subjective multi value judgment of 21st century complex. Do you pray