Channel: Mohammed Hijab
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Come to the stage to deliver his lecture intellectual doubts about Islam. Mark alethic
salam aleikum wa rahmatullah?
You know, in the West, we asked a lot of questions as Muslims, were asked many questions, regularly pressing important questions.
And these questions usually have something to do
with what are referred to as post enlightenment ideas, and its connection with Islam.
So let me give an example. Someone will ask,
why is it that in Islam, for example, Muslims get offended when a picture is drawn of the Prophet Mohammed? Isn't this freedom of expression, and freedom of speech?
And why are Muslims in this regard? against freedom of expression? and freedom of speech?
Isn't Islam therefore the argument goes,
a backwards religion that needs to be reformed?
Do we not need to have a reform within Islam? Because actually, you'll find that Islam has aspects of it which are against enlightenment values, against liberalism, against freedom of expression, against freedom of speech.
Now, the thing is, these are very important questions
to be asked, but what Muslims need to do?
And what Westerners also need to do?
Is the need to question the question, his appointment.
Every question has a presupposition. What is a presupposition? It is an assumption.
It is an assumption. Obviously, with these questions, some Muslims,
they go immediately on the backfoot.
Immediately, they're on the backfoot.
And just like
the western colonial
powers, came into our grandfathers, nations and attempted to force them to believe in what they believe in
Now, the post colonial Western masters are doing so using different techniques. And there are different responses from Muslims and others. Some will literally bow the knee
they will literally bow the knee. Surrender, give up? Yes, you're right, sir. There is a problem. We need to fix it. We need to have revivalism in Islam, we need to have reform, we need to clean it up. You're right.
Some will say
we must reject this completely. There is this is a poison, a poisonous ideology. We must remove it.
And what we're going to be doing in Sharla, in the next three days,
is will be arguing
that the question itself is problematic or the questions that are asked are problematic questions. So the first day I'm going to be dealing with liberalism, and also on the third day on your pamphlet, but I'm going to do it first. And Charla, I'm going to be dealing with questions which deal with liberal presuppositions. The second day,
we're going to be dealing with democracy, which is very important. And the third day we're going to be dealing with feminism.
And that's why I did on the third day, because if anything happens, I can just go.
I'm going back to London.
today, inshallah, I'll be talking about liberalism. And by the way, I've written an article on this, and I'm planning to write an article on all three lectures. So I'll be writing I've written an article liberalism will be published on it should be online on Monday on salon.org.uk salaam, and inshallah we'll put the description somewhere. So if you want to do further reading, you can do that there.
And moreover, there'll be an article written on each of the topics that I'll be covering today as well.
Now, let's get straight into it.
Today, I'm just going to go through
To three different things. I'm going to do three things today. inshallah, the first thing is I'm going to give you a brief history of liberalism, a brief history so you understand what it is. Number two, we're going to be talking about the premises of liberalism, the first principles of liberalism.
Where do we start with liberalism. And number three, we'll be talking about the implications of this on Islam, and Muslims and the discourse between Islam and Muslims in the western context, especially.
So we'll start,
you see all of these slogans that you've you're very well aware of freedom of expression, freedom of speech, they're extensions of the liberal philosophical framework. Okay. So, if someone is asking you a question
that presupposes liberalism, like these questions,
the question would be this, what if your ideology is baseless? Wait a minute. Say that one more time, okay.
What if your ideology is baseless? What if there is no way to prove
the very beginnings or the very starting points, the very premises of liberalism, therefore, the question becomes obsolete. Why does Islam Why do Muslims get upset with the drawing of the Prophet Mohammed? Why not? Could be the easy answer?
Well, it needs to be in line with liberalism. Well, if we can demonstrate
that liberalism is in fact, based on what you call corrigible presuppositions, meaning they are
capable of reform or improvement, then there is no need to ask the question, because you're asking me a question based on baseless foundations. So let's start with the brief history of liberalism. You see, there was a man called john Locke,
very famous man. He's actually one of the most influential people who ever lived, in my opinion. He died in 1704. He wrote many books, one of the most famous or if not the most famous one, he wrote a book called The two treatises of government. And in this book, he argued the case for social contracts. He said, We are all born equal. We are all born free.
Interesting, Locke, john Locke believed in God. In fact, he only believes in one God, he was a Unitarian, who was a nonconformist. Christine didn't believe in the Trinity. But he based much of his philosophy on God.
And that's why
a lot of the governments of his day Britain, France, and of course, the United States of America, they incorporated literally what he said in the two treatises of government into
the, for example, the US Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights in the in the United Kingdom, which was written in 1688.
His words, which is one of the most important documents in all of British history, it's called the Bill of Rights. And of course, the US declaration of independence is one of the most important documents in all of American Government and politics.
So, for example,
the famous phrase that We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal,
and that they have an unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is the US declaration of independence is taken from
or slightly adjusted, it's taken from john Locke. So a lot of these ideas, human beings, being born free, freedom, etc, is taken from directly from john Locke.
And the thing is about john Locke
is that he believes in God. And if you look at the wording of what he sent in the two treatises of government He justified, that for example, human beings are born equal, and that they are born free, because he said that they were endowed by the Creator and this is part of the US Declaration of Independence. They were given this by God.
They were given freedom and equality by God.
He had two or three principles that he believed in one was a theological belief. So he believed that all human beings were endowed equality by God. They were given equality and freedoms by God, but he also believed
he also believed in something called the hedonistic principle and this will be a very effective
Point, which I want you to really pay attention to. The hedonistic principle is the idea that the ultimate morality is pain and pleasure. So what's ultimately good is what feels good or what is pleasurable or desirable to you.
This would be the cornerstone of liberal moral philosophy. It's called the hedonistic principle.
So after john Locke came about, and he had such an influence, because of the English Civil War, which took place in 1642, to 1651, where the royalists, and the parliamentarians were attacking each other parliament, reconstituted itself, using a lot of the lockean principles sold in England, and so did the US and France and these countries, they took these liberal principles, and then they became very normative.
It became the norm. Now, anyone who speaks against the liberal principles is up is speaking an aberration, to the social and cultural norms of the West. That must must be understood. After john Locke, you had many different philosophers that came and advanced his theory like Montesquieu, or resole. Or, for example, Tocqueville who wrote democracy and America, which we'll cover tomorrow.
And others, and these individuals just expanded the theory, most notably, I would, I would argue, is john Stuart Mill, who came in the Victorian era. And he talks about the harm principle. So about two, you know, 100 200 years later, this man came john Stuart Mill, and he advanced, he said, Yes, he left the whole theological discussion. He's gonna say that we were born equal or free. He took Yes, he believed that we were born equal, but he didn't say is from God. Some say he was agnostic, even he didn't believe maybe we didn't believe in God, the Lord Allah. God knows best if you believed in God or not. Yeah.
But here's the problem. This is a very big problem for liberals.
If initially, my question, first question, if Initially, the justification for human beings being born equal and free, was based on theology, ie God.
How could a succession of philosophers inherit the same belief system without basing upon the same principle? In other words, john Stuart Mill, yes, he said, we believe that we are born equal that we're born free, but he didn't say anything about God. So the question would be, how can you prove that we're born equal? Or that we were born free? This is a very important question. And what do you mean, when you say we're born equal, or we are born free? Even john Stuart Locke, john mill, sorry, john, john Locke himself said, this is not in all cases, the creator might decide that we are not born you're born equal, for example. So what do we mean what we are not born equal?
What do we mean we're born equal? We are not born equal, if we look at it on the face of it, because really, some of us are born in impoverished places. Some of us are born in very, you know, bad places, rich places, poor places, some of us are born with disabilities, some of us are born as men, women, black, why this that? What where's the equality is differences? All I see is inequality is everywhere. So what do we mean by quality? So someone will come and say, actually, we mean equality of opportunity, and and some others will say, no equality of outcome. But they've had to adjust that because they realize the fallacious nature of just saying that we are born equal.
What does it mean? What do we actually mean? What do we mean by we were born free. Almost all philosophers agree
that everything is determined, even atheist philosophers believe this, that is determined by genetics and environment. So what is free freedom? What do you mean? Explain.
So already, it sounds nice what they say, but it has no real evidence base, john Stuart Mill did try and prove something called utilitarianism. utilitarianism is the idea. It's really the Hellenistic principle. So you, pleasure for you. But pleasure for the for the for the largest amount of people, the greatest good for the greatest number. So it's going back to
what's pleasurable for you. And this became really the most normative way of describing liberalism.
The most normative way of describing liberalism is through the hedonistic principle, or the extension of that, which is utilitarianism. And then he put into it the harm principle, so he says that you can do whatever you want, so long as you don't harm anyone else. Do whatever you want. Isn't this what you hate?
Okay, why is homosexuality, not a problem in society because we are liberals. And we believe you can do whatever you want. That makes you feel good, so long as you don't harm someone else. This is john
Stuart Mill, basically, that's where he got it from. That's where society accepted it from.
He had a part of his book, he's got a book called utilitarianism. And a part of it is proving utilitarianism. He actually puts this as as the title of the heading. He says proven utilitarianism.
And, you know, this is the one of the most attacked segments in all of philosophy.
circular reasoning, everyone's attacking him, saying what you're talking about, he said, and you can read the article for more information. But basically, he had a circular reasoning in his approach to try and prove utilitarianism. Therefore,
almost all serious liberal thinkers are of the opinion that there is no way of proving hedonism, utilitarianism. So the first principles of liberalism are corrigible. Now, what does that mean? If the first principles of liberalism are not fixed, objective, absolute or true one more time? Okay.
The first principles of liberalism are not fixed, they are not objective, they are not absolute, and they are not true.
If the foundations of something is shaky, then that thing itself will be shaky.
john Stuart Mill, who expanded freedom of expression in his book on liberalism, and others like him, it's not just him, Voltaire and others, many, many philosophers, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of this freedom of that they all based it on corrigible baseless foundations, can you imagine?
And the Muslim
in the West,
is compelled to answer the question what what question on a moral philosophical basis, your question has no basis prove to me liberalism is true. That's why you should say to him,
why is it that Muslims they don't believe that drawing a cartoon of their Prophet, isn't this a hindrance of freedom of speech? Yes, it is. Proof to me why liberalism is true.
That's the answer. Prove to me that liberalism is true.
Well, Muslims, if they leave the religion this and that, and apostasy and whatever, Okay, no problem. Prove to me that liberalism is true.
Your question is based on a liberal presupposition, your presupposition is based on first principles which are corrigible, baseless or otherwise faulty. Therefore, your question carries no epistemic weight.
Don't ask me the question. Let me ask you the question. Prove to me that liberalism is true.
from first principles from the premises,
is the only true because
you had a succession of wars, by Western European countries that decided to go eastward and westward and spread liberalism by the sword
and put liberalism in every crevice of our society.
And because, because white people have decided that it's true, we must believe it's true.
In some in some societies,
is it true because
even though you had liberals
who believed in freedom, they colonize the people going against what they believe in, and they enslaved others in the triangular slave trade for hundreds of years. And it's only true when it when it benefits the white man.
Is that the kind of liberalism you want to bring back? What kind of liberalism? Is that what you're talking about? Prove to me that liberalism is true.
Simple as that, you know, let me tell you something.
Most of the questions will lie
that we receive,
about Muslims having shaky faith,
on the way out of Islam, or people not coming into Islam because there is some kind of barrier to entry to Islam is based on a
adult that they have, because of a question that was posed, which has a presupposition of a Western enlightenment philosophy and liberalism is number one on the list.
So if we can show that liberalism is not true, or it cannot be proven to be true, therefore, the doubt is unjustified.
You should doubt what you're saying the question you're asking that that?
Don't doubt the answer of the question. The truth is, Muslims have become overly apologetic.
Yes, and do it. You're bowing at the knee.
You're bowing at the knee.
I want you to really think about something.
in ancient societies, like, for example, the ancient Greeks, the ancient Greeks,
they had mythology.
mythologies defined in two ways, primary ways in the dictionary, one of them is
one of the ways of defining mythology is like a story or some kind of tradition, which is not really it's fictitious, it's not real, but which helps bring forward a kind of moral. Another way of defining mythology is something which is false, something which is not true. So, let's put ourselves on a time machine go back to the ancient Greeks. They believed in Gods different gods Athena Zeus, Hercules, you know, you've heard of these gods, yes, you've heard of these gods.
And they believed in those Gods without real justification, no one prove to them the existence or the worthiness of Athena or Zeus or Hercules they believed in those Gods No problem, no argument, there is no cosmological argument equivalent for Athena, there isn't.
So they believed in those gods. And they believed in those things. axiomatically, as it were,
they lived the life, it was part of their culture, they were, you know, they were absorbing all of those things.
for example, to give you an example, when it came to the introduction of Christianity, if you look at Christianity,
and when it was introduced to the Roman Empire, you'll see I mean, this is all over the historical works. There was now synthesis, the Socratic model, you know, Christianity amalgamated with those old gods of the Greeks. Why? Because it was so deeply entrenched into their psyches and psychologies that they could not separate themselves from these false gods. They couldn't
I would ask a question.
What is the real epistemic difference
between an ancient Westerner
who believes in Zeus
because his forefathers believed in Zeus, without any evidence,
without any reasoning, actual logical deduction, induction abduction wherever you want,
what is the real difference between that individual and the Westerner who is born into a liberal household who believes in liberalism, axiomatically, without any justification? What's the difference? Is the only difference that one has a religious connotation, and the other one doesn't. Because that is one of the only differences I can seem to think about. In terms of epistemology, very similar. The Western man 3000 years ago has not changed much from the western man today.
They're very similar individuals. So now, the question is, why should we? Why should we absorb this nonsense, as it were? Really?
Why should we respond to this nonsense?
It's better to show the base lessness of it. And SubhanAllah.
I was once reading the book of Jeremy Bentham, who is one of the seniors of john Stuart Mill, he knew is that James mill anyways, he wrote a book called utilitarianism. And he believes in the greatest good for the greatest number and he basically put this, I remember reading this, he literally said, you have to Lourdes, you have two loads. One of them is the load of pleasure, and the other one is the load of pain.
This is what to be honest with you. A lot of the Western world is now the premise of the you know, the Western philosophy of liberalism.
The Quran says for it, man, tada Allahu Allah. Have you seen the one who takes his desires as his Lord Allahu Akbar?
Have you seen the one
who takes his desires, as his gods?
We see them will lie we see them.
But you must be aware of them. Because they will. They will wrap their ideology in the garment of rationality
so that they can push it to you. Yes, this is rationality your religion, isn't it? What do you mean is rationality proof to me? Is rationality, prove it?
Do you think we're going to be just like the people of OLT.
We're going to absorb the mythologies and the legends of the white man just because he has the bigger gun and the greater social influence. No, no. This is not the way of critical inquiry.
This is not the way of critical inquiry.
And so, when someone asks now are you against freedom of speech? are you against freedom of expression? We say we're not against freedom of speech.
In as much as it is not against Islam.
The Quran prohibits certain speech, no doubt.
For example, Allah says in the Quran, about your parents what as?
don't say to your parents off, says this is a censorship, you're not allowed to insult your parents in Islam, the kind of restriction?
Well, let's so bulletin a down I mean, don't lie. By the
way, let superlinear down.
Don't curse the ones who
they worship other than God, for your Subala who are the one behind the island, that they may come back and curse Allah without any knowledge. So we're not even allowed to. We have censorship, self censorship in Islam, we're not allowed to curse the gods of other religions. We're not allowed, there's lots of things we're not allowed to do, of course, we're not allowed to is blasphemy to the highest degree to talk about any of the profits. And we're not going to apologize for that or allow you to do that without without any resistance. Just because you have a different paradigm to us. Yes, we believe in freedom of speech. And, yes, you believe in freedom of speech and freedom,
especially, but you have not proven to us from first principles that they are something which is, which is rational rationalism or intelligible, coherent, consistent, true. So therefore, we don't want to have accepted, I have the freedom of speech to say I don't agree with all the freedom of speech.
And I have logical, rational and philosophical reasons not to.
But you find people now protecting freedom of speech while live in a religious way. Let him say whatever he wants, let them do whatever they want this that
kids go into school.
And almost all schools in Europe, I know racism is not allowed. So they don't allow it on an institutional level, but they allow it on a public contradictions everywhere. Even they know public, freedom of speech is limited. They've limited for example, sexual imagery of children
they know is there's certain things you cannot do. And you cannot say it's against morality, a poison guess if I had the ingredients for a poison gas that, you know, if I put puts it online, everyone can make a poison guess.
You know, would this be published? It would be allowed this allowed for it to be published, how to make a bomb. I can't just make a YouTube video how to make a bomb from raw materials? Because if I did, I'd be arrested.
And why is that? Because it endangers the people.
There's lots of examples
of limited of where we shouldn't have. So anyways, they know this from societal experience. But we were saying it's even deeper than that. It's from first principles. So
here the point was, what we're trying to say is as Muslims, we have an epistemic way of rationalizing our religion simply Allah knows best Allah, we can prove through predisposition, we believe every human being is born with a fifth along
with a predisposition to believe in God. And there is evidence to suggest this and also rationalize the fine tuning argument cosmological, all these arguments, you can rationalize it.
You can rationalize a lot you can rationalize.
And therefore, if you believe in Allah, he's the old knowing is that all powerful is the most wise, his injunctions must be all perfect.
Therefore, the failures of philosophers
cannot be equated and should not be equated with.
With with a last word, what he says the injunctions he put forward. The real truth is this. The people who are afraid of these questions have not internalized Laila strong enough. Well, I A lot of them have not. They don't believe fully enough, the more you believe in Allah and the messenger, the less you will have any of these questions. Why this new feel? Oh, doubt, well, you know, my heart I can't, I'm going to leave Islam. You know how many times I get messages? And well, I had a message very recently, somebody, I'm going to leave Islam. Why? Because of this, and this, all of the questions they had, what to do with these things that we've talked about, we've been talking about.
You've been indoctrinated guys, SubhanAllah. We've been indoctrinated.
We've been conditioned.
We've been brainwashed to believe in the mythologies of the Western man.
Can you imagine this?
Can you imagine this? And so
What I want to bring forward to you guys is another point which is really important.
Look at these Scandinavian countries.
Look at the Western world in general look at the European work world. Look at it has liberalism worked for them? They are the most depressed people. Well, I, there is a positive correlation. As with where liberalism and atheism is present in a country and the rates of suicide, go and look at the wh o World Health Organization. The more liberalism is present in a country, the more people want to kill themselves from depression.
Another study that was conducted by the who.
And the Forbes magazine, they said the 20 most depressed countries in the world, and they realized that 19 of 20 of them are liberal Western countries.
There is a failure of liberalism and a failure of the American dream. Because there is no meaning attached to people's lives anymore. People are acting pistilli pizza, people are acting as per their whims and desires. And they are not recognizing the true purpose of life. That's why Islam is a it's an illuminating light to those individuals who wants to step away from the darkness of self indulgence, and an undisciplined life and into the light of meaning and purpose.
And Islam gives you a rational and spiritual reason to be.
what we should do
is we should not accept
the sanctimonious ramblings
of the West the archetype of the archetypal
post colonial Western irrigator, who decides that his truth is the truth.
This is the post enlightenment dogma, as Karl Marx once remarked, regarding these things, supposed to like them and dogma that they're trying to shove down your throat, in all it always possible, but there is no way they can prove it. They will never try and prove it. They will just axiomatically throw it at you. You should believe it. No, we will not believe it will believe it to the extent to which it agrees with Islam. Allah says no for an extra 15 for example, there is no compulsion in religion. I'm unsure if I mean I'm not sure if I react for
whoever wants to come believe whoever wants to can disbelieve. Although some scholars say this is daddy then to know you, Allah is telling you to believe but this study, if you want to disbelieve Allah will punish you, by the way.
But yeah, we don't force the people to become Muslim and we believe and freedom of speech in as much as it helps someone's inquiry to truth.
Ask whatever you want,
so long as you're sincerely questioning the truth. As for those individuals, who are trying to use freedom of speech to cause injury and insult to individuals, we don't believe in that. How about that? We don't believe in that. Whether it be to Muslims or non Muslims, whether you be cussing someone's mother, or cursing someone's gods, we don't believe in that. We would censor ourselves from this, we will say to the Western world, listen, it's high time you realize that your ideology has not been working out for you, either on an individual psychological level, or on a societal level.
And it's time for you to really quest and ask for the purpose of life. And that is knowing who Allah subhana wa who your Creator is, where you came from, who you are, where you're going. If you know this family, then you will be able to inshallah.
inshallah, make something out of your life.
I've got one minute and 52 seconds left. I'm going to end here, and in that time, maybe she can ask some questions.