Sunday, November 18, 2007

Should Muslims Integrate into the West?

Should Muslims Integrate into the West? - Middle East Quarterly
Their judgment called upon Muslim immigrants in the West to place religious identity above national and ethnic identities and to promote the interests of a global Muslim nation. The jurists' consensus involved five points: First, a greater Islamic nation exists of which Muslims are members wherever they live. Second, while living in a non-Muslim society is undesirable, it might be legal on an individual basis if the immigrant acts as a model Muslim. Third, it is the duty of a Muslim in the West to reaffirm his religious identity and to distance himself from anything contrary to Islam. Hence, he should help establish and patronize mosques, Muslim schools, cultural centers, and shops. Fourth, Muslims in the West should champion the cause of the Muslim nation in the political as well as the religious sphere, for there should be no distinction between the two. Lastly, Muslims in the West should spread Islam in the declining, spiritual void of Western societies.
However, dualism is only allowed because theologians do not consider it harmful to Islam. Islam and not the interests of the European nation-state remains the benchmark for any political action. Fadlallah, for example, argues that Muslims might serve in Western parliaments but only so long as they guard the interests of Muslims.[40] The European Council for Fatwa and Research evokes the same principle in response to a query about Muslims contending in municipal elections.[41] The role of the Muslim immigrant is to do his best to promote the interests of his nation—that is, the Muslim nation. Because Islam is blind to boundaries, jurists argue that promoting its cause is not limited to a specific community or country but to Muslims everywhere. Thus, Qaradawi argues, it is necessary to "adopt and champion the rights of the umma" be it in "Palestine, Kosovo, Chechnya," or any other place where Muslims fight for autonomy and statehood.
For mainstream Muslim jurists, Islam is not a culture, a religion, or a tradition, but rather an alternative type of nationality which claims jurisdiction over all aspects of human activities. A Muslim can also be a citizen of a Western nation state, yet the Western nation state is tolerated only because it is bound to dissolve and because its weaknesses may be of use to the Muslim cause.
How then should liberal nation-states, using the principals of liberalism and multiculturalism as their shield, deal with individuals who resist their very existence? How can Western societies distinguish between those Muslims who seek a place for their beliefs and traditions within a pluralistic framework and those who adhere to a school committed to the destruction of that framework?


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1 Comment:

Ornery Elephant said...

Two points:

1. Name ONE country where muslim immigrants have assimilated to the culture of their new home. ONE country where they have NOT set up a version of "C.A.I.R." or asked for special privileges or built an inordinate # of mosques, etc.

2. Name ONE TIME when muslims have EVER given up something in a negotiations.

:Holger Danske