Is Islam or islam Compatible with Western Democracies?

Tareq Oubrou, Grand Imam of Bordeaux and essayist, guest of BFMTV Monday, October 25, 2021 – BFMTV

Is there a difference between Islam with a capital ‘I’ and Islam with a small ‘i’?  According to Imam Tareq Oubrou, there is. Mr Oubrou is Grand Imam of Bordeaux, France, an imam who is considered liberal in his theology. In May 2016 , the terrorist organization Islamic State launched a fatwa against him, calling for his assassination.

In his new book ‘A place for Islam in the Republic?’, Mr Oubrou argues that Islam is compatible within the Western world as long as the ‘interpretation’ of Islam is correct and it conforms to Western law.

“I always say that the law of Muslims is French law,” he insists. “They are not outside the law, they do not have a parallel law.” We can agree with that. He goes on to say,

“It all depends on what we mean by the word ‘Islam’, which concentrates a lot of ambiguities and a lot of confusion”, he explains. “If we speak of Islam with a capital ‘I’, as a civilization, of course that Islam is not at all compatible with the Republic. If we speak of a religious Islam with a small ‘i ‘, Islam as a religion, but interpreted as in the Middle Ages, so this Islam is not compatible with the values ​​of the Republic.

And therein lies the crux of the problem.  Many imams and scholars are insistent that the Quran cannot be changed, interpretation is to remain the same as it was hundreds of years ago.  Mr  Oubrou does not agree (publicly) and goes on to explain,

“if one considers that this Islam is a faith, a cult, a personal ethics, which is expressed within the framework of the French law in force and within the framework of the principles of the Republic, this Islam exists and is possible”.

The impression given by some Imams in Canada is that while Muslims are a minority, they follow the law of the land. When they become majority, the law of sharia comes into play.

“We can’t apply it unless we are the majority and the majority agree, then we can apply it” Bilal Philips, Canadian Imam

The book “Riyad us Saliheen” (“The Gardens of the Righteous”) which appears on ICNA Canada website, adds modern commentary to the verses from the Qur’an and hadith. Within this book, we find a very definitive answer to the question of compatibility. [Hadith]: 673  Abu Bakrah  reads “(May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, “He who insults the rulers Allah will insult him.”

Modern commentary on this hadith is as follows:

“Believers have been told to obey and support rulers for the sake of national interest and welfare, understanding that they desist from committing an overt disbelief and maintain congregation Salat and other duties of religion.

The political system of Islam is totally incompatible with western democracy.” Gardens of the Righteous

Keep in mind, this is found in an online course about Islam sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America-Canada.

Is Islam compatible within Western republics? Either with a big ‘I’ or little ‘i’?  When it is convenient.

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