Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Stand: Twelve General Principles


by Shawn Smith 

February 3, 2016

As I was reflecting on my understanding of Islam this morning, I wrote down these 12 statements. I would love to hear from you and what you think. Do you agree or disagree? How can the list be improved upon? 

My email address is: shawnsmith1964@gmail.com 

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1) Any reading of Islam which demeans another human being, or group of human beings, must be rejected.

2) Any reading of Islam which does not affirm gender equality must be rejected. 

3) Any reading of Islam which privileges the few at the expense of the many must be rejected. 

4) Any reading of Islam which de-humanizes and ostracizes those who happen to be LGBTQ must be rejected.

5) Any reading of Islam which does not place compassion and respect for human rights at its center must be rejected.

6) Any reading of Islam which seeks to limit people's right to free expression and dissent must be rejected.

7) Any reading of Islam which seeks to forcibly compel someone to believe, or threaten those who chose not to believe, must be rejected. 

8) Any reading of Islam which justifies violence and murder to promote social and political objectives must be rejected.

9) Any reading of Islam which promotes patriarchal norms, homophobia,transphobia, sexism, racism, classism, ableism, ageism and all other forms of oppression and discrimination, must be rejected.  

10) Any reading of Islam which fails to portray Allah as being first and foremost compassionate and merciful towards all of humanity, regardless of who they are, must be rejected. 

11) Any reading of Islam which  seeks to divorce the revelations of the Quran from its initial social and historical context must be rejected. 

12) Any reading of Islam which is peddled by those in authority as being "The Islam" to the exclusion of all other readings or understandings must be rejected.