“What is reprehensible, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. Evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their adversaries.
– Robert F Kennedy
COMMENT | To be clear as someone who values concepts like free speech, I don’t care what people like Muslim preacher Syakir Nasoha say about non-Muslims.
What I find reprehensible is the way the state sanctions the speech of non-Muslims who say reprehensible things about Muslims and Islam, like what this preacher did with non-Muslims.
The insidious element of these unequal state sanctions is that non-Muslims must not only exercise restraint when engaging in religious discourse, but there is always an element of self-censorship when they do. It’s all about discussing Islam in this country, and that includes progressive Muslims.
The designation of non-Muslims as “kafirs” is itself a sectarian and common concept in this country. Various religions contextualizing non-believers with specific terms are not uncommon.
However, in this country, where anti-non-Muslim rhetoric is ingrained in the political system and politics and where the religious establishment controls majority belief systems, demonizing non-Muslims has serious repercussions.
The interesting part of Syakir’s defense of his statements is it – “…. Islam encourages its followers to be on good terms with kafir zimmi and do not forbid Muslims to engage them in the management of world affairs, as long as …