Islam is often defended as a religion no different from Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and most other faiths. But this overlooks the fact that unlike other modern faiths, Islam is a political religion. Islam has had no reformation since its founding in the 7th Century, and Muslims recognize no separation between religion and state. In its canonical texts and teachings, Islam regards all other religions (and non-religions) as “infidel” creeds, and instructs believers to regard themselves at war with those who will not submit to the Muslim God. Unlike Christians or Jews, Muslim leaders seek to establish a global Islamic state or “caliphate” that would impose Islamic law on individuals everywhere and thus criminalize heretical thoughts.
Political Islam’s global ambition is openly stated. The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has said: “Have no doubt… Allah willing, Islam will conquer what? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world. In 1990 the 56 member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) met in Egypt and adopted the “Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.” The Cairo Declaration states that, “all human beings form one family whose members are united by their subordination to Allah.
These are religious statements, but they are made by political authorities. Moreover, they are in complete accord with traditional Islamic theology. In his 1955 book War and Peace in the Law of Islam, Majid Khadduri, an internationally renowned scholar of Islamic law, wrote: “The Islamic state, whose principal function was to put God’s law into practice, sought to establish Islam as the dominant reigning ideology over the entire world…. The jihad was therefore employed as an instrument for both the universalization of religion and the establishment of an imperial world state.”
Because the tenets of Islamic belief are not open to question, and because as a religion Islam prescribes moral behavior for every aspect of individual and social life, Islamic law – sharia – is by its very nature totalitarian. A religion that recognizes no principle of separation from governmental authority, whose prescriptions dictate what is proper for every aspect of private life is the very definition of totalitarian rule. Where Islam becomes the religion of the state, violations of Islamic doctrine and heretical thoughts are inevitably seen as crimes against the state.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (now called The Organization of Islamic Cooperation) is composed of the fifty-six Islamic nations plus the Palestinian Authority. At present, only Saudi Arabia and Iran, along with Islamic northern Sudan and most of Somalia, are states where Islamic law is fully implemented. Other Islamic states, such as Pakistan, Egypt and Indonesia are currently governed by a mixture of Western and Islamic law. Even in such “moderate” majority-Muslim states, however, Christians are violently persecuted as infidels and non-Muslims in general are denied basic rights. Even in these states, apostasy is not tolerated. Converts from Islam to other religions are routinely threatened, harassed, jailed and even executed under existing state law. In short, even in “moderate” Muslim states the penalty for deviation from the accepted religious orthodoxy is severe, and in each of these states there are radical Islamic movements pushing for more stringent conformity to Islamic law.
Not a single one of its members, with the arguable exception of Lebanon, which is unique in having a significant Christian population, can be considered a democracy in the western sense. Even secular Turkey denies equality of rights to Christians in numerous ways. Not a single one of the 56 Islamic states or the Palestinian Authority is tolerant towards gays, women or other minorities or treats them as equals.
Since the demise of the Soviet Union, the Islamic states of the OIC have comprised the largest voting bloc at the United Nations. Wielding its influence, the OIC has succeeded in having Israel condemned more than 200 times in formal UN resolutions, more than all of the other member states combined. But the same Islamic voting bloc has ensured that the terrorist regimes in Iran, Gaza and the West Bank have not been censured even once.
Through the OIC, the Islamic states have also been working for several years to persuade the members of the UN to criminalize “Islamophobia.”