By Salah al-Sayer
9 February 2018
Islam did not forbid slavery. According to Islamic law, a Muslim can own slaves, buy them and sell them as he wishes. Despite this fact, Muslim societies have stopped practicing slavery and the slave market has been banned for a long time.
This is natural and logical progress, as human beings naturally respond to social and cultural development. Other nations and peoples have similarly given up many old practices because many of them are no longer in keeping with the times.
One of the most important evidence is that Muslim societies stopped Sharia punishments such as hand cutting or stoning, as well as criminalizing the narrow understanding of jihad because it contradicts humanitarian principles.
What about “religious institutions”, which continue to actively propagate in other countries? Is propagation suitable abroad in today’s age, which requires non-interference in the affairs of other countries?
Does this activity fit the stereotypical image of Islam, which unfortunately has been tarnished and associated with terrorism, especially as aspersions have been cast against the funding of seminaries, which are believed to be promoting terrorism.
We may all recall here the ‘preachers’ who incited the youth to join ISIS or those who flaunted their sins, their crimes and the killing of innocent people in Syria. Despite the proliferation of “preachers” around us, our societies did not know the concept of a “preacher" before the rise of the Sahwa movement as the title was coined for political purposes, particularly to promote divisiveness and intolerance.
“Muslim” society does not need anyone to remind it about Islam. A few days ago, I witnessed a charity advertisement encouraging people to donate money to convert non-Muslims in China. Despite our “very, very, very” small size compared to China, which is a great nation, we seek to change the faith of its people, as if it is our legitimate responsibility to undertake these religious duties on behalf of Muslims in China.
We might end up inviting the wrath of the Chinese dragon.
Salah al-Sayer is a Kuwait journalist who writes for Kuwait Times.