Pauline Hanson, the Australian politician and leader of the One Nation Party, two days ago called for a referendum to change her country’s Constitution, so that section 116 of that document, which prohibits banning a religion, might be scrapped, in order that Islam might then be prohibited.
For Hanson claimed, as she has so many times before, that Islam is a political ideology and not a religion. She singled out the Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir as a pro-Sharia law group that was of particular concern. This was, for Hanson, a lost opportunity to win over those who are made uneasy by Islam, but who are also disturbed by what they regard as Hanson’s either/or remarks about the faith. She might have said, more accurately and more convincingly, that “yes, of course Islam is a ‘religion’ insofar as it concerns itself with the belief in, and worship of, a superhuman power. I don’t deny that aspect of it. But, ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid, that Islam is also, at the same time, and much more significantly, a ‘political ideology’ which has to do with extending the power and reach of the faith and its Believers, and with what the ideal Muslim state ought to look like.”
And she might then have added, in a more-in-sorrow tone, that “unfortunately, Islam as a ‘political ideology’ is far more important than Islam as a ‘religion,’ and we should not be shy about recognizing that. Both the Qur’an and the Hadith are concerned with the duty to defeat the Unbelievers, and the requirement that Muslims fight those Unbelievers, using whatever instruments – violence, either in regular combat (qitaal) or through terrorism, propaganda, wealth, or the weapon now mentioned by more and more Muslims, that of demographic conquest – are both available and effective, until the entire world is dominated by Islam, and Muslims rule, everywhere.”
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