Abdul Karim Jassar sent me a question from a friend related to my continuous criticism and attack of the Sunni Muslim extremists, and keeping the Shiite extremists away from criticism or attack!
This may be the tenth time, when I hear this question, and I have answered this nine out of the ten times. The reason might be because those enquirers are new readers of my articles and it seems that they are too impatient to revise my written works. Instead, they enjoyed themselves by throwing their question and relax waiting for the answer. It also might be my own mistake not to clarify my situation.
I do not think my role lies in the justification of my views, but perhaps it is advisable from time to time to explain some of what is misunderstood by somebody.
I am a secular citizen and I have never tried, since I was 15 or 60 years later, to hide my inner feelings. My faith, which has become entrenched with time, demands and motivates me to keep the same distance from all faiths and sects and to respect each sect and its followers.
My opinion about different sects is mostly determined by the degree to which they affect my life, freedom and lifestyle. Thus, it is so normal that my criticism of the Sunni extremists is much bigger due to their effect that is stronger than that of any other sects.
I think the damage that hits my society by the Shiite extremists is much less than that caused by others. It is not because they are better than others, but because minorities, for known reasons, tend to be more peaceful than others. But if Shiites become the majority, things may take a different course. This is the nature of things.
Thomas Jefferson, the former US president, was quoted as saying ‘Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them’.
It may not be easy to agree on a clear definition of a secular state, because it interferes with religion in some countries. It becomes much easier when the state Constitution does not provide for any religion, as many countries do. The state has no religion but religion for those who inhabit it.
There are countries such as Egypt, some Arab countries and Greece, whose constitutions have a specific religion, but their constitutions contain general secular principles, such as the equality of all their citizens, and the guarantee of public freedoms.
It is known that there is no democracy without freedom, no freedom without freedom of belief, no freedom of belief without secularism! It is therefore assumed that legislations, whatever their degree of importance, should be controlled by reason, logic and concurrent conditions in their adoption.
Laws should not be enforced just because they are included in some religious references that are not agreed by all believers.
The issue is more likely to be followed by secularism in light of the fact that the societies with homogeneous ethnic and religious components are really rare. Differences between people are the rule.
Consequently, there is no protection for minorities away from secularism. It is the reality and the rule of logic. Secularism is applied in all countries of the world even the most backward including Islamic ones, but arrogance prevents them from admitting it. Constitution of Kuwait which is closest to secularism and nothing else is the best example to support my idea.
I believe that without the oil wealth, the pace of acceptance by the Arab and Muslim countries, especially the Gulf, would have been much faster, but the time will inevitably come to them.
We do not need to repeat here that secularism is not and has never been against religion. It is the greatest protector of it.
Whoever opposes secularism, either does not know its truth or is a political or material beneficiary of the survival of the religious state.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf