A religion that is in desperate need of a Renaissance or Age of Enlightenment. Islam is a religion that shares the same beliefs and core foundations of Judaism and Christianity, but affirms that Muhammad is the final Prophet of God. Muslims are not bad people, but Islam never had a renaissance (similar to the Protestant Reformation in Christianity) and Muslims need to rethink about the way they deal with the rest of Humanity. Muslims are overall nice and kind people and many muslims are now changing the way they approach Islam. Many muslims (myself included) realize that all religions are personal faiths and that ISLAM NEEDS TO BE TREATED AS A PERSONAL FAITH AND NOT A POLITICAL DOCTRINE. Peace at home and Peace in the world!
We are secular Muslims, and secular persons of Muslim societies. We are believers, doubters, and unbelievers, brought together by a great struggle, not between the West and Islam, but between the free and the unfree.
We affirm the inviolable freedom of the individual conscience. We believe in the equality of all human persons.
We insist upon the separation of religion from state and the observance of universal human rights.
We find traditions of liberty, rationality, and tolerance in the rich histories of pre-Islamic and Islamic societies. These values do not belong to the West or the East; they are the common moral heritage of humankind.
We see no colonialism, racism, or so-called “Islamaphobia” in submitting Islamic practices to criticism or condemnation when they violate human reason or rights.
We call on the governments of the world to
reject Sharia law, fatwa courts, clerical rule, and state-sanctioned religion in all their forms; oppose all penalties for blasphemy and apostacy, in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights;
eliminate practices, such as female circumcision, honor killing, forced veiling, and forced marriage, that further the oppression of women; protect sexual and gender minorities from persecution and violence;
reform sectarian education that teaches intolerance and bigotry towards non-Muslims;
and foster an open public sphere in which all matters may be discussed without coercion or intimidation.
A woman should be free to dress modestly as she please, to wear a headscarf if she chooses. She should not be forced to veil against her own free will.
We demand the release of Islam from its captivity to the totalitarian ambitions of power-hungry men and the rigid strictures of orthodoxy.
We enjoin academics and thinkers everywhere to embark on a fearless examination of the origins and sources of Islam, and to promulgate the ideals of free scientific and spiritual inquiry through cross-cultural translation, publishing, and the mass media.
We say to Muslim believers: there is a noble future for Islam as a personal faith, not a political doctrine;
to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha’is, and all members of non-Muslim faith communities: we stand with you as free and equal citizens;
and to nonbelievers: we defend your unqualified liberty to question and dissent.
Before any of us is a member of the Umma, the Body of Christ, or the Chosen People, we are all members of the community of conscience, the people who must chose for themselves.