Sacred Freedom Western Liberalist Ideologies in the Light of Islam:
Contains a concise and frank examination of the legitimacy of atheism, humanism, pluralism, democracy and secularism as guiding ideologies for humankind. Discussing the consequences of a pluralistic worldview, Sacred Freedom questions whether the West has examined the realities of democracy before endeavouring to spread it by force around the world.
Are ideologies derived from Western historical experiences universally applicable? Has the West arrived at a balanced understanding of personal freedom? These are only some of the important questions raised in this unique book. Daring to probe the revered and unquestionable, Sacred Freedom gives readers the opportunity to explore these topics from a viewpoint they might otherwise not be exposed to.
From the Introduction:
After the events of September 11, I saw the need to compile a book about terrorism and religious extremism in the world today. After publishing this book, it occurred to me that another subject – that of negligence in religious affairs – was also in desperate need of being addressed for both Muslim and non- Muslim readers. On a daily basis, we are being inundated with different kinds of man-made liberalist ideologies in the mainstream media. Because of the sheer volume and almost monotone voice of many media outlets, people are given the impression that these ideologies must be accepted by every living individual and society in the world today, and that the validity of these ideologies is not open to question.
At present, Westerners and liberalists, in general, are intrigued as to why people are still turning to Islam for enlightenment in this modern age. This is particularly intriguing for those who are convinced that Islam is something that impedes progress and that Islamic civilization has proven to be inferior to other civilizations as a result of its adherence to Islam. This subject has been addressed in this book as a response to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s remark that Islamic civilization is “stuck where it was 1400 years ago.”
I have also analyzed the two main reference points in Western humanist thinking throughout the book. The first of these is the belief that people are free and responsible for deciding their own actions, and therefore, that God should only have a personal, marginal place in their lives. The other important point of reference for Western policy and societal orientation is the belief that the opinion of the majority should act as mankind’s principal criterion in shaping human behaviour and legislation.
One of the major points of contention that liberalists have with Islam is the reluctance the Muslim world has shown in embracing these two principles. Some liberalists take a more militant approach in trying to spread these two principles in the Muslim world, while others censure these tactics, hoping that more temperate policies will win the Muslims over to contemporary humanist values. Whatever the method, the message remains the same: Muslims must change their beliefs and eventually conform to this ever-changing series of humanist values.
After reading this book, the reader will be able to judge whether the devotion that people have towards these two principles is actually deserved. It is also my hope that this book will contribute to a better understanding of Islam, and I welcome any kind of feedback from anyone who finds any points of contention within it.
By: HANEEF OLIVER
Publisher: WESTPOINT PUBLISHING