If one were to read about what Marshall Hodgson calls "the Venture of Islam" without the distraction of centuries of "war propaganda" of the kind demonstrated during 2008 US Presidential Campaign when 28 million dvd's of the video Obsession were distributed, one would come to realize that the US Declaration of Independence and the Bill Of Rights have much more in common with Islamic Classical Islamic antecedents than they do with other religious traditions. A reading of Prophet Muhammad's last sermon and the Charter of Medina demonstrates this quite well. The Magna Carta models Saladin's conduct and he was not the only Muslim ruler who could have served as the Model for the document which is often cited as a landmark in the development of good governance and the rule of law. The reason Muslims want the Shari'a is no different than American's wanting to enjoy the protections provided by the Bill of Rights.As regard the so called discriminatory taxes on non-Muslims living in the countries that were part of the Islamic Venture, one forgets that non-Muslims need not pay Zakat. As noted by the late scholar, Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah, the institution of Zakat is less about charity and much more about fulfilling the society's obligation towards the needy, [It will be well worth reader's time to look up the contributions of Muahammad Hamidullah.] If the non-Muslims are not contributing to the needs of the society's needy, and enslaved by various shackles, then it is only equitable that they pay an alternate form of contribution towards the maintenance of a civil society .
That Muslim society seemed to be gripped by rules of dictators, thugs, and others is true--but all people have their "fundamentalists." Even the Buddhists, according to the latest issue of Time magazine.
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