“Call it what it is and we can deal with it,” Sean Murphy wrote in The Washington Times of Monday, Sept. 20. Mr. Murphy made the assertion in an article appearing online at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/sep/20/islam-is-a-government-not-a-faith under the title, “Islam is a government, not a faith.”
Murphy’s article points out a widespread misconception of Islam as being simply a religion.
We might argue as to whether Islam is a religion which embraces a mandatory social and political ideology, or, a political ideology which enforces a social and religious structure that is characteristically intolerant of adherents to other religions, or ...
I cannot give proper credit to the observation, maybe it has become universal ... Maybe it should have become universal: A “thing” which walks like a duck, swims like a duck, flies like a duck and quacks like a duck ... may, in fact, be a duck.
We get stuck, in the effort to solve our problems, until we get the labels right.
It would be reasonable to assess a thing on the basis of the behavior it exhibits, when there is doubt, rather than rely upon the labels which others would offer us. Time will tell which label is valid.
I would suggest simple and relevant tests to determine whether a “thing” can be properly defined as a religion. For example: To be a religion, all females approaching puberty should have unrestricted freedom to choose to abandon the faith without fear of reprisal of any kind. This would be expressed as a fundamental guarantee of the freedom of religion within the United States of America through an amendment and clarification of the language of the Constitution.
The Constitution was intended to protect individual rights of citizens of the United States, as specified. A “thing” which imposes upon the freedom or rights of other individuals should not be afforded the protections granted to religions. The protection was stated as the freedom to worship, not as the freedom to organize or to dominate others. As that apparently needs to be clarified in the Constitution, we should clarify it.