According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the words freedom, liberty, oppression and persecution have the following meanings:
Freedom: The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants. The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity. (Literalistically) The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. The state of being unrestricted and able to move easily. Unrestricted use of something.
Liberty: The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s behaviour or political views. (Literalistic) The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. The power or scope to act as one pleases. (Philosophical) A person’s freedom from control by fate or necessity.
I have always liked Thomas Jefferson's definition of liberty: “Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” -- Thomas Jefferson to I. Tiffany, 1819.
Jefferson makes two vital points (1) an individual's freedom/liberty is (or should be) constrained by the “equal rights of others”. Here by “equal rights” Jefferson clearly means the liberty of others to exercise their freedoms. Implicit then is that all people have “equal rights” or, to put it in more “Jeffersonian” language equal scope to exercise their freedoms and liberties. (2) That law per se does not properly constrain liberty. An unjust or discriminatory law is just that – aka “the tyrant's will”.
As can be seen the words freedom and liberty are largely share definitions. In fact the OED considers them to be synonyms though there are shades of meaning between them.
Oppression: Prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority. Mental pressure or distress.
Persecution: Hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs; persistent annoyance or harassment.
Muslims would probably agree with the above with the exception of the definitions of freedom/liberty.
The Arabic word that translates as freedom is “hurriya”. In the "Encyclopedia of Islam" Islamic freedom is "the recognition of the essential relationship between God the master and His human slaves who are completely dependent on Him."
Ibn Arabi (d.1240 A.D.), a Sufi scholar of note, is cited for having defined freedom as “being perfect slavery to Allah”.
Sufi scholar al-Qushayri (d. 1072/74) wrote:
Let it be known to you that the real meaning of freedom lies in the perfection of slavery. If the slavery of a human being in relation to Allah is a true one, his freedom is relieved from the yoke of changes. Anyone who imagines that it may be granted to a human being to give up his slavery for a moment and disregard the commands and prohibitions of the religious law while possessing discretion and responsibility, has divested himself of Islam.
To put it another way, Islamic-style "freedom" is freedom from any form of unbelief (“Kufr”) and any change – i.e. innovation (“Bid'ah”) - in Islam.
According to the Pew report (2010) 84% of Egyptians favour the death penalty for apostates from Islam and a slightly greater percentage (90%) favour religious freedom.
At best this means that 74% - call it three quarters – of Egyptian Muslims see no contradiction between religious freedom and killing apostates. This may seem odd to Western eyes (or ears) but is not a contradiction by the Islamic understand of freedom.
Thus sincere Muslims only have freedom/liberty when they are free from all Kufr and bid'ah. To understand freedom in Islam, we must throw out the Western definition of freedom and realise that such an “Islamic freedom” can only come if Sharia Law is fully implemented.
Muslims can thus say that they “believe in freedom” when talking to non-Muslims and let the ignorant Kafirs assume they mean the western definition when, in fact, they mean it's opposite.
Unfortunately, Muslims living in the West cannot be free from those two things. Kufr and Bid'ah are all around them. The West's political, legal, social, moral (the list goes on) procedures and rules do not conform to Islam and thus Muslims are forced into using Kafir courts, political processes, even to un-Islamic means of getting loans and so on.
Living as I do in the West I hear all too often about the “rising tide of Islamophobia” (see here, here, here, here for just a few – a few few – examples).
Let me be clear here: attacking Muslims, or their property etc., for their simply being Muslim is abhorrent and utterly to be condemned. When such attacks pass the threshold of criminality the perpetrators should be pursued, brought to trial and, if guilty, heavily punished by the criminal justice system.
Is it any wonder then that Muslims and in particular Muslim advocacy organisation claim the Muslims in the west are persecuted and oppressed?
“The persecution of Muslims by the British Media is real, and endorsed by millions” trumpets the “Angry Mob”.
“Muslims are being demonised” shouts the Stop-the-War coalition.
The Islamic Times organises a “PETITION TO UNITED NATIONS: STOP OPPRESSION OF AMERICAN MUSLIMS” (yes they were SHOUTING too).
Asghar Bukhari of MPACUK writes: “Muslims are the most oppressed people on earth, we have been denied our freedom, we have been denied our equality, we have been denied any justice...” (emphases mine). Note his word choices here: “denied our ...”. That rather begs the question what is different about freedom, equality and justice in Islam.
Faysal Mawlawi, writing for OnIslam on the situation of Muslims in non-Muslim Cuntries notes: “Muslims can preserve their identity by forming a strong coherent community that demands its own rights...” (Emphases mine). Again note that he sees “Muslim rights” as something distinct from the rights of others.
We already know what Islamic freedom means, but what about Islamic equality and Justice?
Sheikh Muhammed al-Munajjid in the “Islam Q and A forum” writes: “Those who say that Islam is the religion of equality are lying against Islam. Rather Islam is the religion of justice which means treating equally those who are equal and differentiating between those who are different.” He is far from a lone voice.
Thus Islamic equality and justice are both stratified. In turn then, we need to know what delimits the strata of “equality”.
Despite this, some Muslim apologists claim that Islam promotes equality. However, what seems to be really meant is an (assumed) equity of roles, rights, responsibilities etc. Thus the Islamic website womeninislam.ws writes: “In one sense, equality between men and women is possible and reasonable because they are both human, with similar souls, brains, hearts, lungs, limbs, etc. In another sense, equality between men and women is impossible and an absurdity due to their natural differences in physical, mental, emotional and psychological qualities, inclinations and abilities.” [Emphases mine.]
Islam clearly teaches that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims (see: K. 3:110,139; 7:181; 9:33; 48:28) thus in Islam 'equality' must include the idea that Muslims are superior (thus having more “Islamic” freedoms, liberties and rights) than non-Muslims.
It also teaches that Muslim women (Muslimas) are “deficient” in intelligence and religion compared to Mussalmen and, legally, half a person (See: K2:282, 4:11, 4:34; Bukhari Vol.1,Bk.6:301; Muslim 1:142). Thus a second stratification of Islamic justice places Mussalmen above Muslimas.
There are further stratifications between people who are free and slaves.
In Islamic terms, then, equality as the West would understand it only applies between “those who are equal” and Muslims are very much more equal than others.
Put another way: Islam ordains a stratified society in which equality operates horizontally, but not vertically.
In one sense this is no surprise. A rich man and a poor man are clearly not equal in wealth. In the U.K. both have equal rights to vote, use the NHS and so forth and (in theory) have equal rights before the law. In these ways they are equal. However, in Islam the inequalities go much further than inequalities in outcome, they institute causal inequalities between Muslim and non-Muslim, male and female etc.
How does this impact on the Islamic concept of justice?
On the ONIslam website Daud Matthews writes: “There is no doubt that Shari`ah is part of the revelation of Allah... The Shari`ah is revealed in the Quran. Man does not have the wisdom to lead the whole of humanity in all its complexity. Indeed, the Shari`ah will remain until the Day of Judgment. Man-made laws are applicable to societies only for a limited time and then they have to be revised or changed. But the laws given by Allah apply to all societies for all time till the Day of Judgment and are not changeable.” Thus sharia is the “supreme” form of law which should (and eventually will) apply to “all societies” - implicitly whether Muslim or non-Muslim.
Also on OnIslam is an article by Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi which says, in conclusion and paraphrasing, that Muslim minorities can do “un-Islamic” things, such as seeking High Office which may include swearing allegiance to a man-made system of laws or constitution if this will benefit Muslims. Again implicit is that Sharia Law is the only “proper” legal system.
A search of Islam Q and A will show that in Islam Sharia law is considered the only valid legal system. Thus Muslims can only get “our justice” (to re-quote Asghar Bukhari) under Sharia.
Khurram Murad in a long article written for Islamawareness.net writes: “Shari’ah literally means ‘way to water’ – the source of all life – and signifies the way to God, as given by God. ... It [Shari'ah] is thus also the only true embodiment of, and the best way to, justice.” Here he states clearly that only Shari'ah equates to justice. Thus any legal system that isn't Shari'ah is, by this definition, unjust.
To conclude this part of the article. According to Islamic teaching:
Muslims can only be “free” and have “liberty” if their ability to fully practice Islam (which includes the full enforcement of Sharia Law) is completely unimpeded. Such a condition can only pertain when a Country's laws are fully compliant with Shariah law.
Muslims can only have “equality” when society acknowledges their Allah-given superiority and accords them full freedom and liberty as defined above and also restricts the freedoms and liberties of non-Muslims in compliance with Sharia.
Muslims can only experience “justice” when they live under a full implementation of Shariah, which is inherently discriminatory against non-Muslims.
This is not to say that all Muslims actually believe the above, merely that this is what Islam itself teaches via its most important texts. But some Muslims definitely do believe this and it is this strand of Islam that is (depending on your view) the most vocal and/or the fastest growing.
Anjem Choudary is an unusual Islamist who lives in Britain. He openly preaches not just to Muslims but to anyone who'll listen. He is a trained lawyer and until recently managed to skirt illegality in the U.K. with his statements. He has recently been arrested, charged and may face trial.
I almost regret this. Choudary was that very rare animal, an honest Islamist, who simply tells the truth about Islam and is greatly hated by most Muslims, including other Islamists who often lie to non-Muslims.
In the West and come to that over much of the Muslim world in fact, Shari'ah is not fully implemented.
By definition then, such a situation is deemed inherently unjust by orthodox Muslims. It denies them their particular freedoms and liberties as they and Islam, define them. Such a “discriminatory” situation is then considered oppressive and gives rise to an a priori persecution.
Here I feel constrained to point out that even if this or that Muslim is far more free to pursue his or her understanding of Islam in a western country that in many Muslim ones, this is utterly irrelevant to the Islamic argument. That this injustice, oppression and persecution simply involves not letting an orthodox Muslim minority impose their legal and social systems on other Muslims and the Kafirs (who really ought to realise that a system that brutally discriminates against them is actually 'just') is beside the point.
In this view it follows that Muslims in the West are living under oppressive regimes that deny them their Islamic rights and Islam teaches that the correct response to this is Jihad.
Jihad is about much more that “killing kafirs, apostates and hypocrites”. In classical exegesis Jihad includes:
Jihad of the heart/soul (jihad bil qalb/nafs) is concerned with combating “evil” (i.e. un- Islamic) desires and the devil in the attempt to escape his persuasion to evil. In other words it is the “internal” jihad concerned with being “strong in faith”. (Some sources claim this is “jihad e-akbar” - i.e. the highest jihad - on the basis of a weak hadith.)
Jihad by the tongue/pen (jihad bil lisan/qallam) is concerned with spreading the word of Islam with one's tongue or writing and the verbal (or written) defence of Islam.
Jihad by the hand (jihad bil yad) refers to choosing to do what is right and to combat injustice and what is wrong in Islamic terms with action, e.g. protest, demanding “special consideration” etc. (Some writers, such as al-Qayyim, see “hand-jihad” as subsuming sword-jihad, below.)
Jihad by the sword (jihad bis saif) refers to qital fi sabili Allahi ([armed] fighting in the way of Allah, or holy war), this is the most common usage by Salafi and Wahhabi Muslims and the most ancient. For example, Sahih Bukhari (the pre-eminent Hadith collection of Sunni Islam) has almost 200 references to jihad and ~98% (~196) of them refer to it in the sense of armed warfare against non-Muslims.
Of these four, one pertains to the Muslim, the other three the non-Muslim.
There are other ways of classifying Jihad of course, such as according to the target. According to Imam ibn al-Qayyim (amongst others): “Jihad is of four types: Jihad an-Nafs (one's own self), Jihad ash-Shaitan (Satan), Jihad al-Kuffar (the non-Muslim) and al-Munafiqeen (the hypocrites) and Jihad ahlu ath-Thulm (the people of injustice), al-Bida'ah (innovation) and al-Munkaraat (sin and evil)”. Al-qayyim is concerned with the target: the self, Satan, non-Muslims & hypocrites (both Muslim and non-Muslim) and “oppressors” - people of injustice, innovation and evil.
Note also that this classification opens the door to waging sword-jihad against Muslims whom one deems “not Muslim enough” if they can be deemed innovators or corrupters of Islam (thus purveyors of “sin and evil”).
Of Jihad al-Kuffar Al-Qayyim goes on to say: “As for Jihad al-Kuffar... [there] are also four types: with the heart, tongue, wealth and one's self (body). Jihad al-Kuffar is usually practiced with the hand, while Jihad al-Munafiqeen is usually practiced by the tongue... Jihad with the clear proofs and the tongue comes before Jihad with the sword and the spear.” Thus we see that al-Qayyim understands that Islam commands fighting non-Muslims “with the sword and the spear” if talking to them to persuade them to convert fails. Note also that to al-Qayyim “hand jihad” encompasses sword-jihad.
“Jihad with one's wealth” means simply giving money/support to Jihadists. Again we can turn to IslamQ&A to find plenty of proof that if a Muslim can't fight in sword-jihad it is a personal obligation to give what they can in aid of sword-jihad. In practice this would amount to a minimum of 12.5% of their Zakat plus any voluntary “charitable donation” given to support sword-jihad.
Of Jihad ahlu ath-Thulm - Jihad against oppressors - al-Qayyim says: “There are three types of this Jihad. First, with the hand, when able to do so. But when one is unable, then he should revert to Jihad with the tongue, and if again unable, then with the heart." The meaning here is that if the Muslims are strong enough they should fight oppressors with sword-jihad, but when Muslims are in such a minority that they cannot successfully undertake sword-jihad against their oppressors, (because doing so would invite a retaliation disastrous to the Muslim Umma in the area/Country) then Muslims are required to carry out Jihad by peaceful means which includes protests, demands for special consideration, (deceptive) Daw'ah to gain converts and so forth, but if oppression is so severe that even complaining will result in attacks on Muslims, then Muslims must just keep their faith “strong in their hearts”.
Given that orthodox Muslims in the west are living under regimes which they would classify as “oppressive” to Muslims and given their obligation to wage jihad against oppressors in Jihad ahlu ath-Thulm the question arises how should pious orthodox Muslims carry this out?
Clearly Muslims in the west are in sufficiently small a minority that outright sword-jihad is contra-indicated. The risk of a vengeful populace rising against them is perhaps too great at present. Where the tipping point will be depends on how pacifist and how unarmed a given Country's populace is.
Given the recently, and thus far only partially, revealed string (I'm almost tempted to the word “tsunami” here) of British Asian Muslim rape gangs that specifically preyed on non-Muslim girls (almost all of whom were white) for over fifteen years in some cases and with complete impunity; the Police arrested the fathers of some the girls when they complained about their daughters' rapes (see also here and here) and social services which threatened employees with dismissal if they noted the “Muslim link” and ordered them to go on “diversity training” courses (one wonders what they were taught there!); all, it seems, sacrificed to the political correctness and multicultural paradigms; Britain's pacifist response to Islamism seems clear.
Sweden has it's own problems with rape. Despite changes in the definition of rape in Sweden (it now includes what the U.K. - for example – would often call “sexual assault”), the occurrence of rape has increased exponentially in tandem with largely Muslim immigration. Again there is outcry but no real action.
However, if “ Jihad with ... the tongue comes before Jihad with the sword...”, it might be argued that, seeing how far tongue jihad has taken Islamisation in Europe and Britain, there will be no need for mass sword-jihad to complete the conversion of those Western states to Islamic ones.
America take note.
The West believes in the rule of law, freedom of religion and advocates free speech.
The former means that individual acts of “terror” - i.e. sword-jihad - will not (and rightly so) induce a mass vengeance against Muslims. Rather the perpetrators, assuming they survive, will be tried and convicted. We can easily think of the example of the surviving Boston Bomber and the murderers of Lee Rigby for example. They all survived their terror attacks (despite trying really hard to achieve suicide by cop in the Lee Rigby case) and were duly tried, convicted and sent to jail (in the case of the Boston Bomber to death row) – wherein they were doubtlessly welcomed into the prison Umma with open arms and wherein they can pursue tongue jihad, in the form of daw'ah, without hindrance. If some reports are to be believed (see here, here and here for example) then this form of daw'ah also includes hand-jihad in al-Qayyim's sense.
The latter two (religious freedom, free speech) mean that Muslims are (rightly) free to say what they like; daw'ah to non-Muslims in which they use Takkiya, Kitman and Tawriya to make Islam sound more attractive than it really is. They are also free to demonise Jews, Christians, Kafirs, homosexuals and others – again that is perfectly acceptable under free speech.
But Muslims go further: they call for the destruction of Israel (and here), Jews (and here), the murder of those who “defame” their religion, or Mohammed - just ask Salman Rushdie for example - and homosexuals and adulterers. Under proper application of US/European/U.K. hate-speech legislation many such statements would be prosecuted because they are often direct incitement to violence and/or (mass) murder, but Muslims seldom face prosecution due to the fact that they can clothe such incitement under the cloak of religious freedom which makes prosecution harder for the authorities since it brings two parts of the legal system into conflict (human rights & religious freedom vs. hate-speech). For some reason U.K. and European law agencies have no such problem when it's Christians who take a dim view of Islam. Westerners who don't like Islam may be prosecuted by western countries even if they tell nothing more than the truth about Islam, just ask Geert Wilders and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff for example.
One reason for this is that Christians and secularists generally don't threaten, much less resort to, violence when they are “offended” by someone “insulting” their beliefs (if I may stretch the definition to include secularists) whereas the ever-present threat of individual or collective sword-jihad acts as a disincentive to prosecuting Islamic/Muslim hate crimes, whilst – conversely - the threat of Muslim violence in response to “insult” also acts as an incentive for the authorities to prosecute non-Muslims who “defame” Islam. Both decisions can be argued for from a “public order” standpoint since the decisions (at least theoretically) reduce the risk of Muslim violence.
That U.K. authorities fear such violence is demonstrable from the banning letters Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer received and the case of Geert Wilders vs. Lord Ahmed.
Spencer and Geller received letters that banned them from the U.K. The letter to Geller said “The Home Secretary... [has] personally directed that you should be excluded from the United Kingdom on the grounds that your presence is not conducive to the public good.” Geller reports that Spencer's said “much the same thing”. (As far as I can tell they said exactly the same thing.) Spencer and Geller (no matter what one thinks of their views) have never advocated violence and even the U.K. government admitted in later correspondence (released once they challenged the banning order) that their speech in and of itself “does not reach the threshold for exclusion from the U.K.” in terms of incitement to terrorist/criminal violence. However it was reiterated that their speech reached the threshold on the ground that “it fosters hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the U.K.” What strikes me as important here (and knowing how U.K. politicians speak “weasel words”) is that this makes no mention of whom will be so incensed and filled with hatred as to spark inter-communal violence. Pam Geller thinks “a chief reason why we were banned from the country was because we strongly support Israel”, maybe. On the other hand I do know who calls for violence in response to insults and defamation. Thus I think that the U.K. government's thinking was really along the lines of: “Geller and Spencer can't speak here! They might anger Muslims who'll then riot. So we'll say they are 'not conducive to the public good' and a 'threat to the security of society'. What's more, it's true! We can't state or even imply it's rioting Muslims we're worried about though, so we'll pretend it's their support of Israel instead.” British Zionists are not going to riot over the banning of two pro-Israel, “anti-Muslim” (i.e. anti-Islam) Yanks, so support for Israel is a PC-acceptable and safe 'reason' to ban.
A further point is that unabashed and unashamed support for Israel also “provokes” Muslims all around the world to rage, so perhaps Geller isn't so wide of the mark; but I still maintain it is the fear of violent Muslim reaction to (A) the presence of “Zionists” and/or (B) those that speak the truth about Islam that “put the frighteners” on the U.K. Government. (Let me also note for American readers that this was under a Conservative government, so the equivalent would be a US Republican administration.)
Geert Wilders vs. Lord Ahmed. In 2009 Wilders was invited to show his film “Fitna” to the House of Lords. The most Noble Lord Ahmed responded by threatening to “mobilize 10,000 Muslims to prevent Mr. Wilders from entering the House” and threatened to take the colleague who was organizing the event to court, presumably with a charge under the hate-speech laws. The Lords caved instanter. Lord Ahmed called it “a victory for the Muslim community”. To be fair I have to add that a year later (2010) Wilders did show his film and there was no problem with rioting Muslims. Admittedly only about half a dozen Lords (out of ~700) had the guts chose to attend. This proves several things. (1) 'British' Muslims are less likely to riot than their mouthpieces suggest. (2) Said mouthpieces are full of hot air (to be polite) and (3) the mere threat of Muslim violence gets results. In a further irony the only demonstrations, which were small, were by the English Defence League (EDL) (pro-Wilders) and the oh-so-ironically named “Unite against Freedom Fascism” (UAF) who were anti-Wilders.
From these examples we can see that the British government fears 'provoking' Muslim violence and I'm fairly sure this applies to European (and even the US) governments as well.
Thus Muslims are allowed far greater freedoms in terms of their expression of “free speech” and “religious freedom” than are non-Muslims precisely because any restriction, even of speech which incites violence against non-Muslims, may “provoke” violence as may vocal criticism of Islam, just ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Geert Wilders who have both been under 24/7 protection due to death-threats from Muslims.
The ironies here should be obvious.
Islam demands that Muslims have the 'freedom' to fully practice Islam. This practice, when implemented, results in Muslims having freedoms and rights not afforded to non-Muslims.
Any system that does not allow the full practice of Islam, which includes the complete imposition of Sharia within a country, is deemed “oppressive” to Muslims.
Since non-Muslim countries do not apply Sharia they “oppress” any Muslim minority within them according to the Islamist view.
According to some (controversial) reports 80% of American mosques are “radicalised”. What seems to be meant here is that they either host “radical” preachers or have materials (books, pamphlets etc.) that support sword-jihad against non-Muslims and/or hatred of non- Muslims.
Whilst the U.K. has not carried out such wide-spread surveys, Channel 4's “Undercover mosque” and its sequel both showed the influence of “extremist” preachers and material on British Islam. The former program so worried the U.K. Police that they did their utmost to launch prosecutions – against Channel 4. This Spectator report demonstrates a powerful Deobandi influence which is very conservative and separatist in it's views. It is worthy of note that the Taliban sprang from Deobandi (see here and here for example). Consider also the notorious Abu Hamza al-Masri, Abu Qatada and Hani al-Sibai for example, the last was a mentor to “Jihadi John”. All were or are free to preach “radical” (read violent, non-Muslim hating) versions of Islam in the U.K. Taken together the likelihood of a large number of British Mosques being influenced by “radical” Islamic ideology is high. A recent BBC poll (see p.26) found that 45% of British Muslims believe extremist clerics who preach violence against the West are not "out of touch" with mainstream Muslim opinion and another that 33% wanted the implementation of a worldwide Islamic Caliphate. Those 'British' Muslims, Maajid Nawaz says, “disagree with Isis’ caliphate, not because it is a caliphate, but because it is not their caliphate. ...If our [i.e. Muslims'] only criticism of Isis is that its theocracy is not utopian enough, this doesn’t bode well.” I admire his understatement.
It's worthy of note that Muslim Countries such as Egypt and Tunisia have no problem with closing “extremist” mosques (and here and here) with few or no complaints from their citizens (apart from the Imams involved) when they do, something no Western country has ever done or would ever dare to do.
Both in the U.K. and the U.S. Police and security organisations have been lambasted and denounced for operations to monitor Islamist activity.
The clear implication is that any attempt to stop Muslims from preaching “radical” Islam and recruiting Muslims to the “radical” Islamist cause will only increase “radicalisation”.
So we are told that this (state) “oppression” leads to “radicalisation”. Implicit then is that to stop Muslims becoming “radical” (aka fundamentalist or extremist, i.e. pious Muslims who believe and do what Islam teaches) we must stop oppressing them. Their “oppression” can only end when Sharia law is fully implemented; but Sharia law itself only allows Islamic orthodoxy, become a free-thinker or a reformer and you are a hypocrite (munafiq) at best or an apostate (murtadd) at worst.
Thus, to stop “radicalisation” we must institute “radicalism”?
To put that in language I consider more accurate: to stop the spread of Islamic orthodoxy we must institute Islamic orthodoxy? … Okay, I can see how that works.
Moving on ...
Muslims are told to wage jihad against the “leaders of the oppressors” and oppression in general.
The forms of Jihad aimed at non-Muslims are more than just sword-jihad. They include hand and tongue Jihad.
In the west pious orthodox Muslims are too few in number to wage mass sword-jihad against the Kafir powers surrounding them (contrast Nigeria: a 50:50 Christian/Muslim mix, they have Boko Haraam), so pious, orthodox western living Muslims have to “step-down” jihad to (mostly non-violent) hand and tongue forms; but there are still those Muslims who undertake a personal sword-jihad (Let me clarify: by “personal” I mean “not-mass”. Thus 9/11, 7/7, Madrid, etc. are all personal sword-jihads in my meaning.) which promotes a fear within “The Establishment” (i.e. politicians, 'authorities', civil/public servants etc.) of the reactions of Muslims to “insult” or “defamation” of their religion or any attempt to limit their hate-preaching as we saw above. This means the application of “hate-speech” laws unjustly favours Muslims by almost giving them de facto immunity whereas those who criticise Islam are prosecuted when possible and demonised as “racists” and “islamophobes”when not.
An irony here is that the characterisation of critics of Islam as “racist” reflects Islam's own tribal distinctions. According to Islamic teaching, all Muslims are one “tribe” - the “Umma”, and all non-Muslims are the “tribe” of 'Others' that must be fought against. We can see this in Islam's primary splitting of the world into two: the “Darul Islam” (lit. “house of Islam”) and the Darul harb (“house of war”). The irony is even greater when non-Muslims use this “racist” label.
Thus Muslims in the west already have rights and freedoms that non-Muslims either don't have or have less of - if only through fear, either of Muslim violence or (unjust) state prosecution.
Yet this is not, and can never be enough. For genuine, pious, orthodox Muslims, the “jihad against oppression” can only end when Sharia law is fully implemented. Any concession made to Islam can only be seen as a step in the process. Thus the demands of Muslims for special considerations are effectively insatiable.
Yet another irony is that the more Sharia is implemented, the more violent a country becomes - unless, perhaps, it has rather obscene amounts of oil money to buy off the zealots. Consider the trajectory of Pakistan since the “Islamification process” was accelerated under Mohammed Zia ul-Haq; or consider how non-Muslims (and liberal or secular Muslims) are coming under increasing pressure in Muslim-majority Indonesia and especially Banda Aceh; or in the Islamising Muslim-majority parts of Malaysia, or Bangladesh for example. Boko Haraam are particularly active in Northern Nigeria where there are Muslim-majority states that have implemented Sharia law, they are less so in the majority Christian parts. Minority Coptic Christians in Egypt endured unprecedented levels of oppression under the reign of the Islamising Muslim-brotherhood president M.Morsi. And there are plenty more examples within the Darul-Islam.
But the persecution in Muslim-majority Countries does not end with their non-Muslim minorities. In fact that Muslims are much more likely to be genuinely persecuted in such Countries (especially those of a minority sect) is something that somehow seems to pass by those who claim “Islam is the answer”. In 42 (that's ~75%) of all OIC countries Muslims are killing Muslims at least sporadically and in some cases on pretty much a daily basis and Muslim-majority Countries account for just over half of all those (82 - as far as I've been able to establish) subjected to Islamic terror. Thus it seems Muslims can't get on with other Muslims, never mind anyone else.
In the west there are attacks on Muslims that are hate-based and predicated on the religion of the victims, but unless Muslims are (once again) claiming a special status, they are not unique in this. Jews are attacked for being Jews, Blacks for being black and even (dare I say it?) Whites for being white (even if such attacks are seldom classed as racially or religiously motivated, for example the brutal murder of Gunner Lee Rigby was not classed as a religiously motivated hate crime despite the obvious and clearly stated religious motivations of his murderers).
Again, let me be clear: all such attacks, whoever the victim and whatever the motivation are repugnant to civilised people and deserve to be met with the full force of the law.
A further point to note is that whilst the persecution of Muslims by Muslims in Muslim-majority states is frequently lethal (some sources suggest up too 11 million since ~1950) and especially amongst minority sects, see also here and here, there have been very few Muslim fatalities as the result of religiously motivated hate crimes in the West (ignoring the “Green on Green” Muslim casualties of 9/11, 7/7, Madrid etc.).
To put it simply then: the “persecution” of Muslims in the West is largely an ideologically driven view and Muslims are much more likely to suffer genuine persecution in a Muslim-majority state.
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