Switzerland is fining Muslim male students if they refuse to shake the hands of their female teachers.
Is this not a kind of sexual assault — to force a person into bodily contact against his will? What happened to all the secular feminist bluster about bodily integrity and the centrality of consent? Guess none of that matters if you’re a Muslim man. If a Muslim man refuses to give you a shake, it means he’s trying to oppress you like he does with all the female members of his family, right?
Reminds me of the women who feel disrespected if you lower your gaze and don’t stare into their eyes and smile and laugh. Why is that disrespect? Just because it doesn’t accord with exactly what you are used to in terms of social custom doesn’t mean it’s disrespect. Don’t Western nations claim to be culturally tolerant and open to diversity and incessantly accuse Muslim society of intolerance? Or by “tolerance” do they just mean eating “ethnic” food every now and then and dressing up in cultural costumes for Halloween?
And the argument that refusing to shake hands reinforces gender roles and gender separation — yeah of course it does. That’s the whole point! If you believe those things to be bad, fine. Can’t help it if you’re ignorant. And if you want to force Muslims to violate their principles in this regard, fine to do that too. But don’t point to Saudi or Iran or Afghanistan and cry foul because that would be inconsistent. Honestly, if the West wants to force Muslims to violate these norms, it will just be the latest thing that proves how the supposed neutrality of secularism is a mirage. There is no neutrality — it’s just Western cultural norms that underlie and inform everything. That’s why I never appeal to “religious freedom” in my arguments. Because, what is or is not “religious” is culturally defined. If the culture shifts enough, you can shove anything down people’s throats and tell them it’s consistent with religious freedom.
Look at “homosexuality.” At first, it was something universally condemned. Then the culture shifted a little and it became a matter of religious doctrine — some religions look down on it, others don’t — and it fell within the domain of religious freedom and “agree to disagree.” Then another cultural shift happened and now it’s universally celebrated and those who fail to join in the jubilation are not doing so out of acceptable religious conviction. No, they are doing so out of bigotry and hate and prejudice and these are all things that cause harm and that is something that can be regulated and now you have to bake a cake for the gay wedding, whether you like to or not. JUST SHUT UP AND BAKE THE CAKE.
Muslims have been able to live in the West and practice their religion to a satisfactory extent not because of some hallowed, magical principles of religious tolerance and freedom and secularism blah blah blah. Absolutely not. Please, please stop believing this nonsense. It is just a coincidence that Western culture, which has its roots in the Abrahamic tradition is compatible enough with Islam for Muslims to be able to get by. That has been a fortunate happenstance for us alhamdulillah. But that could change at any time. As the West moves away from the influence of its Abrahamic roots and continues to adopt paganistic and satanic ideologies, the day will come that the law of the land will make it impossible to practice the fard. And those laws will be seen as perfectly consistent with religious freedom. In fact, it will be said that religious freedom is what justifies those laws in the first place. And then there will be some Muslims who continue to drink the kool-aid and believe they can live freely as Muslims, except at that point what they think is “Islam” will be nothing like what we know is Islam. And other Muslims, those Muslims who are not asleep, will have a lot of trials and tribulations to contend with at that time. Might not happen in our lifetime. Or maybe it will. But if things continue to proceed as they have been for the past decade in America and Europe, it is a matter of time. wAllahu ta`ala `alam.
Also, I don’t mean to be overly pessimistic. But I think we have to give a lot of credit to our non-Muslim neighbors who do sincerely tolerate us (with a real and not superficial tolerance) and what for them must be a lot of weirdness. My belief is that it is that deep cultural memory from the days when these were traditional Christian societies. Tolerance in the real sense itself is an Abrahamic value, not a secular liberal one. Our duty is to be good neighbors in kind and be true to our faith so that they can see that there are some people left on the face of the earth who worship God as He has been worshiped from the time of revelation. They deserve that and we fail them and ourselves by abandoning himma and istiqama.