Thursday, 18 May 2017 14:13

Clarion Project: 5 Things Trump Should Say in Saudi Arabia

Written by  Elliot Friedland

Clarion Project

5 Things Trump Should Say in Saudi Arabia 

Op-Ed By Elliot Friedland

U.S President Donald Trump is slated to speak to the leaders of 50 Muslim countries during his trip to Saudi Arabia on May 21. Details of the speech have not yet been released.

Here’s what we’d like Trump to say:

Stop With the Radical Ideology

It’s the politicized version of Islam that wants to implement religious law as state law. It’s the ideology that wants to bring back the Islamic Caliphate, a theocratic monarchy which hasn’t been around since 1924. It’s regressive. It’s trying to revive a system of government that has no place in the modern world. It’s trying to impose an understanding of faith over others and killing people who disagree, even though it says “there shall be no compulsion in religion” in the Quran.

Wipe out ISIS. Round up all the terrorists and arrest them. End the support for the people who believe the same things the terrorists believe, but just want to get there non-violently.

This isn’t about Islam. We don’t care about halal meat or if Muslims want to pray or read the Quran. We’re all about religious freedom. We love it so much it’s the very first amendment in the United States constitution. Believe whatever you want. But you have got to put a stop to this totalitarian, supremacist ideology. Stop funding it, stop promoting it in madrasas and mosques, stop saying that it’s not appropriate yet but one day you’ll get there.

Just stop it. People are dying every day because of this ideology.  

Leave Women Alone 

I’m looking at you Saudi Arabia. Stop forcing women to wear floor-length black burqas. Stop denying women the right to drive. Stop mandating that they can’t go anywhere without their male guardian or an approved chaperone. Let women work if they want to.

But it’s not just Saudi Arabia.

Stop religious scholars from using religious texts to justify wife beating. End female genital mutilation, wherever it’s practiced. Stop allowing men to throw their wives out onto the streets and divorce them with instant triple-talaq divorce. Clamp down on honor killings and acid attacks.

Women can still be mothers and housewives and wear niqab if that’s what they want. Just let them choose. Basic equality under the law, that’s all I’m asking.

Get Some Free Speech

Stop beheading people for witchcraft and sorcery and blasphemy. Those aren’t crimes! Stop arresting people for “insulting Islam.” Don’t call on the entire world to criminalize insulting religion. A cartoon of Mohammed may be offensive to you, but is it worth rioting and murdering people over? Free Raif Badawi. A man shouldn’t be sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for writing a mildly critical blog.

You’re imprisoning some of the brightest, most creative most innovative minds in the Muslim world. Do you think that’s a good idea? How is that going to benefit your economies?

Is your faith so weak that you think everyone will just give up the religion if people are allowed to speak freely? What message does that send about your attachment to Islam?

End Hudud Punishments

Stop chopping people’s hands of for theft. Stop giving people lashes for going on dates. Stop throwing gay people off roofs.  Stop beheading apostates. Stop stoning adulterers.

Stop implementing the criminal code of sharia as state law entirely.

If you want to have “Islamic values” inform your politics, then sure whatever I guess. Just stop carrying out these ridiculous human rights abuses. Maybe it does say similar things in the bible. But we don’t actually kill blasphemers or people who desecrate the Sabbath. And if we did you’d have every right to call us out for it.

Do This If You Want to Be Friends

It’s not so crazy what I’m asking. It’s very simple. All of the points are really the first point – stop with the radical political ideology. If you do it, and America will help you do it, we can have a new golden age of peace.

Investment. Infrastructure. Trade. Scientific cooperation. Research and Development. Educational collaboration. Exchange programs. Lessened visa restrictions. Whatever you need. Let’s make deals, I’m all about the deal. Like the genie from Aladdin said “you ain’t never had a friend like me.”

But first you’ve got to cut out this ideology that’s making so much trouble. It’s not like we don’t have problems too. We know, we’re working on them. We’ve come a long, long way.

But we want to keep moving forward and we want you to move forward with us.

The world is changing fast. Technology is advancing quicker than we can even keep up. Tremendous opportunities are coming, things are ancestors could never have even dreamed of.

Once upon a time Arab and Muslim realms were the crown jewels of the world. You can be that again, if you want to. Do you want to face the future with us and step boldly together into this amazing new dawn of human progress? Or do you want to let an imperialist revivalist dream continue to cause chaos and devastation, continue to hold your countries back from what they could be.

It’s up to you.

(Link to original article)

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