The inviolability of conscience has as its ultimate source the idea of man as created in the image and likeness of God. That image includes reason's ability to come to know the truth and of the wills capacity to choose it freely. In Islam, it is blasphemous to say that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, the notion of inalienable rights is alien to it.
Ultimately, respect for other religions is not based on the content of those religions, as those who hold one religion must of necessity consider the others false or wanting in some way. It is based upon respect for human beings in so far as they possess inalienable rights, especially freedom of conscience. This understanding helps us to appreciate why, within Islam, the denigration of other religions is standard fare, and why it would not naturally occur to many Muslims that this would be a problem. And that, in itself, is a problem with which we must come to grips by something other than our own apologies.
Robert R. Reilly is a member of the board of the Middle East Media Research Institute and the author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind.
This is indispensible for understanding Islam and why it cannot co-exist with other religions.
Excellent perspective article - thanks for posting.
Is there any faction within Islam --- any school of thought, any historic or present spokesman, any saint, maverick or sect --- who would endorse reason as a fundamental value?
The principle of Islamic jurisprudence is: reason is not a legislator. . . . mainstream Sunni Islam does not regard reason as a legitimate basis upon which to discern morality. . . reason can only know self-interest . . . "the mind, which, once it testifies to the truthfulness of the prophet, must cease to act."
Islamists have used a centuries-old practice to accomplihs this; to wit,
Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels studies the effects of Islamist inbreeding:
"If there are two things that characterize Islamic culture, they are terrorism and inbreeding. The latest research shows that these two things might be closely connected . . . First cousin marriages have been the tradition in many Muslim families for innumerable generations. Such marriages increase the risk of negative mental and physical consequences . . . Risk of mental retardation increases with 400 percent (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 1978 Effect of inbreeding on IQ and mental retardation). Research shows that the IQ is 10-16 points lower in children born from blood related parents and that abilities related to social behavior and empathy develops slower in inbred babies (Indian National Science Academy, 1983 Consanguinity Effects on Intelligence Quotient and Neonatal Behaviours of nsari Muslim Children [pdf]). Such facts might make several pieces fall into place for many people . . . People with low intelligence (because of inbreeding) might also be easier to brainwash with fundamentalist Islam. "