Except it isn’t.
[B]ut, as you may have noticed, the ideals, the principles behind our expression of democracy do offer us a guide to the target of our thoughts tonight.
Two documents give us a sense of the recipe:
The Declaration of Independence asserts that the right of the people “to alter or to abolish their government” must remain intact and the people must have the freedom to lay government’s “foundation on such principles” and organize “its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
The Constitution adds additional thoughts: “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.””
These are the goals of the democracy our founders created. These are the ideals, the recipe.
Let me remind you of the two main goals and six main principles of sharia. The two goals are to bring good to humanity, and to repel harm from humanity.
All religious rules must be in line with these six principles of sharia:
- The right to the protection of life.
- The right to the protection of family.
- The right to the protection of education (intellect).
- The right to the protection of property (access to resources).
- The right to the protection of human dignity.
- The right to the protection of religion.
I hope you are beginning to hear what I concluded long ago — that the similarities between Islamic sharia ideals and western democratic ideals are fairly obvious. […]
So, to my understanding, our original topic tonight has the effect of slicing us into two different camps. “Is sharia (them) compatible with democracy (us)?”
I am pretty sure, hearing that topic, most of you did not come here expecting an American history lesson. However, I pray that what I have said tonight brings you to share my conviction that we are, in fact, allies.
Islam and American democracy may disagree on some things. However, just as best friends often disagree without it hurting their relations we too can be adults and debate differences while partnering on ideals. Frankly, those differences are relatively minor. Violent extremists like al-Qaeda may trying to convince you otherwise, but they are everyone’s enemy.
I also pray that we can now start our conversation from a healthy place — not one of “us vs. them,” but of how do we work together to establish our shared ideals of justice.