Original ideas for a better world:

The expansion of Islam in the world, why not?

Despite all appearances to the contrary, Islam is fundamentally respectful of people (see the tweet (1)), and, under certain conditions, the expansion of Islam would even be a good thing, not only for Muslims, but for humanity as a whole.

We must first recognize the facts. In both ancient and recent history, religious beliefs, and particularly Islamic beliefs, very often appear to incite the worst violence against others and it is sad to see that they still do today. However, it seems entirely appropriate to highlight some of Islam’s positive qualities, and very important to do so in a socially aware manner, i.e. in a way that is respectful to others and that shows responsibility toward everyone.

 

The originality of Muslim social engagement

Between 622 and 750, Islam experienced extraordinary expansion from the north-west of Arabia to India in the east, and to Spain and Portugal in the west. The Koran goes some way to explaining this, presenting Islam as bringing justice to all, and particularly to the less fortunate. In fact, the principles of Islam proved to be highly compatible with the customs of the populations, especially when those customs leaned toward allowing the greatest number of people to be well treated and respected. Such customs were therefore called « Muslim » without too much opposition. This meant that the State, politics and religion could work well together, as they were all seen as being « Muslim. »

 

Analogy with the idea of a global democracy

Do Tariq Ramadan’s declarations (particularly « Manifesto for a new ‘WE' ») signal a new ecumenicalism bringing together Christians and Muslims [1]? Or a new type of « Catholicism » in the original sense of the term (from the Greek katholikós, meaning « universal »), which would therefore be a « catholic ecumenicalism » with a « comprehensive » vocation that is at once religious, cultural and sociopolitical? Whatever it is, Tariq Ramadan’s concept would need to be reconciled with the idea on which the United Nations is based. If that were to happen—and why shouldn’t it? —this type of global movement could be considered respectful of people and groups, given that it would bring together not only all human beings, but also all human groups, all treating each other equally. This would be a global democracy [2].

[1] See the official website of Tariq Ramadan: http://tariqramadan.com/. The ecumenical movement is first and foremost represented by the Protestant Christian World Council of Churches in Geneva, whose decisions have « no authority other than that conferred by their own truth and wisdom » (Jean Baubérot, Encyclopaedia Universalis, Œcuménisme (ecumenicalism); online September 23, 2010).

[2] Indeed, the current United Nations (UN) do not yet constitute such a democracy; they are only a prototype. See the referendum for a Society of All Nations  or Toward the Omega point.