“Western Values”

Ah, yes. Those vacuous “values” and “principles” that Muslim scholars like to denounce. The ones that don’t exist.

Ideas of human autonomy within the law and freedom from unprovoked violence are not “Western values.” The fact that these values are held by a reasonable population of Democratic voters does not make them Western. No matter how you try to spin it, it’s pretty clear that the dominant Western ideal throughout history has been one of conquest, racism, and coercive exploitation. Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional and has probably never encountered a history textbook in their lives.

This is why I find it hilarious when Muslim scholars rant about our (my?) supposed adoption of “Western values” to interpret the Qur’an. If I followed “Western values,” I’d be detaining children at the border and writing about the joys of torture in prisons overseas and defending Israel’s “right” to jail unarmed middle school students. These are Western values. Freedom from violence is clearly not among them.

I certainly wish that my values were Western. If they were, maybe the West would stop putting infants in prison at the Southern border.

^^^A demonstration of “Western values.”

I don’t derive my values from those of a degenerate nation built on several centuries of chattel slavery. I don’t need to. Unlike those of your scholars, my values come from Islam and from the common understanding of compassion that we all share. (Or maybe some of us don’t. That’s becoming increasingly evident of late.)

Muslim scholars have been so thoroughly colonized they really think ideas of human rights were invented by white men during the Enlightenment. It’s tragic. They’ll then adopt the “Western concept” of human rights to argue against American oppression overseas yet deny these rights exist at all if a woman or a child (or anyone else “unqualified”) asks for them.

It’s truly extraordinary.

In reality, the right to freedom from unprovoked violence (which belongs to everyone) was not invented by the West. It’s been in existence for a while. The colonial West has pretended to adopt ideas of justice and equality only recently, after realizing that its extended system of chattel slavery was not sustainable. And who pushed these rights into legislation? Not rich white men. It was a combination of slaves themselves (many of whom were Muslim–around 15%), black abolitionists, and women.

If anyone could be considered guilty of adopting the values of our colonizers, it would only be Muslim scholars: For the Western concept that those in power have the right to dominate those with less was projected onto Islam by these scholars themselves. I am simply attempting to undo the damage.

Those who have experienced it know what I’m talking about. The mechanisms underlying systems of entitlement and exploitation tend to be universal: They are employed by the West when building pipelines on Native land, and employed similarly by scholars trying to enslave half the world’s Muslim population.

It’s not me with the “Western values”, I’m afraid–it’s you.


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