Thursday, June 25, 2015

Muslims for Liberty reconcile Islam, libertarianism

Combating Islamophobia At PorcFest: How Muslims For Liberty Is Changing Libertarianism - Kit O'Connell, MintPress News:

June 23, 2015 -  "Thousands of Libertarians will share a Ramadan meal of halal Indian food in the forests of New Hampshire this week at PorcFest. And they’re helping to spread interfaith understanding and end Islamophobia in the process.

"PorcFest, short for Porcupine Freedom Festival, is an annual, week-long gathering of Libertarians and their allies at a campground, with an expected attendance of over 1,500.... For the third year, one of the groups at PorcFest will be Muslims For Liberty, an international nonprofit devoted to furthering libertarian values and interfaith understanding within the movement.... They’ve doubled their efforts this year and, with all of PorcFest 2015 taking place during the Ramadan month of daytime fasting, they’ll be serving hundreds of nighttime meals to festival attendees.

"MintPress News spoke with Muslims For Liberty’s founder, Will Coley, last week.... Coley formerly co-hosted Tea Party Patriots Live, the first U.S. radio broadcast devoted to the movement....  Coley’s activism led to what Loonwatch, a site that tracks Islamophobic rhetoric and right-wing conspiracy theories, described as a 2011 “civil war” over Tennessee’s proposed 'Sharia Ban,' with Republican operatives embarrassed when the local tea party, educated by Coley’s lobbying and classes, came out in opposition....

"Coley compared the ethics of voluntaryism to the Compact of Medina, the ruling constitution created by the Prophet Muhammad to govern Medina and its surrounding Muslim empire during the first years of the faith, during the medieval era. 'A lot of things that are advocated by voluntaryism are perfectly in line, if not exactly the same as, the ideas which were advocated and practiced in Medina. Competing courts with decentralized leadership where under the Compact of Medina the Christians ruled among the Christians, judged among the Christians, the Muslims among the Muslims, the Pagans among the Pagans,' Coley said.

"Each group was allowed to keep their own customs, he explained, such as Christians being allowed to drink alcohol even though Muslims were forbidden. 'That’s voluntaryism in action. The voluntaryist doesn’t have a problem with communism, or constitutionalism, or republicanism, he just doesn’t want to have to fund them at the point of a gun,' Coley said....

"Coley offered gay and lesbian marriage as an example: 'Muslims shouldn’t have an opinion,' he said. 'It’s not our way, it’s not our community. The culture here, by and large, based on polling, is completely accepting of it. So it’s none of our business, so long as there’s not a point where they try to force Muslims to perform gay marriages at their mosques.'

"Coley added that in years of research, he’s been unable to find any instance where Muhammad punished followers for not paying taxes."

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