Petition 81253

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Theocratic and Radical Islam (81253-GM-R9999)

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Theocratic and Radical Islam
Much of the Islamic world advocates theocratic government, enforcing Islamic law through state power.  Particularly oppressive forms of Islamic theocracy include Saudi Arabia, which bans all non-Islamic religion, Iran, which is governed by mullahs who insist on adherence to their form of Shiite Islam, and Sudan, whose regime has waged genocidal wars against Christians and Muslims in promotions of its own form of pan-Arabist Islam.   More moderate governments in the Islamic world, such as Jordan, Tunisa, Indonesia, Turkey and others, often prohibit conversion away from Islam, ban criticism of Islam, institute some aspects of Islamic law regarding family life and marriage, and restrict activities by non-Islamic religious groups.  Sometimes Islamic groups under democratic or moderate regimes, with tacit support from some government officials, perform acts of violence against Christians, Hindus, Jews and other non-Muslims and call for the full imposition of Islamic law.  The full enforcement of Islamic “Sharia” law often involves strict restrictions against non-Muslims, subordinate legal status for women, extreme punishments for adulturers and homosexuals, and tight limits on freedom of speech.  Advocates of theocratic Islam around the world, but especially in Africa, are often well funded by Saudi Arabia and other Islamic regimes.        
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, United Methodists shall offer solidarity and support for Christians, moderate Muslims and others who suffer under theocratic Islam.  We urge national and international policies that will pressure Islamic regimes to grant equality before the law of all persons, including full religious freedom and freedom of speech, and equal rights for women.  We especially urge dialogue with and cooperation with moderate Muslims who are struggling for democracy and human rights.  We pray for a world in which the rights and dignity of all persons are protected.


Rationale

Theocratic Islamic is a growing challenge facing our world, especially our brothers and sisters in Africa.