One of the principles from the Bible I agree with is that religions and religious leaders ought to be judged by the fruits they produce. When judging a religion, I think it a useful exercise to ask the question: "What would life be like if this religion had control of society, if it could institute laws in accordance with its teachings?" Asking this question while I was at BYU law school was perhaps the beginning of my journey out of Mormonism. BYU is not governed according to the secular principles enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Rather, it is governed by ecclesiastical leaders in accordance with the principles of the religion as they interpret them. Life under the BYU "honor code" provides a glimpse into what life would be like if the LDS church ever became powerful enough to shape the laws of the land. To me, it's a frightful thought. The way the LDS church behaves when in total control, unencumbered by secular or ecumenical influences, is truly Orwellian.
Similarly, if we want to know the true fruits of Islam, it is instructive to look at places in the world where Islamic law governs, unfettered by the influence of non-Muslim viewpoints. Islam may appear harmless when Muslims live as religious minorities in a place like the United States, where religious pluralism is woven into the cultural and historical fabric of the nation and also expressly protected by the Constitution. But what about when Islam is subject to no social constraints, where the Qur'an and the Hadith are the basis of not jut religious but civil law? What fruits are produced when the religion governs all aspects of life? For a glimpse of what life is like under such circumstances, watch this video:
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