Originally posted by twhitehead
The first misunderstanding, is that there is no such thing as 'the Islamic world'. There are in fact, only Muslims of many different varieties with different cultures and different beliefs.
So, what are your views? What do you think about Sharia law? Do you think that if you decide to stop being a Muslim that there should be any form of punishment?
What ...[text shortened]... me way, will you take any steps to stop him or punish him and if so, to what extent will you go?
"The first misunderstanding, is that there is no such thing as 'the Islamic world'."
Yes, I agree that this is a primary misunderstanding and that I "misspoke" in using that phrase. I am grateful that you pointed that vital misunderstanding.
In answer to your other questions, it might be useful for you to understand that while I am a Universal Sufi, I am not specifically Muslim. My religion of origin is Mormon, of which I no longer practice, but to which I hold some of the tenets. I have studied many early Christian texts as well as Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, Native American, and others. I embrace truth and practice according to ways which reveal that truth in my life. I hold that as each individual is unique with a variety of experiences, there cannot be "one true" religion (as I was taught as a Mormon).
So my views on your other questions:
What do you think about Sharia law?
I do not think that Sharia law necessarily and exclusively reflects the intent of the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (PBOH). Further, I think that there are world leaders who convince their people that Sharia law does reflect the law of the Prophet, and contol them through that deception.
Do you think that if you decide to stop being a Muslim that there should be any form of punishment?...What about personal relationships?
I believe the right to choose one's ideas, whether they are religious, philosophical, secular, etc, is an inalienable right. As such, individuals should not be punished for choosing ideas or rejecting them. The right to association is also an inalienable right, in my opinion.
As for insults regarding the Prophet, it goes along the same lines as the right to choose one's own ideas...For myself, it is a very personal issue. It goes against my personal values to intentionally insult anyone...whether they be a Prophet or a mureed, or an unbeliever. However, I do not take it as a duty to openly correct any person who presents an insult, whether or not it is intentional.
As a Sufi, it is my only duty to act in ways that draw me close to God. One of those ways reflects itself in how I treat my all beings in the family of humankind.
Thank you again for your questions.
As Salaam Aleykum