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Aug 12, 2010
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Lebanese Shiite Scholar Muhammad Hasan Al-Amin Calls for Separation of Religion and State, and Says: "Our Future Lies with Europe"

#2602 | 03:47
Source: Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)

Following are excerpts from an interview with Lebanese Shiite scholar Muhammad Hasan Al-Amin, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on August 12, 2010.

Muhammad Hassan Al-Amin: Secularization is an ideological, religious, and social reality. I am calling for a secular state that is not anti-religion – a secular state, rather than a religious state. This is precisely the bone of contention that I have with those who believe that Islam is religion and state at the same time. I say that Islam is a religion, no more and no less, whereas a state is man-made. There can be a state of Muslims – a state that bases its legislation on Islamic religious law. Such a state would be a state of Muslims, and not a Muslim or a religious state.


As I've said, freedom has disadvantages sometimes, but the disadvantages of freedom are better than the advantages of tyranny. I feel that some European countries embody... I feel that our future lies with Europe. I feel that a political system that gives rise to liberties in society, and guarantees a balanced and politically modern society, is part of what Islam strives for. Islam itself strives to establish a balanced and free society, which treats both the individual and society as a whole with respect. This is what we want.


Interviewer: But today Europe is at loggerheads with the Islamic world.

Muhammad Hassan Al-Amin: This has to do with politics. I'm not referring to politics in Europe. I am referring to the social system, the values, to the general liberties, and to the social guarantees that exist in some European societies. I believe that [Europe] has made great strides in this regard, and that other nations have the right to strive to attain such a level of progress.

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