Liberal Saudi Intellectual Abdallah bin Bakhit Explains the Advantages of Secularism and Gets Abused
Following are excerpts from an interview with Saudi liberal writer Abdallah bin Bakhit, which aired on LBC TV on March 29, 2009:
Abdallah bin Bakhit: A great injustice has been done to the term "liberalism." It has been falsely claimed that liberalism "leads heresy" and "fights Islam." I have just one question to all those who fight secularism: What do you think about the Muslims of India? In India, the Muslims constitute a minority. It was secularism that protected the Muslims in India from the tyranny of the majority – the Hindus and others. If India had not adopted a secular political system, you would be witnessing the blood of our Muslim brothers flowing in the streets of India. This applies to Britain as well. If not for secularism, they would not be protecting the Muslims living there.
Interviewer: You believe that secularism has its place.
Abdallah bin Bakhit: Yes. In places like Lebanon, where society is not homogeneous, secularism is a must. This is true of India as well. But in Saudi Arabia, for example, this system is not necessary, because 100% of its citizens are Muslims.
Secularism is not a faith. It is a system that is intended to resolve the problem of conflicts between minorities and different ethnic groups. It's not that I believe in secularism and go to pray in the mosque of the secularists.
Interviewer: Let’s talk to Abu Sara from Riyadh. Welcome.
Abu Sara (by phone): Assalam Alykum.
Interviewer: Allah's blessings upon you.
Abu Sara: First, let me thank you and your guest. I thank him for always being honest. There is nothing wrong with liberalism, sister.
Interviewer: Yes, Abu Sara.
Abu Sara: I have a question for our guest.
Interviewer: Make it quick.
Abu Sara: Abdallah...
Abdallah bin Bakhit: Go ahead.
Abu Sara: You are a real man.
Abdallah bin Bakhit: Thank you.
Abu Sara: I would like to marry you and fuck you.
Interviewer: Abdallah, I'm really sorry... With regard to the call by Abu Sara – we will not comment on it. But regarding all these calls we have been receiving today...
Abdallah bin Bakhit: That's an Islamist for you.