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Islam and Libertarianism – compatible or contrary?

The Quran: "There shall be no coercion in religion" – Davi Barker, "Is libertarianism compatible with Islam?"

Muslims for Liberty is a Facebook page "devoted to the protection and advocacy of the natural rights of man. Be you constitutionalist, libertarian, or anarchist, all advocates of liberty."

A recent Libertarian News Examiner article concluded that Christianity and libertarianism are compatible when both accept the Zero Aggression Principle.

But many Americans contend that Islam cannot possibly accommodate libertarianism since that religion is based on jihad – holy war.

Davi Barker writes both as the SF Muslim Examiner and as a national Libertarian Examiner and has variously described himself as "the muslim agorist," "an American Muslim libertarian," a "voluntaryist," and identifies "the non aggression principle, which is the cornerstone of the libertarian philosophy" in his article "Is libertarianism compatible with Islam?"

Barker seemed ideally suited to discuss the relationship between Islam and libertarianism so the Libertarian News Examiner contacted him for this short exclusive interview.

Is Islam really based on jihad?

Jihad doesn't mean holy war. Nothing is holy about war. The phrase "holy war" is a medieval Christian concept most Christians have abandoned. Jihad means literally "struggle." It can be used to describe a physical, mental, moral, or spiritual struggle. Those engaged in "holy war" use the term because they believe their struggle to be righteous, for better or worse. I use the term to describe my non violent struggle against the State. Muhammad is reported to have said "the greatest jihad is a word of truth spoken to a tyrant."

Is Islam inherently violent?

Defensive violence is inherent to Islam. Aggressive violence is not.

You said about your religious views on Facebook that "if it means that I oppose the state you can call me Khariji." Can you explain this briefly to non-Muslims?

When the original political split between Shia and Sunni occurred there was a third group called Kharijites who wanted neither leader. They argued simply that their oath was to Muhammad and they rejected the concept of tacit consent, which the State cannot exist without. There have always been anarchists in Islam.

Were you raised Muslim or was it an adult choice?

I converted in 2006, as an adult. I was raised with lots of religions in my family, including hard atheism, but I was pagan, specifically Asatru when I converted.

How were you introduced to libertarianism?

I discovered Ron Paul in 2003 and Stephan Molyneux in 2007.

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