Is Islam Compatible with Western Society?

by Sally Ross

Anne Marie Waters is the founder of For Britain, a new anti-jihad party in the UK. Waters was also the initiator of Sharia Watch UK. She started For Britain after losing the Ukip leadership contest back in October 2017, when Waters and her supporters were branded “Nazis and racists” by Nigel Farage and Henry Bolton, the party’s new leader. Since then all the usual suspects have come out of the woodwork to brand her and her party ‘far right’ and ‘extremist’. This is a shame since in my opinion Ms. Waters is the one taking a stand against genuine political and religious extremism. As she says on the For Britain website

“We are not far-right, we are not far-left, we are simply the decent majority who want our social values intact. We are tired of mass immigration bringing with it practices that are abhorrent to us. We are tired of being ignored when we complain about this, or worse, labelled racists and fascists. We will not accept this any longer.”

Below is a speech given last year at Conway Hall on November 9th which will give an idea of where she is coming from. 

I have transcribed the first part below.

Is Islam Compatible with Western Society?

It really comes down to one thing – to one primary question – What is Islam, and what do we mean by Islam?  Because if we are going to decide this we must know what we are talking about. So, what is it? You may hear from the other side of this debate this evening that Islam is whatever Muslims make it. That it is essentially subjective. But by very definition this can’t be true. People look to religion for guidance, for advice on how to live, therefore there must be an objective source for people to turn to for that guidance. In the case of religions, the objective source is usually a core written scripture or the philosophy of its founder or both. In short, Islam and Muslims are not the same thing. The follower and the guidance they follow cannot by definition be the same thing. 

Muslims are human beings with all the complexities of human beings. They are the readers of the book not the book itself. And many will interpret that book differently – but the book remains the same. It is objective. So, if Islam is not Muslims then what is it?  And you may also hear from the other side of this debate that the Islam that I describe, is not the true Islam. And that the truer Islam is compatible with Western Society. So, what is true Islam?

Islam is the Koran and Mohammed, or it’s nothing. If Islam is not the Koran and Mohammed than this pen (she is holding a black pen) I am holding is yellow. In other words, nothing has an objective reality – everything is what we want it to be but in reality, it isn’t. This pen is black not yellow, and Islam is the Koran and Mohammed. And to understand then, whether Islam is compatible with the West you have to look to the Koran and Mohammed, and it’s here that the interpretation dilemma begins. 

Now, to get an idea of how Islam is interpreted by Islamic scholars, imams, and leaders of Islamic states the world over we can use this to decide whether it is compatible with the West. And I’ll briefly address what is meant by the West – and we all know what we mean by the West – especially in the context of this evening. We mean freedoms, we mean religious and philosophical freedom, equal rights for all people before the law, science and reason, freedom of speech and expression – for our purposes tonight, that I would argue, is what we mean by the West.  And however imperfect the West may be – those freedoms do still – there is still a light shining – they still represent the West we are discussing. 

So, let’s see some examples of how Islam is interpreted by its scholars and its leaders. 

There are 13 countries in the world that execute people for blasphemy and apostacy. And these are Muslim majority. And the death penalty is justified and sustained by reference to Islamic scripture by religious leaders. This is not the extreme fringe – it’s the law of the land and such laws have widespread public support in many nations, and largely I would argue, because it is justified in Islamic scriptures.

Now the difference between religious freedom and death for blasphemy cannot be any more stark. They are each other’s opposite. They are therefore entirely irreconcilable. There’s no middle ground – It’s one or the other. 

Equal treatment for all people before the law – and nowhere is this difference between Islam and the West seen more profoundly than in the status and treatment of women. In the West however imperfect we may be in practice, violence against women is a criminal offence. And a woman has the same social and political rights as a man. 

Now in Islam, in both scripture and practice this is far from the case. The Koran designates women to be inferior to men and across the Muslim world the mainstream, not the fringe, women are subject to forced marriage, child marriage, honour violence and injustices – great injustices such as their testimony being worth less than a man’s, by the state – this is the treatment they receive by the state – it is a treatment of women that most western women simply would find unfathomable. It is not therefore reconcilable with the concept of equal rights of all people before the law as we know it in western democracies. 

And a further argument you may hear is ‘not all Muslims behave like this’ so therefore it can’t be Islamic. It is Islamic. It is Islamic because it comes from the Islamic scriptures, and what moderate Muslim societies demonstrate is not a moderate form of Islam but a distance from Islam. In other words, the more influence Islam has in a society, the fewer freedoms and rights can be found.

In summary the question you are being asked this evening is What is Islam? Is it, with respect, the wishful thinking of reformed or moderate Muslims? Or is it the literal text of the Koran? Others are asking you to accept that Islam is what they say it is. I’m arguing that you should accept Islam as the Koran says it is. Not what I say it is but as the Koran and the Hadiths of Mohammed say it is. And what they say it is – is not by any objective standard reconcilable with Western freedoms as we understand them today….

Hear the rest at:

My only critique is that I think she is too nice, too good, and too sensible to make much headway in politics, but I hope God is on her side (even though she says she is an atheist). 


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