1. The Islamic pecking order
Islam as an ideology has much in common with Communism. In Islamic countries, the community, religion, family, clan and country comes first. The order in which they rank may vary, but the individual always comes last. One can quibble over the cultural or religious origins of this, yet the fact remains, that in the vast majority of Muslim countries, this is how society is organized.
Since culture always has religious underpinnings, there appears to be a strong causal relationship making religion the culprit here. A religion with such a blatant disregard for the individual must necessarily be almost the exact opposite of the ideal society which holds the defense of individual rights as it’s primary goal.
2. Women in Muslim countries
In countries that follow Islamic law and tradition, like Iran and Saudi Arabia, women are second class citizens with extremely limited, if any, individual freedom and rights. A Saudi woman must always be accompanied by her male guardian, unless she has explicit permission by said guardian, to venture outside her home.
As a young writer and war correspondent stationed in Egypt and Sudan named Winston Churchill succinctly put it over 100 years ago;
The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men
Guardianship may not be akin to traditional slavery but Churchill does have a point. Again one can quibble over the meaning of the fine print, but the way women are treated in the majority of Islamic countries is highly incompatible with the ideals of individual freedom for everyone man and woman alike.
Apologists might attempt to construct a counter-argument here. They’d call for the need to separate what a country does in practice with what the religious teachings advocate. Though seeing as the latter wholeheartedly underpins and support the conditions in the former, such an argument is void.
3. The Quran vs. Rational Thinking
The Quran is said to be God’s own words, as dictated directly to Muhammed, through the archangel Gabriel. In addition, God’s words are infallible and cannot be questioned or altered in any shape way or form.
The Quran is hence written in stone;
It is a way of life with an answer to absolutely every question you may have, a former Muslim student of mine proudly professed
Free will and reasoning are essential aspects to the progress of mankind. Everything should and must be questioned. No God, person or book, regardless of the number of devoted followers, should be above questioning or criticism. Believing that something is set in stone and beyond the limits of human reasoning, is a highly un-free notion.
Add to the equation that this is not just any book, but the framework the followers of this faith slavishly adhere to in order to find pre-approved officially sanctioned answers to the enigma that is life on planet earth, and that said book acts as the constitution in both Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia, one begins to realize that this ideology is highly incompatible with freedom and rational individual decision making.
4. When free will equals death
Sharia law sanctions the punishment of death for apostasy. Were Islam a voluntary lifestyle akin to a contract you sign and agree upon certain stipulation before you join, as a supporter of individual freedom, I’d be inclined to accept this.
The problem is people are born into this and are never allowed to agree to the stipulations before they’re stuck with them. Seeing as the penalty for leaving Islam, as codified in the Quran and practiced in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran, is death, the verdict must henceforth be that this irreformable aspect of Islamic law and ideology is diametrically opposed to the non-coercion and non-aggression ideal. This makes Islam highly incompatible with individual freedom on the apostasy clause alone.
Conclusion: Irreconcilable differences
When we factor in the inequality of the sexes in Islamic law, Islamic societies’ relentless focus on the community & religious values as superior to any individual rights and the purported infallibility of the Quran, one cannot but conclude, that Islamic ideology and society is just as incompatible with individual freedom as the Soviet strain of Communism under Stalin was.