Khilafah magazine-july-2011


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Khilafah magazine-july-2011

  2. 2. NEWSBITES operation by special forces, it must have taken months to plan, and the level of held for 6 years merely to be interrogated about the news network. intelligence gathered is far too With 172 still in custody despite sophisticated for it to have been a raid Obama’s promise to close the prison, by al-Qaeda or the Taliban… The Guantanomo continues to be a severe reconnaissance and the surveillance to blot on the US’s ambitions to carry its target three or four planes is far too values globally. advanced”. Adding later that “instability in Pakistan is the price for American friendship. There have been betrayals by Americans in the past, and there will beUK TRAINING SAUDI FORCES USED TO betrayals by Americans in the future.CRUSH ARAB SPRING Absolutely they want to destabiliseThe Observer newspaper in the UK has Pakistan because they want jointrevealed that Britain is training the Saudi custody of nukes, to consolidate theirnational guard that has been deployed to position in the region, so a Karachi navalcrush opposition protests in Bahrain blockade is a natural move”.despite the Foreign office accepting theSaudi human rights record as a “majorconcern”. Britain sends approx. 20training teams annually for “weapons,fieldcraft, military skills, public order andsniper training”. REPORT CONFIRMS THE TARGETING OF US MUSLIMS IN TERROR CASESThe revelations came in the same week US government use of surveillance, paidthat the G8 approved funding for informants and invented terrorism plotscountries embracing representative rule, prompts human rights concerns,highlighting the hyprocrisy of British according to a report by NYUs Centerforeign policy as Jonathan Edwards MP for Human Rights and Global Justice.called in the UK House of Commons: After examining three high-profile cases in the New York area they highlighted“I find it difficult to understand why GUANTANAMO LEAKED DOCS REVEAL the role of the FBI and New York PoliceBritain was training troops for repressive THE AWFUL TRUTH Department in creating the perceptionundemocratic regimes. This is the Innocents held and interrogated for of a homegrown terrorism threatshocking face of our democracy to many years. Children, elderly and the mentally (reports the LA Times on 19th of May).people in the world, as we prop up ill wrongfully held. The UK Guardianregimes of this sort”, Edwards said. “It is newspaper reported in late April on over The American Civil Liberties Union andintensely hypocritical of our leadership 700 leaked secret files which expose the the Council on American-Islamicin the UK – Labour or Conservative – to innermost workings of the camp. The Relations have filed suits against the FBI,talk of supporting freedoms in the files reveal a system focused more on alleging that it used a paid informant toMiddle East and elsewhere while at the gathering intelligence rather than infiltrate several Southern Californiasame time training crack troops of containing accused terrorists. Among mosques and “indiscriminately collect”dictatorships”. inmates were an 89-year-old Afghan personal information on thousands of villager, suffering from senile dementia, Muslims. This operation, which began inA ministry of Defence spokesman and a 14-year-old innocent kidnap 2006, resulted in perjury anddescribed the Gulf states as “key victim. naturalization fraud charges against onepartners” in the fight against terrorism. member that were later dismissed. Other revelations included that nearlyFORMER PAKISTAN INTELLIGENCE 100 inmates were recognized as having “Its clear the FBI is targeting peopleCHIEF ACCUSES THE US mental illnesses, many attempted suicide. with no basis to believe they areHamid Gul formerly head of the ISI told Many were held with no evidence of involved in criminal activity,” said Peterthe UK Channel 4 news that he is “100 connection to terrorism – one being Bibring, lead ACLU attorney for thepercent sure” that a recent attack on the held solely because he had intelligence Irvine lawsuit. “It’s both a poor use ofheadquarters of a naval base in Karachi of Taliban interrogations. Reliance upon limited law enforcement resources andwhere 13 were killed was an “American information obtained under torture was an invitation for ethnic and religiousoperation”. Gul who was the head of the widespread and in many cases despite profiling.”ISI from 1987 to 1989 said: definitive proof that detainees had no links to the Taliban or al-Qaida they were“The Karachi incident was clearly an still held. An Al-Jazeera journalist was2 :: Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011
  3. 3. DR. ABDUL WAHIDEditorialThe Global Callfor ChangeDuring this past month the momentum 200,000. At the same time, responding causes.for change across the Middle East has to the call for change, Sisters andnot slowed. Opposition to the Assad Brothers led demonstrations in Jordan, As we go to press, Muslims can see theregime in Syria has escalated; Ali Denmark, Holland, Australia and London upper ranks of the Pakistani army haveAbdullah Saleh was forced to leave - opposing the Russian states been infiltrated by people who wish toYemen; opponents of Gaddafi continue oppression of Muslims - highlighting execute Americas agenda in the regionto resist him; and the harsh sentence the case of Sister Sidikova. - and wish to purge the armys ranks ofmeted out by the regime in Bahrain any principled opposition or Islamicwere met by more protests. In this months magazine, we profile sentiment. They demonise a party that some of these demonstrations as well as stands for non-violent change, MuslimBut added to this has been Hizb ut- looking at the volatile geopolitical unity, Islamic government, justice andTahrirs sustained called for change. For situation of the Arab uprisings and the accountability; an educated populationalmost sixty years this Islamic party has decline of America in the world. and a technologically advanced state;led the way in non-violent political that supports the masses and notstruggle, following the Prophetic But just as the masses and good people Western interests.example. Whilst, others praised the move for change, there are those whoarmy in Egypt for not slaughtering the work to oppose change and the Islamic Those who oppose will plan and plotpeople as they do in Syria, Hizb ut- revival in this Ummah. to stop it. But they cannot and will not.Tahrir has made winning the armed For Allah plots and plans - and Heforces part of its method, just as the We expose and refute the Saudi (SWT) is the Best of Planners.Prophet (alayhi salatu wassalam) tried regimes attempts to label the Arabto win over the most powerful factions uprisings as illegitimate from an Islamicin society as well as the general public. perspective. Also, we expose the British governments "Prevent" strategy (toThis past month, Hizb ut-Tahrir held prevent the Islamic revival not tohuge conferences in Indonesia filling prevent violent extremism as theydozens of sports stadia, with the total pretend), as well as the rise ofnumber of delegates attending close to Islamophobia in the West - and Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011 :: 3
  4. 4. SAJJAD KHAN The Arab Spring - A Principled StanceIt has been an incredible year so far. We a young market seller named the regime refused to hear hishave witnessed seismic events take Mohammed Bouazizi who was complaints, he went to the office of theplace in the Muslim world. Events humiliated when an official confiscated provincial government, starting a chainwhich we hoped to see, but which we his market stall. This though is not a of events which would cause him to bethought would not happen in our one off incident. It is the kind of burnt alive.lifetimes. Despot by despot; town by humiliation that takes place every daytown; country by country; people have in the Muslim world – the persistent The determined actions of individualsrisen up against tyranny in their tens of tyranny of governments that deny their today are not unique. In the course ofthousands. citizens dignity, opportunity and the history, the actions of the Anbiyah have tools they need for prosperity. Only this sparked movements for political changeThe story began in 2010 in Tunisia with time, Mohammed had other ideas. After rooted in the just message of Allah4 :: Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011
  5. 5. SAJJAD KHAN(swt). Think of the young Ibrahim (as),who stood in defiance against thosewho blindly supported the power ofthe idols in the temple, or the braveryof Musa (as) as he stood and challengedthe powerful and arrogant Firaun in hisown court. Or the events that started inTunisia, as Mohammed’s act ofdesperation tapped into the frustrationfelt by all throughout the Muslim world.Hundreds of protesters took to thestreets, then thousands, then tens ofthousands. And in the face of tear gas,batons and bullets, they refused to gohome – day after day, week after week,until dictators who ruled for decadeswere forced from power.The story of frustration should not havecome as a surprise. The nations of theMuslim world won their so calledindependence a long time ago, but theybecame corrupt dictatorships,neglected their peoples and becameruthless political tools of westerngovernments. In too many countries, acitizen like Mohammed had nowhere to standing up for Israels security at the the USSR supported the discreditedturn – no honest government to hear expense of the Palestinians. regimes in Berlin, Prague and Budapest.his case; no independent judiciary to Yet now, after decades of despotic rule Today the West does the same with thegive him a voice; no transparent and western interference, the political despotic regimes in Riyadh, Amman andelection where he could choose his situation is in flux and we now have an Sanaa.leader. unprecedented opportunity to finally shape the path to substantive change. Indeed the West who supported theThis is despite the fact that parts of the But as we do, we must expose some despotic governments of the regionMuslim world are abundantly blessed myths that have gained currency over should not receive a free pass. Theywith wealth in oil, gas and other recent months. supported these regimes for clearresources, which has led to prosperity strategic reasons. These strategicfor the ruling elites. But in a global It is clear that though there have been reasons survive today. It is for thoseeconomy based on knowledge, changes of leadership in the region, same strategic reasons that the Westtelecommunication and innovation, the there have been no changes of regime. supported Mubarak, and why todaywealth of a nation is not found in In Tunisia and Egypt we have seen the they support the leaders of Saudiresources in the ground but in the skills regime of Ben Ali and Mubarak remain Arabia, Bahrain and call Assad aand talents of its people. Yet people can in place, even though the leaders reformer. It is for these strategic reasonsnever reach their potential when themselves are now out of power. they support the apartheid regime inwealth, opportunity and education only It is also incorrect to argue that the Tel Aviv and allow it to be a nuclearcirculate amongst the chosen few. West put people on to the streets of monopoly while lecturing others in theThe question before us is, what do we Tunis, Cairo or Benghazi, nor was it the region. It is those reasons why theymake of what has happened in recent power of social networking sites such bomb Libya yet do nothing whilemonths? Is what we have seen, the as Facebook or Twitter – it was the civilians are killed in Zimbabwe, Northpermanent change that people want? people themselves who launched these Korea and Burma.And what role should we now play to movements, who braved the bullets andshape future events? For decades, the it is they who are responsible for the It is also clear that the apartheid regimedespots of the Muslim world have change. in Tel Aviv has no better friends thanpursued a set of narrow interests which the tyrants in Cairo, Damascus andhave sidelined its own people: securing Attempts to claim the Arab Spring is Amman. The Israelis realise that thoughthe free flow of commerce for the west, akin to the fall of the Berlin Wall are they can make peace with despots infighting against the Islamic revival and correct in one sense. In the Cold War palaces, they cannot make peace Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011 :: 5
  6. 6. SAJJAD KHAN substantive economic change will Muslim lands from foreign occupation occur. Unless corruption ends, to ensure justice is given to those who innovation cannot start. Unless western have seen their properties stolen, their institutions stop interfering, domestic lands annexed and their dearest killed. institutions can never mature. Our support for these principles should not oscillate with the political winds– It is also not for the West to force their nor should they be sacrificed at the particular values of secular democracy. alter of political expediency, or in some The principle of detaching religion vain attempt to appease the west. The from state is deep rooted in London, west never compromises on their core Washington and Paris but is foreign to principles, nor should we. Cairo, Damascus and Istanbul. Liberal values rooted in individual freedom that Those principles must guide our spawn corporate capitalism, sexual response to the change that is freedom and pure individualism transforming the Muslim world – words emanate from the west’s peculiar which tell us that dictatorship will fail, ideology and are alien to the people of that western interference will fall, and the region. that every man and woman regardless of their creed, colour or race will be Accountable governments under the treated with justice. As the life of our Khilafah system are rooted in Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (saw) showed us, eternal values and have led to the journey will not be easy, real prosperity, justice and respect for political change never is. There is no minorities and women over the ages. easy path to progress, no shortcuts to Science, architecture and trade real change and hardship always blossomed under the Khilafah and can accompanies the task. do so once again. It is therefore incumbent on Muslims to speak out for But this Ummah is founded on the Islam’s core principles – principles that belief that implementing a system should guide our response to the anchored in divine revelation does not continuing events: have to contradict with the modern world. That our vision of leadership, is For instance Muslims should oppose one that is elected by the people, not the use of violence and repression appointed by the clergy. Where those against any individual whether done by that are weakest in society, are those non state actors, the despots in the that require most looking after. Indeed the West who supported the despotic governments of This is why we cannot remain silent today, this is why we cannot look away, the region should not receive a free pass. They supported this is why we will not stand aside these regimes for clear strategic reasons. while women are raped, while towns are oppressed and while children arethe masses on the street. The Muslim is not interested in appeasing or Muslim world or carried out by Westernaccepting Israel’s illegal occupation and military forces. As Allah (swt) commanded:will not rest until this is reversed. “And if you rule, rule with justiceIn addition one of the key reasons for We should support a clear set of values. between them. Verily, Allah loves thosepeople’s discontent is the lack of These values include the right to elect who act justly” [Translated Meaning ofeconomic opportunity. Yet the same one’s ruler; the right to protest without the Qur’an - al-Ma’ida:42]crony capitalism that was practiced fear of reprisal; that minorities shouldbefore, is being now advocated again. be protected; that no one is above the law and that wealth should not beThe use of the IMF, World Bank and aid concentrated amongst a privileged eliteprograms are also designed to keep the – whether you live in Tunis, Cairo orstates weak and dependent on the West. Damascus.Unless the resources of the region areused for the people of the region, no And finally, we support the liberation of6 :: Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011
  7. 7. DR ABDUL WAHID The Three Faces of Islamophobia But, as many critics of Islam point out, Islam is not a race. It is a set of beliefs and values that cross the boundaries of race. So, it is argued, it cannot be racism that drives a dislike of Islam. This is not wholly true. Islam is, indeed, not a race. But whilst Islamophobia is not a monolithic phenomenon, a significant part is without doubt nothing less than the base tribalism of the kind we see most commonly amongst racists. Islamophobia needs to be understood if concerned individuals hope to formulate an appropriate response. In my view there are three distinct faces of Islamophobia. I define Islamophobia as those who are critical of orthodox Islamic laws and values, rather than those who simply look at it all as a kind of “racism”, which I believe is not productive.A version of this article was within Germany. Critics pointed out that Cameron failed to criticise the English With that definition, the first form oforiginally published on the Defence League, a militant anti-Muslim Islamophobia is what might be labelledwebsite New Civilisation in group, who held a huge rally the same as old-fashioned European xenophobia,June 2011 weekend as his Munich speech. which is what the term Islamophobia Multiculturalism was a policy adopted in has come to commonly represent. The Britain in response to rising racial second is the Islamophobia of liberalsWhen British Prime Minister David tensions in the 1960s and 1970s. Many who, who wish to express (as they seeCameron addressed a security informed commentators fear that, it) the superiority of liberal values andconference in Munich in February 2011, whatever the motivation, abandoning their criticism of Islam throughhe criticised multiculturalism and called this policy – which was supposed to comment, dialogue and debate. The thirdfor a more ‘muscular liberalism’. lead to greater social cohesion – will type uses policy tools to establish theCameron has not been alone in attacking open the door to more racism; a concern superiority of liberal values over Islam;multiculturalism. German Chancellor reinforced with the approval by Marine and this last group includes theAngela Merkel was forced to make Le Pen, the leader of France’s National ‘muscular liberals’ like Cameron andnegative comments on the policy by Front party, for Cameron’s comments. Blair. This is the most destructive face ofrising tensions and political 7 :: Khilafah Magazine :: September 2010 Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011 :: 7
  8. 8. DR ABDUL WAHIDIslamophobia, because it is built on false Whilst there is a legitimate need to mission.arguments and can cause huge damage protect our families, our masajid etc –in terms of community relations, the there is a clear lesson in this ayah of the This group warrant’s argument andstability of the Muslim world, and Quran not to respond unnecessarily to debate in the best manner, as mentioneddamage in terms of loss of life and ignorant abuse. in the ayah of Quran.liberty. “Invite to the Way of your Lord with LIBERAL EVANGELICALS wisdom and beautiful preaching; andOld-fashion European Xenophobia Evangelism is asserting the superiority of argue with them in ways that are bestEurope has a poor history on its one’s beliefs. But it is not restricted to and most gracious: for your Lordtreatment of minorities. Much of the religion. knows best, who have strayed from Hiscurrent commentary about Muslims is Path, and who receive guidance.”reminiscent of the way Black people, There are critics of Islam who are not [Translated meaning of Quran16:125]Jews, Gypsies or the Irish were treated ignorant racists. They want to criticisein generations gone by – and in some the ideas of Islam that they disagree Liberal evangelical Islamophobiacases even today. with from their own liberal worldview. requires engaging in a debate of ideas – Their aim is not usually to demonise and for the best idea to win. But thisThe themes of the criticism about Muslims, who carry these ideas. requires the Muslim community toMuslims usually centre on changing the Their commentary can be perceived as adhere to the values that are undercharacter of Britain, imposing non-British Islamophobic because it is set against a attack in a public manner, and to defendvalues, refusing to integrate, taking backdrop of politically driven them intellectually.resources from the state etc. This is the propaganda. Yet their criticisms are partlanguage of the BNP or EDL who of a debate of ideas rather than ignorant The ‘Cold War’ Warriors of the Statecamouflage their attacks on Islam with xenophobia or part of a wider political The third group of people are thosethe language of defending the English or agenda. who wish to see the dominance ofBritish people. secular liberal ideas over Islam – within Liberal evangelicals, who dominate the Britain and across the world but whatThis narrative is reinforced by the columns of the liberal broadsheets and distinguishes them from the liberalstabloid media who have, in some cases, the corridors of the BBC, can be mentioned before is that they do notactually manufactured negative storiesabout Muslims; or at other times report This group of Islamophobes believes in an ideological attack using theupon every negative facet of the full force of the State – including the use of military force if it meansbehaviour of Muslims in a manner that containing the rise of Islam as a political force in the Muslim world –links to their Islamic identity, whichreinforces popular prejudice. and some elements of civil society as well, in order to secure victory.This form of Islamophobia generates themost rigorous opposition. There is, in extremely consistent in challenging trust liberalism to win the debate onpart, protection in law from illiberal ideas from any source – whether intellectual grounds.discrimination and incitement to hatred. Christian or socially conservative.Moreover, anti-racist groups, the left and Instead, they use the power of the State,those with a strong moral conscience This small group will uphold their creed and their influence in the media, todislike the rise in xenophobic hatred. So, to defend the right of people to say pursue policies that secure themany Muslims think it is important to what they want to say, even though they dominance of liberalism and thebuild alliances and address this kind of might disagree with them. suppression of Islam. They are willing toIslamophobia. play dirty, and pursue policies that But this means that this group of people fundamentally contradict the values theyHowever, the danger in concentrating on would also be the first to champion the purport to uphold, which are foundedthis face of Islamophobia alone is to rights of Salman Rushdie, Theo van Gogh upon deeply flawed – even false –miss the altogether more sinister state- and others who use free expression to premises. They have played to the basestled and policy driven Islamophobia. insult the sanctities of Islam. instincts of the common man to createMoreover, most of the people that fall an environment that is hostile to Islam.into this camp are ignorant (jahil) These people deal in ideas; and the They have mimicked the McCarthyistpeople, and Allah SWT tells us: response to them should be in terms of policies of the Cold War era in order to“And the servants of Al-Rahman are ideas. That is how Allah and His create fear, and so hope to keep thethose who walk on the earth in Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) Muslim community in check throughhumility, and when the ignorant (jahil dealt with the criticisms in terms of this climate of fear.people) address them, they say, "Peace!" ideas in the Makkan era of the blessed[Translated meaning of Quran 25:63] Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) In a recent column in the Evening8 :: Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011
  9. 9. DR ABDUL WAHIDStandard newspaper following the ‘EXTREMIST’ BELIEFSpublication of the Prevent review, the Mr d’Ancona identifies these. Some wereright-wing columnist Matthew d’Ancona mentioned in the Prevent reviewwrote that “this struggle more closely document and some were leaked fromresembles the Cold War than the Troubles confidential sources under the previousin Northern Ireland. The most important administration. They include “theargument advanced by the rebooted restoration of the Islamic Caliphate, thePrevent strategy is that the struggle against destruction of Israel and the globalterrorism is, at root, a battle of ideologies”. imposition of Sharia law”. These are caricatures of the beliefs of many Muslims,This view is widespread amongst exaggerated for full fear effect.politicians, and pushed by right wing think The restoration of the Khilafah is a widelytanks. This group of Islamophobes believes held general aspiration amongst huge people labelled as ‘extremists’ and a merein an ideological attack using the full force numbers of Muslims – although the stone’s throw away from being a ‘terrorist’.of the State – including the use of military numbers who actively promote this as anforce if it means containing the rise of immediate political programme are fewer. But, for Muslims, upholding these values isIslam as a political force in the Muslim The Khilafah holds a central position in essential. For abandoning these valuesworld – and some elements of civil society Islam. would bring humiliation in this world andas well, in order to secure victory. the next. The destruction of the Khilafah after World In fact, why does any Muslim think an anti-But if they have their way they will destroy War One heralded the subsequent racist liberal campaigner would bothereven further the very ideas and values they disintegration of the Muslim world into defending values they disagree with, whenclaim they seek to uphold. chaos. Muslims don’t stand up for them evenThis British government, like its though they are supposed to believe inpredecessor, has decided they wish to What is labelled the ‘destruction’ of Israel them!police ideas and political views. That is is what Muslims refer to as the liberationsomething that is supposed to be ‘haram’ of occupied Palestine. When Argentina These politicians, think tanks and sectionsin liberal societies. occupied the Falkland Islands or Hitler of the media who use lies, smear, fear and occupied France, people wanted liberation propaganda, as well as the institutions ofThey have decided to sideline, even – and not the ‘destruction’ of the pro- state to achieve their ends – have to bedemonise, those who have nothing to do Argentine regime or the ‘destruction’ of the exposed for what they are.with violence but who hold firm to core Vichy regime – only liberation. Muslims doIslamic beliefs – so contradicting the not wish to see a “Jewish-free” Palestine; Their arguments need to be challengedpluralism they claim to believe in. just one where the oppressive and racist and undermined. The destructive capacity“Extremism” says the government’s Prevent Zionist regime is abolished, and justice for their policies needs to be made clearreview document “is vocal or active established in the region. Yet, it is for all.opposition to fundamental British values, government policy to silence this validincluding democracy, the rule of law, political opinion. Their double standards, trampling andindividual liberty and mutual respect and soiling the very values they claim totolerance of different faiths and beliefs.” What is referred to as the ‘global support, needs to be seen by all. imposition of Sharia law’ is the adoption of The Muslim community needs to beThis definition is complete hypocrisy. The a legal code, described by the political united, despite government attempts toadvocates of such policies have thinker and British parliamentarian force divisionsundermined the rule of law in their Edmund Burke as “a law interwoven with aapproach to Muslims within the UK and system of the wisest, the most learned, and “And hold fast, all together, by the rope ofabroad, in pursuit of their ‘War on Terror’. most enlightened jurisprudence that Allah and be not divided amongThey have removed the individual liberty perhaps ever existed in the world”. yourselves” [Translated meaning of Quranof many with the imposition of detention This group of Islamophobes know that the 3:103]without trial. They have shown little return of the Khilafah, the implementationrespect or tolerance for those who have of Sharia in terms of governance and Moreover, Muslims must be confident in itsperfectly reasonable and rational beliefs economics, would mean a loss of control own identity – then engage with others onand values that conflict with the current over the Muslim world and its resources. It this basis.dominant view [though not necessarily is not about terrorism, or the safety of theirmajority view] in Britain or Europe. Where citizens. It is about suppressing the “Who is better in speech than one whois the respect and tolerance for women aspirations of hundreds of millions for the calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness,wearing hijab and niqab? Or for mosques sake of corporate security. and says, ‘Verily, I am of the Muslims’?”bearing minarets in Switzerland? Or for the [Translated meaning Quran 41:33]religious sensitivities of millions of people So, they have created a ‘McCarthyite’when desecrating the Quran, or vilifying climate, where to declare belief in thesetheir beloved Prophet? values that are attacked and criticised, Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011 :: 9
  10. 10. BURHAN HANIF to be frank about it.” (Peter Reid, Home Secretary in 2006) Prevent: The only element that Theresa May introduced, which could be considered as new was the reference to tackling ‘non- violent extremism’. This adjustment in Radically the focus was inevitable for a number of reasons: • It was the direction that the same previous government had already adopted, but had not announced publicly. • The Prevent Strategy has been an abysmal failure, for it was evident that ‘extremists’ were few and far between. Prevent has always been seen as a convenient cover that allowed the government to create a climate of intimidation for the Muslim community and for the government to pursue its real target i.e. those who offered Islamic intellectual and political enlightenment and alternatives. • The concern for governments is when Muslims begin to redefine themselves within an Islamic paradigm and assert their Islamic identity beyond the spiritual and secular confines, which they had inherited and/or was imposed upon them. This concern was has been consistently raised in the British Parliament over a number of decades and Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister stated, "It is also a struggle of ideas and ideals that in the coming years will beThere was nothing radically different • The strategy maintains spy waged and won for hearts and mindsabout the “radically different strategy” to networks across a multitude of here at home and round the world."prevent people being drawn into violent institutions, to inform the authorities ofextremism, which was unveiled by the those who show ‘signs or are susceptible’ It is an uncomfortable position forUK Home Secretary Theresa May in of extremist behaviour and influence. governments as Muslims openly questionParliament on 7th June 2011. and seek debate on the legitimacy and • The strategy conveniently application of secular values andThe core elements of Prevent, which ignores the primary cause that has been challenge the brutal and hypocriticalwere introduced by the Labour attributed to the growth of radicalisation foreign policy that western governmentsgovernment in the aftermath of 9/11 – i.e. UK foreign policy, which has been have adopted in the Muslim world. Toremain unchanged: aired by many political commentators, silence Muslims has become a ordinary citizens; even ministers in the cornerstone policy of the government• It targets the Muslim government: “To pretend what happens and we should all expect that ‘non-violentcommunity. abroad has no impact is nonsense.” (Lord extremism’ will become a much used West, Security Minister in 2009) household political expression.• It is based on promoting asecular state-sponsored Islam strategy and “But I do believe that foreign policy is However, the announcement of the ‘newproviding a platform only for ‘moderates’ sometimes a motivating factor in strategy’ will do little to provide re-who subscribe to this doctrine. radicalisation of young Muslims and the assurance to the Muslim community, potential recruitment to terror. It is better already battling with discrimination,10 :: Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011
  11. 11. BURHAN HANIFintimidation and victimisation that the continents whose indigenous populations crime, drug and alcohol abuse, humanexisting Prevent strategy has created. (in America, Africa, Asia and Australasia) trafficking, domestic violence, and so on.Likewise, the announcement just adds to were not spared from the criminalthe increasingly held belief by Muslims colonial foreign policy – including But to give credit to truth, Theresa Mayand society in general that it is genocides, massacres, rape, exploitation, did confirm that:increasingly common for the government torture, subjugation, the appropriation ofto abdicate and contradict core lands and the installation of despotic “Let me be clear: the ideology ofprinciples: rulers to govern on their behalf? extremism and terrorism is the problem, Entitled ‘Genocide in Australia’, Professor Islam emphatically is not.... Above all, it• An ethical foreign policy has Colin Tatz, wrote that though no official will tackle the threat from home-grownbeen ignored for the sake of protecting figures exist, estimates of the Aboriginal terrorism”.British material interests by supporting population in 1788 range betweenbrutal regimes and turning a blind eye 250,000 and 750,000. By 1911 the We wait for the government to finallyand outsourcing torture. (In truth, there is number was 31,000. announce and admit that it is the home-no such thing as a secular ethical foreign grown terror that is debated, abhorred,policy) • Will students be taught that Sir and legislated against and within the four Winston Churchill, named the greatest walls of Parliament. That which is the• Britain abandoned sacred free Briton of all time in a nationwide poll in principle source of terrorism the worldmarket principles in order to save banks 2002, supported the use of poisonous gas, suffers from - secular extremism.and protect and reward those that wereresponsible for the economic crisis that It is an uncomfortable position for governments as Muslims openlyengulfed the world economies and question and seek debate on the legitimacy and application of secularresulted in millions of ordinary people values and challenge the brutal and hypocritical foreign policy thatseeing their wealth and homes takenaway i.e. the bankers. western governments have adopted in the Muslim world.• The government selectively stating “I do not understand thisapplies ‘freedom of speech’ whilst squeamishness about the use of gas. I am For Muslims, the agenda of Prevent hasdeclaring itself as its most ardent strongly in favour of using poison gas become clearer as time has worn on. It isguardian – yet it actively seeks to deprive against uncivilised tribes”. He also said: essential that Muslims equip themselvespeople from holding thoughts and “I do not agree that the dog in a manger with the cloak of Iman and to beexpressing themselves within the has the final right to the manger even steadfast upon the truth, engagingintellectual and political arena. Arrogantly though he may have lain there for a very intellectually and politically, withoutand quite without evidence propounding long time. I do not admit that is right. I do deviation. Likewise, as a community, thethat non-violent Islamic political thoughts not admit for instance, that a great wrong Muslims must adhere to Islam at all times(Islamism they call it) will lead to has been done to the Red Indians of in its engagement within itself and theterrorism. An approach that can be used America or the black people of Australia. I wider society and not allow it to becometo silence any political views the do not admit that a wrong has been done a tool in the hands of those that seek togovernment dislikes. to these people by the fact that a harm its adherents to Islam and become stronger race, a higher-grade race has the voice for the return of Islam as theIt is interesting to note that part of the come in and taken their place.” unifying political system in the Muslimstrategy to tackle extremism, involves world.promoting integration, “...including • Will Muslims be taught of recentthrough teaching our history and values British history and its active support in "The believers, men and women, arein our schools...” the creation of the illegal Israeli state and "Awliya" (helpers, protectors) of oneWhat will be taught in terms of history the forced displacement of 5 million another; they enjoin the good and forbidby the government to encourage Palestinians? And the British creation and the evil…” [TMQ Al-Taubah 9:71]integration? support of nationalist movements in the• The bloody wars that England Arab world in order to divide and rule?engaged in and the brutal treatment and And the instigation of assassinations toexploitation of those it conquered? remove rulers that did not support the British agenda?• The mistreatment of those wholived in Scotland and Ireland? Given this, the mind just boggles what will be taught in terms of British values –• The truth of the brutal track given the social, political and moralrecord of the British Empire, which is decline that is evident and the alarmingetched in the histories of those statistics related to poverty, social disease, Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011 :: 11
  12. 12. RUKSANA RAHMAN Uprising in the Arab World & the Political Role of Muslim WomenFriday April 22nd marked the bloodiest Muslims from remaining politically active democracy instead? What role do Muslimday of the 5 week old uprising in Syria. nor dampened their spirits of believing in women carry in achieving the desiredSecurity forces indiscriminately shot and their aspirations of living under a just change? To answer such questionskilled 73 people in an attempt to quash system of government in the future. requires a deeper study of the history andany semblance of revolution and toppling Throughout history, the question of the heritage of the Arab peoples and itsof the Syrian regime. Indeed the signs of role of women in political life has been a impact in shaping political life andunrest in Syria are testament to people’s subject of much interest and contention. activism.belief that they have the power to change Needless to say that much demonizationthe status quo. of Islam has centred on the labelling of EMERGENCE OF THE DEBATE ON THE Islam as being the cause of women’s lack ROLE OF MUSLIM WOMEN IN POLITICSThe Syrian uprising follows popular of public and political life in the Muslim Many ideas exist on what is the correctuprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and world rather than the decadent Arab role for Muslim women in politics. In theother Muslim countries in the Arab world. cultures of bygone years or the imported book ‘Women in Islam: A WesternFrom the suppression of political systems of the east and west. History is Experience’ by Anne Sofie Roald, sheexpression through imprisonment to the testament to the multitude of face lifts writes: “Political empowerment oflabelling of alternate political views as Arab countries have had – each system women can be looked at from various‘thought crimes’, the Muslims of the Arab and dictator promising to uplift women perspectives. Secular Muslim feministsworld have experienced decades of from oppression. Yes – women in the focus on the top of the political ladderpolicing and subjugation by tyrant rulers. Arab world call for a removal of tyrant and thus promote female leadership,Nevertheless, this has not deterred rulers, but are they craving for western whereas Islamic women seek12 :: Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011
  13. 13. RUKSANA RAHMANempowerment on the lower rungs of the Muslim women for decades becameladder so that many women are politically common practice. Such a political realityactivated”. It seems two discourses exist inspired Muslim women to be unified onon this issue; firstly whether women can one view – that oppression and tyrannyassume the role of head of state – which by the political system should not exist. Itis largely a feminist construction, and also inspired some women to set upsecondly how it is that women should be organisations and charities whichpolitically activated. So why have such provided a small voice and a cause todiscourses re-emerged in the Arab world? work for under such brutal regimes, which numb any attempt to questionTHE POLITICAL INVASION AND ITS their authority.IMPACT ON POLITICAL ACTIVISM OFMUSLIM WOMEN MODELS OF POLITICAL ACTIVISMFrom the time of the Arab Revolt – the Society in the Arab world has alwaysbiggest betrayal against the Uthmani witnessed two branches of politicalKhilafah in 1918 onwards, North Africa activism; the call from secular Muslimand in particular Egypt and the Hijaz has women and feminists on the one handbeen a hotbed for the introduction of and the call from practicing Muslimerroneous ideas on women. With the women on the other.west’s infatuation with ‘The Orient’culturally and militarily – Influential The American plan of democratisationMuslim thinkers and writers fell into the wished to force a model of democracytrap of philosophising Islam and through man-made legislation to shapedistorting understanding to suit the the political landscape from Indonesia towestern palate. Many female figures Morocco. Prior to the Arab uprising ofemerged at that time in the political 2011, the US attempted to ‘liberate’ thearena – ready to demonstrate and speak people of Iraq by dispelling Saddam andout for the causes they believed in which bring in a ‘representative’ government. Itpropelled the call for reforming Islam. must be made clear that westernThe feminists of that era such as Huda democracy is not the simple action ofSha’rawih, Safiyah Zaghlul, Princess Nazli, voting for the leader – but to legislate andSiza Nabrawi and the like, were politically implement a secular man-made stateactivated in the wrong sense. Such constitution. The bastions of democracywomen were the wives and daughters of also tried to activate women politically byreformists with some receiving a western the mere offering of votes which many ineducation. They called for women’s rights, Iraq and Afghanistan have boycotted andfreedom to remove the hijab and absolute labelled as rigged and the encouragementequality. The motivation behind the of women to be represented inactions of such women is the notion that parliament (e.g. The Loya Jirga in African countries. Morocco achieved awestern liberalism was the way forward. Afghanistan). According to ‘The World 10% female representation in parliamentDeluded by the idea that the grass is Association of Parliaments’ (IPU – an by 2002. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have nogreener on the other side, they failed to association consisting of 155 national women representation and Kuwait doesnotice that women in England were parliaments around the world); at the end not let women run for office or vote.struggling for their right to vote or of 2010, women made up a fifth of What has changed politically from theinheritance when Islam had already parliamentarians worldwide, up from involvement of women in democracy?granted such rights 1400 years ago. The 16.3 percent in 2005. In 2010, 43 The protests in all the Arab countries andreason why women in Egypt were being chambers of parliaments (most being particularly in North Africa is testamentdenied such rights was due to the Northern European states) met the UN to the inability for female representationabsence of the Islamic State, which could target of including at least 30 percent of or democracy to solve the problems ofimplement them. The greatest danger that women MPs. 62 chambers remained society. If further proof is required – webefell the Muslims at that time is their below the 10% mark and 10 chambers need not look further than Afghanistan,acceptance of foreign invasion which included no women at all. Arab states Pakistan and Iraq where the people havelead to the carving up of Muslim lands remained at the bottom of the table, with spoken lowd and clear of what they thinkand the imposition of kingships and an average of 11.7% in female about western interference and importeddictatorships as political entities. Under representation in parliaments. This western systems like democracy with orsuch secular political systems; patriarchy, increase from 4.3% in 1995 to 11.7% in without a face change. It is also evidentsubjugation, oppression and the 2010 is due to the introduction of a that following a 100 year struggle to gainsuppression of political activism of quota system in Egypt and other North equality and rights by women in Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011 :: 13
  14. 14. RUKSANA RAHMANwest, western democracy (representative that is regarded as degrading to women. [TMQ 12:40]rule is Islamic, secular rule is not) is far When asked what they resented mostfrom being a beacon of justice for about their own societies, a majority of “And whosoever does not rule by whatwomen. With shocking statistics of rape, Muslim women polled said that a lack of Allah has revealed such are thebattery, sex crimes, prostitution and unity among Muslim nations, violent disbelievers.” [TMQ Al Maidah, 44]pornography subjecting women to extremism, and political and economicimmorality and injustice – democracy has corruption were their main concerns. The Thus, prior to the establishment of anlost the argument of taking the moral hijab and burqa seen by some Westerners Islamic State, Muslim women are requiredhigh ground or be considered as a as tools of oppression were never to engage in political actions as anpolitical solution. mentioned in the womens responses’ obligation to her Rabb (Lord). Hence she (Helena Andrews; 2006). The Gallup poll would enjoin the Ma’rouf (right) andThe political activism from secular also revealed that Muslim women want forbid the Munkar (falsehood, evil), account the tyrant ruler, call for the implementation of Islam, work to re- ‘70% of Moroccan women, 71% of Lebanese women and 48% of establish the Deen of Allah (SWT) and Saudi women polled did not think adopting Western values would concern herself with the affairs of the Ummah. The Muslimah would be vigilant help the Muslim worlds political and economic progress. of the problems the Ummah faces and aware of the solutions to herfeminists have thus focussed on the an Islamic system to govern their affairs predicament. She would only engage insuperficial, such as campaigning for and wanted an end to western the Halal and reject the call towomen as heads of state and imams, interference. compromise, partial solutions or adoptmore female representation in parliament western inspired solutions.and the like. Those who do not conform Such opinions indicate that lessons haveto this way of thinking and call for an been learnt from recent occupation. Following the establishment of thealternative political system like the Muslim women want a removal of Islamic State, her duty to account theIslamic Caliphate are labelled ‘Islamist’. tyrannical rule, western interference and ruler, enjoin the Ma’rouf and forbid theTherefore, the majority of Muslim women the right of self-determination – with the Munkar will continue, but she can inin the Muslim world are clear that the majority calling for an Islamic addition assume positions ofcorrect Islamic political activism is not by government. responsibility within the state’s politicalcalling for ‘feminism’ nor ‘pro- structure such as a judge, offering advicedemocracy’(man-made laws). Such THE CORRECT ISLAMIC POLITICAL on the Council of the Ummah and inactivism is a deviation from the Islamic ACTIVISM FOR MUSLIM WOMEN electing the Khaleefah. The prohibition ofpolitical actions of ensuring Islam is Unlike feminists, the solution is neither women assuming a ruling position suchpresent in society and ruling. The call for linked to female leadership nor to as a Khaleef, delegated assistant, Wali oraccountable government is not a pro- achieve more female representation in Mayor (Aml) does not equate to injusticedemocracy call. The process of voting to parliament. Such calls have produced or inequality since the society is built onelect a head of state is not exclusive to little change and are a clear deviation cooperation of the sexes rather than thedemocracy; rather the Islamic ruling from the commands of Allah (SWT): battle for sameness.system also has a process of electing and The notion that women can be heads ofaccounting. states has come about from feminists Securing the rights of Muslim women through the distortion of evidences. therefore requires arduous and consistentWHAT MUSLIM WOMEN WANT IN THE There is a clear prohibition in the political actions that Islam has instructedMUSLIM WORLD? following hadith; “A people who appoint with a clear intention to please AllahGallup 2005 Survey suggests that Muslims a woman as a ruler will never succeed” (SWT). A conscious effort must be madehave learnt a huge lesson from western [Al-Bukhari]. The prohibition of to uproot erroneous and foreignimposition in recent times such as the appointing a woman to a position of imported political systems and to replaceIraq and Afghanistan invasion. ‘70% of authority is linked to ‘lack of success’ them with the Islamic Khilafah system.Moroccan women, 71% of Lebanese (Qareenah), - that is, a lack of success inwomen and 48% of Saudi women polled the afterlife - which indicates that thedid not think adopting Western values prohibition is decisive. Therefore,would help the Muslim worlds political appointing a woman as a ruler isand economic progress. The most forbidden (Haram). Furthermore, thefrequent response to the question, “What notion that female representation in ado you admire least about the West?” was man-made democratic parliament isthe general perception of moral decay, necessary is against the principles of thepromiscuity and pornography that Islamic ruling system:pollsters called the “Hollywood image” “The rule is for none but Allah (SWT)”14 :: Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011
  15. 15. KAMAL ABU ZAHRAH Countering the Saudi Attempt to Silence the Word of Truth and elites alike, as he (saw) said: "Allahs hand is with communion" (narrated by Tirmidhi). He (saw) also said: "Whoever held back the hand from obedience, will meet Allah on the Day of Resurrection without any justification for himself; and whoever died without the pledge of allegiance on his neck, has died a death of ignorance" (narrated by Muslim). He (saw) again said: "He who wanted to separate the affairs of this nation when they are unified, you should kill him with the sword, whosoever he is" (narrated by Muslim).’This article is based on a more will hold up traffic! Indeed it iscomprehensive explanation of the embarrassing to read the justificationsIslamic ruling on Protests and given by the ‘Ulama of the Saudi The fatwa assumes that the Saudi regimeDemonstrations which can be read at government’s ‘Council of Senior rules by Islam and as such, they Scholars’ and those who follow them; legitimate rulers. The reality of the thus legitimising the Saud regime, which matter is that the Saudi Regime is farIn the aftermath of popular uprisings in is a haven for the other illegitimate from being a legitimate Islamic authority.the Arab world some ‘ulama (clerics) tyrants in the region - such as Mubarak,sponsored by the Saudi regime have Ben Ali and now Ali Abdullah Saleh. The WHAT IS A LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY INgiven a most unfortunate regressive Saudi fatwa is premised on one principal SHARIA?fatwa (religious edict) that protests and reason: that protests and demonstrations A state becomes Islamic when its rulesdemonstrations in that land are haram constitute rebellion against the and policies derive from the Islamic(prohibited). In this article, Allah willing, legitimate rulers of Saudi Arabia. ‘Aqidah (creed) i.e. when there basis iswe want to scrutinise this fatwa. the Qur’an and Sunnah; meaning theMuslims are commanded not to be like ‘Protection of the community is of the sovereignty lies with the Shari’ah. That isthe Ahl al-Kitab (The People of the greatest principles of Islam. It is from the why obedience to the rulers is restrictedBook) who took their priests and rabbis great issues that Allah commanded in His and not unqualified. Allah (swt) says:as Lords (instead of Allah), accepting Holy Book, and condemned whoevertheir judgments blindly without abandoned it. Allah Almighty says: "And “O you who believe! Obey Allah, Obeyquestion. hold fast, all together, by the rope which His Messenger and those in authority Allah (stretches out for you), and be not from amongst you; and if you differ,The reasons given by government divided among yourselves...” (Al-‘Imran: then refer it to Allah and His Messenger,scholars and others range in gravity, from 103) This is the principle of protection if you believe in Allah and the Lastthe serious charge of rebellion, to the of the community, which the Prophet Day.” [Al-Nisa: 59]downright ludicrous - demonstrations commanded upon all citizens, Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011 :: 15
  16. 16. KAMAL ABU ZAHRAH indication alongside the clear verses and the Shari’ah. Rather, when the ruler hadith that state that rulers must obey commands a clear munkar, the Muslim Allah and His Messenger in their ruling must disobey that command and cannot and exercise of authority. For example say he was following orders. the Messenger (saw) said: ‘There is no obedience (when this results) in The verse then concludes that if there is disobedience of the Creator.’ [Sahih a dispute over a matter, between the Bukhari] Here the mantuq (directly Muslims and their rulers, then the final apparent meaning) is an absolute arbiter must be Allah and His Messenger prohibition of following an order that (saw). It states: “if you differ, then refer it goes against the order of Allah (swt) - to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe whosoever makes that order. This hadith in Allah and the Last Day.” The last words came specifically in the context of of the ayah enjoin on the believers the authority and ruling. Its mafhum importance of referring to Allah and His (implied meaning) indicates that just as Messenger in ruling, by drawing claim that demonstrations against the Saudi rulers is prohibited, is misplaced as the Saudi regime does not enjoy any legitimacy whatsoever from the Shari’ah perspective. the person cannot obey a ruler who attention to the fact that not to do so isThe noble ayah (verse) begins with the commanded disobedience to Allah (swt); a negation of iman; hence it says: ‘…ifimperative (command) form verb ati’u so in the same way, a ruler or amir you believe in Allah and the Last Day.”(‘obey’): the subject of obedience (i.e. cannot order, enact laws or rule bythose who obey) is in plural form, anything that is in violation of what This is how the Sahabah (ra) understoodmeaning ‘ALL those who believe in Allah (swt) has ordered. this matter and nothing shows this moreIslam’; and the object of obedience (i.e. clearly than the speech of Abu Bakr al-the one who is obeyed) is Allah (swt). The verse also obliges the obedience to Siddiq when he assumed the post ofThe verse then repeats the command the command of the Messenger (saw) Khalifah: “Help me if I am in the right;ati’u (obey) and this time the object of and links that to the rulers. As long as set me right if I am in the wrong. Theobedience is the Messenger (saw). The the rulers or those in authority obey the weak among you shall be strong withrepetition of the word ‘obey’ and the Messenger (saw) then there is the me until Allah willing, his rights haveorder indicates the two basic reference obedience to him, otherwise there is no been vindicated. The strong among youpoints that Muslims have: the Qur’an and obedience. That is why the Messenger of shall be weak with me until, if AllahSunnah. Therefore anything in Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him wills, I have taken what is due from him.contravention of Qur’an and Sunnah peace, said in a hadith reported by Abu Obey me as long as I obey Allah and Hismust be disobeyed, and anything from Hurayrah: ‘Whoever obeys me has Prophet; when I disobey Him and histhe Qur’an and Sunnah must be obeyed. obeyed Allah and whoever disobeys me Prophet, obey me not.”This is the principle upon which has disobeyed Allah. Whoever obeys theMuslims are told to live by and this is amir has obeyed me and whoever The conclusion therefore is that a rulerthe principle on which Muslims are disobeys the amir has disobeyed me’” becomes legitimate only when he basesinstructed to view their rulers. Here the [Agreed upon]. As for the statement his rule on the Kitab and Sunnah, i.e.word for rulers, or those in authority, is ‘whoever obeys the amir has obeyed me sovereignty is for the Shari’ah, and it isulul- amr (literal translation: ‘the people and whoever disobeys the amir has for this reason that obedience becomesof Command’). It is not restricted to the disobeyed me’ in the above hadith or the obligatory.Khalifah, but also includes the wali’s following one: “Anyone who dislikes(governors), wazirs (ministers) and all something from his amir should be However, when we look to the case ofthose who have authority, especially patient. Anyone who abandons the Saudi regime, we find that the basissince the word has been used in the obedience to the amir for even a short of its rule is not the Shari’ah, asplural form (ulul-amr) and not the time dies the death of the Jahiliyyah indicated by its persistent and constantsingular waliyul-amr. (ignorance)” [Agreed upon]:This does explicit contravention of the Shari’ah; not mean absolute obedience to the here are a few examples:It is significant that the ayah does not rulers. These ahadith are about not • Permission of usury (riba) andrepeat the verb ati’u when it comes to rebelling against the rulers due to their banks trading in usury, which isthe Rulers, as it did in respect to Allah misappropriation of the people’s rights, categorically prohibited in Islam.and His Messenger; this is an additional but not about obeying the rulers in the matters which are a clear violation of • Submission to man-made16 :: Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011
  17. 17. KAMAL ABU ZAHRAHinternational law as members of the UN without consideration of its aims and the people to witness it. Hasan knewand other international bodies, whose purpose? that this was a great opportunity tocharters and rules are not in accordance remind the people about the place ofwith Islam. Another form of general evidences are wealth and status in this life. He said: the ‘umumat (generality) and “We looked at what the filthiest of filthThe flagrant and persistent violation of unrestricted (mutlaq) import of the built, and we found that Fir’awn builtShari’ah by the Saudi regime, even after ahadith that enjoin Muslims to speak the greater than what he built and higherhaving been accounted by the ‘ulama haqq, enjoin the good and forbid the than what he built, then Allah destroyedand the da’wah carriers means that the evil. So for example the hadith: Fir’awn and what he built. Hajjaj shouldabove constitute explicit kufr (kufr know that the inhabitants of the skybuwah). Consequently, their rule is not ‘The best struggle (jihad) is the word of hate him and the people of the earthlegitimate and they need to be removed truth spoken to a tyrant ruler.’ (Al-Nasai). only deceive him!” It was said to Hasanby the people of power (nusrah) and a “Be careful, O Abu Sa’id!” Hasan repliedjust ruler appointed in their place. This hadith encouraging political “Allah has taken a covenant from the struggle does not specify the manner in people of knowledge to explain it to theSo to claim that demonstrations against which the truth should be spoken to the people and not to be silent!” In thisthe Saudi rulers is prohibited, is tyrant ruler, which means any style that example Hasan al-Basri openly exposedmisplaced as the Saudi regime does not has not been prohibited by another text the excesses of the ruler. (Suwar minenjoy any legitimacy whatsoever from is permitted. So whether by a letter, hayat at-tabi’in, ‘Abdur Rahman Ra’fatthe Shari’ah perspective. Holding on to distribution of leaflets, publication of a Basha p.101-102)the rope of Allah, and unity of the book, article in a newspaper or speakingJama’ah arises only when Muslims gather directly to the ruler, these are all Furthermore, it should not be said thatunder the leadership of a ruler who permissible means of fulfilling the the advice should be private or otherwise it is ghibah (backbiting). This is because the ahadith have come in an ...encouraging political struggle does not specify the manner in which unrestricted form, and in fact the the truth should be spoken to the tyrant ruler, which means any style indications of the ahadith of accounting that has not been prohibited by another text is permitted. So whether are that the accounting is to be done in by a letter, distribution of leaflets, publication of a book, article in a public; and as for ghibah, there is no newspaper or speaking directly to the ruler, these are all permissible ghibah for the one who does open fisq means of fulfilling the obligation. (transgression). Imam Nawawi in his Riyad al-Salihin, under the chapter ofrules by the book of Allah and Sunnah of obligation. ‘Types of Ghibah which are Permissible’the Messenger, not under the leadership listed six types, which in his view areof those who betray the interests of the The above hadith says ‘the best allowed as exceptions (to the normalUmmah and are only interested in being struggle’: this fits a reality where the prohibition of back-biting); of these,the khadims (servants) of America. accounting is done publicly, since that is three are relevant: truly a struggle, whereas it is easier toEVIDENCES FOR PERMISSIBILITY OF account privately. It is when the ruler is a) Complaining (tazallum) to theDEMONSTRATIONS AND PROTESTS accounted in front of everyone that he is ruler or judgeAs for the proofs (adillah) for the likely to kill or imprison the personpermissibility of demonstration, these accounting him. b) Seeking help to change an evilare both general and specific: (munkar) It was the practice of the Sahabah toA demonstration or protest is a public account the rulers in public. It is c) Mentioning the one whodisplay of opinion. The general evidences reported that a person told ‘Umar b. openly commits a sin (fisq) orwhich allow people to meet and express Khattab (ra) to “fear Allah” publicly, and innovation (bid’ah).opinions would permit people to ‘Umar responded by saying: ‘There is nodemonstrate their opinions as long as goodness in you if you do not say it, and Indeed, under any of the above threethe opinions expressed are permitted by there is no goodness in us if we do not categories there would be a dispensationIslam. As such protests and hear it.’ (Manaqib amir al-muminin by to backbite against the ruler’sdemonstrations are merely a permissible Ibn Jawzi. P.155) oppression, evil actions or open, which takes its hukm (ruling) Some like Hasan al-Basri did not considerdependent on the reasons and aims of As for the Salaf al-Salih, look at the accounting rulers as ghibah in origin, asthe demonstrations; thus these must be example of Hasan al-Basri: he was it is reported that he said: ‘There is noassessed before a hukm can be given, for present in Basrah when al-Hajjaj, a tyrant backbiting with regard to the fasiqhow can a style be labelled haram Wali, built his grand palace and called all (sinner who openly professes his evil)." Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011 :: 17
  18. 18. KAMAL ABU ZAHRAH why he had been given the epithet of Al- Faruq (He who distinguishes truth from falsehood); he replied: After I had embraced Islam, I asked the Prophet (saw): Arent we on the right path, here and in the Hereafter? The Prophet (saw) answered: Of course you are! I swear by Allah in Whose Hand my soul is; that you are right in this world and in the hereafter. I therefore asked the Prophet, Why had we then to conduct clandestine activism. I swear by Allah, who has sent you with the Truth; that we will leave our concealment and proclaim our noble cause publicly. We then went out in two groups, Hamzah leading one and I the other. We headed for the Mosque in broad daylight. When the polytheists of Quraysh saw us, their faces went pale, and they got incredibly depressed and resentful. On that very(al-Lalika’i, 1/140,p. 279). he gave them a general warning. Then he occasion, the Prophet attached to me made a particular reference to certain the epithet of Al-Faruq." (Al-Rahiq al-As for the specific evidences that public tribes, and said: "O Quraysh, rescue Makhtum p113 1st ed. English trans.)demonstration of accounting is yourselves from the Fire; O people ofpersmissible, they are numerous; we Bani Kab, rescue yourselves from the Therefore, demonstrations and protestsshall here give two clear examples of Fire; O Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad, to account the rulers and expose theirpublic display of opinion. It has been rescue yourself from the Fire, for I have betrayal of the ummah’s interest arereported by Al-Bukhari on the authority no power to protect you from Allah in permissible by the general and specificof Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with anything except that I would sustain evidences regarding this subject, as longhim) that he said: "When the following relationship with you." as no other rules of the Shari’ah areverses were revealed: "And warn your violated, such as destruction of public ortribe [O Muhammad (saw)] of near Here Allah’s Messenger (may the peace private property, non Islamic slogans orkindred." [26:214] The Messenger of and blessings be upon him), after free-mixing.Allah (saw) ascended Mount Al-Safa and receiving the command to carry thestarted to call: "O Bani Fahr! O Bani da’wah to his tribesmen, went out on CONCLUSIONAdi!" Many people gathered, and those top of Mount Safa and called out to the The political authority that rightlywho could not sent somebody to report Quraysh to heed his warning. This was a belongs to this Ummah has been stolen,to them. Abu Lahab was also present. The public display of opinion by the Prophet usurped and abused by the tyrant rulers.Prophet (saw) said: "You see: if I were to (saw), and what is permitted for the Only the Islamic political struggle willtell you that there were some horsemen individual is permitted for the group (as bring real change for this Ummah andin the valley planning to raid you, would long as there is no specific nass that we are obliged to reclaim that authorityyou believe me?" They said: "Yes, we restricts the action to the Messenger by accounting them and working to re-have never experienced any lie from alone). So this is specific evidence for establish the Khilafah that WILL rule byyou." He said: "I am a Warner to you protests and demonstrations. what Allah has revealed. Let us heed thebefore a severe torment." Abu Lahab words of Muhammad al-Mustafa (saw):promptly replied: "Perish you all the day! The second example is the first publicHave you summoned us for such a collective demonstration by Muslims, "Nay, by Allah, you either enjoin goodthing?" Muslim has the following organised by ‘Umar b. Al-Khattab, for and forbid evil and catch hold of theversion reported on authority of Abu which he was praised by the Messenger hand of the oppressor and persuade himHurayrah (ra) — He said: "When the (saw), as reported in ‘The Sealed Nectar’: to act justly and stick to the truth, or,following verses were revealed: "And “With respect to the Muslims in Makkah, Allah will involve the hearts of some ofwarn your tribe [O Muhammad (saw)] ‘Umar’s (ra) conversion had a different you with the hearts of others and willof near kindred." [26:214] The tremendous impact. Mujahid, on the curse you as He had cursed them".Messenger of Allah (saw) called all the authority of Ibn al-‘Abbas (ra), related [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].people of Quraysh; so they gathered and that he had asked ‘Umar b. Al-Khattab18 :: Khilafah Magazine :: July 2011