Here's some food for thought. Please take the time to read the attached article closely if you're really interested in the matter. I don't agree with everything Dr. Mahmoud says, but do understand his good intentions.
My personal view is as follows: I believe Islamic morality and ethics as revealed in the Quran should inspire the endeavor to create a just and balanced society and its laws, but should remain separate from the laws themselves. Islam cannot be imposed as it is a choice an individual must make on his or her own, and morality cannot be legislated. Sharia as per various Wahabi schools of thought are interpretive and considering those human interpretations to be DIVINE for all practical purposes, however scholarly or agreeable they may be, is a “shirk”.
We as Muslims, CANNOT appoint intermediaries and partners to GOD as per His revelation in the Quran. Hence, separation between GOD and the state as represented by its laws and institutions, is a must IMHO. The way Judeo-Christian morality influenced their so-called “secular laws”, Islamic sensibilities as revealed in the Quran will also inspire positive changes in our civil and criminal codes as Bangladesh, a nation where Islam is also culture and a part of our social fabric, continues to evolve.
Within the Bangladeshi context in particular and the South Asian context in general, let me remind my fellow countrymen that NO pro-Sharia organization supported Bangladesh or defended its people against Pakistani aggression, violence and injustice in clear contradiction to Quranic directives. In fact, most of them did just the opposite for the sake of the “unity of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.
The "end" is an abstraction amd means DO NOT justify the end.
Last but not least, even if we do not appreciate or utilize our freedom of thought and speech where we are right now, I doubt that anybody here would like their mothers or sisters to live in Talebani Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia or Ahmadinejad's Iran.
Political Islam - The Coming Battle
By Dr. Mustafa Mahmoud
This article was written prior to the events of 9/11/2001, but its words are very relevant to this day.
The Islamic presence on the world stage, its length and breadth, from the far West of the United States (6 million Muslims from diverse backgrounds) to the Arab societies in Canada in the North, to England, France, and Germany in the heart of Europe, to millions of Algerians an Moroccans and Arabs and Indians to the East…Turkey, Albania…to the vast Asian continent where we find entire countries such as 'Azerbijan, Uzbekistan, Turkminastan, Tataristan, Kasakhstan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Cashmere, Indonesia', to the Indian subcontinent itself with over 100 million Muslims, to Africa with its Arabic countries of Egypt, Sudan, and Eriteria, to Lebanon, Syria and Palestine…to the Gulf region with Saudi and Yemen…to Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Sinigal and Mauritania on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, to Somalia on the equator, to Shad and Nigeria in the depths of the desert.
One Billion humans or more, under the banner: 'There is no god but GOD'!.
Such a great presence, with its ancient history, has been subject to embargo and destruction…it has been subject to opposition, to cultural and though invasion…it has suffered actual wars from various powers which had used their might to subjugate its people and ravage its treasures…powers which destroyed its Empire and only left after planting divisions and hatred, and after creating imaginary borders and false regimes and open wounds…
However, Islam still remained after all this.
And when these tactics did not manage to eradicate Islam, they introduced us to the ideas of Marxism, and drowned us in the struggle between the left and the right!. And for those whom they did not attract to Marxism, they lured them to Nationalism and Arabism; and those who were supportive of Nationalism and Arabism forgot that the one who made for Arabs a voice and a banner and a unity was none other than Islam!. Before Islam the Arabs were tribes killing one another with no goals and no banner…In-fact, the Arabic language itself did not have any influence or prominence before the Quran.
Time turned, and Marxism collapsed, Communism disappeared, then Nationalism was exposed with its false notions and banners…then they turned on us with new faces and new banners…this time under the guise of 'Liberalism' and 'Secularism'.
As for 'Liberalism', it is that you do as you wish with no question of allowed or forbidden.
It is a trap with attractiveness, for they will serve all your desires and needs. However, your desires are not their goal, their goal is to seclude religion and take it out of the arena. The players in this game are the cinema, theater, clubs, bars, liquor, drugs and attractive women. And as a philosophical cover for this attack, they invented Secularism: 'Let be to Caesar what is Caesar's and to GOD what is to GOD'…And to GOD is the mosque, that you may pray in it and worship and kneel and prostrate as you wish!. However, the street is our and the politics are ours and the system of life is ours, and there is no room for GOD in such matters, nor are there any commands of GOD in it (yes to religion, no to its system!).
The battle is still in-heat and we are in its midst, and the banner this time is 'Political Islam' …to be or not to be…and they are still plotting against us…for to separate Islam from our lives would mean that its demise would start from the mosques, then its total defeat…for Islam is a complete way of life, and it cannot have half a life or be trapped in a room.
And so that they can win this battle before they even fight it, they made Political Islam to be an opposite to Democracy…and the ignorant amongst the Muslims fell into this trap and said with them: 'yes, democracy is equal to Kufr/disbelief'…
And this was their ultimate wish!.
The truth which has no question about it is that Islam cannot be in 'opposition' to Democracy !.
Elections, and parties and consultation and listening to the opposite point of view was the 'building-block' of Islam, and having multiple views is a requirement in Islam. Whereas making individual decisions and dictatorship and tyranny is REJECTED in Islam as a part and as a whole.
And today, as the battle continues, every Muslim must know where he stands and with whom and against what?.
A Muslim will lose much if he stands against Democracy, in-fact, he will lose his very religion and will lose his soul.
The truth of the matter is that Democracy is our religion, and we have beat them to it since the days of Noah who continued to preach his people using kindness for over 900 years!. No power was given to him, nor weapon except his views and power of argument. He invited his people in an open parliament where he speaks and listens, while they made fun of him and threatened to have him stoned.
In those days, these ignorant people were the great ancestors of the people we see today…and Noah was the messenger who spoke for Islam and in its tongue.
And when the prophet Mohammed came in the last line of prophets, GOD was still saying the same things:
"Let he who wish believe, and he who wish reject"
"You (Mohammed) are but a deliverer"
"You (Mohammed) are only to remind them, not to have control over them"
"You (Mohammed) do not have power over them"
These are the true roots of Democracy from our Islamic heritage.
If they tell you: 'Democracy'…Say: 'Democracy is ours, and we are its bearers, and we have more right to it than you do!'.
However, they will change tactics to come to you with a new poison and say: 'but Islam has no regulations for a government system!'.
And we will tell them: 'and that is the beauty of Islam and its advantage. For had the Quran given specific rules for government, then we would have become trapped in these rules and ideologies just like the Communists were trapped in the theories of Marxism and had to die with it'…History with all its changes and events and renewals cannot be limited to one theory, and if we were to do so, then it will become like the snake which breaks out from its old skin to a newly formed one.
What is best is to have 'general' rules & regulations and principles for the idea government…such as equality, and consultation, and free enterprise, and the freedom of trade, respect of property, respect of trade laws and regulations, the civil liberties of the individual, and the right to have officials who are elected and who are subservient to the law.
As for the 'specifics' of such a government, that is left upto the requirements of the time and place.
The 'ideologies' which have been trying to force their way onto peoples minds and have forced a rigid system and way of life brought out from x or y thinker, have proven their inadequacies.
And that is exactly what the Quran did. For it came with a 'general' frame and structure and ideals, and left the 'details' upto the efforts of the people of that time. So that each century can have its own political climate that best suits its needs.
And in the arena of Islamic thought, you will find a vast array that can be taken from or ignored…from the days of Sheikh Mohammed Abdu, Afgani, Hasan Al-Bana, and Mourudi, to the times of Malik Bin Nabi, Mahdi Bin Aboud, Zindani, Ibrahim AL-Wazir, shiekh Mohammed al-Ghazali, Sharawi, Yaseen Rushdi, Dr. Mohammed Amara, and Kamal abul Magd. An array of thought which stretches its readers with limitless knowledge.
And the question that they come out with from time to time, and never stop repeating: 'Does not Islam forbid the woman to work?'.
I say to them: 'Bring ONE verse from the Quran to prove your point!'.
The Quranic command for women to stay in their homes was restricted to the wives of the prophet. And this has been clarified in the following verse:
"Oh wives of the prophet, you are UNLIKE any of the women".
Thus, it is a 'condition' to the wives of the prophet only.
And have you seen the wife of Regan work or the wife of Bush owning a Boutique?. For each one of them, her sole duty is to her husband.
If these are the wives of secular leaders, then what can be said about the wives of the final prophet who had the burden of mankind's message. How can she have any task other than her husband?.
The 'specificity' here is very clear, and it cannot be generalized to the other women of the nation.
The other issue which is equally ridiculous is the one who refuses the 'Islamic' state because it is a 'religious' state!. Such a person did not understand the words of Omar Bin Al-Khatab and Abu Bakr who are examples of society when each one of them proclaims at his inauguration:
"If I am correct, then you shall support me, and if I am incorrect, then you shall help straighten me".
There is no ruler above the law, and there is no godlike rulership in Islam. It is a civil Democratic rule where its leaders make mistakes and stand corrected.
And there statements that Islam is standing against intellectual freedom, by the famous saying: 'there is no thought with the text'. And how much is the text, in-fact, the entire Quran is text.
I say to them: 'there is not one single verse clearer than that of cutting the hand of thief that has come in the Quran:
"The male and female thief, you shall cut their hands".
Yet, with this clear verse the prophet made his own intellectual thinking 'Ijtihad' and did not carry this out during times of war. Omar also had his intellectual thinking on this matter and did not carry it our during times of famine or poverty. Such 'exceptions' were never stated in the Quran, however, they showed that intellectual thought can be applied to even what appears as the most clear of text. What then will you say of the less clear verses which do not carry law or acts of worship?.
As for the issue of art and the contradictions that they have created between it and religion, to make of Islam an enemy to beautiful things. I say: 'even poetry and the poets who the Quran said about them:
'those who waste their time follow them, and the wonder aimlessly in each valley, and they say what they do no do'…then He came with an 'exception': "Except those who believed and did righteous work"…
And this is the case with all the arts, they are alll subject to the same outlook. Its good is good, its ugly is ugly. What calls for good things is good, and what calls for bad things is bad. This is the policy which they implement even in the West, for they say that much of the art is bad or below the tolerance levels and accepted standards.
And the fight goes on…
However, our need has come for fresh recruits who will renew the religion and fight with the weapons of their time, and not with the rulings of a thousand years gone by. Political Islam is an Islam that will challenge others their right to power, and it will require the ground others currently stand on. Political Islam does not want to rule, but to liberate. It wants to liberate its lands, and free the minds that others have washed and set astray. It wants to regain its family and its home…with kind words and clear argument, not by blowing-up planes and taking hostages.
With politics, not with war. With a civilized debate, not with military confrontation.
But, they will not give us the chance for such civilized debate. They are waiting for a mistake from one of the ignorant leaders, who are screaming obscenities from the tops of the mosques; or for a car-bomb to be exploded by one of their agents, then another agent will claim it was the work of the Islamic Jihad, or the Youth of Mohammed, or Hizb Allah…only to turn the masses of whites, reds, and yellows against Islam and its people.
Our people of knowledge know that animosity and hatred have been planted decades ago. Since the collapse of the Ottoman empire, and since the British promises of Belfour, and since the Jews have been forced to migrate towards Israel. Israel with its nuclear, chemical, and biological arsenal; and the destruction of any Arab competitor.
They have been planning for a long time for this day…
And the battle still rages on…
And it will continue as long as time is left to Judgment-day…
And my envy to them, those who will be its heroes.
When the politicians of the West announce that: 'they do not oppose Islam, nor do they have anything against Islam as a religion'…they are being 'truthful' in a way.
For they have no objection whatsoever that we pray and fast and perform Hajj and spend all our day and night in prayer and worship and seeking GOD in the mosque or glorifying His name and praising His grace…they do not oppose the 'rituals' of Islam…the Islam of words and prayer and devotion…and they have no problem that we take all of the after-life as our own, for this is an issue that does not concern them nor do they care to think about. In-fact, they may even 'encourage' such acts of worship and seclusion by defending the Suffi orders and supporting them…However, their true enemy and hatred is to the 'other' Islam…
The Islam that wishes to take from them their power in directing the world and builds it on different morals and principals…
The Islam that struggles with them for this world, and demands that it has for itself a foothold in the direction of life…
The Islam that wishes to cut a new intellectual path and new standards in dealing with others as well as in the arts and thought…
The Islam which wishes to rise with technology and innovation, but for purposes other than warfare, invasion, and oppression.
Political Islam, the Islam which surpasses the needs of individual to the needs of the community and nation, and to global change. Here there is no discussion, no margin of tolerance…it is a war with all teeth barred and where all will be shooting at you.
The bullets may even come at you from the political power inside your own Islamic country!.
The Western way of life has now turned into an armed fort which refuses to have any competitor or replacement…a fort with its attractions…and which has attracted customers from the Muslims themselves.
The American & European liberalism with all its degradation of freedom in illicit sexual relations, homosexuality, pornography, and gambling casinos does not want a new system that will 'limit' from these freedoms, even if this system was on the other side of the Atlantic!. Especially if this new system is represented by a long heritage and culture and well rooted history.
And conflict is the fate of any who try to take Islam out of the mosque and out of the acts of worship…
Sometimes, the clash begins in the home, and with the Muslims from his own house who have become champions for Western identity.
The sadness of this century is that the great advance in technology that occurred in the West has invaded all and has defeated all, by carrying all the decadence that the West has to offer, and has packaged it to become acceptable. Now most of us open their eyes to find that we are used to the 'easy' life with all its negativity and degradation, and he thinks it is a necessity which without it no advancement can occur in knowledge or technology…and this is the view of our secular friends.
And such is the fate of Political Islam, that it be fought on two fronts…it is fought by its people, and it is fought by the foreigner at the same time!.
Political Islam will have no victory or voice except if the other side collapses from within by its own vileness. Only then will everyone awaken to discover that this great technology was nothing more than a 'doll house' and toys made from metal and plastic…and that Western civilization had no 'Soul', and that it did not have in it the tools for continuity. And we have seen a recent example of this in Russia, when the great bear fell unconscious while he was carrying on his back enough nuclear missiles to destroy the Earth many times over.
Now the turn has come to the American 'Santa Clause' who sits on decorated palaces and Patriot missiles…and his fall is not too far away.
However, the inheritors from the fall of both these systems will not be the Muslims of this age, who have become weak and have divided into sects and groups, each attacking the other…
The inheritors will be 'other' Muslims that GOD will bring-out in His design to grace the pages of history.
Perhaps we will never see them, nor will our eyes be comforted by them, but perhaps it is our children or grandchildren who will see them…
Let us at least place one brick and some mortar in their long path…
And some will say: 'what is our need for Political Islam considering the great price we will have to pay?. Is it not enough that we pray and fast and perform Hajj and worship GOD in our way and do not hassle anyone?'.
The answer is clear: 'We are not being left alone'. Western decadence is coming to us from under our front doors, through the papers and the books and magazines, and it is taking the minds of our children through television and cinema and video. And it is attracting our daughters through fashion and trends and baseless music.
And the enemies around us are planning for what is even more…they want to share our lands and our water and our food…and the desire of the Jews fleeing from the lands of hunger is to eat at our tables.
The conditioning of the mind, and the damaging of our faith is a 'pre-lude' to invading the land and force of rule…it is a series where one complements the other.
And a life of degradation weakens the will-power and blinds the hearts and nourishes weakness…then the strike comes and you find no resistance in the group body…then we come to the day when we have lost our religion and our world, and we have lost our souls and everything else.
The giving-up of the first wall of defense will lead to the collapse of the second and so on…and the need for safety may mean that each on of us is content with shutting his door to the world and sticking to his prayers, but what price will his children pay for his denial?. For the children are the ones who will be burnt by the heat of the battle, and they will have to face the remaining battle with their bare bodies.
GOD wanted Islam to have a place on Earth, and not to be a guidance to certain individuals…for He has said:
"He is the One who sent His messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, to expose all other religions"
It is this 'exposing' all other systems that is a prime objective and a goal of GOD for Earth.
Thus, a Muslim has two duties which he must perform:
1. That he fixes himself;
2. That he fixes the social environment around him so that others may be guided.
For the Muslim to be content with the first duty only and close his door on himself, and be content with his salvation at the end-of-times, when everything is falling apart, and disbelief reins supreme, and tyranny and oppression are the overwhelming factors, and no amount of fixing can help.
I do not think that we have yet reached the end-of-times, but we are at the doorstep of a great Islamic awakening which will grow and raise its banner above all the obstacles and all the problems…and the conflict is now felt at all fronts, politically and militarily...in Burma and Afghanistan, and Bosnia and Albania, and in the inevitable struggle between Israel and the Arab world.
And no one will be able to stop the will of GOD.
[message truncated…regarding Egypt].
And let us not confuse between Political Islam and 'Terrorism'…for Islam is built upon the foundations of freedom and it REFUSES force in all its forms.
And the sites that we see of taking hostages, to using car-bombs, to blowing-up planes, to opening fire on police…this is neither Islamic nor Fundamentalist…but crimes that are being committed by murderous thugs.
Islam is a choice and a reasoning, whose methods are calling to it in the best possible manner. It does not raise a weapon except as a defense against aggression, or fighting for the freedom of the oppressed…it is a religion of mercy and compassion and love…it is all peace.
Its greeting is 'Peace', and its spirit is 'Peace.
"O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant." (49:13)
Last edited by Sohel; January 3, 2008 at 03:15 PM.