You know what?

You know what?

I bet “terrorism” isn’t even in the top 50 causes of American deaths. But we work to pay people to take our rights and privacy to “keep us safe”. We are safe- from terrorism anyway. So what’s really happening is we’re paying people to take our privacy and rights.

Keep me safe from cholesterol and pollution. Save me from global warming and whatever it is you’re poisoning my food with. Give me the freedom to eat healthy and live a life that doesn’t need debt to be decent. Leave Syria and Pakistan alone and intervene in the civil wars going on in American inner cities. Stop charging me to detain people who haven’t been charged or convicted and lock up bankers AT THEIR EXPENSE. Stop rebuilding Iraq and pay the homeless to build their own homes and communities. Stop charging me to get spied on and research clean energy. The most dangerous men in history are “gentle”-men in suits, so leave the brown guys with beards and long last names alone and start profiling at country clubs and white tie dinners.

You know what real democracy would be? Everyone only pays for activities they support. So send me a list and I’ll check the boxes for what I wanna pay for and how much. You can have your taxes AFTER I get my check, thank you…

this isn’t hate-  it’s love

this isn’t negative-  it’s positive

this isn’t criticism-  it’s encouragement: we got to do better…

this isn’t anti-american-  it’s americism:  strive ’til we stride!

metal detector 2

going Secular?

Is Islam the source of our problems, or their long-lost solution?

To go secular or not to go secular?  North Africans fight for the soul of their revolutions.  “Western” Muslims are struggling to forge an identity.  Turkey continues its decades old constitutional struggles.  In all of these and more, the question of secularism vs. Islam-“ism” (defined here) is central.  To be or not to be, Shakespeare wrote…

Secularism, if only for this discussion, is the ideological, legal, political and social abandonment of religion as a basis for legal, political and social action.  Its totality varies as does the rapidity of its adoption.  A secularist defines it as a “… new value system [that] also regarded religion and faith as one’s personal matter… It also advocated that matters of this world be handled rationally in accordance with the spirit of the times.”

Its most famous test case was and is western Europe, which it awakened from a millenium of human darkness.  Many other countries have followed suit in an effort to “modernize” and catch up to the “West”.

Many Muslims, whether they are in Muslim majority countries, the diasporas thereof, or reverts, are routing their degrees towards this effort, and not without reason.  Muslim-majority nations have been dominated for centuries, and still are, and many suffer from a variety of sub-standard conditions.

Secularism is the answer many Muslims turn to because of these and similar questions:

Why do we, who invented hospitals in Baghdad, suffer from high infant mortality and diseases that have been eradicated in the “West”?

Why are we so disorganized after implementing bureaucracy to unprecedented detail and precision in the Uthmani Khilafah (Ottoman Caliphate)?

Why, with all the ayat and ahadith stressing cleanliness and hygiene, are our lands so filthy?

How can we, when we innovated weapon-making for centuries, be so easily dominated?

Why, when we are united by a book, and the first revelation was the command to read, do many of us suffer from illiteracy?

 How can Muslim-majority countries trail the world in math in our lands when one of us founded algebra?

Why are we unable to implement solutions to our social problems when one of us founded the social sciences?

Why do we leave so many of our women to suffer after all the rights and protections accorded to them in the Qur’an and ahadith?

Why, when moderation, collaboration, negotiation and communication are integral to our deen and its history, are we unable to unite and counter the assaults against us?

Brother, Sister, Shaykh, ‘Alima, do you know the answer?

For many, secularism seems to be it.  The problems we face were largely tackled ages ago by secularism in other countries, so by logic, the same will work for us.  An even more encouraging sign is that countries we used to dominate in turn came to dominate us after secularizing.  There’s no need for an opinion here, there’s not a historian who’ll dispute secularism as a factor, as a cause for the shift in global paradigms.

Why shouldn’t it work for Muslims if it worked for non-Muslims?  The pre-secular non-Islamic world was rife with superstition.  Unfounded, irrational and counter-scientific beliefs were the foundation for political, legal and social interaction.  Science, what little of it there was, and medicine were also subjugated and contradicted by these foul-conceived notions.  Royal/political scandals continued to emerge and chip away at the concept of the divine basis and status of rule.  Scientific recoveries of ancient knowledge in western Europe, threw long-held beliefs and practices into mockery, from which they could never emerge.  This and other factors turned people away from religion, and, predictably, especially considering the circumstances, it worked.

Why shouldn’t it have?  Science is better in direction and potential than fairytale.  A person, or people, will walk more successfully towards the future by seeing with their own eyes, rather than blindly, with misconceived notions of what surrounds them.

Islam- my Sisters, Brothers and Elders- is not like the religions other nations have left behind.  Islam is not based on superstition.  Science is consistent with it and we use scientific principles to learn and apply it.  Anyone with a Qur-an can read over the scientific signs that it points to and explains, and afterwards go personally and objectively observe them.  If they are not filled with faith, they’ll at least be impressed or amazed.  The social and legal code of Islam, not to mention it’s hygienic and dietary stipulations, upgrade the way of life of yesterday and today.  Through its code, people are enabled to update their cultures and avoid their pitfalls, while keeping their identity and pride intact.  The diplomacy, international and inter-religious code of conduct has the potential to soothe the world’s growing rage.  In Islam is provided a framework of inquiry, deduction, and conclusion that enables- and encourages- Muslims to benefit from the world, while safeguarding themselves from its evils.

Reason, logic and science and human advancement are integral to Islam.  At the same time, it is not bound by them.  It surpasses them by incorporating them into a holistic worldview and lifestyle.  Science, logic and reason are made use of in the Qur-an to appeal to people’s higher instincts, and the message is just as real and relevant now, over a thousand years after its revelation.  Secularism freed many parts of the world to their senses, but it also bound them to their senses.  Without the anchor of guidance, we can reason ourselves in and out of anything.  If you look around, you will see how secular societies and governments are using rational arguments, logic and science to lead ourselves into social, economic and environmental destruction.

What do Muslims really stand to benefit from that?

If you think and read deeply, you will recognize that it isn’t Islam that Muslims are seeking to abandon.  Many Muslims wake up every day to a stagnant, backward, shackled reality.  Culture, superstition, and tyranny have taken root and grown dominant in the Muslim-world.  People have ignorantly or cunningly instituted practices and agendas that contradict or even negate Islam.  For all the lofty ideals implied by our title- Muslim- we are living with too few of Islam’s benefits.

Secularism is the abandonment of ignorance, unquestioned tradition, and thoughtless action.  It is the effort to replace them with information, rational principles, and science-verified processes.  Islam goes even further than that by adding knowledge and wisdom, exceptional morals and values, and a complete, coherent lifestyle.

The “West” revived their societies through Renaissance, or ‘rebirth’ of old knowledge and sciences (much of which was transmitted to them by Muslims, by the way).  Muslim populations did that a long time ago, but have admittedly come full circle.  So we don’t need to try something different that we already see not working in societies around us.  We need to repeat the process of self-purification and dedication to revelation that is a proven success.

If you’re still not ready to consider the Islam side of the coin, take a look at what secularism has already “achieved”:

Consider the monstrosities of depleted uranium and other chemical warfare, weapons of mass destruction, pollution, and global warming, all examples of the imbalance of pure science that lacks a stable moral basis.

Look at and ponder the suicide, rape, murder and drug addiction figures of the “First World”

As the seat of the Khilafah (“Caliphate”/“Ottoman Empire), Turkey once brought Europe to its knees.  Now secular Turkey is on its knees begging to join the European Union.

The huge secular Arab regimes surrounding Israel all failed in their attempts to protect the rights and lands of their Christian and Muslim brethren.

What prosperity and upliftment have the secular governments of North Africa brought to their people? They are actually in worse condition than they were during the Khilafah. In the Khilafah, Syria had gold in its treasury.  Now it has paper currency.

Muslims have the same standard of living as the people they live around, if not other places in the world.

Now ask yourself, are you comparing Muslim-majority Senegal to secular France, for example, or are you comparing West Africa to Western Europe?  If you look at the world by region, you will find that Muslim-majority nations are basically at the same standard as the countries that they are around.  The issues are not Islamic, they are regional.  To take the West Africa example again, Muslim-majority Senegal is not much better or worse off than its non-Muslim neighbors.  The same goes wherever you look.  No Asian or African country can be compared to the “West” regardless of the religion of its inhabitants, with very few exceptions.  Different parts of the world are at different standards of living.  Islam is not to blame.  It isn’t even a factor.

Well there is one exception.  Muslims living in “Western” countries often enjoy higher rates of income and education.  It would seem then, that Islam is an advantage.

The calculus behind the call for secularism goes like this:

Given:  We are Muslims.

Given:  We are facing problems.

Conclusion:  We are facing problems because we are Muslims.

This line of thinking- and I admit to have oversimplified it- is an affront to the same logic that we claim to want to implement.  We are not only Muslims.  We are a lot of things.  We are also Africans, Americans, Australians, and Eurasians.  How come we don’t look to that as a cause?  How come we don’t look at our traditions and culture and see if the cause is there?  Why are our own personal and collective shortcomings held beyond suspicion?

Mustafa Kemal joined European colonialists in banning Muslims from using Arabic-based scripts.

Speaking of suspicion, don’t you find it suspicious that with all the identities we carry, we only isolate Islam as the cause of our problems?  On the one hand, many of use admit to ourselves that we are Muslim in name only, but on the other hand, we blame the same Islam we admit is absent from our lives as the cause of the problems in our lives?  Where does this come from?

Final thought:  secularists within Muslim-majority countries often have the same agenda as kaafir colonialists.  Russia banned the Arabic-based script in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, etc.) and forced them to use their Cyrillic script.  England banned the Arabic-based script used in East Africa (Swahili), Malaysia, and Indonesia (along with the Dutch) at least.  What did Mustafa Kemal “Ataturk” do?  Ban the Arabic-based Ottoman script in favor of the Roman alphabet.  Coincidence?  England, via Lawrence of Arabia, stoked feelings of Arab ethnocentrism and Arab nationalism to weaken the Ottoman Empire which united much of the Muslim world.  Later, what was the sentiment common to the countries that were carved out of the Ottoman Empire?  Secular nationalism.  Coincidence?  And to this day, liberal secular regimes get anything they want, from weapons to NATO invasions to media cover, from the same countries that used to colonize them.  Coincidence?

Let’s re-evaluate, re-educate and re-dedicate ourselves to living by guidance.  Let us define ourselves, and look at ourselves through our own eyes (See this year’s State of the Ummah address here.)  Despite the challenges we face, one indisputable, indubitable truth remains: we have established Allaah’s word as uppermost in every sphere of life. We ARE the best nation.

COMMENTS WELCOME

RELATED POSTS:

State of the Ummah Address

is Democracy Islam-“ist”?

Bikini vs. Burqa: from my Facebook wall

Bikinis Make Men See Women as Objects, Scans Confirm

Sexy women in bikinis really do inspire some men to see them as objects, according to a new study of male behavior.

Brain scans revealed that when men are shown pictures of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lights up.

Men were also more likely to associate images of sexualized women with first-person action verbs such as “I push, I grasp, I handle,” said lead researcher Susan Fiske, a psychologist at Princeton University.

And in a “shocking” finding, Fiske noted, some of the men studied showed no activity in the part of the brain that usually responds when a person ponders another’s intentions.  (Read more here.)

bikini vs. burka
COLUMBIA ROOMMATE  The text is true but the picture is misguided. Women are nor forced to where bikinis in the US, whereas women are forced to cover their skin in certain Arabic countries. It’s a choice / human rights question.
FELLOW HIGH SCHOOL ALUM  And bikinis are awesome.
ACTIVIST  Women who wish to cover their faces are forced not to in certain ‘western’ countries. That’s an equally unfair restriction on personal freedom. The picture says everybody’s an idiot, which is pretty fair.
COLUMBIA ROOMMATE  Yeah, not in the US. I somehow doubt that al-Qãhırıï is making an anti-France point here.
ACTIVIST  That’s true, but he didn’t actually name the US so I’m looking at things in a more global sense since most of the world isn’t America. The point remains the same though – personal freedom does include the choice to be modest, and there are more countries than France restricting that now. It’s all childish anyway – how another human being dresses doesn’t change my life.
COLUMBIA ROOMMATE  I’m all for absolute freedom in how people dress. Including going naked.
ACTIVIST I’d like to limit being naked, mostly because a great majority of people are not people I’d want to see naked 🙂
RED CROSS  i feel sorry about you activist.
al-Qãhırıï  ‎@COLUMBIA ROOMMATE it’s complicated:  Sociology of Gender:  the Hijab
COLUMBIA ROOMMATE  Thanks for posting that paper, al-Qãhırıï. I agree that a snap judgment that women wear a hijab due to patriarchal oppression is not the most educated view. In fact, let’s say it is 100% incorrect and damaging.
If we agree on that point, I think it boils down to one’s view on the role of religion in a political state. If one believes that religion and state are inseparable, then the mandate to wear a hijab is practically consistent and appropriate – a law that encourages alignment with the religious text on which the government’s policies are based. Makes sense.
If one, on the other hand, believes that religion and state should be separated, then it is wrong to force a woman to wear a hijab.
Of course, things are never this simple. There are gray areas and questions much more difficult to answer, depending on one’s beliefs. For example, if one believes in a human being’s intrinsic right to free expression, then even a government based on religion, despite its innate drive to align law and faith, is alienating a right. It’s very structure, its very essence, alienates that right.
And then there are some purely theoretical angles to this question. For example, imagine Culture X which only allows its people to wear green hats. The people of Culture X only grow up wearing green hats and the idea of wearing any hat but a green one seems ridiculous, even alien. Now imagine Culture Y, which allows its people to wear any color hat. Certain colors may be more popular, but people grow up to pick the color they like best on their own. While a member of Culture X may not understand why anyone would want to wear a non-green hat, that same member may have potentially chosen a different color had he been born into Culture Y. This opens up another can of worms – whether the “purpose” of the individual should be the flexing of his individualism or the attempt to maintain harmony of the group.
I am not saying I believe or do not believe in any of these views. Just laying the groundwork for any kind of discussion that is to be had on this topic.
al-Qãhırıï  ‎@COLUMBIA ROOMMATE that’s an amazing comment!
Now here’s a pickle: I don’t believe that Islam and law are separable, meaning that Islam is the basis for what’s right, permissible, inadvisable and wrong in a Muslim’s life.
This is different than “church & state” in that there does not need to be an Islamic state for a Muslim to choose the Islamic legal framework.
NOW, whether or not there is a state, there is no legal basis for forcing a woman to cover herself. The wording of the Qur-an, as I showed in the paper you read, lists two reasons for covering: to be recognized and to not be molested. That’s usually said to mean to be recognized as a believer and to discourage unwanted advances.
There is no legal punishment for a woman to reveal her body in the shari’ah. There are numerous recorded instances when Muhammad saw a woman without her head or face covered and did not force her to cover them. These narrations are also a source of Islamic law. Since there is no legal precedent for punishing/enforcing the Islamic dress code, in my eyes this leaves the situation at the verse “There is no compulsion in the religion” (Qur-an 2.256). So if a woman is not a believer or doesn’t want to be recognized as one, and/or does not fear/mind advances, she is free.
So IF and, since we know, WHEN a government forces a woman to adopt the Islamic dress code, they have stepped beyond the bounds of their authority and onto her right of choice. You may as well know that the only government I know of which enforces the head-covering is Iran. I am in Saudi Arabia and I can see women with their heads and faces uncovered every day outside. There is a requirement to wear a cloak (abaya). I think this goes to your very relevant point about grey areas, in this instance the grey area between cultural norms and religious requirements. In Oman, for example, where the laws are much more lax, no one tells a woman what to wear, but she knows she would stick out like a sore thumb without long, loose clothing. It is a sort of peer pressure, and I believe this is the only valid way to expect people to change: by presenting so many examples that they either agree with or start to respect the point. No one should be forced to do what they don’t believe in, or prevented from doing what they believe, unless there is an established harm in it.
COLUMBIA ROOMMATE Awesome post. Thanks for writing it. I think we see eye to eye on this.
al-Qãhırıï  we been seein’ eye-to-eye a lot lately…
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Related Posts

The “Arab Spring”: Revolution or Awakening?

Last night (Day 4, 23 Shawwaal 1432 – Wednesday, 21 September 2011) I was a call-in guest on a show called Awakening.  The topic was “Islamic Awakening and the Arab Spring”.  It’s a program on a satellite channel called Sahar TV, a subsidiary of the IRIB network.  They sent me the questions a day earlier, and here are the responses I typed up in preparation for the show.  It’s just about what I ended up saying on the show.

——-

1 The World Bank and the G8 are already planning to sponsor the so-called Arab Spring. Less than a fortnight ago, G8 finance chiefs pledged $38-billion in financing to Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan over 2011-13, widening a deal agreed in May and offering Libya the chance to partake too. Analysts are now concerned over a possible Euro-US containment of the regional movement through this type of “cheque book diplomacy”. What’s your take on that?

Worth the paper it's printed on?

What is money anyway?  A bunch of pieces of cotton paper?  A readout on a bankslip?   It’s a promise to pay and I can tell you about the G8’s ability to pay.  The UK has been bankrupt since a hundred years ago, and it’s owed money to the U.S. since WWII.  The US, in turn, owes money to China and Russia.  So how can these bankrupt countries lend money?  All their doing is tricking Muslim countries into promising to pay them money that isn’t even real, that they don’t even have to lend in the first place.

When they lend this money, they lend it at interest.  Allah says in Surah Baqara 279 that He and His Messenger are at war with people who devour usury.  This is because it enslaves the borrower to the debtor.  These Islamic populations have just freed themselves of West-serving leaders.  By indebting themselves to them, they would be re-enslaving themselves, and this is the goal of cheque-book diplomacy, to create a situation by which they can continue to dictate over us.

2 A large number of scholars have constantly been warning against the risk of the revolutions being hijacked or contained in one way or another. How concerned should we really be about that?

One common colonial trick is to make the village thief the village chief.  There will always be someone without scruples, with no goal beyond his own selfish interests.  Colonial powers usually find that person, support him with every means, such as money, glorification in the media and so forth until he rises from vagabond to ruler, from thief to chief.  Then, because the colonizers, not the people, are his true power base, he does their bidding to ensure their continued support.

This is how I see things being hijacked.  In the end, a politician only cares about one thing.  He doesn’t have a religion.  He doesn’t believe in any idea or purpose.  His only goal is to get and keep power, and he will do whatever it takes to do that.  They let the parade get going and then run out in front of it like they’ve been leading it the whole time.  Colonial powers are only waiting for that man, woman or group to show themselves and start the politicking.
3 I think it’s fair to say that the reaction of the West towards the wave of Islamic awakening in the countries affected has been quite selective. Let’s talk about the most recent case, i.e. Libya, where we saw military intervention. Do you think that NATO may follow the Libyan model of intervention elsewhere in the Arab World?

The West’s selection process is based on what they think serves them best.  They use language clevery to disguise their self-serving intent in the language of freedom, democracy, human rights, etc.  For example, there has been brutal repression by certain regimes, even invasions and occupations, but this is either completely ignored.  For example, the Bahraini royal family, which hosts the US 5th Fleet, is immune to criticism no matter what it does.  As for Qathafi, whose friendship with the West was less easy, but a friendship just the same, they wanted him out, and made sure he got out.  What’s the difference?  Why do they support Syrian protesters, and even go so far as to reveal their arrogance by mentioning that al-Asad is “expendable”?  Why don’t Bahrain protesters get any support?  The only consistent factor has nothing to do with rights or freedom or legitimate aspirations.  It has only to do with who they want, and who they don’t.  I would say that Western powers are willing and waiting to intervene in other countries.  They are going through no end of rhetorical gymnastics, political treachery and covert operations in the meantime to justify an attack on Iran, as we all know.  I would also say that Syria is another target.  They’d be more than happy to make it look like their helping the people like in Libya rather than a full invasion like Iraq, because it’s easier to justify and probably cheaper.  In these cases, the revolutionaries run the risk of being nothing more than volunteer soldiers in a Western invasion.

4 A serious problem in the countries affected by the wave of Islamic awakening is- as a matter of fact- the problem of a strong leadership leading the opposition in those countries. In fact, in several cases those working under previous dictatorial regimes are still ruling the country. Is there any solution to this problem?

Well, in the case of Libya, to my understanding, the transitional government has been planning and plotting for years while in exile in England, and there’s only one reason why that government would support them while they were doing that.  If I’m correct.  Otherwise, the greatest threat to these movements is the lack of leadership.  The Islamic revolution in Iran is unique because there was already an established figurehead, Ruhullah Khomenei, even though there were groups of many different stripes. He united them. 

Shocking the world...

Islam united them.  But look at the movements today, there is no one leader.  There is no spiritual leader uniting them.  The most basic elements of history’s greatest revolution are two:  negation of falsehood, and affirmation of truth.  With the words “laa ilaaha” we negate every falsehood, every impure motive, all the weaknesses in ourselves and communities.  The revolutions of today have thrown out corrupt rulers, but does this mean the people have achieved self-purification?  The leaders were corrupt, but we have to remember that a leader is of his people, he reflects their characteristics too.  The people need to revolt internalyl-, the inner, greater jihaad– against their own corruption.  And they can only achieve this, the life that is lived by truth with the second half of our testimony of faith:  illAllaah.  They must make the Qur-aan their constitutional document, and the shari’a– which literally means “path to salvation”- as their new legal framework.  For that a leader must arise with the knowledge and integrity to rule by Islaam, and the people must recognize and pledge allegiance to him.

'Ilm & Taqwa (Knowledge and Piety)

5 The question that everybody’s now asking is whether the unexpected, amazing and unique wave of Islamic awakening will shape, influence or rather change the future of the Arab world in particular and the whole world in general. Now has Islamic Awakening got the potential to dramatically change global equations, do you think?


Muslims got to open their eyes to the ground beneath their feet.  We have every imaginable resource from A to Z- untapped human potential, water, oil & natural gas, agriculture, precious metals and stones, varieties of landscapes, geo-strategic position.  Pakistan’s soldiers are arguably the best in the world.  Egypt and Syria alone could have defeated the Zionists in Palestine and completely checked other Western powers in the Middle East more than 30 years ago.  Look at how much Iran changed the equation from 1979 until now.  What if we all did the same?  Pakistan and Sudan alone could feed the world.  WE DO NOT NEED THE WEST.  WE DO NOT NEED SYSTEMS THAT DON’T EVEN WORK FOR THEM.  

ALLAAH HAS GIVEN US EVERYTHING.  When we realize it, and when the people who realize it insist on leading and refuse to be misled, we’re gonna unleash peace all over this planet.  But, there is only one condition.  Allaah Doesn’t

Change the condition of a people until they change the condition of their selves.

6 What’s the most important challenge that the Islamic Awakening in the Middle East and North Africa will have to face?

The Awakening part.  The people who we let lead us are obviously corrupt and naïve, but so are the people.  We have no idea how eager the Zionists are to control Libya’s vast water reserves.  That’s their whole M.O. in the Golan Heights, for example.  We’ve forgotten- though the Western polities haven’t- what happens when we think for ourselves, such as the 1973 Oil Embargo, the Iranian revolution.  We’re unaware of the lengths these fading, illegitimate powers will go through to make sure we do NOT regain autonomy.  Here’s an example:  they bombed the bomb the Islamic Courts

Refusing to be misled...

Union out of Somalia, even though they restored order, justice and peace to the extent that Mogadishu’s airport was running again, just because they were not indebted to and controlled by anyone.  They were of, by and for the Muslim Somali people.  They would rather tempt a country into civil war that leads to famine than allow Muslims to decide what to do with their uranium, their geographical position, and their coastal waters.  We need to wake up to this level of awareness, which will lead us to believe in Allaah’s Promises, rather than the unsubstantiated promises of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

EXTRA

1 How do you think the momentous events of last few months or the so-called Arab Spring will help shape the future of American relationship with its allies in the region?

The best possible outcome is that it is the foundation of a model- the Islamic society- which will provide the alternative to the Western lifestyle the world is starving for.  We did that before- our societies have inspired and uplifted the world- but that was long ago.  Instead of always quoting anecdotes from our great past to defend Islam, we need to present Islam in a real way as the hope for the future.

2 How successful and effective has the US policy been in the Middle East since the Arab Spring started?

It has been effective in some instances.  So far the regime in Egypt has only changed in name.  Whereas Mubarak was its face, now it has no face and is in that sense all the more deceptive.  In North Africa in general, with the exception of Libya, it has made sure the people think they get what they wanted by allowing the dictators to leave on a golden parachute, without any fundamental or meaningful changes.  There not less but more American military bases and operations in North Africa, for example.

On the other hand, they have lost their complete stranglehold on Muslim’s imaginations.  We know we can stand up to their strongmen.  We’ve reminded ourselves of a lesson we learned in 1979, that Allaah Supports the believers when they unite, wa Huwa l-Wahidu l-Qahhaar.  Politically, there are some instances of greater unity between Muslim governments, such as Palestine’s confidence in pushing for full recognition by the UN, greater ties between Egypt and Iran.  And it’s efforts to isolate the powers it doesn’t support have not been very successful, though the double treatment of Syria and Libya compared to Bahrain is a glaring exception.

Overall, revolution is not really a solution.  Heads of state have been changed, but that has been the only result so far.  We have yet to see if the lives of the people will improve, and right now they are actually worse in most cases.  It is an awakening and revival of our Islam that we need, not a revolution.  Revolution is only one vehicle towards this- not necessarily the best one- and we only get to the point of dealing with the external after we’ve dealt with the internal.  A Muslim has the duty and right to rule if he excels the people in knowledge and piety.  At the very least, he should not block the people from Islaam.  After that, it doesn’t matter about a vote, or what they think of him, or how the West evaluates him.  They should follow and advise him.  Lastly, we have the duty and right to rule ourselves by Islaam individually, and accomplishing that is the true Awakening, Revolution and Spring.

Duties and rights go hand in hand.

Dear Christian Brothers and Sisters

The wider implication of the Norway attacks is the formulation of “security” policies targeting white Christians, the majority population of most Western countries. This step towards complete control of the population has already been planned, but now there’s the requisite excuse. People of the revealed Books should unite around our right to believe…

*******

Dear Christian Brothers and Sisters,

In this, the aftermath of the terrible attacks in Norway, I ask that we all continue in prayer for the victims and their families.  Their loss and grief is the severest aspect of the tragedy, but, in scope, it is not the greatest.  The wider and more lasting tragedy of these attacks is what I see happening to you.

The person who did this, and whoever he was in concert with, have played right into the hands of the polities they claim to oppose.  Now- and you will soon see much to prove this- the white Christian is a threat.  This is profoundly significant, for the populations that Western polities are working to disenfranchise and control are majority white Christian societies.  With the two attacks in Norway, an excuse has been provided worldwide to profile, infiltrate, imprison without due process, and create divisions in this group.  It is already happening.  Google articles about the event and you will see headlines with words like “white” or “ethnic Norwegian”.  His race is being highlighted in a way that would otherwise be considered racist, and that is no mistake.

Now, the white Christian is the culprit.  Now, the white Christian is a target. 

If you believe in living by the words of the Bible, you are a fundamentalist.  If your beliefs or words conflict with the polities-that-be or their security apparatuses, you are an extremist.  So-called right-wing militias, with their Christianity-tinged ideologies, will soon be falling under the microscope, as part of a wider strategy of disarming the populace by ending the right to bear arms.  Legitimate questions and grievances are radicalism.  Missionaries and evangelists are recruiters.  Maybe not today, but very, very soon.

You may have been thinking all along that your government and politicians are Christians like you, and that you live in a Christian country.  If so, you have been wrong.  Your politicians have always and only been opportunists, for their own political survival, and the greater opportunity lies with an establishment of polities beyond the reach of democratic machinations.  This is not conspiracy theory, I don’t ascribe to that.  But is there not something that induces politicians to vote against their voters, as they often do?  Aren’t there persons and bodies of political and economic influence whose status is not subject to elections?  Why were your rights changed from life, liberty and property, to life, liberty and the “pursuit of happiness” when the Declaration of Independence was revised?

A religion and book should not be judged by the actions of a few criminals, even if they claim to act in their name.  Rather, the evaluation and judgment should be based on nothing other than a fair reading of the texts.  Nonetheless, you are about to start seeing a subtle, but growing association of the Norwegian terror act with a larger, wider demographic, your demographic, you… 

Prepare for the outrage of lone wolves being broadcast around the world as the spokesman.  Your way of life will be attacked from without and within as both ignorant adherents and prejudiced commentators quote scripture out of context and make the extremes look like the core, as obvious vagabonds are touted as priests.

Welcome to my world. 

As a black person, I have watched my whole life as the actions of a few have been used to label the many, and it was never the good actions.  As a recent convert to Islam, it is only doubly so, even though innumerable scholarly articles have invalidated miscreant acts as illegal in Islamic law.  There is a part of me that could gloat in “white folks getting a taste of their own medicine” or seeing another religion get attacked the way mine does, but the greater jihad is to strive against the base parts of our nature, so I will not do that.  I honestly don’t feel that way anyways.  How could I when most of my family and many of my friends are Bible-believing Christians?  I do not celebrate the calamity that has doubly befallen me befalling you.  Rather, I welcome you.

I invite you.

Though we differ in religion, we worship the same god, Allah.  Do you object to this name?  Why?  The Arabic word ‘Allah’ is nearly identical to the Aramaic word Jesus used.  It is very close the Hebrew words of Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David and Solomon, peace be upon them and all prophets.  It is certainly much closer than the Germanic ‘god’ or the derivatives of the Greek “theos” (dieu, dios, etc.).  It is the word your Arab co-religionists use to this day. 

Our god is one and the same.  We share the duty to research and uphold the integrity of the revealed books:  the scrolls of Abraham, the instructions of Moses, the songs of David and the good message of Jesus, peace be upon them all.  We share the duty to stop the oppression and expulsion of our respective brothers and sisters in faith in the land we both consider holy.  We also share the duty to defend the right to live by revealed religion, a right that is being threatened for all of us.  It is on this, the common and obvious points, that we should unite and cooperate, inclining towards peace, and leave the differences to the debates of our respective scholars.

 “…and nearest among them in love to the believers will you find those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant” (Qur-an 5:82).

Your brother in Humanity,

al-Qahırıĩ

americism

If you’re American and you’re facebooking on the 4th of July; you’re a loser. 

vintage americism

...strive 'til we stride!

If you’re African-American and you’re celebrating the 4th of July; you’re ignorant, because your slavery and humanity was ignored on this day, in the country you broke your back to build.

If you’re Native American and you’re celebrating; you’re a fool, because all that happened for you was other people’s fight for the right to steal your land.

If you’re a European American and you’re celebrating; you’ve likely been bamboozled, for only landowning white men were made full citizens by the war that was to follow this day.

If you’re a woman and you’re celebrating; you’ve disgraced yourself, for after all your contributions, you wouldn’t have an equal say until centuries after this day.

If you’re new here and you’re celebrating today; you are welcome, but perhaps you should have fought and died in your country for what we have here.

As for me, my nationality is a matter of circumstance.  i am free, and so i celebrate, on this day and every other, for i am free from slavery to those who are themselves enslaved, to slavery to the Lord of slaves, who Has Forbidden His Self from oppression, whose Mercy has overcome His Wrath…

An Open Letter to David Cameron

Open Letter to Mr. Cameron

To The Rt. Hon. David Cameron

Prime Minister 10 Downing Street

 

Dear Mr. Cameron

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

 

“For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah.” ( The saying of Abraham, Quran 6:79)

We are deeply dismayed by your statements made in the Munich Security Conference on the 5th February 2011. Your speech was misleading, ill-timed, counter-productive. You have insulted the Muslims you are meant to serve and have demonstrated a failure to understand the Muslims and their faith.

 

A Muslim, literally, means one who has submitted his will to God. We bow our head in prayer to Allah, five times a day, in submission to Him and Him alone. We only have one Master, and we are Muslims first. Our beliefs in our values, and in what we hold to be right and wrong is dictated not from an elected parliament, but from Allah (God) as revealed in the Quran and the teaching of last Messenger, Muhammed (Peace be upon him) and consensus of the Muslims. Furthermore, we believe that this life is a test, that after our death we are accountable before Allah on a Day of Judgement, and we will all be given recompense according to our deeds. This, above all, is what motivates us:

Every human being is bound to taste death: but only on the Day of Resurrection will you be requited in full [for whatever you have done] – whereupon he that shall be drawn away from the fire and brought into paradise will indeed have gained a triumph: for the life of this world is nothing but an enjoyment of self-delusion. 3:185

 

We readily accept and work to strengthen the meritorious institutions of British society, especially those that exist because of the common origin of the Muslim and Judaeo-Christian tradition that British values were derived from: of honesty and moral integrity; of altruism and neighbourliness; of social, political, and economic justice. We encourage Muslims to do whatever they can, even while being a minority, to assist in increasing the general good and minimising harm in society, even if it be by an act as small as removing something harmful from a walker’s path. We seek to work towards a peaceful society in Britain.

 

We encourage Muslims to work for the benefit of the people of Britain, for no one’s sake but Allah’s. We will go further to say that we endeavour to work with greater sincerity for the betterment of Britain and its people than any Prime Minister or an elected parliament does, for we seek no worldly gain. We would be insincere citizens if we failed to share with Britons what we believe will bring them peace and tranquility in this life and in the hereafter. Our role models are the Prophets of God, among them Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammed (peace be upon them all). As one Prophet said:

“I wish not, in opposition to you, to do that which I forbid you to do. I only desire your betterment to the best of my power; and my success can only come from Allah. In Him I trust, and unto Him I look.”

 

But Muslims will not be bullied by ‘muscular liberalism’ into compromising on their teachings and the principles of their faith as Christiandom and others may have done, nor will we be forced to embrace values that oppose the faith of millions of Muslims in Britain, Europe and the world over. Interpretations of British values change as governments do, and what may be in keeping with liberal values may be completely unacceptable to our belief, whether it be mocking God and His Prophets, the alcohol culture with all its ills, and any cohabiting out of wedlock between man and woman, this being the only relationship Islam recognises. Are we still to be forced to embrace such liberal values and promote them? What values allow the fighting of illegal wars that kills thousands to spread democracy by the gun or of staunchly supporting nations that deprive a people of a land their rights and oppresses them? Are these British values?

 

What we believe to be wrong and unjust, we will exercise our right to speak out against. You cannot speak of a belief in the freedom of speech and religion while in the same breath denying the Muslims the right to proclaim and preach their belief. You thus make ‘freedom of speech’ an empty slogan. You either accept that people – British Muslims included – have a right to believe in the values that their religion teaches, or that the state regulates our beliefs and our values as in a ‘thought police’ that incriminates and sanctions citizens for what they may believe even if they break no law. This, in essence, is what you propose. If so, then how different is that from communist dictatorships that repress those voices that oppose the state’s ‘values’? You are travelling down a road that will end with sanctions being placed on Muslims for simply believing in Islam and the Quran.

 

The Islamic faith does not teach extremism. But the Prime Minister, MPs and non-representative think-tanks with their own prejudices will not dictate to Muslims what constitutes a correct Islamic understanding and what does not. You would be ill-advised to be directed by any biased coterie of individuals with neo-conservative leanings or those who seek to undermine Muslims to forward the cause of other interest groups. The government has already, on the basis of such misinformation, branded mainstream Muslim individuals, events and organisations as extremist, reinforcing the perception that your government is unable to make an impartial judgement about its Muslim citizens. This reality makes your speech a cause for even greater concern among British Muslims.

 

In your speech you stated regarding terrorism that the “threat comes in Europe overwhelmingly from young men who follow a completely perverse, warped interpretation of Islam”. This is not true. The 2008 TE-SAT report of European terrorism confirmed that in 2007, only 4 out of 583 (0.007%) attacks were ‘Islamist’ in nature. In 2006 it was 1 in 498. The main threat comes from separatists and left-wing groups. Why do you seek to exaggerate the threat from Islamists when the facts state otherwise? It is irresponsible for you to further sour the relationship between a minority and the community at large, where there is already evidence of much anti-Muslim feeling. Statistics demonstrate that by sheer numbers alone there are more non-Muslims who feel hostility to Muslims (more than 20% in UK) or than vice versa. While singling out Muslims in the attack on multiculturalism, you made no mention of some Christians, Jews, Hindus and Sikhs who have been united for a common cause of hatred against Muslims in various guises under the banner of the EDL who were marching on the same day that you spoke. Rather than countering this unhealthy Islamophobia that is sweeping across Europe, you contributed to it. That you were on German soil should have reminded you of the consequences of contributing to hatred against minorities.

 

The most insulting and disdainful of your remarks directed to the Muslims was the threats of withholding funding from whom you think are extreme. Do you think that the strength of our conviction in our values is measured against paltry handouts or opportunities for photoshoots with MPs? Muslims do not need such money nor do they have any need to share platform with such ministers, and certainly not if these are meant to bribe them away from their principles. Reliance and trust upon Allah are the bedrock of our faith. What is the entitlement of any citizen – regardless of religion –should be granted to them. If the government decides to wrongfully withhold this from a Muslim individual or group because of ill-informed reservations about their beliefs, then it is the government that should be held accountable. It is time Britain comes to terms with the reality of Muslims as part of Britain with the differences that we have between us. If this is what you want to confront, and this is how you want to browbeat Muslims with ‘muscular liberalism’ then do, for we will, with God’s help, will be even harder-nosed in standing up for our faith, for we are responsible for this before God. We will always turn to Him and His guidance and we will, Insha’Allah (God willing) have the mettle to remain patiently steadfast on our faith and speak what we believe to be right:

Say: “O my people! Do whatever ye can: I will do (my part): soon will ye know who it is whose end will be (best) in the Hereafter: certain it is that the oppressors will not prosper.” 6:135

 

Your speech has led to much upset in the Muslim community. While you may win over many right-wing and possibly racist voters, you will lose Muslim voters who will not forget your remarks in four years’ time. But it is not votes, but a sense of justice and perspective that should guide you. We hope you reconsider your statements and reassess the direction this government is taking with regards to the rights of Muslim citizens of Britain, and not join Europe’s growing far-right.

– from Shaykh Haytham al-Haddad