Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui

Posts Tagged ‘West’

ستمبر ۱۱کے دس سال ۔۔۔مسلم امہ کی رایۓ

In America, I Hate USA, Opinion Polls on September 13, 2011 at 6:09 am

 

French Government ban on hijab – offensive to women!

In Hijab, Islam - A Study on April 13, 2011 at 8:36 am

By Julie Joy Clarke

I find it offensive that the French Government has placed a ban on Muslim women wearing a hijab. In a country of about 5 million Muslims, only about 2000 women wear the full veil and the powers that be, have decided that they know best and these women must be saved. Or could it be that  the government  wants to save the French people from this most terrible of atrocities, a female body that cannot be seen .
There are a number of assumptions in the government’s decision to act.  They  infer that women who wear the hijab are being oppressed not only by their husband, but also Islam. Heaven forbid that these women are cognizant beings able to make decisions for themselves. If  the hijab is a symbol of male power and oppression, the question arises why should Muslim women be punished for their compliance?  The argument then follows, if these women are not being oppressed and choose to wear the hijab or burka then they must be rebels flaunting western culture and  as such, should be punished. It seems either way that men in power have decided that these women must be punished  for acquiescence to Islam or their lack of obedience to male power structures in western societies. Never mind  Islam, how dare you defy our will!
Non-Mulsim women throughout the world have the freedom to choose their own style of clothing, which tends more and more to reveal rather than cover their bodily parts – note the recent trend of women wearing short shorts, which occasionally creates an almost pornographic revealing of the pubis and buttocks of the wearer and the tops that get lower and lower, revealing more and more of female breasts.
But we live in a capitalists society where the body and bodily parts are highly marketable and women are encouraged to show their wares. The Muslim woman who covers her body transgresses male desire to see and female (but not all female) desire that others desire to look at them; male desire considered primary!
I’m beginning to think that countries that ban the hijab do so not because they actually think the item of clothing is divisive in a religious sense because there’s already a division between Islam and Christianity, but because the hijab has become like a red rag to a bull that flags the notion, we dare to be different in a different way than you have condoned!
And where do western, educated women in gender neutral jobs figure in all of this? Used to competing in obvious and non-obvious ways with their body (after all, isn’t that what people see first – groomed, beautiful and as perfect as they can be with up to the minute fashions) they know that they are no challenge to those  not selling. How can they be better, thinner, more beautiful than the woman who keeps it all under wraps?
The ground lines may have shifted, but from what I can ascertain, men are still holding the chalk.
Intro of Author : Dr Julie Clarke has an MA in Art History and a PhD in Cinema from the University of Melbourne. She is a sometimes painter, poet and photographer who has worked in community development and the media. She has been an arts worker for the Melbourne Fringe Festival, private organizations and individuals, and has worked extensively for the University sector. She is currently an Honorary Fellow and casual tutor with the University of Melbourne. She has published extensively on the posthuman, and in particular on the work of Stelarc. Her artwork has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions locally and overseas.

The Western Double Standards on the Blasphemy Law

In Blashphemy Law - An Islamic Perspective on December 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm

By Shahnawaz Farooqui

After 9/11 western world has developed a habit of ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Pope Benedict started it; Danish newspapers came next and took the controversy to new heights by publishing derogatory caricatures of Prophet (SAW). The newspaper of other European nations followed the trend.

Latter the Facebook event ‘Draw Muhammad day” (*Naozubillah*) broke all the records. Today we are witnessing another controversy which is perhaps

connected with the same trend: the matter of Asiya Bibi, the Christian lady,who has been sentenced to death in Pakistan for derogating Prophet of Islam (SAW). Not a small incident though, perhaps of international significance as Pope Benedict has raised his voice against this case. USA has offered refuge to this lady as well. All of this makes one ask “If we don’t call derogation of Prophet (SAW) as developing habit of the western world … then what?”

Muslim majority always raise a voice against such acts of psychological terror. They come on streets; shout slogans against the westerners and then go back home, exhausted. This reaction of Muslim masses is considered as ‘emotional’, ‘radical’ or even ‘reactionary’ by westerners and even by secularized Muslims. Why the Muslims masses react this way? The answer to this question is perhaps not known to religious minded Muslims even, let alone westerners or secular Muslims. Before we try to answer, let us skim over the intricacies of Islamic Belief system.

Historians of Islam tell us that before Prophet (SAW) came, the ArabianPeninsula was plunged into darkness of apostasy and worst form of polytheism. Millions use to worship hundreds of idols. People of the Books adulterated their sacred scriptures and as a result had departed from the genuine concept of God. The trend was broken after Prophet Muhammad (SAW) came. The world once again got acquainted with the truth about the Creator of this Universe of mankind’s relationship with Him. The concept of oneness of God (*Tauheed*) got popularized. The differentiation of good from bad and right from wrong got established and clarified for the final time. From this perspective Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the first person who made mankind acquainted with the complete concept of God.

The realization of this concept isn’t possible unless and until one accepts the practical teachings of Prophet (SAW). Therefore the personality of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the epitome of the Ontological Principle of Islam(Nature of Existence) i.e. *Tauheed*, which cannot be understood without bringing the personality of Prophet (SAW) in perspective. In order to truly understand the stated principle, studying Hinduism will help where One God is transformed in to 330 million Gods. Further to understand its worth the concept of God in Christianity should be looked upon, where One God has been `trinitized’ into Father, son and the Holy Ghost. A lot more can beexplained though we would prefer to move further.

According to an authentic Hadith, Allah SWT created Prophet Muhammad (SAW) from his own Spirit or Light, and then created the entire universe from the light of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). This stature has not been awarded to any other messenger of Islam. This Hadith tells us that Prophet (SAW) is indeed the reason for which this universe has been created or in other words Prophet (SAW) is the epitome of Islam’s Cosmological Principle as well.

In Islam there are two undeniable sources of Knowledge. One is the Holy Qur’an, which comprises of the words of Allah SWT and brought to Prophet (SAW) by Jibrael (AS). The second source is Hadith or the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Muslims believe that since the Holy Qur’an is the last book revealed by Allah SWT on mankind therefore it confirms to the teaching of previously revealed Divine books, however Al-Qur’an also contains some other topics as well which were not covered in previous books. According to Muslims, this is so because Al-Qur’an is final guidance meant for all the times or ages to come. Furthermore Muslims also believes that wisdom of  Prophet (SAW) is greater then cumulative wisdom of all other Prophet whocame earlier. If seen in this context then we understand that why the personality of Prophet (SAW) is the epitome of Islam’s Epistemological  Principle as well. According to the Historians of Islam, Allah (SWT) sent around one hundred and twenty four thousand Messengers or Prophet for the guidance of Mankind.

They were all chosen; therefore their stature is greater then rest of mankind for obvious reasons. Muslim believes that among all those messengers and prophets the stature of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the greatest; for this reason he is also known as *Sardar-ul-Anbiya* (Leader of all Prophets). This is confirmed from the reported tradition which says that on his way to the heavens, during the historical event of *Mairaj*, Prophet Muhammad led the prayers of all other prophets and messengers in *Masjid-e-Aqsa* in Bait-ul-Muqaddas (Jerusulum).

Muslim considers Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as their perfect role model. From the life of Prophet (SAW) a Muslims gets guidance regarding his beliefs,prayers, and ethics. In the personality of Prophet (SAW) Muslims find standards to follow in every walk of life. This is so because Prophet of Islam (SAW) was a ruler of his kingdom, he was also a Judge, a soldier, a military strategist, a diplomat, a peacemaker, a husband, a father, a relative, a trader, a friend etc. A part from that Muslims even look at his personality to learn how to walk, sit, stand, eat, smile, and even sneeze.

In other words for Muslims the personality of Prophet (SAW) is a blueprint of Islamic civilization, benchmarks to evaluate the history, understand sociology, comprehend psychology, and do politics. Muslims look at the practices Prophet (SAW) to even device their economic model. Al-Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet (SAW) are even the basis of the constitution which a Muslim should abide at collective level.

To further understand the respect which a Muslim should have for the Prophet of Islam (SAW), look at the Holy Qur’an where Muslims are instructed to not to raise their voice higher then Prophet’s (SAW), and if they do then it will nullify all their good deeds.

A Hadith tells Muslim that their belief in Islam cannot be completed when Prophet (SAW) is not dear to him more then his parents, relative and even his wealth. If seen in this context then derogation of Prophet (SAW) is also a derogation or insult Ontological Principle (*Tauheed*) Muslims believe in, an insult of Epistemological Principle which they believe in, and even an insult to their cosmological principle. It is also an insult to Islamic civilization and its history, and an insult to the constitution and concept of justice which Islam advocates. Henceforth an insult to the Prophet (SAW) is an insult to the individual and collective way of life of a Muslim along with its underline meaning.

A Question might arise here is that are Muslims aware or conscious about relationship they have with Prophet (SAW) to such a holistic extent as explained above? Answer of this question is indeed that a great majority of Muslims are not conscious of their relationship likewise. Perhaps this is the reason why we see so many Muslims practically violating the teachings of Prophet (SAW). However an ordinary Muslim has a realization about the sacredness of this relationship. How come a person can realize something he isn’t conscious about? The answer of this question lies in understanding the miraculous nature of belief of a Muslim. This belief influences the personality of an individual even if he isn’t conscious about it. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) once asked his companions (RAA) that whose belief is bizarre?

Companions replied “It is yours’, Prophet Muhammad (SAW)”, Prophet (SAW) replied, “How come, I am direct recipient of the revelations”, companions then said, “then it is out belief which is bizarre”, Prophet (SAW) replied, ”Is it so as I am in front you all”, companions then questioned, “then who are those whose belief is bizarre?”, on this Prophet (SAW) answered, “The belief of those will be bizarre, who would believe in me without seeing me.” This tradition makes it is obvious that this realization is indeed due to miraculous power of belief itself. From this context, it is not appropriate to consider the reaction of Muslims as radical or emotional on the derogation of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). This is so because of the realization of the relationship which Muslims have with Prophet (SAW).

The question which eventually arise that from all of the above what westerners really understand? It is rather even more important to ask that do westerners even have the capacity to understand these spiritual aspects of the relationship of Muslims have with Prophet (SAW)?

The reason for asking this question is to point toward a fact that western or European world has now become void of the concept of sanctity. 75% of their population doesn’t practically follow any religion including Christianity. For them Jesus (AS) is just a historical personality or a folk hero. There are people in the west who have even argued that Jesus (AS) even had relations with a mistress (*Nauzobillah*). The question which should be asked here is how come we expect the western world that doesn’t even care about sanctity of Jesus Christ (AS), to care about the sanctity of the relationship Muslims have with Prophet Muhammad (SAW)?

There is another point to ponder here, in order to make a comment about any subject it is important that the commentator should have its complete knowledge and is aware of its background. It is a matter of fact that a great majority of secularized west isn’t aware of the stature or sanctity of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his relationship with the Muslim majority. If this is correct then how can the west be considered as qualified to comment in this regards. Is it ignorance of the western majority which makes them qualified? …

A part from the great ignorant majority, there is a certain percentage of population in the west who is close to Christianity. This minority, as we may call it, isn’t unaware about Prophet of Islam (SAW) and the importance he holds for the Muslims, rather the converse is true, which in turn makes them horrified and jealous. They are horrified because they see Christianity getting extinct even from European countries, and on the contrary Islam is spreading in western world despite all the propaganda against it. Perhaps this decline of Christianity and rise of Islam is indeed what provoke the Christian population to derogate the Prophet of Islam (SAW).

It is indeed a fact that the majority of the western population isn’t interested in respecting the sanctity of Prophets, religious belief and even God. On the other side sanctity of their National Interest is most sacred to them. This National Interest has made these European countries to fought two world wars subsequently killing 80 million human beings. The same national interest made Americans to invade Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11. According to the statistics presented by John Hopkins, in Iraq alone America has killed roughly six hundred thousand people. It is quite strange that the west doesn’t much bother killing 80 million people of different nationalities for the sake of national interest, however they cry loud when a women who is found guilty of violating the Blasphemy law in Pakistan and is in turn sentenced to death. This rather becomes a horrendous violation of human rights in their viewpoint.

We can see the contrast here … as from Muslim’s perspective the sanctity of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is more significant then anything else in the universe, let alone national interest; rather it is considered by them that Prophet (SAW) is indeed the reason why the universe exists in the first place.

If we look a bit more closely, we notice that the west is also not in favor of derogating an ordinary citizen with out a solid proof. This is also considered illegal in almost every western country. However the western world isn’t willing to give respect to the Prophet of Islam (SAW) equal to what’s given to an ordinary person, and considers it irrational when Muslims persist on doing so. Their opposition to the blasphemy law in Pakistan is indeed a proof of this. This opposition indeed only exposes the hatred the westerners have against Islam and Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

The question we should eventually ask our self now is on whose side we are standing indeed? Is it the westerners’ viewpoint which appeals us? Or is it the cry of the Muslim that we want to support, against the derogation of the most important personality in the universe?

Your answer will eventually tell you that on whose side your loyalty belongs.

Translated by Omer Javed

A Muslim’s Nationality and His Belief By Syed Qutub Shaeed

In Clsh of Civilizations on May 25, 2010 at 2:48 am

By Syed Qutb Shaheed

The day Islam gave a new concept of values and standards to mankind and showed the way to learn these values and standards, it also provided it with a new concept of human relationships. Islam came to return man to his Sustainer and to make His guidance the only source from which values and standards are to be obtained, as He is the Provider and Originator. All relationships ought to be based through Him, as we came into being through His will and shall return to Him.

Islam came to establish only one relationship which binds men together in the sight of God, and if this relationship is firmly established, then all other relationships based on blood or other considerations become eliminated. “You will not find the people who believe in God and the Hereafter taking as allies the enemies of God and His Prophet, whether they be their fathers or sons or brothers or fellow tribesmen.” (Al-Qur’an 58:22)

In the world there is only one party of God; all others are parties of Satan and rebellion. “Those who believe fight in the cause of God, and those who disbelieve fight in the cause of rebellion. Then fight the allies of Satan; indeed, Satan’s strategy is weak.” (Al-Qur’an 3:78)

There is only one way to reach God; all other ways do not lead to Him. “This is My straight path. Then follow it, and do not follow other ways which will scatter you from His path.” (Al-Qur’an 6:153)

For human life, there is only one true system, and that is Islam; all other systems are Jahiliyyah. “Do they want a judgment of the Days of Ignorance? Yet who is better in judgment than God, for a people having sure faith?” (Al-Qur’an 5:50)

There is only one law which ought to be followed, and that is the Shari’ah from God; what is other than this is mere caprice. “We have set thee on a way ordained (by God); then follow it, and do not follow the desires of those who have no knowledge.” (Al-Qur’an 45:18)

The truth is one and indivisible; anything different from it is error. “Is anything left besides error, beyond the truth? Then whither do you go?” (Al-Qur’an 10:32)

There is only one place on earth which can be called the home of Islam (Dar-ul-Islam), and it is that place where the Islamic state is established and the Shari¹ah is the authority and God’s limits are observed, and where all the Muslims administer the affairs of the state with mutual consultation. The rest of the world is the home of hostility (Dar-ul-Harb). A Muslim can have only two possible relations with Dar-ul-Harb: peace with a contractual agreement, or war. A country with which there is a treaty will not be considered the home of Islam.

“Those who believed, and migrated, and strove with their wealth and their persons in the cause of God, and those who gave them refuge and helped them, are the protectors of each other. As to those who believed but did not emigrate, you have no responsibility for their protection until they emigrate; but if they ask your help in religion, it is your duty to help them, except against a people between whom and you there is a treaty; and God sees whatever you do. Those who disbelieve are the allies of each other. If you do not do this, there will be oppression in the earth and a great disturbance. Those who believe, and migrate, and fight in the cause of God, and those who give them refuge and help them, are in truth Believers. For them is forgiveness and generous provision. And those who accept Faith afterwards and migrate and strive along with you, they are of you.” (8:72-75)

Islam came with this total guidance and decisive teaching. It came to elevate man above, and release him from, the bonds of the earth and soil. A Muslim has no country except that part of the earth where the Shari’ah of God is established and human relationships are based on the foundation of relationship with God; a Muslim has no nationality except his belief, which makes him a member of the Muslim community in Dar-ul-Islam; a Muslim has no relatives except those who share the belief in God, and thus a bond is established between him and other Believers through their relationship with God.

A Muslim has no relationship with his mother, father, brother, wife and other family members except through their relationship with the Creator, and then they are also joined through blood. “O mankind, remain conscious of your Sustainer, Who created you from one soul and created from it its mate, and from the two of them scattered a great many men and women. Remain conscious of God, from Whose authority you make demands, and reverence the wombs which bore.” (4:1)

However, Divine relationship does not prohibit a Muslim from treating his parents with kindness and consideration, inspite of differences of belief, as long as they do not join the front lines of the enemies of Islam. However, if they openly declare their alliance with the enemies of Islam, then all the filial relationships of a Muslim are cut off and he is not bound to be kind and considerate to them. Abdullah, son of Abdullah bin Ubayy, has presented us with a bright example in this respect.

Ibn Jarir, on the authority of Ibn Ziad, has reported that the Prophet called Abdullah, son of Abdullah bin Ubayy, and said, “Do you know what your father said?” Abdullah asked, “May my parents be a ransom for you; what did my father say?” The Prophet replied, “He said, “If we return to Medina (from the battle), the one with honor will throw out the one who is despised.” Abdullah then said, “O Messenger of God, by God, he told the truth. You are the one with honor and he is the one who is despised. O Messenger of God, the people of Medina know that before you came to Medina, no one was more obedient to his father than I was. But now, if it is the pleasure of God and His Prophet that I cut off his head, then I shall do so.”   The Prophet replied, “No”. When the Muslims returned to Medina, Abdullah stood in front of the gate with his sword drawn over his father’s head, telling him, “Did you say that if we return to Medina then the one with honor will throw out the one who is despised? By God, now you will know whether you have honor, or God¹s Messenger! By God, until God and His Messenger give permission, you cannot enter Medina, nor will you have refuge from me!? Ibn Ubayy cried aloud and said twice, “People of Khazraj, see how my son is preventing me from entering my home!” But his son Abdullah kept repeating that unless the Prophet gave permission, he would not let him enter Medina. Hearing this noise, some people gathered around and started pleading with Abdullah, but he stood his ground. Some people went to the Prophet and reported this incident. He told them, “Tell Abdullah to let his father enter”. When Abdullah got this message, he then told his father, “Since the Prophet has given permission, you can enter now.”

When the relationship of the belief is established, whether there be any relationship of blood or not, the Believers become like brothers. God Most high says, “Indeed, the Believers are brothers”, which is a limitation as well as a prescription. He also says: “Those who believed and migrated and strove with their wealth and their persons in the cause of God, and those who gave them refuge and helped them, are the protectors of each other.” (8:72)

The protection which is referred to in this verse is not limited to a single generation, but encompasses future generations as well, thus linking the future generations with the past generation in a sacred and eternal bond of love, loyalty and kindness. “Those who lived (in Medina) before the Emigrants and believed, love the Emigrants and do not find in their hearts any grudge when thou givest them something, but give them preference over themselves, even though they may be poor.  Indeed, the ones who restrain themselves from greed, achieve prosperity. Those who came after them (the Emigrants) say:   ‘Our Lord forgive us and our brothers who entered the faith before us, and leave not in our hearts any grievance against those who believed. Our Lord Thou art indeed Most Kind, Most Merciful.’” (59:10)

God Most High has related the stories of earlier Prophets in the Qur’an as an example for the Believers. In various periods the Prophets of God lighted the flame of faith and guided the Believers. “And Noah called upon his Lord and said, ‘O my Lord, surely my son is of my family, and thy promise is true, and thou art the Justest of Judges’. He said, ‘O Noah, he is not of thy family, as his conduct is unrighteous; so do not ask of me that of which thou hast no knowledge. I give thee the counsel not to act like the ignorant.’ Noah said, ‘O my Lord, I seek refuge with Thee lest I ask Thee for that of which I have no knowledge, and unless Thou forgive me and have mercy on me, I shall be lost’”. (1:124)

“And when Abraham said, ‘My Lord! Make this a city of peace and feed its people with fruits, such of them as believe in God and the Last Day’. He said, ‘And those who reject faith, I will grant them their pleasure for a while, but will eventually drive them to the chastisement of the Fire. What an evil destination!’” (2:126)

When the Prophet Abraham saw his father and his people persistent in their error, he turned away from them and said: “I leave thee and those upon whom thou callest besides God. I will only call upon my Sustainer, and hope that my Lord will not disappoint me.” (19:48)

In relating the story of Abraham and his people, God has highlighted those aspects which are to be an example for the Believers. “Indeed, Abraham and his companions are an example for you, when they told their people, ŒWe have nothing to do with you and with whatever you worship besides God. We reject them; and now there is perpetual enmity and danger between you and us, unless you believe in One God.” (60:4)

When those young and courageous friends who are known as the Companions of the Cave found it impossible to live, with their faith, among their family and tribe, they left them all, migrated from their country, and ran toward their Sustainer so that they could live as His servants. “They were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance. We gave strength to hearts, so that they stood up and said, ‘Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We shall not call upon any god apart from Him. If we did, we should indeed have said an awful thing. These our people have taken for worship gods other than Him. Why do they not bring a clear proof for what they do? Who can be more wrong than such as invent a falsehood against God? So, when you turn away from them and the things they worship other than God, take refuge in the cave. Your Lord will shower mercies on you and will provide ease and comfort for your affairs!” (18:13-16)

the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot were separated from their husbands only because their beliefs were different. “God gives as an example for the unbelievers the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were married to two of Our righteous servants; but they were false to their husbands, and they profited nothing before God on their account, but were told, ‘Enter you both into the fire along with those who enter it.’” (66:10) Then there is another kind of example in the wife of Pharaoh. “And God gives as an example to those who believe the wife of Pharaoh. Behold, she said, ‘My Lord, build for me in nearness to Thee a mansion in heaven, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings, and save me from those who do wrong.’” (66:11)

Similarly, the Qur’an describes examples of different kinds of relationships. In the story of Noah we have an example of the paternal relationship; in the story of Abraham, an example of the son and of the country; in the story of the Companions of the Cave, a comprehensive example of relatives, tribe and home country. In the stories of Noah, Lot and Pharaoh there is an example of marital relationships.

After a description of the lives of the great Prophets and their relationships, we not turn to the Middle Community, that is, that of the early Muslims. We find similar examples and experiences in this community in great numbers. This community followed the Divine path which God has chosen for the Believers. When the relationship of common belief was broken-in other words, when the very first relationship joining one man with another was broken-then persons of the same family or tribe were divided into different groups. God Most High says in praise of the Believers: “You will not find any people who believe in God and the Last Day loving those whop fight god and His Messenger, even though they be their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. These are the people on whose hearts God has imprinted faith and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein. God will be well-pleased with them and they with Him. They are the party of God; truly the party of God will prosper.” (58:22)

We see that the blood relationships between Muhammad-peace be on him-and his uncle Abu Lahab and his cousin “Amr bin Hisham (Abu Jahl) were broken and that the Emigrants from Mecca were fighting against their families and relatives and were in the front lines of Badr, while on the other hand, their relations with the Helpers of Medina became strengthened on the basis of a common faith. They became like brothers, even more than blood relatives. This relationship established a new brotherhood of Muslims in which were included Arabs and non-Arabs. Suhaib from Rome and Bilal from Abyssinia and Salman from Persia were all brothers. There was no tribal partisanship among them. The pride of lineage was ended, the voice of nationalism was silenced, and the Messenger of God addressed them: “Get rid of these partisanships; these are foul things” and “He is not one of us who calls toward partisanship, who fights for partisanship, and who dies for partisanship.”

Thus this partisanship-the partisanship of lineage-ended; and this slogan-the slogan of race-died; and this pride-the pride of nationality-vanished; and man’s spirit soared to higher horizons, freed from the bondage of flesh and blood and the pride of soil and country. From that day, the Muslim¹s country has not been a piece of land, but the homeland of Islam (Dar-ul-Islam)-the homeland where faith rules and the Shari’ah of Gold holds sway, the homeland in which he took refuge and which he defended, and in trying to extend it, he became martyred. This Islamic homeland is a refuge for any who accepts the Islamic Shari’ah to be the law of the state, as is the case with the Dhimmies. But any place where the Islamic Shari’ah is not enforced and where Islam is not dominant, becomes the home of hostility (Dar-ul-Harb) for both the Muslim and the Dhimmi. A Muslim will remain prepared to fight against it, whether it be his birthplace or a place where his relatives reside or where his property or any other material interests are located.

And thus Muhammad-peace be on him-fought against the city of Mecca, although it was his birthplace, and his relatives lived there, and he and his Companions had houses and property there, which they had left when they migrated; yet the soil of Mecca did not become Dar-ul-Islam for him and his followers until it surrendered to Islam and the Shari’ah became operative in it.

This, and only this is Islam. Islam is not a few words pronounced by the tongue or birth in a country called Islamic or an inheritance from a Muslim father. “No, by they Sustainer, they have not believed until they make thee the arbiter of their disputes, and then do not find any grievance against thy decision, but submit with full submission.” (4:65)

Only this is Islam, and only this is Dar-ul-Islam-not the soil, not the race, not the lineage,. not the tribe, and not the family.

Islam freed all humanity from the ties of the earth, so that they might soar toward the skies and freed them from the chains of blood relationships-the biological chains-so that they might rise above the angels.

The homeland of the Muslim, in which he lives and which he defends, is not a piece of land; the nationality of the Muslim, by which he is identified, is not the nationality determined by a government; the family of the Muslim, in which he finds solace and which he defends, is not blood relationships; the flag of the Muslim, which he honors and under which he is martyred, is not the flag of a country; and the victory of the Muslim, which he celebrates and for which he is thankful to God, is not a military victory. It is what God has described: “When God’s help and victory comes, and thou seest people entering into God’s religion in multitudes, then celebrate the praises of thy Lord and ask His forgiveness. Indeed. He is the Acceptor of Repentance.” (110:1-3)

The victory is achieved under the banner of faith, and under no other banners; the striving is purely for the sake of God, for the success of His religion and His law, for the protection of Dar-ul-Islam, the particulars of which we have described above, and for no other purpose. It is not for the spoils or for fame, nor for the honor of the country or nation, nor for the mere protection of one’s family except when supporting them against religious persecution. Abu Musa relates: “The Prophet-peace be upon him-was asked about one, who fights for bravery, another for honor and another for fame, which one of these is in the cause of God? The Prophet replied, “Only he is for the cause of God who fights so that the word of God may remain supreme.”

The honor of martyrdom is achieved only when one is fighting in the cause of God, and if one is killed for any other purpose, this honor will not be attained. Any country which fights the Muslim because of his belief and prevents him from practicing his religion, and in which the Shari`ah is suspended is Dar-ul-Harb, even though his family or his relatives or his people live in it, or his capital is invested and his trade or commerce is in that country; and any county where the Islamic faith is dominant and its shari¹ah is operative is Dar-ul-Islam, even though the Muslim¹s family or relatives or his people do not live there, and he does not have any commercial relations with it.

The fatherland is that place where the Islamic faith, the Islamic way of life and the Shari`ah of God is dominant; only this meaning of ‘fatherland’ is worth of the human being. Similarly, ‘nationality’ means belief and a way of life, and only this relationship is worth of man¹s dignity. Grouping according to family and tribe and nation, and race and color and country are residues of the primitive state of man; these jahili groupings are from a period when man’s spiritual values were at a low stage. The Prophet-peace be on him-has called them “dead things” against which man’s spirit should revolt.   When the Jews claimed to be the chosen people of God, on the basis of their race and nationality, God Most High rejected their claim and declared that in every period, in every race and in every nation, there is only one criterion; that of faith. “And they say: ‘Be Jews, or Christians; then you will be guided’. Say: ‘Not so: the way of Abraham, the pure in faith; and he was not among the polytheists.’ Say: ‘We believe in God, and what has come down to us, and what has come down to Abraham, Ismail and Isaac and Jacob and the Tribes (of Israelites), and what was given to Moses and Jesus and to other Prophets by their Sustainer. We do not make any distinction among the, and we have submitted to Him. If then they believe as you have believed, they are guided; but if they turn away, then indeed they are stubborn. Then God suffices for you, and He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.  The baptism of God and who can baptize better than God? And we worship Him alone.’ (2:135-138)

The people who are really chosen by God are the Muslim community which has gathered under God’s banner without regard to differences of races, nations, colors and countries. “You are the best community raised for the good of mankind. You enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil and you believe in God.” (3:110) This is that community in the first generation of which there were Abu Bakr from Arabia, Bilal from Abyssinia, Suhaib from Syria, Salman from Persia, and their brothers in faith. The generations which followed them were similar. Nationalism here is belief, homeland here is Dar-ul-Islam, the ruler here is God, and the constitution here is the Qur’an. This noble conception of homeland, of nationality and of relationship should become imprinted on the hearts of those who invite others toward God. They should remove all influences of Jahiliyyah which make this concept impure and which may have the slightest element of hidden shirk, such as shirk in relation to homeland, or in relation to race or nation, or in relation to lineage or material interests. All these have been mentioned by God Most High in one verse, in which He has placed them in one side of the balance and the belief and its responsibilities in the other side, and invites people to choose: “Say: if your fathers and your sons and your brothers and your spouses and your relatives, and the wealth which you have acquired, and the commerce in which you fear decline, and the homes in which you take delight are dearer to you than God and His Messenger and striving in His cause, then wait until God brings His judgment; and God does not guide the rebellious people.” (9:24)

Similarly, the callers to Islam should not have any superficial doubts in their hearts concerning the nature of Jahiliyyah and the nature of Islam, and the characteristics of Dar-ul-Harb and of Dar-ul-Islam, for through these doubts many are led to confusion. Indeed, there is no Islam in a land where Islam is not dominant and where its Shari`ah is not established; and that place is not Dar-ul-Islam where Islam’s way of life and its laws are not practiced. There is nothing beyond faith except unbelief, nothing beyond Islam except Jahiliyyah, nothing beyond the truth except falsehood.

Source : http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/politics/nationalism.htm

Understanding Freedom of Expression

In Facebook Conspiracy on May 21, 2010 at 9:09 am

By : Khurram Ali Shafique

One of the regular visitors to this blog has asked me a question that must also be in the minds of many others:

“I get stuck- when non-Muslims say that a cartoon is just a cartoon, and why are you taking it seriously. You can draw images of us and also of our gods.To them i reply that Islam teaches love and respect to all religions and prophets. But… they keep saying that draw our cartoons and we will publish them.”
No, they will not. Ask them to read the laws regarding libel and patents that exist in their country. Unrestrained freedom of expression has neither been advocated nor found desirable anywhere in the world so far. There are always certain limits even in US. The issue is how to define those limits.
Here are a few examples:
  • Facebook itself deleted the official page of People’s Resistance, a broad-based Pakistani group formed for a peaceful struggle for restoration of judiciary sometime ago. I am told that not only their page got deleted but they even received warnings from FB administration just because they had invited for an event involving protest in favor of judiciary in their own country. Read more on Teeth Maestro
  • When Satanic Verses of Salman Rushdie was published, Pakistani filmmaker Shehzad Gul responded by making a film called International Guerillay that depicted Salman Rushdie in a negative manner. While Rushdie’s book had been allowed to circulate in UK, the film was initially banned because Rushdie could have filed libel suite not only against the film producer but also against the British authorities! Read details on Wikipedia.
  • Recently, there were news about Megan Fox taking some legal action against an advertisement of baby milk that used just her first name “Megan” in a funny conversation (you can search it on the Internet).
So, the freedom of expression does not mean that everything goes. Now, it may be that most people in the West do not mind if their prophets and deities are mocked, so it has been allowed in their law. Many people in the East seem to mind that (and it’s not just a Muslim thing: Christians sought ban on Da Vinci Code movie and Hindus protested against the exhibition of paintings by M F Husain disrespecting Hindu goddesses.
Why people in the West are more tolerant about ridiculing religion (when they are not equally tolerant about defamation of living citizens) than in the East may be because whenever a civilization is going down it shows these kinds of symptoms - it was the same with ancient Rome, the later Mughal Empire and so on.
So, the bottom line is that while the contemporary Western societies seem to be in favor of protecting only their living citizens through laws against defamation, most Eastern societies today seem to be extending that cover to religious personalities long dead also. Again, this is not an essentially East-West thing: Western societies in their better days were also like this, for instance about 150 years ago when “the sun did not set on their empire”!
In this situation, what we all need to learn - the West as much as the East – is that in a world that has practically become a global village, one cannot go on behaving like the village idiot anymore. We need to show some ettiquettes.

Lahore High Court issues notice to PTA on plea to ban Facebook

In Facebook Conspiracy on May 19, 2010 at 1:33 am

Source : Daily Times

Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority secretary to reply until Wednesday (today), on a petition seeking a ban on Facebook, which is holding a competition of caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Islamic Lawyers Movement filed the petition through Chaudhry Zulfiqar advocate, who stated that a competition was announced on Facebook on April 20 which would continue until May 20, asking all the members of the website to create their caricatures to participate in the competition. Zulfiqar said under the law no practice against Islam could be allowed in the country. He told the court that the website, having various features against the injunctions of Islam, is banned in various countries. Zulfiqar submitted that there were 45 million users of Facebook in Pakistan, adding that the PTA was responsible for its spread in Pakistan. He said the PTA has already blocked various websites in the country but was reluctant to ban Facebook. He said students and various segments of the society have already started protests in the country, which could be harmful for the public property. He requested the court to issue directions to PTA to put an immediate ban on the use of Facebook in the Pakistan.

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PTA directs ISPs to block Facebook link

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has directed all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to close an Internet link on a widely used social networking website, Facebook in connection with a so-called competition for blasphemous caricatures of Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him), a private television channel reported on Tuesday. The so-called caricature competition is scheduled to be held on May 20 on a Facebook group which has been deemed unethical and disrespectful to millions of Muslims across the world. Taking notice of this incident, the PTA has directed all the ISPs to ensure the blockage of this particular link of the Facebook website.

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Art or incitement?

In Facebook Conspiracy on May 18, 2010 at 8:02 pm

By Sana Saleem

We haven’t yet fully recovered from the aftermath of the Danish cartoon controversy and a whole new menace is upon us. Last month, the Comedy Central show ‘South Park’ self-censored an episode meant to feature Prophet Muhammad after receiving threats from a New York-based extremist group. As a result of that censorship, artists – claiming to be defenders of free speech – have responded by organising an event they call “Draw A Muhammad Day” on May 20.

The campaign claims to be an attempt to defend the freedom of speech. But a Facebook group used for campaigning the event has been widely condemned. The blogosphere, Twitter, and Facebook have been abuzz with counter-groups and protests. Facebook users are calling for a site-wide boycott to object to the fact that the social networking site has failed to remove the page, despite it being reported for offensive content numerous times.

Pakistani blogger Awab Alvi raises valid points regarding Facebook’s stance on the campaign:

I believe this might be a good case study on how tolerant Facebook administration might actually be. On one hand they are quick to delete the facebook page of a civil activist group [Peoples Resistance] which was organizing street protests in Karachi on the mere whim that we might be promoting hatred and violence, while in reality we were peacefully protesting against a military dictatorship, our democratic right – that group was deleted quickly and the administrators were issued warnings, this group continues to reign supreme raking over 34,400 fans since April 25th.

Alvi also mentions an interesting point that redefines the campaign’s claims of freedom of speech, providing a link to a radio interview by Molly Morris, the force behind the campaign. When asked if she would draw or make fun of the Holocaust, Morris replies, “No, there is nothing funny about it.” Moreover, owing to the frenzy that followed after the campaign was launched, Morris has published a disclaimer on her website declaring her disassociation with the campaign.

Laughably, the campaign website also claims that the point is not to promote certain “personal/political/religious” messages, but to show the world that “we’re not afraid to depict Muhammad.” But, the question remains, who is the target audience for such a campaign? And what is the purpose of a mass campaign that has the potential to target and offend people of a certain religion? The truth is that ‘South Park’ has a wide viewership, which includes Muslims who have remained silent or protested peacefully despite knowing about the about ‘South Park’ caricatures of Prophet Muhammad for years. It was only recently that a New York-based Muslim group lead a campaign titled ‘The Defense of the Prophet Campaign’ to condemn the caricatures.

Part of the campaign included a seven-minute YouTube video titled ‘Help Us Remove This Filth,’ showing pictures of the dead body of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gough, who was murdered in November 2002 in reaction to his film ‘Submission’. It was this campaign, which was seen as a direct threat, that led to ‘South Park’ being self-censored. No doubt, the group crossed the line by issuing such a threat to the creators of ‘South Park.’ For that they should be properly prosecuted in accordance with American law.

Given the aggressive and inappropriate content of the ‘Defense of the Prophet Campaign’, the Facebook campaign can be understood as a direct response to the extreme actions of a particular Muslim group. But doesn’t anyone realise that “Draw a Muhammad Day” is nothing more than a discriminatory campaign aimed at hurting Muslims worldwide? The Facebook campaign makes an extreme group of Muslim bloggers representative of the entire Muslim community and shows no regard for the millions of Muslims who have used their right to protest peacefully against offensive iconography. If the Facebook campaign is truly directed against those who stifle free speech, shouldn’t it target the group directly responsible, rather than the Muslim community at large?

The fact is, the New York-based group has earned quite a dubious reputation, even among American-Muslims. In the words of Ahmed Rehab, executive director, Council of American-Islamic Relations, Chicago:

The “Muslims” in this case are a group of literally 5-10 people who are widely reviled by the mainstream community for their radical and confrontational style including harassing Muslims outside mosques (where they tend to be banned) with outlandishly provocative anti-American rhetoric. Most suspect the group is fraudulent. Its mysterious leader, born Joseph Cohen, is an American Jew who converted to Islam in 2000 after living in Israel and attending an orthodox rabbinical school there. Whether true Muslims or agent provocateurs, the result is the same: they are five community outcasts.

Although it is clear that this small, fringe, extremist community chose to hit out against ‘South Park,’ the news headlines have stated, ‘Muslims attack freedom of speech once again.’ In these tense times, there should be more responsible reporting, and more thoughtful – and proportional – responses to the activities of certain Muslims of an extremist bent, who are often sidelined within their own communities.

That said, this can also be an occasion for self-reflection for the Muslim community at large. The truth is that there are plenty of people out there who will be willing to support the death threats against the creators of ‘South Park’ and join violent protests to register their condemnation. We, too, need to pause and re-think our options. Are death threats, violent outbursts, burning tires, and other acts of aggression really the way forward? Don’t they simply add more fuel to the controversy, draw more publicity to fringe activities, and further malign the image of the global Muslim community? The fact is, the best response to free speech campaigners is an attempt by the Muslim community to use its own right to freedom of expression to register protest and call for an end to offensive campaigns.

Let’s act rationally once and for all, and help change the trend of the freedom-of-speech excuse being used to justify discriminatory campaigns. Most importantly, let’s sort out the issue of representation. The Muslim community at large – and not a fringe, extreme element – should retain the power to decide how to react to such situations. If our stance is that of peaceful condemnation, then we must rid ourselves of those who behave otherwise. The “Draw a Muhammad Day” campaign appears to be nothing more than a desperate attempt to incite and provoke Muslims – let’s not give them the satisfaction.

Source : http://blog.dawn.com/2010/05/18/art-or-incitement/

The ‘inevitable’ clash!

In Clsh of Civilizations on April 29, 2010 at 1:48 am

By Sana Aijazi

Would you like an atheist American as Chairman of WAPDA? A white City Nazim for Karachi or for that matter a British Director General of FIA in Punjab? Would you encourage wine shops and dance bars across Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad? How would you react to roving half-naked girls at Constitutional Avenue in Islamabad and at Millennium Mall in Karachi? Just as you don’t want significant titles in your country given to westerners and your way of life swayed by secular thoughts, same is the case in United States, Europe and India. They don’t want their culture altered under the shadow of Islamic civilization.

There is nothing wrong with the reaction that the West has, as it is exactly similar to how Muslims’ respond to when their societies are threatened by liberal and secular thoughts. However, over the past few years, this reaction has been institutionalized to a dangerous level, resulting in segregation of Islam and the West.

It has become possible only due to controlled American media, campaigning strategically against Muslims since many decades. There has been intense use of propaganda techniques by various groups including PSYOPs of United States Army. 9/11, 7/7 and Mumbai attacks have only catalyzed the process and have given more strength and a tangible result to these stakeholders. As of now, we can weigh the major milestones that take us to the final and complete clash of both civilizations. Sympathy lies in the fact that all these steps were initiated by Westerners, who believe that their civilization has the power to influence the world and wipe out all other! ways of life, including Islam. Therefore, the faster the process, the earlier their dominance would prevail.

Europe and the United States have been a key player in battling Islam’s rise. The laws addressing detention, ban on scarf and minarets are not only ceilings on symbols of Islamic faith, but in a broader perspective, they are more about funneling Islam towards a totally rejected religion. Scarfs and minarets aren’t the only threats, Americans and Europeans don’t even welcome shops that sell Halal food. Maligning Islamic faith and Salat is what was extracted from the Fort Hood episode of Major Hasan Nadal, in a move to further their hostility.

Likewise, the Swiss ban on minarets is not a matter of beautiful terrains; it’s is a symbolic reaction to what they perceive as Islamic threat. During the campaigning for ban on minarets, the organizers discussed less on the construction and architecture of minarets and campaigned more about the influence of Islam, its Sharia’h and Burqa. They portrayed Islam as a civilization contrary to their beliefs, in order to gain voters for their drive. The posters reflected images of Switzerland as if it was taken over by some ‘beast’ known as Islam. The Swiss people termed minarets as Muslim power symbols.

Lately, the South Asian version of this clash was reflected in the Indian Premier League bidding and Shoaib Sania wedding. It was just another example of the assumed ‘greater civilization’ insulting Muslims for no apparent reason, other than Pakistanis, Shoaib and Sania being Muslims in faith.To ridicule Pakistan, or the symbolic fort of Islam, served the purpose of many. It has been apparent in the Indian cinema too since more than two decades, and no need to mention the threatening statements of Indian ministers and leaders.

Despite the ongoing insult and ridicule, thousands of Muslims have migrated to United States and other western countries over the past decades, felling prey to the deceptive Western civilization. Better economic conditions and improved standard of life is what low-esteemed immigrants might have achieved, but at what cost? Upon arrival, the migrants are forced to choose between the three; adapt their civilization, leave their lands or get ready for detention and death. As a result, total lost of identity is what trickles through generations or one observes people returning to their homelands after being offended. It further strengthens the argument that Muslims have never been welcomed in the West and will never be.

Muslims, in principle, are known for their self-esteem. In order to stop the influx of Muslims, methods are being adopted to institutionalize suppression of self-esteem. The full body scan introduced at American and UK airports for majority Muslim countries reflect the same. Similarly, the ‘terror threats and suspects’ mechanism ensures that Muslims do not create stronger bonds with Masjids, Muslim community and their faith.

There had been several efforts in the past too for segregation of Islamic and Western civilizations. But, since the Islamic civilization has proved to be more powerful than the western civilization, it had always superseded in terms of influence. The only solution left now is to segregate the followers of the two civilizations. However, it is a step that precedes the ‘final clash’ of both.

The ‘final clash’ will be more fierce and bloody than what we see now. The United States and its allies are loosing war in Afghanistan and can never, I repeat never, win war in Pakistan. Leave aside the state power, military and nuclear capability, the resistance in the public has already perplexed the western forces. This imbalance has the power to reverse the entire situation and further miscalculations could lead the United States to complete disaster.

Those who still believe that there is a place for composite dialogue and understanding between Islam and the West, are badly mistaken. There are no options left.

Clash of civilizations is the only thing that can happen between the two camps – The Muslims and the Non-Muslims. Both are extremists, assertive and insist on their ideology, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, logic and philosophy of mind. Its time to decide, which side are you on?

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Sana Aijazi is a commentator on Defense and Security issues. She is associated with The Eastern Tribune and can be reached at her Official Fan Page.

Article taken from The Eastern Tribune | awamimarkaz.comhttp://www.awamimarkaz.com
URL to article: http://www.awamimarkaz.com/2010/04/the-inevitable-clash/

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