Please, no more double standards!

Category: Europe, Faith & Spirituality, Nature & Science Views: 4065
4065

Looking at our ever more perilous world, where new chasms open up daily between Islam and the West, you would think that politicians, non-governmental organizations and worthy bodies committed to building civic, non-violent societies would make it their priority to engage with European Muslims, particular those with reformist sentiments and agendas. The shock waves which have followed since the Salman Rushdie affair in 1988, culminating in the attacks on 11 September, should have told perceptive people that without deep, genuine and informed political and intellectual engagement with enlightened Muslims, chaos, and further chaos, is guaranteed.

After an initial flutter last autumn, when this seemed to be happening, at least in the West, we are sliding back again and fast into brute ignorance and beefy talk which shows how little human beings learn from cataclysms. Look at the recent trends: Blair illegitimately pushing for war on Iraq, his lieutenant David Blunkett with his dumb and dangerous comments on the "maniacs" (he was describing Muslims who are peacefully protesting against the unbelievably harsh sentences imposed on first-time offenders among the rioters in Bradford last summer, men who confessed and were handed in by their law-abiding families), the arrests and trials of so-called terrorists which produce no convictions, the calculated promotion by some powerful editors of the most colorful extremists - the editor of Radio 4's Today programme tells us he admires honest Abu Hamza, the mullah of Finsbury Park, because he expresses openly his anti-Western views and because he takes his children to the parks.

Such rashness, such stupefaction only serves to convince thoughtful Muslims that in truth the powerful only know how to relate to three kinds of Muslims: (a) the psychotics - they entertain and horrify in equal measure; (b) the agitators - those who are forever warning of social disorder and have to be placated; (c) the malleables - people who can be bought or coaxed into saying the right thing in public.

I speak not as any kind of "representative" but as someone who does try to speak to a wide range of Muslims in this country, most of whom are getting increasingly bitter that they are simply never invited to participate in the invaluable exchanges which take place within politics and behind the scenes at all those networking opportunities where so much of our collective destiny is decided. As one Muslim heart surgeon put it: "These power merchants, they don't know us even now. They have no idea of the steaming discussions going on in our sitting rooms, the high level of intellectual debates, the absolutely different views we may have. They talk among themselves and then bring on the puppets to endorse things, giving them a medal here or a position there - they love these noddies, nodding 'Yes Sir', smiling like idiots. The West is not interested in intelligent Muslims. Like in the empire, that is the last thing they want."

I agree completely. I have had it with apologists who think that Muslims, whatever they do, only do these foul things because they are upset, humiliated, angry, despised and maltreated. There is no excuse big enough to explain the actions of cold-eyed slaughterers who descend on helpless Christians in Muslim states; the men who cut the throat of Daniel Pearl, the young Jewish American journalist; the grisly crowds in Nigeria who want to stone to death a young mother; the gang rape of children which is ordered as "punishment" by Muslim tribal leaders in Pakistan; the people who danced in the streets to see exploded bits of Americans and others.

I cannot stomach Muslim leaders and writers who jump up when there are signs of injustice against us (discrimination against Muslims is a serious problem, no doubt about that) but who never speak out to denounce outright the various discriminations which ruin the lives of common people (regardless of color or creed) in various parts of the world.

How refreshing it would be to get just one of them doing what the Chief Rabbi has just done. After too long prevaricating, Jonathan Sacks openly criticized the policies of Israel with all the deep love of an insider. Maybe I just miss these speeches; maybe they are never reported; but reformist Muslims would dearly like to hear our religious leaders taking such an ethical stand instead of hiding behind Islamophobia. If we berate the West for its double standards on Israel, we must also have the honesty to condemn double standards that Muslims use. And please no more pious speeches about what "true" Islam says, as if that condones what real Islamicists all too often do. Marxists too wasted many years explaining that Soviet communism was not the real thing, instead of fighting the version which came to dominate so many countries.

To ignore reformist Muslims is to abandon hope for any of us in the future. What do I mean by reformist? I mean people who see that there are universal principles of rights, freedoms, democracy and justice which apply as much to Muslims as others. I mean people insulted by the idea that they must be "tolerated" and who have the brains and guts to engage fully as democratic citizens.

I mean risk takers such as Zaki Badawi, the wise Egyptian head of the Muslim College who offered Salman Rushdie sanctuary in his home in the week following the fatwa. Or Ghiyassudin Siddique, leader of the once infamous "Islamic Parliament", who today boldly attacks the Government as well as the treatment of women in many Muslim families. I mean young Muslims like the young university student, Sama, who wrote to me last week to say: "I think we must be brave enough to say that no religion can continue to be relevant if it remains ahistorical. We live in a world where certain important values were not part of that old world. We must adapt or die."

Thinkers around the world are coming up with the same message. At a conference I attended in Geneva earlier this year, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'am, a Muslim academic based in the US, said about Sharia law: "While I believe Sharia notions of jihad were appropriate for that historical context, they are no longer acceptable or workable now ... even the most restrictive view of its causes and manner are categorically illegal and politically untenable in the modern context."

Islam has only five fundamental, absolute principles, which I strive to live by. These are belief in Allah, prayer (an obligation I try to meet as best I can), charity, fasting and Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca). The last I hope to go on when I feel myself to be worthy enough. None of these is incompatible with my belief in free choice, gender equality, democracy and a secular state.

The good news is that a growing number of Muslims in the West are moving in this direction and doing so with a new confidence. Since 11 September, they believe that they can liberate themselves from what had become an over-proscribed life. Let's face it, the Taliban brand of Islam is not easily marketed today even among the most ardent. But these same Muslims have also liberated themselves from that obsequiousness that you find among the traditionalists who desperately want Mr. Tony to shake their hands. This may intimidate the powerful, but unless they start to do business with the new reformists, the world will fragment even more than it did a year ago.


Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is a writer for The Independent Newspaper based in United Kingdom.


  Category: Europe, Faith & Spirituality, Nature & Science
Views: 4065
 
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Older Comments:
MARLENE said:
This is clearly a wonderful article and the author should be commended for speaking the truth and telling it like it is.
2003-05-08

JAMES RUIZ FROM USA said:
thank you for your thoughtful words. it is my hope that all people - regardless of race, creed or nationality could come to the place you have reached.

james - a white guy from the usa
2002-10-09

GOOLAM1 FROM SOUTH AFRICA said:
I thank muslims like the author for being open regarding their feelings, even to the extent that Ulema are berrated because I dont think that the muslim ummah would have degenerated nearly as much if the custodians of our Deen had been more critical (as in methodical) and sincere in maintaining the core (if indeed discovering at all) the ethics and reasoning behind Islamic belief.
Yet still it saddens me that in typical fashion of dogmatic and ideological reasoning (taken by her counterparts as well) that dialogue and the exchange of information and ideas do not appear to be high on her list(judging by the tone of the article). With respect to the author; being beligerent to what seems to be an opposing view is not within the context of an Islamic ethos unerstanding and tawheed would not allow this.
Im sure there are problems with my response, but I speak as a believer and a muslim and I understand that Allah knows best.
2002-10-08

PARVEZ FROM INDIA said:
People use the word secularism freely as apposite to islam. A peek into history is needed for these champions of secularism who view Islam as some kind of species similar to medival chirstianity.
The word secularism was invented by the christians because of the intolerance of the church to any other religon or thought in all matters (not just religon). The experience of world in case of Islam was quite different.
In nearly 1400 year history you can surely find many muslim oppressors and abberations. But if viewed in totality the history of Islam is largely tolerant in practice and in theory better than secualarism.
The so called secular topics like Science, Arts, Trade etc thrived with just rules under Islamic socites there was no stigma to them whereas in Christian socites the Chruch held a stranglehold on these and imposed its views on all.
These so called secualrists were only a few decades back still propogating Racism in america and till recently thought nothing about doing business with South Africa under Apartheid. Since they are holding the reigns of power in todays world they can call what they do as pragmatism while any abberations by muslims are called barbarism.
So naked aggression by the US in the world does not have the same ring as the aggression of Saddam Hussein.
American intrests are legitimate in any part of the world and the world is suppossed to stand in thrall of this legitimacy. The excuse given is that the US has used its power wisely. It has not occupied any country. This is utter hogwash. In todays envoriment it is difficult to occupy any country due to public opinion and more over what is the need to occupy when your companies can own the business in any country and the natrual resources of that country by conviving with a few courroupt dictators.
What moral autority does the west has against Saddam Hussein when US killed 3 million vietnamese in a far away land. Was the land of US threatned? .......Contd.
2002-10-03

VIKAS BAMBA FROM INDIA said:
Sir,
This by far is the most cogent and brilliant articles I have read written by a muslim. Quite honestly this has changed my perspective of muslims. I did not really think a muslim could think let alone write what you have written. Kudos to you!. I hope this is a starting of the resurgence of Islam adapted to the present time.
Vikas
2002-10-02

MADMAX -2 FROM MOROCCO said:
.../...
. As informed as you seem to be, you are certainly aware of Pope Pius XI blessing of the Christian Nazi army, no wonder the Fuhrer himself did not leave the Roman Catholic Church, he even admonished his deputies, who were officially attached to the Church, not to leave. How's that for a reform of the Holy Laws? For over a thousand years that non-Muslim have been living in the lands of Islam they have NEVER been massively and systematically vilified, tortured, killed, asphyxiated or baked as they were under the "reformed Christian" laws", but to the contrary they were protected or "Dhimis" thanks to the un-tampered God's Law and un-reformed shari'a. Have there ever been victimized by certain hot head Muslims in a Muslim land, without a shadow of a doubt, can those crimes be compared to the crimes committed against their brothers and sisters in the "West" and for many centuries? I am sure you can do some basic maths. I might be wrong but I still think Mrs. Brown cannot wait for an invitation to Oslo.
As an added note, it is not a reform to Islam that is needed, but the true adherence to it as our Noble Legislator and Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) taught his Ummah, forget all those multiple Islamic sects, and those limited religious leaders, there is no doubt that a few of them meant good, but we have to keep in mind that a good number of them caused more damage than they meant to.

Allah Hafiz, Allah knows best.
2002-10-01

MADMAX -1 FROM MOROCCO said:
While we all must admit that there is some truth said in Mrs. Brown's article regarding the hypocrisy of some of the so called "Muslim in charge", we also know that the author is not bringing any fresh news, as if the Muslim population is unaware of these failures to do the right things for the humanity and much less for their own people. Categorically shutting her ears to "pious speeches" and what "true" Islam is, is the saddest thing to be said and leaves a person no choice but wonders about the quality of conversations she would be having with anyone, since she seems to be listening only her own voice. I doubt that she would shut her ears should any decent American citizen bring up the United States Constitution highly cherished amendments. Judging from other things she wrote, the author seems to be constantly confused, or maybe I'm wrong, the author probably knows her goals. Reading her is like listening to Professor Robert Wistrich who stated that "the first measure would be for Islam to be reformed, the way "Christianity and Judaism were, because its doctrines, as they stand today (and this is how they have been since revealed fifteen centuries ago), "are the main reason for provoking Muslim anti-Semitism." First of all "anti-Semitism" is definetely a non-Muslim label, second if by "Muslims" most of people think of Arabs, then think about the what the word oxymoron means. You can be assured Mr. Wistrich and Mrs. Brown that you really don't want to reform God's Law, because when Christianity was "reformed" it brought among other things...hell to your European brothers and sisters
.../...
2002-10-01

ALI BHAI FROM USA said:
She is right. Muslims are running around complaining and assigning blames to everybody without looking in the mirror. We have completely shunned Quran and substituted Hadith and other superstition in its place, which makes Islam and Muslims look absolutely foolish and primitive. We only need to remember the following verse from Quran and then take a look at ourselves.

" If Allah helps you, none can overwhelm you; if He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? In Allah, then, let the believers put their trust".

The reason Muslims are despised and defeated, is because we have done nothing to earn Allah's help. We have gone many an extra mile to earn His displeasure. Let us remember that American military might multiplied by 10 can do us no harm if Allah is on our side. It is not America that is beating us to a pulp, it is our sins, misdeeds and transgressions.
2002-09-30

SYED UBAIDULLAH HUSSAINI FROM GERMANY said:
I agree with Umm Muhammad. ASWT Says:

2:216 Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not

2:2 This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah.

2:147 The Truth is from thy Lord; so be not at all in doubt.


2:145 Even if thou wert to bring to the people of the Book all the Signs (together), they would not follow Thy Qibla; nor art thou going to follow their Qibla; nor indeed will they follow each other's Qibla. If thou after the knowledge hath reached thee, Wert to follow their (vain) desires,-then wert thou Indeed (clearly) in the wrong.

2:27 Those who break Allah's Covenant after it is ratified, and who sunder what Allah Has ordered to be joined, and do mischief on earth: These cause loss (only) to themselves.

2:78 And there are among them illiterates, who know not the Book, but (see therein their own) desires, and they do nothing but conjecture. Concluding:
2:208 O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy.
2002-09-29

SUHAIMI FROM SINGAPORE said:
I fully agree with the author. Too many of our
imams are just simply rehashing old ideas
without seeing the need to look forward, do
new research or at least apply Islamic values
into the context of the 21st century. They
discourage the learning of English, make
people feel guilty about learning science,
maths, non-Arabic literature or simply being
entertained. They talk about enemies of Islam
but do not stand up to condemn Muslims who
oppress other Muslims. How "ulamas" many
condemned the Taliban? How many
condemn the horrifying male-chauvanism
found in many Muslim nations? How many
imams consider the large number of
uneducated girls/women in Muslim nations as
shocking? The poor state of the Muslim
nations should not to be blamed on
imperialists, the British colonialists or the US
empire. The blame rests solely on the
Muslims themselves. The male-chauvanist,
xenophobic ulamas must shoulder alot of the
blame for keeping Muslims depresses and
oppressed. Muslim leaders must share the
blame for being corrupt and manipulative. And
the Muslim masses also must be blamed for
allowing these people to shape our lives.
2002-09-29

UMM MUHAMMAD FROM AMERICA said:
I agree with the author somewhat, but to say that shariah is not applicable to modern times is to say that Allah(swt) does not know His creation and what is best for it. Allah(swt) says: "this day I have perfected your religion for you".
As Muslims we know that Allah(swt) is perfect and makes no mistakes. Humans make mistakes. Who will decide what we pick and choose to follow from Gods book? If we use "modern western civilization and culture as our standard then we are in effect saying that western culture is superior to Islamic culture. I practise this religion because I believe it is from God and therefore superior to anything that a man can concieve in the history of mankind.
I'm not an "Islamist" I'm just a Muslim woman who wants to please Allah(swt). There is no room for secularism for a Muslim. It is very plain, clear, and easy to see that Allah (swt) tells us to rule by His laws and His laws only.
Of course there is a secular Islam movement going on in the western world to try and weaken Islam but the truth will come out and those sincere Muslims who are involved in trying to white wash Islam and make it acceptable to the nonbelieving west will see that true Islam, yes TRUE Islam is the only thing that will save humanity, and bring everlasting peace to the world.
In these "modern times" lets not be like the Christians and the Jews, following bits and pieces of our book. If we believe it's from Allah (swt) we should follow all of it and stop being wishy washy whining and crying to please
nonbelievers.
2002-09-28

MADMAX FROM MOROCCO said:
I personally don't have much to add to what was already stated by sisters Aicha and Sadia, brothers Saif Hussain and Saif from England, Faheem, Omar Boudedaben, Razi and all of you who truly and honestly are trying to enlighten Yasmin.

Well, well well lady, with a Muslim like you who needs CNN and the likes?
Are you a Nobel Prize hopeful?, or are you preparing to run for office? I would not be surprise either if you have a nicely framed picture of "the man of the century" Mustafa Kamal (aka Ataturk) in your home office. I read few articles from you on the net, funny that I always end up shaking my head. No quotes from the Noble Quran nor from the Haddith, at least from what I have read so far.

Allah Hafiz

P.S. Iviews is a wonderful site offering OUSTANDING services. Sisters and Brothers, please keep in mind that whether or not we agree with certain articles, it is still information all of us need to obtain. Thank you iviews may God reward you.

2002-09-28

FAHEEM FROM U.S. said:
Well bro, what did the fatwa accomplish? A publicity stunt? I don't know about that. The man had to go into hiding under UK's protection. Several of the publishers were gotten rid of. I think that it accomplished something. It gave the muslims some dignity, some backbone. You can't defame Islam and the Prophet(saws) without a consequence.
2002-09-27

FAHIM FROM USA said:
walaikum salaam,
The Rushdie fatwa was a publicity stunt. Any modern state- Iran included -has the means to kill individuals without resorting to bounty hunting. All the death sentence did was create problems for Muslims -and it made lots of money for Rushdie.
2002-09-26

FAHEEM FROM U.S. said:
Salaam Alaikum

Nice name Fahim. Know what it means? It means one who understands things. It does not seem to fit you in this instance. From my understanding Aisha is saying that the author of this article is parroting what NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX, NY Times, Washington Post, and the rest of those corporations are spouting...GARBAGE. One thing I would like to point out is that the author tries to confuse things. She mentions 9-11 and the Salman Rushdi event. Two TOtally different issues. One is some people who flew planes into buildings. The other is a fatwa given on the publication of Rushdie's filth, the Satanic Verses, which was totally blasphemous. So one is someone who is attacking Islam--9-11, and the other is Imam Khomeini protecting Islam from defamation. The author of the article is trying to label the fatwa as some sort of terrorism. Exactly what NBC, and the rest of the gang tried to do.
2002-09-26

FAHIM FROM USA said:
To "Aisha":
What does the form of government have to do with an individual being pious?

Your attempt at censorship is very instructive about what people who hate the "secular ideology" want to replace it with - a totalitarian state where dissent is crushed.
2002-09-26

OMAR BOUDERDABEN FROM USA said:
In the majority of the media, I hear the same complaint of this article. What we miss to recognize is that from more than a billion and half Muslims, some how the media finds the most radical of us, and then parade it all over, giving the perception that Islam is radical.

I don't have to emphasize again that Islam is a peacefull religion, ignorants of this fact have no business reporting the news, the rest just choose to deveive their audience.

Every one knows that you can't fool all the people all the time. Yet the media keeps feeding us the same garbage. One good news is that people are trying to find out for themselves the truth about Islam. I see this every where I go. However, as Muslims, we should be more pro-active. We don't have to apologize for what less than one percent of us does. We are sorry for the losses of life, any life. We are sorry for the orphans and the widows that were caused by this and any other act of terror and violence.

As Muslims, we ask the people to look around themselves, in their neighborhood, their cities and towns, and work places, then make your own judgement.

Islam is peace, only by leaving it and showing it, we can get people to accept. We can't say it is a wonderfull life style, but we hide the fact we are Muslims.

I urge every Muslim to live Islam, be proud of beeing of Muslim and proud of living in a country that is the freest country in the world.

May God help us see truth as truth and give us the courage to follow it, and May God help us see falsehood as falshood, and give the courage to stay away from it.
2002-09-26

AISHA FROM USA said:
I am disheartened with the publication of this article on iviews.com. I think we have enough of corporate/political propaganda diseminated through the western corporate media that stereotypes certain people/faith. iviews needs to support non-mainstream news that enlightens people about the truth and not support such journalists that seek to follow the humm of transnational media corporations. I think enough are paid by Rupert Murdoch to publish western political propaganda.
To the author, your "free choice" and "secular state" have proven to fail across the realm of time. If you say free choice, adultery and homosexuality has led to Aids, gay and lesbians can do church marriages - so what do u say to your kids whos mom? whos dad? You say strive to pray 5 times a day. Well, prayer constitutes recitation of Quranic verses that lead to belief in Oneness of Allah and the following of His Commandments. Your "free choice" should be according to the boundaries ordained by God and not whatever you will. You contradict you own statement there!
Your secular state has done harm to the western world that promotes the secularistic ideology. Sadly,the Pope cannot even see the fulfillment of Christian believes of "do not commit adultery", "do not Lie"... by the western politicials, so what to talk about enforcement of God's Commandments on the citizens.
2002-09-26

SADIA KHALID FROM CANADA said:
Assalamualekum
may be need more undrestanding of Islam which is the best religion among all the religions.It is not the matter of your and mine belief but the matter of your and mine deeds according to islam and you and only you are accountable for your deeds not anyone else and you are not resposible for others bad or good deeds.Don't present the lame excuse for what you can't do. those five fundamentals which you are trying to stick with infact will lead you to the same religion which is a shame for you, and if they ar'nt then you are not fulfilling your fundamentals of islam.
2002-09-25

ABDUL WADOUD FROM USA said:
As Salaamu Aliakum

To continue, the author had made valid points which should be addressed and indeed corrected. For example I defy anyone to show me where The Qur'an or Sunnah permit the use of "religous police" who beat men for not growing beards or heard people up to come to the mosque. Since the death of the Prophet(PBUH) muslim men have taken almost every right granted by Allah and his messeger to women and rolled them back. Look at the rape laws and unfair penalties for adultry. We deny them education and the right to work in most contries. In some countries they are let out to work while the men sit and watch them to make sure they have no contact with other men. And then the husbands take the money they earn. By asking a woman to provide four witnesses to rape permit gang rapes. I read daily about Muslims murdering and killing people of other faiths, yes I know it happens to us but that is no reason for us to indescriminatly harm others the only persons we are permitted to harm are those who harm us and then only to the extent we are harmed and even then we are told that part of our faith is to forgive when we have the right and the power to punish.
If you really want to see how far off the true path we are think about this. ALLAH says in his book S.8 a.65 and 66 "O Prophet! rouse the Believers to the fight if there are TWENTY AMOUNGST YOU, PATIENT, AND PERSEVERING they will vanquish two hundred; if a hundred they will vanguish a thousand of the unbelivers for these are a people without understanding. For the present ALLAH has lightened your burden for he knoweth that there is a weak spot in you. But if there are a hundred of you PATIENT AND PERSERVERING they will vanguish 200 and if 1000 they will vanquish 2000 with the leave of Allah for Allah is with those who patiently persever.

We are over one billion strong and getting our butts kicked all over the globe now that should tell you something either we are doing it wrong or Allah is a lair.
2002-09-25

ABDUL WADOUD FROM USA said:
As Salaamu Aliakum,

When I came back to Islam I was told that I would see Muslims do many things that were Not Islamic and I should learn the difference between what Muslims do and what Islam teaches. I was also told that the biggest enemy to Islam was the Muslims themselfs. Sad to say but I have found both statements to be true. Part of this is because we place more emphasis on rules and obeying them than we do on faith and acquiring it. For the first thirteen years of Islam there was only one law "La illaha illAllah" no prayer no fast no hajj. When the orders came the hearts of the believes had been prepared to hear and obey, plus they had the best example amoung them. Good examples these days are hard to find, oh we have tons of scholars and and all the rules but few good examples of how to live Islam as the Prophet did and the best teacher is a good example.
We have corrupted the Sharia and made it into something that constricts rather than something that enriches and causes human and spritual growth. Stoning the woman for adultry, while setting the man free and a woman needing four witnesses to prove a rape are ridiculous and far from the law as provided by the Qur'an. That is another thing look to see how many of the rules laid down by the Qur'an carry a penalty here on earth. Less than 10 and even in the Hadith you don't find a lot of penalties, why because Islam represents a covenent between man and Allah the punishments and rewards are to be given out by the one who made the rules. Now we punish in ways not prescribed by the Prophet for crimes he never punished or if he did were very light. i.e the punishment for drinking alcohol. Man has made the Sharia unjust and brutal. I am not saying do away with it just get a better understanding of what it is and apply it with the same wisdom that was shown to us.
But even more important acquire faith the kind that will allow you to respect your brothers/sisters even when you disagree with each other.
Sa
2002-09-25

ALEX ISA FROM USA said:
In reference to the comment by Mr. M. Farooq that the author is a hypocrite.. Please be mindful before you label people. During the time of Prophet Muhammad (sas) only he knew who was a hypocrite. Even the closet Sahaba did not label people as hypocrite.

Based on the following Hadith let's evaluate how our collective Ummah fairs when judged for Truth, Honesty and insulting behavior..

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr:

The Prophet said, "Whoever has the following four (characteristics) will be a pure hypocrite and whoever has one of the following four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy unless and until he gives it up.

1. Whenever he is entrusted, he betrays.

2. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie.

3. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous.

4. Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very imprudent, evil and insulting manner."

2002-09-25

ABU AHMED FROM USA said:
All the people who are bashing secularism and democracy here, would do well to remember that they are allowed to criticize these concepts. Their utopian "Islamic" state of the future is not likely to accept dissent against the Party line...
2002-09-25

M. FAROOQ FROM UK said:
I dont believe Mrs Brown, who may I remind the audience is married to a Kaffir, is in any position to comment on islamic affairs. IVIEWS should not give space to hypocrits.
Thank you.
2002-09-25

RAZI CHAUDHRY FROM CANADA said:
>>basic islam - pillars only
Islam is a way of life. Unlike other religions, Islam is both belief and laws, in which Allah & His Messenger have told us what is halaal and haram, morals and good manners, act of worship & how to interact with people, & rights and duties. When Allah completed this religion he chose it to be the way of life for all of mankind until the Hour begins.

1st pillar, tawheed is most imp., not just to believe but also to reflect upon. This means, a person believes that Allah alone is Lord, Sovereign & Controller, the Creater & Provider. He believes that Allah alone, & no one else is deserving of whoship, as Allah says:

Such is Allaah, your Lord! Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Creator of all things. So worship Him (Alone), and He is the Wakeel (Trustee, Disposer of affairs or Guardian) over all things [al-An'aam 6:101-102]

& he believes that Allaah sent His Messenger Muhammad (pbuh), and revealed to him the Quran, & commanded him to convey this religion to all of mankind. He believes that loving Allaah and His Messenger & obeying them are duties which are obligatory upon all of mankind, & that love of Allaah can only be realized by following His Messenger (pbuh):

Say (O Muhammad to mankind): 'If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow Quran & Sunnah), .."

People inspired by shaytan has worked long & hard to create parallel shariyah. Parrallel to that of defined in Quran. We have known those for centuries.. they are called "Khawaridge" (the ones who left the deen). And they always pop out during tough times, and they want to change the Islam to conform to their life style. They say "La illa illullah".. no one worthy of worship other than Allah, yet they worship the paper currency.. they worship the luxuries.. For them, its is not what they can do for Allah, but what Allah can do for them. Their "illa" is the certainly the "bill of excha
2002-09-25

RAZI CHAUDHRY FROM CANADA said:
>> I mean people insulted by the idea that they must be "tolerated" and who have the brains and guts to engage fully as democratic citizens

democrazy as implemented, is interesting phenomenon.. while its perfectly acceptable and tolerant to allow gays marriages, lesbian sex, selling of women in pubs and on the internet.. It is beyond democratic tolerance, to see taliban living the life in their own lifestyle.

While its crime to speak against Maloon Rushdie.. its perfectly ok to intimade Muslim news networks, namely al-jazeerah, to publish anything against the ill doing of kufaars.

While west can elect their own government, the Muslim world has to accept Karzai, Hushni Mubarak, Busharaf as their government. And don't tell us that they are our leader because muslims are dumb.. we have had many elected govt in the past that were over thrown by externals.. and very recently. Even Saddam Hussain over threw an elected leader, only to receive billions of pounds of contracts from British Corporate.. we all know that.

Secularism, as defined by a professor of Secularism of University of Waterloo, is the set of rules defined by the collective (by collective he mean people who are in majority). However, the american dictionary defines it as " The view that religious considerations should be excluded from civil affairs or public education; a doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations".. refer www.dictionary.com.

Thus when collective decides that dumping a nuclear bomb is legal and righteous.. it was done so. Dropped the bomb, saved the world, we are heros and saviours of humanity.
2002-09-25

RAZI CHAUDHRY FROM CANADA said:
Jihad Part # 6
He said: "Avoid the seven sins that doom a person to Hell..." among which he mentioned running away on the day when the army is advancing (agreed upon). But Allaah has made exceptions in two cases:

1- When it is a military manoeuvre, in the sense that he is leaving to bring reinforcements.

2- When he is going to join another group, when he has been told that there is a group of Muslims elsewhere who are about to be defeated, so he goes to join them in order to strengthen their numbers. This is subject to the condition that there is no risk to the group he is in; if there is a risk to the group that he is in, then it is not permissible for him to go to the other group. In this case (jihad) is an individual obligation upon him (fard 'ayn) and it is not permissible for him to leave.

The second situation (in which jihad becomes an individual obligation) is when a city is besieged by the enemy. Then he has to fight in defence of the city, because when the city is besieged there is no alternative but to defend it, for if the enemy is going to prevent people from leaving the city or entering it, and prevent provisions from reaching it, and other things which are well known, then in this case the people of the city are obliged to fight in order to defend their city.

The third situation is when the leader tells the people to mobilize; the leader (imam) is the highest authority in the state, but he need not necessarily be the leader of all the Muslims, because there has been no leader of all the Muslims (khaleefah) for a long time. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Listen and obey, even if you are ruled by an Abyssinian slave." So if a man becomes a leader, then his word is to be heeded and his commands are to obeyed.

(al-Sharh al-Mumti', 8/10-12).

Extracted from Islam Q&A
2002-09-25

RAZI CHAUDHRY FROM CANADA said:
Jihad Part # 5
The Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Africa, North Africa and elsewhere are obliged to do their utmost, and if there is a jihad in one country, the surrounding countries should hasten to help them, the closest then the next closest. If one or two states, or three or more, manage to fulfil the obligation, then the rest are freed of responsibility. They deserve to be supported, and it is obligatory to help them against their enemies, because they are oppressed. Allaah has enjoined jihad upon all Muslims, and they must fight against the enemies of Allaah until their brothers are victorious. If they fail to do that then they are sinners, but if sufficient people undertake to do that, then the rest are absolved of sin."

(Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 7/335)

Fourthly:

Physical jihad against the kaafirs becomes obligatory in four cases, which are:

1 - When the Muslim is present in a jihad situation.

2 - When the enemy has come and attacked a Muslim land

3 - When the ruler mobilizes the people, they must respond.

4 - When a person is needed and no one else can do the task except him.

Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen said:

Jihad is obligatory and becomes fard 'ayn if a person is present where fighting is going on. This is the first of the situations in which jihad becomes an individual obligation, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O you who believe! When you meet those who disbelieve, in a battlefield, never turn your backs to them.

And whoever turns his back to them on such a day -- unless it be a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own), -- he indeed has drawn upon himself wrath from Allaah. And his abode is Hell, and worst indeed is that destination!"

[al-Anfaal 8:16]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that running away on the day when the army is advancing is one of the sins that doom a person to Hell. He said: "Avoid the seven sins that doom a
2002-09-25

RAZI CHAUDHRY FROM CANADA said:
Jihad Part # 4
Then he was commanded to fight those who fought him, and to refrain from fighting those who left him alone and did not fight him.

Then Allaah commanded him to fight the mushrikeen so that the religion would all be for Allaah.

After jihad was enjoined upon him, the kaafirs then fell into three categories: those with whom there was a truce or peace treaty; those with whom he was at war; and those who lived under the rule and protection of the Islamic state."

(Zaad al-Ma'aad, 3/159)

Thirdly:

The ruling on physical jihad against the kaafirs is that this is an obligation on the community as a whole (fard kafaayah).

Ibn Qudaamah said:

"Jihaad is an obligation upon the community; if some people undertake it, the rest are relieved of the obligation."

What fard kafaayah means is that if it is not undertaken by enough people, then all the people are guilty of sin, but if enough people undertakes it, the rest will be relieved of blame. Initially the command is addressed to all of them, as in the case of an individual obligation (fard 'ayn), but then in the case of fard kafaayah the obligation is dropped if enough of the people undertake to do it, unlike the case with fard 'ayn where the obligation is not dropped if someone else does it. Jihad is a fard kafaayah, according to the majority of scholars."

(al-Mughni, 9/163)

Shaykh 'Abd al-'Azeez ibn Baaz said:

"We have previously explained on more than one occasion that jihad is fard kafaayah, not fard 'ayn. All Muslims are enjoined to support their brothers with their selves (i.e., physically, by joining them), or with money, weapons, da'wah and advice. If enough of them go out (to fight), the rest are freed from sin, but if none of them do that then all of them are sinners.
2002-09-25

RAZI CHAUDHRY FROM CANADA said:
Jihad Part # 3
These are the thirteen types of jihad, and "Whoever dies without having fought or having resolved to fight has died following one of the branches of hypocrisy." (Narrated by Muslim, 1910).

Zaad al-Ma'aad, 3/9-11)

Shaykh 'Abd al-'Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

"Jihad is of various kinds, with one's self, one's wealth, by making du'aa', by teaching and guiding, by helping to do good in any way. The greatest form of jihad is jihad with one's self (i.e., going oneself and fighting), followed by jihad with one's wealth, jihad by speaking out and guiding others. Da'wah is also part of jihad. But going out oneself to fight in jihad is the highest form.

(Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 7/334, 335)

Secondly:

The idea of waging physical jihad against the kaafirs went through a number of stages, depending on the state in which the Muslim ummah was. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

"The first thing which his Lord revealed to him was to read in the name of his Lord who had created. That was the beginning of his Prophethood, where Allaah commanded him to recite to himself but He did not yet command him to convey that. Then He revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning:

'O you (Muhammad) enveloped in garments!

Arise and warn!'

[al-Muddaththir 74:1-2]

So he became a Prophet with the word 'Iqra (Read!) and he became a Messenger with the words, 'O you (Muhammad) enveloped in garments...' Then Allaah commanded him to warn his closest kinsmen, then to warn his people, then to warn the Arabs around them, then to warn all the Arabs, then to warn all of mankind. He continued to call them for over ten years from the beginning of his Prophethood, without fighting or imposing the jizyah; he was commanded to refrain, to be patient and to be forbearing.

Then permission was given to him to migrate, and permission was given to him to fight.

2002-09-25

RAZI CHAUDHRY FROM CANADA said:
Jihad Part # 2
If a person achieves all these four levels, then he will be one of the rabbaaniyyeen (learned men of religion who practise what they know and also preach to others. Cf. Aal 'Imraan 3:79). The salaf were agreed that the scholar does not deserve to be called a rabbaani unless he knows the truth, acts in accordance with it and teaches it to others. Whoever teaches, acts in accordance with his knowledge and has knowledge, he will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Jihad against the Shaytaan is of two types:

1 - Warding off the doubts that he stirs up to undermine faith.

2 - Striving against him to ward off the corrupt desires that he provokes.

The first jihad is followed by certainty of faith, and the second is followed by patience. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And We made from among them (Children of Israel), leaders, giving guidance under Our Command, when they were patient and used to believe with certainty in Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.)"

[al-Sajdah 32:24]

Allaah tells us that leadership in religion is attained through patience and certainty of faith. Patience wards off desires and certainty wards off doubts.

Jihad against the kaafirs and hypocrites is of four kinds: with the heart, the tongue, one's wealth and oneself. Jihad against the kaafirs is more along the lines of physical fighting whereas jihad against the hypocrites is more along the lines of using words and ideas.

Jihad against the leaders of oppression and innovation is of three kinds:

1 - Jihad with one's hand (i.e., physical jihad, fighting) if one is able. If that is not possible then it should be with one's tongue (i.e., by speaking out). If that is not possible then it should be with one's heart (i.e., by hating the evil and feeling that it is wrong).

2002-09-25

RAZI CHAUDHRY FROM CANADA said:
Jihad Part # 1

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

Jihaad is of various kinds, some of which are obligatory upon everyone who is accountable, and some are obligatory upon the community as a whole - if some people undertake them then the rest are relieved of the obligation. And some kinds of jihad are mustahabb.

Jihad al-nafs (jihad against one's self) and jihad al-Shaytaan (jihad against the Shaytaan) are obligatory upon everyone who is accountable. Jihad against the munaafiqeen (hypocrites), kaafirs (disbelievers) and leaders of oppression and innovation is obligatory upon the community as a whole. Physical jihad (i.e. fighting) against the kaafirs may become an individual obligation upon everyone who is able to do it in certain circumstances, which will be described below.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Once this is understood, then jihad is of four kinds: Jihad al-nafs (jihad against one's self), jihad al-Shaytaan (jihad against the Shaytaan), jihad against the kaafirs and jihad against the hypocrites.

Jihad al-nafs (jihad against one's self) is of four kinds:

1 - Striving to learn the teachings of Islam without which one cannot attain success and happiness in this world or in the Hereafter; if this is missing then one is doomed to misery in this world and in the Hereafter.

2 - Striving to make oneself act in accordance with what one has learned. Simply knowing without acting, even though it may not cause any harm, is not going to bring any benefit.

3 - Striving to call others to Islam, teaching those who do not know about it. Otherwise one will be one of those who conceal that which Allaah has revealed of guidance and teaching, and it will not benefit him or save him from the punishment of Allaah.

4 - Striving to bear patiently the difficulties involved in calling people to Allaah and the insults of people; bearing all that for the sake of Allaah.
2002-09-25

MUHAMMAD JAWAD FROM PAKISTAN said:
My comments are regarding this part of your writing:

"While I believe Sharia notions of jihad were appropriate for that historical context, they are no longer acceptable or workable now ... even the most restrictive view of its causes and manner are categorically illegal and politically untenable in the modern context."

I agree with your opinion that muslims should not be ahistorical and that we should adapt to the changes. Even a (sound and educated) Strict muslim would also agree with this. Islam is very flexible and allows for adaptation as you would also agree.

However I do not agree with what you wrote about Sharia law. Islam is a very flexible religion and it is a way of life proposed by God himself. It is clearly mentioned several times (in hadith as well as Quran itself) that the laws and preachings of Islam are applicable to muslims until the end of the world. If we follow it, we will succeed, if we dont, then we will suffer (as present) Religion is about faith and belief, if I have it then I will have the trust that word of God is better than my judgements as God knows everything and His word is whats best for me. I know the world has changed but the laws of the sharia are based on Quran and written by God. So are you trying to tell me these laws should be changed because God did not know the world will change so much over time? or that you know better than God? or I did not understand the passage?
2002-09-25

SUSAN FROM USA , NY said:
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

~Anonymous~
2002-09-25

AISHANOOR FROM CANADA said:
Why don't all the posters who insist that no reformation is needed get busy and put into practice a working example that any fair-minded person, Muslim or non-Muslim, could agree is just? Of course, it's much easier to accuse those one doesn't agree with of kufr and bid'ah than to honestly face the shortcomings of modern Muslim movements.
2002-09-25

MAUTAZ ANSOUR FROM U.S.A said:
Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahamtu Allaah,

The writer obviously made a point, NOT a Good Point ,but never the less a Point.
the views expressed in this Article really are demeaning to everything we cherish in Islam, wether about being obssesed with following ahistorical form of Islam or just being emotionally detached from everything that is not Muslim.
My First Comment/question, Is the writer a Muslim, If so What Islam Does she Believe in? Is It her desired Islam? She keeps saying we need to be this or that and change this or that,where does it come from? i'm sasying this because she backed her talk withnothing, no evidance or proof from The Qur'aan And Sunnah Of the beloved Prophet(SAAWS).
Second Comment, Where does she get the Idea that as muslims we don't feel the pain of others like non muslims? to the best of my knowledge that Idea is still circulating on Fox News and the Evangelists Networks.meaning,that the writer is actually finishing up what They have started,the same ignorant stereo type that we have to deal with every single day as Muslims...

So Called MUSLIMS who want to REFORM the religion to be more comfortable to their surroundings are sad, the minute any hard ship is given to them by Allah All mighty, they cave in to their desires, Grow up People, Islam is not An Individualistic religion, islam is for all, islam is for all times, Islam is Perfect, Wether the Writer and her likes like It Or not..Accept it Or not....

For the sake of Allah Let this thing be read on your commentary, and try not to let filth be on your pages..

Wa Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahamatu Allaahi Wa Barakatuhu....
2002-09-24

JAMIL FROM FRANCE said:
The insults that are are thrown around in the feedback emphasizes why we need to start with ourselves before we try to make empires. While I don't agree with everything the author says, I agree that we need to stand up for the truth and for justice always.
2002-09-24

HAMID ABDULLA said:
The writer has managed by calling for reformists to boil down islam into nothing but certain personal acts that would allow her to live without feeling any conflict woth the wester political and social system. It is wise to be able to adapt to the existing social/political system. However this shoudl not be done at the expense of diluting the relegion to the point that it becomes ireelevant and evetually ahostorical. The ability to look at modern forms of political rights (such as freedom, equality and democracy) from an islamic point of view and really point out if such notions exist in islamic teachings or not. It seems that the "reformists" the writer is advocating have only one option. It is to dismantle any part of islam that is considered to be unsuitable wihtout evidence from the islamic religion itself. This is call for ideological surrender and defeatism. As the writer points out right and wrong are not decided by the current balance of power. It is decied based on strongly founded arguments. I do not see any arguments in the article execept that we have to give up, give-in and adopt the prevalent and stronger value system. As believers islam comes from God, it is applicable all the time everywhere. It is also adaptive and flexible. Not all muslims have to think,act the same. This difference is actually a strong islamic tradition and principle. However, all differences should be within the guidelines of islam. As a nation muslims are not ahistorical even when we are the weakest. The struggle in palestine and other countries shall continue and the believers shall prevail as promissed by God. It is a test and we will God-willing succeed. It is up to islamic scholars based on islamic principles to decide what the islamic point od view is.
2002-09-24

FAISAL ABDULLA FROM INDIA said:
The first thing i remeber is an email which i had send to Ms Yasmeen for one of her apologetic article in Guardian The Independent a while back. She talks as a Muslim but is she a Muslim? her knowledge about Islam is limited and that shows in her own articles. She has no quote whatsoever from Quran nor Hadeeth when she bluffs a lot about Muslims doing this and that. When she accuse MUSLIMS of rape and murder, what she fail to understand is that those are against the principals of Islam. Yasmeen Ali-bhai maybe a Muslim in name, but as far as her writings reveal she is Kuffar in Muslims name. Honestly speaking, she aint worth a place in this wonderfull site which claims to Propogate Islam.

You cannot be a Moderate Muslim & extreme Muslim, since thats Bidaa. there is only one Islam and One Muslim community.
2002-09-24

SAIF FROM ENGLAND said:
Well I don't really know how to greet you Mrs Brown. Whether as a muslim or just say 'Hi' whatever that means ? You do seem to like talking though, as I have watched on the TV many times. The western press or spin doctors or whoever pulls types like you out of the closet every time there is a problem in the muslim world, do have a nack in selecting some confused people to represent the muslims. I say that since you strike me as someone with lot of emotions but with little understanding about the laws and injunctions of Islam. Such a person mis-representing Islam surely will face some humiliation, if not in this world then surely in the next. But as most western poiltical figures you'd be too arogant and thick skinned with bitterness to fear your creator when you speak.
Do you fail to realise that there are two ideologies at war out there ? Surely there can only be one justice in the world, that of Man made Laws or that of the Creator. When this is addressed then the two sides can take to the table. Otherwise muslims have to carry on and re-build their fragmented state which was sorrofully dismantled in 1924 ! by the very people you feel sorry for ! This is relating to an obligation from Allah and His Messenger (SAW) and no-one in this universe can change this matter.
And further to your comments:
Such rashness, such stupefaction only serves to convince thoughtful Muslims that in truth the powerful only know how to relate to three kinds of Muslims: (a) the psychotics - they entertain and horrify in equal measure; (b) the agitators - those who are forever warning of social disorder and have to be placated; (c) the malleables - people who can be bought or coaxed into saying the right thing in public....
This doesn't really leave many others personalities does it ? I personally believe you yourself fit into the categories (b) and (c). Hence, I would say you are being dealt with very 'nicely'. PS. The 'aqueeda' of Islam is not from Democracy.
2002-09-24

HANS MOLLER FROM GERMANY said:
I hope your thoughts may be more widely known!
2002-09-24

SAIF HUSSAIN FROM USA said:
Ms. Brown, while I applaud your sentiments and your expressed desire to be an "enlightened" Muslim, I cannot help but remind you, as a well wishing fellow Muslim, that in Islamic terms that enlightenment comes first and foremost from the Quran, without which there would be no such thing as Islam or Muslims. Sadly there are many Muslims who are eager to redefine their religion, for themselves and for everybody else, in terms that primarily suit them and not necessarily in terms of any sincere and profound attempt to base that definition on knowledge, understanding and wisdom gleaned from the Quran and relevant traditions of the Prophet (PBUH). The practice of Islam in our personal lives is, as you say, not much more than the five pillars which you admirably aspire to adhere to in your life. But, and this cannot be refuted by any one based on a genuinely Islamic viewpoint, Islam has a world view too. It has a framework that it puts forth for its adherents to bring that world view into play in both macro and micro terms. In doing so it competes with other world views. The quintessence of the Islamic universal order may be summed up in just a couple of words. Justice, balance, compassion and peace. Each of these being equally indispensable and mandatory at the same time. As a Muslim my private practice and my striving to implement, even in the smallest way, these central tenets of the Islamic order, in fact the Divine and natural universal order, are two requisite parts of the whole. A plane with two wings, separate but necessary and indispensble to make a functioning whole. May I remind you of the story of the angel sent by Allah to destroy a town full of injustice and corruption who halted when he saw a pious man praying safely in his house night and day and was told to start the destruction from that 'pious' man who restricted his Islam to his own private practice, not concerned with 'Islamizing' the society around him.

Best Wishes and Salaams.
Saif
2002-09-24