Come back to Islam, come back to Justice, please!

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Middle East Views: 6973

It would be possible, of course, to say that the media are always covering damaging stories about the Muslims and the Islamic majority countries. It would be possible, of course, to blame this ongoing campaign against Islam, its Book, its Prophet and its values and practices .. Of course .. and not everything is illegitimate in the feeling that there is a kind of campaign in the hands of some populist politicians and sensational media .. Of course!

But there comes a time where one should look at the state of affairs of the legal system in the Islamic majority countries and draw some imperative (and constructive) conclusions. It is simply a shame! In the name of Islam, innocent, poor people and women are accused, jailed sometimes beaten and sometimes executed with no evidence and, moreover, no way to properly defend themselves. The honest and embarrassing judges are fired in Pakistan; a woman, victim of a rape, becomes the accused in Saudi Arabia and is asked to prove her innocence while a British teacher is jailed because her students decided to name a teddy bear "Muhammad"! Where are we heading?

While the judiciary and the legal system must remain neutral and protect justice and people's rights it is used in the Islamic majority countries for political reasons or so called religious concerns. The problem is much serious and deep than the series of stories we have been getting in the media. It needs a profound reform, an imperative reassessment. Yet, a rape is a rape and while evidences have not been shown - in one way or in another - it remains unacceptable to start by blaming the woman. To use and instrumentalise the story of an innocent British teacher to show how much "we care about Islam" is pure nonsense and should be utterly rejected! 

It is as if the teacher is becoming a vehicle through whom a government is showing its dedication towards Islam and for some Muslims to convey their anger towards the West. First, anger is not good in itself; second to send it through a wrong and unjust means must be condemned. Did not the Prophet Muhammad say: "What is built on wrong foundation is wrong." One must ask these Islamic majority societies to be more consistent with their own values and to stick to justice by refusing to abuse Islam. It means to protect the independence of the judicial system, to protect equally the innocent people, poor or rich, Muslims and non Muslims, men and women. We cannot remain silent when we read about such a ridiculous and sad tale in Sudan: Mrs. Gillian Gibbons must be freed and this story has nothing with Islam. It has to do with a political domestic-international nasty game aiming to mobilize people's emotions at the sacrificed cost of a woman's dignity and integrity. 

Come back to Islam please, come back to justice, come back to reason!

Tariq Ramadan, a fellow at Oxford University, is author of "Western Muslims and the Future of Islam." His website is at

  Category: Faith & Spirituality, Middle East
Views: 6973
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Older Comments:
The problem is that we assume laws in Middle Eastern countries are "Islamic", and all the non-Muslims make the same mistake.

Yes, Shariah law is fair and beautiful, the pure law laid down through the Holy Quran and the actions of our beloved Prophet.

The problem is that HUMANS (prejudiced, nasty, greedy, corrupt, chauvanistic, inefficient or simply incompetent) pick and choose which parts of Shariah to apply and which to conveniently overlook.

Having lived in the Middle East and having many friends from there or still there, I have not yet heard of a single government that is not incredibly corrupt or that actually operates with full Shariah law.

If they did, it would be an Islamic country and we would be lining up to live there because it would be GREAT!

Let's acknowledge the facts: there is no Shariah law (as in the full application) anywhere in the world, therefore the bits and pieces applied can be most unfair. For example, severe punishment for repeated stealing is appropriate if the thief has access to social welfare through zakat. He is then stealing from greed and not the need to support himself or his family. Without zakat, the punishment for theft is unfair and un-Islamic.

As for applying one law for the rich and another for the poor, one law for men and another for women, this is totally un-Islamic and should be loudly disowned by all Muslims who care about their religion. Shaytan must laugh to see supposed Muslims giving our religion such a bad name.

Let's encourage fair and proper application of law instead of retreating to the false excuse that this is Shariah and must be protected from the West.

Acknowledge the faults, don't try to hide them or slough them off as Western interference. Admit that bad laws caused by culture, greed and incompetence are universal. Honesty is another Muslim virtue!

Salamun Ala Manitaba'l Huda
I think what Mr. Ramadan is trying to do is to create common understanding and bring peace among Muslims and non Muslims. However, since day one from the time of our beloved prophet Mohammed Peace and blessing up on him we have the same problem what we are seeing today. We Muslims are not forcing any one to follow Islam we said just leave us alone let's us practice our own religion I know Islam is the challenge for West and East because we do not support adultery, alcohol, gambling, interest the list goes on therefore we are the challenge to the west not we are forcing them to accept Islam if we go back and read history we Muslims are the one who contributed for the civilization humanity and peace loving, caring and so on. I don't see that we tried to change any western law they are the one who try to change our Qurnic law. Finally, let's come to the common term and work with what we agree and mined about our on religion and business.

Islam is right, based on the respect of human being and In the name of Allah we can not instrumentalize our religion; Woman is the equal of Man, and her respect and honour have to be unlimited.

Religion and Islam have to be distinct, to avoid unfair and apocalypse.
Muslim have to work together to show to the Worldwide the Wealth of Islam.

Well, the author is partially right but when he said Gibsson must be freed is also a sad news. How long are we to wake from slumber?. Whenever this people(West) insulted our beloved Prophet, they always have lame excuses, they never condenm one another for their evils. Remember the dipiction of Prophet Muahammad (p)the so called carricasor catton, remember Pope's comment,also Gibsson and many more withiin United States that i cannot even mention, they always defend themselves on evils, even my friend, a christian said " what's the big deal about Muhammad cartoon" he didnt even need any response from me but to condenm all muslims. Well thank Allah we (Muslims) do not have that attitude. We i appreciate this author but am just tired of condenming ourselves all the time. We need to unite but not ecourage one another in evil that's all

As Salamu Alaycom,
I agree with the article 100%. I think that it takes some time living in another country to gain some objectivity in our viewpoints. Sometimes anger and frustration leads people to skew the facts from the truth. At least one person commented that the teacher is the one who chose the name for the bear, which is not the truth. Her students chose the name, probably naming the bear after one of themselves, as Muhammad is a common name among the people. Maybe the kids would be upset if she chose a different name. Why is everyone blaming the teacher? And Why is it being connected with religion, when the activity had nothing to do with religion whatsoever?

People here commented that she is "educated." Let me tell you having grown up in the US that the Majority of High-school and middle-school teachers hardly know anything about Islam, they are not taught about it, except what they hear in the media. These are kufar countries, do you think that they educate the people anything good about Islam in the schools? - I can tell you from experience that No, they don't. In social studies classes they describe Islam in an insulting way by indirectly inferring that the Prophet wrote the Qur'an himself from knowledge gained from jewish and christian travelers. How can you expect such a people to know anything correct about Islam?

It was Someone here who said "But she got away without paying for it." - Paying for What? What crime did she commit? In Islam everything is based on our Niyat - our intention. Obviously if the kids chose the name Muhammad, and the class project did not have to do with religion, then why is everybody bringing in religion to this case and accusing her of insulting the prophet? Think about it, don't be so quick to judge without evidence.

During the cartoon controversy I was extremely angry at the West for deliberately perpetuating those insults and praising those who did it. But now I am angry at my people who perpetuate a

Peace to all.
Once again a certain segment of the int'l society has been appeased. A teacher has got to be a well learned individual. This lady must indeed be aware of the prominance of the beloved prophet of mankind. Of late it is an 'acceptable fashion' to provocate Islam and Muslim in whatever way. To let her off was a lesson not taught. Maybe 40 lashes was too strong a punishment. But she got away without paying for it. Are we to continue to accept these insults towards the one we love so much?
Two 'Muslim' politicians were confered the job to release her. Why aren't these same Muslims used to get released of innocent Muslims lingering in USA's, etc prisons all over? And many seem to have commited no crime!
Atleast this has gone to show yet one more time how forgiving Muslims/Islam is!


It's hard to find Syariah justice but these cases mentined by the author are isolated ones. While I agree with his views on re-examination of ourselves but again in doing so, we must not forget the reminders of ALLAH that it is mandatory to uphold HIS Syariah. I belong to the legal fraternity, I have the benefit of reading both common law and Syariah law.

The problems is one of overzealous enforcements. While it is good that Saudi Arabia ( I prefer to call it Hijaz ), implements Syariah, but does that covers the Royal House of Saud ? Why the wastage of oil wealth money committed by the royalties, denying the ordinary Saudis of the decent employment, and yet they royals feted themselves with luxuries, isn't that stealing from the state treasury too ? The only real accountable government in the Middle East is Iran there are free elections, President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad is a simple leader who lives an ordinary live, when he went to New York, his wife brought dates just to save money on food expenses, he displayed an example of moderation in life style but then he is intelligent and firm, and no western powers is clever enough to out wit him.

In turning to justice, I believe that the implementers of the Syariah must deploy wisdom and interpret the Syariah according to the circumstances of time, yet not losing out the need to do justice. It would do no justice to mete out a harsh punishment, in the case of Sudan, while I condemns what the Bristish woman did, I still think that the imprisonment is too harsh. I have read the letter that she wrote in naming the teddy bear " Muhamad " in CNN but then again, let us look at the circumstances in which the letter was written.

I do not think that it intended to be an insult, thus a mere firm reprimand would be sufficient for her. The letter that she wrote was not meant for the world at large but just to the classroom kids. Why should we take an iron fist approach on matters like that ?

I like the way Mr. Ramadan addressed not only Sudan, but Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan as well. I recently read about this from some other Muslims. But, they did not address the issue of Saudi Arabia nor did they address the situation in Pakistan. I applaude this brother for at least being fair.
I only wish that more Westerners would jump on the bandwagon whenever the West offends our Prophet (pbuh). Or whenever they hold Muslims in prison for no reason at all. I would love to hear more outcry concerning these issues as well.

Fatimah Muhammad

Mister Ramadan,

It opens some hope to see an european muslim take position.
In my opinion, This judgement is against all Islamic laws and human rights.
Everybody could understand that It was a cultural mistake. This teacher didn't know the sensibility of Sudane people and muslims.
This kind of judgement is a shame.

Also, like we know, thess judgements will be use against western muslims.

In conclusion, I agree "come back to justice and come back to Islam".

The problem is that their are 2 things we mix each other with. Many problems in muslim majority are of third world nations, which we try to look under Islamic world. That is not correct.

Social Justice from a country which doe sNot follow Shariah cannot be looked as a muslim majority state as a example to refelect muslims or islam.

Justice for all, we need to start somewhere. Lets take Africa. Their natural resources are stolen via big corp. daily. That is the reason for their poverty as West cannot imagine to live by its means.

This is the root cause of all the poverty and misery in the third world. Funded and sponsored by the west.

To blame social injustice in some muslim countries about rape and pick points on them is just pleasing the west and ignoring the real culprit.
There will be social in justice in kingdom. As it serves the west with its unlimited natural carbon deposits at a rip off price. Without social injustice it can never occur , why dont you ask that?????

Without keeping the majority of people in third world countries in poverty and social injustice, do you think the Natural resources will be up for sale at a rip off price is the real question.


aslamo alaikum everyone,while i can understand the precarious situation of a western educated muslim scholar who is under pressure becz of his/her living environment to b apologetic n appeasing to the west in terming such biased n deliberate steps of many westerners as a society n as individuals to knowingly cast aspersions on the character of our last prophet(PBUH), i can fully understand that they r the travellers of two boats where they cannot seem to embrace the western adopted idealogy wholehaertedly becz of their religious differences YET they jump on the band wagon to denounce every move, which tries to punish the crime according the seriousness of the guilt.
from liberal scandinivian countries to europe,american they r in the habit of doing it, knowingly and provocatively again n again,sometimes by drawing cartoons n sometimes by directly hitting at the prophets(PBUH) character.
But i m very sure that living in sudan n knowing the sensitivity of the name of prophet, the good learned teacher must not have been that naive to suggest of all names that name to her students,
instead of debating our reaction i suggest v debate how double faced western democracies r when it comes to their own citizens,ultimately i m convinced that british teacher would b released by DIPLOMATIC pressure, but no one will try bother telling these broadmionded westerners that pls BEHAVE when it comes to the personality of our last prophet,becz they have NO right at all to play with the religious emotions of a billion muslims of the world.V muslims don't disgrace ur prophets including jesus(PBUH) n moses(PBUH) then atleast in fair courtesy u do the same .

may allah guide us muslims to reflect on our state. we need to seriously change our own condition before we can effectively confront external threats.

Salaamu alaikum,

Rasoolo Allah Muhammad pbuh said:
"Inna Allaha la yu'badu an jahl"

Hadith Sahih

Translation: Allah cannot be worshipped thru ignorance. Racist, sexist, ignorant and unjust people should not speak for or represent Islam.

It's sad that the Western & Zionist media will always pick and choose exactly the bad know what I mean..those elements in our societies that misrepresent Islam as the voice and spokespersons for Islam to advance a certain political agenda... The bad news is the bad Muslims are here to stay as well as their bad media; the good news is nothing will or can stop the advance of Islam. I just pray that the extremists & violent people among us remain a minority because we the true Muslims already understood that Islam is peace with God and His creation.

assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh. FINALLY!! it's about time someone from the muslim community voiced disgust at how our ummah behaves at times. i don't doubt that the sudanese protestors were most likely a small minority, but they are idiots who have no clue what their actions are doing. i wish we muslims used our brains a bit more! sometimes i think of the phrase "who needs enemies with friends like you?"--but substitute the word 'friends' for the word 'muslims'.


All Prophets, Adam to Muhammad(including Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmaeel, Moses, and Jesus)were sent from only one and Supreme God-Allah.

They were MONOAETHISTS, believed in and worshipped ONE GOD, carried and spread the message of the same God to the people at their time.

Yes, they were saviors at that time saved the people and brought the people of Book towards same One GOD-Allah.

None of them called Himself as GOD
None of them said to worship Him except one GOD
None of them called Himself as Superior

Prophet Muhammad, Chosen as Final Prophet to All Mankind,is a descendent of Abraham thru Ishmaeel. God said 'I have completed the religion and this religion-Islam is for all mankind including the prophets'

Islam is the Final religion to all mankind, It is a religion of Monoaethism. All prophets(Adam-Muhammad)followed Monoaethism.

Islam is a religion without any Doubt, religion of Love and Peace, Justice, Equality ...

Please come back and save yourselves and listen to all Prophets said.

Very good article. I am pleased to read a summary of current events that clarify some of the reasons for our current state of affairs. The author is to be commended for his analysis, and for taking a bold step in asking us to reflect and critique ourselves, before falling victim to the media frenzy and their hidden agenda.