Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Dangers of Political Islam | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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I’m of the conviction that Islam is the solution as a creed, as a government, and as a way of life, but according to the ways of our Prophet, God’s prayer and peace be upon him.

Today, I will be brave to the extent of sounding a voice of advice to my Islamist brethren in the Islamist movement. I will set courtesy aside until I finish writing this article.

I say: Haven’t we had enough of the bloody sorrowful experiences and incidents that have been the product of confrontations and bloody clashes with authorities without any understanding of the laws of history or the realities?

Why have the subscribers to political Islam moved from reforming the individual and the nation to seeking power at any cost in order to rule “poor and feeble” peoples that are ignorant of religion?

Why do we make the establishment of the Caliphate one of the most important demands of religion and aims of the creed, as the Shiites said about the imamate?

The most important demands of religion is to believe in God alone, not to worship anyone other than God, to follow the example of His Messenger, God’s prayer and peace be upon him, and to obey Him; therefore, why are we so committed to assuming the posts rejected by those who are more pious, more knowledgeable, and more honorable than us, such as Al-Thawri, Ibn al-Musayib, Al-Hasan al-Basri, Malik, Al-Shafii, Abu-Hanifah, Ahmad, and all the imams of Islam?

What is this sharp escalation in the address, challenging for duels, and commitment to confrontation? Do we want more tortures, more of our sons to be killed, more of our homes to be demolished, and more of our women to be homeless?

I say this as my heart bleeds for our brethren in Palestine as they live through siege, killing, destruction, restrictions, even famine and incursions by a giant evil enemy who was given opportunities by all sides to carry on the rampage and shed the blood of Muslims.

I do not ask the Islamists to resort to the policies of some Arab regimes that opted for humiliation, subjugation, and subordination to the occupation. I ask the Islamists to follow the policy of our Prophet, God’s prayer and peace be upon him, who is the imam and role model. At the time of weakness, the Prophet preferred not to go for confrontation, as he did with the polytheists in Mecca, and he focused on reforming the people, and educating them until he brought up a rational ideal generation, and then he established a state that was the greatest and fairest state known in history.

The brethren in Palestine, and in the other Muslim countries, should not rely much on the useless sentimental verbal stances, which always end up with a letter of sympathy and solidarity signed by a thousand Muslim ulema. By God, if a petition is written without financial and military support, and was signed by a hundred Muslim ulema, and was relayed 99times by the most famous satellite channel, this petition would not feed the sons of the Palestinian people bread from the “grocery shop,” or provide them with a single glass of water.

What have we gained from the bloody confrontations with the regimes in Egypt, Syria, Algeria, and Tunisia other than imprisonment, killing, turning the children into orphans, wasting the families, banning the Islamic call, and encroaching upon the ulema?

A number of Islamists consider that man will not go to Paradise until he is imprisoned, his back gets torn in the prison cell, and then he is slaughtered and skinned. However, we ask God to forgive us and to grant us health; the Hadith includes: “Do not wish for meeting the enemy, but ask God to grant you health.” Ibn-Khaldun said in his Introduction: “Whenever a group considered to be ulema is dependent on a Sultan, whether just or unjust, it will eventually perish, because it disregarded the Prophet’s way stipulated in the Hadith: He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue, and if he has not strength enough to do it,(even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of faith.”

These Islamist movements, rather than following the Prophet’s call by reforming the nation and educating the new generation, they want to jump to the top of the pyramid, disregard the grassroots, and confront regimes, which even if corrupt, they possess military columns, police armies, squadrons of aircraft, and convoys of tanks, while the Islamists have 10 summer centers, and 100 boy-scouts’ tents.

Let us consider the Islamists in Algeria. I know that the regime wronged them when they won the elections; however, their method in Islamic call was immature. They were required to educate the brave Algerian people about faith, because this people came out of the colonialist era ignorant of their religion and creed, and needed rational Islamic education. However, they left all this, and went for emotional, fiery, rhetorical speeches calling for fighting and confrontation without knowledge or deliberation. The demonstrations were staged, and then there were confrontations, killing, and destruction, followed by tearing up the Algerian people, and killing quarter of a million Muslims whose blood was proscribed. Did the Islamists know that the Algerian Government has half a million heavily-armed army soldiers, quarter of a million gendarmes armed with grenades, and depots of equipment, while the Islamists had nothing other than 1,000 books, 100 mosques, and one newspaper? Can you find 10 prominent Shariaa ulema in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, or any other country?

O Islamists, wake up and follow the example of the policy of the Prophet, God’s prayer and peace be upon him, in studying the stages, recognizing the situation, and understanding the message of Islam and aims of Shariaa. Reform the people, and restore the people to the belief in God and the way of the Prophet, God’s prayer and peace be upon him. Let us abandon the empty rhetoric and anger that never even killed a fly, but brought us suffering, detention camps, and crises.

By the way, I salute the Islamic Justice and Development Party in Turkey. I have visited Turkey three times, and I have found out that the party educates the people according to the correct teachings of Islam, and that it has wisdom, patience, intelligence, diplomacy, understanding of the reality, and mastery of international climate.

O Islamists, learn, and revise your reading. This is an advice from a brother who loves you, “I only desire (your) betterment to the best of my power; and my success (in my task) can only come from God. In Him I trust, and unto Him I look [Surah Hud, from Verse 88].”