REFLECTIONS

Website: www.ummah.com/reflections

Quarterly: Issue No 10

Rabi-us-Saani 1420

 

MUSLIM WORLD ‘victim’ of WEST’s double standards

 

It is an accepted fact that the Western countries and the UN adopted double standards with regard to the Muslim World.  We notice very clearly that no UN resolution on Israel, which Israel did NOT like, was ever implemented in its 50-year history, though that country was an aggressive entity planted in the heart of the Muslim World.  But no UN resolution on any Muslim country, be it on Iraq, Iran, Libya or Sudan, ever went unimplemented during this period, despite all the hardships it caused to the people in these countries.

 

Western civilization and the Islamic world continue to confront each other.  There are many points of dispute and Muslims find themselves on the defensive when they meet Westerners on three crucial issues: democracy, human rights in general, and the rights of women in particular.

 

It is no exaggeration to say that the future of Islam in the West to a large extent depends on the answers to the above three issues.  In addressing human rights, Westerners believe that human rights are a western invention and can only be guaranteed under modern conditions.    This gives the impression that human rights are only protected in the West and violated in the East.

 

Most intolerable is the supposition that Islamic countries, as proven by history, were essentially incapable of assuring human rights protection.  The bitter truth is rather that the simple people have always been exposed to mistreatment and despotism everywhere, all throughout world history.  They are still there, not only in Muslim countries, but also in China, North Korea, South America, Africa, Bosnia and Kosovo.  Western people must realize that human rights violations in the Muslim World, such as police brutality and torture, politically motivated rape, fraudulent elections, administrative corruption and the like are neither Islamically motivated nor legitimized by Islam.

 

Let us ask some painful questions to our Western partners: Have human rights ever before been as massively violated as during the two World Wars in Europe and Asia, with the employment of chemical and nuclear weapons?  Or during the Stalinist terror and the industrial, mass destruction of Jews and gypsies by Nazi Germany?  Or during the massacres, mass rapes and “ethnic cleansing” recently carried out by Serbian forces in Bosnia and Kosovo?  Or in Cambodia under Pol Pot?  Did any of these atrocities happen in the Muslim World?  And yet Westerners claim to have the high “moral” ground.

 

In any case, under the threat of discontinuing their development aids, Western governments continue to demand the adaptation of the Western individualistic human rights culture.  They fail to understand that human rights are universal and not culturally conditioned, and that all human beings should be protected.  Muslims will hurt their case if they let themselves get caught denying the universality of these and similar basic human rights. Furthermore, the leading Western power, the U.S., not to speak of China and other important countries, continues to execute criminals, be it by hanging, decapitating, electrocuting or poisoning.  It is therefore highly hypocritical of the West to criticize Islam for capital or other corporal punishment.

 

Therefore, the best strategy is to address the human rights issues within the Islamic framework under the guidance of the Glorious Quran and the Sunnah.  Islam, for more than 1400 years, has helped to protect what is to be protected by the core of human rights.  These eternally guaranteed rights are better anchored in Islam than in Western laws subject to modifications.  Islam provides an equivalent legal basis for the protection of human rights.  It is obvious that rights based on divine revelation are better grounded than amenable rights merely resulting from international negotiations.

 

 

LESSONS FROM THE KOSOVO TRAGEDY

 

The fury of explosions in Belgrade is over.  NATO strikes on Serbs have stopped which presents new questions:  Will this end the tragedies in Kosovo?  Will peace once again reign in the plains and mountains of Kosovo?

 

Opinions and analysis will off course differ.  Or it may be too soon to give a correct reply.  There are many doubts as to what is going to be the regime’s future.  The terms of the secret agreement signed by NATO and the Serbs are not yet known.  Whatever it is, the Kosovo tragedy teaches us several lessons.  It may help us to understand certain painful facts about ourselves and how those unpleasant facts can be altered in order to raise our Ummah to a matching level.

 

The lessons from Kosovo are many and diverse.  First and foremost of them is the simple truth that dependence on others will solve none of our problems.  It is evident that Europe has several selfish motives behind launching a war over Kosovo.  It would be naï ve to suggest that NATO swung into action in order to help Muslims.

 

Muslims in other parts of the world should have helped their brothers in Kosovo.  With the Grace of Allah, Muslims in South Africa did their   share of the duty.  But the Muslim nations have failed miserably in playing an effective role in solving the Kosovo issue.  Agreements to solve the issue were made and signed without any Muslim representation.  Is it NOT strange that a community with over 50 member countries and with strong religious links to Kosovo had no part in drawing up the agreement.   It is as though it was not a Muslim problem.  Another lesson from this tragedy is that the humanitarian aid was late and slow in coming, defective and unorganized.  These are chronic issues, which indicates the absence of proper thought and strategic planning.  Our response to events and challenges are instant reactions without any perceptions of the future or the implications of our reactions.

 

The future of the people of Kosovo, after the withdrawal of NATO forces, is still uncertain.  The Kosovo people are demanding their full rights, including self-determination while NATO earlier approved Serb authority over them.  It is quite clear, that NATO will reorganize the picture of the region, denying the Muslims of Kosovo any independent political existence.  NATO will, of course, repeat the old scenario of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Kosovo as well.  Therefore, at least for the time being, the Balkan Muslims’ hope to have a distinguished place in Christian Europe will have to be buried. 

 

It is unfortunate that our Ummah is plagued with this kind of weakness and impotence despite the vast potential at their disposal.  We have become an inactive community living on the margin of events while momentous decisions about us are made without consulting or considering us.

 

 

TURKEY OVER HEADSCARF OF ISLAMIC DEPUTY

 

Merve Kavakci was a young Islamic Virtue party MP who sparked a freakish controversy three months ago merely by showing up in parliament wearing a respectable headscarf.  When Kavakci's fellow MPs spotted the blue headscarf, which many Turks regard as a symbol of militant Islam, a huge storm broke loose.

 

Prime Minister-designate Bulent Ecevit complained that Kavakci was trying to ‘challenge the state’, which was no doubt true.  Leftist MPs banged their desks and screamed ‘Get out!’ Conservative MPs who had courted the Muslim vote sat in fearful silence, not daring to protest.    Though parliament has no dress code forbidding headscarves, the government bans them in state institutions.   President Suleyman Demirel quickly branded Kavakci an ‘agent provocateur.

 

I was stunned when I saw what they did,’  Kavakci told Reuters news agency.  And I wondered how anyone could be such a bigot. They tell me if I differ from them in appearance I have no right to exist. This is completely against freedom of religion and thought.

 

Chief prosecutor Vural Savas has charged that she is out to destroy the country.   Her task is to blow up the system.’ She is an agent, he said, of Islamic parties that resemble ‘vampires which feed only on blood’ and turn people against the state.

 

That was disingenuous.  Merve Kavakci is a committed Islamic activist who enjoyed causing a such a storm. Many Islamic Virtue party members yearn to overturn Kemal Ataturk's 75-year-old secular, Western-oriented republic, and re-instate Islamic law.

 

Finally a few days after, Demirel snatched away from  Kavakci her Turkish citizenship, because she had earlier taken out American citizenship as well.   Turkey routinely allows that, but people are supposed to ask permission first.   This meant that Kavakci's election was null and her seat now vacant.  Kavakci said that she was forced to abandon her medical studies in Ankara because of her insistence to wear her headscarf.  She then studied computer science at the University of Texas in the United States.

 

This frenzied drive to deprive Kavakci of her personal dignity, her elected office, her citizenship, and her freedom is extremism posturing as the defense of secularism.   It makes Turkey look terrible. It subverts democracy. And it is counterproductive.

 

 

KUWAITI ROW OVER QURAN MISPRINTS

 

The Justice and Religious Affairs minister, Ahmed Kleib,  was grilled recently by Kuwaiti MPs in a row over misprinted Qurans.  These were grave and offensive misprints in more than 120,000 copies of the Holy Book commissioned and distributed by his ministry.  This crisis resulted in the dissolution of the 50-member parliament and a cabinet reshuffle.

 

HYPOCRISY – its various manifestations

 

According the great mufassiroon (commentators) of the Quranic chapter ‘the Hypocrites’,  hypocrisy is divided into two types:

          A. Hypocrisy in Belief

          B. Hypocrisy in deeds and actions.

According to various Ahadith of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), further divisions are made as follows:

 

A. Hypocrisy in Belief is divided into 6 aspects:

1. To belie the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad, sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

2. To belie some of all that was brought by the Messenger of Allah (e.g. the Quran, Sunnah, legal laws and principles of Islam)

3. To hate the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

4. To hate some of all that was brought by the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) e.g. Islamic monotheism etc.

5. To feel happy at the disgrace or belittling of the religion of Allah’s messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

6.  To dislike that the religion of Allah’s messenger become victorious.

 

A person having any of the above six types of hypocrisy will be ‘in the lowest depths (grade) of the Fire of Hell’.  (Al-Quran: Chapter 4 verse 145).

 

B. Hypocrisy in deeds and actions is divided into 5 types:

1. Whenever he speaks, he tell a lie.

2. Whenever he promises, he always breaks his promise.

3. If you trust him, he proves to be dishonest.

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

5. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves to be treacherous.

May Allah, with His Infinite Grace and Mercy, save us from such types of hypocrisy.  Ameen!