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Response to 'Moslem States Represent a Potential Threat to World Peace'

Reader comment on item: [U.S. Intelligence: ]"Moslem States Represent a Potential Threat to World Peace"

Submitted by Anees Ahmad (United States), Feb 18, 2006 at 23:32

I do not wish to deny any of the comments above. To me, the most puzzling piece of the article has to do with the very threat itself - an Islamic State. If ever there was an oxymoron, this would be it. Islam repeatedly advocates a separation of church and state when running a government. Sadly, it is true that this is not the case today or even for a great portion of Islam's history, but the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad (saw) never endorsed this system of government.

It is understood generally that if the majority of a country constitute of Muslims, then the Muslims have a right to enact Sharia law. It is argued that if they believe in the Holy Quran which relates to every area of human activity, then it should follow Sharia law should be the only law valid of the country. Yet following this ideology, we see that proposed legislative problems and constitutional problems, and serious problems in almost every sphere of the enactment of Sharia arise. Sharia law cannot be imposed on a people, who as far their normal way of life is concerned, are not ideal Muslims. Areas where they are free to practice Islam, they fall so short that one wonders when they willingly cannot exercise Islam, how could they be expected to do it by coercion? So how far can this law be transformed into legislation for running a political government? Also, if a Muslim country has a right to dictate Sharia to its population, then every country with a majority population belonging to other religions would have exactly the same right to enact their laws, resulting in the entire world becoming a world of not only political conflict but of politico?religious conflict, whereby all the laws would be attributed to God –such confusion would arise that people would begin to lose faith in God.

In a secular government, everyone born in a given country acquires the basic fundamental rights, including the right to participate in legislation. What would happen if one Sharia is imposed as the law of that country? If Muslim law were imposed in a country, all the rest of the people who are inhabitants of the same land, would have to be considered as second rate citizens of the same country with no say whatsoever in the legislation as Muslim scholars would claim that it is only their right to interpret the Book.

All religions split up into sects with time

The religion that was single and unified ultimately has become split into a number of sects. Within Shia Islam there are 34 sects whose interpretation of Sharia differs with each other; Sunni Islam there are almost 40 sects whose interpretation of Sharia differs with each other. If the Sharia interpretation of one sect is imposed, then not only will the non?Muslims will be denied the fundamental right of participation in the country's legislation, but the same will be the case of many Muslims themselves.

Suitable Atmosphere Required For Imposition Of Sharia Law

What prevents a Muslim from following the Muslim law? Why should he wait for the whole legislation to be changed as most of any religion can be practiced without it being the law of the country? It is not the Sharia that is necessary, but the righteousness in the citizens of the country. Understand that every country has a specific climate and not all the flora can flourish in that climate. Sharia also requires a special climate, and if this climate is not met then Sharia cannot be imposed. Every prophet first peacefully created that healthy climate for the law of God to be imposed and then the laws were introduced and stiffened further and further, until the whole code was revealed. In a society where theft is commonplace or lying is commonplace, if you enact Sharia law and sever the hands of those who steal, what is going to happen? Is that the purpose of Sharia?

During the late General Zia's regime, Muslim Sharia Courts were also constituted and the choice was left to the police either to charge a criminal through Muslim Sharia Court or through the ordinary court. The Muslim Sharia Court tried hardly any case because police had raised the price of bribery and threatened everyone that if they did not pay double the price of ordinary bribe, they would channel their case through the Sharia Court.

Sharia Law Used As A Pretext To Seize Power

It is not the love of Islam that is urging them on to demand Sharia law, but merely an instrument to gain power and rule the society in the name of God. The only authority in Islam that was genuinely capable of being given the right to coerce was Prophet Muhammad (saw) because he was a living model of Islam and his character literally was the Quran. Yet addressing him, Allah says "Admonish, therefore, for thou art but an admonisher; Thou art not appointed a keeper over them" (88:22–23).

The difference between Sharia and Deen is that Deen is a word applicable to any philosophy you adopt as a course of conduct – it is not just faith in God; even denial in God could be Deen. According to some Muslim scholars idolaters had no Deen yet the Holy Quran, addressing them says:

• Lakum deenokum wa leyadeen – "For you your religion, and for me my religion" (109:7).

• La Ikraha fiddeen – "There is no compulsion in religion" (2:257)

Sharia on other hand is founded on the concept of God, and so every faith has its own Sharia. We see that almost every country permits members of its society to resolve their differences through arbitration. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat has a Qazaa department where Ahmadi's who do not want to go to the common law for resolving their disputes and problems can come to the Qazaa, to resolve our dispute according to the law of the Quran – this is done without any government interference. So Sharia can be practiced without it becoming a law.

Understand that Islam did not propose a government that is representative of God, but a system of government common to various people. Islam pleads for the secular type of government more than any religion and more than any political system. The very essence of secularism is that absolute justice must be practiced regardless of difference of faith, color, etc.

• "Verily, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others" (16:91).

• "O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people's enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just. That is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is Aware of what you do" (5:9).

When absolute justice is established as the central theme of a government, how could Islamic law be imposed upon non-Muslim, as it would be against justice?
In Medina, Prophet Muhammad (saw) came into contact with Jewish and other communities who accepted him not as their religious leader, but as their political leader. They agreed, now called the Charter of Medina, to refer to him all disputes and trust his superior judgment to resolve all the contentions between various parties but he never imposed Islamic law on a non?agreeing party, which did not belong to the faith and instead allowed matters to be settled according to their religious scriptures!

Islam is the only religion which advocates secularism as a part of its teaching. Secularism does not mean there is to be no religion in government, but means to not swing towards one end or another due to bias. Therefore, one cannot even call a communist state as a secular state because it is the opposite shadow of a tyrannical religious regime – it does not adhere to justice nor does it deal with all subjects equally. Islam on the other hand completely denounces any such concept of a theocracy as well as any government totally opposed to the practice of religion in the land.

Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the 4th Khalifa of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, beautifully states, "So, absolute justice has to be employed by a truly Islamic government, if it ever dreams of calling itself ‘Islamic government.' And this is in other terms, a secular government!"
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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