The Secular Ideology: Does it Secure the Rights of Different Faiths? Featured

Editor's comment Whilst I agree with author regarding the media propaganda and the politicians seeking votes are stoking attacks on Muslim, which is where the far right movements are getting their inspiration from. However, the article then makes a serious error by stating that “This ideology of secularism stokes attacks on Muslims...” It is not the secular ideology but the people who spearhead the attack, reflecting the tense climate of post 9/11. The attack on the Muslim woman in France and elsewhere are criminal actions, not one legitimised by the state and the law. In the same way, if Muslims were to attack non-Muslims in an Islamic State, could we say Islamic State stokes attack on non-Muslims? Moreover, the secular system in the UK, US and most European countries has guaranteed the rights of Muslims, if you just step inside the Muslim communities; you see council houses, people claiming benefits, enjoying the protection of the state at every level and countries like the UK have gone to greater lengths in catering for Muslim needs, such as Halal meat, prayer facilities, rule of law etc. Reading this sort of poor argument, shows the mindset of these Islamic groups have lagged behind, because they have not confronted their reality of happily residing in the UK and the western world – where allegedly their rights are deprived! Remember the Prophet said speak the truth even if it bitter.

According to reports in French media (Agence France) and other international media on Tuesday, June 18th 2013, a four month pregnant Muslim woman was attacked for wearing a face veil in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil and subsequently suffered a miscarriage. Two men attacked the 21-year-old pregnant Muslim woman pulling off her head scarf, tearing part of her clothing, cutting off some of her hair, shouting anti-Islamic taunts at her and kicking her in the stomach. Only three weeks earlier another veiled Muslim woman was targeted in a similar manner in Argenteuil. Since the introduction of the veil (niqab) ban in France in April 2011, the number of assaults against Muslim women in the country has increased significantly. Similar attacks again Muslim women have occurred in the UK and other Western countries more frequently in recent times like the attack on two Muslim women in Edinburgh by two underaged children, who pulled off their hijabs.

Such incidents are systematically fuelled by the secular liberal ideology in those countries, under which politicians and media are permitted to peddle hatred towards the Muslim community – either to win votes amongst right-wing voters or for secular ideological political ends - by consistently portraying Muslims and Islam as violent, backward, oppressive and a threat to the Western way of life – all of which provokes attacks against Muslim women. In France, former president Nicolas Sarkozy, initiated the veil ban in France by law in April 2011, stating that "French civilization must prevail in France" and at the same time brand marking particular Islamic behaviour as not civilized. And his follower Francois Hollande expressed recently his support of imposing further restrictions on the wearing of hijab in public. Tony Blair, the former UK prime minister, in recent statements also contributed to inflame the hatred against Muslims after the Woolwich attack on a British soldier, by stating that "... there is a problem within Islam - from the adherents of an ideology that is a strain within Islam..."

This ideology of secularism stokes attacks on Muslims, by demonizing, banning, and creating suspicion towards the niqab, hijab and other Islamic beliefs under the banner that they are a threat to the foundation of secular states. It allows under the umbrella of freedom of expression, the stigmatization of communities by accepting and even promoting the ridiculing and vilifying of their practices. Ultimately, the secular system has demonstrated that it is incapable and unwilling to guarantee rights for all, and accommodate all religious beliefs. Rather its rights are exclusively for those who tow the narrow secular line. Furthermore, its flawed strategy for social cohesion is force feeding its values to Muslims through oppressive assimilation policies. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has said,

وَدُّوا لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ كَمَا كَفَرُوا فَتَكُونُونَ سَوَاءً "They would like you to be kafir as they are kafir so that you will all be the same." (An-Nisa, 4:89)

However, Islam does not suppress or force anyone to change their religious beliefs. Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ "There is no compulsion in the deen." (Al-Baqara, 2:256)

Under the Islamic system, every citizen enjoys the same right to live according his religious beliefs as the Muslims within the State and it is prohibited to insult or vilify the religious beliefs of others. Furthermore it is an obligation upon the Muslims to guarantee, that every dhimmi (non-Muslim citizen under Islamic protection) is treated fairly and with respect. It was narrated from the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم that he said:

ألا من ظلم معاهدا أو تنقصه حقه أو كلفه فوق طاقته أو أخذ منه شيئا بغير طيب نفس فأنا خصمه يوم القيامة "The one who oppresses a person under (our) covenant or degrades him, gives him work beyond his ability or takes something from him without right, I shall be a complainant against him on the Day of Judgement" [reported by Abu Dawud and al-Bayhaqi].

It is also reported, that Omar (ra) saw an old man begging from the people of Dhimmah so he said: "What is the matter?" The man said: "I have no money and the Jizya is taken from me". Omar (ra) replied: "We have not treated you fairly. We have eaten your shaybah (old age) and then we take Jizya from you." Umar then wrote to his governors instructing them not to take Jizya from the elderly.

O Muslims! The secular system will never bring justice to you, prevent any attack against your faith, or enable you to fulfill your Islamic obligations as Allah سبحانه وتعالى has obliged. The only system under which Muslims, Muslim women and minorities can live together in peace and dignity and respect, is the Islamic system which Allah سبحانه وتعالى has revealed to mankind and proved its success under the implementation of the Khilafah. Therefore, fulfill the obligation of working for the reestablishment of this just system of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and enjoy the fruits of its success InshaAllah.

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ "Allah has promised those of you who have iman and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their deen with which He is pleased and give them, in place of their fear, security. 'They worship Me, not associating anything with Me.' Any who are kafir after that, such people are deviators."

(An-Nur, 24:55)
Umm Khalid
Member of The Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir

Last modified on Friday, 30 January 2015 21:43

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