Saturday, March 17, 2007

Security Certificates and Muslims

On Friday, February 23rd, 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada “struck down the security certificate system”. The security certificates target “foreign-born terrorist suspects”. Out of the 6 people charged under the security certificates, five are Muslim. The five brothers (sometimes known as the “Secret Trial Five”) that have been imprisoned under this law include, Hassan Almrei, Adil Charkaoui, Mohammed Harkat, Mahmoud Jaballah, and Mohammad Mahjoub. The Courts has given the government one year to revise the law to make it compliant with the Constitution.

Secret evidence and the Security Certificates

According to the CBC, the Security Certificate system was set-up in 1978. Out of the 28 people that have been charged under Security Certificate legislation since 1991, 20 people have come from Muslim countries.
The main criticisms of the process include:
· Individuals can be held indefinitely without charge
· Evidence against them does not have to be made public
· Individuals cannot challenge charges or confront the evidence that was used to convict them
· Evidence can be provided by other countries (e.g. Syria,
US, etc) under a seal of security
· Deportation of the individual may lead to torture and imprisonment, especially where their country of origin provided the “evidence” Targeting Muslims: The Broader Context Muslims in Canada are not alone in being subjected to such treatment. Aside from the infamous “democratic gulags”, such as America’s Guantanamo Bay Prison and UK’s Belmarsh Prison, Western governments and Western personalities employ themselves to demonize Muslims. The goal is to ensure that the image of Muslims is negative and that the populations have an unfavorable view of Muslims. In France, the politicians are able to attract votes from the mainstream (i.e. European) population by attacking Muslims that live there. (The Muslim population is 5 million in size and 56% of immigrants are of Arab or African origin.) Such a phenomenon is not surprising given how well the hijab ban was received in France. In 2006, Nicolas Sarkozy, president of the French political party Union for a Popular Movement, stated:
“France, either you love it, or you leave it… When you live in France, you respect her republican rules, you don’t practice polygamy, circumcise your daughters or slaughter sheep in your bathroom”.

Sarkozy wanted to reassure white, non-Muslim immigrants that he was only referring to Muslims. Furthermore, by peppering his speech with racist remarks, he reinforced the negative stereotypes the general population holds against Muslims. Alhumdullilah, in Canada the situation has not reached this level, but it is important for Muslims to realize that the campaign against Muslims is a global one, and not just a phenomenon isolated to a few countries. Since 9/11, Muslims in Germany have been facing years of suspicion and harassment by the German authorities with Islamic groups being banned and Muslims being arrested and deported. Not content with this however, one German state has gone a step further and decided to clampdown on Muslim thoughts and beliefs! Muslims applying for German citizenship in the state of Baden-Württemberg will face a lengthy interrogation, involving the need to answer a catalogue of 30 questions on their political, cultural and social views. Subjects include their opinions on religious freedom, equality of the sexes, homosexuality, freedom of expression, the concept of honor, and forced marriage. In clear echoes of the Orwellian ‘Thought Police’ mentioned in the book 1984, the Interior Ministry press spokesman Günter Loos said: “…There have been neutral surveys and studies that have shown there are discrepancies between Muslim beliefs and our constitution—just think of things like forced marriages, honor killings and the like. If there is a suspicion that the person who wants to become German does not share our fundamental principles and values, then the new interrogation is meant to find that out.” Muslims who pass the test and are granted citizenship could later lose that citizenship if the ‘Thought Police’ (Interior ministry) decide they acted inconsistently with their test answers. Presumably, if a Muslim applicant were to answer that he would take multiple girlfriends in addition to his wife, encourage his son to experiment with drugs and alcohol and permit his daughter to become a prostitute he would be considered a model German and fast tracked to citizenship! Doubts have been raised about whether even sections of the German population would pass some of the questions Muslims are being asked in the test. Volker Beck, a leading Green party politician proposed a survey to find out who supported equal treatment for homosexuals. “The interior minister of (Baden-Württemberg) himself would probably fail the test then,” Beck said. This ‘policing’ of Muslims’ thoughts are not unique to Germany. In Ireland, male Muslim applicants for post-nuptial citizenship have to sign a sworn affidavit that they will not take a second wife in the future. But as pointed out by Irish Council of Civil Liberties director Aisling Reidy, applicants are not required to swear affidavits that they would not steal, rape or kill anyone - acts which are also prohibited by the laws of Ireland. Clearly the Baden-Württemberg Interior Ministry does not see a problem in non-Muslim immigrants gaining citizenship and then committing rape or murder, but does see a problem in Muslim immigrants holding contrary views even while committing no crime. Simply holding different views to the mainstream society does not automatically prevent someone from being a functioning citizen. The proof of this is Europe’s 26 million Muslims’ contribution to education, business and employment in the countries they have lived in for many years.

Germany’s policy towards Muslims has worrying echoes of its former Nazi past and its policy towards the Jews. In September 1935, the German government passed the Reich Citizenship Law which effectively limited citizenship of Germany to only those of “German and related blood who through their behavior make it evident that they are willing and able faithfully to serve the German people and nation.” Jews and other non-Germans were reclassified as aliens and denied German citizenship. This is no different to the Interior Ministry spokesmen’s statement that “If there is a suspicion that the person who wants to become German does not share our fundamental principles and values, then the new interrogation is meant to find that out.” This ‘policing of thoughts’ is further evidence of the West’s failure to intellectually convince Muslims of its secular way of life. The ideological defense of Capitalism has failed and is beginning to unravel before our eyes as the West is increasingly being associated with torture, abuse and complete disregard for any noble values. On a domestic level, Western governments have now resorted to forcing Muslims to ‘convert’ to secularism or face the prospect of denial of citizenship, deportation or even imprisonment.

Natural Resources and the Muslim Ummah

The rivalry between the Capitalist nations had been masked by the Cold War – between Communist Russia and the Capitalist West. However, with the Cold War gone, the rivalry between these nations is starting to become clear. For example, the weaker Western nations tried their utmost to forestall the American ambitions in Iraq – not because they have any love for the people of Iraq – but simply to safeguard their own colonial interests. As it was reported in the British publication, The Independent, British officials accused the CIA of undermining British efforts in Afghanistan. The Independent reported that: “British sources have blamed pressure from the CIA for President Hamid Karzai’s decision to dismiss Mohammed Daud as governor of Helmand, the southern province where Britain deployed some 4,000 troops this year.” The article also stated: “The Americans knew Daud was a main British ally…yet they deliberately undermined him and told Karzai to sack him.”

Therefore, the West is becoming more open with its colonial ambitions: so much so that they are fighting each other openly for the spoils of war. As it is known, the Muslim lands are rich in resources with 70% of world’s crude oil reserves and 50% of world’s natural gas reserves. However, for each Western nation to do this successfully, they must convince their populations that the Muslims are sub-human. Therefore, they need to present the Muslims in a negative light – as savages that needs to be civilized by the West. This will desensitize the mainstream population from the bloody images of war and torture that occurs at the hands of Western nations as they pillage the resources from the Muslim world.

Non-Muslims in the Khilafah

Contrast this to the policy of the Khilafah towards its non-Muslim citizens and those applying for citizenship. The Khilafah will not be permitted to test and threaten non-Muslims into holding the same views and beliefs as Muslims. It is not a requirement for non-Muslims to believe in the Islamic State’s constitution, principles and values. Rather the only requirement upon them becoming citizens of the Khilafah is that they agree to obey the law of the land. They are given autonomy to practice their religions in their homes and places of worship without interference from the state. Sir Thomas Arnold in his book ‘The Call to Islam’ states:
“We have never heard about any attempt to compel Non-Muslim parties to adopt Islam or about any organized persecution aiming at exterminating Christianity. If the Caliphs had chosen one of these plans, they would have wiped out Christianity as easily as what happened to Islam during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain; by the same method which Louis XIV followed to make Protestantism a creed whose followers were to be sentenced to death; or with the same ease of keeping the Jews away from Britain for a period of three hundred fifty years.”

The Challenge of Dawah

Although many Muslim groups are celebrating the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the security certificates, the reality is that Western nations are intensifying their grip over the Muslim world. As a result, there will be an incentive for the capitalist elite to demonize Muslims to make such ambitions a reality. Therefore, we must work with people of goodwill within the mainstream Canadian society to communicate to them what Islam really is about and to uncover the real intentions that the capitalist elite has for the Muslim world. More importantly we need to engage in debate to determine how we will work together as a human family. The current model of strong nations invading Afghanistan, Iraq, or Panama to plunder its resources is unacceptable. The current model where G8 nations install pliant dictators so that the dictator can beat up the people under his control and thereby, cede economic control to the West is also unacceptable. Islam is the solution – we have no doubt in that. The challenge lies in presenting this idea in a manner that is respectful but does not put us in a position of compromise.

“O you who believe, answer the call of Allah and His messenger when He calls you to that which gives you life.” [8:24]

The Politically Aware Muslim

11th of Safar, 1428 March 2nd, 2007 Volume 2, Issue 36

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