Monday, May 31, 2010

Nationalism, European disintegration and Muslim Unity

The European Union-once coveted by European elites as a rival to America's global hegemony is fast teetering on the abyss of disintegration. Three recent events have fused to unleash irrepressible nationalistic forces that have hurtled the Union towards this earth-shattering moment of truth.


Europe's failure to fashion a durable response to the volcanic ash crisis that temporarily grounded airplanes across the continent, exposed deep fissures amongst European countries, as national governments forsook EU directives and grappled to save their cash starved airline carriers.

Equally callous was Europe's dithering reaction towards the bailing out of Greece and saving the Euro. By the time Europe's leaders mustered enough strength to surmount public anger and put together an aid package for Greece, the money markets assisted by the American vultures (hedge funds and Credit rating agencies) preyed on weak PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain). Portugal and Spain now draw the ire of speculators. But this was not the end of the crisis or the bottoming out as some pundits had hoped for. As if this was not bad enough, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor reeling from a vicious setback in regional elections, took the unusual step of proscribing short-selling which in turn exacerbated Europe's predicament. The unilateralist move astounded the rest of Europe and revealed the deep nationalistic divisions that are rapidly contributing to the erosion of power at heart of the European Union.

This was clearly evident at a hastily arranged press conference, where the obscure European President Herman Van Rompuy papered over the schisms that pervade much of the continent and instead pledged unity. The support for the union by Europe's elite is oddly placed with the widespread sentiments expressed by their people. Yet at this juncture there are vital lessons to be learnt by both Europeans and Muslims.

The European Union-a behemoth of an experiment in social and economic engineering is a monumental failure and will soon succumb to its ultimate fate. The nation state triumphs over the union, a fait accompli in the vocabulary of the European populace. The EU experiment was a bold attempt by some European nations to put to rest centuries of division and warfare. But after 40 years of trying to create a post modern state, the EU has disintegrated into a collection of pre-modern states (nation states), where powerful states like England, France and Germany are at loggerheads over Europe's future. This was a predictable outcome.

The European continent has been plagued with cultural differences, religious schisms and intense rivalries between powerful states. European history clearly demonstrates that there is very little to unite Europeans except foreign threats. In the 17th century the advance of the Ottoman army to the gates of Vienna briefly spurred European nations to put aside their differences, only to be resumed later. In the 20th century, the threats from the Soviet Union, and later from America's global hegemony forced Europe to coalesce in the form of a union. More often than not, the coming together of European nations is a temporary affair and is used by some to recuperate after experiencing the ravages of war. But as soon as the external threat weakens, in this case America's position in the world, Europe defaults to a state of disunity.

In contrast, nationalism which is destroying the social fabric of the European Union is receding in much of the Muslim world. Today the concept of ummah has superseded nationalism and has become a unifying force for Muslims across the world. Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia are quickly discovering that they have more in common with the Islamic vision of brotherhood than their present identities defined by artificial borders. The plight of Muslims in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, Iraq and Afghanistan is no longer viewed as parochial problems, but as Islamic problems that must have an Islamic solution.

Furthermore, the present day nation states in the Islamic world are alien to Muslims. They do not have any precedence in Islamic history nor are they a product of Islamic jurisprudence. The nation state was forced upon the Muslims by western powers to prevent the re-establishment of the Caliphate. As such, the Muslim masses never really expressed their loyalty to these artificial states and had to be governed by tyranny. Now it's just a matter of time before these regimes of terror are toppled and a global Caliphate is established on their ruins.

The rulers of the Muslim world are not blind to these realities; rather they are opposed to them. These rulers continuously preach that Muslims can never be united and that the establishment of the Caliphate belongs to the realm of the past.

Paradoxically, the nation-states that were manufactured to erase the political unity of Muslims have become the vehicles of change. Their weakness has encouraged Muslims worldwide to discard Europe and America as model states, and to redouble their efforts to re-establish the Caliphate

Thursday, May 27, 2010

View on the News 20/05/10

America: Tea Party leader Mark Williams says Muslims worship a 'monkey god'

A national Tea Party leader protesting a proposed mosque near near Ground Zero, has angered Muslims nationwide by saying they worship "the terrorists' monkey god." Mark Williams, chairman of the Tea Party Express, blogged about the 13-story mosque and Islamic cultural center planned at Park Place and Broadway, calling it a monument to the 9/11 terrorists. "The monument would consist of a Mosque for the worship of the terrorists' monkey-god," Williams, a frequent guest on CNN, wrote on his blog. In an email to the NY Daily News, Williams said his comments were specifically aimed at the terrorists, which he described as "the animals of Allah."

French cabinet unites to pass burka bill as violence against Muslims mount

Rising tension over the burka has led to violent attacks, as the French cabinet yesterday approved a draft law to ban garments "designed to hide the face" in the country. The bill will now go before parliament in July. President Nicolas Sarkozy told assembled ministers: "In this matter the government is taking a path it knows to be difficult, but a path it knows to be just," according to his office. He said France was "an old nation united around a certain idea of personal dignity, particularly women's dignity, and of life together. It's the fruit of centuries of efforts." As the issue grows ever more contentious it has led to isolated incidents of violence in the country. A heated debate on the face-covering veil degenerated into violence and verbal aggression on Tuesday night, the eve of the presentation of the anti-burka bill. Last week, France experienced its first official case of "burka rage" when a 60-year-old female lawyer is alleged to have tried to pull a Muslim woman's veil from her face. The Muslim woman, formerly a practising Catholic, named only as Elodie, said she had been leaving a shoe shop in Trignac, near Nantes in western France, when two passers-by started insulting her before telling her to "return to her country". Muslim graves have been desecrated and a mosque and halal butcher's shop shot at in recent weeks. A woman was fined for driving while veiled last month. The Council of State, France's top legal advisory body, has already warned that a complete ban on veils in public would be unconstitutional, but Mr Sarkozy said the government had decided "in good conscience" that it must outlaw them, telling the cabinet meeting that government and parliament must shoulder their political and moral responsibility. "This is a decision one doesn't take lightly. Nobody should feel hurt or stigmatised. I'm thinking in particular of our Muslim compatriots, who have their place in the republic and should feel respected." According to the text of the draft law, those who flout it will be fined €150 (£130) or sent on a citizenship course. Anyone who forces someone, through threats, violence or misuse of a position of authority, to cover her face because of her sex will be jailed for a year and fined €15,000, the law says. The Interior Ministry estimates that of France's five million-strong Muslim minority, the largest in Europe, there are 1,900 women who cover their faces with veils.

Obama to pursue UN sanctions despite Iran nuclear deal

US President Barack Obama has vowed to pursue fresh UN sanctions against Iran despite Tehran's nuclear deal with Turkey and Brazil. Mr Obama telephoned Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to say Iran's moves still "do not build confidence". Brazil and Turkey earlier urged fellow members of the UN Security Council to heed a deal they struck with Iran over its nuclear programme. The deal would see Tehran trade uranium for ready-enriched reactor fuel. Many Western countries have long suspected Iran is trying to make a nuclear weapon, but Tehran insists its programme is for purely peaceful, energy purposes. Mr Obama told Mr Erdogan there were still "fundamental concerns" about Iran's nuclear programme. The White House said Mr Obama had acknowledged the deal set out by Turkey and Brazil. But the US president "stressed the international community's continuing and fundamental concerns about Iran's overall nuclear programme, as well as Iran's failure to live up to its international obligations". The statement added: "Further, he indicated that negotiations on a new UN Security Council resolution will continue."

Nato seeks Muslim help in Afghan fight

Muslim countries must send more police and army trainers to rebuild Afghanistan because the threat of terrorism poses a bigger risk to the region’s stability than to the West’s, Nato’s top diplomat to the war-torn country said in an interview this week. Afghanistan desperately needs to secure its borders and police its cities to protect against insurgent networks and prevent terrorism from spreading across the region, said Mark Sedwill, the Nato senior civilian representative who represents the political leadership of the 28-member alliance. “What we’d like to see is the Muslim world really engaging in Afghanistan both on the development side and military side,” he said, though he stressed that he was not asking for Muslim nations to send soldiers to fight. “The more it is seen as an international effort and not a western effort the better, because among the Afghan people it creates a greater sense of legitimacy,” he said. Mr Sedwill spoke on the eve of what is being called the biggest military offensive since the war began in 2001 as Nato and Afghan forces attempt to seize Kandahar from the Taliban.

Pakistan agrees to US demands to launch operations in Waziristan

Pakistan agreed in principle on Wednesday to launch a full-fledged military operation against the Taliban in North Waziristan. “Pakistan is sincere and committed in combating terrorism and is ready to expand its anti-militancy operations to North Waziristan. However, for that we will require time to do the necessary shaping up. The operation will be started according to our own judgment,” a senior official told Dawn after US National Security Adviser Gen James Jones and CIA chief Leon Panetta held a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Parvez Kayani. The US has been pressing Pakistan for some time to act decisively against militant sanctuaries in North Waziristan, but the pressure has increased since the recent botched attack on New York’s Times Square. The US alleged that the bombing accused, Faisal Shahzad, had received training in North Waziristan and said it was necessary to clear the region of Taliban, Al Qaeda and other jihadi groups.

Indian reports high lights the discrimination against Muslim education

Muslims continue to remain the country’s most backward community on the educational front. The ratio of Muslims enrolled in a formal education system to those pursing higher education in India is lowest among all communities, including the Scheduled Tribes (STs), considered most backward, says the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) report released on Wednesday. Of 100 Muslims in the education system, just 10 are enrolled in high school and above. Similar ratio for STs is 11, Scheduled Castes (SCs) 12 and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) is 14. “It is not surprising,” said Tahir Mahmood, member of the Ranganath Mishra Committee, which has asked the government to reserve seats for Muslims in educational institutions. The report also highlighted that the educational disparity among religious groups, especially Muslims, was more in urban areas, which has better educational facilities. Just seven of urban Muslims in the education system were enrolled in high school or above as compared to 12 in rural areas. “It indicates that prejudice against education among urban Muslims was higher,” said Satish Deshpande, a Delhi School of Economics professor.

20th May 2010

Synthetic Cell - Man playing God or plagiarising God?

The publication of a paper in the elite US journal Science on May 20th from a team of scientists at the J Craig Venter Institute in the US described experiments claiming to the creation of the world's first synthetic cell. The announcement has been received by the mainstream western media with amazement leading to headlines such as "Catholic Church warns Scientists not to play God" and "Has Venter made us all Gods!"


The scientist-entrepreneur Venter has pioneered genomics research and played a major role in the sequencing of the human genome, the genetic material contained in each of our 75 trillion cells which serves as a chemical blueprint for the human species. All cells whether found in higher life forms such as animals and humans or whether in simple life forms such as bacteria, depend upon the presence of genes for survival and reproduction. The full complement of genes found in the cell is referred to as the genome and contains all the information required by the cell to reproduce itself and in the case of higher life forms, to reproduce the complete organism. By a crude analogy, the genome can be likened to software and the remainder of the cell likened to hardware, which together produces a functional or computing cell.

The Science of the Breakthrough

The team at the Venter Institute has been working for over 15 years to try to answer a very important biological question namely "what is the minimum number of genes required to make a living cell?" To address this question, Venter and his team have been studying the simplest known living creature, a bacterium called Mycoplasma mycoides whose genome has a total of only 475 genes. By way of comparison, the human genome is thought to contain as many as 25000 genes. The Venter team's paper published on May 20th in Science demonstrated technology in which all 475 genes of the Mycoplasma mycoides genome, which had been sequenced previously by the group, were synthesised chemically in a test-tube, stitched together to form a complete genome and then transplanted into another closely related but distinct species of bacterium called Mycoplasma capricolum. This caused the Mycoplasma capricolum bacterium to transform into the Mycoplasma mycoides bacterium demonstrating that a completely synthetic genome could reprogramme a living cell once transplanted into it. This led the Venter team to claim that they had created the first synthetic cell which they called "Synthia." For good measure, these scientists also inserted a genetic "watermark" into the synthetic genome to establish laboratory origin of their synthetic genome and cell!

The research marks a major technological achievement since even this small genome of 475 genes is made up of over a million chemical units (termed AGTC) joined together to form a long string of DNA. The research also means that the technology needed to answer the key question of what is the minimal number of genes needed by a living cell to continue to grow and replicate is now in place allowing the Venter team to remove genes one by one from the 475 found in the Mycloplasma mycoides genome until it loses its ability to reprogramme a recipient cell. Using the software analogy, Venter's team will delete lines of code one by one until the software stops working thereby identifying the essential lines of code required for life.

Societal reaction

The reaction of western society to this landmark research has been typically extreme. Newspaper columns have been full of varied opinions ranging from hysteria claiming that Venter is playing God at the peril of humanity to accolade bordering on worship ascribing divine status to Venter for creating new life!

No doubt, this technology raises ethical questions as in the near future it will be possible to engineer or reprogramme bacteria on a scale not achieved before, the long term consequences for life on this planet of which are not possible to predict should such bacteria be released into the environment.

So how should Muslims view Venter's work and what does Islam say regarding the development of such technologies?

Firstly, we should understand what has and has not been achieved by the research of Venter's team. Venter's team has definitely not created a new life form but has reprogrammed an existing life form into another very closely related existing life form. The synthetic genome built by Venter's team was not original but a replica of an existing genome found in nature and is synthetic only in the method of construction and not in informational content. That is, Venter's team did not write the software, they merely copied it. Furthermore, Venter's team did not synthesize the recipient cell into which the synthetic genome was transplanted, they used a closely related bacterium found in nature. Therefore, Venter's team copied the software from one computer and transferred it onto another computer, a practise that is illegal in the western capitalist economy. Therefore, it is more accurate to describe Venter's team's claim to having created the first synthetic cell not as "playing God" but rather as "plagiarising God!"

As Muslims we believe that Allah سبحانه وتعالى is the supreme Creator who created the universe from nothing and who sustains it through a system of fixed universal laws governing the behaviour of matter. He سبحانه وتعالى created life within the framework of the universal laws and not outside of them. Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَإِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
"Wonderful Originator of the heavens and the earth when He decreeth a thing, He Says unto it only: Be and it is." [Al-Baqara, 2:117]
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنْفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِنْ مَاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
"Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of ships through the ocean, for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; here indeed are Signs for a people that are wise" [Al-Baqara, 2:164]

These verses encourage humanity to discover Allah سبحانه وتعالى through His سبحانه وتعالى creation and experiments such as those performed by Venter's team help us to better understand Allah سبحانه وتعالى creation. The chemical process of life within the cell also operates according to these fixed universal laws such as the systems that read the instructions within a genome and translate them into chemical life. Therefore, the work of Venter's team has uncovered some new aspects of these laws and confirmed some others, while the technology developed works according to these systems and laws created by Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Venter's research has in fact demonstrated that even the simplest bacterial life form is in reality incredibly complex, requiring hundreds of genes that code for the cellular machinery necessary for growth, movement and reproduction. For all of these genes to have evolved simultaneously by random represents an incredible if not miraculous event in the history of this planet. For them to have become organised into a functioning genome by random, while the machinery required to read and translate the genetic chemical code into life originated independently and about the same time again by random and all within a cellular structure where the optimal temperature, salinity and acidity were present by random, represents an incredible sequence of events that atheists and evolutionists are simply unable to provide a credible explanation for. In reality, the discoveries of pioneering science should only increase the believers' conviction in the creative power of Allah سبحانه وتعالى while provoking thought in the minds of atheists and agnostics as to how extraordinarily complex and organised living systems are.

The ethical debate surrounding the developments from Venter's team will continue and Muslims should provide an Islamic perspective upon this issue. By uncovering the mechanisms by which genomes control cells, like the software of a computer, the work of Venter's team opens the door to understanding the role of individual genes in the processes of cellular life which may help us to better understand diseases such as cancer as well as those due to bacterial infections, thereby opening the door to the development of new medicines and possibly cures. Islam has sanctified human life and encourages medical treatment. This is based upon several evidences including the hadith reported by Imam Ahmed from Anas (ra) who said that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "Allah سبحانه وتعالى has created the illness and the cure. So seek the cure."

Therefore, experiments such those published by Venter's team last week should not be prohibited but encouraged. However, such work should not be the basis for humanity to raise herself to the status of Allah سبحانه وتعالى failing to acknowledge His سبحانه وتعالى mastery and knowledge in the creation of the simplest forms of life.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is The U.S. Going to Occupy Pakistan?

U.S. officials have pointed blame at Pakistan for the recent Times Square bomb scare. Examining these accusations in the context of drone attacks, use of Blackwater mercenaries, and increasing U.S. encroachment upon Pakistani sovereignty, we see ominous parallels to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. May Allah سبحانه وتعالى prevent the U.S. from invading Pakistan and may He make us aware of such plots.


Various media outlets reported on May 1st, the story of Faisal Shahzad who allegedly attempted to detonate a bomb-ladened SUV in New York's Times Square. The 30 year-old was arrested two days later at Kennedy Airport prior to boarding a plane heading to Dubai. The Associated Press reported that Federal investigators had told U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara that Shahzad had, "received weapons training in Pakistan." On May 12th, Reuters reported that, "U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Sunday evidence showed the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) helped direct the failed attack in New York's teeming Times Square and likely assisted in financing it." Secretary Hillary Clinton also spoke about the Times Square incident saying, "We've made it very clear that if, heaven forbid, an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan, were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences."

Since the Obama Administration has come to power, there has been a significant shift in U.S. foreign policy towards Pakistan. In order to understand the events unfolding in Pakistan, we need to revisit the events that led up to America's invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan

Islam came to the region of Afghanistan in the year 654 and its inhabitants lived under the shade of Khilafah. From 1839 onwards, the occupation of Afghanistan changed hands from Britain to Russia, and today, to the United States.

Prior to the direct occupation of Afghanistan in 2001, America implemented indirect means to gain control of the region. In 1978, when Russia had inserted its puppet ruler as the President of Afghanistan, America responded by arranging a coup against him and installing their own puppet ruler. Russia's reply was the invasion of Afghanistan on December 27th, 1979. They killed the U.S. agent ruler and appointed a new Communist government. A violent resistance broke out throughout the country. In 1980, America began exploiting this new situation by supplying the Mujahideen with financial and military aid.

After the Soviet withdrawal in 1989 and with the defeat of the Communist government by the Mujahideen in 1992, Russian influence in the region ended completely. From 1992 to 1996, civil war ensued - with Iran and Tajikistan supporting Burhanuddin Rabbani who led the Islamic Association with funds, arms and political support, while Pakistan embraced Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, leader of Hezb-e-Islami.

In 1994, when Pakistan determined that Hikmatyar couldn't settle the struggle with Rabbani, Pakistani intelligence services, with approval of America, formed and supported the Taliban. In 1996, the Taliban successfully assumed control of Afghanistan. There were negotiations between the Taliban and Unocal -an American gas company- and Delta -a Saudi company- regarding a deal to build a pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to transfer gas from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean.

However, some of the Muslims within the Taliban were against such co-operation with the United States and they prevented important oil and gas pipeline deals to go through. Consequently, the U.S. used the attacks of 9/11 as an excuse to invade Afghanistan which it continues to occupy until today.
Iraq

Muslims liberated Iraq at the time of Umar bin Al-Khattab (ra), in 634-644. Iraq is a country rich in vital resources necessary for any country that intends to extend its influence in the region. The Tigris and Euphrates cross its land, making its wide plains the most fertile and productive lands in the world. It is also a land endowed with the wealth of oil. Iraq remained a part of the Uthmani Khilafah until World War One. On October 8th, 1918 Iraq fell into the hands of the British and was placed under their dictatorship. America entered as a new player in the struggle over Iraq after World War Two and began competing with Britain for control of the Iraqi oil. Influence in Iraq fluctuated between the British and Americans until it finally settled for the advantage of the British by the coup of July 1968, where the Ba'thists loyal to the British took the reins of power. In ten years, Saddam Hussein managed to rally the Ba'th forces behind him to become President of Iraq.

In 1990, Saddam waged a new war against Kuwait, occupying it in the summer of that year. This war was a way to allow the British to fulfil their own agenda which was a means of pressure that would lead to negotiations over two matters: first, to promote its agent Saddam, the strong man in the region, which would strengthen its position in the region; second, for Britain to guarantee participation with America in the oil and influence in the Gulf. However, the U.S used the incident as an excuse to seize the Gulf, build military bases in it and gain control over its oil and rulers, under the pretext of liberating Kuwait. America considered this to be the opportunity that it had prepared for many years - which is to become the master of the Gulf. When Britain noticed U.S determination, it joined the war, but only agreeing to drive the Iraqi regime from Kuwait rather than dismantling it as this was the public reason for the war and both sides had agreed to this. Thus, the war started, where America led a coalition of thirty foreign and Arab countries to fight against Iraq and drive it out of Kuwait in 1991.

The American siege continued under a UN mandate until 2003, where American forces swept over Iraq to occupy it once again. Britain joined in the effort to overthrow the regime of Saddam as it had no other option if it still wanted a share of Iraq's oil reserves. In the build up to this invasion, the Bush Administration attempted to use the sale of uranium to Iraq, Saddam's connection to Al-Qaeda, and the allegation that it had weapons of mass destruction to persuade the public that their case for war was legitimate. However, all these claims have been proven false. Despite this the U.S. was able to invade Iraq and continues to occupy it up until today. As such, Iraq has fallen yet again to direct colonial rule under American hegemony.
Learning from Afghanistan & Iraq

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم made it very clear that the Muslim Ummah should learn from mistakes made in the past:

"The believer is never stung from the same hole twice." [Bukhari]

What lessons can we learn from the events that have transpired in Afghanistan and Iraq? The U.S has a history of meddling in the affairs of Muslim countries. They do not invade and occupy the Muslim lands in a single move, but rather they do this in stages, as in Afghanistan and Iraq. The intended occupation begins with indirect involvement in Muslim affairs. Once this discrete interference is deemed no longer sufficient, they will shift from an indirect involvement to direct involvement. At this point, the rhetoric intensifies as a result of an event - either real or orchestrated - which is used to gain public opinion for direct involvement which can lead to a full-fledged invasion.

Pakistan

Recently, Pakistan has been put under the microscope. Almost 10 years ago, the U.S. had very warm relations with Pakistan as Musharraf - the President of Pakistan at that time - was an agent for the U.S. and was willing to do her bidding. Today, however, the tune has changed. Pakistan is now seen as impeding American efforts to strengthen its control over Afghanistan despite the fact that the current tyrant, Asif Zardari, has stooped to a level even lower than Musharraf in his attempts to please his American masters. There are a number of policies that the U.S has established that indicate a shift in the way they want to deal with Pakistan:

• Drone Attacks - unmanned aerial vehicles have been used since 2004 in FATA killing over 1,200 people - mostly civilians. The attacks are initiated from bases in Pakistan itself - one of many uses of Pakistan military bases by the U.S.

• Mercenaries - private military company Xe (formally known as Blackwater) has been operating in Pakistan since 2007. Working for the CIA, Xe operatives conduct house raids and border interdictions in Pakistan not to mention the terrorist activities it organizes against civilians whether in the masajid or markets.

• Permanent U.S. Presence - Last year, the U.S. initiated the construction of an embassy in Islamabad that will house 330 U.S. personnel. According to Kurshid Ahmad, Member of Parliament for Jamaat-e-Islami, "It's for the micro and macro management of Pakistan..."

Recently there have been discussions regarding U.S. military personnel assisting the Pakistani army. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, "We're willing to do as much ... as they are willing to accept. We are prepared to do training, and exercise with them. How big that operation becomes is really up to them." The U.S. views the tribal areas as a logistical base for the Muslims fighting the occupation in Afghanistan. It has tried to push the Pakistani army into a direct conflict with these tribes in order to try and stop their support for the resistance.

What is next for the U.S. if the Pakistani army is unable or unwilling to stop the tribes from helping the resistance in Afghanistan? Is the U.S. going to use the Times Square incident to put pressure on Pakistan and give the agent rulers of Pakistan an excuse to do more for their masters? Or is America going to simply occupy the tribal areas directly?

Our Responsibility to protect our Lands

As the rhetoric from Washington increases and America increases her incursion bit-by-bit onto Pakistani soil, what should the response of the Muslims be? The Muslim community must concern itself with the affairs of the Ummah in Pakistan and the Muslim lands in general. It must account the Muslim rulers and the rulers of Pakistan for not implementing the Shariah, for spreading corruption in the land, and for giving the opportunity to Britain and the U.S. to interfere in the affairs of the Ummah. The Muslim community should put pressure on the rulers of Pakistan to get rid of British, American and any other foreign influence in Pakistan. The Muslim community should express its displeasure of the agent rulers in Pakistan and expel these occupiers from our lands using the styles and means available to us in the Shariah.

WE should not be afraid to enjoin the good and forbid the evil as Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed:
كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ
"You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma'ruf and forbid Al-Munkar and you believe in Allah." [Al-Imran, 3:110]

Rather we should fear the warning by Allah سبحانه وتعالى:
وَإِنْ تَتَوَلَّوْا يَسْتَبْدِلْ قَوْمًا غَيْرَكُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَكُونُوا أَمْثَالَكُمْ
"... And if you turn away, He will exchange you for some other people, and they will not be your likes." [Muhammad, 47:38]

Let us do our utmost to prevent another Muslim land from being lost to war and occupation as we have seen with Iraq and Afghanistan - so that we may stand before Allah سبحانه وتعالى saying that we did our utmost to protect His Deen and His slaves.

May Allah سبحانه وتعالى protect us from the plots of the disbelievers and may He increase the Ummah in awareness.

وَقَدْ مَكَرُوا مَكْرَهُمْ وَعِنْدَ اللَّهِ مَكْرُهُمْ وَإِنْ كَانَ مَكْرُهُمْ لِتَزُولَ مِنْهُ الْجِبَالُ
"And they have indeed planned their plan, but their plan is with Allah, though their plan was such that the mountains should pass away thereby." [Ibrahim, 14:46]

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Islam's view towards Freedom of Speech

Islam and Freedom of speech has become a contentious issue in recent times. The limits of what is, and what is not, acceptable speech is becoming a new battleground between Islam and the west. The issue came to a head in September 2005 a few days before Ramadan when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten printed insulting and blasphemous cartoons of our noble Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.


The newspaper editor Flemming Rose, made the objective of printing the cartoons very clear. He said, "Our goal was simply to push back self-imposed limits on expression that seemed to be closing in tighter."[1]

Geert Wilders, a Dutch Politician who has made a career out of his opposition to Islam has publicly called for a ban on the Holy Qu'ran, and produced a film last year called ‘Fitna' in which he equates Islam with violence, communism and Nazism.

This month, the UN is hosting a World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Geneva, Switzerland. The conflict over freedom of speech raised itself again in this conference because some Muslim countries campaigned for a declaration that would equate criticism of a religious faith with a violation of human rights.[2] This is seen as a way of preventing future attacks on the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Islamic ‘aqeeda. Western countries, however, objected to such a declaration because they say it would limit freedom of speech.[3] After a number of western countries including the US and EU threatened to boycott the conference this clause was eventually dropped, along with clauses criticising Israeli's inhumane treatment of the Palestinians.[4]

Freedom of Speech is an emotive topic in the west since it is one of their fundamental values. As Muslims we need to understand the reality of freedom of speech and the Islamic viewpoint towards it.

Origins of Freedom of Speech

Europe lived in the dark ages for hundreds of years ruled by tyrannical Kings on behalf of an oppressive Church. Book burning, inquisitions, torture and death were common place for those who dared to confront this tyranny. Scientists, thinkers and scholars were all subject to harassment and even imprisonment for their views. The famous scientist Galileo, for example, was convicted of heresy in 1633 and spent the rest of his life under house arrest for claiming that the earth moved around the sun.

After the reformation and the adoption of secularism in Western Europe and newly independent America, the shackles of the church were thrown off in public life. Fundamental to these new secular states was the adoption of freedom of the individual, ownership, expression and religion for all their citizens.

In the ‘Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen,' a fundamental document of the French revolution it states in article 11:

"The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law."

Approved by the National Assembly of France, August 26, 1789The famous First Amendment to the US Constitution states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." December 15, 1791.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN in 1948 states:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Therefore freedom of speech forms one of the cornerstones of the western way of life, and for them is considered a fundamental human right.

Absolute Freedom of Speech is a myth

Noam Chomsky, summed up the western concept of freedom of speech when he said: "If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don't like. Goebbels was in favour of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you're in favour of freedom of speech, that means you're in favour of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise."[5]

However, the reality is that every society including the west has limits on public speech and views they don't like. The only difference is in who defines the limits of this speech and how restrictive these limits are. Racism, national security, holocaust denial, incitement, glorification of terrorism, racial hatred and libel among many others, are all limits imposed on freedom of speech by western nations.

The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten could never have printed cartoons denying the holocaust in the name of free speech. Geert Wilders could never have produced a film likening Israeli's treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazi treatment of the Jews, without charges of anti-Semitism being brought against him.

It's contradictions like these, on the limits of free speech where the clash of values between Islam and the west is currently taking place.

No freedom of speech for Muslims

The controversy over this month's UN World Conference Against Racism is a stark example of this clash. The build up to the conference and agreement on a final draft resolution has highlighted this rift over the limits on freedom of speech.

Differences initially arose over wording in the draft declaration that criticised Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. Israel, Canada, Italy and America announced that they would not participate in the conference unless this wording was removed.

A spokesman for Franco Frattini, Italy's foreign minister, said the declaration, which relates to the situation in the Palestinian territories, contains "unacceptable, aggressive and anti-Semitic phrases".

The EU was also unhappy with resolutions criticising Israel and sought to remove at least five paragraphs from the draft such as the phrase that, "in order to consolidate the Israeli occupation, [Palestinians] have been subjected to unlawful collective punishment, torture."[6]

The other contentious resolution that some western nations wanted dropped was, "to take firm action against negative stereotyping of religions and defamation of religious personalities, holy books, scriptures and symbols." This was added by some Muslim countries as a means of preventing future attacks on the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Holy Qur'an which we have witnessed recently in Europe. Western countries were unhappy with this resolution because it limited their freedom of speech i.e. the freedom to attack Islam. This was dropped from the final draft and now the resolution simply states, "recognizes with deep concern the negative stereotyping of religions..."[7]

Therefore for the west it's perfectly acceptable to impose limits on freedom of speech to account the brutal policies of another country in this instance Israel, but it's not acceptable to impose limits on freedom of speech to insult and defame the character of the Prophet Muhammed صلى الله عليه وسلم.

There is no clearer example of this than in Geert Wilder's campaign to ban the Holy Qur'an on the basis of freedom of speech. In fact Wilder's was asked about this during a recent interview with the Boston Globe.

Q: An American defender of free speech would say "Mein Kampf" shouldn't be banned, the Koran shouldn't be banned; books shouldn't be banned. To publish ideas in a book, even if they're hateful ideas - the First Amendment says you have that freedom. Is that what you would like in Holland as well?

A: I would, with the exception of incitement of violence.

Q. Doesn't that contradict your defense of free speech?
A: ... I want us to have more freedom of speech. But there is one red line - incitement of violence.[8]

In other words, you only have freedom of speech to propagate western ideas not Islamic ideas because Islamic ideas are an "incitement to violence".

Europe is increasingly using limits on free speech such as glorification of terrorism, incitement to racial hatred and incitement to violence as ways of clamping down on Islamic expression.

Peaceful Muslim demonstrations, Islamic political parties and Islamic literature are all in the firing line simply for expressing Islamic opinions contrary to the western way of life. Muslims expressing opinions the west doesn't like are branded by the media as ‘preachers of hate', militants and extremists.

Freedom of speech is a colonial tool

"You only have freedom of speech to propagate western ideas not Islamic ideas" not only holds true for Muslims living in the west but also when it comes to western colonial interests in the Muslim world.

Many Muslims are attracted to the concept of freedom of speech since they see it as a means of accounting the oppressive dictatorships they currently live under. Yet when Islamic groups speak out against their rulers and are subsequently tortured and imprisoned by their regimes western governments remain silent. In fact Britain and America openly support these ‘western friendly' regimes.

Egypt as an example has been under a state of emergency since 1967. Thousands of members of the Islamic opposition have been tortured and imprisoned by the Egyptian regime. Current estimates are that there are 30,000 political prisoners in Egypt. However, since 1979 Egypt has been the second largest recipient of US aid in the Middle East after Israel. The west turns a blind eye to this clampdown on political expression because it suits their colonial interests.

On the 50th anniversary of the uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet there was widespread media coverage and support for the Tibetan cause in the west. Compare this to the almost non-existent coverage on China's daily oppression of Muslims in Xinxiang. At the same time as the 50th anniversary in Tibet was taking place the Chinese were clamping down heavily on Muslims involved in what they call "illegal religious activity". A secretary with Hotan's Communist Party Propaganda Department confirmed that some illegal religious activity has been halted and illegal books, writings, computer discs and audio tapes had been confiscated.[9] The only difference between Tibet and Xinxiang is that the opposition in Xinxiang is Islamic calling for Islamic ideas rather than western ideas.

Islamic view towards Freedom of Speech

The concept of ‘freedom of speech' is derived from the Capitalist ideology that is based on the belief that God and religion should be separated from life's affairs (secularism). Human beings define how to live their lives free of the constraints of religion which is why freedom of individual, ownership, religion and speech are essential cornerstones of Capitalism. The right to speak and what are the limits of speech are therefore all defined by human beings.

This view completely contradicts Islam. In Islam it is the Creator of human beings Allah سبحانه وتعالى who gave the right of speech to people and defined the limits on what is acceptable and unacceptable speech.

The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, then let him speak good (khair) or remain silent."[10]

Khair in this hadith means Islam or what Islam approves of.[11]

Every word a human being speaks is recorded by the two angels Kiraman Katibeen. Even the speaking of one ‘bad' word may lead someone to the hellfire.

The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "The person who utters a word which meets with Allah's favour may think it has not been heard, yet for this Allah will raise him to a higher level of Paradise. Conversely, the person who utters a word that stirs Allah to anger may give no thought to what he said, only to have Allah cast him in Hell for seventy years."[12]

This is why the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم emphasised the importance of controlling the tongue.

Mu'az ibn Jabal narrated: I was in company with the Prophet in a travel, and one day I was close to him while we were travelling. So I said: "O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an act which will take me into Paradise and will keep me away from Hell fire...shall I not tell you of the foundation of all of that?" I said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah," and he took hold of his tongue and said: "Restrain this." I said: "O Prophet of Allah, will what we say be held against us?" He said: "May your mother be bereaved of you, Mu'az ! Is there anything that topples people on their faces - or he said on their noses into Hell-fire other than the jests of their tongues?"[13]

There are some situations where Islam has obliged Muslims to speak out against oppression and evil (munkar).

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "Whoever saw a Munkar, let him change it by his hand and if he cannot then by his tongue and if he cannot then with his heart and that is the weakest of Imaan."[14]

Many Muslims nowadays are attracted towards the concepts of human rights and freedom of speech due to the medieval oppression waged against them by the corrupt governments in the Muslim world.

In the majority of Muslim countries today speaking out against the munkar and oppression of the governments is made illegal by the rulers and their agents. They brutally suppress all political opposition and try to silence Muslims through torture and imprisonment. Even in the west they are also moving towards silencing Muslims who criticise foreign policy or hold what they deem ‘extreme' political views under the guise of anti-terror policy.

Despite all these limits they are trying to impose on Muslims speaking out, the fact remains that it is Allah سبحانه وتعالى who defined what is acceptable and unacceptable speech. Therefore if He سبحانه وتعالى obliges Muslims to speak out against munkar and oppression then no government in the Muslim world or western world can take away this right.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "The master of martyrs is Hamza bin Abdul-Muttalib and a man who stood to an oppressor ruler where he ordered him and forbade him so he (the ruler) killed him."[15]

Muslims who account their governments or speak out against oppression are not doing it because of freedom of speech or because the west allows them to speak. Rather they are doing it as an obligation from Islam even if it leads to death.

Rights of speech in the Khilafah

The west propagates to the Muslim world that freedom and democracy is the only way forward if they want to progress and rid themselves of their oppressive dictatorships. However, as Muslims we look to Islam and Islam alone for our political solutions. The Qur'an and Sunnah have given us all the answers we need to establish an Islamic political system that will free us of the current corrupt systems ruling over us. This is the Khilafah Ruling System.

In the Khilafah it's the constitutional right of all citizens (men and women, Muslim and non-Muslim) to express their opinions freely without fear of arrest or imprisonment within the limits of shar'a. The main areas where this right is exercised is the Majlis ul-Ummah (Council of the Ummah), media and political parties.

Majlis ul-Ummah

This is an elected house whose members are representatives of the citizens of the Khilafah. The members of this house can be men or women, Muslim or non-Muslim. It is not a legislature like a western parliament. The main powers of this council are related to accounting the Khilafah government and its policies. The Majlis Member's main role is to study closely the activities of the Khaleefah, government officials and civil servants working in the State's departments and offices and holding them all accountable. This would involve giving them advice, voicing opinions and presenting suggestions, entering into debates, together with objecting to all of the wrong actions performed by the State.[16]

Media

Media in the Khilafah is under the jurisdiction of the Information Department (Da'irat ul I'laam). No permission is required to establish media in the state. Rather, every citizen in the Islamic State is allowed to set up any media, whether readable, audible or visible. They only need to inform the Information Department about the establishment of their particular media whether a newspaper, TV channel or Radio Station. General news can be published without permission of the state. However, sensitive information related to national security or government policy needs permission from the Information Department before publishing as is the case with any media organisation in the world.

The owner of the media is responsible for any information he publishes, and will be accounted for any violation of the shar'a like any other citizen.[17]

Political Parties

The right of the Khilafah's citizens to establish political parties is established from the Holy Qur'an. No permission is required for this since Islam made the establishment of at least one political party fard al-Kifiyah (obligation of sufficiency).

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
"Let there arise from amongst you a group(s) which calls to al-Khair (Islam), enjoins al-ma'aruf (good) and forbids al-munkar (evil), and they are the successful ones."[18]

This order in the Qur'an to establish a group is an order to establish political parties. This is because the verse has determined the duty of this group as the call to Islam, enjoining the Ma'aruf (good), and forbidding the Munkar (evil). The duty of enjoining Ma'aruf and forbidding Munkar is general and not restricted. It therefore includes the rulers and this implies holding them accountable. The holding of the rulers accountable is a political task performed by political parties and it is the most important task of political parties. Thus the verse indicates the obligation of establishing political parties which would call to Islam, enjoin Ma'aruf and forbid Munkar, and would hold the rulers accountable for their actions and conduct.[19]

At the time of the Khulufaa Rashida (rightly guided Khaleefah's) the sahaba fulfilled this role.

In the Khilafah of Umar bin al-Khattab, some cloth from the spoils of war was distributed to the people, out of which each companion had one piece of clothing cut. One day `Umar got up to speak and said: 'Lower your voices so that I may hear you.' He was wearing two pieces of that cloth. Salman al-Farisi said, 'By Allah, we will not hear you, because you prefer yourself to your people.' 'How is that?' asked Umar. He said: 'You are wearing two pieces of cloth and everyone else is wearing only one.' Umar called out: 'O Abdullah!' No one answered him. He said again, 'O Abdullah ibn Umar!' Abdullah, his son called out: 'At your service!' Umar said, 'I ask you by Allah, don't you say that the second piece is yours?' Abdullah said 'Yes.' Salman said: 'Now we shall hear you.'[20]

Thousands of sincere Muslims are today following in the footsteps of the sahaba and accounting their rulers. They are standing up to oppression and speaking out against the munkar befalling this Ummah, fearing none but Allah سبحانه وتعالى.

Conclusion

Freedom of speech is a western concept that completely contradicts Islam. In reality there is no such thing as absolute free speech. What exists is speech within predefined limits that differ between nations.

Nowadays freedom of speech is used as a colonial tool in the Muslim world to support the propagation of western ideas and to suppress Islamic ideas. Increasingly this is happening within western societies also as anti-terror policies are used to clampdown on what are deemed as ‘extreme' opinions.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى, the Creator and NOT human beings decides the limits on speech. We will be accountable for every word spoken on the Day of Judgement. If Allah سبحانه وتعالى has ordered us to speak in certain circumstances such as accounting the rulers and speaking out against oppression then no government in the world can take away that right no matter how hard they try.

The Khilafah implements the law of Allah سبحانه وتعالى on earth and contains a detailed system for accounting the government and speaking out against oppression. This right of speaking out is enshrined mainly within the Majlis ul-Ummah, media and through forming political parties.

As Muslims we are in no need of any other system of life except the Islamic system, and no other source of legislation except the Qur'an and Sunnah of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. Therefore when we call for accountability in the Muslim world this should not be a call for introducing freedom of speech but a call for introducing the Islamic Shariah which enshrines the right to speech among many other rights.

The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said: "Whoever introduces into this affair of ours that which is not of it, then it is rejected." Al-Bukhari and Muslim related it, and in a narration of Muslim's there is, "Whoever does an act for which there is no command of ours then it is rejected."

Turkey's Phony Resurgence

A number of analysts have described Turkey's recent assertiveness as a new resurgence with Turkey playing a leading role in a number of international issues. With the 15th largest economy in the world and a geographical location that has turned the country into a energy hub between the East and the West. Some have even used the term TRIC, rather than BRIC, which was originally coined by Goldman Sachs in a 2005 report when describing the new upcoming nations. Stratfor described Turkey's ascendency in the following way:


"Turkey, like Russia, is also on an ascendant path. Ankara is rediscovering its Ottoman-era influence after spending the past several decades as a geopolitical hermit. Its influence spreads across the Islamic world to the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia as well as through Eurasia in the Caucasus and the Balkans. What we have is a careful Turkish strategy that involves probing into its various surrounding regions, attempting to take advantage of potential opportunities. Where the Turks find resistance, they retreat. In places where they encounter little or no resistance, they advance. These very preliminary and exploratory moves will define Turkish attempts at geopolitical revival for some time to come."[1]

Turkey was a superpower previously when the Uthamni's managed to unite many of the lands around Western Turkey. They removed the Byzantine Empire as the world's superpower and menaced Europe for centuries. Since the destruction of the Khilafah elements within Turkey have worked to remove the nations Islamic roots, Turkey became aligned to the West, joined NATO, protected US aims during the Cold War and is attempting to join the European Union (EU). This article analyses Turkey's resurgence to asses is it real or a false dawn.

Caucuses

Turkey under the Uthmani Khilafah fought and lost a number of wars in the 18th and 19th centuries which led to the Uthmani's to cede territory to Russia. The collapse of the Uthmani Khilafah in 1924 led to a number of incidents with Armenia - which has come to be known as the Armenian massacre. This defined the hostile relations between the Caucasian nations and Turkey. Today both Russia and Turkey are working to gain a foothold in the region.

Turkey is currently in the middle of a lengthy process to normalize relations with Armenia. Normalising ties includes the opening the shared border. The talks have gone through a number of summits and rounds of talks, which has produced protocols both nations have signed. The protocols remained stuck in both Turkish and Armenian parliaments due to the resistance in both nations by certain elements. The outcome of such negotiations are intrinsically linked to Azerbaijan who wants the Nagorno-Karabakh territory to be resolved under any agreement between Armenia and Turkey.

The Nagorno-Karabakh territory was given independence in the dying days of the Soviet Union. It is a territory that both Armenia and Azerbaijan lay claim to. The territory continues to plague relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan as both have gone to war on a number of occasions over the territory. Currently negotiations are taking place between Azerbaijan and Armenia mediated by Russia. Russia's resurgence has meant that it is expanding its claws once again and working to Bring its former republics under its influence once again. The Caucuses is important to Russia as it acts as buffer zone between Russia and other regional powers. Russian influence and control over the nations that comprise the Caucuses prevents other powers from gaining a foothold in the region.

Azerbaijan has doubts over the importance Turkey places upon its claims to the territory. This has resulted in Azerbaijan turning to Russia's mediation. Russia has been able to play Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey off each other. This strategy by Russia also places an obstacle in the apparent ascendency of Turkey as it prevents it from a direct supply line to the energy of the Caspian Sea, which prevents Europe from accessing those resources as it attempts to circumnavigate around its dependence on Russia's energy.

In reality the Caucuses is a hot spot where a resurgent Russia is looking to bring its former republics under its influence and the creation a buffer zone to protect the Russia interior. Turkey in reality whether independently or by design is not just protecting US interests but also European interests. By forging relations with the nations of the region Turkey is attempting to complicate Russian interests, which is the US strategy in the region.

Energy
Turkey's geographic location has turned it into a conduit for energy. Straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey's Ports receive crude oil and natural Gas which is then refined and sold in the European market. Turkey has regularly advocated European energy projects, like Nabucco, that circumvent the Russian network. As one analyst put it: "The other more secure corridor for European energy diversification is Turkey - already an end point for two major pipelines from the Caspian. Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan supplies Europe with much needed alternative oil. But while Turkey has the potential to become an energy hub for Europe, there is much work left for the EU. The first order of business would be a diplomatic offensive to realize the Nabucco gas pipeline from Turkey to Austria through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. This project would provide another key alternative route for Caspian resources to reach Europe to begin to ameliorate overdependence on Russia."[2]

Russia's use of its energy resources as a foreign policy tool has seen Ukraine, Lithuania and subsequently Europe being held hostage by the former world power. Europe and especially France and Germany's dependency on Russia's energy hydrocarbons has been exposed one too many times and Turkey currently represents the only immediate alternative to Russian energy dependency.

In the area of energy Turkish independence and manoeuvring is highly questionable when the West on many occasions has presented Turkey as the alternative to Russia. It appears Turkey is in reality protecting European energy interests and subsequently US interests in ensuring Russian influence doesn't gain any momentum.

Middle East

Turkey's role in the Middle East has been highly questionable and has all the hall marks of protecting the interests of other nations rather then projecting independent policies. Whilst Turkey is not part of the P5 + 1 nations who are attempting to construct a sanctions programme against Iran for enriching Uranium the US has reneged all deals and agreements that have been reached which has allowed the Iran nuclear issue to escalate to the level is has. This shows that the US has no intention of solving this conflict and it has actually ensured no solution is ever reached. The US achieves a number of its aims in the region through this diplomatic crisis. America has gained a strategic advantage by providing security to the Gulf Arab countries in the face of Iran's rhetoric; it has also nudged the Israelis into a security pact. Turkey and Brazil's nuclear fuel swap proposal to de-escalate the Iranian nuclear controversy took place on the same day when the US was tabling sanctions against Iran.

Similarly Turkish mediation between Syria and Israel in solving the Palestinian conflict is not a resurgent Turkey looking to shape the politics of the region according to its aims but rather it comes under US attempts to start indirect talks between Israel and the Muslim nations of the region to normalise relations after a decade of no progress on the peace process and as the US attempts to extricate itself from Iraq and Afghanistan

Justice and Development Party (AKP)

Whilst many have contended the Islamic credentials of the AKP party are at the root of Turkey's resurgence, the reality shows that Islam has no place in AKP's attempt to forge a role for Turkey in the world. Ever since Abdullah Gul and Erdogan left the Virtue party and formed the Justice and Development Party under the leadership of Erdogan, who began to implement his policy of cementing ties with America in order to remove the the influence of Britain and its ties with the Army. Whilst many reforms have been introduced to break the armies hold on power the centre piece of the AKP's strategy was the Shared Vision Document signed between the Turkish and American government by Abdulla Gul and Condoleezza Rice on 5th July 2006, which proves beyond doubt that Turkeys global maneuvers are anything but Islamic or independent, but rather are the AKP party protecting US interests. The meeting confirmed: "The strategic vision document confirms Turkish-US consensus to translate our shared vision into common efforts through effective cooperation and structured dialogue." The AKP's manoeuvres today were clearly contained in the document, some of the terms the AKP agreed to carry out included:

1. Supporting international efforts towards a permanent settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including international efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of a two-state solution

2. Supporting diplomatic efforts on Iran's nuclear program, including the recent P5+1 initiative

Contributing to stability, democracy and prosperity in the Black Sea region, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Afghanistan

3. Enhancing energy security through diversification of routes and sources, including from the Caspian basin

World Power

Throughout history global powers have developed independent policies and manoeuvred around the world in order to shape the world according to their vision. A nation that protected the interests of another power, as a satellite state, it may make a nation relevant but it in no way gives a nation permanent security. It is usually only a matter of time before another satellite nation comes along who will be more adapt at protecting the interests of the superpower.

Turkey should look at its history; from there it can learn how it became a superpower - the only time in its history. In 1453 the Uthmani's concluded the conquest of Constantinople, the Byzantine capital. This brought to an end all remnants of Roman rule, who had been the world's superpower for nearly four centuries. The Uthmani's were one of the many bands of Turkmen horsemen who began to come into the Islamic lands as a result of the Mongol invasions in the 13th century. These Turkmen warriors, who had converted to Islam, were sent to the frontiers of the state by the Seljuks, who themselves were of Turkish origin. They had excellent fighting skills and zeal, which the Seljuks wanted them to apply along the frontier with the Byzantines. The house of Uthman proved to be one of the most successful of these bands, taking many towns and villages from the control of the Byzantines, they then unified the other ghazis, under their banner, brought the lands surrounding Constantinople under Islam, culminating in the capture of Byzantine Empire capital - Constantinople in 1453.

The Uthmani's then swept through the Balkans and Eastern Europe in spectacular fashion. The important city of Thessaloniki was captured from the Venetians in 1387. In 1389, the kings of Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Hungary attacked the Uthmani's but Sultan Murad I crushed them at Kosovo, which shocked Europe. In 1396, the whole of Europe including French and German armies fought against Sultan Bayazid Yaldram at Nicopolis but were comprehensively defeated and 20 rulers and dignitaries were brought to the Khaleefah's court as the captives. Sultan Bayazid had annexed all the territory from Bosnia to Danube. He had also conquered Greece (Athens) in 1398.

Before Suleiman al Qanooni's reign came to an end in 1566 he had expanded the Islamic frontiers well into Eastern Europe bringing Belgrade the capital of Serbia under Islam as well as regaining the Greek island of Rhodes. He had defeated Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia and brought most of Hungary under Islamic authority. By 1578 Georgia and what is today Romania was under Islam. Before the beginning of the 17th century the Uthmani's had brought Southern Italy, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Ukraine, the Canary Islands, parts of Iceland and the largest island of the Bristol waters in England, UK - Lundy under Islamic authority. Such was the perceived threat of the Uthmani Khilafah under the reign of Suleiman al Qanooni that ambassador Busbecq of the Austrian monarch Ferdinand I warned of Europe's imminent conquest: "On [the Turks'] side are the resources of a mighty empire, strength unimpaired, habituation to victory, endurance of toil, unity, discipline, frugality and watchfulness... Can we doubt what the result will be?...When the Turks have settled with Persia, they will fly at our throats supported by the might of the whole East; how unprepared we are I dare not say."[3]

Conclusions

Turkey has very limited energy resources, but because of its strategic location between Europe and Asia and between oil consumers and oil producers, it is crossed by several major oil and gas pipelines. Turkey's geographical location makes it a natural trans shipment route between the major oil producing areas in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Caucasus on the one hand, and consumer markets in Europe on the other. As a result Turkey has developed an advanced mineral processing industry and is a world leader in many key metals and chemicals. Turkey is also one of the world's largest agricultural producers.

Rather then protecting the needs of other nations, Turkey is in pole position to become a world power through pursuing an independent foreign policy. The current assertiveness many analysts describe as a resurgence, could not be further from the truth, this is because Turkey is only manoeuvring within the space the US has permitted it. Turkey's mediation in the Palestinian issue takes place when the US has decided indirect negotiations should take place on the final settlement. Similarly America's policy of containing Russia and pushing Russian assertiveness all the way back into Russian territory has seen Turkey play a leading role in the Caucuses to complicate Russian aims. Turkey's has been repaid by the US by the House Foreign Affairs Committee passing a resolution condemning Turkey for the apparent role of the Uthmani's in the Armenian Genocide. Whilst Turkey continues to reform itself in order to be welcomed into the international arena America continues to use Turkey for its aims and the European Union continues to delay Turkey's ambition to join the EU

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Facebook's support for ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day' shows that without Khilafah the kuffar are queuing up to insult the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم

Some kuffar have designated today (May 20) as ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day', where people are encouraged to draw insulting pictures of our beloved Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and post them on a dedicated Facebook page.

Facebook, released a statement defending its support for this day when it said, "we strongly believe that Facebook users have the freedom to express their opinions, and we don't typically take down content, groups or pages that speak out against countries, religions, political entities, or ideas."

In response to this provocative action by US-based Facebook Hizb ut-Tahrir has organized demonstrations in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to protest against this. The demos were held outside press clubs and offices of the media outlets. The protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans such as: "O Pak Army! Rise and deliver a teeth-shattering response to the blasphemers by establishing the Khilafah", and "The blasphemous kuffar only dared to do this because of the treacherous Muslim rulers".

The speakers said that as far as the Western ideal of "freedom" is concerned; it is just a facade to lash the back of Islam.

We ask does a Muslim woman have "freedom" in a French school where she is not even allowed to wear a head-scarf!?

Do hundreds of Muslims incarcerated for the past 8 years in the dungeons of Guantanamo Bay enjoy any level of "freedom", who don't even know the allegations for which they have been abducted?

Does any individual in the West have the "freedom" to criticize the holocaust?

Absolutely Not!

Then why is it that the personality of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم is always attacked under the guise of "freedom"?! The speakers said that the West is fully aware that Muslims do not have their shield, the Khilafah, and these treacherous rulers are only their agents whose sole purpose in life is to put shackles on the Muslims and work to protect the interests of the kuffar.

The insults against the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, the attacks on Shari'a, and occupation of Muslim lands will continue and only get worse until the Muslim world removes the impotent puppet rulers and establishes an Islamic government, the Khilafah, which will stand up against these atrocities against Muslims and Islam.

The Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم described our situation today where we are like froth and scum that is carried down by a torrent of water.

"The People will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their food." Someone asked, "Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?" He صلى الله عليه وسلم replied, "No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be froth and scum like that carried down by a torrent (of water), and Allah will take the fear of you from the breasts (hearts) of your enemy and cast al-wahn into your hearts." Someone asked, "O Messenger of Allah, what is al-wahn?" He صلى الله عليه وسلم replied, "Love of the world and dislike of death." [Abu Dawud and Ahmad]

Those who harbour hatred towards the Muslim world are fully aware that attacking our beloved Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم is an easy way of provoking the Muslim world and creating tensions to further fuel the war on terror which in reality is a war against Islam. Today we are an easy target for the kuffar despite our huge numbers because the Imam which is a shield to protect the Ummah physically and intellectually is missing.

The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "The Imam is a shield, behind whom you fight and you protect yourself with, so if he orders by taqwa and is just then he has reward for that, and if he orders by other than that then it is against himself." [Muslim]

In 1913 when the Ottoman Khilafah was in a weakened state, the English author George Bernard Shaw contemplated writing a book against the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم. But the existence of the Khilafah was enough of a deterrent to stop him from this.

In Shaw's diary of 1913 he writes: ‘I had long desired to dramatise the life of Mahomet. But the possibility of a protest from the Turkish Ambassador - or the fear of it - causing the Lord Chamberlain to refuse to license such a play, deterred me.' [Hesketh Pearson's biography of George Bernard Shaw]

If the Muslim world continues to be divided and ruled by these western backed dictatorships the attacks against our Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and the believers will only continue. Only with the re-establishment of the Khilafah and the implementation of Allah سبحانه وتعالى laws can the honour and dignity of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم be protected. It is the Khilafah State which will truly protect the deen from abuse and ridicule.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chapter 7: The Address of Legal Responsibility [Khitab al-Taklīf]

The following is a translation from the Usul Al-Fiqh masterpiece of the Arabic book “The Islamic Personality Volume 3” by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani. Please refer to the original Arabic for accurate meanings.


The address of legal responsibility [taklīf] is the address of the legislator related to compulsion or choice, that is, it is related to the request to perform an action or to abstain from an action, or to the option of choosing between performance and abstention.

If the address is related to a decisive request to perform an action, that action is wājib [obligatory] or fard, the two being synonymous. The wājib action is that which if not performed with an unqualified intention renders the person leaving it legally blameworthy. The meaning of the leaver being legally blameworthy is that the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw) or the Ijma’ al-Sahabah indicate that if a person leaves such an action he has acted deficiently and is blameworthy. There is no consideration given to the blame of the people on the omission of an action. Rather what is considered is the blame of the revelation. Further, there is no difference, from the perspective of obligation, between the action which is individually obligatory [wajib al-‘ayn] and the obligation of sufficiency [wajib ‘ala al-kifāyah].

If the address of the legislator is related to a non-decisive request to perform an action then that action is mandūb [recommended]. In the ritual worships [‘ibādāt] the word ‘sunnah’ is also synonymously used. The mandūb action is that which the performance of is legally praiseworthy, whilst its non-performance is not legally blameworthy. It is also referred to as nafilah [supererogatory].

If the address of the legislator is related to a decisive request to abstain from an action then that action is harām [prohibited] or mahdhūr, the two being synonymous. The harām action is that which the performance of is legally blameworthy. If the address of the legislator is related to a non-decisive request to abstain from an action then that action is makrūh [reprehensible]. The makrūh action is that which the abstention of is legally praiseworthy, whilst its performance is not legally blameworthy.

If the address of the legislator is related to the granting of an option to either perform an action or abstain therefrom then that action is mubāh [permissible]. This is in both the case that the option is given explicitly in the text or that it is understood from the text from the form [seegah] of the request, such as when a request to perform comes after a prohibition in the same matter but in two different contexts or situations, even if the request to perform comes in the imperative tense.
The legal rulings related to the address of legal responsibility are restricted to the above five (wājib, mandūb, mubah, makruh, harām)

What is Jihad?


Never has there been a word more misrepresented in the media than Jihad.

Humans have been fighting and killing each other for millennia, developing ever more effective ways and enhancing technology to facilitate this killing. People fight to defend themselves, or to attack others. Wars are fought for land, tribe, nation, legacy, fortune, religion , independence, or resources like water and oil.

Today's many wars are mostly fought over resources, like the US and UK fighting for securing 'their' oil in Iraq or Afghanistan, or for land and its minerals as in parts of Africa, or civil wars in South America.

Islam addresses fighting and warfare, laying down rules for when and how it should occur. Islam does not allow wars for material gain, taking other people's resources and lands, or to convert people from their religion . Islam does not sanction the invading and pillaging of the past, nor the colonialism of the present, which all lead to enslaving and impoverishing the conquered people.

Muslims are required to follow the Islamic rules of warfare, if they were to go to war. Examples include: no killing of innocent people, no killing of women and children , no burning of crops or trees, only fight those that fight you, no wanton destruction.

Jihad, then, is the striving of Muslims when they go to war and are governed by these laws. Primarily there are two types of Jihad. The first is when Muslims rally to fight and expel invading armies from their land. Examples are when the Crusaders invaded Palestine during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, or when the Mongols invaded Central Asia, Persia, Iraq and Syria in the thirteenth century. This defensive Jihad aims to protect the citizens and their land by pushing the occupiers out.

The other type of Jihad is only undertaken by an Islamic State. Its aim is to eradicate 'fitna' (injustice and oppression) where it is exists in other places, and replace unjust and oppressive ruling with a just rule under the auspices of the Islamic State. There are three parts to it: first, to invite the people to accept Islam by explaining the Islamic belief and what Islam has to offer people. This is done by dialogue and discussion and maybe over some time. Secondly, the people are invited to unify with the Islamic State, whether or not they become Muslims, enjoying peace, justice, security and protection, thereby ending the injustice and oppression. Historically some non-Muslim peoples opted for this option, which is in exchange for a small yearly tax (taken as a token in exchange for their protection, since they are alleviated from contributing in other financial ways to the society, as the Muslims are obliged to do). The third and final course of action after the first two have failed is war. Such a war is called Jihad and it has its rules, like no wanton destruction or targeting of civilians. When an Islamic State goes to war, it can never be for money, land, or riches -unlike the current and past colonial occupations of the last two centuries.

Jihad is often seen by Western people as barbaric, as a result of the propaganda constantly pushed by thegovernment and media to portray Muslims as bloodthirsty, massacring killers, bent on forcing the world to change their religion . They have even coined the phrase 'holy war' for Jihad to encourage this false opinion. However, an Islamic State would commit to the Islamic foreign policy, showing the world what Islam really is and how Islam can truly make their lives and society better, even if they do not become Muslim. Jihad is a last resort in this process. The Islamic belief is never to be forced upon people once land is taken, with 1400 years of history bearing testimony to this.

When Western nations invade Muslim countries they destroy the infrastructure of the country causing more deaths than those caused by their bullets and bombs. It is estimated that a million or so civilians have died in the Iraq war, which was launched ostensibly to convert the Middle East to following liberal democracy, yet was driven by Western greed for securing resources - their 'vital security interests'. What further exposes the immorality of such warfare is that contracts are awarded to US and UK companies to rebuild the infrastructure, making the invaded country pay for it as well (Iraq as an example).

Whilst neo-colonial Western powers wage war and invade for resources, places of strategic importance and further increasing their luxurious way of living, Islam expressly forbids that war be waged for such selfish reasons. Even when war does occur, Islam does not allow the kind of killing and destruction that the Western powers have perpetrated over recent years.

This article was reproduced from the website Islam-Explained.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Q&A-The Reality of Jinn Controlling Human-Being?

Question

There are some illnesses which inflict people and which they ascribe to the Jinn. There are also people who claim to see and hear the Jinn, and to command them and carry out many actions through controlling them, or through their controlling people. What is the reality of this? Is there any material, sensorially-perceivable relationship between man and Jinn?

Answer

1. The Jinn are from the matters of the unseen; we cannot see them. Allah (swt) says,
«يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا تَرَوْنَهُمْ»

“He sees you, he and his tribe, from where you see them not” (al-A’rāf: 27),

that is, Iblīs and his people, or in other words, the Jinn, given that Iblīs is from the Jinn:

«إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ»

“Except Iblīs – he was from the Jinn” (al-Kahf: 50).

2. The foundation or origin of our relationship with them is that they are able to whisper to us and entice us [waswasa]. Allah (swt) says,

«فَوَسْوَسَ لَهُمَا الشَّيْطَانُ»

“So Shaytān whispered to them both” (al-A’rāf: 20);

and He (swt) says,

«فَوَسْوَسَ إِلَيْهِ الشَّيْطَانُ»

“So Shaytān whispered to him” (Tāhā: 120),
and Shaytān here is Iblīs and he is from the Jinn.
3. The Shayātīn do not have a compelling authority over man, except if man chooses to follow the Shaytān of his own free will. The Exalted says,

«وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ لَمَّا قُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدْتُكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ وَمَا كَانَ لِيَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا أَنْ دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِي»

“And Shaytān shall say after the affair is decided: Surely Allah promised you the promise of truth, and I gave you promises, then failed to keep them to you, and I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you answered me.” (Ibrāhīm: 22))

And He (swt) says,

«إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ إِلَّا مَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ»

“You have no authority over my slaves, except he who follows you of the deviant.” (al-Hijr: 42))

And He (swt) says,

«فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ • إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ سُلْطَانٌ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ • إِنَّمَا سُلْطَانُهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَوَلَّوْنَهُ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ بِهِ مُشْرِكُونَ»

“When you recite the Qur’ān seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Shaytān. Indeed he has no authority of those who believe and place their trust in their Lord. His authority extends only to those who befriend him and those who associate partners with Allah.” (al-Nahl: 100)

4. Any material relationship other than this fundamental relationship which Allah has clarified requires a particular text establishing it. If a text exists explaining any such relationship then we affirm it in accordance with that text. For example the authority of Sulaymān (as) over the Jinn and his ability to command and prohibit them is a matter about which a text has come, thus we affirm it. Allah (swt) says in surah al-Naml about Sulaymān (as),
«قَالَ يَا أَيُّهَا الْمَلَأُ أَيُّكُمْ يَأْتِينِي بِعَرْشِهَا قَبْلَ أَنْ يَأْتُونِي مُسْلِمِينَ • قَالَ عِفْرِيتٌ مِنَ الْجِنِّ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ تَقُومَ مِنْ مَقَامِكَ وَإِنِّي عَلَيْهِ لَقَوِيٌّ أَمِينٌ»

“He said, ‘O Chiefs! Which of you shall bring her throne to him before they come to him in submission? An audacious one among the jinn said: I will bring it to you before you rise up from your place; and most surely I am strong (and) trusty for it.” (al-Naml: 38)

And He, the Exalted, says,

«وَلِسُلَيْمَانَ الرِّيحَ غُدُوُّهَا شَهْرٌ وَرَوَاحُهَا شَهْرٌ وَأَسَلْنَا لَهُ عَيْنَ الْقِطْرِ وَمِنَ الْجِنِّ مَنْ يَعْمَلُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ وَمَنْ يَزِغْ مِنْهُمْ عَنْ أَمْرِنَا نُذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ • يَعْمَلُونَ لَهُ مَا يَشَاءُ مِنْ مَحَارِيبَ وَتَمَاثِيلَ وَجِفَانٍ كَالْجَوَابِ وَقُدُورٍ رَاسِيَاتٍ اعْمَلُوا آلَ دَاوُودَ شُكْرًا وَقَلِيلٌ مِنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ»

“And (We made) the wind (subservient) to Sulaymān, which made a month's journey in the morning and a month's journey in the evening, and We made a fountain of molten copper to flow out for him, and of the jinn there were those who worked before him by the command of his Lord; and whoever turned aside from Our command from among them, We made him taste of the punishment of burning. They made for him what he pleased of fortresses and images, and bowls (large) as watering-troughs and cooking-pots that will not move from their place; give thanks, O family of Dawūd! and very few of My servants are grateful.” (Saba’: 12)

5. The Messenger of Allah (saw) would treat any material occurrence as a human matter, so long as no revelation came establishing that the Jinn had a relation to the matter. All matters were in origin taken as human affairs. If a dead man were found for instance it would not be thought that the Jinn killed him unless a text about such were found. Such was the case in the incident of the dead man found in Khaybar where the search was directed at who from amongst the people killed him, and did not extend to even the possibility of the Jinn having done so.

Muslim relates in His Sahīh that Abdullah ibn Sahl and Muhayyisah set out for Khaybar out of severe fatigue. When Muhayyisah found out that Abdullah ibn Sahl have been killed and thrown into a well he went to the Jews and said, “By Allah, you have killed him!” They replied, “By Allah, we did not kill him.” When the matter reached the Messenger of Allah (saw) he said, “Either they pay the blood-money of your companion or they declare war (by refusing to comply with the Shari’ah rules).” So he (saw) wrote to them and they wrote back, “By Allah, we did not kill him.”...The incident is well-known. Important to our current discussion, at no point did the question of the Jinn having played any role enter the discussion in any way.

6. Hence so long as a text mentioning a material relationship regarding any given incident is not found, the relationship between Jinn and man remains limited to whispering and incitement. Further, because the message of the Messenger (saw) is the seal of the messages, where after the revelation ceased and no new text will come, therefore no material relationship between Jinn and man can be established. There remains only the possibility of whispering and incitement, and as we have mentioned there is no authority in the whispering of the Jinn over man except if man responds to that whispering by his own choice.

This is how material matters were treated in the time of the Khulafa’ al-Rāshideen, such that at the occurrence of no material event, be it murder, theft, deception, or fraud, did the mind turn to the Jinn. It always turned to men, because the relation of Jinn is one of whispering and incitement, except if a text exists to say otherwise. Since no specific texts can come after the Messenger of Allah (saw), all material occurrences are from men, not from the Jinn, for their world is different to ours, and their relationship with us is a relationship of whispering alone.

Therefore if someone falls ill there is no connection of this with the Jinn. The illness is to be treated according to the Islamic injunctions, that is, through therapy. This treatment can be material (medicine) or through du’a and ruqya.

As for the former it is like what came in the hadith from Usāmah ibn Sharīk that he said, “I came to the Prophet (saw) and his Companions who were as if they had birds on their heads. I greeted them and sat down. Then came bedouins from various areas and asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, should we take medicine’? He replied, ‘Take medicine for indeed Allah has not made an illness except that he has created its cure, except only one illness, death.’ (Abu Dāwūd)

As for the latter, it is like what came in the hadith related by Muslim from Aa’isha, the mother of the believers (ra), that, “The Messenger of Allah used to recite this incantation (ruqyah), ‘Lord of the people, remove the trouble for in your Hand is the cure; none is there to relieve him but you.’ This and the like supplications from the Qur’an and Sunnah or that which accords with them can be used.

As for resorting to those who claim to have a material connection with the Jinn in order to cure an illness, then this is fraud and deception from those fraudsters who fool the common people and unjustly consume their wealth.

11/06/2009

Source

What Happened to the Demise of Capitalism?

In May 2009 - this time last year, the global financial crisis was in full swing. The US economy, where the crisis started, due to the sub-prime mortgage market collapse, was in freefall and close to its second quarter in recession. The world's premier economies were all in recession and attempting to contain the fall out through the numerous stimulus plans, bailouts packages and nationalisations. Talk was ripe of the end of Capitalism as we knew it. Some politicians and think tanks were in horror of the drift towards socialism and Dr Nouriel Roubini the Stern university economist, known as ‘Dr Doom,' became an overnight celebrity as his constant pessimistic opinions all rang true regarding the collapse of the financial market.


The crisis that is now known as the ‘great recession' was described as the worse financial crisis since the great depression of the 1930's and for this reason many began writing the obituary of the global free market system. Today however, the US economy has come out of recession as well as China, Japan, France, Germany and the UK. Whilst the rates of economic growth are small and tenuous, they nevertheless show that Capitalism did not collapse, its resilience means once economic activity returns to more normal levels, the jobs created will reduce unemployment and the free market will be back to business as usual. So what went wrong? Why did Capitalism not collapse, bringing a new dawn of a new of a new age with a new global system. A closer analysis shows that the foundations of Capitalism were never brought into question as all the debates that took place deflected such an issue.

Blame the bankers

As bank after bank collapsed the role banks played in the economy became a central debate to what caused the crisis. Whilst bankers, especially investment bankers were considered the gods of the universe prior to the financial crisis, as they had created and accumulated unprecedented wealth in the boom period, they became public enemies when the crisis reached colossal proportions for - what was in essence the same reason. The reckless lending practices of the bankers, their huge bonuses and their innovation of complex financial securitisation products such as collateralised debt obligations (CDO's) and mortgage debt obligations (MDO's), that were in reality just debt sold many times over. Once heralded as a landmark creation which spread risk as never before, was now the reason that the global economy was on its knees.

Whilst the bankers were in reality doing their jobs - speculating, the various G20 and G8 meetings all squally laid blame at the bankers for causing the crisis. This lead to a number of global agreements, that included the banking industry should be more regulated and the suspension of short selling - another innovation of the same industry. Due to this no discussion occurred with regards to the validity of the free market, laying the blame on the bankers meant the system works, but the players got it wrong and hence they would need to be curtailed. The global financial crisis was dealt with as a financial crisis in the banking sector which needed to be tackled; as a result the problem was seen to be with one economic sector rather then the system. As a result no discussion took place in the midst of the global financial crisis questioning the legitimacy of free market capitalism when it quite clearly had malfunctioned.

‘Cop Out'

For long free market ideologues have argued financial crisis are cyclical - this means they are a naturally occurring phenomena. They claim historically due to time and nature all economies go through seasons where wealth is created leading to a boom with much wealth being generated. They considered it an inevitable matter that not all would benefit from a boom in an equal manner and once profits reached a particular level there would inherently be a slow down in economic activity, which was considered necessary by some economists as this would lead to the redistribution of wealth. So from this perspective a crash was necessary when during the ascent of the cycle wealth would not be distributed in equal manner. Thus after every crash, downturn, slump and recession free market ideologues blame nature for creating the business cycle. Due to this opinion gaining legitimacy the financial crisis was separated from the ‘market' and hence the systems legitimacy was never brought into question. As STRATFOR confirmed "Financial panics are an integral part of Capitalism. So are economic recessions. The system generates them and it becomes stronger because of them. Like forest fires, they are painful when they occur, yet without them, the forest could not survive. They impose discipline, punishing the reckless and rewarding the cautious."[1]

The reason why such crises occur is due to the aims Capitalism attempts to achieve with the economy. The aim of any market economy is to ensure the economy grows every year, perpetual economic growth is the equivalent of the five daily prayers in Islam. The growth of economies is measured by Gross Domestic product (GDP) which is the monetary value of the production of all goods and services in an economy. For the economy to be practically achieving what Capitalism has laid as its ideal the sectors that contribute most towards the economy must always be growing, as any fall in production in such sector's that dominates the economy will have the effect of forcing the whole economy to shrink.

Perpetual economic growth is not sustainable and is what causes the regular crash. This is because economic growth requires consumers to continually spend. Once consumers have spent beyond their means, a cut in spending will have the effect of cutting off refueling during a flight. During the various financial crises in the post World War 2 world this idea has diverted any potential discussion or criticism of the mechanics of the free market and Capitalism itself.

Socialist Intervention

Another factor that has led to the saviour of Capitalism has been what it has always done throughout its history - that is to provide a leg up to the system, in order to give it a lifeline when it has malfunctioned. Whilst many argued the free market like democracy is the best the world has seen, this has masked the shaky theoretical foundations from ever being questioned. This is because the free market and democracy, when they are scrutinised, they are only compared with the alternatives; liberals argue these alternatives are despotic monarchies, dictators, inefficient pubic sectors and centrally driven and controlled economies - in this context they argue Capitalism is the best we have. This has always ensured no discussion or debate takes place regarding Capitalisms foundations.

To keep democracy functional the leg up of an unelected chamber was constructed, along with the unelected Supreme Court in the US. In the realm of economics monopolies and mergers commissions were created to keep the market competitive, alongside regulation to restrict the apparent free hand of the market. Rather then letting the free market sort itself out in reaching equilibrium governments across the world engaged in Socialist State Intervention to ensure Capitalism didn't fall apart. So whilst the global economy led by the G8 was shrinking causing unemployment and company closures and untold misery to millions, Western Capitalist economies intervened with bailouts for banks and companies, stimulus plans to replace consumer spending and when these didn't work outright nationalisation.

These pragmatic moves were high-octane boosts and temporary measures. They were designed to kick-start stalled economies, not to fuel sustained economic growth. Hence the current growth seen in many nations are the inflated results of stimulus measures achieving their intended effect to be temporary. Government intervention - the bidah of all bidah's in free market economics, most certainly led to the stabilising of the global financial crisis, but it also deflected discussion and debate away from the unsustainable free market growth and the foundations of Capitalism.

Decay

The underlying problem of Capitalism has been masked from the people with a deliberate strategy of subversion. The huge debt levels and massive wealth disparity across the Western world has created the have's and have not's. All the mentioned factors have deflected attention away from the actual causes and this has led to the West to accept a situation where a handful of billionaires control most of the world's wealth.

The US, the world's superpower and the shining beacon of democracy and free market capitalism has the largest reported crime rate. There is one murder every 22 minutes in the US, one rape every 5 minutes, one robbery every 49 seconds, and one burglary every 10 seconds in the US. Britain has the largest percentage of teenage pregnancies and Europe has the highest rate of single mothers in the world. There are many simmering problems in the West, which in some places has led to social unrest and will at some point implode, as more and more people are ending up in the ‘have not's category.'

Liberal thinkers and politicians have linked many social problems to individual circumstances and causes. This means whenever a crisis occurs, be it in politics such as the expenses scandal in Britain, the high robbery rate in the US, the suicides committed by women in France, greed, materialism and drug abuse, these are not viewed as problems that are all interlinked as individuals pursue the their individual freedoms to live their lives as they want. As a result the debates that do take place, take place around the issue - separated from others, and as a result no debate takes place on the West's fundamental values of freedom of expression and the freedom to pursue ones desires at any cost.

A major factor that deflects attention from the foundations of Capitalism is the legalisation of everything due to the liberalisation drive - which is central to any Capitalist society. Through this seemingly illegal and immoral acts over time become accepted as they are legalised. Hence we find prostitution has been legalised under the guise of protecting women, drugs have been legalised due to health considerations and pornography has been legalised in order to protect the individual rights of people. This pragmatic approach means Capitalist foundations will never be questioned as it deflects attention to other factors.

Conclusions
The financial crisis could not have come at a worse time for the Capitalist world. The threat posed by the Islamification of the Ummah globally has led to a War on Terror that has seen the reversal of ideals which represent the very foundations of western civilisation. Guantanamo Bay, extraordinary rendition, Abu Gharib, the Patriot Act and the reversal of Habeas corpus shows what is really meant by universal Human Rights. Similarly ideals that formed the cornerstone of Capitalism, which have been exported to the world for decades were thrown aside at the first challenge. Whilst Capitalism has survived for now, its says a lot about the system when its central tenets are thrown aside, for its defense.

Subversion through deflecting criticism and the creation of lies about alternatives has been the West's method to defend itself. From an economic perspective with the wide disparity in wealth allocation around the world, the astronomical debt levels and when half of the world will having nothing to eat tonight shows something has seriously gone wrong with Capitalism, however can anyone argue that it's the best we have, when such colossal problems are interlinked with the ascendancy of Capitalism.

With regards to the potential decline of Capitalism as we know it, this will only occur when Western Capitalist societies questions the basis of Capitalism. This will in all likelihood take place when comparisons are made between the nature of society now and before. These will begin to focus on the problems currently and compare them to the reasons of their absence in the past. This should lead to the questioning of the legislation used to solve such issues and the basis of where the legislation is deduced.

Whilst the Global Financial Crisis has brought the sustainability of free market Capitalism into question, it appears to have survived its demise for now. However Western societies suffer from so many ills, it is only a matter of time before Capitalism self destructs like it always does.