Thursday, January 08, 2015

Uthman Badar comments on the recent events in Paris


Following is the comment from Uthman Badar's facebook page - a well renowned writer, activist & media representative of Hizb-ut-tahrir Australia:
1. It’s important to judge the provocation and reaction together, separately and in context. Together, because one leads, in part at least, to the other. In context, because neither arise in a vacuum. And separately, in the sense that the justification or otherwise of one does not mean the other is likewise; there is world of understanding and explanation beyond the shallow realm of mere justification or condemnation. Those who stifle discussions of context, by charging those who bring these up with being apologists for terrorism, are in fact themselves the apologists because what they seek to hide exposes a much greater, systematic, persistent terror – the terror of states.
2. All this "we stand for free speech" talk, in this context, actually means "we stand for freedom to insult". This is because the right to civil debate on different ideas and beliefs, any and all, is not disputed by anyone. What is disputed is the right to gratuitous insult, done to ridicule and provoke, the purview of the lowly, those who know not how to respect themselves or others. So enough with hiding behind the “free speech” banner. Liberals should express clearly that what they seek is the freedom to insult. Gather the courage to express their (lowly) values openly.
3. “Free speech” is a liberal position, not some universal neutral, and a tool of power, nothing more. A tool of power wielded selectively. When Muslim sanctities are denigrated, we're lectured about free speech and how it can't be qualified. Yet when Muslims and others insult, they are met with the force of law. I elaborate on this in some detail here -http://goo.gl/tzMAZl
4. We should not fall for the provocative and bullying tactics of magazines like Charlie Hebdo and engage in vigilante style attacks. They are wrong, unwise and counterproductive. They fall into the trap of being used to further demonise Islam and justify draconian policies and an unjust foreign policy. The prophetic methodology is that the legitimate political authority – the Khilafah - would enact measures – legal, diplomatic, economic, military - to deal with such insults. The good example of the Ottomans, Allah have mercy on them, in this regard is before us.
5. Indifferent acceptance of insults to the Prophet (saw) has no place in Islam either. We’re not liberals. We’re Muslims. Like all people, we have red lines. For us, this are defined by the revelation, not by our whims and desires. The Prophet (saw) is one of these red lines. Quite simply, insults against the Prophet (saw) are not tolerated, as per Shari’ah rules. The punishment is capital. It is same Shari’ah, however, that dictates how such insults are to be responded to – it is for the legitimate political authority to deal with as a matter of law and with due process.
6. Those activists and scholars who keep selectively and exclusively referencing Makkan examples to try and establish, as a general rule, that insults the Prophet (saw) should be responded to by simply ignoring them should fear Allah. Do you affirm part of the revelation and ignore part? Do not diminish the gheera of the believers for the Messenger of Allah (saw) by imparting a half-truth. You know the hukm of Allah, so announce it clearly. There is a world of difference between informing about the hukm as it is, and explaining, given the currently prevailing anomalous reality, both why it can’t be applied now and what needs to be done to change the reality and apply the hukm…and between giving only half the picture, one the implies something about the hukm that is simply not true.
7. The increasingly repeated notion that the perpetrators behind attacks like this one do more harm to Islam and Muslims than its adversaries is utter nonsense. It is plain that such perpetrators are not just a minority, but a negligible one. So small a portion of a people can never damage the image of the whole, by themselves. Such requires more. It requires the politically motivated and calculated response. The 400% zoom in on their actions, the hyperbole, the media obsession, the disproportionate response. Their actions are made to damage Islam and Muslims by a narrative and agenda of power, by mainstream media, intellectual and political leaders. So when the adversaries themselves take what could be treated as “isolated incidents” and conjure up a false narrative that results in the damage, one cannot hold the actions alone responsible. Further, defining our response by condemnation and the same hyperbole of the mainstream, plays right into that false narrative.


8. The course from here is predictable: the Muslim perpetrators, ‘Islamist violent extremism’, and for many Islam itself will be attacked and de-humanised like no tomorrow. Physical and verbal abuse of Muslim institutions and individuals will increase. The French state will exploit the incident to further intervene in the Muslim community and institute more draconian laws and policies (because freedom is sacred!)…and, importantly, the mainstream will conveniently position itself as the reasonable middle ground between the Muslim and far-right ‘extremes’. Bullocks. The mainstream – media, politics, intelligentsia, corporate - is the main problem, responsible for more violence and oppression than any individual or group. This is where the focus of our commentary and activism must be. Wallahu al-Musta’an.

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