Are Muslims anti-democratic subversives or champions of a more democratic way?
Under a dictatorship it is clear that the ruler is in full control of where the nation is going and how to get there. Any attempt to change the ruler is suppressed and no one expects they have the right to influence him. That said he would do well to pay some attention to the people’s opinion or risk rebellion fermenting.
Democracy is sometimes defined as “Rule by the people” though it can never be that the people can all rule at the same time. At most the people can elect an administrator and tell him where to go. However, if there is no unity of opinion among the people there will be millions of backseat drivers all shouting different directions to the administrator and he will genuinely have no choice but to ignore most of the noise coming from them. The most realistic definition of the current Western style democracy is found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary “a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting.” Not rule by the people, not even electing administrators to carry out the peoples will, but “voting for leaders”.
Just like a dictator, the democratic leader will pay enough attention to the opinion of the people to avoid a level of dissatisfaction great enough to risk rebellion. If popular opinion grows on an issue they can bend policy a little to keep the people happy or, if the leaders prefer, they can turn on the propaganda to change minds, sow confusion and break up the unity of the people.
In Western democracies the propaganda machine is now running 24/7 to keep ahead in the game, with a complicit media continually shaping popular opinion. Not only so people will buy things they did not know they needed, or bomb countries they had never heard of, or willingly give up freedoms to protect them from an invisible threat but, and this is really the genius of it, forming the public opinion before the policy change is even suggested. By doing so, leaders can claim they are just obediently following the people’s will: “You asked for this! Democracy is working for you!”
Occasionally, despite the government’s best propaganda efforts, the people will unite strongly on a single issue and the leader will make a U-turn to avoid rebellion. The last time it happened in the UK was after the poll tax riots in 1990. Other times if it looks like rebellion is unlikely, the people can be ignored; as happened after the peaceful million people march against the invasion of Iraq.
Sometimes, if it becomes unavoidable, the leader is forced to allow the people to decide an issue with a referendum. But, it is so rare, with only one UK wide referendum in the last 40 years, it only makes obvious how little the people are allowed to rule in a Western democracy.
The power of a leader who can take the nation in almost any direction he pleases is of course noticed by corrupt, self-interested people or groups. They compete to take the wheel in order to drive it in a way that suits their interest. There is no defined limit to the potential prize giving them plenty of enthusiasm in seeking to be the elected leader. There exists no shame for them in fighting a dirty election campaign; while the more morally sound candidates are less inclined to fight and seem to form a minority (there was only one Tony Benn). It is also the case that a population without a shared vision is going to be impossible to please. The job of the leader will, therefore, be very unpleasant. Few good people working for honest satisfaction and occasional thanks would have to endure abuse from colleagues competing for power and from an exigent population.
The difference between democracy and dictatorship is in practice quite small. Though, in its best current examples, the differences are still valuable and should be appreciated. However, we should use our brains when the power-holding leaders claim it is the ultimate system anyone could ever wish for when it is so clearly unrepresentative of the people’s will.
Imagine the effect on the democratic system, particularly on reducing the power of the leaders, if the majority of the people had a shared vision of the direction and priorities of their society. If the people gave clear directions to the leader they would be able to judge the effectiveness and integrity of their leading; the leadership would have less ability to put self-interest first, and the corrupt people would have less interest in fighting for the position of leader. If that single problem of unity was solved the people would be able to turn the tables and force the leaders to become administrators of their will. A true democracy. But, any sane person knows the chance of all the people uniting on all the diverse matters of life is zero. In fact, you could say the only chance of that happening would be if by a miracle. Like the miracle of receiving clear guidance by revelation.
If the majority chose to follow a revealed system it would still be democratic in the sense that the people have decided. But it would be a theocratic democracy. Much more democratic than the near dictatorship democracy of a disunited people as described above, it would enable people to lead from the bottom up using the agreed criterion of their choosing. Crucially, the people would be voting for the way of life, not just voting for leaders who would dictate the way of life.
Clearly though, this would not be in the individual interests of the leaders of current democracies. Because they did not invent it, it will not include any elements of self-interest. Examples have shown that leaders consider people trying to choose another system by voting for it or by opting out of the system of voting as a subversion of the fundamental democratic form serious enough to warrant aggressive suppression.
The few hundred New Age Travellers viciously beaten and their homes destroyed by the police during the “Battle of the Beanfield” in 1985 were merely daring to opt out. There was no risk or fear at all that everyone would want to stop paying tax and live in old buses but what could not be allowed was for even a small group to visibly “flaunt the system”. In the opinion of the leaders, that would set a dangerous precedent.
If Muslim parents attempt to steer their child’s majority Muslim school toward Islamic values using the schools democratic system of governance it would be branded a Trojan Horse scandal. If a Muslim was to gain a political position in order to promote Islamic values it would be branded as Entryism. If some Muslims say that it is un-Islamic to vote they will be labelled extremists. To try to use the democratic system to change the system is considered, by the leaders, to be a subversion of the fundamental democratic form, regardless of the rights or the potential benefits for citizens.
Some subversions of democracy should rightly be guarded against. So called “illiberal democracies” where the leaders progress backwards to outright dictatorships can be judged by their country’s “constitutional liberalism”; the enshrined rights of the people. Examples of which are: freedom to practice various religions; legal justice; freedom of speech; right of assembly and protest.
For geopolitical reasons, Western powers have always preferred friendly dictatorships in the Muslim world; consistent and easy to deal with. However, as Western people having been sold the superiority of democracy it seems hypocritical for their governments to deal with dictators and the pressure has been to encourage global democratic reform. As Egypt and Gaza found out though, it is only on condition it is a disunited Western style democracy where the leaders retain almost full control.
Unfortunately, to non-Muslim Western people the wise Sharīʿa restrictions on some individual liberties in favour of societal health looks superficially like the limits imposed by illiberal democracies. It is, thus, easy to sell them the idea of aggressive and even military opposition to Islamic governance, even where it was democratically agreed. Compounding that image problem, ISIS are claiming they are implementing the true Sharīʿa, a fiction much loved and propagated by Western media.
Western governments make proud claims about the constitutional rights of their citizens but there is a continuous battle in every democracy between disingenuous governments, who see people’s rights as inconveniences, and rights campaign groups such as Liberty in the UK, who challenge them. One struggle Liberty faces is informing the public of their rights in the first place and the importance of defending them. Unfortunately, constitutional legislation does not make for a fun read. In fact, it can be so impenetrable for regular people that highly paid specialist lawyers are needed to thrash out their meaning in courts.
The contrast of that to the Qur’ān is a clear proof of the superhuman nature of the divine legislation “made easy to understand and remember”; loved universally by all Muslims; placed with reverence on the highest shelf in every Muslim home; memorised in its entirety by millions; stunningly beautiful to listen to it can cause people to cry who do not even understand the meaning. Muslims recite part of their constitution and bill of rights five times a day with their prayers and every Ramaḍān they listen to the complete book recited, in which everything is made clear.
The unifying effect for the people is obvious, as is the limiting effect it would have over the state administrators to stop them straying too far away from the interests of the people. They will know each citizen has the ability to scrutinise them from memory without the need of a lawyer.
Foreign and domestic policy has made it clear that Western leaders are fundamentally opposed to ‘Islām the system’ even though ludicrously they claim to be fine with ‘Islām the religion’. But, they do not seem to know enough about Islām to have formed very specific opinions. Rather, to them, it is just “that thing” that causes them inconvenience and has been frustrating some of their plans on and off for hundreds of years. Listen to any Western leader when Islām is discussed and their almost total ignorance of it shines through. I believe it is simply that Islām, is a competing system to the one they have developed to suit their interests. They see that Islām does not favour elites and enable corruption but favours the common man and that is all they have bothered to understand about it.
As Muslims in the West we need to keep on trying to educate the common man on the benefits of the Islamic system for individuals and society as a whole. If leaders refuse to consider the benefits then change inshā Allāh will come from the bottom up, just as it did at the time of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).
 Quran (54:17)
 Quran (16:89)
I disregarded the later points of Mr Thomson’s post. Mr Thomson wants the “divine revelation” of the quran and hadith as the constitution of every country as that is what god wants. I pointed out that what we have now is what god wants for now.
I think it’s impossible to have a constitution that’s fair and wise and suitable for all people and all times. We cannot predict what changes will come in the future which may make changes to the constitution necessary. There’s also the fact that – as people persistently point out – islam is “a way of life”. It lays down what people must do as well as what they must not do. I think that any constitution must interfere with what people do as little as possible. Making personal tastes the basis for morality is a foolish thing to do.
What Mr Thomson would like to do is persuade people to democratically accept his proposed constitution. The logic of the “divine revelation” of the quran and hadith is that once they have been accepted they cannot be abandoned. “One man; one vote; once.” you might say. It iwould be treason to suggest abandoning or changing them Mr Thomson believes that their manifest superiority will make people welcome and accept them and after that everyone will willingly and democratically follow the logic of that constitution.
I don’t think it’s either possible or desirable.
I assume you refuse to answer the fundamental hypothetical question of whether IF the constitution was fair, wise and suitable for all time it would be better than the system we have now; because it’s obviously true that it would be. IF it was fair etc. I said you would disagree that it was fair because as someone who takes part out of most of your days to come here and oppose every article on principle you clearly have a problem with viewing Islam objectively.
You missed another fundamental point. The article repeatedly highlighted the bottom up nature of Islam, enabling and empowering the common man. Yet you accuse me of advocating oppressing all mankind by wanting to impose the system on an unwilling people. I think it would be wise of all mankind to accept Islam and adopt the system for their own good and I would argue the case for it. Is that oppressive of me? To debate the benefits?
I was on a train in India one time having a debate, as you do, with an Indian who was worrying about the effects of western education. He saw that the corrupt people, many politicians and businessmen, were enabled because they had higher education; they could outsmart the common man and misuse the legal system to their advantage. He concluded that education was a bad thing. I argued that education was a good thing as long as it was universally provided to all. I used Kerala as an example where there was the highest level of literacy in India and less corruption. In the West we have a political class who operate a political system that is incomprehensible to the common man. That’s a major flaw.
Interestingly man has created a very good fearlessly democratic system in the Companies Act. The rights of company members and the controls they have of company directors are near perfect as far as I can tell. The only possibilities for corruption being necessary pragmatic compromises such as if a member does not receive notification of a general meeting it doesn’t nullify the decisions of the meeting. But it is FAR more democratic and just than the way the country is governed. The question then is why this system is not applied to the nation. But are the people currently responsible enough or educated enough to have more power than they have? Probably not. And as i say in the article the people are disunited in direction so the administrators just need to lead. The politicians might well prefer it like that for self interested reasons, or at least have grown accustomed to it being like that and don’t expect it could be any better.
Compare to Islam as I say where the constitution is made easy to understand and remember, is memorised by millions, etc. IF the people ask for this system in a majority Muslim nation can’t you see the benefit for them and doesn’t it seem strange that Western leaders are so opposed to people choosing it as their system?
The other point is why such strong objection to Muslims choosing to run their own lives and institutions by their own system. Why such a big fear having parallel systems in the UK? The Islamic system does not suggest breaking UK laws rather it imposes a high degree of conduct to UK law. Non-Muslims patronisingly talk about the way Muslim women dress or women’s rights in sharia courts as though Muslim women are too stupid to have consciously chosen their system and non-Muslims should have the right to impose another system to protect Muslim women from their own “stupidity”. But I think that’s just used as an excuse in order to shut down a competing system. As I said in the article the insecure Western leaders are opposed to allowing anyone to be seen to flaunt the system, to demonstrate any competing way.
Of course a constitutional system based on the koran would be unfair. I thought that was so obvious it didn’t need mentioning: it would privilege muslims over others. It obviously isn’t “wise and suitable for all time” either: it has never yet been successfully applied and rests on the claim that “Allah knows best” to justify many of its assertions.
Are all self-proclaimed interpretators of the koran going to be allowed to express their interpretations? Are Ahmadiyya going to be allowed to say what they believe and try to persuade others to agree with them? What about Ismailis? Shias? All shias? All four madhabs? You’ve already got disagreement and disunity lurking unless everyone agrees to accept just one interpretation. How will you persuade everyone to follow the one true interpretation? After all, we’re talking about people who have been willing to die rather than abandon their beliefs. Why should their descendants change in the future? Nor would it be easy to understand and remember a constitution inspired by the koran. After all – as the examples above show – people have been debating what it would be when they haven’t been fighting or killing over just what it should be for over a thousand years. There’s no reason to think they’ll stop soon, unless you propose to kill all the dissidents – or open dissidents – to the one true version of the one true belief.
How does islam enable and empower the common man? It empowers the muslim and the muslim man specifically and the knowledgeable muslim man especially. Once a muslim state has been established, though, it would consider itself entitled to impose the system by force on an unwilling people who reject it, just as muslim empires of the past did. Of course you can think it would be wise of all mankind to accept Islam and adopt the system for their own good and argue the case for it. No-one is stopping you. If such a state was established, though, would people who disagreed have the right to argue against it? Would – for example – people be allowed to argue that homosexual acts between consenting adults should be permitted, or would the whole debate on homosexuality consist of discussions of whether homosexuals should be beaten, stoned to death or thrown off high buildings?
You cite a debate you had in India on education and corruption. Which language were you talking? How did the two of you learn that language? How did you reach the opinions you held? In short, how were you educated? A koranic constitution would be as much – even more – subject to the opinions of educated people than any contemporary one. It would just be a different set of educated people. You could argue that knowing the koran – in koranic Arabic, of course – by heart, knowing koranic Arabic well enough to know what the different bits say, knowing the hadith – perhaps even knowing all the hadith by heart – and their reliability, knowing all of the interpretations of the koran there have ever been and knowing which have been rejected and why – knowing all of this may be considered a better political and social education than a first in PPE, but it’s still an education and only people will exceptional ability, time and dedication are able to try to achieve it. Is the opinion of the common man, even – especially, perhaps – when they are actually wrong, going to be allowed to outweigh that knowledge, or is the common man (the common muslim man, of course) going to be empowered and enabled to accept and follow the knowledge and wisdom of the huffaz as to what the constiion says and means?
How are muslims prevented from choosing to run their own lives and institutions by their own system in the UK? As you say, as long as they obey the laws of the UK they are entitled to do as they please. However, muslims do not have the right to disregard the laws of the UK. For example, if a muslim woman decides that she is entitled not to cover her head she is perfectly entitled to do so, and an adult muslim can commit adultery or fornication or engage in homosexual activity, without fear of legal consequences, whatever the koranic laws they are supposed to follow may say. It is not the stupidity of muslim women that is at stake here, but the arrogance of muslim men – especially islamically-educated muslim men – who believe they should have the right to force other muslims to follow their versions of islam.
You are mistaken when you say “the insecure Western leaders are opposed to allowing anyone to be seen to flaunt the system, to demonstrate any competing way.” The”insecure Western leaders” actually flaunt the system. You want to flout it, to demonstrate any competing way. How are they stopping you? You can demonstrate any competing way you want anywhere you like – here, for example. The problem you face is that not many people – including many muslims – are interested enough in your competing way to read or think about it so there aren’t many places where you can flaunt it.
You sound like a classic example of someone who sought just enough knowledge to sound learned when “refuting” Islam, and you stopped there. All the answers are out there waiting for open minded people to find and may Allah guide you. You keep coming back here reading the articles so there is a chance you might understand all this one day. I do appreciate how different Islam seems but trust me the wisdom in it is not too hard to understand if you can put preconceived ideas to the side and initially take a broad view before approaching the details.
For the answer to “How are muslims prevented from choosing to run their own lives and institutions by their own system in the UK?” Read this https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/470088/51859_Cm9148_Accessible.pdf
The article does indeed highlight the bottom up nature of Islam but what it doesn’t explain is the tendency of Muslims to gravitate towards the political left in Britain (and possibly some other European countries) which are well known to be authoritarian and impose a top down approach to society. Before the Iraq war Muslims who voted would unquestionably vote Labour. When the Iraq war started hundreds of thousands of Muslims viewed the communist George Galloway as a hero and his Respect party (actually a front end for the Socialist Workers Party) as the best thing since sliced bread. Now, Muslims are flocking to Jeremy Corbyn like there’s no tomorrow. Why?
“In the West we have a political class who operate a political system that is incomprehensible to the common man.”
There was once a British Constitution O Level available in secondary schools that covered the organisation and workings of the British government and political system. It was axed around 1987 and did not make it into the GCSE era. Was it deliberately discontinued to make the common folk ignorant about politics and unable to comprehend the political system as part of the so called dumbing down of education?
“The other point is why such strong objection to Muslims choosing to run their own lives and institutions by their own system. Why such a big fear having parallel systems in the UK?”
Why is there a total lack of interest from Muslims in Britain in contesting elections as independent candidates or forming their own political parties to represent Muslim interests? The approach to politics by Muslims in Britain is by working through existing secular political parties. The voting argument is polarised between voting for a secular political party or abstaining altogether. The third concept of Muslims contesting elections as independent candidates or forming Islamic political parties is not even a subject that has been seriously discussed or debated in recent times. It seems like the Muslims are the ones who fear a parallel system more so than the political establishment.
Islam isn’t “bottom-up” though. It requires absolute obedience to orders given from the top. There may be disagreement – even murderous disagreement – about just what the detaiks of the orders are, but the orders are to be obeyed. Muslims involved in politics in Britain have to work alongside nonmuslims. Most of the not-very-muslim politicians in parliament actually represent constituencies with a large number of nonmuslim inhabitants.
There was a Muslim Party of Britain – or some such title – a few years ago. It was not a resounding success.
Literally…where does one start with such ignorance. Assuming this Hector guy is a real person and not some spam/troll computer programme, I used to suffer from the same white supremacist delusion that our white historical/socio-political lens and baggage applies to the rest of the world we colonised. But LEARNING is what snaps sincere people out of it. It is common knowledge among undergrads now that the white hegemonies sought to deliberately undermine ‘sharia’ systems BECAUSE they empowered local communities and were an obstacle to imperialism. But, of course, it is an uphill struggle to convince someone of their own unconscious white supremacy—I know first hand. It is all too easy to find spurious coincidental terms like ’empire’, ‘state’, ‘law’, ‘leaders’, etc. in oriental history to try and supplant white authoritarian baggage onto fundamentally libertarian societies in a bid to restore some of the comforting self-delusions of our internal white supremacy (whether we ourselves are white or not).
“Literally…where does one start …[?]”
In your case, as usual, with whines about unspecified white supremacy.
Where and when did “white hegemonies [seek] to deliberately undermine ‘sharia’ systems BECAUSE they empowered local communities and were an obstacle to imperialism”? How were the empires of Tamerlane, Suleiman the Magnificent, or Aurengzeb, say, “fundamentally libertarian societies”? What is the difference between “white authoritarian baggage” and muslim unauthoritarian baggage?
In short, please produce some evidence for anything you claim.
Problem is i don’t have any evidence that is within your concentration span. All the essays, journals and books I (and I’ve noticed others too!) have provided in the past have been studiously ignored by yourself in lieu of carefully cherry picked examples of exceptions to the rule. Which led to my suspicion of you being a spam bot.
How do I even know you are a real person and not some annoying computer programme designed to periodically regurgitate the same outdated and refuted propositions using different wording…
And again, I give yet another opportunity in the off chance that you are indeed a real person… Read Professor Wael Hallaq, he’s the one I got the quote above verbatim about European colonial powers systematically undermining Sharia throughout Muslim societies in order to disempower and then subjugate them. If you can’t be bothered to read his articles and books it’s not my fault, at least try watching his presentation in this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFAqQiIVsF8
And an unfortunately likely necessary disclaimer to someone like yourself: Prof Hallaq is not a Muslim he’s a Christian who happens to be a scholar in Islamic Law & Intellectual History in Columbia University.
But my hunch is, you will just ignore it, wait a few days and repeat your exact same script on another article all over again. Prove me wrong.
I thought i explained it in the article. It’s not bottom up in the sense that everyone makes it up as they go along. But then nor is western democracy of disunited people which in effect is little different to a dictatorship. Are you happy with how representative the current system is to your will? Don’t feel obliged to say yes. No one is ever consulted so i won’t believe you are.
Actually, quite a few people were consulted in the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. I wasn’t consulted, but that’s because I wasn’t interested enough to want to be.
Your idea of “bottom-upward” power rests on the assumption that it is somehow possible to produce a society where absolutely everyone believes exactly the same things in such exact detail that there is no need to discuss what to do. Leaving aside the fact that such a society is fortunately impossible to achieve, if you did get there, you’d have something like the ants’ nest in The Once and Future King, where there are two laws: “Whatever is not compulsory, is forbidden. Whatever is not forbidden is compulsory.”
Such a jaundiced view! So black and white. You seriously need to remove ISIS from your mind, they are imposing the nightmare society you describe but ALL reputable scholars and any intelligent reading of the Islamic texts shows ISIS are a bastardisation of Islam. Look to the example of the Moors before the Catholics removed Muslims from Spain. How did that plural society flourish under Islam if your impression of it was true? Why were Jews given protection in Muslim ruled lands when they were expelled from Europe? How is it Christians and Jews lived happily side by side in Palestine until it’s recent theft?
You are reading stuff into the text that the examples of the implementation of Islam does not support. Doesn’t it not then seem you have misunderstood Islam?
” Look to the example of the Moors before the Catholics removed Muslims from Spain. How did that plural society flourish under Islam if your impression of it was true?”
Which plural society? The tafa states?
The Almoravids? The Almohads? None were exactly “a plural society”. There were muslims who preferred to be ruled by christians rather than either of these.
The very fact that the native christian Spaniards spent several hundred years getting rid of the Moors is evidence they didn’t want to live under their rule. “Christians and Jews lived happily side by side in Palestine” except when they were undergoing persecution, taxes and pogroms. Again, the fact that whenever they had the opportunity to remove their rulers they took it suggests they weren’t quite as enthusiastic about it as the nuslims. In what way is the “recent theft” of Palestine by Israelis more reprehensible or more of a theft that its earlier thefts by muslims and crusaders? Where was islam implemented in a way that gave equality to everyone, including “people of the book”, let alone pagans. Certainly the people who underwent the implementation of Islam didn’t share you admiration for it.
Note to self: consider likely positive effect before spending time on dawah.
Just to finish off though: “The very fact that the native christian Spaniards spent several hundred years getting rid of the Moors is evidence they didn’t want to live under their rule.”
Number 1 you think Christianity is native to Spain? You probably think Jesus (peace and blessing be upon him) was a white guy from Italy.
Number 2 you ignore the top down nature of the Reconquista and and 800 year long Catholic inquisition which purged far more than Islam from Europe. Would you defend the actions of the Catholics? Or actually see them as bad as ISIS? Both are what happens when humans think they know better than the Creator and ignore, change, or misinterpret the revelations so suit their vain desires.
The native Spaniards had converted – quite possibly had been converted – to christianity some time before. The religious divisions between assorted versions of christianity probably made the Moorish conquest easier and their treatment as identical christians after it probably forced them into a unity that was not there before.
” You probably think Jesus (peace and blessing be upon him) was a white guy from Italy.”
What does that have to do with the Moorish conquest and occupation of Spain? Are you referring to the legend that he was the bastard son of a Roman soldier?
The Inquisitions didn’t appear until the 12th century CE, some 400 years after the Moorish invasion and the beginning of the Spanish counter-attack. That was in france to deal with various other heresies. The Spanish Inquisition wasn’t established until only a few years before the Conquest of Granada so they were completely irrelevant to most of the period.
Given the various orders the alleged creator is said to have given them, it isn’t surprising people find it so essy to interpret them in ways they find convenient and others find fatal. There isn’t much difference between ISIS, the almohads, the almoravids or the Most Holy moarchs in svagery. You might as well try to determine the order of precedence of a flea and a louse.
“Islam isn’t “bottom-up” though.”
What Islam does not have is a tightly structured hierarchy found in some branches of Christianity, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and possibly Sikhism where orders and commands cascade downwards from the top.
“There was a Muslim Party of Britain – or some such title – a few years ago. It was not a resounding success.”
That was a small curiosity from the 1990s. A bygone age before the Iraq war and the war on terror when Muslims who voted unquestionably voted Labour. It has no bearing whatsoever on the political system of today which has changed beyond recognition since the 1990s.
Why do you care are you even muslim?
Muslims also gravitate to (sort of) free thinkers like Russell Brand who expose the hypocrisy of the system and the elites who control it regardless that in many respects he is far from Islam. These days anyone not vehemently opposed to Islam appears like an ally.
Voting has become a matter of survival, whoever is least anti-Islam or most sympathetic to Muslim causes in the UK and abroad gets the floaters vote.
LibDems held back the Tories during the coalition but now with them slain and the threat from Labour appearing to be minimal for a term or 5 the Tories are fearlessly letting rip on their neo-con agendas. I suspect a big vote for Labour from Muslims at the next election despite that a Labour PM started the fires in the middle east and has been a thorn in Muslims sides ever since. Labour policies also started the suppression of Islam in the UK and the conflation of orthodoxy and extremism which all non-Muslims seem to buy into now. Hobson’s Choice for the Muslim voters as far as the big parties go.
George Galloway might be the example to show that Muslims with political ability might not have much impact as independents. He can shout from the back bench as much as he likes but is simply ignored. Note the obvious lack of care when as a 64 year old MP he got beaten up viciously in what could have been a fatal attack by a Zionist extremist on the streets of London and compare it to the sympathy when a Labour MP was stabbed by a Muslim extremist. Galloway is sidelined and pretty much neutralised by the system and its proponents in politics and the media. Other than giving a bit of a morale boast to hear him say some of the things he says in Parliament did he have any positive impact at all? Perhaps by our issues being said from so clearly a fringe element it has a negative impact. At least as a Labour or Lib Dem MP (Tory really beyond the pale for any self respecting Muslim chap now IMHO) he might get the time of day and be in a position to make genuine incremental changes to our condition.
Perhaps i’m being pessimistic and the Muslims seeing an unhindered by party policy practising Muslim being heard in Parliament would have a rousing impact and get more of us interesting in politics. Allahu Alim
Another reason not to go the independent route might be the uncertainty over what is classed as extremism. If you campaign, as a Muslim MP might, for Islamic values and interests how do you know some think-tank munafiq won’t justify the government in proscribing you. Imagine the media campaign against a Muslim council making decisions that appear somewhat Islamic. I’m not sure an independent Muslim party that was actually Islamic would be possible now but if it’s not now i don’t see it getting more likely any time soon. Maybe after WW3 when the battle for Muslim resources has been won by China and having become the wealthiest nation and lazy they turn to the UK for cheap manufacturing and we buy our independence back and are allowed to run our own politics. Maybe then inshaAllah.
For now though, how about we embrace the concept of teaching British Values in our Islamic Schools and Madrasas. If we take the initiative quickly rather than let them force us to teach croquet and elocution we can decide the British Values we will teach are understanding the political system, how to read legal documents and how to complain to regulators.
“I suspect a big vote for Labour from Muslims at the next election despite that a Labour PM started the fires in the middle east and has been a thorn in Muslims sides ever since.”
Assuming that Jeremy Corbyn is still leader in 2020…
My stance is that any Muslim who supports Labour is being taken for a ride. Corbyn is a maverick who is hated by 95% of the Parliamentary Labour Party and goodness knows how many councillors throughout the land but sadly large numbers of Muslims will end up voting for whoever wears the Labour rosette come election time regardless of their own stance on issues like foreign policy or counter terrorism laws simply because Corbyn is leader. It’s all a trap and Muslims who vote or join Labour have fallen into it. My advice is to take a good hard look at Tom Watson, the deputy leader of Labour. A Zionist and a staunch supporter of the Iraq war. I believe that he is the real leader of Labour.
“George Galloway might be the example to show that Muslims with political ability might not have much impact as independents. He can shout from the back bench as much as he likes but is simply ignored.”
That’s because he’s an egomaniac idiot who is clearly used (or more accurately, tricked) Muslims in order to extend his political career. The other MPs fully well know that Respect is a party for Galloway and not a party for Muslims. They also know there was no intention for Respect to elect any more MPs. History might have been different if Respect had a Muslim MP instead of Galloway who was not an egomaniac and focused on being a party for the interests of Muslims rather than trying to be a broad left party. Compare the performance in Parliament during the last session between George Galloway and Caroline Lucas who is a committed and hard working MP who takes a serious and mature approach to politics. Quite a lot of Muslims admire Caroline Lucas as an MP despite disagreeing with several things that she believes in but detest Galloway and think he is a traitor and a waste of space.
“Perhaps i’m being pessimistic and the Muslims seeing an unhindered by party policy practising Muslim being heard in Parliament would have a rousing impact and get more of us interesting in politics.”
Yes it would.
“Another reason not to go the independent route might be the uncertainty over what is classed as extremism. If you campaign, as a Muslim MP might, for Islamic values and interests how do you know some think-tank munafiq won’t justify the government in proscribing you.”
MPs cannot actually be kicked out of Parliament. Any attempt to silence or suppress such an MP will be confirmation that they are indeed a serious force in politics and a threat to the establishment. Why else would the establishment want to do such a thing?
“Imagine the media campaign against a Muslim council making decisions that appear somewhat Islamic.”
Just ignore it. Maggie Thatcher ignored what the papers wrote about her and pressed on with her agenda regardless.
“the British Values we will teach are understanding the political system, how to read legal documents and how to complain to regulators.”
In a discussion at a home education meeting a few years ago it was mentioned that children would benefit more from learning these subjects rather than wasting time with what secondary school teaches them. I am of the opinion that far too many Islamic schools have gone down the academic route and are obsessed with GCSE grades to the detriment of teaching life skills.
Just to clarify i wasn’t thinking a truly islamic party or candidate would get as far as being an MP before being stitched up. Has there been an overtly practising Sunni Muslim getting on in politics yet?
One hindrance of course is that he would have to appeal to non-Muslims who have been taught terror of facial hair and all things Islamic. It’s one effect of the newspapers attacking that is hard to ignore.
“One hindrance of course is that he would have to appeal to non-Muslims who have been taught terror of facial hair and all things Islamic. It’s one effect of the newspapers attacking that is hard to ignore.”
It’s a debatable subject.
Some Muslims I have talked to say sod the non-Muslims and focus on the Muslim community. The non-Muslims have Labour, Conservative, Lib-Dem, UKIP, Green, BNP, and possibly other candidates to vote for instead. Trying to be everything to everyone is nothing to no-one. The future lies in identity politics rather than broad left /right or liberal / conservative politics. The demographics of many council wards and a few constituencies mean that an independent Muslim candidate can win it, especially when the non-Muslim vote is split between different parties.
Other Muslims say that having an independent Muslim candidate that is only interested in the Muslim community and doesn’t give a damn to non-Muslims is selfish and all (legitimate?) candidates have to be inclusive to everyone rather than focus on particular communities. Independent Muslim candidates only interested in the Muslim community is like the BNP in reverse.
Considering that the numbers game of “we can’t win without large numbers of votes from non-Muslims” is untrue and disproven (after all, around 95% of people who voted Respect were Muslim and the party elected councillors and twice an MP) then only the selfishness argument prevails.
I believe its in the best interests for all Muslims living in today’s western driven societies to carry out giving the message of the Quran and sunnah to everyone starting from perfecting their character through Islamic teachings and being in a position to educate others the beautiful ways of life and how to find a content mind in such troubling times and sometimes these articles are written by good brothers and sisters who are making all aware of such issues should also note that for a lot of mainstream muslims who share the same view still have the issues of tackling their imaan and that’s the key issue I believe that needs addressing in today’s society that will help such ideologies flourish in the days that come.
“Under a dictatorship it is clear that the ruler is in full control of where the nation is going and how to get there. Any attempt to change the ruler is suppressed and no one expects they have the right to influence him. ”
and under islam it is clear that god is in full control of where the universe is going and how to get there. Any attempt to challenge god is suppressed and no one expects they have the right to influence him.
If islam is true, it looks like god wants it this way.
You poor fella even your imagination is subjugated
If everything happens by god’s will, of course my imagination is subjugated. So is yours. So is everyone’s. The fact remains, if everything happens by god’s will, this is how god wants it.
You missed the point of the article.
If we had an unchanging constitution that self interested humans couldn’t run away with and make us subject to the whim of whoever managed to get elected… wouldn’t that conceivably be better than the system we have in the West?
Crucially assuming the constitution was fair and wise and suitable for all people and all times. (Of course this is something you’ll obviously not be convinced of)
But IF IT WAS wouldn’t that be better?