The minor signs have been coming in thick and fast these last few decades and now the Dunya seems about to enter the period of the “rule of fools”.
Rasūlulllāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said
“Soon the Luka b. Luka will take over this world.”
He is also reported to have said,
“This world will not end until it belongs to the Luka b. Luka.”
The word luka is used to indicate foolishness, ignorance or unworthy characteristics. Luka b. Luka, therefore, means the mean, foolish son of a mean fool who purely follows his whims and desires to achieve this world at the expense of moral or divine values. He will be the most fortunate in terms of respect, wealth, status and luxury. He will hold position of authority and be in charge of worldly affairs.
You may well ask how this could come about. Who would let foolish and unworthy people be in charge? The fact is running a country is an extremely complex job. Anyone who has run a business or organisation can imagine it on a much larger scale and probably shudder at the thought. However, it is far too easy for a person to get into a position of authority which dictates the running of a country. In a democracy, under certain circumstances, any fool can do it.
Not even the most vehement promoter of the Western style democracy thinks it is perfect, tending instead to believe it is “the best we have”. Other than the many successful models throughout human history, which they are ignorant of, they are probably right. In normal circumstances, democratic policies are something of a meritocracy; candidates for election will have been selected from among local party groups and vie for election by being qualified or experienced enough to do the job. However, democracy in practise today has a massive flaw, there is a self-destruct button on the stability we have been taking for granted and, over the last few decades, successive governments have been pushing the people towards pressing it.
When, for a long time, the choice in elections has been between a few similar parties of experienced politicians it creates a feeling that the question of who is in office makes no real difference in society. In the main, the economy, the infrastructure, people’s fundamental rights and the rule of law will continue to operate in roughly the same manner despite the bickering over a few policies at PMQs. If the consequences do not seem particularly dangerous, voters feel they can be more casual about voting for whoever is shouting loudest for any single issue and feel no need to look carefully at the rest of their policies or experience. “So what if one lot of politicians changes for another, they’re all the same aren’t they? It’s just this one issue where they differ, right?” Individually, it is written off as a protest vote. When a lot of people do it, it exposes the Achilles Heel of democracy: Populism, when people ignore all the complexity, switch off their brains and vote en masse with their gut.
The mathematical mechanism of how a mass of single issue protest votes can spring populists into power was clearly shown after the Scottish Independence referendum. Back when independence was just a distant pipe-dream of a few nationalists the people voted on a variety of issues, splitting their votes between the various parties. The SNP only had enough general appeal to gain 6 of the 59 Scottish MPs at the 2010 election. At the 2015 general election, following the lost referendum, many of those who had voted for independence then voted on that single issue for the one and only party that promised another referendum, while the other half of the electorates votes were split as usual between the other parties. The SNP went from having 6 MPs to having 56 out of 59, not because they suddenly became better all-round politicians but because a significant number of people did not care that much about their other policies or lack of experience. It was their having a unique fringe policy that propelled them to power rather than kept them away from it. When a previously fringe idea becomes suddenly popular and only one party is offering it, or when a single party succeeds in promoting their unique ideas, it can easily sweep away any established political party and end years of stability.
By the 2015 general election UKIP were able to field candidates in nearly every constituency. Where did these 624 Lukas come from? Clearly they were not experienced bureaucrats but, in most areas, just somebody who was bothered enough to stand for election. They did not even need to campaign in person as people elect their local MP largely on the media representation of the party or its leader. As Nigel Farage said on the day of the referendum, if the result would have been to stay in the EU, it would have only been the beginning. While the remain voters, thinking the EU issue settled, would have gone back to splitting their vote among traditional parties, it is certain that his band of amateurs would have continued promoting their anti-immigrant rhetoric and quite possibly, given another 4 years of hysterical whining, could have been swept to power on this one emotive issue just as the SNP had been swept to power in Scotland and how similar parties are rising to power across Europe.
How the Lukas lead to the Luka b. Lukas
Another negative aspect of populism is that unprofessionalism breeds more unprofessionalism. There is clearly something darkly post-colonial about politicians from every non-western country, other than the Arabs mashāAllāh, still dressing in the formal western suit and tie when they do politics.
The benefit of this to the colonials was that the man in native dress might not start to think he could run things equal to “his betters”, but there are some genuine benefits to having formalities and standards.
There used to be a thing called statesmanship which encompassed a level of professionalism and decorum among politicians. It is hard not to mention at this point “the most powerful man in the world”, the “leader of the free world”, Commander in Chief of the most powerful military in the world, casually tweeting threats to other super powers and his own judiciary. And it is catching. When he over-shared about a phone-call between himself and the Australian premier, an Australian senator responded by emerging from Parliament House in Canberra carrying a doormat with Trumps face on it which he walked on for the cameras. The danger of this type of behaviour is if it looks like amateur idiots are doing politics, every idiot will think their opinion is equally valid and that they are equally capable of running a country.
Of course, democracy in its literal translation is supposed to mean rule by the people, but there are different levels of that. If it is taken too literally it can be likened to two wolves and a lamb voting on what is for dinner. The majority can always get their way; “might is right”. It gives me no pleasure at all to point out that our clearly flawed establishment of professional politicians is far preferable to being a minority under populist rule.
A clear example of Luka b. Luka led populism in Italy is how the literal fool, comedian Beppe Grillo, went from being an internet blogger in 2009 to leading ’5 Star’, the most voted for party in the 2013 general election. It is not a disadvantage for new parties to have no track record; it just makes it harder for anyone to dispute their claims. They can peddle any idealism as long as it sounds good to the masses, and what could sound better than echoing what the people are saying, without tempering it with reference to the reality of what is possible?
5 Star have proposed an electronic system for the people to vote on issues rather than elected leaders deciding for the people, frequent mini-referendums. In the same vein, when UKIP (who have an alliance with 5 Star) campaigned to stop the so called mega mosque going ahead in Stratford they called for a local referendum and it is one of their regularly proposed methods for “putting more power back into the hands of local people”. Of course they could stop all new mosques being built with this method. Many non-Muslims might not object if the council decide to allow one but they would not be likely to tick the “Yes, I want a mosque” box if they had to choose. For anyone opposed to minority rights populist politics and “giving power back to the people” is a common motif.
The follow-on danger of populism is that populist parties can make ridiculous claims of how they will sort out problems in a very simple way, as Trump is now doing, then blame their inability to achieve it on the “checks and balances” that are the only difference between a mature democracy and a dictatorship.
Trump announces he is going to fulfil his pledge, signs an executive order he must have been advised will be prevented from working, then turns to the people and says the system needs to be changed before he can “make America great again”. Depending on the level of his megalomania and ambition this could simply be a rouse to get past appearing to not fulfil pledges and he might later be content to go along for the ride being bowed and scrapped to around the world in luxury for the next 4 or 8 years as Obama did. However, if he really believes he should implement all of his ideas, which seems to be the case, if he inflames enough dissent he could gradually force concessions and erode the system until, by popular demand, he can become the classical dictator.
Islamophobia is the populist’s tool of choice
In the EU, the Far right is making huge political gains and the Muslim presence in Europe is the number one emotive issue they are using. While traditional parties sound reasonably moderate toward Muslims because, in reality, there is no actual problem, the hype that has been created by populists, echoed by racists in the mainstream and social media, has convinced an election winning proportion of the public that Islām and practicing Muslims are the greatest threat to their countries.
Another problem with populism is that it is nearly always a one-way street. The only way the UK government was able to appease the demands for a Scottish referendum was to concede to one, however while Westminster did not lose the vote, they still lost Scotland to the SNP. The only way to prevent further political gains by UKIP was, once again, appeasement by conceding to a referendum. Westminster lost but it might otherwise have been worse in the long run anyway. In EU countries there have been countless examples of mainstream parties trying to stem the rise of the far-right parties by adopting their anti-Muslim policies. What this shows is that once it gains momentum there is very little difference in outcome. Either the government changes to adopt the populist agenda or the populists take over the government. Irrevocable change is guaranteed either way.
The last thing a newly global post-Brexit UK can be is openly institutionally racist and the last thing any establishment wants is to be dictated to by a bunch of too popular racists. Thankfully, the anti-Muslim feeling in the UK is not election winning level yet. UKIP is in disarray since losing their original reason for being. They are trying to jump on any populist bandwagon, including Islamophobia, but they lack the same financial backing as there was to campaign for the referendum. Britain First are perhaps more equivalent to the vehemently anti-Islām populist parties in the EU and, despite having an impressive looking number of Facebook likes, the turnout at their anti-Islamisation rallies shows their support is almost entirely sofa-based.
This is the last chance for the British establishment which has been right at the forefront of promoting unjustified anger at and fear of Muslims and is now at-risk of suffering the greatest own goal in British political history. Under Blair and more recently Cameron’s horrendous Etonian cabal, promotion of Islamophobia has clearly been a state-sanctioned policy, none more effective at legitimising Islamophobia than the Prevent Agenda, a hopelessly crude instrument which has worked hard to instil suspicion of Muslims in the 5 million public sector workers. The mainstream media has certainly done its bit claiming to know the dark secrets of “what Muslims really think”. There is no need to decide one way or the other on false-flag theories as it is certainly possible to see that those in positions of influence were determined and efficient at furthering their promotion of Islamophobia off the back of the rare foreign policy related attacks in Europe that involved Muslims, in stark contrast to the keep calm and carry on attitude when faced with IRA terrorism.
The news that Rupert Murdoch was with Michael Gove when he interviewed Trump should cause much concern when the opportunity for business to capture politics through populism is so clear and present. Michael Gove appears as a mole in UK politics and has shown that he works primarily for his own benefit above others. Thankfully, he is no longer at the heart of government.
Before being adopted as a tool for populist take-overs the most obvious reason Western governments had for promoting Islamophobia, and thereby dehumanising Muslims, was to reduce sympathy for those killed by the invasions of Muslim countries. But priorities change. The UK has extricated itself from most direct military involvement and returned to ‘just’ selling arms for other people’s wars. Thankfully, our new government’s Brexit priorities mean they have to deal more nicely with a wider world, including many developing Muslim nations. Just before Trump could twist her arm, Theresa May claimed “the days of the UK using military force to ‘remake sovereign countries in our own image’ were finished”. Not sure “our image” is a devastated, infrastructureless, depleted uranium-covered wasteland or that the creation of such a place was a very “liberal interventionist foreign policy”. Nevertheless, it is a welcome indication of a change in direction that will have less need to dehumanise “the enemy” and less paranoid planning for an expected violent blow-back from the Muslims within.
I could be wrong but it does seem as though the government’s focus is beginning to shift slightly away from vilifying and harassing us. Though the Muslims who have made very lucrative careers encouraging our harassment as “extremism experts” are shouting louder and more desperately to attract government attention and funding these days. One in particular being a case in point, is today calling for tougher Prevent action for Muslim children under 5 years old based on a single example of a child watching a video which she encourages the government to believe is common in the Muslim community despite presenting no further evidence. These shamelessly unscientific “experts” are reportedly demanding the government create lessons relating to Muslims beheading people that every reception teacher in the country will be required to teach 4 and 5-year-olds. The harm to teachers and pupils alike, of this indoctrination to Islamophobia is obvious. But the nauseating behaviour of these “experts” should become less welcome in Whitehall if they have any sense.
The current government reportedly tried to bury the Casey report, presumably knowing it was commissioned specifically to be an unbalanced attack piece consistent with the Cameron government’s aims. The Counter “Extremism” (counter classical orthodox Islamic beliefs) Bill is “sinking without trace” presumably due to a lack of effort or investment to pursue the impossible task of policing unpopular beliefs. Wilshaw is no longer in charge of Ofsted and the ridiculous moral panic over Muslim children not being taught music and dancing seems to have slipped back down the priorities list beneath Ebola. Instead, they have hired public relations gurus M&C Saatchi “to tackle racist myths perpetuated online by the far right”, set aside £2million to protect mosques and synagogues from the far-right, are “monitoring Europe’s growing far-right movement via the anti-subversion section of Whitehall, as part of Theresa May’s £60m fight against extremism” and the Stasi Prevent program is being tilted more toward reporting far-right tendencies.
Political stability is a huge factor of our security and looking around the world there seems to be no doubt whatsoever that the biggest threat to UK security and our way of life is Islamophobia induced populist political upheaval. However, it now seems the government might have enough sense to prioritise defending against that than a mythical Muslim threat, and they have seemed to backtrack on some of Cameron’s disastrous policies. Perhaps it is not too late to prevent the public hysteria getting to dangerous levels. Nevertheless, with external forces in the shape of Islamophobic America and Israel, whom no one wants to oppose for post Brexit business reasons, an out of control fake news filled social media, a Murdoch controlled mainstream media and Islamophobic self-serving moles still in government, it will be a close run thing.
 Recorded by Ahmad and At-Tahhaawi
 Recorded by Ahmad, Tirmithi and Bayhaqi. Declared sahee by Al- Haythami
 Muhammad Al-Areefi
The views expressed on Islam21c and its connected channels do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation.