If David Cameron succeeds in becoming the next Prime Minister and keeps his pre-election promise, the group Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT) faces the prospect of a ban. The group is characterised by its noble quest to re-establish the Caliphate in the Muslim world, which will be the starting point to unify the Muslim nations and remove the oppressive regimes, establish peace and justice. The leadership of HT reassured the previous regime that it has no intention of calling for the Caliphate in the UK, and resorted to considerable amount of lobbying to prevent the ban, and it seems they succeeded in persuading the MPs to renew the current legislation that permits the group the operate.
However, the statement of HT is misleading on the subject of the Caliphate for UK. Far as I remember, the Islamic opinion adopted by HT is that - the Islamic State will have no permanent fixed borders, until the entire world is brought under the domain of Islam. Thus, it may not call for the Caliphate today in the UK, but bringing UK under the domain of the Caliphate is not to be excluded in the future. Either pragmatism or fear caused the group’s leadership not to clarify their position on the issue.
If bullets and bombs are used to spread democracy, then surely they can use the same tools for spreading the domain of Islam. But, remember, the fundamental objective of the Caliphate is not material conquest or oil-piracy - it is the spread of Islam. Thus, minimising civilian casualty is an inherent feature of the Caliphate, not a convenient political slogan to exercise after inflicting massive collateral damage, because annihilation would defeat the objective of spreading Islam. If you want to minimise civilian casualty, then Jihad is the best option!
I am perplexed by the controversy over the Caliphate. It existed for over a thousand years; people of different races, culture and religion lived together and prospered. One can still see the main tourist attraction in Spain is the Alhambra, which is the product of the Caliphate. The non-Muslims never faced the Islamic Inquisition or any form of Pogroms, unless the ruler had deviated significantly from the basic principles of Islam. I cannot think of one example of persecution or atrocities committed against non-Muslims under the Caliphate.
Therefore, it seems the controversy is a by-product of the war propaganda, as the UK government continues to pursue the American-led war on terror by terrorising the civilians in the Muslim world. Maybe, it also reflects the deep insecurity of leading democracies, as they fear the possible challenge posed by a future Caliphate. Why not debate groups like Hizb-ut-Tahrir on the ideological alternatives rather than impose a ban? Why are the democracies so afraid to have an open discussion on this issue? Such a reaction tells me that they are a bunch of intolerant freedom-fundamentalists, operating behind their media Niqab!
If we live in a democratic free society, then everyone has the right to express an opinion on how we should govern ourselves, unless it is a dictatorship of democracy! The Communists and the Socialists are calling for a specific type government, as Muslims we should have every right to call for the Caliphate in the UK. The entire universe is the creation of God and the whole world should be subjected to the divine laws, rather than exploitative capitalism. The fundamental divine laws are fixed; it is not possible for anyone to manipulate it without violating the laws. For example, one could not incarcerate any non-Muslim simply by inventing a term like illegal-combatants. The majority Muslim population could not even debate if the rights of non-Muslims can be retracted. Everyone knows the score under the Caliphate, and no slimy politician can wag their lizard tongue to tell you otherwise.
Perhaps, one day the UK may become a Muslim majority nation, as the Muslim population continues to grow at a rapid rate in relation to non-Muslim community who are experiencing a slow growth in population, largely caused by a breakdown of family values with their zeal for freedom, and promoting things like homosexuality; also the number of converts to Islam continue to flow despite the adverse media propaganda. Then the introduction of Sharia laws would be natural, and in compliance with the principles of majority rule, that is assuming the Muslims continue to aspire to this. Of course, nobody knows the future, a meteor might strike or a devastating earthquake and a Tsunami might change the entire picture, or the Muslims may assimilate and lose their zeal.
At present, the Muslims in the UK are content to live as peaceful democratic citizens, and are busy preserving their identity and interests, as they face a rising tide of Islamophobia. The Niqab has been banned in Belgium, so has the Minaret in Switzerland; no purpose-built Mosques are allowed in some European countries and media is constantly spitting on the Muslims; the new Jews of Europe they say. Naturally, the pressure to assimilate is increasing. Adopting an isolationist approach of the past is no longer an option, nor is the community in a position to call for the Caliphate in the UK. The only option left is to engage with the majority non-Muslim population that can only benefit the cause of Islam and Muslims.
Those who have employed the antagonistic approach in the past should reflect on their record of success, which is very little. Bulk of the converts to Islam has come through the interaction of the ordinary Muslims, as has bulk of the institutions like the numerous Mosques, Charity organisations, and community centres. Taking a simplistic view that antagonising the non-Muslims is a sign of success, only demonstrate a superficial understanding of the example of the Prophet and his companions. In general, the early Muslims did not adopt a confrontational approach, in Medina there were rarely any examples of confrontation; in Mecca, the antagonising was largely initiated by the non-Muslims for various reason.
As the Quran says, “Indeed Allah is with those who are patient”
Yamin Zakaria (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published on 10/05/2010