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Sunday, September 26, 2004


to pd Re: To PD - Religious & Political Freedom Name: Hallowell 26/9/2004(3:32) GMT Reply

As far as the girl being forced to quit, I don't think she was treated fairly. In my view she should wear whatever she wants. Her religious beliefs have nothing to do with playing a game. Her views, whatever they may be, on a kaliphate-like government had no impact on the game either.

I did attempt to change the subject of your thread, but I did so for a reason. I do not believe that this incident is very important in the grand scheme of things. I have faith that my fellow citizens are tolerant and learning every day to be more tolerant of different people.

If the "aspirations" of western Muslims are to establish some form of the kaliphate and abolish current Western governments then I think that we will have more serious problems than girls being forced to quit basketball teams.

The fact that Muslims organizations, activists, and individuals refuse to discuss this topic or become hyper-defensive when the issue is brought up by non-Muslims makes me weary of the future. Maybe the issue is too complex for most people. I don't know.

I do not pretend to speak for Muslims or for the opinions of individual Muslims, but I with my own eyes I have seen several Western Muslims on here expressly state their allegience does not lie with the Western countries they currently reside in.

I have seen Muslims on the Internet and on this discussion board, calling for violent revolution within Western countries with the purpose of establishing an Islamic State.

I don't have any answers. But I know it is important that Westerners and Muslims talk about this issue.


To PD Religious & Political Freedom

my answer

Hallowell, this post of yours is better.

You are now talking like the american you should be. As long as you do not succumb to prejudice, you will be all right. We can take it from there.


You have issues with the Caliphate! You have seen Muslims advocating violent overthrow of Western governments on this board?

I think occassionally I have seen a post from a Western Muslim in anger, but I do not recall a persistent theme of establishing the Caliphate in the West, by violent means. It has been more a response when some non-Muslim has been extraordinarily belligerant.

As for Western Muslim organisations threatening violence in the West, I have heard of only one, headed by Bakri in the UK, although I haven't bothered to check his views. To me he appears as a fringe personality, and there are so many opinions among Muslims that I do not want to bother with every one, although since he has received publicity in the West, I should look him up. If he advocates violence in the West, he is either a nut, or an agent provocateur, else how do you explain the tolerance of the British government towards him, when very mild Muslims have received attention from the British agencies.

And in North America, I know of no such organisation.

If you have any links, please provide them.

Let me repeat: I know of no organisation which wants to establish the Caliphate by force in the West, or in Russia or China or India. They are not stupid that they would want to impose rule over a majority of those who are unwilling.


It is in the Muslim majority areas, which experienced colonisation, that the Caliphate will be established. Force there may be considered only as a reaction to the elite itself using force to set aside the will of the majority, which has been the experience of Muslims for a long time.

In fact, force is out of the question altogether. However, Muslim thinkers have analysed the possibility that the elite may not let go of power, and will use force to kill off the attempts to establish the Caliphate. In that scenario, they have considered the chances of an uprising becoming necessary, like they have seen in popular revolutions.

What Muslims see is that whenever thay have tried to establish local Islamic rule, they have been thwarted by the agents of the West, aided by the West.

Turkey had consistently denied rule by Islamic parties, even though they won in elections. It is only recently, and that too when the Islamic party diluted its Islamic manifesto, that it was allowed to form a government. And we see that pressure to back down on its Islamic agenda is being brought to bear, and the Turkish government of the Islamic Party continues to back down.

In Algeria, the elections were cancelled by the military, and the Muslims were persecuted. It is now known that the massacres were actually carried out by State Security. And the Algerian government was aided by the West.

This has been the Muslim experience. Their attempts to play by the rules have been thwarted by the local elite, which has received support from the West.

You see the Caliphate degenerated into empire/kingdom, but this degeneration was accepted to maintain unity within the Ummah. When the Caliphate was abolished, Muslims throughout the world felt the pain, and tried to have it retained, for they are one Ummah. It is possible to have a high degree of local autonomy within the Caliphate, but the establishment of a Caliphate is considered a central requirement of our faith. We want a central authority to which all local Muslim rulers would be answerable, and which would also be subject to the rule of law, for the ruling elites have lifted themselves above the law.

Over the years of colonisation, Muslim thinkers came up with many analyses of why the decline has occurred, and how to overcome it. Some saw Western-style education as the answer. Some simply copied the West in dress and manners. Eventually with the departure of the colonial powers, power came in the hands of those with this type of education, but the Muslim experience was by and large of becoming a neo-colony, whether of the West, or the now defunct Soviet Empire.

Some thinkers had come up that this subjugation was due to the lack of adherence to the Shariah. After the abolition of the Caliphate, they thought the continued subjugation was linked to this. There were moves then to establish the Shariah in a country, and other moves to educate the Muslims intelligentsia and the masses to re-establish the Caliphate, not by some ruler calling himself the Khalifa, but by a voluntary coming together of the countries which have more or less artificial boundaries.

You see the colonial powers saw to it that the bureaucracy was simply clerical in nature, and the elite was trained to look upon its former masters as still its master. It is for this reason that the feudal structure remains in place. The highest in the land have been known to bow to the Queen and declare that they still consider themselves as subjects of Her Majesty. In this scenario, the only independent thinking came from the religious scholars.

However, some scholars had frozen the application of Ijtihad, for they feared splitting further into sects and internecine wars. In the colonial times, some scholars held on to what they already knew, as they felt the faith was under threat from the colonial masters. The Taleban were a product of that school of thought, further subdivided to a thinking peculiar to the Afghans. And they did not establish a Caliphate. Instead they established an Emirate - you have plenty of the pro-West variety, and you are quite comfortable with them.

There was further analysis and refinement of analysis, and what is aspired to is a "rightly-guided Caliphate", i.e. a leadership which acts according to the Quran and the Sunnah as was during the time of the first four Caliphs. Sch a Caliphate would be just, righteous and enlightened.

However the debate within the Muslims is far from over. I installed a google web bar, which allows for search within the site, and there was a wealth of articles on IoL site alone. I tried the IoL search on the Discussion Forum with "Caliphate" and "Khilafa" as search strings in the Message text field, and again there were fifteen pages in each search. I do not have the time to go through them. Also my attitude is to look at the concepts, and if they look right, to leave further development to the specialists.

Having emerged from direct colonial rule in many areas, Muslims have still the feudal, ethnic, sectarian and cultural prejudices and divisions to overcome, and the mental servitude of the elite to foreign concepts and foreign masters. And it does not help that in some areas of the world direct colonial rule still obtains, where the Muslims have had to take up arms.

We do not want to establish the Shariah or the Caliphate by force, either in the East or the West. The emphasis is on Dawah - the peaceful call to the faith. However, since persecution and subjugation still continue in some regions even in this 21st century, local armed resistance is taking place, to which Muslims from other lands may extend help.

One day, the Caliphate will be established. It will be done in areas and populations that want it. Those who see this struggle for what it is - a democratic liberation movement, will be embraced. Those who side with the persecutors, will be shunned.

I think if the US sides with fairness and justice, it will be helping to bring about a peaceful and progressing world. I think if instead of looking at the Caliphate as an adversary, you look upon it as a parallel experiment in governance by a people who want to rule themselves in accordance with their analysis and understanding of the world, you will find plenty of points of convergence, and where we diverge, there need not be a violent conflict.


Now the question of allegiance and the rule of law:

In fact, Islam looks for rule of law, even if the law enforcers fall far short of the ideal. Some sort of order is preferable to anarchy.

It is when there is dialogue that people come to see that Islam brings peace, and is the way of nature, so a peaceful atmosphere is what Islam desires most.

Living in perpetual conflict with one's neigbors won't bring this dialogue. It won't let one exercise one's talents in peaceful pursuits, so allegiance to where one lives, and to one's community are paramount, but there are times when one's perception of what is in the interest of the community (and the state), are in conflict with the perceptions of others (more specifically the government). It is recognised that people may take a stand against that of their governments, or even against that of majorities, if their conscience dictates so.

We have seen US soldiers deserting the army, and taking refuge in Canada, during the VietNam war. Many in the US did not see them as traitors.

We are beginning to see similar cases from the Iraq war. Objectors to the Iraq war are not necessarily traitors to the US.

I do not regard a government's stand as always in the interest of the State or a people. There may be instances when one may have to stand up and refuse the government's diktats.

So, you can think of situations when Muslims (and non-Muslims) may find the policies of their Western governments so much against their conscience, that they may resort to this solution - refusing to carry out the wishes of the government on such issues. It does not mean they will declare war on their next-door neighbors, and it does not mean that they will be traitors.

I wouldn't call that refusal treachery.

If you look at Rwanda, the conversion to Islam has ben fantastic after the genocidal war. Why? because the persecuted were given sanctuary and help by Muslims, even by those Muslims belonging to the opponent tribe. Similar is the case in Sri Lanka. The Tamil Muslims do not participate in or support the Tigers' atrocities, despite sharing a common language and ethnicity.

Ummah Forum thread 29216