Humanism is a concept supported by Islam, whereas nationalism and its manifestation in patriotism are pagan concepts opposed by Islam. Muslim is not the same as Islam, because many a time a Muslim may act contrary to the Islamic teachings. The two textual sources of guidance for Muslims are Qur’an, the Book of Allah (God) given to humankind, along with the additional teachings of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad(S), derived from Hadith collections. The following is derived solely from the Qur’an.
“Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight you, but begin not hostilities. Surely, Allah loves not aggressors.” The Qur’an 2:190
This verse gives permission to the Muslims to fight to remove invaders from their country. Fighting is for the sake of Allah (God), not for land, occupation, exploitation, etc. When this verse is read in combination with 42:40, Muslims get the message that damage to the enemy should be no more than that caused by the enemy to the Muslims, but forgiveness is better. “The recompense for an injury is an injury proportionate to it; but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation he shall be rewarded by Allah; He (Allah) does not like the transgressors.” The Qur’an 42:40
The teachings of the Prophet Muhammad prohibit killing of non-combatants, damaging their properties and crops, cutting of trees, etc. The above verse also prohibits invading other people and other lands. Check out and ponder over what is going on in the Middle East and Afghanistan; ask this question to yourself: who is the transgressor and what are the rights of those who have been transgressed? Who is the invader? The invader is the transgressor.
“O you who (claim to) believe, be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that you deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Surely, Allah is informed of what you do.” The Qur’an 5:8
Allah demands justice and equity among all humankind irrespective of race, religion, geographical origin, legal nationality, etc. Also, Allah prohibits Muslims from mistreating other people because of grudges against them due to their previous ill deeds. Justice and equity among all people is the way to get nearer to Allah (God).
“O you who (claim to) believe, be steadfast in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it (your witnessing) be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) children, whether (the case may be of) a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both (than you are). So follow not passion lest you lapse (from truth) and if you lapse or fall away, then surely, Allah is ever informed of what you do.” The Qur’an 4:135
Firstly, according to this verse there is no “fifth amendment” protection in Islam. Secondly, this verse applies to all humankind equally, irrespective of race, religion, geographical origin, gender or legal nationality. There is no dichotomy of nationality for a law that some protections apply to the people of one nationality but not to the people of another nationality. They are all human beings and receive equal protection under Islamic law. This verse does not recognize nationality and patriotism, which are the remnants of ancient paganism: nation worship, my people, my government, my king, right or wrong.
“Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing, Seeing.” The Qur’an 4:58
In this verse the words, “render trusts” has been interpreted in a variety of ways. One among them is that the persons in responsible positions in government (like electing people) and those appointed as judges must be worthy of the position. This is the most important trust that the people can render to others. Establishing justice is not possible without having people worthy of their positions. The goal of an Islamic government is to establish justice for all people, not to establish tyranny and injustice.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Surely, the Deen with Allah is Al-Islam . Those who were given the Book (Christians and Jews) differed (adopted different ways of life) only after knowledge came to them, and this merely to commit excess against one another. Let him who refuses to follow the commands of Allah know that Allah is swift in reckoning. And if they argue with you (O Muhammad), tell them: ‘I have submitted my whole being to Allah, and so have those who follow me.’ Ask those who were given the Book (the Jews) and gentiles (Christians and idolaters), ‘have you also submitted?’ If they submitted, they are indeed guided (on the right path), and if they turn away, then it is your duty only to convey the message. Allah observes the affairs of His servants. Surely, those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, and kill the Prophets wrongfully, and kill those of mankind who enjoin justice and equity ; announce them a painful doom.” 3:19-21
The message in these three verses of the Qur’an is the declaration that Al-Islam is the only system of life that will establish justice and equity, hence peace on earth; every other system of life is be filled with injustice among the people and excess is of one people against the other. We are seeing injustice, oppression, and tyranny worldwide wherever the Islamic system does not exist, including Muslim majority countries . On the other hand, Islamic leaders are being killed, jailed, persecuted and handed over to the enemies of Islam; these oppressors and transgressors are given the warning of painful doom in the next life. Allah’s reward and punishment is infinitely greater than the reward and punishment of the worldly life.
Europeans have never been able to establish a just order anywhere in the world, yet they have been trying to impose their unjust order on the Third World countries, particularly Muslim majority countries (in the contemporary world there is no such thing that can be called “Islamic” country). Europe had feudalism, that is, rule of the landowners run by the kings. Naturally there were slaves who became farmers and laborers, after their freedom, who were just as subjugated as slaves of the past era. After the industrial revolution, the system shifted gradually to capitalism, that is, the rule of the capitalists over the laborers. Slaves, servants, farmers and laborers were told that God made them whatever they were, they should be happy for their jobs which allowed them to bring food home. If they protested for their share in their own produce, they were told God will punish them in this life and the next. The Pope himself supported such notions, thereby exploitation of the poor continued in the name of religion. Naturally, there had to be a revolt, which ultimately appeared in the shape of communism. While communism provided a better life for the farmer and labor class, it took away their freedom of _expression; rulers became the tyrants, persecutors and murderers.
The West inherited feudalism but invented capitalism and communism. All three systems of the West have been materialistic, void of any spirituality or God-consciousness. God consciousness means putting a policeman in the heart of every individual rich or poor, the landowner or the farmer, the capitalist or the laborer, a citizen or an alien. Accountability to a higher power who is All-Seeing, All-Hearing makes people more responsible and behave correctly. Islam gave people the only just order ever in the history of mankind. An Islamic just order was perhaps established by the Prophet Yousuf, son of Yakoub (Joseph son of Jacob in 18th century BCE). Next it came into existence briefly during the life of Musa (Moses in 13th century BCE), then in full form during the rule of Talut (Saul in 1020 to 1000 BCE), who was followed by Prophets Dawood (David in 1000 to 961 BCE) and Sulayman (Solomon in 961-925 BCE) and after that Israelites lost the system completely, never to appear again under their rule. Among the Ishmaelites, Prophet Muhammad (610-632 CE, period of Prophethood) was chosen by God to establish an Islamic system, which remained in existence for nearly 1200 years. Under the influence of colonialism, Muslims lost the Islamic system during the 18th to 19th centuries but Muslims dream of reestablishing Islamic just order. They have tried everything European but all they got was more poverty, more exploitation, more misery and more corruption to improve the material lives of a few at the expense of many. It is the right of the Muslims to choose any form of government they desire and there should be no compulsion under the guns of the West to accept western systems. The West has no right to appoint puppets, provide them security to enable them to impose the will of the West under guns and bombs. Naturally, in response to the guns and bombs of the West, Muslims will resist with their own guns and bombs, however primitive.
The Islamic economic system has been capitalistic from the beginning but with a difference, which I call Taqwa or God-consciousness. It has all the guarantees of freedom of private ownership with fewer legal restrictions because Taqwa takes care of the rest. Under Taqwa capitalism there would be no Enron or other corrupt capitalists because they would have more consciousness of God than the law. They can get away with human laws but they cannot avoid prosecution in the court of God. Under the Islamic system, laborers, farmers and employees will get their fair share because employers have Taqwa. Islam would create a God-conscious society, which would be a just and equitable society. In such a society all human beings would be treated equally as long as they pay their share of taxes. There will be no need of passports and visas because people would be treated like human beings. This is the way it was in the Islamic rule for over 12 centuries until the European paganism of nationalism was introduced into the Muslim world and Muslims adopted the paganism of nationalism with the symbols of this paganism manifested in passports and visas. The next natural step was nationalistic patriotism and wars of patriotism as we have seen in the West in two World Wars in the 20th century, murdering nearly eighty million human beings. Since the traditional arms of sword and arrows were not efficient enough, the West invented cluster bombs, napalm bombs, then the ultimate one, the nuclear bomb; all are inventions of the West.
America has become extremist in the paganism of patriotism. The Bush team has wrapped up Kerry in the golden chain of patriotism, now Kerry cannot wiggle out of it. If he speaks against Bush’s wars in Iraq and war on Islam, sold under the euphemism of “war on terrorism”, he would be labeled “unpatriotic” and providing comfort to the “enemy” of humanity. If he does not speak on Bush’s failures in his wars he has no issue in foreign affairs to talk about; the result is that he is losing. These are some of the evils of patriotism.
Bush has taken this evil of patriotism to another extreme and hurting America: the Bush people are catching Muslims around the world like dogs and cats and putting them in animal cages under the pretext of being suspected terrorists without any legal protection afforded to normal American human beings. White American citizens accused of terrorism are allowed to defend themselves in the civilian courts but non-white American citizens are declared “enemy combatants” and thrown in black holes providing no information about them. Yasser Hamdi, American citizen by birth but son of an Arabian citizen, lost his citizenship. There are many such people rotting in the black holes of America without any legal recourse. Also, there are hundreds, if not thousands, around the globe in American controlled prisons, rotting without any legal protection –” not even charged of any crime. What happened to the universal law that an accused is innocent until proven guilty by the accusers. The irony is that these people are not even accused of anything, yet they are called “dangerous”. Can anyone explain to me this riddle? I see all of these inhuman philosophies and actions are the result of paganism of nationalism resulting in patriotism. This philosophy is anti-human and opposes humanism. Islam has nothing to do with this idiotic philosophy and behavior. Islam stands for justice, equity and humanism. The evil behavior of Muslims should not be translated as Islam, the way a Christian’s evil behavior is not Christianity or a Jew’s evil behavior is not Judaism. The humanism of Islam is further spelled out in the following verse of the Qur’an:
“O People! Surely, We (Allah) have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Surely, the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in God-consciousness (Taqwa, conduct). Surely, Allah is Knower, Aware.” (49:13)
This verse rules out the superiority of one people over the other by any criteria like race, color, gender, geographical origin, national origin or any other man-made criteria. Naturally, this verse also rules out nationalism and its ultimate form, patriotism. We find humanism is the only way to live. The only criterion of superiority with Allah is Taqwa, Allah-consciousness, sometimes interpreted as piety or fear of Allah or conduct in life. This is a condition of the heart, which no one may know but Allah. It simply means that no person, family or a nation or people of a race or color may claim that they have more Taqwa than all other people of the world –” this would be a hoax.
Urge to dominate and its Cost.
The consequence of nationalism and patriotism is to dominate other nations and other people for exploitation of their natural resources for the benefit of the already powerful and dominating nation. The people of the dominating nation, such as the U.S., support their government out of their patriotism even if this is obviously unjust, like the Iraq war. This leads to injustice to the exploited people resulting (as in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan) in their protests, which may become violent, the kind we are seeing in the Muslim world. This may eventually lead to war, frequently under false pretext as evidenced in the present wars in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. European pagans have been warring against each other under the banner of their respective nationalism and killed perhaps hundreds of millions of their own people over the last 2000 years of Christian era. The Bush administration has already spent 200 billion dollars in Iraq, many more billions in Afghanistan; money of which could have brought a lot of prosperity to the same two countries or a lot of prosperity to the American poor, needy and old people. The cost in dollars is actually much higher; U.S. is paying for her patriotism in trillions of dollars of taxpayer’s money.
Rulers invade and start wars for their own glory and other worldly motives. Their people support them out of loyalty, meaning patriotism and nationalism; humanism is absent from their thoughts. The Islamic system, when established, would be humanistic, not nationalistic, as it existed during the first twelve centuries of Islam. Islam offers the most advanced and most modern concept of governance ever developed by human beings; any deviation from Islam is going backward to the days of paganism. Ironically, in the Muslim world Muslims desire the Islamic system but the West led by Bush is trying to move Muslims away from modernizing under Islam and forcing Muslims with bombs and guns to modernize and go backward to the unjust pagan system developed by the West. Ask yourself, who is forcing whom with guns? Who wants to be free and who wants to enslave the free? Bush wants to enslave Muslims and deny them freedom of choice, freedom of their religion, from of choosing their economic, political and social system. America has already imposed twenty wars on the Third World weak countries, isn’t it enough?
Visit the following website for American wars and assassinations:
Since World War II, the United States has dropped bombs on 20 countries that are Third World poor countries, having no significant arms or armies or economies to face the Super Power. America has proven itself to be the bully in the second half of the 20th century and early 21st century. This is the urge to dominate the weak, a typical bully psychology. The weak nations bombed are the following:
China 1945-46, again in 1950-53,
Guatemala 1954, again in 1960 and again in 1967-69,
El Salvador 1980s,
Iraq 1991 continues in 2004,
Afghanistan 1998, again in 2001 and continues in 2004,
Since the end of World War II, the United States has assisted twenty coups in the Third World countries and the CIA was responsible for the assassination of one-half dozen heads of states.
How to stop violence in the Muslims countries?
The West, particularly the U.S., should pull out of all Muslim majority countries. The U.S. should withdraw all support from the puppets and let them fall so that Muslims gain their true freedom, not the fraudulent slogan of Bush and Blair. Settle the peace process by creating a multi-ethnic single country and stop the fraud of two states. Lastly, stop putting hurdles in the progress of the Muslim world in all spheres.
. The material of this article was presented in part in Barrington, Illinois on Sunday, September 19, 2004 at the Memorial Procession for American soldiers lost in the occupation of Iraq. Visit www.do-you-care.org or http://homepage.mac.com/vogela/do-you-care.org/
. Deen means a system of life that provides guidelines in every aspect of human life including individual, family, social, economic and political spheres. Religion, as it is understood in the West is a part of a Deen. “Al-Deen al-Islam” means the system of life of Islam to include the individual, family, social, economic and political lives of Muslims. When Muslims are living as a minority, they are allowed to live Islam as a religion only and practice other aspects of Islam within the laws of the country they are living in.
. Muslim leadership that is on the right path with sincerity.
. In the contemporary world there is no “Islamic country”. The model of an Islamic country was the one established by the Prophet Muhammad and followed by the early rightly guided caliphs. Many characteristics of an Islamic state remained during the first five centuries of Islam when downward slide was accelerated. The following seven centuries witnessed the gradual disintegration of Islamic states until the enemies of Islam colonized Muslim majority countries. Islamic states, when established, will be the most advanced system in pluralism, justice and equity for all.