Why will the US fail?

The US will fail in all that it wants to achieve in the Muslim world simply because it is now clearly established that it is up against the very basic principles of faith of 1.3 billion people.

The Western people in particular are the victims of a gigantic and deadly hoax. They are told that the war on Afghanistan and Iraq is no more a war for WMD or democracy, or terrorism any more. These were just initial steps towards “a war between radical Islam and America.”[1]

The hoax goes on to make the Western people believe that Islam has two faces: “Islam with a human and progressive face” and an Islam that is “exclusivist and hostile to the world.”[2] This US will be defeated by its own hoax about Islam.

The hoax-mongers are fast moving from the mantra of making democratic models to the making Islam fit for democracy. Any opposition to the use of unprecedented amount of killing and terror to impose democracy on selected Muslim countries is considered as “resistance” of a “small fraction” of “exclusivist Muslims” who are “the enemies of democracy.”

Besides the so-considered “progress” made towards democracy in the 30 and 14 months occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq respectively, there are other factors that show that the US will never be able to split Muslims the way it wants in the name of imposing its brand of democracy in the Muslim world.

Impartial analysts need to analyse these facts and guide the US administration and the promoters of terror under the banner of democracy for better understanding of the realities about Islam and Muslims. Together they need to repackage their democracy rather supporting their futile attempts at “rebuilding Islam” for 1.3 billion people.

Democracy is now used as a weapon to achieve the objective of weakening the exaggerated threat of Islam. The reason is that there are some principles of democracy that are compatible with Islam and some are in total contradiction to its core principles. To make Islam compatible to these principle, rather than doing the other way round, is an invitation to continuous trouble and an exercise in futility.

It is interesting to note that persons, such as Daniel Pipes, who have accepted in the past that democracy need not be secular,[3] now propose to secularise Islam otherwise democracy will never take roots in the Muslim world.

It is as irrational to expect that the fear of never ending massacres will make Muslims reject the basic principles of their faith without any critical scrutiny as it is illogical to reject any Western concept only because it is originated in the West.

Some of the principles of democracy such as ‘freedom’, ‘equality’ and ‘election’ are not only compatible with Islam, but it is Islam which has imported to the people their natural rights, equality, freedom and justice. In Islam, although the interest of an individual is subordinated to the community but the individual is given sufficient liberty which is necessary for the development of his personality.

The head of the state in Islam is subject to the same laws like the common man. He is supposed to be elected by the people and should be deposed by the people if he goes contrary to the law. This way, democracy is the most important aspect of Islam as a political ideal.

The origin of state is not force, but free consent of individual who unite to form a brotherhood, based upon legal equality, in order that each member of the brotherhood may work out the potentialities of his individuality under the law of Islam. Government is an artificial arrangement, and is divine only in the sense that the revealed law of Islam demands peace and security.

The modern Western discourse on liberty and equality can be traced back to Islam, particularly from the time of the Prophet Mohammed and the period of Khulafa-i-Rashideen. It was during this period that the real meaning of liberty and equality was translated into practice. In other words, this principle of democracy-liberty and equality are not new to Islam at all. In fact, it is Islam which has presented these concepts to the world to liberate man from all sorts of man-centred authoritarianism and dominations.

Many aspects such as mentioned above are compatible to Islam, but many of these principles are not totally free from problems and risks in secular democracies.

The string of secularism

The rejection of the secular and material foundation of democracy is not limited to a fraction of Muslims. It is rooted in the Islamic concept of Tawḥeed, the unity of Allah and the unity of life. Tawḥeed is the unifying force which joins the spiritual and material aspects of life into a single and the united entity of life. Unlike the dualistic concept of life of the West which separates matter from spirit, in Islam all this immensity of matter constitutes a scope for the self-realization of spirit. For this reason, there is no bifurcation between mosque and state and all that is secular is therefore sacred in the roots of its being.

This unified approach to life in Islam is antithetical to secularism, nationalism and Western concept of democracy. Unlike the Western democracy which has its roots in economic regeneration in Western societies, democracy of Islam did not grow out of such an economic opportunity. It is a spiritual principle based on the assumption that every human being is a centre of latent power, the possibilities of which can be developed by cultivating a certain type of character.

Due to the secular and materialistic nature, Western democracy mainly caters to the material life of a society leaving the spiritual aspect altogether. Consequently, democracy in the West tends to move away from moral and ethical values. This secularist and materialistic orientation of Western democracy is totally rejected by Islam and no amount of imposed wars and planted divisions can make it Islamic.

The error does not lie in the forms and processes of governance but in their lack of ethical and spiritual concerns and their orientations and value system in the West.

Sovereignty

Similarly, the concept of sovereignty in Islam which demands ultimate loyalty to Allah also contradicts secular democratic principles. Islam demands loyalty to Allah, not to thrones or man made laws that are contradictory to the laws given by Allah and limits set by the Qur’an and Sunnah. And since Allah is the ultimate spiritual basis of all life, loyalty to Him virtually amounts to man’s loyalty to his own ideal nature.

Shari’ah

Tawḥeed is not merely a verbal faith in the unity of Allah and unity of life but a spring from which flows wisdom and laws to reign supreme in society and state. Supremacy of Islamic laws implies supremacy of Allah’s will, the Divine Will. In other words, Allah’s will, which is expressed in the Qur’an and Sunnah on all aspects of the life of man and society, should be prevailed supreme in the state. In short, Allah is the one who possesses sovereignty and people are His vicegerents on the earth.

Unanimous agreement of Muslims

There is absolutely no dispute or division on these basic principles of Islam. Even the self-proclaimed “moderates” are in agreement with these basics. The only dispute is over operationalisation of the Shari’ah principles. That is why Daniel Pipes has resorted to calling the self-proclaimed “moderates” as “radical” and “apologists” and has started backing the secularists and those atheistic tendencies among Muslims. However, that is the anti-Islam forces’ betting on the wrong horse.

This implication of Tawḥeed goes entirely against the main tenet of Western democracy, popular sovereignty. In secular democracy, it is the people who possess the right of making the laws, and also executing and adjudicating the laws. In the formulation of laws it is not necessary for the people in legislature to refer to the scriptures, the Qur’an, the Bible or any other religious text. People are sovereign and independent to make their own laws based on man-made ideologies, man-made constitutions or in line with the programmes of the ruling parties irrespective of what the scriptures may instruct.

Setting aside permanent norms give rise to the possibility that people who are making laws in a secular democracy are not good and their will may contradict the Divine will. Secondly, the so-considered “general will” may not be the “good will.”

In other words, in Islam, the true believers even if they are in the legislature and engage in the law-making process, they remain as vicegerents of Allah. Hence they refer to the Divine laws while making the laws so that ‘their will’ should not be contradicting the ‘Divine will’. It signifies that in Islam no believer submits to another believer or a group of believers rather all submit to Allah alone, while making, executing and adjudicating the laws.

Under secular democracy, those who are elected by the people for the law-making bodies become the rulers and the rest have no way than to follow them or resist them as opposition with varying rates of success. It shows that there is a great risk of degenerating into despotism, particularly, if the elected to power do not reflect the good will, rather their own ‘selfish will’ based on their own economic and political interest. Examples of this kind of exploitation abound in the present day world.

All these views of Tawḥeed, and the supremacy of Shari’ah and the concept of sovereignty of Allah go entirely against the secular foundation of democracy and its important principle, popular sovereignty. That is why the New York Times congratulates “not invoking Shari’ah” in Afghan constitution and the Chief occupier in Iraq threatens to veto Islamic law.

The question is, can Western democracies work for the good and the wider interest of Muslims who are not supposed to go against the Will of Allah for being Muslims? Will the much vaunted principle of freedom to practice religion be denied to Muslims who are being forced to relinquish the most basic principles of their religion simply for the sake of accepting the secular concept of democracy?

History bears witness to the fact that during the period of absolute monarchies in the West, people badly required some ideology to fight against the absolute monarchs. They found in democracy a good weapon for them to fight against absolute monarchs and form their own government based on the consent of the people. They were quite successful in their attempt since absolute monarchies slowly transformed into constitutional monarchies and then into representative democracies.

These representative democracies are now fast turning into absolute democracies where people are helpless before two party dictatorships and choice-less elections in which there is hardly any difference between electing one or another democratic king.

For these imperial democrats, democratization in the real sense of promoting “liberty” and “equality” to Muslims has never been the mission, rather the forces behind them have the agenda of undermining Islam behind it. It shows that in the face of the neo-cons going after the basic tenants of Islam in the name of democracy will utterly fail, despite forming all kinds of coalitions and using all its lethal technological and media power against Muslims.

What Muslims need to do

In such state of affairs, it seems pertinent for Muslims to reflect and formulate some suitable strategies to face strategies of the anti-Islam forces and their “Muslim” collaborators and set proper direction to attain their goal of revitalising Islamic civilization.

Revitalization of Islamic civilization entails the establishment of all socio-political and economic institutions based on the Divine Laws, which reflect the Divine will. When the Divine laws prevail supreme in the Islamic civilization, people would enjoy real liberty and freedom because they would follow the Divine laws willingly. This further shows that people can enjoy real liberty only through Divine vicegerency not through popular sovereignty under the western form of secularism.

What the aggressors need to do

The Pharaohs of 21st century need to understand that occupations is not a solution to the fear in their heart. They need to read Daniel Pipes, who suggests that they will never succeed is maintaining occupations in Muslim land. The reasons he has cited are partly correct. The real reasons are as mentioned above which Muslims and non-Muslims will ignore at their peril.

The occupation forces should admit their crimes, end the occupation, pay reparations and let Iraqis, Afghans and all other Muslims live their life according to their prescribed way of life. Muslim self rule is the answer. That is the only way Muslims will not only have decent governments for themselves but could also become role model for others.

This may sound irrational to the master-minds behind the direct and indirect occupations of Muslim lands, but at least it will work –” in contrast to the ambitious but failing current projects.

Notes:

[1] Thomas L. Friedman, “Nasty, Brutish and Short,” The New York Times, April 11, 2004.
[2] Ibid. New York Times

[3] In a debate with Muqtedir Khan in 2003, Daniel Pipes admitted that secularism is not a pre-condition for democracy. After the recent study from RAND Corporation (Civil and Democratic Islam), Daniel Pipes has taken it upon himself to promote secularists and secularism through establishing Institutes and other such measure. Friedman’s April 11, 2004 article is an attempt in the same direction. The tone is changing with unveiling the serious parts of the neo-cons agenda.