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EDITORIAL

CULTURAL

Khilafah

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magazine

I feel a slight concern, that in the satisfaction of witnessing the WMD intelligence being so publicly discredited, many Muslims may have missed something of far greater importance. Both Muslims and nonMuslims have condemned the unprincipled tactics of the US and UK.

Ijtihad and the modernist approach

Muharram/Safar 1424 - March 2004 Cover Issue 3 Volume 17

On the 3rd March 1924, when the O t t o m a n Khilafah was officially destroyed at the hands of the enemy of Allah, Mustafa Kamal, it resulted in chaos which was already beginning to engulf the Islamic Ummah. The demolition of the Khilafah was a result of the decline which happened centuries earlier. However, this incident shocked some who had been asleep for sometime as one of the great poets from Egypt, stated ...

CONTENTS

GALLERY

5 IDEOLOGICAL VIEWPOINT

21 Why exactly are the UK railways so bad?

12 NEWS

6 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Prince Charles shows 'sympathy' for the Iranians For the US, By the US and from the US Sniffer dogs to expose sniffer students Britain's war crimes Asylum/ immigration overhaul Pakistan's Nuclear arms sales on the Black Market 5 awaiting release from Guantanamo Bay A wall between enemies

FEATURE

8

Does the West have the Intelligence or right to disarm the Muslim world? It was only four months ago that the US president George W Bush embarked on an historic state visit to London, where he mounted an impassioned defence for his invasion of Iraq, vowing to win the 'war on terror.'

A fair trial for all – Unless your name is Abdullah, Ahmed or Aishah A new row has erupted in Britain with regard to judicial procedures in relation to convicting terror suspects. The proposals announced by Home Secretary, David Blunkett, are...

The recent deaths of four rail workers in Cumbria has left an already struggling rail industry reeling. The four were killed on the West Coast main railway line at Tebay in Cumbria when they were hit by a wagon which ran down hill...

INTERNATIONAL VIEWPOINT

15

24

The fitness craze

Insight into Africa

The recent rise in the number of Muslimonly gyms and training has catered for the g r o w i n g number of Muslim youth involved in training, fitness and bodybuilding.

During the cold war, the United States (US) viewed Africa as a major arena of conflict with the Soviet Union and poured billions of dollars in economic and military aid into the continent in order to gain control over various regimes.

POLITICAL ANALYSIS

18 Mother's day - why is it necessary? Every year in the month of M a r c h , Mothering Sunday or the 4th Sunday of Lent is celebrated. As the 21st of March approaches, shops are full of floral bouquets, cuddly teddies, chocolates and all sorts of gift ideas commemorating the day of the year when the mother is venerated.

28 Russia's role in the war on terror The former Chechen president Z e l i m k h a n Yandarbiyev was assassinated last month by a powerful explosion which ripped through his car in the Gulf state of Qatar.

March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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BOOK REVIEW

36 How the Khilafah was destroyed "The decision of the Grand National Assembly in Anogra was communicated to his Majesty in the Throne Room of the Dolma Baghche Palace by the Vali of Constantinople, Dr. Adnan Bey, the representative at the Sublime Porte of the Turkish Foreign Office, and Saad-ed-Din Bey, the Chief of Police of Constantinople, together with the Chief of the Police department of Angora. The Caliph and his party were then escorted to Chatalia, when they entered a special train which left for the Greek frontier." [The Times, Wednesday 5 March, 1924]

INTERVIEW

34 Muslim Professionals in Britain With such large numbers of Muslims working in professional roles throughout the UK, and many more coming through the college and university systems, it is important for Muslims to crystallise the correct approach they should have when pursuing their careers, and to see how this is intrinsic to their identity as Muslims living in the UK.


Khilafah

EDITORIAL

magazine

Published by Khilafah Publications Suite 301, 28 Old Brompton Rd, London, SW7 3SS www.1924.org • magazine@1924.org

ASIF DAWOOD

Editor Asif Dawood

News Editor Dr Samiul Muquit

Editorial Board Zubair Hussaini Mumtaz Ayub

Production and Publishing Zubair Asghar Kosser Mohammed Mahmoud Hamdi

Slough email: asif.dawood@1924.org

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatahu I feel a slight concern, that in the satisfaction of witnessing the WMD intelligence being so publicly discredited, many Muslims may have missed something of far greater importance. Both Muslims and non-Muslims have condemned the unprincipled tactics of the US and UK. However there is a deafening silence to the assertion that the West has some moral right or noble duty to disarm Muslim countries of WMD's in order to secure world peace. It seems that they have managed to set themselves this responsibility without suffering any type of challenge. The debating of this premise is important as it would call into question any legitimacy that the US and UK feel they may have. As Muslims we must engage in this discussion, questioning how the West can argue that they need to secure world peace by removing these weapons from Muslims. We need to consider the credibility of their proposal by remembering that throughout recent military history, it is the West who have caused the most bloodshed and suffering, often against Muslims, through deployment of these weapons. Sadly, this aggression against Muslims is nothing new, and when in this month we

commemorate another dark milestone in the recent history of the Muslims, we can reflect on a passage of history when the West have been allowed to get away with their plans unchallenged. In March 2004 we pass the 80th anniversary of the destruction of the Khilafah at the hands of the British government and her allies. The destruction of the Islamic state marked the beginning of difficult days for the Muslim world, military and intellectual attacks were being waged against a now defenceless people, and devastating oppression from puppet regimes just added to their problems. In this month's edition of Khilafah Magazine, there is a book review on 'How the Khilafah was destroyed' by Sheikh Abdul Qadeem Zallum, may Allah  have mercy upon him. This book is nothing other than an essential read for every Muslim, it not only identifies how the Muslims fell to such defeat, but it paves a clear path to true revival. We pray that Allah  allows the Muslim community to benefit from this priceless work, and that it helps sharpens the focus of the Muslims when confronting the challenges that face us in today's world.

Khilafah Magazine is a monthly magazine published in London with a wide distribution across the Muslim and non-Muslim world. The magazine is dedicated to articulating the case for Islam as an ideology that deals with all the human problems, whether individual or societal. Islam must be understood ideologically and has a defined political and ruling system the Khilafah System. We maintain that the ‘Clash of Civilisations’ is not only inevitable but imperative. As the Capitalist ideology dominates the world today, the only challenge to it must come from Islam. We write to inform, inspire and create a movement for true intellectual revival.

No Copyrights Since Islam rejects copyrights and patents you are free to reproduce articles contained within this publication. It is our kind request that when doing so you cite the author and source of the article.

Translation of the Qur’an It should be perfectly clear that the Qur’an is only authentic in its original language, Arabic. Since perfect translation of the Qur’an is impossible, the term ‘Translation of the Meaning of the Qur’an (TMQ) has been used, as the result is only a crude meaning of the Arabic text.

Subscription details Subscription charges: £20 per annum including postage UK €40 per annum including postage Europe $60 per annum including postage USA To subscribe to Khilafah magazine please refer to: Internet Site: www.1924.org email: magazine@1924.org or write to:

Khilafah Magazine, Suite 301, 28 Old Brompton Rd, London, SW7 3SS

Please make cheques payable to: Khilafah Publications 4

Khilafah Magazine March 2004


GALLERY

Rescue workers sift through the rubble caused by 24 February's earthquake in Imzouren, northern Morocco

U.S. Marines run off an Airforce C-130 cargo plane as they arrive February 23, 2004 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 50 U.S. Marines were flown in to protect the American Embassy and diplomats

Members of the Palestinian delegation (LtoR) listen during the opening hearing to disccuss the legality of Isreal's contraversial seperation barrier in the occcupied territories February 23, 2004 in The Hague

New British citizens take part in the first citizenship ceremony at Brent Town Hall in London 26 February, 2004. Charles, the Prince of Wales and Home Secretary David Blunkett attended the ceremony

Roberto Charles (R) and a Haitian policeman (L) place his sick brother into a police car as they make their way from a local hospital to the sick man's house in Port-Au-Prince 27 February 2004. The city has virtually shut down amid violence

Iraqi fire fighter extinguishes fire from a car as people gather at site where a bomb went off in front of a restaurant in Baquba, 60 kms northeast of Baghdad 26 February 2004 killing one Iraqi policeman and wounding 7 civilians

Israeli contraction workers dismantle part of Israel's Former employee of Britain's global surveillance center, GCHQ controversial separation barrier next to the Palestinian Katharine Gun leaves Bow Street Magistrates Court on November 27, 2003. Gun was cleared of a charge under the Official Secrets Act after village of Baqa Al Sharqiya in the West Bank being fired for revealing a secret e-mail

British Prime Minister Tony Blair calls on a reporter during his monthly press conference in Downing Street, London, 26 February, 2004. The conference comes in the wake of claims made by former minister Clare Short that British spies bugged UN chief Kofi Annan in the run-up to the Iraq war

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) runs out to shake hands as he enters a rally at Macalester College February 25, 2004 St. Paul, Minnesota. Kerry campaigned in Minnesota before heading to California for a Democratic debate

March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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NEWS Prince Charles shows 'sympathy' for the Iranians Prince Charles paid a surprise visit to Bam, in Southern Iran, which was hit by an earthquake in December that killed more than 41,000 people. His trip on Sunday 8th February was made following a morale-boosting visit to British troops occupying the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Charles and Sir Nicholas Young, head of the British Red Cross, were in Iran to assess 'how to help survivors', according to the British Embassy in Tehran.

he's just here to make some deals about oil, something to benefit Britain". Charles' comments of sympathy is a friendly outward gesture cloaking more dangerous aims. British colonialism and atrocities continue in many of the Muslim countries, including in Iraq where the use of cluster bombs by the British troops still continue to kill innocent children daily. Yet Charles very deceptively talks about 'praying' for the Muslims of Iran. It is clear that Muslims now realise that these colonialists have nothing but national interests in sight when conducting so-called 'humanitarian' visits. Wakil Ahmed

For the US, By the US and from the US

merely the national religion and has no say in the running of the country. Furthermore, within the illegitimate Iraqi Council, Mohsen Abdul-Hamid the current council president backed away from an earlier demand that Islam be the principle basis for Iraq's laws. His remarks came two days after Paul Bremer suggested he would block any such move. Abdul Hamid said, "This question has not reached its final stage," but agreed, "Islam is the official state religion". In President Bush's campaign launch speech for the forthcoming elections he stressed on the need to establish freedom, liberty and democracy in Iraq. If the US cannot make the people want democracy out of desire it will definitely impose it on them. The Iraqis are given a 'choice', as long as they choose what the US tells them to choose.

small quantities. This move contradicts the random drug test policy, which aims to prevent all drug use. If the policy-makers were sincere then they would address the various factors and causes that promote drug taking. Why are there no attempts to prevent 'Hip-Hop' artists such as '2Pac', 'Eminem' and 'Snoop Doggy Dog' from glorifying drug culture? And is a small 'Parental Advisory' sticker sufficient? And what about broadcasting films such as 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'? This is allowed under the pretext of freedom of speech, which is a sanctified pillar of secular society. It is evident that the inconsistencies and contradictions that are mentioned above do not arise due to a confused government but rather a confused and inconsistent ideology which enforces law but allows the propagation of principles that encourage the breaking of that law.

Fawzi Jeeachee

However, many on the ground viewed this visit as a move to better Anglo/Iranian relationship, as Charles discussed ways for improving democracy with Iranian President, Muhammad Khatami. Britain has extensive oil interests in Iran despite it being included in the so called 'axis of evil'. If America were to plan a future military campaign against Iran, this would jeopardise these British interests. However, a Libyan style declaration by Iran that she no longer pursues weapons of mass destruction could avert the unleashing of the American war-machines, as Iran would lose the label of 'rogue state'. Hence it is clear that Western capitalist states undermine each other's plans due to self-interests.

Elections in Iraq were due to take place in the summer, however the US continues to make excuses for its inability to allow the people to choose the system they desire and delay their departure from this land. The people of Iraq are becoming more and more eager for the US to leave their land and to start governing by Islam. However this not what the US wants, as it has its own agenda for Iraq.

"I wish we could do more. We've been trying to gather more assistance in Britain," Charles told one of the British reporters in Iran. "Would you tell them that my people in Britain are very concerned and they're praying for the Iranian people?" However the fact on the ground was that the people in Basra and Bam jeered Charles on his visit, since they realised the real reasons behind his presence.

Before the Iraqi council can establish any law and system Bremer must approve it and this also includes any interim constitution. Under US plans, a permanent constitution would not be drawn up and voted on until 2005.

In fact, this recent move by the government reflects the soaring levels of drug use amongst the young generation. Recent figures show that one in three teenagers admit smoking cannabis and one in ten have taken ecstasy.

On Sunday 15 February the district of Redfern was the scene of clashes between police and local aborigines. The cause of the riots was the death of Thomas "TJ" Hickey, a 17-year-old Aboriginal boy, who had died the day before. The teenager was killed after he was catapulted from his bicycle and impaled on a metal fence in a nearby public housing estate, it was alleged he was being chased by police. Bystanders claimed the police took him off the fence and started to strip search him before calling for backup, only then calling for an ambulance.

For America to achieve it’s goals of exporting her own values, a secular state must be established in Iraq. If any sort of election were to take place in the current climate it is inevitable that the people will choose Islam over secularism. This is a major obstacle to the US which wants to make Iraq the local vanguard of Capitalism and the benchmark for the rest of the Middle East. It wants to establish a secular version of Islam, where Islam is

Ministers hope that the fear of being caught in school with an illegal drug may act as a deterrent. This view has also been echoed by youth workers and various head teacher associations as well as many parents. However there exists a great contradiction in the overall policies enacted to solve the drugs epidemic. On the one hand, the recent cannabis reclassification relaxes the law and even implies the acceptability of possession and use of

Following his death, angry residents gathered and confronted police, and one of the worst riots for decades erupted. Much discussion has ensued in the press regarding the rioting, commentators blaming police racism, bad housing, a desire to evict aborigines from Redfern to make way for plush housing, lack of opportunities and employment. Whatever the causes, it is clear that the native aborigines are discriminated against

"He is here for his own benefit, not for Iraq's. This is all just superficial ‌ He is coming to visit us while his forces are occupying us. He is not welcome here," commented Zenab Mohammad, a 30-year-old teacher. Kasim Muter, a manual worker in Iraq said, "I suspect 6

Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, was recently asked what would happen if Iraqi leaders wrote into the constitution that Islamic Shariah was the principal basis of the law. He replied that he would wield his veto and said, "Our position is clear. It can't be law until I sign it."

Khilafah Magazine March 2004

Sniffer dogs to expose sniffer students School head teachers in Britain will soon be invested with powers to introduce random drug testing in their schools. The main methods that are being proposed include passive 'sniffer' dogs and random urine analysing for traces of drugs. Current methods of discouraging children from drug abuse involve simple teaching about the various types of drugs and the dangers related to them, but statistics have proven this policy to be a failure.

The menace of drugs in schools does not stem from the classroom or schoolyard but is a symptom of the secular society. Mohammed Ali Khan

Australia: Aborigines riot in Sydney


NEWS and reviled by many in Australian society. This may be a clue to why recent reports suggest Islam is growing fast amongst the Aborigines. Some suggest, the growth of converts to Islam is unprecedented. The Muslims in Australia are in a position to develop Islam amongst the aboriginal population. The oppression that is widely felt by them from the Capitalist state, as well as their recognition that Christianity was forced upon them by white settlers, allows for an opportunity to address them with the Islamic ideology. This da'wa is much required in the West, especially amongst those who have failed to gain from Capitalist society. Islam needs to be addressed ideologically, addressing both the spiritual and political voids felt by most under secular society.

inevitably cause him some embarrassment. He has also refused to hand over any documents to the UN agency that wanted to end illicit trade in atomic secrets and to investigate Pakistan's nuclear programme. But instead he has offered to help the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate their Muslim neighbour Iran. It is clear that the current political climate is one where the Muslim countries are being targeted for the dismantling of their nuclear weapons. America continues to maintain its nuclear advantage with Israel's and India's, and is willing to use them to deter any threat. This recent incident in Pakistan will only be used as a further opportunity for America to pressurise Pakistan into handing over control of its nuclear assets.

Jalaluddin Patel

Amina Variava

Pakistan's nuclear arms sales on the black market

Five awaiting release Guantanamo Bay

President Musharraf has been in a troubled situation following his recent decision to sack the former head of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan. Musharraf is under domestic pressure to go easy on Mr Khan as he is considered a national hero for his role in developing the uranium enrichment that allowed their country to achieve nuclear parity with India.

Recently it has been announced that five so-called 'terror suspects' are being released in the next few weeks from the notorious American prison in Guantanamo Bay. They are amongst more than 660 suspects who have been held at the US base in Cuba for two years without trial. They were suspected of being Al-Qaeda or Taleban fighters, or supporters, but have had no evidence brought against them after two years of imprisonment. Even the British home secretary David Blunkett and the US Major General Geoffrey Miller have stated that these men do not pose any threat to Western security.

Dr. Khan has been forced to confess to supplying designs, hardware and materials to enrich uranium for atomic bombs to Iran, Libya and North Korea via a network of overseas middlemen. President Musharraf has described the actions of Dr Khan and the other scientists involved, as purely based on greed. This has instigated questions by Western diplomats and local commentators whether Dr Khan had acted independently in selling the arms on the black market or has been used as a scapegoat for the army, which Musharraf runs.

from

Despite all of this, the suspects could still face charges in UK courts under anti-terrorism laws. Until now, ministers have said the detainees would either face trial before the US military tribunals or return home.

The scientist has revealed that the military ruler himself was involved neck-deep in nuclear proliferation as well as former premiere Benazir Bhutto, and ex-army chiefs, Mirza Aslam Beg and Jehangir Karmat. Realising his situation, Musharraf has declined an open trial since it will

Greg Powell, the solicitor for one of the men, told BBC news that, "The government knows very well these

men were never any kind of security risk, and the Americans have said they pose no threat to the United States". Surely if anything exposes the fallacy of Western 'justice' it is the arrest and treatment of these prisoners. To date no factual evidence has been presented as it is clear that they were arrested on mere suspicion. One of the suspects was even arrested in Pakistan, far away from the war. Here is the evidence of the hypocrisy of liberal-democracy, the champions of human rights and civil liberties. The USA and Britain are at the forefront of demanding these values from the Muslim world, when they themselves do not adhere to them. The Muslim Ummah must remain wary of the secular states and recognise that they will go to any lengths to maintain their domination, even at the expense of their own principles and values. Nadia Khwaja

A wall between enemies Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has announced plans to withdraw from Palestinian-held territories. Under his proposal, virtually all Jewish settlements within the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank would disappear. Gaza houses approximately 7500 heavily guarded Jews along with 1.3 million Muslims. US diplomats previously stopped short of endorsing last month's surprise announcement from Sharon, a long-time champion of settlements, because it raised concerns one-sided moves could sink the US-backed 'Road Map', which is based on reciprocal steps.

would lead to a break in the current impasse. So why the sudden consideration for suffering Palestinians? Before one stands to applaud the generosity of Sharon's latest move, it is worth considering a few points: Firstly, it was the very same Sharon who originally established the camps in the West Bank. As Foreign Minister in 1998, he urged Israelis there to "grab more hills, expand the territory. Everything that's grabbed will be in our hands. Everything we don't grab will be in their hands". Secondly, public opinion within Israel is firmly against the settlers, with 3 in 4 people welcoming the idea of removing the camps as the settlers are seen as stirring trouble and using too much of the country's resources. With his own popularity declining, Sharon needs to make some popular moves. And thirdly, the establishment of the security fence is a clear sign that Israel intends to create a permanent border, and it was inevitable that it would eventually fall back behind it to strengthen its position. So a more detailed analysis shows that rather than a gesture of peace towards the Muslims, this is merely an Israeli move to deeper entrench itself in the heart of Muslim land. Yasir Hassan

But on Wednesday, a State Department official, who asked not to be identified, said: "A final settlement between Israelis and Palestinians must be achieved by negotiations and neither side may impose final conditions on the other. But some Israeli moves to 'disengage' by removing settlements could reduce friction between Israelis and Palestinians." Colin Powell also voiced his approval, saying in a speech earlier in the month that he hoped that Sharon's proposal

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Feature

Nazia Jilali

West London email: nazia.jilali@1924.org

DOES THE WEST HAVE THE INTELLIGENCE OR RIGHT TO DISARM THE MUSLIM WORLD?

I

t was only four months ago that the US president George W Bush embarked on an historic state visit to London, where he mounted an impassioned defence for his invasion of Iraq, vowing to win the 'war on terror.' Before an eager audience at London's Banqueting house he solemnly preached that the US and UK share a mission, as defenders of freedom across the globe. He described how the danger of terrorists using weapons of mass destruction aided by dictators represented the greatest threat of our age. With this rhetoric, the world once again witnessed the Western superpowers taking upon themselves the self-proclaimed moral duty of ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) - though, of course, they did not include their own WMDs. They announced themselves as guardians and defenders of 'innocent people everywhere'. But having unleashed a lethal onslaught of destruction against the people of Iraq in the name of guaranteeing security for the world, it has since transpired that no weapons of mass destruction have been found at all. The burning 8

Khilafah Magazine March 2004

question has therefore become, was the attack legally justified? In an attempt to answer this question, the spotlight has fallen on the case that was made prior to embarking on war; was the intelligence upon which the West relied, which claimed that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and was preparing to use them, sound in its findings? The story of the intelligence has certainly been an engaging one. From dodgy dossiers, claims of a 45 minute count down to strike, chemical and biological warfare alerts, government scandals and the suspicious death of a top government scientist, to the discovery of the villainous dictator in a 'spider hole' below the ground, it was like something from a schoolboy's spy novel. However in the midst of hunting for weapons and scrutinising intelligence, something of fundamental importance has been missed - something that this article aims to address. This article looks at two issues. Firstly, it analyses the reality of intelligence as it is used by the West - is it truly a sound basis for just war or simply a tool used to justify political

objectives? Secondly, and importantly, it scrutinises the question of owning these weapons what criteria should be used to dictate who has the right to own weapons of mass destruction? WHAT IS INTELLIGENCE? The basic charter of America's intelligence services - the National Security Act of 1947 with its many amendments - states: 'The term 'foreign intelligence' means information relating to the capabilities, intentions, or activities of foreign governments or elements thereof, foreign organisations, or foreign persons.' As such, intelligence itself is merely information, neutral with respect to how it is to be used. Furthermore, the nature of intelligence is such that it is sometimes obtained through secretive processes, and often gives an incomplete or partial picture of the scenario which it is describing. The practical reality of intelligence therefore is that by its nature it is often vague, and open to interpretation. Equivocal satellite images of industrial labora-


tories could be otherwise interpreted as 'mobile chemical units'. Agricultural factories producing fertilizers or other chemicals could be seen as potential weapons plants. The finding of protective clothing could be interpreted as proof of the development of nerve gas, or a means of protecting Iraqi troops from their own weapons. Such interpretations are usually subject to a variety of pressures, particularly in relation to the aims and objectives of the bodies interpreting that intelligence. This fact is clear from the different responses of nations to the intelligence that came under scrutiny prior to the war. The same intelligence which was used by the USA and Britain to justify their war - such as reports from UN weapons inspectors - was cited by France, Germany and Russia in their opposition to the war. The former UN chief inspector Hans Blix, whose team was prevented from remaining in Iraq to continue the search for WMD also made this observation; the BBC reported him saying, 'those who drafted the UK's Iraqi arms dossier acted like salesman trying to 'exaggerate the importance' of their wares.' USE OF INTELLIGENCE IN THE IRAQ WAR When the US and British forces invaded Iraq last year, it was amid an air of carefully orchestrated hype and propaganda. In the UK, the scene was set by a media awash with alarming images of soldiers modelling clothing fully protective against chemical and biological weapons. Much was made of the fact that many of them had undergone inoculation programmes for anthrax and smallpox - a measure deemed necessary by the government in order to counter 'Saddam's doomsday weapons.' In the eyes of the public at large however, Iraq had actually done nothing wrong of a scale that could justify the launching of a pre-emptive war. This was demonstrated by numerous public polls and surveys, not to mention the unprecedented mobilisation of masses of people who took part in protest by demonstrations around the UK and the whole world. The organisers of a march in the UK claimed a turnout of over 1.5 million protesters in a march in London in February last year, just prior to the war. Therefore, it was necessary for the government

to prepare a careful dramatisation of intelligence surrounding WMD and terrorist links in order to convince the public that war was really necessary, and to pave the way for their acceptance of it. On 24 September 2002 a dossier on WMD was published by the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) based on information obtained from the Secret Intelligence Services (SIS), also known as MI6. Its contents included the controversial and now infamous conclusion that Saddam Hussein did posses weapons of mass destruction, and the foreword by Tony Blair stated that 'the document discloses that his (Saddam's) military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within forty-five minutes of an order to use them.' The dossier sparked a frenzy in the media, generating headlines which suggesting that British troops in Cyprus could be attacked with WMD within forty-five minutes. The Sun newspaper, Britain's biggest selling daily, ran the headline; 'Brits forty-five minutes from doom,' whilst the Star, another leading tabloid, announced that 'Mad Saddam ready to attack: forty-five minutes from chemical war '. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Geoff Hoon the Defence Secretary explained that the United Nations weapons inspectors, do not have to find a 'smoking gun' to prove that Iraq has WMD to trigger war. He argued that 'Persuasive evidence that President Saddam Hussein has nuclear, biological or chemical weapons may be enough to warrant military strikes by Britain and the US.' THE DOCTRINE OF PRE-EMPTION The above discussion demonstrates how intelligence became a cornerstone in the establishment of a new precedent in global warfare - the doctrine of pre-emption. That is to say, if intel-

ligence indicates the possibility of a future enemy attack - or even the existence of a perceived threat of attack - an offensive, and pre-emptive, action is justified. In September 2002 the Bush administration released the National Security Strategy of the United States. In this policy paper, the administration wrote, 'to forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States, will if necessary, act pre-emptively.' Accordingly the US reserved the right to strike any sovereign nation in advance of possible hostile acts, and without prior provocation. In October 2002, the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfield said, 'Ask yourself this question: Was the attack that took place on 9/11 an imminent threat the month before or two months before or three months before or six months before? When did the attack on 9/11become an imminent threat? Now, transport yourself forward to a year, two years or a week or a month‌ So the question is, when is it such an immediate threat that you must do something?' President George Bush, said, 'Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof - the smoking gun - that could come in the form of a smoking mushroom cloud.' And so despite Hans Blix's reports in March 2003, which stated that Iraq had increased its co-operation and his pleas for the inspectors to be given more time to verify Iraq's compliance, the stage for war was set. On 17 March 2003, the UK's Ambassador to the UN announced that the diplomatic process on Iraq had ended. Any remaining arms inspectors were told to evacuate, and US President George W Bush gave a 48-hour ultimatum for Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave Iraq or face war. On the 20 March 2003 American missiles hit targets in Baghdad, marking the start of the US-led campaign to topple Saddam Hussein. Bush used Iraq's alleged nuclear, chemical and March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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biological weapons programmes and Saddam Hussein's presumed ties to international terrorism as the main case to the United Nations (UN) for its war against Iraq, and all this was based on intelligence. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE - SMOKESCREENS, WHITEWASHES AND DELAY TACTICS Shortly after the capture of Baghdad scepticism surrounding the motives behind the war intensified, when allied troops failed to locate the WMD that they had claimed existed and posed a threat to the civilised world. In May 2003, two months after the commencement of war, the BBC Today programme defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan reported that a source, with high links to British Intelligence, had cited the 45-minute claim was a classic example of how the dossier was 'sexed' up before its publication to make a case for war. The source, which came to be known as scientist Dr David Kelly, appeared before a parliamentary committee on 16 July 2003. Two days later, he was found dead in a field close to his home in Oxfordshire, presumed to have committed suicide. In the ensuing weeks, Dr Kelly was effectively made a scapegoat in the matter, and his case served as a smokescreen which prevented people from addressing the underlying issue of whether or not the war was justified. Dr Kelly's death was to trigger the launch of the Hutton inquiry, placing the government and in particular Tony Blair, open to scrutiny. When the enquiry exonerated Tony Blair, opposition politicians, the media and the public in general considered it as a 'whitewash', and demanded further investigation into the intelligence which led to war. While Lord Hutton was absolving the government of any wrong-doing, across the Atlantic David Kay, the recently resigned head of America's Iraq Survey Group (ISG) was delivering his verdict. He said that he believed no stockpiles of WMD existed in Iraq and that 'we were almost all wrong.' Until then, Tony Blair's formulaic response to questions regarding the 10

Khilafah Magazine March 2004

missing WMD was that conclusions should be left until after the ISG report was completed. As a further indictment against the British government's stance, George Tenet, director of the CIA contradicted claims implied by the Bush administration that Iraq had posed an imminent danger before the US-led invasion. He said that intelligence reports had 'never said there was an imminent threat'. According to Tenet, the report entitled the National Intelligence Estimate, included forty caveats and dissents from various analysts. ' In the intelligence business you are never completely wrong or completely right.' Meanwhile, back in Britain both Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw now claimed that they did not realise till after the war that the forty-five minute claim referred to battlefield weapons, rather than long range weapons. Commenting on this revelation to BBC Radio 4's World at One, the Tory Deputy Chairman said, 'I think it is an extraordinary admission‌ What they both seem to think when we went to war was that Saddam could hit British troops in Cyprus with a long range ballistic missile carrying chemical and biological weapons, and yet we know now that's not the case.' Thus it appears that intelligence which now seems to be subjective was manipulated by both the US and UK in order to convince the public of a pre-determined policy. Under such pressures, the Prime Minister ordered a further inquiry under the chairmanship of Lord Butler, whose remit is to include investigation of the accuracy of intelligence on Iraqi WMD up to March 2003, and to examine any discrepancies between the intelligence gathered, evaluated and used by the government before the conflict, and the intelligence that has been discovered by the Iraq Survey Group since the end of the conflict. The committee has been asked to report before the summer recess. ELUSIVE INTELLIGENCE Conveniently intelligence is all too often 'top secret', and therefore the whole story cannot be

told in the interest of protecting the innocent. An article by the Guardian entitled 'Prove Iraqi guilt, MPs tell Blair' quoted, that David Hinchliffe, chairman of the Commons health committee, said: 'For many of us who talked to ministers there was an implication that more was known. Therefore a lot of people are anxious to establish the truth.' His remarks were echoed by the former defence minister Doug Henderson, who warned that the war would in retrospect be deemed illegal if no banned weapons were found, because the military action was taken under UN resolutions calling for Iraq to disarm. 'If by the turn of the year there is no WMD then the basis on which this was executed was illegal,' he said. MPs are also starting to ask questions about the conduct of the intelligence services. They want to see the evidence that persuaded members of the Commons intelligence committee to back government efforts to win round waverers before the war began. One MP is telling committee members: 'You kept saying you wished you could tell us, so now will you tell us?' Thus the public at large and even Members of Parliament were kept in the dark as to the full extent of the intelligence available on the case for a pre-emptive strike. The nation was thus sent into war on the pretext of disarming Iraq of its 'weapons of mass destruction,' with the public having to take it on trust that it was the right thing to do. From the above discussion, it becomes clear how intelligence can be used and manipulated according to the need of the time. The recent events have shown how intelligence was used as a smokescreen, preventing the masses from making informed judgements. There was widespread dissent about how the intelligence should be interpreted. When these facts became known, the war had already been waged and won; it was too late to go back. The public attention from these discrepancies was diverted by peripheral issues being highlighted in the media, such as the death of Dr Kelly and the Hutton report - which were dealt with by the government in such a way as to absolve those concerned of any misdoings. Such inquiries usually take so long to arrive at a verdict, that the government can use them as a convenient delaying tactic. By the time that any conclusions are made public, most people have forgotten the original issue or have become pre-occupied by other events that have taken the news headlines.


THE REAL QUESTION REGARDING THE WAR: 'DOES THE WEST HAVE THE RIGHT TO DISARM THE MUSLIM WORLD?'

tration claimed this was necessary to protect America from rogue nations that could fire missiles loaded with weapons of mass destruction.

While the British dossier was quick to point the finger at Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction and its desire to acquire nuclear weapons, it conveniently omitted the fact that Western nations had enough WMD between them to destroy the planet several times over. In fact the West with its array of WMD arsenal pose immense danger to mankind which is clearly demonstrated by its irrefutable track record of systematic and deliberate use of the 'world's worst weapons'.

With this back drop, the US relentlessly claims to pursue the disarmament of all nations of the world. However, in reality, its double standards become clear, as its quest for disarmament is selective towards those nation that it deems hostile, such as the famous 'axis of evil' or 'rogue states' like Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria.

15 December 2003 saw the US's utter contempt for innocent human lives and much outrage amongst Japanese survivors and peace activists when the reassembled bomber, Enola Gay went on display at The National Air and Space Museum. This was the US warplane that had unleashed the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima where approximately 230,000 people died, including many from radiation poisoning. The deliberate killing and targeting of civilians in war at that time was considered illegal under the Geneva Convention. Admiral William Leahy, Truman's wartime chief of staff wrote, 'It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons; in being the first to use it, we adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.' Far from reducing stockpiles of arms and WMDs, a call to which call the US invites the rest of the world through treaties such as the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the US has boldly continued to develop and strengthen its own weapons inventory, with the aim of maintaining its position as the worlds most powerful nuclear force. President Bush unveiled his latest budget plans stating, 'We will continue to provide whatever it takes to defend our country by fully supporting our military.' His budget proposals for 2005 saw a request for more funding from Congress - a 7 per cent increase on last year's total which now surpasses the $400bn mark. The Bush adminis-

However, while they wage their 'war on terror', systematically and forcible disarming the Muslim lands, they perversely turn a blind eye to Israel, which continues to develop WMD unchecked. Furthermore the US has recently provided the Israeli air force with the first two of a hundred US built F-161 jets, a new generation of war plane which will soon make up the backbone of the Israeli fleet. Experts say this ultra sophisticated development of the battle tested F16 has an increased range of 1500 km without needing in-flight refuelling, allowing it to reach anywhere in the Middle East. The jets are part of a two billion dollar US military aid package to Israel. With the addition of another 230 Fighting Falcons, Israel will command the second largest F-16 fleet in the world behind the US. So much for disarmament. In reality, it is the Western nations, such as the US, Britain and their ally Israel that are the true criminals. For them to claim that they have the right to go to other countries and strip them of their weapons is in fact part of their war on Islam, to weaken the Muslims so it is easier to strike them. The West has no right to demand the disarming of Muslim countries and should be ashamed of claiming to do so - based on its own track record. So Muslims should not only expose the fact that intelligence was an excuse for a colonial style war, but must vehemently reject that the West have the right to claim that the weapons of Muslim countries should be removed from them - they have no such right. CONCLUSION - MUSLIMS RESPONSE TO INTELLEGENCE AND WMD It is important for Muslims to understand that the war on Iraq was a pre-planned effort, as part of a ruthless foreign policy aimed at Western hegemony over the world. Only the right opportunity was being awaited, whereupon the 'intelligence' was provided on

demand in an attempt to legitimise the act. Indeed, it must be realised that the concept of intelligence is nothing more than a convenient tool to be used to further the ideological objectives and motives of Western nations. The very ambiguous nature of intelligence, and its scope for widely variable interpretation makes it highly suitable for this purpose. In relation to WMD, intelligence is used as a tool to strip the Muslim world of any ability to defend itself from attack, or ever pose a threat to Western interests. Clearly it is prone to abuse, as the doctrine of pre-emption proves, a doctrine that can be used to attack any nation as long as the right intelligence is generated. The prosecution of the Iraq affair, indeed all events since 9/11, should make it clear that no deference should be given to intelligence as a means of legitimising the actions of Western governments. Nor does intelligence confer any moral authority upon such nations to dictate who should own WMD. For the Muslim world, moral authority does not originate from political objectives, or the desire to dominate and exploit the resources of the world. Rather, moral authority comes from Allah , the Creator. Allah  has ordered that the Islamic state act as an upholder of truth and justice, protecting the rights of the oppressed, and establishing the justice of the law of Allah  on the earth. It is an obligation for the Khilafah to strengthen itself militarily. He  says,

'And prepare against them what force you can and horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them, whom you do not know (but) Allah knows them; and whatever thing you will spend in Allah's way, it will be paid back to you fully and you shall not be dealt with unjustly' [TMQ al-Anfal : 60]. Thus, only the Muslims, via the Khilafah, have the moral right because Allah  has given it to them.

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Ideological Viewpoint

Rukhsana Rahman

East London email: rukhsana.rahman@1924.org

A FAIR TRIAL FOR ALL – UNLESS YOUR NAME IS ABDULLAH, AHMED OR AISHAH

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new row has erupted in Britain with regard to judicial procedures in relation to convicting terror suspects. The proposals announced by Home Secretary, David Blunkett, are to change the law to allow British terror suspects to be tried in secret, with convictions reached on evidence from security and intelligence sources, rather than through traditional policing routes. These proposals, if enacted, will come as an extension to existing anti-terror laws. Sensitive evidence could be kept secret from defendants and their lawyers, while state-appointed special advocates would protect defendants' interests. The burden of proof would be lowered from the criminal standard of 'beyond reasonable doubt' to 'the balance of probabilities'. All of this suddenly emerged after the Home Secretary saw intelligence assessments that suggested up to a dozen Islamist militants may be using Britain as a base to plan 'suicide' attacks. According to the Home Secretary's theory 'Pre-emptive' action could be taken before suicide bombers have a chance to carry out their 'suicide bombing'. Hence, such laws will make it easier to lock-up suspects before they commit such crimes. Currently, the two acts dealing with terrorism are the Terrorism Act 2000 (TACT) and the Anti-Terrorism Act 2001 (ATA). On a recent visit to India, the Home Secretary said, 'I think we need to debate how we can amalgamate the Terrorism Act 2000 and the 2001 terrorism legislation and deal with these delicate issues of proportionality and human 12

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rights on the one hand and evidential base and the threshold of evidence on the other‌That is quite a challenge because we are having to say that the nature of what people obtain through the security and intelligence route is different to the evidence gained through the policing route.' The Prime Minister added, 'My impression sometimes is that the system is struggling against a presumption that you treat these crimes like every other type of crime, and that you build up cases beyond reasonable doubt. I think we have got to look at this'. The opposition to these proposals has come from many quarters. Helena Kennedy QC described Blunkett as a 'shameless authoritarian' and called his ideas 'an affront to the rule of law'. She compared him to the Zimbabwean dictator, Robert Mugabe. Mark Littlewood of the civil rights group Liberty said: 'Simply introducing more laws, greater powers and stiffer penalties will go a long way to undermining British justice and will not make our country any safer.' It is obvious that such laws are specifically targeted at Muslims and the consequence of these laws being introduced will be that the arrest of Muslims based upon suspicion alone will be easier; they could be tried in front of a judge and a state-appointed special advocate in secrecy, intelligence information used for a conviction will not even be allowed to be revealed to the suspects or their lawyers and it would be acceptable to convict, even if there is

doubt in the evidence presented. That is to say, the standard of proof is no longer 'without reasonable doubt' but one of outweighing whether the suspect appears more guilty than innocent. This is a blatant attempt to create a separate set of judicial rules for Muslims. MUSLIMS ARE A TARGET Muslims in Europe have already been on the receiving end of a torrent of heavy-handed judgements and iron-fisted policies as the full force of the State apparatus has taken on an increasingly draconian and authoritarian nature. On the pretext of 'combating terrorism', Muslims have been routinely questioned and interrogated by the security forces. Muslim organisations and charities have been visited by the police to go through their accounts and documents, Mosques have been monitored and instructed to report on worshippers, MI5 have been busy in recruiting agents from major cities to spy upon their Muslim brethren and dozens of Muslims have had their premises raided and computers and possessions seized. Sentencing and punishments have also reflected this prevailing climate of intimidation with Muslims receiving jail terms far in excess of their indigenous counterparts and some Muslims have even been convicted on the basis of practically redundant 19th century legislation. The proposal to change the judicial laws is clearly directed towards Muslims. For


example, the new proposals are aimed at suspected suicide bombers who may target Israel. Surely, this cannot be the IRA or the International Sikh Youth Federation! Since the Families of those Gantanamo bay detainies ATA was introduced in 2001, of the groups judicial system. Western nations often claim proposed to be terrorist in nature, seventeen the superiority of their judicial apparatus; the were Muslim groups in comparison to 4 groups rights given to the human being, the right to a who were of other religious or nationalistic fair trial, the right to liberty and security etc. origins. Even the Real IRA are not among They claim that the judiciary views people as those deemed as terrorists. equals, and that the accuser and the accused all stand before the law as innocent until proven The recent amendments to the terrorism and guilty. Some of these pillars of the justice asylum laws made in the UK have resulted in system include the following as stated in the the arrests of Muslims without proof, charge or European Convention for Human Rights. trial. For example, Sajid Badat of Gloucester was arrested for being an 'Islamic terrorist' and Article 5: Right to liberty and security for having links to al-Qaida. The treatment of fourteen foreign terrorist suspects held without Section 2: Everyone who is arrested shall be trial in a British high-security jail has been so informed promptly in a language, which he harsh as to produce signs of serious mental understands, of the reason for his arrest and illness in the majority of the prisoners. Their any charges made against him lawyers say they have been pushed 'beyond the limits of human endurance'. Belmarsh prison, Article 6: Right to a fair trial the new home of so-called Muslim terrorists in London, has been described as 'Britain's Section 2: Everyone charged with a criminal Guantanamo Bay' or 'Camp Delta UK'. offence shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law Such draconian measures taken by the UK government has left Muslims in a state of The proposals made by the Home Secretary anxiety, unable to walk safely on the streets will allow the police the right to arrest and hold without fear of suspicion or arrest. The introso-called 'terrorist' suspects without charge, duction of new laws will only serve to worsen trial or legal representation based on suspicion. this feeling of unease that the Muslim This contradicts article 5 of the European community has at present. If this is a measure Convention of Human Rights, which demands to reduce asylum seekers from entering the the right of the individual to have the legality shores of the UK - then it is sure to succeed in of his detention determined speedily by a promoting the view that Western states are no competent court. better in their treatment of Muslims than the despots and dictators of the Muslim world. The new proposals also dismiss the notion of proof 'beyond reasonable doubt', hence contraIn contrast to the treatment of Muslims, there dicting the very ethos of 'innocent until proven has been discussion in legal circles about guilty'. In fact, what is being implied is that it tagging criminals and setting them free due to is better to lock suspects up even if there is the lack of space in prisons. Thereby, reintroinsufficient evidence. The new legal principle ducing paedophiles, burglars and thugs into the that seems to have been introduced is 'it is society before the completion of their sentence better to be safe than sorry'. Clearly showing because the prisons are too full. Perhaps, this the double standards of the Western legal space in prison is being created so as to arrest system and its discriminatory nature. more Muslim 'terrorist' suspects. It appears, in the eyes of the Western judicial system, that SELECTIVE USE OF JUSTICE Muslims are deemed more dangerous than any rapist, murderer, burglar, fraudster or The Muslims held captive in Guantanamo Bay paedophile! have been denied justice for the past two years while the US has been interrogating them for PRINCIPLES OF WESTERN JUDICIARY information. The recent announcement to release some of the captives has only shown According to the European Convention for that they are no longer useful to the USA. Human rights, there are some fundamental Upon their arrest they were not given 'Prisoner principles and values that underpin the Western

of War' (POW) status, because this would have secured them rights and legal representation under the Geneva Convention. The US government took steps to hold them captive in Cuba, which was beyond the remit of International Law and thus the normal standards of judiciary did not need to apply to the captives. Of the 650 detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, none have been charged with any crime and none have had access to a lawyer. While the British government is silent about miscarriages of justice against Muslims, they are spending much time, effort and money on the 'Bloody Sunday Inquiry'. This is the longest and the most expensive inquiry in British history. It seeks to look into the events of Sunday, 30th January 1972 which led to loss of life in connection with the procession in Londonderry on that day. By the end of June 2003, the total cost of the inquiry to the government was ÂŁ113.2 million. Up to 1700 witnesses were questioned and a tremendous amount of information has been collated regarding what happened on the day. This inquiry has just drawn to a close, and it will take a year before any report is published. No stone has been left unturned to investigate the events of 'Bloody Sunday', whilst almost no pressure has been placed upon the US administration to explain or release the British detainees in Guantanamo Bay. WESTERN JUSTICE IS SELECTIVE AND ARBITRARY The recent proposals by the Home Secretary and the many other examples of 'Western justice' confirm that the Western commitment to justice and the rule of law is neither permanent nor consistent. The discrimination and double standards faced by the Muslim community are an inevitable result of any man made law, legal process or judicial system. Where human beings are placed in the position to determine right and wrong, good and bad their judgements will be affected by their own bias, prejudices and viewpoints towards others. Nominal standards of justice and equality are discarded or compromised if not suited to those who legislate or those who influence the judicial process. Vested state interests easily manipulate legislation and judiciary in the West in order to target individuals or groups March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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Blunkett and Charles looking pleased with themselves at the first ever swearing in ceremony for new British citizens. This, and the new proposals for terror laws are clearly aimed at integrating Muslims

that most upset the status quo. Therefore, judicial and legal rules will be in a continuous state of flux and change as they endeavour to pander to the prevailing climate or interests of the powerful.

'And judge between them according to what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their whims, and beware of them lest they tempt you away from some of that which Allah has revealed to you' [TMQ Al Ma'idah : 49].

Western claims of fair play, justice or human rights are fanciful words used to fool people into thinking they have redress under the law. In reality they exist only to the extent which the Capitalist State allows them to. As the Home Secretary's proposals indicate, individuals and certain communities can quite easily be targeted and highlighted for special treatment, thus incurring the full force of legislation and the wrath of the state.

The Prophet  said:

ISLAM AND JUSTICE In Islam, the commitment to truth and justice is absolute and is not influenced by the whims and desires of human beings or the time and place in which they are made. The rules of Islam emanate from Allah , the Creator of the universe and not the limited and imperfect minds of humans. The Islamic rules are divine rules made by the One who knows humans best, and are not subject to the wishes of a ruler or any particular interest group. Moreover, the Islamic Shari'ah has secured certain rights for its citizens such that each person knows what is expected and due upon him. The rules of Islam are applied upon all citizens (Muslim and non Muslim) with equal effect such that no individual or group is targeted for either favoured treatment or punishment.Allah  says:

'He who harms a person under covenant (non-Muslim citizen), or charged him more than he can, I will argue against him on the Day of Judgement' [Narrated by Yahya bin Adam]. Islam has laid down certain general rules that act as a contract between the people and the State such that the laws and rules in society have limits that can never be exceeded. Also, neither is the Khilafah State a 'Police State' that can force and coerce its people into submission. Spying, harming, and torturing of the people, Muslims or non-Muslims, are prohibited. Rather, Islam guarantees the people's sanctity, dignity, funds, honour and property. Allah  says

'O you who believe, avoid suspicion as much as possible, for suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy on each other' [TMQ AlHujurat: 12]. For the one who is tasked with applying the 14

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rules of Islam, such as the judge, the Islamic ideology has laid down specific rules to protect the judge from corruption and to ensure justice within society. For example, judges within the Khilafah State are appointed for their taqwa and knowledge to ensure the correct judicial processes and Islamic verdicts are issued. If corruption were to exist, then there is a separate court known as the 'Mahkamatul Mazaalim' the court of unjust acts where the judge, wali (governor) or even the Khaleefah can be tried for any injustices upon the citizens of the Islamic State. The Prophet  said,

'The Messenger of Allah has ordered that the two disputing parties should sit before the judge' [Narrated by Abu Dawood] One such example is of the accusation made by Ali (ra), who was the Khaleefah at the time, against a Jew. Upon termination of the war at Siffin, Ali (ra) returned to Kufa, where he saw his shield in the hands of a Jew. The dispute over the shield was taken to the Court of Shurayh. The judge requested for witnesses to be provided by Ali (ra) to confirm his side of the story, and Ali (ra) said that Kambar and alHasan were his witnesses. Yet, the judge ruled in favour of the Jew and replied that 'the evidence of a son is not admissible in favour of the father'. The accused was so astounded by the level of justice that he embraced Islam. Such is the superiority of Islam and the justice that it provides for all people.

'And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: That is nearer to piety, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is WellAcquainted with what you do.' [TMQ AlMa'idah: 8].


Zubair Asghar

East London email: zubair.asghar@1924.org

THE FITNESS CRAZE

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growing number of Muslim youth are taking a keen interest in training, fitness and bodybuilding. For some amongst the youth, bodybuilding and looking good have taken on great importance. The body building pursuit has become a priority for many of the Muslim youth today as they strive to become more muscular and fitter in general. However, this issue has proved very dangerous for some of the youth as the 'body beautiful' craze has come to preoccupy their minds and lives. It has lead to many youth becoming obsessed with their muscles and looks to the point where it has had a detrimental effect on their behaviour and Islamic personality. For a minority, but still significant number, who have become engrossed in bodybuilding, the price of gaining muscles is that they are hardly seen at home and have become distant from their own families. When they are at home, they spend most their time sleeping, sometimes up to thirteen or fourteen hours at a time. When they aren't at home they are in their local gym and spend nearly all their free time there. When they aren't at home or at the gym, they are in college or university supposedly studying. However, even when studying many can be found in the gym during their breaks or free periods. For the completely obsessed, they resort to missing lunch so as to go to the gym and suffer the physical pain they have to bear from pumping weights and doing various exercises

to get in shape and toned. For food, those involved in serious bodybuilding spend most of their money on powdered milkshake supplements to boost the proteins in their diet in order to help them with their training. Most opt for the traditional, and cheaper, homemade alternatives like raw egg whites in milk. These methods are used to help in their quest to shape up and to look good even if they taste foul. Some supplements, taken in excess, can lead to damage of the kidneys. This shows the extent that some Muslim youth are going to in order to develop a bigger and more muscular body. The reality of this type of Muslim youth as described shows that becoming more muscular and toned has consumed their entire lives, with everything else having to fit around their training routines and schedules. WHEN THE SUMMER TIME COMES As summer approaches, the youth involved in the body beautiful craze become very serious as they increase their repetitions and weights to get into shape. They are really motivated to pump their weights and do their exercises, to such a degree that absolutely nothing will come in their way whether it is their education, work or family. Hours are spent on accelerated training regimes so that they can quickly show off the fruits of their efforts. Many of these Muslim youth only train and work on those muscles that will stand out and be noticed during the hot weather. These are

usually the abdominal muscles, chest and arms and the quest for 'firm pecs' is all-important. The priority of such youth isn't to train their overall body to become stronger in all parts, but it is to look as big and strong as possible using these particular muscles to achieve this. Some would argue that it isn't even healthy to be training certain parts and not others, as this can be detrimental for the rest of the body. To become healthy, cardiovascular and aerobic exercises are important as they increase overall fitness. The mentality of those involved in this behaviour is driven by the need to look attractive and to be 'in' with the right crowd. For this they need to have the biggest muscles, the largest forearms, the leanest six packs, the thickest biceps and the broadest chest. These muscles can then be paraded by wearing the tightest t-shirts. They will make sure that they don't buy the right size tops for themselves, but clothes that are a size too small so as to accentuate their muscles as they walk down the High Street. For the youth that train hard they are led to believe that it's not just about having the largest muscles, but having the cleanest cuts so the shapes of the muscles are clearly defined. 80kg bench-presses requires a tremendous amount of resolve and determination, but for what? What do they want from putting so much effort into working out? What must be so vital for someone to go through so much pain and physical effort? Why do they see it as so March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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the gym at all but still hold these concepts, where showing off one's looks and building an image is the norm.

attractive? It must be something really important, a matter of life and death some would say. The unfortunate reality is that it is quite often only to look attractive so as to impress the girls and peers. This has been used by some of the youth to help them in some un-Islamic actions like trying to date girls or exhausting every method they can to show off their image. They get themselves 'slicked up' to go to the shopping centres on Saturdays to walk the catwalk for the girls. They come dressed to 'look the part' when they walk into college or university. They want the attention of the girls and they try as hard as possible to achieve this. Many youth loiter around parks trying to catch some girls to whom they can show off their muscles. Another aspect to why the youth are obsessed with the look of their muscles is so that they can look 'hard'. This is so that people will give them respect and rank them highly. They want everyone to be afraid of them so that no one will try anything with them or say anything bad about them. However, most of the time the reason is not even being able to fight; it's just about looking as if you are able to fight! You have to look 'hench' regardless of whether you can actually fight anyone at all. By looking 'tough' they will gain respect from others and it is also a free ticket to attracting the opposite sex. VANITY - A SCOURGE FOR THE MUSLIM YOUTH It is obvious that the Muslim youth who are involved in bodybuilding, do not undergo such rigours simply to become healthier. Rather, they do it for the sake of trying to flaunt their body around to gain a few petty rewards. The ideas of vanity and pride have misled many of the Muslim youth on to the path of Jaahiliyyah (ignorance), where looking good and impressing others has become a pivotal issue in their lives. This isn't simply limited to training and working on muscles but also to their image in general. People may not go to 16

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Vanity and pride have become some of the biggest scourges of the Muslim youth, corrupting their mentalities and adversely affected their behaviour. The effects of these ideas have led to egoism and a 'me, myself and I' mentality. It is the pursuit of vanity and looking good that has resulted in the Muslim youth spreading their time between the gym and the nightclub in a quest for girls and a good time. SHALLOWNESS OF JUDGING PEOPLE BY LOOKS ALONE The concepts of vanity and pride are incorrect from their basis and false in their nature. They have made Western society revolve around shallow goals such as how well a person looks or dresses. Attributes such as beauty, dress code and manner of speaking have become the yardstick for measuring yourself and others. Those that 'fit the bill' are accepted and given respect, while those that do not are completely disregarded to the sidelines of life. Magazines, music, films, soaps and prominent role models flaunt this image continuously. These so-called role models are the most indulgent in vanity and exhibit the most amount of pride. In 1992, a study of 4,300 network television commercials revealed that 1 out of every 4 commercials sent some sort of "attractiveness message," telling viewers what is or is not attractive. Defining oneself by how you look is shallow to the point of ignorance as it completely ignores the intellect of the human being. It is impossible for everyone to look the same, not everyone can have the same height, weight, facial features and shape. Hence, not everyone can look the way that has been set down by the media and the contestants on Mr Universe. People are born with their looks, and to a large extent their body shapes. It is the Creator ď ‰ who has placed these features within man and it is foolish to think that people can all achieve the 'ideal' physique. Many people are therefore, trying to achieve an unattainable goal. As a result of this, many in society are unhappy with their looks and have at least one thing they would like to change about their bodies. The cases of anorexia are on the increase and now even include boys. They have unrealistic

aspirations set by others to turn their image to one that suits society. It is clear that these aspirations are in vain. In the United States, conservative estimates indicate that after puberty, 5-10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or borderline conditions. Vanity and pride in one's image can lead to such extremes that some will resort to abusing their bodies whether through crash diets or even surgical processes to enhance their looks. There have now been cases of younger teenagers undergoing plastic surgery to enhance their bodies and faces. These false ideas lead people to resort to extreme measures such as the use of Botox injections. This is where a toxin is used to paralyse portions of the face to decrease the appearance of wrinkles. It is quite clear that this lifestyle lead to many vices and promiscuity in society. Pride in one's appearance will lead to a very selfish and egodriven personality. These ideas have impacted upon the Muslim community with some of the youth abandoning the rules and manners of Islam, whilst accepting the Western criteria of vanity and pride as the basis for building one's image and personality. ISLAM IS BASED UPON VALUES AND IDEAS NOT APPEARANCES Islam has made it clear that the main purpose in life for a believer is not to look good or 'cool'. This is because it can lead to people abusing their bodies and involving themselves in vices and indecent actions due to erroneous concepts such as vanity and pride. Islam did not place emphasis on trying to look good but rather it placed emphasis on the ideas and values people carry. This is the correct way of distinguishing between people. Islam has defined those that we should respect and look up to; these are the people who fulfil the


commandments of Allah , fear Him  alone and are righteous. Allah  explained:

‘Help ye one another in righteousness and piety but help ye not one another in sin and rancor: fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment.’[TMQ Al-Maidah: 2]

Narrated by Abdullah The Prophet said, "Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar." [Bukhari] It is clear from these and other evidences that in Islam, people are differentiated from one another by their piety and values and not their appearance. This is how Islam ensures a productive and progressive society where everyone is striving to become better. Islam has also made clear that vanity and pride are completely haram. The following are some ahadith of the Prophet  relating to the prohibition of these ideas. Abu Hurairah reported that Allah's Messenger  said that there was a person who used to walk with pride because of his thick hair and fine mantles. He was made to sink in the earth and he would go on sinking in the earth until the Last Hour would come. [Muslim]

Also it is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah b. Mas'ud that the Messenger of Allah  observed: 'None shall enter the Fire (of Hell) who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of Iman and none shall enter Paradise who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride.' [Muslim] Islam has encouraged the believer to become fit and strong, as opposed to weak and lethargic. Training and gaining fitness for the purpose of one's health is permitted. Many evidences exist which urge the Muslims to partake in physical activities such as horse riding, archery and shooting. The Sahabah (ra) were the most fearless of fighters and trained diligently before every battle. Muslim armies of the past were famed for their physical might just as much as their Iman and bravery. However, their strength and fighting prowess were not abused for personal recognition or fame but were channeled so as to make Islam dominant and the word of Allah  the highest. For example, Mus'ab ibn Umayr (ra) prior to Islam was born and brought up in luxury and wealth and was pampered like no other by his parents. He was the most handsome and youthful, and the talk of the ladies of Makkah. Narrators described him as 'the most charming of the Makkans'. As an analogy, we could say that he had all the latest 'garms', the looks, the money and the status - all of what today's youth are clambering to achieve. Yet, when Mus'ab (ra) embraced Islam there was an amazing transformation. No longer did he relish the wealth and looks he had, rather he gave them up for Islam and the pleasure of Allah . His mother, who had nurtured and given him immense wealth, imprisoned him for his adherence to Islam and his companionship with Muhammad . She eventually forced him out of her home. Upon leaving his mother, Mus'ab left a life of great luxury for a life of hardship, wearing rough clothes and eating one day and not the next. He became one of the greatest da'wah carriers that ever graced the Muslims as he strived to prepare the Medinan society for Islam. Khabbab ibn Al Arat narrated: We emigrated with the Prophet  for Allah's  cause, so our reward became due with Allah . Some of us passed away without enjoying anything in this life of his reward, and one of them was Mus'ab ibn Umayr, who was martyred on the Day of Uhud. He did not leave anything behind except a sheet of shredded woolen cloth. If we

covered his head with it, his feet were uncovered, and if we covered his feet, his head was uncovered. The Prophet  said to us,

"Cover his head with it and put lemon grass over his feet." The Prophet  looked at the garment that was covering him and said,

"I saw you at Makkah, and there was not a more precious jewel, nor a more distinguished one than you, and here you are bare-headed in a garment!" From these examples we can see Mus'ab ibn Umayr 'had it all' but when he became a Muslim, all his values and ideals were transformed completely to those of Islam. After this he never walked around showing off his clothes and wealth. Rather, he understood that his previous vanity and pride had no place in Islam. We should take the example of Mus'ab (ra) to demonstrate the true example of someone who understood the correct way of differentiating between people; by their taqwa and worship to Allah  and not their looks and physical appearance.

March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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Ruji Rahman

East London email: ruji.rahman @1924.org

MOTHER'S DAY - WHY IS IT NECESSARY?

E

very year on the 21st of March, Mothers Day is celebrated around the world. As Mothers Day approaches, gift shops stock up on floral bouquets, cuddly teddies and chocolates. As these are the usual gifts that kids like to give their mums. At school, children happily make cards and presents for their mothers. As the big day arrives, a special meal may be prepared for dear mother or perhaps a surprise party. On Mothers Day dads and kids get together to prepare the food and clean the house whilst mum puts her feet up. Those mothers who are in old peoples homes will receive a visit from their children and grandchildren. Whilst the Mothers Day ritual will be a happy and joyous occasion, the plight of mothers in the West and the whole family structure in general is in turmoil and a cause of much misery for mothers. Mothers have to deal with their uncontrollable children, often alone, and bear the brunt of the bad behaviour that is directed at them from their own offspring. Unruly and rebellious teenagers are quite often the norm, with children misbehaving and disrespecting their mother until they get their own way. Children answer back, swear and 18

Khilafah Magazine March 2004

defy the rules of the house in the true spirit of Bart Simpson and all that is taught on children's TV. As children grow older, the acrimonious relationship with their mother continues. The kids demand money and the latest products on the market, such as mobile phones, computers and new trainers. If these demands are not met, the poor mother has to suffer abuse and emotional blackmail; often she is made to feel as if she does not love her children or care for them. It is not unusual for children leave home on bad terms and set up their lives many miles away from their parents. Even when the kids become adults, the childmother relationship in the West remains confused. Children may set up home in a new town or country and have plenty of space and room for their own family. However, very little consideration is given to moving their old parents in with them or at least close by so they can visit them often. By contrast, the mother is blamed for interfering in her children's lives or telling her kids how to bring up their own children. It appears that the mother is only valued as long as she follows the children's wishes. A growing trend

within the West has been for children to return back home to live with their parents in their 20's and 30's after initially moving out. Unfortunately, this has not been due to their undying love for their mother but rather because they can't afford to take out a mortgage. In some cases, the mother is a convenient option for the children to be fitted around their own busy lives. Hence, the infrequent visits that the mother receives from her kids and the yearly Mothers Day card to exonerate their guilt. Often, the reliance on 'Mum' is only when in need of a baby sitter or at times of distress when they need a 'shoulder to cry on.' Alternatively, the sad fact of the matter is that many children only show an interest in their parents when they write their will and the inheritance is being decided. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MOTHER IS OF NO USE? Alas, when the mother becomes old and frail the preferred option for many of the children is to abandon their parents and leave them to their own devices. The result of this attitude has led to some tragic results. In October 2003, police in South London discovered the decom-


posing bodies of George and Gertude Bates. Both George and Gertude died of hypothermia. They lived alone with no family carer and it was reported that they never received any visitors or help. In the months prior to their death they received a gas bill of £140.62p. As they did not pay the bill, British Gas cut off their gas supply. With winter approaching Mr and Mrs Bates were effectively given a death sentence. The sad irony was that almost £1,500 was found in their home after their death. Therefore, it was not a lack of money that prevented them from paying their gas bill. Rather, it appears that they simply could not leave home and walk to the Post Office to pay the bill. Examples abound of the mistreatment handed out to the mothers in Western society by their own children. A 94-year old resident from Mill Hill, North London was found dead in a nursing home. She died of hypothermia after her daughter decided to put her in a home as she needed a break from looking after her. In another recent case a 15-year old boy was charged with the rape of his own mother. He raped her when he returned home for a visit one weekend. CARE HOMES FOR THE ELDERLY! The demand for Care Homes for the elderly has been a boom industry in recent times and the rise in the number of Old People's and Nursing homes has been staggering. These Care Homes market their services aggressively with many websites available providing avenues for 'dumping' parents. On the 'BUPA care homes' website an icon reads 'search for a care home' followed by 'we recognise that everyone's situation is different'. According to the 2001 Census reports, there were 341,000 places in residential care homes in the independent and public sectors in England, the majority of which were for older people. The growing trend for children to leave one or both of their parents in such places has seen the proportion of one-person households almost double since 1971 from 17 per cent to 31 per cent in 2001. This increase has played an important part in reducing the overall average household size. The proportion of households containing one adult aged 16 to 59 was 15 per cent. Among adults aged 16 and over, 16 per cent lived alone in 2001. Statistics also show that the likelihood of living alone increased with age, with 49 per cent of people aged 75 and over living alone compared with 12 per

cent of those aged 25 to 44. Among women under 45, 59 per cent lived alone compared with 32 per cent of men. RELATIONSHIPS IN THE WEST ARE TAINTED As well as the mother-child relationship, the mentality displayed by children affects all relationships within the West. The marital relationship is certainly clear evidence of this. Partners come together on the basis of passion alone, or the looks and sexual attraction they feel for one another. Others may get married due to the material possessions one partner can provide such as a car, home or holiday. Also, marriage has become a battleground with neither party willing to compromise their own wishes or interests to accommodate the other. Thus, no clear roles or responsibility are defined, with each partner insistent on pursuing their own interests on their own terms. The wife wishes to pursue her career and thought her husband understood this, whilst the man simply wants a family and a quiet life. Inevitably, the relationship breaks down. Friendship is another area where relationships in the West become corrupted. Very rarely do you find genuine, long lasting and honest friendships, as friends come together due to some other motive or reason such as what the new friend will bring to them or can provide. What creates the inconsistent and sporadic nature of all relationships in the West, such as in the treatment shown to mothers, is that they are primarily driven by the idea of benefit and a 'what's in it for me' mentality. This results in people coming together for some ulterior motive or showing love and affection only when it is most convenient for them. Since so many interactions are characterised by this selfish mentality, it is not surprising to see how parents are quickly discarded when looking after them becomes a burden. This idea of seeking one's benefit at all times is consistent with the Capitalist ideology that believes human beings are only motivated by some form of personal gain or reward. Inevitably, the consequences of such a viewpoint are plain to see in that family relationships become tainted with this leading to an absence of trust, warmth or consistency. The problems that arise between mother and child and the treatment of parents within Western society will continue for as long as the Capitalist mindset is used.

THE MOTHER - CHILD RELATIONSHIP IN ISLAM Allah  has regulated the mother-child relationship so it is based on Islam and not benefit or one's interests. Thus, the respect and kindness given to one's mother is permanent and should appear in times of joy as well as hardship. The mother has been given an elevated and honourable position in Islam. She faced the trials and tribulations of pregnancy, labour, suckling, and weaning the child. These actions have granted her the highest of rewards. Each contraction the pregnant woman undergoes is equivalent to striking the enemy in battle. As a result, the mother is deserving of the mercy, kindness, respect, and comfort of her children. Allah  says,

"And we have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents, in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning, (hear the command) show gratitude to Me and to your parents, to Me is (your final) Goal" [TMQ Luqman: 14] Imam Qurtubi said in reference to the above verse that the scholars have said '…that the most deserving people with the most rights, to thank, to be good to and obedient to after the Creator  are the parents. That is because March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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by a people, but he denied their favour and disowned them". [Ahmad]

Allah  has linked thanking Him  to thanking the parent, when in the verse we read

He  also cursed the man who did not attain his paradise through his parents. Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that Muhammed  said, "Thank Me and your parents". In surah Al-Ahqaf, Allah  raised the mother above all and reminds us of her trials:

"His mother bears him with hardship and gives birth to him with hardship. His bearing and weaning is thirty months until he attains full strength…" [TMQ Al-Ahqaf:15].

Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that a man came to Muhammad  and asked "O RasulAllah, which of all the people is best entitled to kind treatment and good companionship from me?" He  answered, "Your mother". The man asked, "Then who?" He  replied "your mother." "And after her?" He  replied, "your mother." "And after her?" He  replied, "your father". [Bukhari, Muslim]

"And do good to your parents. Should one of them, or both attain old age in your care, never say 'oof' to them or scold them, but always speak to them with reverent speech and spread over them humbly the wings of your tenderness and say "O sustainer, bestow Your grace upon them, even as they cherished and raised me as a child". [TMQ Al-Israa: 23-24] As-Sabooni, in reference to this verse, said, "Allah  has ordered kindness to parents and that He  has entrusted you to look after them especially when one or both of them become old. Here, old age is specified because this is the time when they are in the greatest need for help, kindness, and support and to carry out their rights because they are weak. Likewise do not say to your parents any word that shows you are either angry or annoyed, like the word 'oof'. And do not say or make them hear bad talk from you or shout at them with harshness on that which you do not like of them". Clearly, the Shari'ah has enjoined upon us to show kindness, respect, and warmth to our parents. We have been given the rightful task of feeding and sheltering them and ensuring that they feel comfort and tranquillity around their children. It is not from the etiquette of the Muslim to abandon or 'dump' his or her parents in a Nursing home. In fact, the Prophet  warns us of this;

Ibn 'Umar (ra) saw a man carrying his mother and going around the Kabah in Tawaf. He then asked Ibn 'Umar (ra), "Have I nullified my duty towards her?" Ibn 'Umar replied, "Not even by one contraction! However, you have done good and Allah  will reward you tremendously for the little that you could do." The Shari'ah has enjoined basic rights for both the mother and father, such that even the slightest raising of one's voice to the parents is a crime. He has ordered people to speak to their parents with words of hikmah (wisdom), to look after them when they are old, to serve them and not to deny any of their rights.

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Khilafah Magazine March 2004

Anas Al-Juhani said that his father narrated that the Prophet  said, "Verily, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah has slaves to whom He will neither speak nor purify nor look at." He was asked, "Who are they, O Allah's Messenger?" He said, “He who disowns and abandons his parents, he who disowns his children and he who has granted a favour

"May he be humiliated! May he be disgraced! May he be brought low!" The companions (ra) asked, "who?" He  replied, "The unfortunate person whose parents or any one of them attain old age in his lifetime and he does not earn paradise". [Muslim] The Shari'ah indicates that while the children are young it is the duty of the parent to take care of the children. As the parents reach old age, it is the responsibility of the children collectively to take care of their needs. In this way the mother is never at alone to fend for herself. ISLAM PROVIDES A SYSTEM TO REGULATE RELATIONSHIPS Islam did not leave it to the human mind to regulate relationships in society. Islam has provided a unique system that regulates relationships in society in a way that results in harmony as Allah , our Creator, knows the human nature best and has set the rules. The Islamic system manifested in the form of the Khilafah State is unique in that it provides solutions for all relationships in society.

‘Certainly, We have brought them the Book (the Qur'an) which We have explained in detail with knowledge a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe’ [TMQ Al A'raf : 52]


Dr Qaiser Malik

East London email: qaiser.malik@1924.org

WHY EXACTLY ARE THE UK RAILWAYS SO BAD?

T

he recent deaths of four rail workers in Cumbria has left an already struggling rail industry reeling. The four were killed on the West Coast main railway line at Tebay in Cumbria when they were hit by a wagon which ran down hill after coming loose at a loading yard several miles away. The investigators are trying to piece together exactly what happened on one of the busiest rail networks in Britain. What was the sequence of events? Was it human error? Should the trolley carrying over fifteen tons of eighteen foot long steel rail sections have been physically "parked" with wooden chocks on the line? Was it a mechanical fault? Did the flatbed wagon become detached from its engine when the coupling failed? Or was there a systems failure in the way in which this sort of maintenance work was organised? This incident is the latest in a long line of disasters that have occurred since the late 90's, following the privatisation of the British railway service. It all began with Britain's worst rail crash for a decade in October 1999, when two trains collided near London's Paddington station, killing thirty-one people and injuring 400 hundred more. The accident was attributed to signals being poorly positioned which resulted in the view of train drivers being obscured as they approached the signals. This was swiftly followed by the 2000 crash at Hatfield, where four people died and thirty-five people were injured when a GNER express from London to Leeds derailed at high speed on a section of track which Railtrack

admitted was 'not good.' In February 2002, confidence in the railways was further eroded following a collision between two trains near Selby, north Yorkshire, that killed ten people after a Land Rover crashed down a motorway embankment onto the railway line. This series of accidents finally ended with the Potters Bar Rail crash which saw seven people dead and 70 more people injured when a train derailed due to nuts that were missing at several points on the track. A new report cites poorly maintained points as the most likely cause of the Potters Bar rail crash. The Health and Safety Executive's third progress report found no evidence that sabotage or vandalism was behind the derailment. It believes the crash happened because nuts on a vital set of points were missing, and other parts were in poor condition, causing the points to fail catastrophically and the train to derail. The report said, 'Other sets of points in the Potters Bar area were found to have similar, though less serious, maintenance deficiencies, indicating a wider problem.' The engineering firm Jarvis, which had responsibility for track maintenance in the area, has always insisted that sabotage could not be ruled out. All of the above incidents have occurred since the well publicised and controversial privatisation of the railways, a project that the government promised would bring untold benefits to the public service as well as promoting free market forces. Privatisation in recent times has been a key policy of successive Capitalist governments.

PRIVITISATION OF THE RAILWAYS Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, worked tirelessly to champion free market economic policies, and will be remembered for her programs of privatisation. Under her leadership, Great Britain saw the privatisation of telecommunications, electricity, gas, water, sewage services, public bus transportation and several other sectors of public service. Her successor John Major continued her work and subsequently British Rail was restructured into more than 100 separate businesses and privatised. What had previously been an integrated network regulated by the government, became an interconnected array of contracts linking separate companies who were accountable to their shareholders and to regulatory bodies. The regulatory body to oversee the privatised system was quite complex, and has been criticised for that reason. Two regulatory bodies, the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) and the Office of the Rail Regulator (OPR) were established. In addition, the Health and Safety Executive was responsible for overseeing the railways in the areas of health and safety. The Labour government that replaced the Conservatives in 1997, set up the; Strategic Rail Authority (SRA), which was responsible for the development of long-term plans for the industry and worked closely with the privatised companies, largely replacing OPRAF.

March 2004 Khilafah Magazine 21


The privatisation process was from the start highly controversial and highly complex, especially with regard to the network infrastructure, namely the track, signals and stations; a responsibility taken over by Railtrack. Railtrack did not carry out the maintenance work itself but had to manage inherited contracts with numerous track renewal and maintenance companies that took over British Rail's responsibilities after privatisation. On the service delivery side, Railtrack also had contracts with twenty-five train operating companies (TOCs), and they in turn had contracts with rolling stock leasing companies. Some of these companies also contracted out various parts of their businesses. The result was that literally thousands of private companies replaced British Rail. For example in maintenance alone around 2000 firms were involved. The privatisation fiasco has left a sour taste both for the government and also the public. Railtrack was forced into administration in October 2001, following a series of disasters, which exposed the chronic deficiencies and financial controls. After each accident, the death toll increased, making resignations inevitable; the government was forced to reverse its policy and start the process of renationalising the railways. The Government has initiated this by setting up a new infrastructure management company (or 'wheel-rail interface') called Network Rail. CONSEQUENCES OF PRIVITISATION The rail industry debacle has sat uneasily with the public and is compounded by the fact that there has been a decline in service and many of the executives involved have ended up with fortunes as a result of the privatisation process; multi-millionaires were created overnight. A scheme that was supposed to improve services while reducing costs, actually lead to worse service and the creation of 'fat cat' corporate executives; privatisation of the railways can confidently be labelled a failure. The privatisation process has changed the whole ethos of the working of the railways. Previously there was a comradeship, which used to mean that problems were easily spotted, repairs made and people talked to each other. Track workers operated in gangs and knew their stretch of rails like the backs of their hands. After privatisation, however, track workers became nomadic, moving to the next job with little or no local knowledge and 22

Khilafah Magazine March 2004

instructions not to talk to rival workers except via a supervisor miles away. There were growing concerns that sub-contractors were recruiting workers out of pubs to fill gaps on the night shift. The Financial Times, a paper not noted for its hostility to privatisation, highlighted this. There were moves to cut costs further by hiring drivers who were not adequately trained, and by reducing staff levels by up to a third. These new priorities were mainly aimed at pleasing the share holders by boosting the performance of these companies on the stock market. This approach, however, can have tragic consequences as was highlighted in October 1999 by the second of Britain's post privatisation train crashes at Ladbroke Grove, London. The collision between an incoming intercity express and an outgoing local commuter service killed both train drivers and twenty-nine passengers, injuring dozens more. The immediate cause was attributed to the fact that the driver of the latter train, only three weeks into the job, missed a danger signal. Also, had the train been fitted with an automatic braking system, as is the case in Europe, the speed at impact might have been reduced, but investment in the technology was neglected with a view to cutting costs. The signal missed by the driver had been reported by other drivers as being badly positioned and easy to miss. The issue had been discussed at meetings between the various privatised companies and each opted to pass the buck to the other, so inevitably nothing was done. Privatisation resulted in the interests of each individual company taking priority over the cooperation that was required. John Hurst, British Rail's former organisational development manager, stated that safe working of the network was impossible in such a climate. He went on to explain how merely taking steps of a technical and operational nature, in light of any particular disaster, will not address the underlying problem which will inevitably result in more disasters. Hurst's comments were proved right in October 2000, one year and 12 days after Ladbroke Grove, when the Hatfield derailment struck. This tragedy led to the departure of Railtrack's chief executive, Gerald Corbett; upon leaving he commented that the demands of the shareholders had resulted in the company being forced to make profits by not doing the things they should have been doing to make the railways better. Post privatisation we are left with the British railways on the brink of a catastrophic safety

breakdown, with senior executives warning that much of the network is worn out and that even basic repairs are not being carried out. RENATIONALISATION The Government, under immense pressure from the public sector, was forced to do an about turn in policy and set up Network Rail, a state-backed body to take all the track maintenance back 'in house'. Senior management at the company revealed that all the basic work on the lines will be taken away from private sector contractors. This is tantamount to an admission by the government that the privatisation has been a failure. This is being touted as the biggest shake up in the running of the industry for a decade. The shake up also has a proposed financial incentive, with contracts worth up to ÂŁ1.3bn being done in house providing possible savings of ÂŁ300m a year. Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT rail union said it was a big step towards renationalising Britain's railways. 'It's now clear that rail privatisation is firmly in its coffin and is now waiting only for a hole to be dug', he said. Mr Crow went onto remark that plans to part privatise London Underground should be scrapped. The union is advocating the complete re-nationalisation of the network, including the state take over of train operating companies. Transport Secretary Alistair Darling told MPs that the changes were needed to streamline the over complicated structure produced since privatisation. There have been no less than five major changes in the rail network's structure since Labour first won power. The Conservatives have been quick to attack the government on this point, but Mr Darling has responded by stating that it was due to the Tories' initiative to privatise the network in the first place. He went on to refute claims that the government had begun the process of renationalisation, though expert commentators disagree. The current argument centres around the future of the SRA, with calls from Bob Crow inviting Alistair darling to 'bite the bullet' and scrap the SRA. Professor Begg, Chairman of the Commission for Integrated Transport, warns that it would be a retrograde step to sideline the SRA, less than four years after it was created. Rail Analyst, Christian Wolmer commented that it was hard not to see the latest shake up as another chapter in the 'creeping re-nationalisa-


tion' of the railways. 'We are moving towards some sort of funny hybrid in which the state is largely in control', he said. The government remains unwilling to admit to this, even though it is happening in reality. CAPITALIST THEORY AND PROVISION OF SERVICES

THE

Capitalism states that the market forces of price, supply and demand are enough to regulate the economy and government intervention should be minimal. Competition will ensure the efficient use of resources, and service and safety will be guaranteed because any shortcomings will be punished by consumers switching to other providers. Thus, money will not be wasted for fear of losing profit and safety will not be sacrificed for fear of losing customers. So, for them, the motive of pure material gain results in a natural and happy balance between producers and consumers. However in modern capitalist thinking there is a wide spectrum of opinions of how much state involvement there should be in providing public services. The one thing that stands out from the railway story is that politicians are not strongly convinced of any particular position based upon its ideological foundation. In fact because capitalist thought in it pure form of letting the free market loose has been rejected by all modern forms of political opinion, it appears that any position newly adopted will be a pragmatic one, and hence easily dropped if it appears to fail. So what you have is a bankrupt ideology when it comes to who should provide the public services and why, Thatcher argued that the state run British rail was a dinosaur and inefficient etc. but the privatisation of the railway has been deemed as making it worse. Now we are witnessing the absurd situation of the UK government reverting to a nationalised service - but not explaining why, other than privatisation failed. This weakness in the capitalist thought will continue to leave successive governments tinkering around with the public services in a trial and error fashion but with no clear philosophy on who should provide them and why. This experimenting will continue to be at the expense of the consumer whose only involvement is to experience higher costs and higher taxes simultaneously in return for an inadequate service.

THE ISLAMIC VIEW ON PUBLIC UTILITIES/ SERVICES The political system of Islam obliges the state to provide the public with all the essential utilities and services which are deemed necessary for the clear objective that this is for the welfare of its citizens. This is completely contradictory to the outlook of the Capitalist political system which, rather than looking to take care of the affairs of its citizens, looks to offload its responsibilities to private companies who disregard the quality of service in favour of profit with corporate bigwigs pocketing large amounts of money in the process. Islam was very specific as to what it stipulated as being public property and what it allowed to be part of the private sector. Ibn Majah narrated from Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Prophet  said:

"Three things are not prevented from (the people); the water, the pastures and the fire." In a similar hadith Ibn 'Abbas (ra) narrated the Prophet  as saying:

"Muslims are partners (associates) in three things: in water, pastures and fire." Reported by Abu Dawud, Anas narrated from Ibn 'Abbas adding, "and its price is Haraam (forbidden)." These ahadith indicate that the people are associates/partners in water, pastures and fire and it is forbidden for individuals to own them; rather they are to be administered centrally by the state. However, our Prophet  allowed the possession of water in At-Taif and Khayber by individuals, and they actually possessed it for the irrigation of their plants and farms. Had the sharing ( association ) of water been just because it is water and not due to the fact that it was considered a need of the community, then it would have been prohibited by the Prophet  for the individuals to posses it. Thus, from the Prophet's  saying, "Muslims are partners (associates) in three things: in water, pastures and fire" and from the permission that he  gave for individuals to posses water it can be deduced that the Illah

(reason) of partnership in water, pastures and fire was the fact that they were utilities which were indispensable to the community. So although the ahadith only mentioned these three utilities, it did so in the context that they were indispensable to the community. So the ahadith mentioned the three things but they are reasoned as being community utilities. Therefore this Illah (reason) goes along with the reasoned rule in existence and in absence. So anything that qualifies as being of the community utilities is considered a public property, whether or not it was water, pastures or fire i.e. whether it was mentioned in hadith or not. Due to this illah of things that are indispensable to the community, it becomes obligatory for the Khilafah state to provide such things for its citizens such as transport, education, health services and the like. Although this does not mean that individuals cannot set up private institutions to provide such services, the government is forbidden from selling this duty to the private sector. THE ISLAMIC NATIONALISATION

VIEW

ON

Capitalist states nationalise property if they deem it to be in the public interest; the state is not obliged to nationalize but rather it chooses to do so when it sees fit. This is different form the Islamic view towards property as the Islamic ideology leaves no scope for the government to define public or private property and instead stipulates in detail those things which fall under each category. If there was a right for all Muslims in a thing then it is public/state owned whether it is something of collective benefit like a park or river or whether it is a community necessity like an education or health service. That which is not public property falls under private ownership, which the state is forbidden to own. Thus the state cannot forcibly obtain ownership of things which are of a privately owned nature under the pretext of the public interest, and could be taken to the Court of Unjust Acts (Mahkamat al-Mathalim) on the matter. However, should the individual allow the state to purchase the thing from them willingly then this is perfectly acceptable. This clarity is absent from the Capitalist system resulting in properties changing from one category to another as perceptions of the public interest change. March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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International Viewpoint

Muhammad Zahid

Bradford email: muhammad.zahid@1924.org

INSIGHT INTO AFRICA

D

uring the cold war, the United States (US) viewed Africa as a major arena of conflict with the Soviet Union and poured billions of dollars in economic and military aid into the continent in order to gain control over various regimes. For example, the central African nation of Congo suffered for thirty-two years under the dictator Mobutu Sese Soko and during this time the US supplied more than $300 million in military aid to this nation alone. This was not an isolated case as various other brutal regimes in Africa were supported through the provision of aid, such as Liberia and Kenya. However, after the collapse of communism, US interests in Africa began to wane. For example, Liberia, which had been a key ally and strategic post during the cold war, lost significance after 1990 and ever since has been embroiled in civil war without US intervention. Indeed, in 1995, a Pentagon report concluded that the US had 'very little traditional strategic interests in Africa' and Bush during his presidential campaign of 2000, said that Africa 'doesn't fit into the national strategic interests as far as I can see'. Political circumstances, however, are always changing and over the last few years Africa has crept back onto Washington's foreign policy agenda. This newfound interest in Africa is due to it becoming a growing source of US oil imports; this applies especially to the West African nations such as Angola, Nigeria, Congo Republic, Gabon, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. The US already purchases approxi24

Khilafah Magazine March 2004

mately 15 per cent of its oil from West Africa; nearly as much as the US imports from Saudi Arabia. This figure is expected to grow to 20 per cent within the next 5 years, according to the US National Intelligence council and to as high as 25 per cent by 2015. Therefore the presence of oil in West Africa and US dependency on oil imports, has created this new US interest and what is now being called 'the new scramble for Africa'. The objective of this article is to indicate clearly how America's new love affair with Africa is motivated by colonial interests. It will demonstrate how in the past the US intervened in Africa to secure national interests and national interests are the prism through which US policymakers are viewing Africa once again, with West Africa and in particular Equatorial Guinea being the focus of US foreign policy in the region. US FUELLING WAR IN AFRICA Africa is the most war torn region in the world, with armed conflicts in many states. Congo, Sudan, Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda and Algeria have all suffered from conflict for decades. During the 1990s, 32 out of the 53 countries saw violent conflict. Military skills training that where supplied by the US during the cold war years have been used un such conflicts right up to the current day. According to William Hartung, co-author of Deadly Legacy: US arms to Africa and the Congo War, a report released

in 2000 by the New York based World Policy Institute, the US sent $1.5 billion dollars in arms and training to Africa during the cold war years (1950-1989), and this 'set the stage for the current round of conflicts in the region'. Following the end of the cold war, the Clinton administration undertook 'a new wave of military training program in Africa'. From 1991 to 1995, the US gave military assistance to 50 of the 53 and from 1991-1998 US arms sales and military training to Africa totalled more than $227 million. The US has four different military training programs for Africa: International Education Training (IMET), Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET), African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI), and the African Centre for Security Studies (ACSS). The case of Congo can be taken as a stark example of how US military backing has been a source of conflict and instability in the region. In Congo, the heart of Africa, US proxies Uganda and Rwanda occupy the eastern half of the country and are in effect looting its mineral resources and sending them to the West. The Congo is the richest country in Africa as it holds the world's largest copper, cobalt and cadmium deposits. The war started by Rwanda and Uganda against the Congolese government in 1998 has killed 2.5 million people and displaced 2.3 million. Oxfam has called this war 'the world's biggest humanitarian disaster'. Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia sent their armies to support the Congolese government, and Burundi joined the other side. This initiated


'Africa's first world war', involving seven armies, which has further wrecked a country crushed by more than a century of Western domination. The US has given arms and military training to all seven armies. Rwanda and Uganda are the US's key allies in the region and Washington backed their invasion of the Congo, according to Human Rights Watch. Uganda received $1.5 million in US arms and military training in 1999 and Rwanda got $325,000 under IMET in 2000. US Special Forces have trained the Rwandan army in counterinsurgency, combat and psychological operations. This includes instructions about fighting in the Congo. To keep the war going, the US has helped the other side too, with Zimbabwe getting $1.4 million in US military training in 2000 and Namibia $500,000. This colonial strategy of initiating internal conflict has resulted in the killing of more than four million Africans and allowed the US, along with the other Western nations, to access Africa's abundant natural riches in order to enhance their own economies. Nearly 80 per cent of the strategic resources the US requires to propel its economy are found in Africa. Africa also accounts for 18 per cent of US oil imports and this has become the basis of US oil doctrine since 9/11. BRINGING THE OIL HOME The Bush administration's national energy policy, released in May 2001, predicted that West Africa would become 'one of the fastest growing sources of oil and gas for the American market.' The year before, Paul Michael Wihbey of Washington's Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies described West Africa as 'an area of vital US interest' in testimony before Congress. He proposed the creation of a new South Atlantic Military Command that would 'permit the US navy and armed forces to more easily project power to defend American interests and allies in West Africa.' The 9/11 attacks on America further focussed US attention on Africa, with national security planners advising the US to diversify supplies of oil away from the Middle East due to insecurity and volatility in the region. 'The Middle East presents a number of problems, but most West Africa regimes are neither stable nor democratic', says Terry Karl, a professor of Political Science at Stanford University. He further added, 'Oil development in that context is likely to buffer authoritarian

rule and foster corruption, instability and environmental destruction'. Despite the undemocratic credentials of West African regimes, this has not diminished West Africa's allure in US foreign policy circles. For example, in January 2002, the Council on Foreign Relations hosted an event to discuss the growing importance of Africa entitled 'America's response to terrorism: Managing Africa's oil revenues in a changing global climate' and Wihbey's institute held a similar function also. The latter, at downtown Washington's Tony University Club, was attended by oil company executives, Bush administration officials, corporate lobbyists and representatives from a number of African embassies. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Walter Kansteiner gave the introductory talk, which made explicitly clear US interests in Africa. He said, 'African oil is a national strategic interest‌it's people like you who will bring the oil home'. Others speakers included Lieutenant Karen Kwiatkowski who said the US needed to step up military training for African oil producers so that those countries can 'secure their property, their investment and our investment'. It becomes clear from American government officials that oil is one of the main reasons why US policy makers are focusing on the African continent. WASHINGTON'S NEW FOUND INTEREST IN EQUATORIAL GUINEA 'We've found in excess of 500 million barrels of oil here, and we expect that to grow to at least 1 billion - and that's not to say that we won't find more. This is one of the hottest spots in the world right now'. This statement was made by Jim Musselman, the head of Triton Energy, and he was talking about Equatorial Guinea, a tiny nation located on the West coast of Africa. Equatorial Guinea has long been one of the poorest nations on the planet and one of the most neglected by the West. However, the discovery of oil during the early 1990s has made Guinea the third largest producer behind Nigeria and Angola and this has completely changed her political relevance. It is because of the discovery of oil that the Bush administration has been eager to bolster relations with Guinea as it buys almost two-thirds of Guinea's petroleum. What has made Guinea important since the US launched its war on terror is the political turmoil in the Gulf and other regions from which the US imports oil. 'There is plenty of instability in the world and the more diverse supplies of oil we have, the better things are' as Jim Musselman said.

Despite the attractiveness of Equatorial Guinea and the need to diversify oil imports, a stumbling block was the poor human rights record of the nation's leader, Teodoro Obiang. As head of the National Guard and later commander of the armed forces, he played a major role in carrying out terrible repression for years. One Western diplomat called him a 'known murderer'. The US State Department's most recent report on world wide human rights, released 4 March 2002, stated that the government employs 'the psychological effects of arrests, along with the fear of beatings and harassment, to intimidate opposition party officials and members' and that the country has never had a 'free, fair and transparent' election. A case in point was Obiang's re-election to a seventh term in 1996, which he won with 99.2 per cent of the vote. This assessment of the regime is not only shared by human right groups but also by the CIA. The agency's current world fact book states that America's new strategic partner is a country 'ruled by ruthless leaders who have badly mismanaged the economy.' Therefore, given the political repression within Equatorial Guinea and the autocratic nature of the regime, question marks remained over whether the US would encourage political liberalisation in the West African nation, but as in many cases in the past the US has sacrificed its so called enshrined values of human rights and democracy for national interests, which lay in the provision of oil from Equatorial Guinea. As US economic interests began to grow in the region a clear relationship began to develop between the two nations. PROTECTING COLONIAL INTERESTS America's new found interest in Africa is motivated by the abundance of oil available and desire to diversify its oil supplies. US oil companies are prevalent in West Africa making the most of the available deposits but America's military involvement is also set to increase, to permit the US navy and armed forces to be able to defend US interests in the region and allies in West Africa. According to reports, the Bush administration has already given the go ahead to a private firm; Military Professional Resources inc. to train the Guinean security forces that will be in charge of guarding off shore oil installations. In October 2002, a senior US general, Carlton Fulford, visited Sao Tome and Principe, the islands halfway between Nigeria and Angola, to discuss the possibility of establishing a March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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military base there. Given the history of US involvement abroad, there is no doubt that their military will provide a platform for the US to interfere in the internal politics and foreign policy of countries that possess its oil supplies. Given that Washington has already said it is 'uneasy' about the close relationship that many West African leaders share with Libya, such interference is very likely indeed. The US government has portrayed its oil adventure in West Africa as being mutually beneficial, experience in the Middle East and even West Africa shows clearly that the ones who really benefit are the oil companies and the regimes that receive payments from the companies involved in the extraction of oil. After centuries of colonial domination that entailed economic exploitation and the pillaging of land, the US has launched a new excursion into Africa that will ultimately result in further exploitation of the West African nations. South African president Thabo Mbeki has called for an 'African Renaissance' but with a growing US economic and military presence in West Africa, such a renaissance is a far off dream. A CONTINUATION POLICIES

OF

COLONIAL

The US during the cold war tolerated and supported the practices of brutal regimes in order to advance its national interests and guarantee its energy supplies. With Africa firmly back on the US foreign policy agenda, this past policy of toleration and supporting oppressive regimes has returned. Following the discovery of oil off the coast of Equatorial Guinea in 1994, the US has strengthened diplomatic ties with this tiny country despite the fact that its leader, Obiang, is a ruthless dictator who has been condemned by human rights groups throughout the world. Another area of controversy is Angola, where oil has financed three decades of civil war and where billions of petro dollars are deposited in offshore accounts. Other valued African oil producers with documented records of government corruption, electoral fraud, financial mismanagement and human rights abuses include Chad, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The biggest player in West African oil is Nigeria, which has been governed by military dictatorships for most of its post independence existence. In the 1990s, the brutal dictator, Sani Abacha presided over an extremely brutal and 26

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corrupt regime. Needless to say, the advocates of oil investment had little problem with military rule as long as the oil kept flowing. The current government of President Obasanjo has shown great willingness to follow Washington's direction in regional affairs. Although Obasanjo is a civilian ruler, it must be remembered that he ruled the country as a military dictator in the 1970s, with corruption and violence characterizing his current regime. Another example can be found in Gabon, where President Omar Bongo has clung to power since 1967. It becomes clear, therefore, that the oil producing states are rife with human right abuses, corruption and unelected leaders. In the past none of this was an issue to the US as it was engaged in an ideological conflict with the Soviet Union. National and security interests were a priority during the cold war, such priorities have not changed and the US, as in the past, is likely to pursue a policy of establishing cordial relations with such regimes. This has already borne fruit, for example, in Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria. The West's so-called inalienable values of human rights and democracy are once again going to be sidelined while the US pursues her own interests in order to enhance her position on the international stage. US COLONIALISM There is no doubt that African oil has captured the imagination of the US administration, but this is part of the bigger picture of US colonialism. Colonialism entails the economic, military and political control of foreign lands for the purpose of self interest as one saw during the high tide of European colonialism in the 18th and 19th centuries. A 2002 report to the US Congress by the African Oil Policy Initiative Group, which includes Pentagon officials, identified West Africa 'and its attendant market of 250 million people located astride key lanes of communication as a vital interest in US national security calculations.' West Africa is closer to the US east coast than is the Middle East and of the sub Saharan states, only Nigeria is in OPEC which would give the US more leverage on the world oil market if its corporations were in place there. This would also aid a long held US ambition to cause the break up of OPEC. In addition, the oil reserves are on islands off the West coast of Africa, away from conflict zones on land, ensuring the safe supply of oil unlike in the Middle East where political risk is extremely high.

The US currently imports about 550 million barrels per year from West Africa and the department of energy expects that US oil imports from Africa will reach 770 million barrels per year. It is aiming for 20 per cent of its imported oil to come from West Africa by 2005, increasing to 25 per cent by 2015. What is certain is that the wealth generated by US economic involvement in West Africa will not be 'mutually beneficial' as the wealth will not trickle down to the masses. The past has shown how oil concentrates wealth in the hands of a small minority and increases the level of poverty. For example, Angola's President Eduardo dos Santos came to power in 1979. His personal fortune is estimated at $14 billion. An IMF report alleged that the regime pockets $1 billion of oil revenue each year. Off shore oil reserves are fuelling this concentration of wealth in the hands of the elite. At the same time, Angola has the world's second highest child mortality rate; only 30 per cent of children go to school, 15 per cent of the population is dependant upon aid and the people have been displaced by war. These in fact are common characteristics of states through out Africa, which is not helped by the economic strangulation policies of the IMF and the World Bank. The African continent is rich in resources but at the same time is very poor. The region today is politically, economically and intellectually bankrupt, with many of the problems rooted in the centuries of foreign control over African nation states. The European colonial Capitalist states used and abused Africa to accelerate the development of Europe and now in the 21st century the new colonial power, the US, seems to be carrying on with old colonial traditions. Africa is in crisis and the increased presence of the US is not going to act as a remedy because US concerns are motivated purely by national interests, clearly apparent by its warmth towards Equatorial Guinea; a nation that the US was never interested in before the discovery of oil. Colonialism has been the curse of Africa to this day and the curse is going to continue with the US using West Africa as a staging post for her national interests. The safeguarding and enhancement of national interests has been the key behind US foreign policy under the Bush administration and the US is unlikely to compromise national interests by interfering in the African crises that are prevalent today. Foreign aid in the form of development funds and humanitarian assistance is likely to find its way to key states in the West African region but, like any aid, strings


will be tied to giving the US prominence in the region, ultimately benefiting the US through lucrative commercial and economic contracts. THE ISLAMIC ALTERNATIVE TO US COLONIALISM Tony Blair described Africa as 'a scar on the face of humanity.' This is strange given the fact that it was the same Africa that was known as the 'breadbasket' under the rule of Islam. So what has made Africa a scar on the face of humanity? Perhaps the West's past exploits have something to do with the plight of Africa today. Four hundred years of the slave trade and 90 years of colonialism have certainly contributed immensely to the dire predicament of Africa today. In this article I have discussed how the US has fuelled and instigated conflicts to fulfill national interests and how the US plans to colonize western Africa to access its massive reserves of oil, which will ultimately boost the profit margins of the oil companies at the expense of the African states. Africa today faces many difficulties that are worsened by continuous economic exploitation. Colonialism has no concern for humanity, which is clear from the past and is not going to change now. The solution for West Africa and the rest of the continent, is the Islamic ideology, as Islam was revealed as a mercy for the whole of mankind. The parasitic West has continuously looked upon Africa and other regions of the world as mere hosts whose purpose is to facilitate Western development and prosperity. As a result, such regions have experienced great injustice. Islam as an ideology spread to other regions and did not exploit, plunder and pillage other lands but unified the people of those lands and utilized the natural resources present to look after the affairs of all the people. The Islamic State was vast with people from many of backgrounds and faiths living under the rule of Islam, without inherent conflict and instability as we see in Africa under the oppression of Capitalism. The problems of Africa would be transformed by the Islamic economic system. The Khilafah's policy towards this continent in terms of the problems it faces would be to invite them to Islam or to live under the rule of Islam. This in itself would oblige the Khilafah to look after the affairs of each and every African citizen, which would be assisted by the correct utilization of the resources present in Africa through the Islamic economic system. Given that oil exploitation is currently the key motivation behind American's colonial policy

in Africa with African leaders assisting in the impoverishment of their nation states, it is important to study Islam's unique view toward oil and all other natural resources. Crude oil is considered in Islam as a public utility (Al-Milkiyyah Al-Aam). Assets, which are public property are those which the Lawgiver stated as belonging to the community as a whole and those He  prevented the individual from possessing. Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet  said:

'Muslims are partners (associates) in three things: water, pastures and fire', reported by Abu Dawud. Anas narrated from Ibn Abbas adding, 'Adding its price is haram'.

Public ownership of oil resources will also mean that the revenue generated is invested in the public interest and can be used for economic development. At present, the wealth generated from oil is not reinvested back into the host state but is redirected out into bank accounts that will pay dividends to shareholders. An immense amount of development could be possible if this wealth were reinvested in the host countries. Investment could be made in education, health, public transport, infrastructure and the environment. The Nigerian delta, Congo and Equatorial Guinea are amongst the least developed nations in the world with citizens lacking basic needs despite the fact that all these nations have been exporting oil for over a decade. Under the Islamic economic system the resources that Allah  has blessed these lands with will not be given over to BP or Shell but will be managed for the interests of the citizens that inhabit those lands. CONCLUSION

Ibn Majah narrated from Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Prophet  said 'Three things are not prevented from (the people) the water, the pastures and the fire.' In Islam, public property cannot be owned by the state as all individuals have the right to the property, in stark contrast to the reality in Africa today. The state, as guardian of its citizens, has to manage oil resources and related products together with the factories and oil platforms used for the benefit of all its citizens. Public ownership of oil will ensure that long term investment and planning is devoted to a most valuable resource so that waste is minimized and oil is preserved for future generations. This is particularly important as the present short-termism in the oil sector by oil companies has led to waste and inefficiency. A clear example of this is the flaring of gas that occurs in Nigeria. Oil companies in Nigeria, predominately from the West, have for a decade flared natural gases which are a byproduct of oil production in the region. The companies justify the wasting of this gas by arguing that it is the cheapest option as it would cost too much to capture, store and transport to the market. This short sighted view has led to an enormous waste of resources given that Nigeria has an estimated 180 billion cubic feet of proven natural gas making it the ninth largest concentration in the world.

The September 11th attacks stimulated the US to diversify its oil supplies away from the Middle East and into West Africa. Equatorial Guinea has been given special attention, which is not surprising given the discovery of oil during the 1990s. This involvement of the US in West Africa is not going to alleviate the endemic problems that face Africa as the motivation behind involvement is not the epidemic levels of HIV, poverty, malnutrition, environmental degradation and squalor but national and security interests. Therefore anyone who believes that the US presence in West Africa is somehow mutually beneficial to all is politically naïve as colonialism is not merciful to anyone and history clearly demonstrates this. The US is motivated by its colonial ambitions and desires, with humanitarian and moral concerns way down its list of priorities. The problems of Africa are going to continue and worsen while the present situation prevails. After centuries of colonial rule and the present neocolonialism expressed through processes such as globalization, Africa has become an unstable continent beset by poverty, civil war and genocide. Intellectual revival is required for Africa; a clear direction and viewpoint needs to be formed that will create a platform for creative thinking. The revival of Africa will come in the form of Islam; the intellectually superior ideology that will govern Africa with justice as opposed to the colonialism of today.

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Political Analysis

Shiraz Maher

Leeds email: shiraz.maher@1924.org

RUSSIA'S ROLE IN THE WAR ON TERROR

T

he former Chechen president Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev was assassinated last month by a powerful explosion which ripped through his car in the Gulf state of Qatar. His death refocused attention, albeit momentarily, on the relentless war which continues to be waged on the streets of Grozny. Sporadic upsurges in fighting have allowed us to receive periodic snapshots of this forgotten battle, in which Russian troops have waged a bloody war for the last decade. Moscow is keen not to lose her grip over the Chechen region despite it being smaller than Wales. Her considerations are shaped by a range of wider concerns, including the potential impact secession may have on the Caucasus and the loss of access to lucrative oil and gas pockets just off the Caspian.

which borders Chechnya, after 9/11. The shifting perspective of Western commentators meant that the conflict was no longer seen as a struggle for independence but instead as an act of 'terrorism.' Putin's forthcoming support for Bush's war on terror won him friends in Washington who have grown increasingly indifferent to the excesses of Russian troops. In an interview with Izvestia, a Russian daily Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Advisor, told them "we were moving in this direction before 9/11 as well and as I see it, the tragic events of that day gave a new impetus to facilitation of bilateral contacts. Both our countries are worried over the common threat of international terrorism." She later added, "we cannot fight international terrorism in Afghanistan and welcome it in Chechnya."

Traditionally the West has condemned Russian tactics in Chechnya citing humanitarian reasons. However, since the second major escalation of violence in 1999 many critics have fallen silent especially since US forces were deployed across the central Caucus region, including the former Soviet state of Georgia,

ROOTS OF THE CONFLICT

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Many of the causes of the current conflict can be found in the Soviet era. At the time provinces like Estonia, Georgia and Tajikistan were classed as 'Union Republics'. This effectively meant that they were independent states

which had entered into union with the Soviet republic. Chechnya was however classed as an 'autonomous republic' within Russia. The critical difference being that Chechnya was regarded as an autonomous region of Russia and not as an independent territory. When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991 all the union republics declared independence. The autonomous republics were not allowed to follow suit, despite most of them being composed of an overwhelming number of Muslims. Ignoring the Kremlin, Chechnya defiantly declared independence in 1992. As a stalemate grew between Moscow and Grozy, Russian troops amassed on the border. On Gorbachev's orders 45,000 soldiers crossed the border and war broke out. Over the next twenty months 100,000 civilians perished at the hands of Russian forces although Chechen separatists had dealt the Russian army a series of fatal blows which culminated in their defeat by May 1996. RUSSIAN STRATEGY The Kremlin has always refused to recognise Chechen claims to independence and has rarely met with any separatist delegation. Her first campaign consisted of simply trying to overwhelm Chechen resistance. Through sheer weight of numbers it was hoped that Chechen separatists would merely succumb. Yet the stinging defeat they managed to inflict on Russia's dilapidated forces meant that Kremlin analysts would have to rethink their strategy. The current approach is characterised by three components,


1. A continuation of the old military doctrine 2. Finding a political solution 3. Pacifying international criticism 1. Since the resumption of violence in 1999 Russia has primarily reverted to her old strategy of overwhelming the Chechens through weight of numbers. This time 100,000 soldiers were sent over the border in an attempt to crush the separatists. Whilst the Kremlin secretly acknowledges the ineffectiveness of this approach there is an established clique of military planners who are keen to avenge the defeat of 1996 and restore the military's pride. Yet there looks like little chance of this actually coming to fruition as Russian forces find themselves embedded in another quagmire. Planners now find themselves in a dilemma. Another ceasefire or withdrawal would only compound the humiliation of 1996. Keen to avoid this loss of face Moscow continues to encourage her forces. This reliance on a military doctrine is precarious because of the heavy handed tactics employed. The brutality so commonly displayed by Russian troops has caused an international outcry and has earned the Kremlin stinging criticisms from human rights groups and international observers. Perhaps most dangerous is the fact that Russia's traditional military doctrine is devoid of any real exit strategy. As planners face up to this reality they are compelled to explore alternatives to an otherwise endless stalemate. 2. Finding a political solution which would satisfy all sides has proved to be a particularly difficult task for Russia. A series of proposals from the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe during the mid-90's failed. As Moscow dismissed an increasing number of international suggestions there was little hope of anything other than a domestic strategy being accepted. Eventually a Chechen academic, Khozh-Ahmed Nukhayev, suggested a compromise which won great favour in the Kremlin. A former law student at Moscow university he moved in diplomatic circles as well as establishing links with Russia's murky underworld. He formulated a carrot and stick policy which would force Chechens to choose where their allegiances lay through blackmailing tactics. Nukhayev's plan was for Moscow to split Chechnya into two separate provinces; one comprising the north which would remain under Russian authority, and the second being the south which would be recognised as "a self-ruled national-theocratic territory." By dividing the territories in this way Putin decided that Russia could pacify resistance by offering a number of concessions in the

northern sphere whilst starving off the south. The Interfax news agency quoted Putin as saying "local authorities, Interior Ministry organs, schools, and hospitals will be reopened in those regions [the north] and salaries will be paid there." The availability of basic amenities - something which the Chechens have not experienced for a decade - is designed to be a highly tempting bait. By contrast the south will have no passage, no gas, no salaries, no commerce and no electricity. The plan has failed to come to fruition largely because the Chechens have resisted any plan to divide their country. The assassination of a number of leading Chechen figures has meant that the Kremlin has no real political figure with whom they could broker such a deal anyway. The Kremlin has also been reluctant to rush ahead with the plans because she is unsure of being able to deliver on the promises of basic amenities and services to the north. The plan, however, remains Russia's most favoured political solution for the region. 3. The war in Chechnya is a particularly touchy issue for the Kremlin. In order to silence international criticism Moscow was keen to broker a number of deals thereby pacifying her opponents. The New York Times reported shortly after the Putin's appointment as Prime Minister that the Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov had discussed a secret deal with the then Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. In return for the US overlooking Russian operations in Chechnya Ivanov told Albright "we are ready to issue instructions to the Russian delegate in the Security Council so that he will be flexible regarding the issue of Iraq." The director of the Peace Institute in Moscow, Alexander Kisilov, said "This mutual understanding means a relative backing down of the Kremlin's hard stance towards the issue of Iraq and Yugoslavia in return for stopping the American administration from applying any strong pressure on Russia for the issue of Chechnya, scandalous smuggling and cleaning out of funds." Rachel Bronson, an expert on Caucasus security said that she commends the American stance which endeavours to prevent the issue of Chechnya from becoming an obstacle to cooperation with Russia on the expense of other issues which are 'more important' like nuclear disarmament, Iraq and the question of reform and stability in Russia. In return for their silence a number of US firms were also awarded contracts to operate commercial enterprises inside Russia. Chevron, Amoco, Texaco, Exxon, Marathon Oil, McDerott International, Occidental Petroleum, Archer-Daniels-Midland, Newmont Mining, AT&T, GM and GE all took up the opportunity

to begin operations in Russia. Their decision to rush into one of the riskiest financial environments, was eased by US state agencies who underwrote most of their ventures. The Kremlin has been extremely careful to link the warding of these contracts to appeasement over the war in Chechnya. Shortly after the meeting between Albright and Ivanov, Clinton told a meeting of the OCSE, "I think I speak for everyone when we say that we want Russia to overcome the scourge of terrorism and lawlessness. We believe Russia has not only the right, but the obligation, to defend its territorial integrity" INTERNATIONALISING THE CONFLICT FROM FREEDOM FIGHTERS TO TERRORISTS Russia has been arguing for some time that its fight against Chechnya was a fight against international terrorism. This call was given renewed impetus following 9/11. Although the West had previously been reluctant to accept Moscow's interpretation of events there was now a tacit willingness to see Chechnya as another front in the war on terror. These claims were first made by the Russian authorities following a spate of bombings in September 1999. The timing of these attacks was highly questionable given the events which had immediately preceded it. In January the Chechen rebel leader, Aslan Maskhadov, declared that he would begin to implement Shariah throughout the country. By July, Dagestan, a country adjacent to Chechnya, expressed a desire to create an Islamic state and merge with the Chechens. The following month shortly after Vladimir Putin was named Prime Minister the dubious bombing campaign began. The first prominent figure to publicly voice his concerns was the now exiled billionaire businessman, Boris Berezovsky. He was previously one of the most powerful men in Gorbachev's Kremlin and had strong links with government officials, the KGB and Russian mafia. "I am not saying Putin ordered the attacks," he told journalists at a London press conference. "I am saying that he knew such things were taking place." He claims Putin had been trying to trigger a wave of outrage which would give him a pretext for taking a hard line against the Chechens. It would show him as being a man of action. Immediately after the blasts, the Kremlin concluded that it was the work of Chechen separatists. Days later Russia launched military operations against the republic of Chechnya and within a matter of months Putin had become President. March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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was able to portray himself as being a no nonsense, man of action. In the three weeks between his appointment as Prime Minister and the first bombing in Moscow there was a highly pertinent development in Russia's domestic affairs. The newspaper Moscowvciky Komustumus had mentioned on the 15 September that another billionaire businessman, Zhirinousky, was working to install general Alexander Lebed as a military ruler or prime minister in place of Putin. The bombings gave Putin a unique opportunity to consolidate his domestic position.

Berezovsky's accusations centre around an incident which came at the end of a series of bombings in September 1999. A large bomb had been found in Ryazan set to go off at 5.30 am. Despite claiming that a terrorist attack had been thwarted the FSB (formerly the KGB) later claimed that this incident was part of its 'training exercises.' Curiously, the explosive powder found in the Ryazan bomb was Hexogen, the same substance used in the previous Moscow and Volgodonsk bombings. It is inconceivable that Putin who had headed the FSB up until May 1999 could have been unaware of such a plan or 'exercise'. A study of the reality reveals that this series of bombings helped Russia achieve a number of objectives. 1. It gave her an immediate opportunity to respond with brutal force in Chechnya. International opponents were easily silenced through the pretext of fighting terrorism. By reinitiating the conflict with Chechnya Moscow was keen to thwart Dagestan's hopes of uniting with Chechnya in order to form an independent Islamic state. The consequences of this would have been disastrous for Russia. The majority of the Caucasus states are Muslim and it was feared that had Dagestan been successful this would have sparked a tidal wave of Islamic uprisings across the region. Thus the resumption of violence against Chechnya was designed to serve as a warning and deterrent for her neighbours. 2. Putin was able to resolve the internal power crisis within Russia. By crushing the Chechen's resolve and reacting swiftly to the attacks Putin 30

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3. By undermining Chechnya so brutally, Putin is also hoping to reassert Russian power and prestige over the neighbouring former Soviet states. His principal focus has been Georgia where he is trying to corrode America's sphere of influence. To counter US proposals Putin has asked Georgia to end her security relationship with America and NATO. Instead, the Kremlin is trying to tempt Georgia into accepting long-term Russian bases (giving them access to Chechnya's more hostile southern border), joining the CIS Collective Security Treaty Organisation and Eurasian Economic Union and to reconnect Georgia to Russia's existing pipeline and transportation networks. Putin has also been trying to set up a trading block of six countries under the authority of Moscow. This envisaged 'Eurasian Economic Union' extends from Belarus and Ukraine to Central Asia. It is intended to create a sheltered environment for trade and to orient the economies of member states firmly towards Russia. THE AMERICAN VIEW ON CHECHNYA Successive US administrations have attempted to exploit the Chechen conflict for their own political ends. The conflict has been a critical factor in shaping America's overall relationship with Russia. US criticisms of human rights abuses and violations of international law are used as leverage by Washington for political expediency in other spheres. By entering the region through treaties with Georgia the US has begun to take direct action towards securing her two foremost objectives in the region. The first is to curtail the growth of political Islam and Islamic political parties, the other is to secure access to the lucrative oil and gas supplies which the Caucasus and Caspian basin have to offer. These factors can broadly be classed under the Americas security doctrine and her attitude towards Russia and the Caucasus's can be thought of as containing three defining characteristics. These are as follows,

1. Washington has been particularly shrewd in exploiting the Kremlin's burning desire to detract all attention off their activities in Chechnya. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union America has been keen to engage with Russia economically. Through a series of trade agreements she has sought to skew the Russian economy towards free market capitalism whilst building her as a regional counterweight to the Chinese sphere of influence. Consequently, the US did not protest when Russian troops invaded Chechnya in 1994 and instead allowed the IMF to lend Moscow $6.25 billion, which was the largest loan in its history at the time. Another proposal was put forward by congress to lend an additional $6 billion in order to help stabilize the Ruble. At the time, U.S. Defence Secretary William Perry told The New York Times that he did not see the invasion of Chechnya "as affecting our desire to have a pragmatic partnership with Russia." Clinton later backed Perry arguing that he endorsed Russia's need to "maintain its territorial integrity." 2. What has caused particular alarm in Washington is the rapid rise of political Islam throughout the entire Caucasus region and Central Asia. The fear is that a united block of pan-Islamic states may emerge stretching from the Black Sea across the Caspian as far as Uzbekistan. The geo-strategic positioning of such an entity would be extremely potent. From Eastern Europe to Western China this block would have ready access to major ports, waterways, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. It is feared that if one state were able to breakaway that the inertia generated by its momentum would be virtually unstoppable. This is why America did not protest to any real extent on the international arena when the Russian forces resumed fighting with the Chechens in 1999 following attempts to create an Islamic state in Dagestan. Although Russia was largely left to her own devices, after 9/11 America began to take more of a direct interest. The conflict was internationalised as America made tenuous links to the potential of there being 'foreign fighters' from across the Muslim world in Chechnya. America's 'anti-terror' policy in the Caucasus focused predominantly on the Pankisi Gorge, a lawless region on the border between Georgia and Chechnya. Although Tiblisi rejected Moscow's calls for joint military action in the area no such resistance was offered when Washington asked to send their counter-terrorism and logistics experts there. Having grown sceptical of the Kremlin's intentions the Georgian President, Eduard Shevardnadze, has openly courted


NATO and America to take the initiative in reestablishing control over the troublesome Pankisi region. It is a call Washington has been particularly keen to answer. By establishing a base in Georgia, US forces now have access to hot spots in the Middle East and Central Asia. Their close proximity to the other Muslim dominated Caucasian states also means that should an Islamic uprising develop, their troops would be able to respond rapidly. Georgia has also allowed America to achieve a secondary objective by forming a link between a series of bases which now encircle Russia. 3. At the heart of the Chechen conflict also lies a profound fear over Caspian gas and oil reserves. America and Russia are both haunted by the prospect of these resources being lost through the war. The neo-cons have attached an importance to America's energy considerations unlike any other administration in recent history. This was arguably one of the guiding principles (amongst others) behind the war in Iraq and its influence can once again be seen shaping US action in the Caucasus. The heart of Chechnya is crisscrossed by a network of oil and natural gas pipelines making instability in the region highly undesirable. The Chechen capital, Grozny, has been producing oil since 1833 and by 1915 this accounted for 18% of Russia's overall oil production. By 1932 this figure rose to 33% and in 1990 the country became a gatekeeper of Eurasian and Caucasus oil by establishing itself as an oil refinery centre. All Central Asian gas and oil pipelines to Russia were routed through here. Observing these developments closely the CIA began to refer to the region as 'a sphere of interest.' Dick Cheney told oil industrialists in 1998, "I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian." Upon becoming vice-President he quickly recommended that "the President makes energy security a priority of our trade and foreign policy", singling out the Caspian basin as a "rapidly growing area of new supply." In Recent years America has been successful in rerouting many of these pipelines through Georgia and Ukraine leading to ports in the Black Sea thereby sidestepping Russian involvement. With the complicity of Hamid Karzai and Musharraf also assured there are now plans afoot to route certain pipelines through Afghanistan and Pakistan. By doing so, America has skilfully blocked Russia and China from enjoying the spoils of Caspian/Eurasian gas and oil reserves by routing their supply lines through a series of smaller client states. This accounts for Washington's recent reluctance to conduct joint

operations in the Pankisi Gorge with Russian forces. Using the conflict in Chechnya and its associated 'terrorist' link has been a necessary prerequisite for America's passage into the Caucasus region and into Georgia in particular. EUROPE AND CHECHNYA Europe has remained relatively inert when confronted by the Chechen conflict. Unlike America the it has no military dimension to its diplomacy and must therefore attempt to cultivate a relationship centred exclusively around trade. The EU has continually maintained pressure on Moscow over the Chechen conflict. This is largely designed to restrict Americas leverage with the Kremlin by ensuring that she cannot be completely averse to Russian excesses. This is why despite Europe accounting for over half of all Russian imports and exports their relationship continues to remain tumultuous. Putin has made it clear that he is increasingly less willing to tolerate harsh criticisms over what he calls his war on terror. Europe realised just how serious he was when he lambasted a French journalist in 2002 for questioning the draconian measures employed by the Russian military. "If you want to become an Islamic radical and have yourself circumcised, I invite you to come to Moscow," he told the reporter. "I would recommend that whoever does the surgery does it in such a way that nothing will grow back afterwards." CONCLUSION 1. Russia has no real exit strategy for the conflict in Chechnya. Her political options are extremely limited with no decisive policy being formed. As a result she continues to employ the old Soviet tactic of trying to overwhelm the enemy through sheer weight of numbers. The military is also driven by wounded pride and desire to avenge their humiliating defeat in 1994. However, without any clear strategy the Russians seem to be lost in an abyss of drift and confusion. 2. The Kremlin is acutely aware of, and sensitive to, criticism of their actions. They have consequently tried to pacify the international community in two ways. In the first instance, Moscow has brokered numerous political and economic deals with the US in order to buy her silence. America has exploited Moscow's sensitivities. Secondly, they have tried to paint the war in Chechnya as being a struggle against terrorism - this excuse has been more readily acceptable to the international community since 9/11.

3. Russia and America both share a profound fear over the rise of political Islam and Islamic political parties in the Caucasus and Central Asian region. This is almost certainly the reason why Moscow re-ignited the conflict with Chechnya in 1999 following fears that it would unite with Dagestan to form an independent Islamic state. 4. America had grown restless over Russia's inability to resolve the problem and curb the growth of political Islam. After 9/11she took the initiative to take charge of these matters directly. Having cultivated a warm relationship with the Central Asian and Caucasian republics Washington seamlessly established a number of military bases there. By doing so she has rendered the Kremlin irrelevant. Since imposing herself in Georgia, US forces are actively able to monitor Islamic activity in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge which borders shares a border with southern Chechnya - a hotbed of the resistance. Whitehouse analysts have also been highly shrewd in re-routing all the major Caspian/Caucasian basin gas and oil pipelines through Georgia and Ukraine leading to ports in the Black Sea. 5. Having secured these objectives without reliance on Russian cooperation, Chechnya is not an issue which will concern America too greatly. Continued instability in the region gives US troops in Georgia a mandate to extend their stay. It is unlikely therefore that Washington will be pushing Putin towards resolving the issue anytime soon. The US is now happy to ignore the conflict and accept the Kremlin's assistance as an ally in the wider global war on terror. 6. Europe has to chart a particularly precarious path between trade with Russia and restricting America's grand designs for FarEastern Europe. The EU is unable to wield power against the Kremlin in the way that Washington can making EU-Russian relations extremely turbulent. Europe will raise a voice against perceived injustices in Chechnya only so far as they do not harm her economic interests. 7. With the worlds major powers indifferent to its plight the battle for Chechnya seems to have no real end in sight. Putin has charted a clever course for pacifying the international community whilst America has profited greatly from it.

March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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Cultural

Asif Khan

Watford email: asif.khan@1924.org

IJTIHAD AND THE MODERNIST APPROACH

O

n the 3rd March 1924, when the Ottoman Khilafah was officially destroyed at the hands of the enemy of Allah, Mustafa Kamal, it resulted in chaos which was already beginning to engulf the Islamic Ummah. The demolition of the Khilafah was a result of the decline which happened centuries earlier. However, this incident shocked some who had been asleep for sometime as one of the great poets from Egypt, stated, You were escorted to your burial in horror, with the tears of a laughing (person), In every area; and with agony of drunkenness of a conscious (person). Minarets and minbars shouted for you, Kingdoms and provinces cried on you, India is bewildered and Egypt is sad, And she cries on you with flowing tears. Ash-Sham, Iraq and Persia ask, Is there anyone who wiped the Khilafah from our lands? All the great and the good attended your

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funeral, They sat there in the seats of mourning, O men! Watch a murdered noble-born (lady), She was killed without sin or guilt. FACTORS THAT LED TO DECLINE. The weakness in the Muslims understanding of the Islamic thought and practical method to bring it into existence can be traced back to the second century after Hijrah, with the influx of foreign philosophies such as the Greek, Persian and Indian. Even though the Muslims had refuted much of them, some influences remained. Furthermore the stopping of Ijtihad in the seventh century Hijra dealt a severe blow to Islam. This led to isolation and inability to derive Shari'ah laws to deal with daily issues facing Muslims. The door to Ijtihad is open until the day of judgement. However it must be performed by those who are qualified to do it (the Mujtahid). Later there was the detachment of the power of

Arabic from the power of Islam when the Arabic language was ignored both in understanding and carrying Islam. This resulted in neglecting the Arabic language and discarding it as the official language of the State, notwithstanding that Arabic is the language used in Ijtihad to derive Shari'ah Laws from its detailed evidence. Furthermore, the missionary and intellectual invasion undertaken by the Kufr Western countries which continue to conspire against Islam and Muslims, incited national and territorial rivalries between Muslims so that Muslims began to call for separate nations and ignored the Islamic Laws. Thus, by the onset of the WWI the components for the break up of the Khilafah were in place. The Kufr Western countries then executed political and military manoeuvres which Muslims failed to counteract, due to the weakness in understanding. Thus, leaving the Kuffar and their agents to break up the


Khilafah without the Muslim world making a single move or comment, since it was in a state of weakness and disunity, and an inability to understand Islam.

not have any semblance of evidence (shubhat daleel) and are actually non-Islamic.

These factors meant that they were unable to see the real issues facing them, thus, enabling the colonialists and their agents to instil certain ideas contrary to Islam which Muslims due to their weakness, then attempted to marry with the Shari'ah.

We need to understand what Ijtihad is. The scholars of Usul ul Fiqh (principles of jurisprudence) define Ijtihad as

'illah (legal reason) of refusing to seek help from the Mushrikeen was absent, so seeking and accepting their help was allowed.

DEFINING IJTIHAD

"making great effort to seek a prevalent opinion (Zhan) about a matter of the Ahkam Shari'ah in such a manner that the Mujtahid feels unable to exert any more effort."

It is not permissible to follow an opinion of any person who has not based their opinion on the divine texts. Whether it is the opinion of a particular scholar, thinker or philosopher. This is tantamount to adopting something other than Islam, a matter definitely prohibited by the Shari'ah. Allah  has ordered us to adopt from the Messenger Muhammad  and not from anybody else whoever he may be.

THE APOLOGETIC APPROACH There were thinkers of various calibres during the eighteenth century. Many of them saw the state of Islamic Ummah and wished to see a change, they had love for Islam and for the Muslims, and their objective was to see a revival. However there were some who were deliberately inserted into position by the colonialist kuffar, with the sole objective to deviate the Muslims away from reviving themselves. However one thing was common amongst the Muslims who were thinking about revival which was that they had not understood the problem correctly. Some were calling for the re-interpretation of Islam, and called for Ijtihad, but they did not understand what Ijtihad was. In essence, they were affected by the Western thoughts, and were discussing the idea of 'free thinking'. The reality of this was to secularise Islam in such a way that they would espouse solutions to Muslims that were mimicked from the West. They then began to give them terms that were found in the Islamic culture. So for example, the Majlis al shura (consultative assembly) became known as Parliament, riba (interest) was called profit, the ulil amr (those who are in authority i.e. the Khaleefah, Walis etc) were the British colonialists or any ruler. Maslaha was termed as the unrestricted benefit. Ijtihad was a euphemism for the unrestricted use of the mind to 'modernise' Islam. Also divergent and weak opinions, which were long refuted, were found to justify opinions in order to make Islam close to the tastes of the West. In addition, Islamic principles were used out of context, again, to justify the 'revival' of Islam but in fact resulted in solidifying its decline. I will attempt to show, that although the modernists guise these opinions as Islamic, and claim it is Ijtihad, it is far from it. They do

(Imam Sayf ad-din Amidi, Kitab al ihkam fi usul al ahkam, Imam Taqi ud-din Nabahani, Shaksia Islamia juz al awal.).

The Messenger of Allah  said

It is important to note certain points regarding this definition. That Ijtihad needs to be on Shari'ah evidence (daleel shar'i) which is preponderant. So there is no Ijtihad in the ayah of the Qur'an,

"…Riba is Haram…" [TMQ Al-Baqarah:275], as it holds only one meaning, and is based upon a definite ayah. The opinion will be the preponderant one. Also the opinion needs to be related to the Shari'ah rules, and hence anything other than this will not be considered Ijtihad. For example the rule that the Kuffar can fight alongside the Muslims, under the banner of Islam, is deduced by the Mujtahid by reconciling certain evidences. The Prophet  rejected the offer of help made by the Mushrikeen at the battle of Uhud. He did not accept their offer to fight alongside the Muslims in the battle. He  said:

''We do not need their help.'' However, he  accepted their help at Hunayn. How? These two evidences are reconciled by the Mujtahid as he knows that the Messenger  did not accept the offer of help from Mushrikeen at Uhud because they wanted to fight under their own banner for the purpose of distinguishing themselves with it. So his refusal has an 'illah (legal reason), which is that the Mushrikeen were fighting under their own banner and state. He sought and accepted their help at Hunayn because they fought under the banner of the Messenger . At Hunayn the

'Allah will not deprive you of knowledge after He has given it to you, but it will be taken away through the death of the learned men (Ulema) with their knowledge. There will remain ignorant people who, when consulted, will give verdicts according to their opinions whereby they will mislead others and themselves go astray.' That is, they give Fatawah (judgements) according to their own opinions without considering the Shari'ah evidences. These opinions have no value whatsoever. HOW TO DEAL WITH OPINIONS THAT ARE WEAK In the event that more than one Islamic opinion exists they are obliged to adhere to the Shari'ah' rules which clarify the etiquette of disagreement (adaab al-ikhtilaaf). It is not allowed for a Muslim to charge another Muslim of kufr or transgression simply because he disagreed with him regarding an opinion as long as this disagreement was within the confines of legitimate Ijtihad. Any opinion which has a Shari'ah evidence, strong or weak, or if it has a semblance of an evidence (shubhat ad-daleel) is a legitimate opinion. It is not allowed to discredit the opinion or the one who carries it. Rather what should be said in the event of an evidence being weak or even having a semblance of an evidence is that your opinion is mistaken or weak and the discussion with him should be in the best possible manner with proof and evidence debated. March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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"Rasool Allah ď ˛ would place his right hand over his left hand then hold them tightly to his chest while he was in prayer." 2. Evidences for which speculative general evidences have been brought for their recognition. They are; Istihsan (juristic preference), almasalih al mursala (unqualified interests), mazhab as-sahabhi and the like, whether their meanings are definite (qatiyyah) or speculative (zanniyah). For example those who don't accept following the opinion of a Sahabhi as a valid daleel Shari, would consider those who deduce a rule by it as a shubhat evidence. However there are strict preconditions. The Mujtahideen who used these speculative sources laid down a strict framework for using each one. Like those who stated that al-masalih al mursala was a source that can be used, stated clearly that it could not contradict Qur'an, Sunnah and ijma'a as-sahabah.

A semblance of an evidence (shubhat addaleel), is considered with following three matters: 1. Evidences for which definite general evidence has been provided and are considered as Shari'ah evidences and they are the Qur'an, Sunnah, ijma'a as-sahabah (consensus of the companions) and Qiyas (analogy) in the event that their meaning is speculative (zanniyah) and outweighed (murjuha) i.e. not definite (qatiyyah) or preponderant (rajiha). (Imam Taqi ud-deen an-Nabahani, Muqadimah addastoor) For example those who follow the opinion that while praying the hands should be kept below the navel. They base it upon the hadith of Ali which states, "To place one palm over the other beneath the navel, is from the sunnah of salat." [Bahaqi]. This will be considered a shubhat daleel for the one who follows the opinion that the hands should be clasped on the chest based upon the hadith, of Tawus who said:

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Another of the main area of attack was the punishment system in Islam, especially the hudood. They attempted to explain away the clear ayah and meanings in such a way as to make them palatable to Western tastes. For example the cutting the hand of the thief, was re-interpreted as making a mark on the wrist. The execution of the apostate, by the Khilafah state, was re-invented to only apply to cases of treachery against the state, and not anyone who apostatised. Despite the consensus of the Mujtahid and the fact the hadith states,

"Whoever changes his religion, kill him". (Bukhari) Let us examine one of the examples that is used, to show the corrupted mindset in this area.

3. That the angle of deductive reasoning (istidlal) regarding these evidences must have been on studies of the Arabic languages and studies of sections of the Qur'an and Sunnah.

The ayah stated

For example the ayah,

"Cut the hand of the thief, male or female" [alMaidah:38]

"‌or you have been in contact (lamastum) with women" [TMQ An-Nisa': 43], Some of the Mujtahid state that the laamastum (contact) is literal (haqiqi) and breaks the wudu, while others have taken it metaphorically (majazi) and claim it is sexual intercourse. As for when the opinion has no shar'i evidence, or a semblance of an evidence then it will be an un-Islamic opinion (i.e. a opinion of kufr), there is no option other than to challenge this opinion and warn the one who espouses it that he is carrying a kufr opinion, though the one who carries a kufr opinion does not mean he is a Kafir. There are some key Western ideas that the modernists try to reconcile with Islam by reinterpreting the established rules. They talk about 'Islamic feminism', democratisation of Islam and Islam being similar to other Abrahamic faiths. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but is related to issues which are fundamental in the attempt to secularise Islam, and stall true revival.

It is said the meaning of cutting (qata) is to prevent the thief from stealing through any means, it is not necessary to really cut off his hand, prevention can happen by imprisonment, exhortation or by this and that. Also it was claimed that the word "qata" (to cut) is an ambivalent term (lafz al mujmal) regarding cutting by separating the limb (amputation) or cutting by only wounding or scarring. And that both cases are allowed: amputation or scarring. That is they took the word to cut as a metaphor to mean making a mark or scar. This view cannot be claimed to be Ijtihad, and thus have a shubhat daleel. This is because the angle of deductive reasoning in this manner regarding the noble ayah does not accord with the Arabic language or sections of the Kitab and Sunnah. As regards the language, one does not proceed to the metaphorical meaning (majazi) except when the real meaning (haqiqi) is impossible. Here there is no question of impossibility. So the physical cutting is what is done, and it is not allowed to extend beyond it to another meaning. Even if we consider the word qata (to cut) is an ambivalent term (lafz mujmal), regarding


cutting by separating the limb amputation or cutting by only wounding or scarring then the Messenger  has explained this ambivalence (mujmal). When a mujmal has been explained it comes to have a fixed meaning and one does not refer to a meaning contradicting it.

Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that 'a thief who had stolen a turban was brought to the Messenger of Allah. They (the people who brought him) said; Oh Rasoolallah, this man has committed theft. So Rasoolallah  said; "I don't think he did". The thief replied saying that he did, so Rasoolallah  said; "go and cut off his hand, then stop his bleeding (ihsimu)". The word 'hasm' means to prepare boiling oil. When the hand is cut it is immersed in oil to block the openings of the veins so that he does not lose too much blood and die. Similarly, the hadith narrated by Aisha (ra); "The Prophet  cut of the hand of a woman." That is why Abu Bakr and Umar followed without any objection from any of the Sahabah. So the one who says cutting the hand of the thief means to prevent him from stealing and one can use other means or to wound him only without actually cutting his hand off cannot claim this to be Ijtihad. Rather what is said is that punishing the thief with anything other than the actual cutting of the hand is a nonIslamic rule. It has no evidence, or semblance of evidence.

They are the best texts for the field of thought, this is due to the way they cover all types of relationships, whether between individuals, the state and its citizens, or between states, peoples and nations. However new and varied these relationships may be, the thought is able to deduce rules for them from these Shar'i texts. They are the best available sources for the field of thought in legislative texts.

It indicates the obligation of having awareness of Islam so that its can be conveyed. Also from this, the Khilafah state is obliged to educate the Muslims with Islam in the schools and institutions in a satisfactory manner. Also to teach some foreign languages at certain stages so as to convey Islam to those who do not speak Arabic. THE RETURN?

As for being the broadest scope for generalisation, this is clear from their grammar, sentences, words and style of expression in terms of covering the wording (Mantooq), meaning (Mafhum), indication (Dalalah), reasoning (Ta'leel) and analogy (Qiyas) based on the reason ('illah) which makes the inference feasible, continuous and inclusive. This ensures they are able to encompass everything.

This is just a small example how the Islamic jurisprudence can solve problems of Man. However we must remember that the era where the Mujtahideen will be common and widespread cannot occur without the return of the Khilafah state and its institutions, which will be able to facilitate this. As Shawki, the poet described life with the Khalifah present

For example Allah  said:

THE ISLAMIC LEGAL TEXTS ARE THE BEST FOR SOLVING MANKIND'S PROBLEMS.

'And if anyone of the Mushrikoon (polytheists) seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur'an).'[TMQ At-Taubah:6]

It is important for Muslims as a whole understand the Shar'i texts, whether from Qur'an or Sunnah, are the best and most detailed in thought, the widest in scope for generalisation, and the most fertile ground to cultivate general principles. In themselves, they are suitable as legislative texts for all peoples and nations.

This ayah contains dalaaltul tanabbuh (The notified and signalled meaning): to make the kafir hear the Word of Allah  is the divine reason for granting protection - so that he can hear the Word of Allah , an 'illah (legal reason) indicated by the use of the word 'Hatta' which means because (min ajl).

A relationship that its reasons and causes were broken, It was the best relationship between the souls, It gathered on the piety those who were present, and perhaps, It gathered on it (piety) even the secrets of those who were absent, It placed in order the lines and steps of the Muslims, In every going out and coming back from the Juma'ah, The prayer cried, and it is the intrigue of a fiddler, With the Shar'a, contentious in judgement and insolent.

March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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Book Review HOW THE KHILAFAH WAS DESTROYED

Shahjahan Malik

Reading email: shahjahan.malik@1924.org

The fact that no other book in our recent history has attempted to address this issue in such an accurate and detailed way makes 'How the Khilafah was destroyed' a must read for every Muslim undertaking the obligation of working to revive and carry the deen of Islam.

"The Caliph Abdul Megid, his son Prince Omar Farukh Effendi, and the members of his immediate family were compelled to leave Constantinople during the night."

Khalifah Abdul Mejid was the last in a succession of Khulafah that can be traced all the way back to Abu Bakr As-Siddique (ra), the first Khaleefah of Islam. Throughout the various periods of Islam whether it was the era of the Khulafah Rashideen, the Umayyad, the Abbasid or the Uthmani, the Muslim Ummah had a Khalifah to whom they pledged allegiance to rule them by the book of Allah  and the Sunnah of the Messenger Muhammad .

"The decision of the Grand National Assembly in Anogra was communicated to his Majesty in the Throne Room of the Dolma Baghche Palace by the Vali of Constantinople, Dr. Adnan Bey, the representative at the Sublime Porte of the Turkish Foreign Office, and Saad-ed-Din Bey, the Chief of Police of Constantinople, together with the Chief of the Police department of Angora. The Caliph and his party were then escorted to Chatalia, when they entered a special train which left for the Greek frontier." [The Times, Wednesday March 5, 1924]

The Khilafah State that represented the light of Islam on the earth, that established the Salah and collected the Zakah, that implemented the Hudood, distributed the wealth and carried Islam to the world through Da'wah and Jihad was taken away from the Muslim Ummah, her lands were divided, the Qur'an made redundant, and the blood of the believers became a cheap commodity.

The 3 March 2004 marks the 80th anniversary of the destruction of the Khilafah State. It is the most disastrous calamity to befall the Ummah of Muhammad  and is one of the darkest days in the history of Islam. 36

Khilafah Magazine March 2004

'How the Khilafah was destroyed' is more than a historical account of the period that led up to the end of the Uthmani Khilafah. In our vital struggle today to seek revival this book provides valuable lessons from this bitter period to ensure that the Muslims are never again afflicted by the same pitfalls and shortcomings that led to such an intellectual and political decline.

The author of the book is the late Abdul Qadeem Zalloom (ra). He was a graduate of the University of Al-Azhar, a Mujtahid and who had written on a variety of Islamic subjects ranging from the Islamic view on cloning to the Funds of the Khilafah State. He was the Amir of the Islamic political party Hizb ut-Tahrir for over two decades until his death in 2003. The book details the conspiracies of the European nations who were united in their hatred and fear of the Khilafah. It singles out Britain and France and explains how, despite their differences over the division of Muslim land, these nations were united in their pursuit to colonise Muslims and destroy Islam in a political form. The author explains the relationship between the British and the family of Al Saud of the tribe of Anzah who fought various battles against the Khilafah. He illustrates the way the British brokered the loyalty of the Saudi family and supplied them with weapons from India and money to finance their rebellion. Sheikh Abdul Qadeem Zaloom goes on to mention the way the Wahhabi movement was exploited by Muhammad ibn Saud and his sons and of how they were oblivious to the unholy alliance between the British and the Saudis who used the expansion of the Wahhabi madhab as a pretext to fight against the Khilafah. The way in which nationalism and separatism were aroused in the minds of Muslims is a central part to the first phase of the book. The author attributes the creation of certain institu-


tions within the Muslim world as pivotal tools to spread Arab and Turkish nationalism within the minds of the people. The Beirut centre pursued an agenda to gradually indoctrinate the youth so they would become hostile to Islam. For example, the Science and Arts Association are described as a front for gradually introducing Western culture and thoughts over time. Other Association's that promoted Arab nationalism such as the 'Secret Association' established in 1875 had a more direct message of bonding the Arabs around their race and accusing the Turks of usurping the Khilafah from the Arabs. The author mentions the role of the "Young Turks" who operated under the alias of the "Union and Progress" party. The Young Turks were first established in Paris and their thought and mindset were influenced by the French revolution. Their aim was to import Western culture back to Turkey from the various bases they had established in Europe. The book moves onto detail a turning point within the Uthmani Khilafah when the State began to adopt some Western Laws. The author explains in some detail the Fatwa given by the Sheikh-ul-Islam that legitimised the adoption of Western laws. The author devotes a great deal of detail, using the Islamic evidences, to prove that democracy contradicts Islam completely. It is worth mentioning here that even though the book mentions the contribution of France, Russia, America and Italy to the political and cultural invasion of the Islamic State, the role of the British government and the variety of styles they used to weaken the Islamic thoughts stands out. Some of these included the British tactic of recruiting key individuals within the Islamic State such as Jamal Pasha, the governor of Syria, and indicates the enthusiasm of the British in working to destroy the Khilafah. MUSTAFA KEMAL Mustafa Kemal Pasha who is known in history as 'Attaturk' or the father of the Turks plays a central role in the latter half of the book. The author painstakingly details how far from being the saviour of the Turkish people Mustafa Kemal had in fact conspired with the British from the beginning. The book traces the role Mustafa Kemal had in the British agenda, from being a little known junior army

officer known for his Western thoughts to a key figure in enabling the British to gain military influence over the Khilafah State. Mustafa Kemal's direct contribution in the destruction of the Khilafah and establishment of a secular Republic in Turkey is detailed in the chapter entitled 'The Fatal Blow'. Mustafa Kemal is portrayed as having had a burning desire for secularism and the facts presented in the book indicate that he was on a crusade to finish off the Khilafah State. In the course of events, he created unrest amongst the people by adding to the worries of the Khaleefah even at such a time when the Greeks occupied Izmir 1919 and were ripping the Hijab off Muslim women. The chapter entitled 'Britain backs the rebellion of Mustafa Kemal' is extremely interesting. It mentions that no representatives of the Ummah would have decided to abolish the Khilafah, so the British continued in their support for Mustafa Kemal's rebellion and fabricated reports in the international media to hype this up and incite nationalist feelings in Turkey for independence. The chapters 'Separating the Sultanate from the Khilafah' and 'The Fatal blow' describe the final days of the Khilafah. On the 1 March 1924 Mustafa Kemal put forward a decree to the National Assembly enjoining the abolishment of the Khilafah, the expulsion of the Khaleefah and separating the deen from the State. He then addressed the assembly and said: "We must at all costs safeguard the endangered republic make her rise upon solid scientific bases. The Khaleefah and the legacies of the "Ottoman Family" must go, the dilapidated religious courts and their laws must be

replaced by modern courts and laws, and the clerics' schools must concede their place to governmental secular schools." After two days of fierce debate, on the morning of the 3rd of March 1924, the Greater National Assembly approved the abolishment of the Khilafah and the separation of the Deen from State. The reality of an independent Turkey had been attained and the desire of the Western powers for an end to the Khilafah had been fulfilled. The chapter entitled 'The Fatal bow' includes a damning quote from the British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon that aptly highlights the real motives behind the moves to destroy the Khilafah; "The point at issue is the Turkey has been destroyed and shall never rise again, because we have destroyed her spiritual power: the Khilafah and Islam" The book concludes with a discussion around what the vital issue is today for the Muslim Ummah i.e. the re-establishment of the Khilafah State. The conclusion is extremely visionary, intellectual and motivating. There are many evidences from the Qur'an and the Hadith that are mentioned regarding how the Khilafah system is an obligation. The final part of the book is intended to acquaint the reader with the fact that Islam has detailed a unique political system, and that only when this was implemented were the enemies of Islam tamed and prevented from harming the Muslims. It highlights that the real strength of any nation are its thoughts which are to be protected at all costs and implores the Muslim Ummah to regain her rightful position amongst the nations of the world.

March 2004 Khilafah Magazine

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Interview

Asif Dawood

MUSLIM PROFESSIONALS IN BRITAIN ith such large numbers of Muslims working in professional roles throughout the UK, and many more coming through the college and university systems, it is important for Muslims to crystallise the correct approach they should have when pursuing their careers, and to see how this is intrinsic to their identity as Muslims living in the UK.

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Therefore, in this month's edition, Asif Dawood, the Editor of Khilafah Magazine, has conducted a brief interview with a highly qualified Muslim scientist working in the UK. Dr Abdullah Robin is British born and embraced Islam fourteen years ago. He is thirty-seven years old and married with three children. He is a molecular biologist working in London on the causes and spread of cancer. He has worked on a variety of molecular biology projects at the Universities of Oxford, Leicester and UCL as well as specialized research institutes.

Please address your letters and questions to the Editorial Team, either by email or post at the following addresses:

B

email:

magazine@1924.org

or write to:

Khilafah Magazine, Suite 301, 28 Old Brompton Rd, London, SW7 3SS

Published by Khilafah Publications

38

Khilafah Magazine March 2004

Asif: Do you feel that there is anything wrong with Muslims living in the West aspiring for careers as doctors, lawyers, accountants, and scientists? In fact, would you encourage them to do so? Abdullah: Muslims should be at the forefront of all the permissible professions because Islam came to take leadership over the world by the strength and constant applicability of its thoughts to life. This means that the Muslims in the West have a particular responsibility to live in the mainstream of life and strive to be the opinion setters rather than just followers of the prevalent trends. AD: In Islam, what is the objective that Muslims should have when it comes to pursuing a career, is it the same objective that their non-Muslim colleagues would have? AR: We work to satisfy our material needs in a way best conducive to our differing physical, mental and emotional capabilities like any other people. What distinguishes our decision making process in our career choices is the centrality of Islam and its mission to deliver mankind out from the darkness of ignorance and immorality into the light of day under Allah's laws. Those professions which put us amongst the thinkers and the leading people in the modern fields of development and business, are the best from this perspective. AD: Working in a non-Muslim environment is fraught with pressures and tests for both Muslim men and women to engage in unIslamic activities, can you offer some advice on how Muslims should approach dealing with these situations? AR: Integrity and honesty are always appreciated especially in the spiritually bankrupt society we live in today. The Muslim sticking

Slough email: asif.dawood@1924.org

firmly but politely to his/her beliefs is often respected more than the compromised Muslim. We can reduce the possibility of alienation by considering our position not as rejecters of the non-Muslims but as ambassadors of Islam to them. We would take active steps to be kind and co-operative with them without showing weakness of character - as this has never won anybody's respect. AD: I have often come across the argument that that if a large number of Muslims in the West, and indeed throughout the world, were to gain professional expertise then this would automatically enable the Muslims to achieve a radical change in their global situation. Hence, the argument follows that simply by pursuing their careers is a sufficient contribution from Muslims. Do you subscribe to this view, or do you think that it is not as straight forward as this? AR: Enlightened leadership is a rare quality and it is desperately needed. The leader is the one with a clear vision for people and the intelligence and determination to motivate them towards fulfilling the objectives that will carry them towards the desired goal. Unfortunately the routine employee mentality that dominates the Western workforce even at the higher levels, leaving them to think on a day-to-day or weekto-week level, is not conducive to this leadership mentality. Even if we have good positions within the well paid or respected careers this will not be a substitute for clarifying our vision of Islam to the world today and involving with the Muslim community to change the local and international status quo.

Khilafah Magazine March 2004  

Khilafah Magazine March 2004

Khilafah Magazine March 2004  

Khilafah Magazine March 2004