This month's Khilafah magazine includes two examples of the weaknesses of the Capitalist political process. With campaigning for the US elections well under way, it has become clear just how much foreign policy gets altered for local political gain.
America's disengagement from the road map gives Israel the upper hand
Rabi al-Awwal/Rabi al-Thani 1425 - May 2004 Cover Issue 5 Volume 17
CONTENTS On the 13th of April 2004 at a joint press conference with the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, President Bush blessed Sharon's disengagement plan by describing it "unrealistic" for Israel to withdraw...
31 IDEOLOGICAL VIEWPOINT
How do we view the Prophets of Allah?
Sexual Health Crisis timebomb
Big Brother is watching you The Prophets and Messengers of Allah ď ‰ are the greatest men that ever lived. They are the role models for humanity. Their hearts were the purest, their minds were the wisest...
6 According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), the number of cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK has exploded in recent years. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Americans take up torture just like Saddam Oil reserves seem to have vaporised in the hot desert sun Abuse of the Elderly US troops committing suicide in Iraq EU-TURN The US-Israeli nexus solidify's the crusade. Massacre in Falluja by coalition of the killing
Immigration: Driven by expediency and Western foreign policy
The issue of immigration rocked the office of British Home secretary David Blunkett after the revelation of a visa scam that led to the resignation of his deputy, Beverly Hughes in early April.
14 Office corruption: Can you trust your colleague?
"The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision, which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment.â€?
35 Who needs an Islamic State Who needs an Islamic state was written by Abdelwahab El Affendi in 1991. The author originally lived in Sudan where he studied philosophy and politics and later on began his writing career on the Khartoum daily alSahafa.
INTERNATIONAL VIEWPOINT The workplace is where most adults spend the majority of their time. Increasingly within Western societies it has become an area of life that harbours mistrust, dishonesty and corruption.
23 The use of foreign policy for electoral advantage
Coping with exam pressure and stress
Interview with an asylum seeker
Aristotle observed, "the roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." That bitterness is once again about to be tasted by thousands of budding young minds up and down the country
Issues such as how many jobs are created or the state of the education system are of course crucial to the electorate when judging the track record of a leader. Increasingly, however, a positive public opinion is dependent on matters such as the nation's involvement in conflict resolution or initiation and the opening up of foreign markets. Hence any incumbent leader will ignore engagement with the rest of the world at his peril.
April 2004 Khilafah Magazine
The top ten list of asylum seeker nationalities in the UK includes countries like Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. The number of people seeking asylum in the UK rose by 20% in 2002 to hit a record 110,700 with more than 9,000 claims per month. In absolute terms, the UK received the largest number of applications in Europe - 52,000 more than the next most popular destination, France.
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Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatahu This month's Khilafah magazine includes two examples of the weaknesses of the Capitalist political process. With campaigning for the US elections well under way, it has become clear just how much foreign policy gets altered for local political gain. Not only has Saudi Arabia loyally agreed with the US President to increase oil production so as to keep petrol prices down in time for the November elections, but also even the violence in Iraq has been escalated in order to wipe out resistance and make Bush's policy seem a success. In this country too, the unending debate over immigration has exposed how the democratic political system allows such issues to be used as a political football without ever addressing the root causes of the problem. Clearly secularism has failed to unite people from different backgrounds and now Britain is struggling to reconcile the need for foreign workers with the racism of its own people; a problem that is itself fuelled by the benefit-driven politicians and media. Identity cards are being trialled as a possible solution, but the fundamental concepts that prevent true unity will again be ignored. Internationally, we have seen the war on Islam intensify with attempts being made to divide the Muslims in Iraq along sectarian lines. However, such efforts have manifestly failed with Sunni and Shi'ah uniting against those who wish to occupy their land proving as false the official view that only a handful of politically motivated Iraqis are resisting the occupation. Within the UK a similarly divisive plan is beginning to unfold. On the one hand, a climate of fear is being encouraged by the arrests of Muslims without evidence, but
also the establishment and those whom they support are now defining Islam for us. An attempt is being made to drive a wedge between the Muslim community in this country by classing us as either 'moderate' or 'extremist'. The definitions given, however, are more in line with secularism than the deen of Allah . Furthermore, attempts are being made to link political Islam with terrorism so as to prevent an intellectual clash between the supreme values of Islam and the base values of Western society. Muslims are not permitted to give up Islam's rules and adopt the culture of this society. Equally, isolation is not for us, but neither is integration. The way of justice is for us to stand firm on our deen and become an example for the non-Muslims around us. It is not only the North Korean government that hides the truth from its people and it is only through the Muslims working together and interacting with the wider community that the true nature of Islam can be made apparent. Let us be politically astute; let us not dance to the secular tune and instead wisely and intellectually put forward the case for Islam. Truly, only by making clear the distinction between the truth and the falsehood are we able to protect our community and link it to the global ummah with whom its destiny is linked.
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.
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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.
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Khilafah Magazine May 2004
British torture: British soldiers get in on the act; a leading British tabloid paper reveals pictures of British soldiers torturing captured Iraqis, in one picture a British soldier urinates on his Iraqi capture, in another picture the butt of a rifle is repeatedly hit in the captures groin, in another picture the capture is told he is going to be shot whilst the soldier places the rifle point blank to his head. Operation Iraqi freedom?
A not so good display of human rights by American soldiers as they carried out draconian torture methods on captured Iraqis. America claims to be liberating the people of Iraq!
A sight for sore eyes for the American public as they see the harsh realities of a war of interest, not for the people but for corporate companies and the political goals of a select few.
US soldiers are said to be suffering from depression and many have even attempted suicide this is due to a massive upsurge in US fatalities since last month.
One of many demonstrations which have taken place in the Muslim lands demanding the re-establishment of the Khilafah to bring about true justice to the international communities and to solve the problem of occupation and Iraq. Some of the casualties where over 200 children were killed and injured in Fallujja in less than a fortnight after American forces stormed the city in an indiscriminate killing spree.
May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
NEWS Americans take up torture just like Saddam Abu Ghraib prison was notorious for torture and abuse under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Now the prison is just as notorious under the American dictators with release of the pictures of US soldiers abusing and humiliating Iraqis. The pictures are simply sickening, and leave the viewer with nothing but contempt for the US Army. One picture depicts an Iraqi prisoner standing on a box with a bag over his head and electric wires attached to his hands. He was left on the box for a long period and told that he faced electrocution if he fell off. Another picture shows prisoners kneeling over each other, naked except for hoods covering their heads, to form a human pyramid. An American soldier stands behind them smiling for the camera. Other pictures show prisoners, standing naked side-by-side and hooded, whilst a female American soldier stands smiling and smoking a cigarette, pointing at their genitals. One prisoner has the words 'rapist' scrawled across his chest. Many more include:
Prisoners with wires attached to their genitals
A dog attacking a prisoner
Prisoners with abusive words written on their bodies
Prisoners being forced to simulate having sex with each other
What is the difference between the 'Liberators' led by George W. Bush, and the torturers under the Saddam era? Such abuses are not limited to Iraq, but the same has been reported in Afghanistan, Somalia and Bosnia. Wherever western troops go, they take with them a culture of abuse and torture. The American soldiers under investigation claim that they had no instruction in how to handle prisoners. This proves that American soldiers are nothing more than mindless animals in uniforms, which need to be 'instructed' in how to behave in a civilised fashion. The only reason why these events have caused outrage and shock in the West is because western television networks have broadcast the 6
Khilafah Magazine May 2004
pictures. Yet, such pictures and footage are being broadcast regularly by other journalists and networks, without provoking any thought or feeling amongst the West. All of these incidents prove that abuse and torture are systemic within the western forces. These forces are clearly not engaged in the liberation, freedom, or prosperity to the nations of the world, but rather engaging in their oppression, enslavement and colonisation. Nabeel Saiyer Oil reserves seem to have vaporised in the hot desert sun
against terrorism' has, among other things, exposed the pressing need for America, the world's most profligate oil consumer, to secure oil supplies as its own production shrinks and demand increases. It does this by securing reserves for its giant oil companies.
Islam replaces the mentality of freedom and individualism by the desire to worship Allah (swt) by fulfilling one's responsibilities. The need to care for parents and the elderly is not viewed in terms of economic benefit but is seen as a fundamental duty and worship to the Creator (swt).
So, while the West takes our wealth, kills our people and colonises our lands we yet again witness the inactivity of our leaders to turn off the taps and constrict the pipes that lead from our oil and gas fields of Brega, Sarir and Sitica to the pockets of corrupt executives in London, Washington and Amsterdam.
Shamim Ghani It was recently revealed the extent to which the oil giant Shell had managed to fool the world with lies and deceit. It has transpired that this 'solid' multinational is actually in dire financial crisis due to the fact that senior executives have repeatedly lied about their proven oil reserves. The recent report showed that Shell had declared its reserves to be 25% more than what it actually had, and revealed the company had known of the discrepancy for at least two years and possibly seven. Shell said its finance chief had been forced to resign as result. The smoking gun unearthed in the internal inquiry by Shell's audit committee came in the form of emails from former exploration and production head Walter van de Vijver, including one to his boss, Sir Philip, saying that he was 'sick and tired of lying about the extent of our reserves issues'. It's no wonder that no sooner had Tony Blair left Tripoli, Shell signed an agreement to re-enter Libya's oil and gas industry. It is obviously thirsty for more reserves and the fact that it is extracting oil and gas from Nigeria, Oman, Iraq, UAE, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Jordan, Syria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia among others means that the reserves, which belong to the Ummah of Muhammad (saw), are being siphoned off to hide the corruption and deceit of Western multinationals. It is also clear that control of oil and natural gas is a strategic objective for major powers. The US-led 'war
Abuse of the Elderly A shocking report by the Commons' Health Select Committee reveals that 500,000 elderly people in Britain are being abused at any one time, yet many people are unaware of the problem and few measures have been taken to address it. Abuse does occur in institutional settings, but more often in the home. Carers, relatives and total strangers can perpetrate it. The abuse can include anything from sexual abuse to the unreasonable control and sedation of patients. A survey last year by the Community and District Nursing Association found that 88% of district and community nurses in the UK have encountered abuse of the elderly during the course of their work. According to care charity Action on Elder Abuse, there is in this country a culture of contempt for older people, which have resulted in widespread abuse that is hidden and even ignored by society. Despite Britain being one of the richest countries in the world, as a society it is unwilling to bear the costs of caring for the elderly, in terms of the money and time that must be invested. This reflects the concept of individualism where people are unwilling to devote time to caring for their elderly, as they do not see it as their responsibility. In a Capitalist society where the monetary value, individualism and benefit outweigh the responsibility and need to look after the elderly, it is no surprise that it is left to charity groups to highlight this growing problem in the West.
US troops committing suicide in Iraq One grim indicator of the sinking morale of US occupation forces in Iraq is the alarming number of suicides among American soldiers. The deaths of at least 17 US troops in Iraq-15 Army personnel and two Marines-have been confirmed as suicides over the past seven months, according to a recent Associated Press review of Army casualty reports.
According to one estimate, US soldiers are committing suicide at three times the usual rate - and the real number could be far higher with many more deaths under investigation. Over 500 US soldiers have been evacuated from Iraq for mental health reasons. The Landstuhl Army Medical Centre in Germany has received 8,093 injured and mentally sick soldiers from Iraq the majority having mental health problems. Why is this happening? Clearly the daily attacks and ambushes on "Coalition" soldiers and their collaborators has taken its toll on an illprepared and aimless occupying force whose goals are as confused as these suicidal soldiers. Last September, an army magazine "Stars and Stripes", conducted a survey in which over 2000 soldiers polled a majority said their morale was very low and a third said the mission in Iraq was not clearly defined. The study also revealed that many of the troops viewed themselves as "sitting ducks" rather than as soldiers engaged in war. There is no surprise then that many
NEWS soldiers want to leave Iraq since they see no end to their tour of occupation. Surprisingly, many cases of suicide began by soldiers trying to create injuries so that they would be removed from service and flown back home. Reports include that of one soldier who shot himself in the leg after being told that he could not go home. The bullet hit an artery and he bled to death. In another incident a woman fatally shot herself in the stomach in an apparent attempt to inflict a wound that would result in her evacuation from the country.
Compare this to Blair's statement in the House of Commons on the 17 October 2003, 'There will not be a referendum. The reason is that the constitution does not fundamentally change the relationship between the EU and the UK.'
Sharon standing at the podium in the West Wing as the US pledged their full support to a plan drawn up by the war criminal Sharon.
forces. General Abizaid's words are puzzling especially when over 50% of the targets in Falluja were women and children under the age of 12.
What do we find of the Muslim rulers in these dark days?
The debate will continue to rage- but the timing of the referendum, widely expected to be held after the election, has little to do with when it is good for the public but when Blair is unlikely to loose the election at a possible 'no' vote.
King Abdullah who was already in the United States said only that he wanted to "clarify" the American position. The most he could muster was to cut short his visit and fly directly back to Jordan rather then pick up his instructions from Washington.
These included a mother of six-yearold Haider Abdel-Wahab, shot and killed while hanging out her laundry. Her husband was shot in the head when he reacted to the killing of his wife. An old woman with a bullet wound - still clutching a white flag, an elderly man lying face down at the gate to his house - while inside terrified girls screamed "Baba! Baba!"
It is clear that despite the fact that US troops face a militarily weaker enemy, in the form of Muslims who are fighting the occupation with light arms, the US soldiers do not have the desire to continue occupying Iraq and just want to go home to their families. This shows that the Western viewpoint on life itself, which consists of seeking the pleasures and comforts of this world, is unable to provide its soldiers with a way to deal with a situation where they are confronted with Muslims whose hearts burn with the spirit of Islam, defiance and resilience.
Compare this with a surety of a Muslim politician - Muhammad (saw), who when in the matter of consulting with the people did not take into account any other factor but the opinion of the Ummah.
The US stooge Mubarak was still on American soil as the deal was made. Mubarak gave interviews about the danger but it was obvious he had not been consulted. The agreement came just two days after he had had talks at the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Majid Hussain EU-TURN On Tuesday April 20, Tony Blair delivered his announcement to hold a referendum on the European Union's (EU) new constitution and Britain's role in it. The subject is a complex one; the bane of the Europe question has mired many an MP since discussions about it were first laid on the table. But the issue at hand is the timing; whilst the decision to announce the referendum may be touted 'good for the public', Blair's quotes prove otherwise. During his official announcement to the Houses of Parliament he said: 'I say unhesitatingly that enlargement is right for Europe and for Britain and we should support it. And 'It will be easily the strongest political union. Britain should be at the heart of it. That is its right and its destiny.'
When the forces were gathering to attack the fledgling state of Medina in the battle of Uhud, the Prophet (saw) consulted the public on whether they would like to fight from the city or from the mountain region of Uhud. His (saw) personal opinion was to remain in the city but he consulted the Ummah and obliged them when they requested to leave the city. Hence, the lesson for the true politician is to remember that standing for the truth is not about staying in power but trying to establish justice. Dilpazier Aslam The US-Israeli nexus solidify's the crusade. In the last weeks events have suddenly taken a pace of their own as America's cheap middle men received such a blow that even with the help of the US they will find it difficult to justify their positions. First came the ruthless murder of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, in March. For the Muslims this alone was an unprecedented crime by Israel, and one they believed was fully supported by the US. Then within a few weeks came the murder of Hamas's newly appointed leader, Abdel Aziz alRantissi. But the real slap in the face for the Muslims and those amongst them that called for a peace process was when they had to bear the spectacle of a beaming, triumphant murderer Ariel
It has been reported in the Muslim world that a letter from President Bush to Sharon is a new Balfour Declaration, a reference to the British promise in 1917 to allow Jewish occupation of Palestine. The declaration, authored by then British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, was the start of the crusade against the Muslims. The Ummah has realised that the occupation and colonisation they face is the not as a result of them not embracing change rather because they have not bought down their corrupted regimes who have sold the blood of the Muslims at a cheap price. Everyday more news emerges about the anger on the streets of Cairo and Amman that will soon result in the removal of these corrupt regimes. Sami ur Rahman Massacre in Falluja by coalition of the killing
Local hospitals in Falluja and human rights groups gave first hand accounts to news agencies. "A young girl called Iftihal had a bullet lodged inside her skull" "The Americans were just shooting, there was no specific target," her father Ismail Obaid, 51, said. "We were inside the house - the bullet came through the door and hit her in the head." "The Americans came to our area and were shooting randomly and that is why a lot of civilians were injured". Over 600 Muslims were killed in a matter of a fortnight and according to news agencies over half of those who were killed were women and children. America views the killing of women and children as inexpensive collateral damage. This is a nation that claims to be fighting for human rights, against terrorism and bringing freedom to the people of Iraq. The truth of the matter is that America has no concern for human life when it comes in the way of its economic or political goals. The people of Iraq want an end to the occupation and this has been made evident by the fact that thousands of Iraqis have begun fighting back the coalition forces. Kosser Mohammed
"95% of those killed were legitimate targets", "trained to be precise in their firepower", " judicious use of force" are some of the comments by General John Abizaid, head of the US Army's central command in Iraq. The ongoing events in Falluja can only be described as a This picture released by the US Marines, shows a mosque massacre by the US after a hit by a laser guide bomb in Fallujah May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
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IMMIGRATION: DRIVEN BY EXPEDIENCY AND WESTERN FOREIGN POLICY he issue of immigration rocked the office of British Home secretary David Blunkett after the revelation of a visa scam that led to the resignation of his deputy, Beverly Hughes in early April. The row centred on the entry of Eastern Europeans who had entered the UK 'illegally' but with the apparent knowledge of the Home Office. It transpired that people seeking asylum were not being classified as such, but were appearing on other immigration lists so that the government's targets on reducing the number of asylum seekers entering the country were met.
According to newspaper reports, it also emerged that immigration controls had been waived over the past year so that the allocated quota of immigrants was managed in a more gradual manner. This had been done to prevent the potential of a large number of people entering the UK all at once after the formal entry of the accession countries to the European Union on 1st May 2004 and prior to the June European elections. The furore over immigration highlights the extent to which all Western governments are prepared to go to so as not to appear a 'soft touch' in the eyes of the electorate and incur the wrath of the tabloid press such as The Sun and the Daily Mail newspapers.
Khilafah Magazine May 2004
The tragic death of up to 24 Chinese cockle pickers in February by drowning off the coast of Morecombe Bay, and the fatal stabbing of a special branch police officer in Manchester by an Algerian immigrant has ensured the spotlight has remained on the issue of immigration in recent months. In all cases, any serious debate has tended to focus on the peripheral issues related to these events rather than addressing more underlying causes. For example, following the death of the Chinese cockle pickers the main solutions advocated have been to introduce legislation to combat the unscrupulous nature of the 'gang masters' who provide such work for illegal immigrants and to increase the punishments for those convicted of exploitative practices. Whilst these issues are certainly part of the ongoing discussion around immigration, they have failed to ascertain the deeper and more fundamental reasons as to why thousands of people every year enter Western States, through a variety of means, in order to seek a livelihood or flee turmoil and bloodshed within their own countries. To adequately assess this issue, a greater understanding of the relationship between Western states, the Muslim and Third World and the Capitalist foreign and domestic policy viewpoints needs to be considered.
With regard to the domestic front, many politicians and the tabloid media contribute to the debate by targeting their wrath at society's ills at asylum seeker and immigrants. Daily headlines extol the problems caused by immigrants and asylum seekers. Descriptions such as 'aliens', 'bogus', 'scroungers' and 'parasites' are some of the more colourful language used to describe people who have arrived on Western shores. Asylum seekers and immigrants have been blamed for everything from street crime, benefits fraud to the rise in local council tax bills. Clearly, these problems have existed long before the advent of asylum seekers and immigrants. The blame attributed to foreigners has been done to portray their influx as somehow submerging or 'swamping' Western states with thousands of undesirables. In reality, the UK accepts just 2% of the world's refugees and a few thousands new arrivals each year are hardly likely to 'swamp' a country of 60 million people. IMMIGRATION POLICIES IN EUROPE In response to opinion polls citing that 80% of the public wish to restrict the number of migrants entering the country, European nations have adopted strict policies on the numbers and criterion by which to accept foreigners; State Benefits and handouts have been denied to those that do not apply for them
promptly, permits have been denied to those willing to work and seek employment, asylum seekers have had to use vouchers for food and provisions within designated shops, many have been forced to live in the most run down inner city housing estates and thousands have been kept in holding camps at European ports and border crossings. The maverick Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn brought the issue of immigrant-related crime to the fore in his 2002 election campaign, despite the fact that the number of new asylum applicants had fallen by 70 per cent since the year 2000. Inevitably, as a result of the media scrutiny and draconian government action immigrants and foreigners have been subject to high levels of abuse, attack and murder in some cases. The Netherlands has announced a policy of forcible removal of 26,000 asylum seekers and their families, many of who have lived in Europe for years. Furthermore, even within Europe discriminatory practices remain. The new accession countries from Eastern Europe have had their citizens denied equal residency and employment rights within the 'European family'. If this is the manner in which Western Europe treats it's own fellow EU members it appears that there is little chance for equity for people from other countries. The first enforced repatriations from Britain of those who fled persecution from Saddam Hussein's Iraq had been due to start in April, now that their political worth in demonising the former Iraqi dictator had expired. The policy had been criticised by the United Nations and the British government was forced to make an embarrassing delay to the forced repatriations with no clear date now set for the first expulsions. Last month it was decided that a group of Kurdish men who previously sewed their lips together in a four-week hunger strike against asylum laws were to be expelled from council funded accommodation. However, upon scrutiny the inconsistency shown with regard to immigrants and foreigners becomes clearer. In reality, Western states do not have an issue with foreigners per se, but only with some depending upon who they are and where they come from. For example, there is an inherent duplicity in the way 'white' immigrants are treated from others. Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders are allowed in every year for work and residential permits on the basis of their common-
wealth origins, whilst such generosity is not extended to commonwealth countries from Africa or the Indian subcontinent. FROM 'IMMIGRANT' TO PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYEE Moreover, immigrants and foreign workers who can bring benefit and prosperity are encouraged; most Western States rely on thousands of immigrants each year to support their public services in health and education in the form of doctors, nurses and teachers. By contrast, those that are needed are not described as 'scroungers' or 'parasites', but because of their highly valued contribution they are conveniently described as 'bridging the skills gap'. A junior Home Office minister was forced to concede this fact when he said " If all the immigrant labour in London was removed, the city would grind to a halt by 7amâ€Ś" Furthermore, many business leaders and companies have supported the case for increasing immigration and foreign workers as a way of filling job vacancies. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for an influx of migrants to work in the retail and hotel trades where chronic labour shortages exist and which can be filled by workers who are willing to accept lower wages and poorer standards of employment provision. Historically, most of the Third World and former European colonies provided an abundant source of cheap labour for Europe. Western states used these people to work on the buses, as train drivers, cleaners and other forms of manual labour due to the indigenous population's unwillingness to do so. Within the US, this form of expediency and double standards can also be witnessed. Political parties use the issue of immigrants and foreigners to scare monger amongst the host people in order to win votes. Latinos and blacks are routinely demonized within white neighbourhoods so as to justify increased local taxes to support police patrols or by candidates at election time. At the same time, immigrants and foreign workers are used for political capital when it is convenient. Earlier this year, President Bush announced proposals to grant thousands of illegal workers, who are mainly from South America, guest worker status with
full employee benefits and rights. This change of position was intended to win over the large and influential Hispanic vote that will prove crucial in this year's presidential election. THE HIDDEN HAND OF THE WEST What has caused the huge numbers of people to move from their countries, and result in an influx of immigrants within the West, can be largely attributed to Western foreign policy in these areas. For example, the Muslim world has seen an exodus of people leave from places such as Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. In all cases the direct involvement or hidden hand of the West has been apparent. The early 1990's saw turmoil in Somalia as America wrought to install its own client leaders after the discovery of oil; Sudan has been gripped by internal war and strife as rebel groups and insurgents have received Western support to dismember the country and create a Christian State in the south; Afghanistan has seen millions of people displaced over the years and seek sanctuary in other countries due to the Soviet invasion and then the Western onslaught against the country in 2001. The Iran-Iraq war of the 1980's was artificially fuelled by Western powers who were arming both sides, overtly and covertly, so as to weaken both nations and Iraq has seen two large scale attacks by the USA in the space of just over a decade which has caused thousands of civilian deaths and resulted in many more fleeing to neighbouring lands. At the root of all these issues, has been an unjust and colonialist foreign policy that has sought havoc and turmoil within the Muslim world so as to secure the huge wealth of the region for multinational corporations and safeguard Western interests. SUPPORT DESPOTS
The number of asylum seekers and refugees fleeing persecution from dictatorial and May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
despotic regimes constitutes a significant amount of the migration that occurs in the West as well as column inches in the tabloid press where they are made scapegoats for a multitude of societal issues. A closer look at the cordial and pragmatic relationship that such dictators receive from the West reveals that it is quite often the case that Western states' policies not only contribute to the maintenance of these tyrants rule but also explains why so many people wish to flee these areas. Whether it is the backing of Islam Karimov who boils his political opponents to death and has been given a free hand to continue his purge against non-violent Islamic opposition groups or the bringing back of Colonel Gaddafi into the international fold. Western interests can easily become intertwined with these ruthless tyrants to suppress their opponents. One of the most notorious dictators and persecutors of his own citizens of recent times was Saddam Hussein. Saddam's reign of terror led to thousands of Iraqi's to flee their homes to escape the threat of arrest, torture or death. Saddam's brutal polices towards opposition political parties; the Shi'ah and the Kurds are well documented. Yet, throughout this period Western powers maintained a covert, but intimate relationship with Saddam whilst he unleashed such havoc and created thousands of refugees and displaced people. In response to the gassing of the Kurds in 1988, sweeping sanctions were unanimously passed by the US senate that would have denied Iraq access to US technology. The White House threw out these measures and a senior official later told reporters they did not press for punishment on Iraq at the time, as they wanted to shore up Iraq's ability to pursue the war with Iran. Within the UK, successive governments approved arms sales to Saddam Hussein in defiance of UN guidelines. These were used in the Iran- Iraq war, against Kurdish villagers and to aid Saddam's nuclear program. The result of the West's tacit support of a litany of brutal dictators and tyrants has been to cause an exodus of thousands fleeing their homes, towns and villages. ECONOMIC MIGRANTS With regard to 'economic migrants', those that have left their country for a better standard of living, this has not been done out of any real choice or love for the West. Rather, it is purely as a result of the economic hardship and 10
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misery that Western backed rulers in the Muslim world have created. Despite the huge natural and human resources of the Islamic world, these rulers have failed to invest in the nation's industries so as to create employment and prosperity. This has been exacerbated by the immense corruption and fraud that the secular elites that run the Muslim world have committed. In Pakistan alone, large amounts of the country's wealth were smuggled out or simply lost during the 1980's and 1990's. Two of Pakistan's former Prime Minister's are accused of stealing $2bn of the $30bn in total that remains unaccounted for. The pursuit of Capitalist solutions at the behest of the IMF and World Bank in cutting expenditure upon public services and privatizing many of the key industries such as oil and gas has also led to immense hardship within the Third world and Muslim world and created the conditions for thousands to flee as refugees and migrants. Therefore, the cause of people being forced to come over to the West as immigrants, asylum seekers and foreign workers are directly attributable to colonialism and Western foreign policies throughout the world. ISLAM AND ITS TREATMENT OF FOREIGNERS During the long and distinguished period of the Khilafah, the state continually accepted Muslims and non-Muslims who were fleeing persecution and tyranny. During the Spanish inquisition of the 15th Century, Muslims and Jews in Europe were given an ultimatum by the Catholic Kings; accept Christianity or leave. Thousands were forcibly converted or were killed. However, large numbers of Jews were accepted into the Uthmani Khilafah who guaranteed and protected the blood, wealth and honour of its new citizens. Indeed, it was such justice and consistency that saw the Christians of Palestine who had lived for centuries under the Khilafah system to fight under the banner of Islam against their Christian cousins from Europe during the Crusades. In Islam, the Khilafah state permits the entry of "foreigners", and non-Muslims. The Messenger of Allah Muhammad (saw) gave security to the non-Muslims, on the day of the downfall of Makkah and said:
"Whoever closes his door is safe" [Muslim].
However those that stay in the Muslims' land for more than a year must pay the Jizyah tax. Jizyah is not taken except from the one capable of paying it, due to Allah statement:
"from the hand" [TMQ At-Tauba: 29] i.e. from capability. Islam protected and honoured those who it had given sanctuary. The divine texts have ordained that the non-Muslims are left to follow what they believe in and their worships due to the Messenger's statement:
"Whoever is upon Judaism or Christianity, then he is not seduced from it" [narrated by Abu Ubayd]. Equally, the Islamic foreign policy is not driven by the desire to acquire the resources of other nations thus preventing the looting of wealth and the displacement of thousands of people. Wherever the Khilafah entered areas and regions it did so to make the word of Allah the highest and not out of any pursuit of material resources or other benefits. On the contrary, when the Khilafah expanded into Egypt this put an economic burden on the Islamic State that was met with full acceptance by the people. Moreover, the large Muslim population that exists in the Balkans to this day can testify to the system of Islam being implemented over them even where there were no immediate natural or strategic interests available. Muslims never accepted the notion of the 'conquered' and the 'conquerors' during the might of the Khilafah's army. Rather, the Khilafah made the populations it liberated citizens of the state with full rights. Moreover, the Muslims and army personnel lived and married from amongst the people that came under the domain of the Khilafah. Which is further proof of the fact that when the Khilafah entered new lands it did not cause people to flee or be displaced from their homes. The people of these new lands were not treated as 'minorities' or discriminated against. Over time, in every land opened up by the Khilafah the people embraced Islam without coercion. This demonstrates the unique justice of Islam in winning hearts and minds from those who previously lived under a different authority even though they did not have to do so.
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SEXUAL HEALTH CRISIS TIMEBOMB "The crisis in sexual health is a ticking time bomb" Shadow Health Secretary Dr Liam Fox. According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), the number of cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK has exploded in recent years. STIs are a group of infections that are acquired through sexual contact with an infected person. Published data in 2003 show the number of cases of Syphilis to have risen by 486% since 1996 (a 143% rise in 2001 to previous year). In the same period, the cases of Chlamydia rose 108% and gonorrhoea 87%. One in 10 young people are now infected with Chlamydia (which can cause infertility in women). In 2001, around 4,400 people were diagnosed as being HIV positive, the number up 26% from the previous year. Over 4,200 people were diagnosed as being HIV positive in 2002. Already 5,047 diagnoses have been reported for 2004. The number of new infections is predicted to double between 1997 and 2005. An estimated 50,000 people living in Britain are HIV-positive. Sir William Stewart of the HPA described the findings as "worrying data and worrying trends." Labour MP David Hinchliffe last year described the situation as reaching crisis point: "it has become plain that with sexual health we are looking at a public health crisis."
EUROPE AND BEYOND Much of Europe mirrors the problems of Britain. For instance, in France the number of cases of gonorrhoea rose by 170% in just one year. The USA, being the champion of Capitalism and beacon bearer of freedom, naturally has a high rate of STIs. A report in 2001 by the USA's Centre for Disease Control revealed the following: The reporting of Chlamydia was set up to help prevent a complication of Chlamydia called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). In 1996 there were 492,631 infections, corresponding to a rate per 100,000 of the population of 193.7. By 2001, the annual total had increased to 783,242 and the rate per 100,000 had risen to 278.3. Cases of Chlamydia had increased every single year bar one since reporting began in 1984, making it the most widespread STI in the USA. Research on another STI called genital herpes (GH) suggests that 45 million persons aged 12 years or older have a Herpes Simplex Virus-2 (HSV-2) antibody (which means these people have been exposed to the HSV virus that causes GH). Up to 70% of patients attending sexual transmitted infection clinics have HSV2 infection and the majority of patients with initially symptomatic GH will develop recurrent disease. An analysis of the economic burden of GH in the USA estimated the total
direct medical costs of GH to range from a minimum of $283 million to a maximum of $984 million in 1996. This figure is expected to be higher now since the number of GH has been rising. IMPACT OF SOCIETIES
Former Communist countries such as Russia and Ukraine that have embraced Capitalism as an ideology and a political system have begun to reap the fruits of this system. Russia has one of the fastest growing AIDS epidemics in the world. From 1997 to 2002, the official HIV figures skyrocketed almost 22 fold. 700,000 cases (unofficial figures suggest up to 1.5 million) in a population of about 150 million, in a country that has been actively promoting population growth. Former Soviet Ukraine's HIV problem became significant during the process of political and socio-economic transition, when injecting drug use and "unsafe" sexual behaviour became rampant among young people rendering them vulnerable to the HIV virus. With an estimated adult HIV-prevalence rate of 1%, Ukraine is one of the most affected countries in the region. By the end of 2001, an estimated 250,000 people were HIVinfected. This is in sharp contrast to former Soviet Muslim countries Tajikistan and May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
Uzbekistan: by the end of 2001, the adult HIV prevalence rate in Tajikistan was under 0.1%, there were 200 adults and children living with HIV/AIDS, and fewer than 100 people had died from AIDS-related causes in 2001.The adult HIV prevalence rate in Uzbekistan was under 0.1% with 740 people living with HIV/AIDS and 100 AIDS-related deaths in 2001 (source UNAIDS). Russia's AIDS problems were confined almost exclusively to drug addicts, but now HIV is more commonly spread through sex (by youngsters), and now mother-to-child transmission. The rising AIDS problem in some former Soviet countries and not in others illustrates the impact of a society's system upon the ideas, emotions, attitudes and actions of its citizens. The mainly Muslim Central Asian Republics have not yet been subjected to the rigorous process of "Westernisation" as have Russia and other non-Muslim former Soviet countries; the Muslim citizens live under repressive dictatorial regimes, with limited access to other ideas, including the Western culture, thus the prevalence of Western induced diseases being low. More importantly because the Islamic values encouraging chastity and prohibiting promiscuity are quite strongly attached to the Muslims, the foreign Western effect is minimised. But as the Western influence has been increasing in the region, the "free culture" invasion will follow suit, attempting to change the thoughts, ideas and behaviour of the people. This change in ideas and values would inevitably lead to disastrous effects as seen in the West. Muslim countries have generally been safe havens from disastrous diseases like HIV/AIDS, but the Westernisation of the Muslims of the 'more secular' republics such as Turkey and Bangladesh have in recent years correlated with an increased prevalence of those diseases (i.e. abandoning the Islamic values in place for Western values is resulting in Western problems). FAILURE OF CURRENT SOLUTIONS Western states have attempted to address the almost epidemic number of STI’s with limited success. They have focused on a number of issues which they believe lies at the root of this problem; Lack of health promotion and education, not discussing the risks with the youth, lack of availability of sexual health services and apathy in the usage of barrier contraceptives, increasing the number of sexual health clinics in order to make sexual 12
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health checks more accessible, and vigorous "safe sex" campaigns in order to increase awareness of the problems of STIs. These measures have been highlighted by health advisors and public health experts; Anne Weyman, the Family Planning Association (FPA) chief executive said: "Opportunistic screening for Chlamydia in women under 25 years is a must." Baroness Gould, chair of the Independent Advisory Group, which advises the government on its sexual health strategy, called for more money to improve facilities and services. MPs have called for changes in the way school teach sex education. These proposed solutions to the problem largely reflect how the cause of the problem is viewed. If lack of education is seen to be the problem, then education would be the solution. However, the FPA found that despite repeating public health campaigns, many people were still failing to use condoms. Schools have been briefing children on "safe sex" for years, but instead of decreasing, the cases of STIs and teenage pregnancies have increased. Moreover, the rate of teenage pregnancies has alarmed the government enough to have made the emergency hormonal contraception or "morning after pill" available to young girls under the age of 16 at schools. Such "solutions" are weapons used by the government in its battle to reduce teenage pregnancy rates and please critics. Contrary to its objectives, the new law in fact encourages more teenagers to engage in "casual sex" as there is less fear of them becoming pregnant with an unnecessary and unwanted baby. So it is clear that the Western states are failing to identify the root cause of the problem. THE REAL CAUSE HEALTH CRISES
STIs are passed on through sexual contact, so the limiting factor in the spread of the disease is sexual contact with others. However, within Western societies it is standard for people to have multiple or short term "casual" relationships. If one infected person has three sexual partners, who in turn have three other partners each, then you can rapidly have thirteen infected people. But no question is ever raised about the society's attitude towards intimate relationships. Promiscuity, "casual relationships" and multiple partners are very much accepted and indeed propagated, whether through the media, at work or even by examples of politicians. Thus, the cornerstone of relationships is the notion of sexual freedom
with individuals permitted to engage in any number of sexual activities, partners and preferences. Moreover, sexual freedom is considered an essential component of personal freedom, which is sacrosanct in Capitalism. Hence, it is never attributed as a cause of the malaise the West finds itself in or ever subject to questioning or debate. The consequences of this viewpoint are clear to see in the immorality, degeneration and corruption of society with diseases such as STIs an inevitable outcome. In short, the cause of the sexual health crisis is the rampant, promiscuous lifestyle of many of the population resulting from the idea of sexual freedom. THE ISLAMIC SOLUTION TO THE STIs EPIDEMIC The two main causes of the AIDS pandemic are a high transmission rate and insufficient treatment. STIs are passed on through sexual contact. Therefore, limiting sexual contact appears the most obvious and rational starting point to prevent disease and infection. Islam restricts intimate relationships between men and women to marriage. The Messenger of Allah said:
"O you who are young. Whoever among you can afford to marry should marry, because it will help refrain from looking at other women, and guard his modesty (i.e. private parts from unlawful sex)." Those proven beyond doubt in a court to have engaged in illegal relationships are punishable by lashing or stoning depending on their marital status. Allah says:
"The woman and man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes." [TMQ An Nur: 2]. Narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah Al-Ansari: a man from the tribe of Bani Aslam came to Allah's Messenger and informed him that he had committed illegal sexual intercourse and
he bore witness four times against himself. Allah's Messenger ordered him to be stoned to death, as he was a married person. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol 8, Hadith no 805). The Islamic Social System is designed to reduce circumstances that can result in illegal relationships between unmarried men and women. For example, men and women are commanded to lower their gaze; women are forbidden to use their charms to attract attention. Allah says:
epidemic, and likewise control the spread of an epidemic. This also applies to the most serious of STIs, the HIV virus. The HIV virus is spread through bodily fluids (such as blood and semen), be it through sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, injecting with infected needles or from mother to child. The most common method of transfer is sexual contact. Homosexuals' account for a large percentage of those infected. The Islamic restriction of intimacy to the husband and wife would therefore limit the spread through this common route. Islam does not entertain the idea of sexual freedom or freedom in any of its forms. People are rather restricted in their actions by the Shari'ah. The Islamic social and political systems are such that they prevent problems like that of STIs rom arising, and minimise their effects on the society at large.
"Tell the believing men to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts. That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and protect their private parts." [TMQ An-Nur : 30-31].
Narrated by Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, the Messenger said: "Any woman that uses perfume and walks past men in order for them to smell their fragrance, she is a fornicator." A man and woman are forbidden to be in seclusion. The community of men are generally separated from the community of women in order to minimise mixing between the sexes. Therefore, in an Islamic society problems such as STIs would not be expected to arise as Islam closes the doors that can lead to infidelity and promiscuity and forbids the 'casual relationships' common in the West. As for societies already plagued by STIs, the restriction of intimacy to the married couple would prevent 'carriers' of infections from passing on to uninfected individuals through promiscuity and 'casual flings'. A previously infected person would only be able to pass on their infection to their spouse or unborn child. This would naturally prevent the rise of an May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
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OFFICE CORRUPTION: CAN YOU TRUST YOUR COLLEAGUE? he workplace is where most adults spend the majority of their time. Increasingly within Western societies it has become an area of life that harbours mistrust, dishonesty and corruption. The conduct of employees is often debatable, which begs the question; can the people in your office really be trusted? Many will believe that crime and criminals will permeate all aspects of society and so the workplace is not an exception to this, but the reality is that workplace dishonesty is not reserved for a few isolated 'criminals', but in fact the average worker is often the real culprit.
Recently, there have been considerable efforts to curb this trend with legislation and policies from the Government. According to the Employment Act and the Department of Trade and Industry 'gross misconduct' can be a basis for employee dismissal, and may include: theft, fraud, deliberate falsification of records, deliberate damage to property, physical violence, serious negligence linked to unacceptable loss, damage or injury and serious breach of confidence.
firms with fewer than 15 employees have experienced staff fraud, with the figure being more than doubled (48%) for businesses with over 36 staff. The culprits, being confident that they will not be caught, often fail to differentiate between company funds and their own, borrowing from the former for personal use. This was highlighted with the case of Joyti DeLaurey, a secretary at Goldman Sachs (a leading investment bank), who was convicted of fraud and money laundering to the tune of £4 million. De-Laurey, who denied the charges against her, forged signatures on cheques and money transfers in order to transfer vast sums to a network of bank accounts in Cyprus. The fraud was motivated by her desire for an extravagant lifestyle, supporting nine homes in Britain, shopping sprees in which she spent £314,335 on a watch for her husband and almost £200,000 on expensive cars. The Joyti De-Laurey case represents one end of the spectrum, but the potential for fraud has been highlighted in a survey by Leicester University, which showed that 70% of the 2,000 people questioned admitted they would commit fraud, if they knew they would get away with it.
FRAUD AND THEFT Employee fraud is a growing problem, 19% of 14
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A recent poll by office supplier Staples, covering nearly 4,000 people in 19 European
countries, showed that workplace theft in the UK was costing businesses £1.2bn a year. Another recent study commissioned by IBAS revealed that data theft is rampant with employees copying software at work. The problem of theft has led to the appearance of specialist agencies that will catch the offenders, a recent advert reads; 'We are able to provide support to Companies who suspect that an employee is undertaking in criminal activity in the workplace…..the use of undercover agents acting as employees is offered' A poll in 2003 showed that UK workers are some of the most workplace theft-happy in Europe. Up to 60% of employees see workplace theft as acceptable, with the theft of pens, paper, and office supplies being seen as a 'harmless' and benign activity. INTERNET USAGE AND EFFECTIVE USE OF TIME Since the advent of the Internet its potential for business usage has revolutionized the workplace, but with the obvious advantages come the disadvantages. An internet misuse survey conducted by Websense, (a leading Internet management company) found that 72% of companies have dealt with some form of Internet misuse, and, 1 in 4 companies have
dismissed employees for Internet misconduct. The results of the Internet survey found that 69% of Internet misuse dismissals are associated with pornography. As well as the perusal of unsavory sites, employees are often engaged in inappropriate use of Email, with idle gossip and frivolous jokes. The misconduct associated with Internet use is not only the 'inappropriate' material being viewed or propagated by employees, but also the fact that the Internet is used excessively during work time. Human resource guidelines suggest that 20 minutes a day is actually a fair and acceptable time for personal Internet usage. However, it is thought that employees spend in the region of 30 minutes a day on personal surfing with 40% of companies having had complaints by coworkers about colleagues wasting time on the Internet. The infamous extended lunch break is another aspect of unscrupulous behaviour at work. Most contracts of employment will stipulate the length and frequency of breaks, yet the adherence to these is often questionable. The reasoning behind granting employees breaks is to maximise efficiency and productivity. Quite often this is abused with a break or lunch hour being extended on the basis that it will go unnoticed. Moreover, many employees make excuses for their actions. A poll by Liquid HR, a human resource organisation, argued that mistrust between managers and employees along with dissatisfaction with long hours and poor pay allows employees to justify workplace pilfering and dishonesty. TAKING A 'SICKIE' Recently, the case of tube driver Chris Barrett made it to the headlines. London Underground sacked Barrett, after he was spotted playing squash while on sick leave with an ankle injury. The RMT union demanded the tube driver be reinstated, and the dispute resulted in tube workers striking to protest. Subsequently, London Underground rejected an appeal against the decision; an official overseeing the proceedings commented that if Mr. Barrett had shown "some degree of honesty and remorse" during his appeal, he would have considered giving him his job back. Though this may be seen as an extreme case, many employees will relate to that Monday morning feeling, when the weekend is over too quickly and the temptation to 'call in sick' is great. A 'sickie' is not seen to be a crime, or an act of dishonesty, it has almost become
accepted as something that employees will do from time to time. A statement by a spokesperson of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) reflects how such dishonest behaviour is a fact that employers should accept; "There will always be a certain level of absenteeism around 15% - which there is not a lot employers can do about it". But the impact upon the economy of absenteeism is huge. While absence from work in general has been estimated to cost UK firms ÂŁ11bn every year, or 9% of annual salary costs, the incredible fact is that 30% of absenteeism is not genuine. An annual absence survey published by the CBI last year revealed that staff 'pulling sickies' could have cost businesses ÂŁ1.75bn alone. UNDERLYING CAUSE No matter what type of 'workplace dishonesty', or how small or great the consequences; the causes of such misdemeanours are the same. The reason why people work is in order to earn money, so that they may purchase items and services for their wellbeing. When applying for a job, an individual will consider the advantages to be reaped, whether this is in the form of a salary, annual leave, extras, prospects for promotion etc. The concept of benefit in measuring an action will produce an individual who is solely concerned with what they can personally get out of any situation with only the fear of being caught or exposed acting as a constraint. In turn, this mentality will produce a person who is a self-centred and selfish personality. As an employee such a person would be concerned only with his personal interests and seeking opportunities to take, steal or defraud in some shape or form. The negative effect of their actions on colleagues or their employer would not be considered. Thus the reason for the growing problem of employee misconduct and corruption in the office environment is the fact that many are motivated by self-interest alone and are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to achieve this. A REFLECTION OF WIDER SOCIETY The workplace is not a world within itself
rather it is part of a wider society. So inevitably, the workplace will reflect the culture of the surrounding society, its values and norms. The behaviour of individuals at work will be shaped by the Capitalist ethos that views the objective of each individual to be to gain as much material possessions as possible. Hence, happiness is equated with the size of your bank account and self-gratification, and as everyone wants happiness, everyone is taking care of 'number one'. And it is this thinking that shapes the thoughts and subsequently the behaviour of the people, including the nation's workforce. By its nature the Capitalist yardstick of benefit is a flawed criterion, the consequences of which are very apparent in today's world. It produces behaviour that is inconsistent and unreliable; the actions will be dependant on a measure that varies not only from person to person, but from one situation to another. In addition, the use of benefit as a measure for one's actions, results in the definition of good and bad becoming unclear and subject to change as the benefit and interest changes. For example, to take a few pens from the office is not seen as 'bad' or as theft by the people, rather it is acceptable, whereas to take a computer, or money from work is stealing and thus 'bad'. This highlights how the extent of material gain or loss is used to determine the acceptability of an action, rather that a study of the action itself. THE ISLAMIC CRITERION OF ACTION The criterion for action of the Muslim is not personal benefit, but the halal and the haram as determined by the Hukm Sharr'I (divine law). Islam determines the conduct and the misconduct of the Muslim rather that self-interest. The Muslim employee adhering to Islam has a consistent conduct, which does not alter with changing situations. So this employee is not only trustworthy when he is happy in the workplace, or pleased with his employers, May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
rather it is the accountability to Allah (swt), which ensures that he maintains the qualities of a Muslim.
do not permit him to lie, no matter what the circumstances are. For the Muslim, honesty is not something just to strive for, but it would be an integral aspect of the Islamic personality. Because it is obligatory upon the Muslim to be truthful, it cannot be compromised in the workplace, as it would render him sinful.
"So fear not man, but fear Me, and do not barter My scriptures for a little gain" [TMQ Al- Maidah: 44]. Likewise, what constitutes misconduct at work is not viewed as behaviour that will lead to disciplinary action or dismissal, but is defined by what has been prohibited by Allah (swt) HONOURING CONTRACTS The Islamic view towards the employee and employer relationship is that it is bound by contract. The contract of employment is one that defines the conditions and details of the employment, the nature of the work, specified tasks, responsibilities and hours to be worked. Many of the problems faced by employers stem from the fact that workers do not adhere to the terms of the contract, taking extended breaks for example, or not fulfilling job requirements. Such problems should be alien to the Muslim for he cannot violate his contract, as it is an obligation to abide by the conditions of the agreement he signed.
Ibn Madud narrated that the Messenger said 'A true action leads to the path of virtue and good deeds, and virtue paves the way of a person to Paradise, and the said person continues to speak the truth till in the sight of Allah he is Sidiq, (truthful). Lying leads to vice and vice leads to indecent acts and if a person goes on lying till in the sight of Allah he is named a liar' [Bukhari and Muslim] THEFT IS THEFT Islam made the issue of stealing very clear. Theft in Islam is to take ownership, without permission, over something not belonging to you. It is a decisive sin and in some cases a punishable offence. Thus theft cannot be justified by the Muslim, on the grounds of value of the item or the surplus amount, no matter how much stationary there is in the office.
"Oh you who believe, fulfil your obligations (treaties, covenants, contracts)" [Al Mai'dah: 1]
And He said: "Muslims are bound by their conditions" [Bukhari]
Abu Hurairah (ra) reported: "Allah's Messenger said: Let Allah's curse be upon the thief; he gets his hand cut off for stealing an egg as well as for stealing a rope". [Sahih Muslim ]
So for the Muslim, any matter related to the contract is a matter of accountability to Allah , regardless of whether a person could actually get away with not fulfilling his part of the agreement.
With such an understanding of theft and the comprehension of it being a crime, a prohibited action, the Muslim employee would not be permitted to unlawfully take anything from the workplace.
HONESTY IS ALWAYS THE ONLY POLICY
ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR EFFORTS
Honesty is not the 'best policy', but the only policy. The Muslim employee is bound by the command and prohibitions of Allah (swt) that 16
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The Muslim is always mindful of the effort he puts into his work. Slackness, 'skiving' or sheer laziness, are not the characteristics of the Muslim employee.
The Prophet said: "If I commanded you of something, do of it as much as you can". Together with the acknowledgment of being bound by a contract, and the fact that Muhammad himself asked of the believer to expend all his efforts into that which he was charged with, it would be almost guaranteed that the Muslim employee works with his best endeavors. Islam has prevented such problems from arising by addressing the matters of employee responsibility and honesty, and making these matters of accountability to Allah , thus safeguarding such values in the workplace and all spheres of life.
THE MUSLIM EMPLOYEEAMBASSADOR FOR ISLAM Muslims who live and work in the West are in the ideal position to be true ambassadors of Islam. It is our responsibility to be the representatives of the Islamic way of life here in the West. The Muslim must never overlook the endless opportunities he has to be the mouthpiece for Islam, to put forward the case for a way of life which is able to provide the whole of humanity with the alternative which it so desperately needs. The Muslim should utilise all opportunities to convey Islam, and this includes the workplace. Muslims can learn from the famous example of our predecessors who went to Indonesia to trade and with them went their Islam and the invitation to the truth; as a result Indonesia today has the largest population of Muslims in the world. Being an ambassador for Islam is achieved by words and by deeds. Our conduct will speak for itself when it is based upon Islam, when our actions are the practical manifestation of our Islamic belief. When we remain steadfast in our commitment to the Islamic rules the natural result will be a Muslim that represents Islam in the workplace as well as in the society at large.
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COPING WITH EXAM PRESSURE AND STRESS ristotle observed, "the roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." That bitterness is once again about to be tasted by thousands of budding young minds up and down the country, as they brace themselves during the most critical time in their academic lives - exam season. Whether facing GCSEs, A-Levels or degree finals, the pressure upon young academics will force them into a world of sleepless all-night vigils, endless cups of coffee and nail-biting repetitions. Preparations will be in full swing as they lock themselves away from the outside world, lost in the pages of their textbooks, busy reducing their notes for the umpteenth time in a desperate bid to memorise all that had passed over their heads since their courses began. To most of them, achieving the top grades is of paramount importance, in the hope that it will open doors to further education at the most prestigious establishments, or ease them towards the ultimate goal of a high flying job and incumbent six-figure salary, and all that these will lead to in terms of securing the utmost comfort and pleasure in life.
For many students, the importance of exam success has been drilled into their impressionable young minds from the outset of school life, by parents, teachers and peers. It is thus perhaps inevitable that sitting exams has
become one of the most stressful times in a young persons life. Sadly, for a few individuals the enormous pressures amount to more than they can bear, pushing them into a state of anxiety, depression or in the most extreme of cases to suicide. So within the midst of an atmosphere of such immense stresses, the question that arises is how should people cope with the pressures of exams? EXAMS-WHY BOTHER ? In the Capitalist society the pursuit of pleasure through the enjoyment of material pursuits gives meaning and purpose to life. For many who live in such a society, education plays a crucial role in making available such means to the individual and the wider community. It leads to the production of a skilled workforce that can accelerate the material progress, and facilitate the generation of wealth within society; things which are perceived to be vital in ensuring the happiness and well being of all. As a result, a heavy emphasis is placed upon individuals to strive to be successful in exams with the aim of securing the 'fruits' of their hard work; a prosperous career that will be beneficial for the individual and at the same time help to achieve the wider goals of the Capitalist society.
Right from a child's formative years, ideas of success are built into young minds. Children as young as seven are introduced to the rigors of exams such as Key Stage 1, followed by Key Stage 2 at age eleven and Key Stage 3 at age fourteen. These culminate in the all-important GCSEs that will determine the suitability for those who can progress to A-Levels and ultimately university. This seemingly endless series of tests firmly establishes exam culture in the minds of students, making these the most appropriate means by which to measure success. The constant need to succeed is perpetuated not only by the relentless testing at every stage of educational life, but also the comparison of results in the form of league tables and prizegiving ceremonies. The charity Mind, a mental health group, estimated that the average pupil sits 87 exams during their school life. WHY DO PEOPLE GET STRESSED ? When faced with the pressure to succeed the fear of failure can cause considerable anxiety. In some cases the worries about how parents and peers will react to their failure may surpass even their own concerns. With the thought that their entire future life may hinge on the outcome of exams, it is inevitable that some degree of stress will ensue. This fact is demonstrated by a report issued by the children's charity NSPCC that cited eight out of ten secondary school pupils worry about exams. Similarly in the year 2000 Childline, the children's helpline, received almost 1,000 calls from desperate pupils who needed counselling to cope during the summer exams. For most individuals exams are characterised by a combination of a desire to do well and a wish to get exams over and done with, each of which can contribute to generating the effects of stress. When subject to the force of such intense pressure as seen in the time of exams, the human body begins to express its anxiety May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
such as prayer, fasting and dawah are completely suspended for the duration in deference to what is seen as a more pressing need. In reality exams have to be placed into context with respect to the ultimate purpose of life. For Muslims the purpose of life is to seek the pleasure of Allah by following what He has prescribed; to worship Him alone. Allah says, through what is commonly referred to as a 'stress reaction.' Some people are reasonably able to handle the pressures, and the most they will ever experience are the physical signs of nervousness such as 'butterflies' in their stomach, dryness of the mouth or palpitations. However the physical symptoms of stress for others can be more taxing- such as fatigue, dizziness, loss of appetite, migraines and nausea. Psychological symptoms can include anxiety, depression, obsessional behaviours and being unnaturally irritable or subdued. The findings of a survey published in 2001 carried out by the Mental Health Foundation showed that 50% of University students showed signs of clinical anxiety and more than one in 10 suffered from clinical depression. Perhaps more alarming is the fact that pupils and students are increasingly turning to hard drugs, resorting to binge drinking and even self mutilation in order to deal with the enormous pressure. A spokesperson from the University of Sussex Counselling Service observed that he was seeing more students with mental health problems than ever before. "Twenty years ago, when, I started, it was rare to see people who were suicidal, who had issues of self mutilation or who were taking, for instance hard drugs. Now I think that it constitutes 40% to 50% of my workload. I think there has been a major shift and it has the implication that we are working more as a psychiatric outpost than a counselling post." THE CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE For a minority of students, the pressure of exam stress becomes overwhelming. In April 1998 on the eve of her A-Levels exams, 18year-old Buckinghamshire schoolgirl Yolanda McPherson was found hanging at her school. In a separate incident 16 year old Anthony Alderman, who was waiting for his exam results hanged himself at his home in Aylesbury. In both cases, the coroner ruled that exam worries were a significant contributing factor to their deaths. 18
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These two are painful examples of rare but tragic incidents, which may occur when individuals are pushed to the limits of their ability to cope with stress. Nonetheless, the less severe responses of the majority of students have considerable negative effects for the individual and society in general. But do drink, illicit drugs or anti-depressants have to be an inevitable outcome? And more fundamentally, will these measures actually help to solve the underlying problems, which lead to exam stress? THE REALITY OF EXAMS WITH RESPECT TO LIFE How individuals cope with the pressure of exams is dependent upon their outlook in life. If it is perceived by a student that the life of this world is all there is to live for, then exams can easily become central to their existence. If they consider that their destiny truly lies in their own hands and success or failure is a direct result of their own preparation for exams, then it would be natural for those exams to be the major focal point in their lives. 'Have I revised enough? What will come up in the paper?' 'Will I pass?' These become essential questions, as they deem the course and direction that their life takes depends entirely on their performance. In the case of many budding non-Muslim academics, who believe in the secular values of Western civilisation, it is easy to see how this can become the case. However, many Muslims have also adopted the same viewpoint, where the prospect of akhirah (afterlife) is perceived as being so far into the future that success in this dunya (the life of the world) takes more importance and thereby becomes a source of much greater anxiety. Thus exams also become central to their existence with the understanding that success in them is the key to the pleasures of this dunya; thereby obligations of worship of their Creator Allah , are pushed aside to accommodate them. In this way such emphasis is placed upon exams that duties
'I have only created jinn and mankind that they may worship Me.' [TMQ Al-Dhariyat: 56] The Islamic concept of worship is a broad and all-encompassing one. Any action can be made into an act of worship by being aware of the relationship of that action with the Islamic Shari'ah. While studying of a basic level of divine knowledge is considered as an individual obligation on every Muslim, the study of 'worldly' knowledge is considered mubah (permitted). Therefore, studying for exams, gaining qualifications and pursuing a career in fields that do not contradict with Islam are all permitted. However for such pursuits to become the driving forces in people's lives, such that it leads to a compromise in performance of their Islamic obligations is not only haram (prohibited) but also completely irrational.
Al-Mustawrid Al-Fihry related from the Prophet that he said, 'The Dunya, as compared to the Akhirah (the Hereafter), is just like when one of you dips his finger in the sea! Let him see how much (water) it (his finger) will carry.' (Sahih Al-Jami') To pursue or yearn for a blissful dunya that could be ten years for one individual or a hundred years for another is incomparable when faced with the prospects of a blissful eternity in akhira. The correct view as to how we approach the dunya is beautifully encapsulated in the following saying, which enjoins to 'Work for this world as if you were to live forever, and work for the next world as if you were to die tomorrow.' The meaning follows that if one were to die tomorrow, one would be very intent indeed on erasing all of one's past sins and accumulating as much merit as
possible to protect oneself from the hellfire. If on the other hand, one expects to live forever, one would obviously be in no hurry to erect palaces, accumulate wealth or concentrate all energy on pursuing and enjoying the worldly pleasures in the shortest possible time; as one would literally have 'all the time in the world.' When placed in context with exams, it is simply that the world does not end if exams do not go well or entry to the University you sought does not transpire. With respect to the Day of Judgement, the value of a lifetime spent in pursuing education of a worldly discipline such as science, mathematics or literature, whether it was for the sake of securing a career or just for education in itself, is insignificant when compared to the value of a divine duty such as prayer, fasting or Hajj. It is important therefore to put the notion of exam success in its proper context. ISLAMIC CONCEPTS RELEVANT TO EXAMS Bearing this in mind, there is no prohibition over studying and education with respect to non-religious knowledge. Indeed, such knowledge may in some cases be used for the benefit of the Muslims. Thus, if education is undertaken, then it is important to carry the correct perspective when considering exams. Doing so is the key to preventing worry over exams from being an obstacle to health, wellbeing and religious integrity. When faced with exams the correct response of the believers is to turn to the aqeedah of Islam wherein lies the remedy for all anxiety and stresses. The destiny (qada) of every man and woman has been pre-determined by Allah from the moment we are placed in the wombs of our mothers. Our provision in this world and how much we earn (rizq), and how long we will live (ajal) are all issues that have been set and given their due measure. Therefore, regardless of which subject or course we choose to study, or what may be our performance in exams, we do not rely on these things to guarantee our future. Rather, the Muslim relies solely upon Allah for providing everything, from the money he will earn and live with, to the very air that he breathes. Indeed there are many unemployed graduates surviving on the breadline, and many uneducated entrepreneurs living in the lap of luxury.
Therefore the outcome of exams, the professions embarked upon and the salaries earned are all determined according to the will of Allah . All that lies in the control of the believer is to exert his utmost best towards preparing for exams as well as to place his reliance upon Allah (to make tawwakul). Allah said,
'Whosoever puts his trust in God, He will suffice him.' [TMQ At-Talaq: 3] and,
'Put your trust in Allah if you are believers.' [TMQ Al-Maidah: 26] However, it is important to note that relying upon Allah for the results does not mean that we do not need to work or pursue employment to earn our provision. Nor does it mean neglecting studies, and taking a lazy approach to exam preparation. It is incorrect to feel that preparation is useless, claiming that what Allah has decreed will come to pass, so therefore study is unnecessary. On the authority of Anas b. Malik, it is told that a man came riding his camel and he asked, 'Oh Messenger of God, shall I leave my camel untied and trust in God?' He replied,
'Both tie your camel and trust in God.' The correct understanding of this narration is that it is a divine injunction for the individual to have absolute trust and dependence in Allah alone irrespective of anything else. Before, during and after any action. At the same time all necessary and appropriate preparations for any intended action or endeavour must be taken. So preparation and revision are paramount and the student is accountable for the effort and energy that he or she put into sitting their exams. In this way, the Muslim who is undertaking exams must acquaint himself with a clear understanding of the basic Islamic concepts knowledge of the value of this dunya in relation to the akhira, awareness of the ahkam shari'ah - the divine rules pertaining to study and exams, the confidence that Allah controls the destiny and the outcome of
actions, and the observance of the injunction to make adequate preparations for every endeavour. Above all, he should turn to Allah , asking Him for success in exams and all of his pursuits. When armed with this mentality, it is inevitable that the profound faith of the observant Muslims will lead to his experiencing the abating of anxiety, and its replacement with acceptance and contentment with the awareness that Allah knows best, and is in control of all affairs. These same concepts will also allow the believer to face the results of exams with the correct approach. If Allah in His wisdom has chosen failure as the result, the believer's trust in Allah will give him the strength to greet his result with sabr (patience) as Allah says,
"And be patient with your Lord's decree, for surely you are in Our sight." [ TMQ At-Tur: 48] Conversely when granted success the response should be to receive it with abundant praises and thanks to Allah .
Suhaib reported that Allah's Messenger said: 'Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.' (Sahih Muslim). As preparation draws to a close and exam papers are about to be opened, anxiety and stress will be a natural response for many. However with the knowledge that the outcome lies with the will of Allah and that the purpose of life is not subject to these exams, Islam has given the believer a way of relief from the excesses which are so often seen to accompany those who undertake exams in the pressured environment of a secular, Capitalistic society. May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
Dr Nazreen Nawaz
South London email: email@example.com
to curb the spread and influence of communism within the West and across the globe. The same style has been adopted post September 11th, where the threat of global terrorism has been exaggerated in order to justify sweeping changes in Anti-terror legislation together with a further expansion of the intelligence services. THE 'POLICE' STATES OF THE WEST
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU "The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision, which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live - did live, from habit that became instinct in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and except in darkness, every movement scrutinised." This is an extract from George Orwell's book '1984'. Written in the 1940's, it discusses the reality of a futuristic totalitarian government that controls the thoughts of every one of its citizens by using advanced mind readingspying techniques to discover the thoughts of the people. Is this the substance of fiction or reality? For those who live in the West, the secret and open surveillance of people's actions by their governments has become a fact of life. 20
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Western governments have for decades pointed their accusing finger at the Third World for their notorious and feared secret services that spy on their citizens and abuse their rights. By contrast, life in the West is portrayed as a beacon of openness, tolerance and respect for privacy. However, since the events of September 11th, 2001 Western states have revealed a far more sinister and terrifying image to their people. The illusion of fairness and transparency has been removed and replaced with a forceful and authoritarian state that is intent on monitoring, spying, and controlling the thoughts of the individuals and the general public. The techniques for secret surveillance have not simply been employed against known criminals but have become ever more intrusive into the private lives of ordinary people. Simon Davies, head of the organisation Privacy International stated, "There has been a systematic attack on the right to privacy by all levels of the British government". During the Cold War against the Soviet Bloc, the Western governments utilised propaganda to exaggerate the threat to their states from Communism. This was to justify an expansion of their intelligence services to spy on their citizens as well as foreign states. The aim was
Many techniques, devices, and laws have been developed to spy and gain information from citizens. Everything from telephone tapping, email interception, accessing financial, telephone, and Internet records are being utilised. National Identity (ID) cards are to be introduced that contain an individual's details in addition to a finger or retina print to verify the identity of the cardholder. If such cards became compulsory for daily transactions, they would create an electronic trail of people's daily movements and habits. Everyday in the U.K., thousands of telephone conversations are listened in on, e-mails intercepted and rooms bugged by police officers and MI5 agents. The Interception of Communications Act of 1985 allows police and security services to tap phone lines or intercept paper mail after obtaining a warrant from the Home Secretary. E-mail spying is done via the 300 or so Internet Service Providers (ISP's) who by law have to fit equipment and allow access to their lines for the purpose of surveillance by the state. In 2000, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) was introduced. The powers contained in RIPA can force ISP's, phone companies, and postal service operators to hand over detailed information on those who use their services. This includes their user's email, recipient's addresses, the sender's return address, the subject line and the precise time the e-mail was sent as well as partial web browsing logs. It will enable the security services to produce a complete map of someone's online life.
With mobile phones, companies record the time and number of every call an individual makes and receives. Mobile networks also keep records of the approximate location of a handset by logging the nearest base station whenever the phone is switched on. The current accuracy of these methods can pinpoint a user to within a few hundred metres. The next generation of mobile phones, will have technology built in that could pinpoint a location to a few metres. Furthermore, the Echelon Electronic Eavesdropping Network is a global satellite intelligence system that is operated by intelligence services in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It can intercept almost any electronic communications - phone conversations (home line and mobile), faxes, e-mails, and net browsing history. It is capable of "hoovering up" millions of phone calls, faxes, and e-mails per minute for the government to study. It can filter billions of international communications for key words, phrases, addresses, names that helps to build a picture of contact networks of people it views as suspicious. One estimate is that it can sift through up to 90% of all international communications traffic. Such a reality reflects the fact that the Western states approach their citizens with the premise of suspicion, where everyone is treated as guilty until proven innocent. It is clear that the concepts of individual privacy or the private life have become redundant terms. THE SECRET STATE The Security Services are composed of the intelligence gathering bodies MI5, MI6, and Special Branch, otherwise known as the secret state. Their role is to investigate anyone suspected of subversive activity. The 1988 Security Service Act describes "subversion" as "Actions likely to undermine or overthrow Parliament by political, industrial, or violent means". Everyone from politicians, to union members, to farmers involved in the fuel protests, as well as members of Islamic groups have found themselves monitored by MI5. They have been targeted simply due to having different political ideas or policies from the government. Clearly, under this broad and loose definition, almost any individual is liable to being classed as a subversive and labelled as an "Enemy of the State". One Special Branch Officer from the West Midlands commented "Democracies all have invasions of privacy. If
you're perhaps a person who is interested in being against the general run of democracy, then surely you put yourself within the realms of being investigated". Further a field, the US government has led a worldwide effort to limit individual privacy and enhance the capability of its intelligence services to eavesdrop on personal conversations. This included the promotion of laws that make it mandatory for all companies that develop communication technologies to build in surveillance capabilities. 'MINORITY REPORT' OR REPORT ON MINORITIES A particular target of the security services and intelligence community has been to concentrate their efforts upon the Muslim community. MI5 have recently announced plans to increase their numbers by 50% due to the apparent terror threat in the U.K. and are aiming to recruit many more Arabic speakers, Asians, and Blacks - to aid the infiltration of the Muslim communities. The Home Office recently announced plans such that friends or associates of suspected persons could also be charged with abetting a crime. The aim behind such moves has been to create an environment of fear and suspicion around every Muslim, particularly those that carry Islam as a comprehensive set of beliefs and believe in an Islamic worldview that should take precedence in life, state and society. This is in order that the Muslims reject the political culture of Islam and embrace the British secular culture due the fear of being viewed as a terrorist. It is also aimed at turning Muslims against one another and igniting conflict and division within families and communities. Hence, mosques have been instructed to install cameras to monitor the activities of their worshippers. Reports have even emerged of carpets within prayer halls being bugged so as to eavesdrop on worshippers conversations. Imams have been urged to be vigilant against any suspicious elements from infiltrating their communities and to advise the Muslims to cooperate fully with the police and intelligence services. Clearly, these intimidatory tactics using the latest technological methods are intended to not only cause suspicion between Muslims but also create acrimony with the wider community.
STATE SECURITY VS. INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY? - THE STATE ALWAYS WINS The invasion of individual privacy by the Western governments against their citizens is clearly a contradiction of the very values that the secular states claim that they uphold. The 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in Article 12, "No one should be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks on his honour or reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interferences or attacks." Similarly, the 4th Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the US constitution states the right to individual privacy. However, the Interception of Communications Act of 1985 allows police and security services to tap phone lines or intercept paper mail after obtaining a warrant from the Home Secretary or Foreign Secretary. The European Convention on Human Rights states in Article 8, "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home, and his correspondence." Yet, the 2000 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) has powers to force ISP's, phone companies, and postal service operators to hand over detailed information on those who use their services. THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS What permits Western states to contradict some of their most basic principles and introduce authoritarian practices against their citizens is a belief in the idea that rules and laws can constantly change or be amended. The secular principle of the 'ends justify the means' allows a raft of legislation to be introduced or reversed based on a longer term aim or goal-such as ensuring security, preserving freedom or thwarting terrorism. Therefore, in order to secure these objectives Capitalist states are prepared to resort to any number of extreme and oppressive tactics and these can all be justified in the name of protecting the public or serving the common good. The consequence of such an idea as the ends justify the means is that the rights of individuals are never truly guaranteed but can be changed or removed if the environment or prevailing situation warrants it. A right that is afforded to an individual today will not necessarily be a right given to him tomorrow. The result is a complete absence of permanency. For example, in November 2003, the Home May 2004 Khilafah Magazine 21
Secretary announced that compulsory ID cards would be off the agenda until 2013 due to infringement of civil liberties. Five months later, as a result of the Madrid bombings, the Prime minister announced in his April press conference, "I think that the whole issue of identity cards that a few years ago were not on anyone's agenda are very much on the political agenda here, probably more quickly even than we anticipated, and that is because we are living in a new world and with a new threat that we have to take account of...." Not surprisingly, the characteristic of all Capitalist societies will be such that they can quite easily resort to a totalitarian position, where individuals can be as ruthlessly crushed as in any dictatorship or tyranny. The recent changes within Western states to adopt more draconian measures and increase their surveillance of citizens will result in many more individuals who live in an almost permanent sense of fear, doubt and paranoia. Unsure as to whether there every move, telephone call or acquaintance is being secretly filmed or monitored to be used as incriminating evidence at a later stage. THE KHILAFAH IS NOT A POLICE STATE The pseudo-Islamic states and other Muslim countries are police states dominated by fear and persecution against any who account the rulers. In contrast, the Khilafah system is not a police state. Ruling and authority in Islam means looking after the affairs of the people by applying the Shari'ah rules. It is unlawful for the authority to become a force or police state because this would not manage people's affairs correctly. Under a police state, the citizens would fear accounting the ruler if he strayed from the implementation of Islam due to the possible repercussions: being spied upon, arrest, imprisonment, and even death. This could lead to Islamic laws being neglected. The Khilafah contains a specific court (Mahkamat al Madhalim) led by a specific judge (Qadi Madhalim) to address any grievances that the citizens have against the ruler. This investigates any neglect in the provision of the rights of the people or the non-implementation of Islam. Islamic history provides 22
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enough proof of how the Khulafaah presented themselves openly to the people for scrutiny. Umar bin Al-Khattab (ra) the second Khalifah, when being appointed to the post addressed the people and said, "O, the servants of Allah! Fear Allah and help me against yourselves (when you commit some wrong). And help me to become a person who acts in accordance with Allah's permissible and impermissible orders and do not hesitate to give me your criticism regarding the matters Allah has entrusted to me."
other, do not hate each other, and be servants to Allah and be brothers" (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurairah). Such an evidence covers all aspects of spying: as an individual, group, or state and whether it is for himself or for others. This would be the case for Muslim and nonMuslims alike within the Islamic society for the evidences are general and the Dhimmi (non-Muslim citizens of the Islamic state) have the same rights as the Muslims, such as the right to privacy in their home life.
On one occasion, a person began to openly account Umar (ra). He shouted out in a public meeting, "O Umar! Fear Allah!" The audience wanted to silence him but Umar (ra) prevented them from it, saying, "If such frankness is not shown by the people, they are good for nothing and if we do not listen to them, we also would be good for nothing." As the Khalifah, he would gather all the walis (governors) at the time of Hajj and allow the people to openly address any grievances that they had against them or any rights that had not been fulfilled.
It is forbidden for the state to have any intelligence service that spies upon its citizens. One night, Umar (ra) when on his night patrol of the city saw a house with a burning lamp. He entered the house and saw an old man with alcohol in front of him and a female singer entertaining him. When Umar (ra) saw this, he said, "I have not seen a sight more shameful than I have witnessed tonight from an old man who should be awaiting death.". The old man responded, "Indeed, O Leader of the believers, what you have done is more shameful. You have entered my house without my permission and spied on me - and is not spying forbidden in Islam?". Umar (ra) admitted to the truth of this and left the house, crying for forgiveness from Allah ď ‰. After some time had passed, Umar (ra) saw the man in one gathering and whispered to him, "By Allah, I have not informed anyone of what I saw of you that night". The old man replied, "O leader of the Believers! By Allah, I too have not returned to those evil actions since the night you entered upon me."
Furthermore, an Islamic society is dominated by an atmosphere of trust rather than insecurity and paranoia - both between the ruler and the ruled as well as between its citizens. The protection of the private life of a citizen from intrusion by others is a right that is to be protected by the state. It is haram for an individual to pry into another's house or private issues. The Prophet ď ˛ said,
"If a person were to glance in your house without permission and you hit him with a stone and thus gouged out his eyes, there would be no blame on you." (Narrated by Muslim from Abu Hurairah). In addition, suspicion and spying upon Muslims is forbidden in Islam. The Messenger ď ˛ said,
"Avoid suspicion, for suspicion is the gravest lie in talk, and do not be inquisitive about one another and do not spy on one another, and do not turn one's back to each
This prohibition of suspicion, spying and intrusion into the private life of an individual does not change according to the reality of the state at that time or a benefit seen by the ruler. It cannot be said that it is in the interest of the state to know all the affairs of the citizens to expose conspiracies because actions in Islam are not based upon the criteria of benefit or harm but upon the halal and haram established by evidences from the Islamic texts. There is permanency in the rights afforded to the people within an Islamic society that do not change with time or circumstance. The result is that an environment of trust, harmony, and ease is created between all the citizens of the Islamic state, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. The people protect one another's honour and reputation rather than harbour suspicious thoughts that eat away at the fabric of society.
South London email: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE USE OF FOREIGN POLICY FOR ELECTORAL ADVANTAGE ssues such as how many jobs are created or the state of the education system are of course crucial to the electorate when judging the track record of a leader. Increasingly, however, a positive public opinion is dependent on matters such as the nation's involvement in conflict resolution or initiation and the opening up of foreign markets. Hence any incumbent leader will ignore engagement with the rest of the world at his peril. Indeed a shrewd leader can quickly translate foreign engagements into political advantage.
An approaching election makes the need to engage more strongly even more acute. Regular elections in Western democracies are touted as an expression of the will of the people and a mechanism to facilitate participation of the average man in how he is governed. They are an opportunity for people to articulate their like or dislike for their leadership by voting them in or out of office. The impact of election time in Western democracies on foreign policy is therefore profound. Incumbent leaders are in a position to use and manipulate foreign policy as a tool for political advantage. Hence, crises or conflicts abroad can be contrived or stepped-up to divert attention from a domestic political scandal or peace treaties can be hastily drawn up just in time for polling day. Other countries and people may in this case be the ones who suffer
in the process, whether in human casualties or in economic terms. All in the quest for domestic gain for the incumbent. Leaders also know that important political points can be scored if they are shown to engage positively in foreign conflicts, which matter, to specific minorities amongst the electorate. In addition it has become a truism for democratically elected leaders to leave the most controversial and unpopular decisions to after Election Day. No incumbent leader in his right mind would embark on unpopular policies until after the election. It is clear that far from looking at national interests the leader may seize the moment to promote himself for re-election. BUSH, IRAQ AND ELECTION DAY 2004 The past month has not been a good one for the occupation forces in Iraq. Not only have we witnessed the killings and mutilations of American contractors in Falluja, the kidnappings of coalition troops and foreign workers and the almost daily targeting of marines, Iraq is now in the midst of a full blown insurgency in both the central and southern regions of the country. This surge in violence, amid continuing charges of intelligence failures in Iraq and the case of the missing WMDs means the Iraq campaign has received much negative publicity recently. Events have dealt a severe
body blow to Bush's popularity and put his reelection campaign in dire straits. Recent polls cited in the Washington Post newspaper indicate the public's positive perception of Bush's handling of Iraq has fallen from 59% in January to 40% in April. In addition, Bush's overall job-approval rating has plummeted to 43%; the lowest in his presidency. Some commentators are already drawing parallels with US military failures in Vietnam and Somalia. Naturally, deaths and kidnappings of US soldiers and workers prove to be immensely unpopular with voters and may take the shine off Bush's policy in Iraq. The pressure is on Bush to resolve matters well before November to parade the Iraq campaign as one of the successes of his presidency. Bush realizes that one of the key foreign policy issues that the people will consider on Election Day will be his performance vis-Ă -vis Iraq. Will it implode into anarchy or become a beacon of democracy for the region? If Bush is seen to deliver peace and stability as effectively as he delivered war, his re-election prospects will be vastly improved. The deadline to resolve the issue of Iraq is June 30th; the scheduled date for national assembly elections and the supposed handover of sovereignty to the Iraqi people.
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into a heavy loss of Iraqi lives, it is a price worth paying for Bush's re-election campaign. Civilian deaths are considered merely collateral damage in Bush's attempt to gain political points by overseeing an orderly and peaceful, if nominal, transition of power in Iraq. MUSHARRAF'S CONTRIBUTION TO BUSH'S RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN
It is clear then that the administration has not pulled any punches when dealing with the insurgents. Coalition forces face a challenge from both the followers of Muqtadder As-Sadr as well as the Sunni insurgents of Falluja, said to be remnants of the Baathist regime. The administration will do whatever it takes to keep things under control before the June 30th handover. George Bush in a press conference at the White House on April 14th made this clear when he said, "I have directed our military commanders to make every preparation to use decisive force if necessary to maintain order and to protect our troops." He added, "We will not allow the spread of chaos and violence." Following Bush's statement on 15th April Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced in a news conference that some 20,000 US troops serving in Iraq would have their tour of duty extended saying, "The country is at war and we need to do all we can to succeed." Coalition troops have surrounded both Najaf and Falluja with a policy of "zero tolerance" towards the militia groups in control. If one scrutinizes the events in southern Iraq, one will see the American hand in the upsurge of violence there. We have witnessed swift and punitive action against Muqtadder As-Sadr's supporters with calls to bring the Imam in dead or alive. The recent violence in the Shi'ah areas was ignited after the closure by US forces of the newspaper affiliated with him; 'Al-Hawsa'. It is clear that the coalition forces provided the spark and the result was violent clashes when supporters of the Imam demonstrated in response to the closure. These actions by the US are calculated to change the "facts on the ground" by first provoking, then eliminating As-Sadr and his 24
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support base before the elections. As-Sadr, well known for his hostile stance towards American occupation and the commander of a 10,000 strong militia presents a formidable obstacle to US plans for the country. With regards to the violence in Falluja, again US troops have been responsible for the escalation of hostilities by laying siege to the town and launching indiscriminate attacks. The aim is to eliminate any armed resistance to occupation before June 30th to allow a smooth transition to Iraqi sovereignty. This policy is calculated to provide President Bush with political mileage and is the reason behind the recent upsurge in violence in both Falluja and Sadr city. The deaths of numerous civilians is merely incidental. Reports are pouring out of ambulances and hospitals being shot at, bodies lying in the streets and women and children forced to flee into the deserts. Civilian casualties in Falluja have been substantial .On Sunday 11th April the director of Falluja's general hospital, Rafie al-Issawi, estimated - on the basis of figures gathered from four clinics around the city as well as the hospital itself - that more than 600 people had been killed and that 'the vast majority of the dead were women, children and the elderly'. The blasé attitude toward the death of innocents was illustrated when Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the senior military spokesman in Iraq was asked on Sunday 11th April, what he would tell Iraqis about televised images "of Americans and coalition soldiers killing innocent civilians," he merely answered "Change the channel…..[S]tations ... showing Americans intentionally killing women and children are not legitimate news sources," he asserted. It is clear that if US heavy handiness translates
This year's military offensive by the Pakistani army in Waziristan has been initiated at the behest of the US. On 10 January 2004, the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, stated that, "I am pleased that President Musharraf has responded to our overtures and is conducting new military operations in that region…(we are) making it clear to the Pakistanis that we want them to do everything they can to bring that area under control." The stepping up of current military operations in Southern Waziristan by the Pakistani army against Al-Qaeda and tribal sympathizers have clearly not been undertaken for national interests despite the insistence of the Pakistani foreign minister who stated these operations were actually launched to "preserve the supreme interests of Pakistan." As fresh Pakistani troops and artillery flood the region, the death toll rises daily, peaking to over 100 in March. But who really stands to gain the most if AlQaeda remnants - in particular the leadership are captured or killed? It is certainly not the political standing of President Musharraf who is criticized daily by all across the political spectrum in Pakistan for attacking and arresting his own citizens. Neither is it the people of Pakistan who see its army and citizens locked in a futile struggle where lives are lost needlessly. Thousands of miles away, it is President Bush's election campaign that stands to reap political points if the Pakistani army succeeds in its military operation. Powell's instructions to Musharraf make it clear that it is the US that is really behind the operations in Waziristan. Musharraf's actions would make any presidential campaign manager proud. If these operations were to lead to the capture or killing of an important figure in Al-Qaeda at this point in time, this would be an important factor in George W Bush's re-election campaign. "THE OCTOBER SURPRISE" It's not just the incumbents that can use
political intrigue to their advantage and its not just foreigners who pay the price. November 4th 1979 saw a group of angry Iranian students acting at the behest of the newly established so-called Islamic regime in Iran take more than 60 Americans hostage at the US embassy in Tehran in an attempt to secure the handover of the former Shah of Iran and his assets. As weeks turned to months, US President Jimmy Carter fell under increasing pressure to secure their release. The burden upon President Carter to resolve the crisis increased as it entered election year and the plight of the hostages received unprecedented media coverage. As Carter advisor and biographer Peter Bourne put it, "Because people felt that Carter had not been tough enough in foreign policy, this kind of symbolized for them that some bunch of students could seize American diplomatic officials and hold them prisoner and thumb their nose at the United States." To secure the release of the hostages would be vital to Carter's re-election prospects and failure would inevitably mean losing the election. What ensued became known as "the October surprise" referring to the hoped release of the hostages before the US elections in November and is still a matter of controversy for political historians. What is apparent is that the mediation between Carter's administration and the Iranian students abruptly broke down, the hostages were not released and Carter lost the election. What was even stranger was that within fifteen minutes of President elect, Reagan's inaugural address the hostages were released. Carter expressed his astonishment in the turn of events in an interview with the Village Voice saying "The Iranian parliament was meeting and we had every information from Bani-Sadr and others that they were going to vote overwhelmingly to let the hostages go and at the last minute on Sunday [two days before the election] for some reason they had adjourned without voting . . . . The votes were there but the ayatollah or somebody commanded them to adjourn." So what lead to the breakdown in negotiations just prior to the election and the subsequent reversal in the decision to release the hostages? Astonishingly, a number of sources point to none other than the presidential challenger; the then Governor of California Ronald Reagan. On the 11th January 1993 a six page Russian intelligence report produced by former Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin confirmed that there had been contact between Reagan's election team and the Iranian hostage-takers
before the October elections. Former US navy captain Gunther Russbacher confirmed that he piloted a BAC111 aircraft carrying William Casey, the soon to be CIA director and George Bush Snr, soon to be Vice-President. In addition, on Dec 17th 1992, Abdulhassan Bani Sadr, the former Iranian President, sent a US congressional task force a letter containing details of discussions between the Iranian government regarding the Republican offer of a deal. These evidences provide ample support that the presidential challenger Reagan and his team had used clandestine moves to undercut the Carter administration in order to gain office. The fact that American lives were at risk was inconsequential. All that mattered was securing victory for the Reagan-Bush duo. Clearly, if the politicians in their quest for election or re-election can treat their own people with such disdain it is not surprising that wars against foreign nations could be initiated without a second thought. 'MONICAGATE' AND THE BOMBING OF SUDAN On the 20th August 1998 President Bill Clinton ordered the launching of cruise missiles against various targets in Afghanistan said to be Al-Qaeda training camps. More or less simultaneously, the levelling of Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant on the outskirts of Khartoum the capital of Sudan was also carried out. The cruise missiles that tore into the factory were said to be in response to intelligence information linking the medicinal factory with Usama Bin Laden the alleged perpetrator of the bombings earlier that year of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania . In addition, traces of the chemical compound EMPTA , an intermediate in the manufacture of VX nerve gas were discovered in soil outside the factory. The bombing of the factory elicited an international outcry primarily for the crude intelligence used to implicate it in the manufacture of chemical weapons as well as the weak evidence linking it to Usama Bin Laden. The British engineer who built the plant, Tom Carnaffin, confirmed that the plant had no space for the production of chemical agents such as VX. In addition, a post-mortem of the bombed site by engineers and architects attested that the factory had no air-sealed doors essential for the manufacture of VX. Professor R J Williams, Head of Inorganic Chemistry at Oxford University, attested to the fact that EMPTA, the supposed intermediate of VX, is
also a by-product in the manufacture of pesticide. Calls by the Sudanese government for international inspections were met with refusal by the Clinton administration. The fatal blow to the spurious claims came with the admission of the Defence Secretary William Cohen who said in September 1998 that he "should have known" that Al-Shifa made only medicinal and agricultural products. In the same statement he admitted that AlShifa had no "direct financial connections" with Bin Laden. So how could such a monumental blunder take place in the first place? The answer lies in events that were taking place in the US at the time of the cruise missile attacks. 20th of August 1998, the day of the attacks, also happened to be the date on which the infamous Monica Lewinsky was testifying to the Starr grand jury. The nation was transfixed on the testimony as this was just days after Clinton had admitted to having an "inappropriate relationship" with Ms Lewinsky, a White House intern. Everyone made the link. It was surely not just coincidence that an attack was launched just when domestic attention was centred on events that could lead to the President's impeachment. Since the evidence to implicate the Sudanese plant was so weak, it was clear that the timing of the attacks was geared towards shifting attention away from the President's declining political fortunes. The fact that there was no hard evidence implicating the Al-Shifa in any wrong doing or that
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the factory provided the poverty-stricken Sudanese people with 50% of their medicinal requirements were insignificant to a president fighting for his political survival. In the end, President Clinton kept his job but, predictably, no compensation or apologies were forthcoming for the deaths, lost jobs and financial losses caused by the attacks. ISRAEL AND US ELECTIONS US politicians often pander to various minority groups by making favourable steps in foreign policy nearer to election time. No minority group is more important to US elections than the pursuit of the Jewish vote. The level of influence American Jewry can levy through their positions in industry, media and corporations is well documented. The importance of not alienating the Jewish voter can be illustrated by looking at President Bush senior and how he was able to win 35% of the Jewish vote in 1988. By contrast, the pressure that the US administration exerted on the then Israeli prime minister Yitzak Shamir to attend the Madrid peace talks of 1991 was largely credited to his attaining only 11% of the Jewish vote in 1992 and the subsequent loss to Bill Clinton in the election. With regard to the current developments, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon recently announced a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza strip and the dismantlement of some settlements in the West bank and Gaza. The building of a security fence will continue as will the maintenance of six key settlement blocs in the West bank. At a White House meeting of the two leaders in April, Bush welcomed the initiative and called Sharon's disengagement plan "historic and courageous". To the casual observer this would appear strange. The Bush administration had exerted months of effort in trying to secure agreement from both the Palestinian leadership and Israelis for its own plan for peace, the so-called "road map". Sharon's disengagement plan has not only isolated the Palestinians and preempted many of the final status issues, but it also drives a hole right through the US sponsored road map. However if we factor in the fact that we are in election year, it becomes clearer why the American President has not, as one might predict, criticized Sharon. Not wanting to repeat his father's mistake, Bush's endorsement of this plan ensures his standing amongst Jewish voters and projects himself as a facilitator of peace among voters in general 26
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in what is seen by the average American as an intractable conflict. Sharon, like his predecessors, has been able to take advantage of the political straight jacket US presidents find themselves in during election year enabling him to take a number of controversial steps. In addition, the policy of targeted assassinations against the Hamas senior leadership has recently taken the lives of both Sheikh Yassin and Abdul Aziz Al-Rantisi with tacit approval from the US administration. It is clear that Western leaders distort foreign policy for domestic gains irrespective of the consequences for those abroad. Examples are by no means confined to the United States. Rather, other Western leaders have carried out similar calculated political escapades. The deployment of UK troops to the tiny Falkland Islands in 1982 following invasion by Argentina was widely seen as a political gesture by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to distract attention from domestic policies. And ensured her re-election victory the following year. The system of democracy with its regular elections is a recipe for abuse and manipulation. It is easy for incumbents to use what Theodore Roosevelt called "the bully pulpit" for re-election, i.e. they may use their position to initiate actions, set the agenda and focus the public's attention on matters where the leader is particularly strong. FOREIGN POLICY AND LEADERSHIP IN ISLAM In Islam, the Khalifah does not need to attain false popularity to maintain office. Indeed, he may engage in actions that do not sit well with the people but will do so because he is commanded to by Allah . The Prophet Muhammad , in his capacity as the first political leader of the Muslims, did not need to make overtures to the masses in order to maintain power. His first and only priority was to please Allah irrespective of what the people wanted. This attitude is aptly demonstrated by the enactment of the treaty of Hudaybiyah in 6 AH. The Muslims at the time viewed the conclusion of the treaty as a climbdown and a humiliation and they were not happy with the terms of the agreement. Umar bin Al-Khattab (ra) approached the Prophet and expressed his disagreement with the terms. The Prophet however reminded Umar (ra)
that the treaty was not up for negotiation and was in fact revelation (wahy). He said,
"I am Allah's slave and His Messenger and I shall not go against His commandment." Another example of how policy was dictated solely by the need to perform the correct action was the battles against the Murtadeen (apostates) and Bughat (rebels) at the time of Khalifah, Abu Bakr (ra). Abu Bakr's (ra) choice to go to war against the rebels who refused to pay Zakat was unpopular. His counsel of advisors, which included major Sahabah (ra) like Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (ra) advised Abu Bakr (ra), "It is not wise to start fighting on many fronts at one and the same time. Ignore those for the time being, who refuse to pay the Zakat. We can settle with them once the false prophets have been dealt with." Abu Bakr (ra) was not deterred and was insistent on following what he considered the right course of action irrespective of its popularity and the consequences. "By Allah" he declared, "even if a single kid (baby goat) is due from a man he must give it. If he refuses I will wage war against him. If others do not support me, I will fight alone. No-one has the right to change a commandment of Allah." Abu Bakr (ra) was unwavering in implementing the commands of Allah , a sharp contrast to the Western politicians pandering to the electorate near election time. In Islam the Khalifah is elected just once and the post is not subject to repeat elections until after his death or removal. Thus, foreign policy is not held to ransom by elections, pandering to the whims of the masses or the electoral cycle. There is no incentive for the Khalifah to abuse his position and engage in intrigue and deceit in order to see off a challenger to his office or to save his image or reputation. The stability of the Islamic political system is ensured because the guiding principles of foreign and domestic policy are fixed and unchanging and not distorted by any leader's aspirations for a further term of appointment.
Slough email: email@example.com
AMERICA'S DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE ROAD MAP GIVES ISRAEL THE UPPER HAND n the 13th of April 2004 at a joint press conference with the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, President Bush blessed Sharon's disengagement plan by describing it "unrealistic" for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and for the Palestinian refugees to return to Israel. Commenting on Sharon's proposal to keep West Bank settlements, President Bush said, "In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centres, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion." This goes long a way towards meeting Sharon's desire for an acknowledgement that the five biggest settlements on the Palestinian side of the 1967 border would remain in Israeli hands in perpetuity.
On the issue of Palestinian refugees returning to Israel, President Bush insisted that in any final accord which creates a Palestinian state, Palestinians should live there and not in Israel. He said, "It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to
the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state and the settling of Palestinian refugees there rather than Israel." But by acquiescing to Sharon's demands, President Bush has practically given a devastating blow to the proponents of Palestinian statehood and has undermined America's position as an honest broker in the eyes of the whole world. Despite America's pro-Israeli stance, Bush still sees Sharon's disengagement plan leading to a two state solution. He said, "These steps will mark real progress toward realising the vision I set forth in June 2002 of two states living side by side in peace and security, and make a real contribution toward peace". It is very difficult to believe how this can possibly lead to peace and security in the region. On the contrary, it will only inflame the Arab and Muslim masses and marginalise the existing leadership in the region. President Bush's speech also marks a departure for US policy on the Palestinian issue. For 37 years under both Democratic and Republican administrations the starting position for US negotiations between Israel and the
Palestinians has been the borders of 1967 prior to the six-day war. This position more or less remained constant throughout the presidencies of Nixon, Carter, Reagan, George Bush Senior and Clinton administrations. The other guiding principle of this policy in later years has been that the Israelis and the Palestinians should arrive at a negotiated settlement. George Bush Senior first promoted this in the Madrid accords of 1991. Now President Bush has discarded this policy and has approved Israel's unilateral decision on the Palestinians. This means that Israel no longer needs to adhere to the UN resolutions or the concept of a negotiated settlement. Thus for the very first time a US government is prepared to recognise the Jewish settlements in the West Bank as legal entities. This also leaves President Bush's road map in tatters, which calls for a negotiated settlement under the auspices of the quartet (along with the US, the UN, European Union and Russia) -who were not consulted regarding Sharon's unilateral disengagement from Gaza. WHAT IS PLAN?
On April 16th, 2004 a leading Israeli May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
newspaper published the disengagement plan. The key points of the plan are as follows:
Israel will withdraw from the Gaza Strip, including all the existing Israeli settle ments, and will redeploy in territory outside of the Strip. Israel will exclusively control the airspace of the Gaza Strip, and will continue to carry out military operations in the sea The Gaza Strip will be demilitarised of weapons whose existence are not in accor dance with existing agreements between the two sides. Israel will evacuate the settlements of Ganim, Kadim, Homesh and Sanur in the west bank, and all permanent military installations in this area. Israel retains the right to ask for compen sation to the value of all the economic assets that remain in areas from which it withdraws. Israel retains the basic right to selfdefence, including pre-emptive steps and response, with the use of force, against threats emanating from the Gaza Strip and evacuated areas of the West Bank. Israel will continue building the West Bank barrier. The settlements will form six blocs, fortified islands in the middle of what was intended to be a Palestinian state. Israeli military activity will continue in the areas of the West Bank where Israel retains a presence. If circumstances allow, Israel will consider reducing its activity in Palestinian cities. The withdrawal is planned to be completed by the end of 2005.
Therefore, Sharon's disengagement plan is to create numerous enclaves where Palestinians will become prisoners in their own lands. This will be accompanied by Israeli aggression against the Palestinians resulting in extra judicial killings, assassinations and the slaughter of innocent civilians. Clearly, America has given Israel the green light to carry out such unjust policies. The "targeted killing" of the wheelchair bound Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin followed by the assassination of Yassin's successor Abdul Aziz Rantissi is a foretaste of what is to come. So how did Israel manage to turn the Palestinian issue to its advantage? Where does this leave the quartet and the Arab world espe28
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cially countries like Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, which is home to hundred of thousands of Palestinian refugees? Below is an explanation of the causes that have contributed to Sharon's disengagement proposal: 1. From the moment Bush took office the Palestinian issue was not taken seriously by his administration as previous US governments had done. The whole approach towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict got off to a slow start. In February 2001 the Bush administration disowned Clinton's proposals and stepped back from active mediation between the Palestinians and the Israelis. On the 7th of February, 2001 department spokesman, Richard Boucher, told reporters, "The ideas and parameters that were discussed in the last few months are - were - President Clinton's parameters and, therefore, when he left office, they were no longer a US proposal or presidential proposal." The lack of willingness by the US administration to engage Israelis and Palestinians only emboldened Israeli efforts to maximise its leverage in the event of the resumption of peace talks. Consequently, Israel began to reclaim territories under Palestinian control and also earmarked the Palestinian security apparatus for destruction. The long awaited Senator Mitchell's report and George Tenet's visit to the region did little to stem the cycle of violence or put a halt to the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. America simply did not want to coerce Israel into complying with any of the recommendations outlined in the Mitchell report or the temporary ceasefire secured by Tenet. 2. A further set back to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict occurred in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The protracted Palestinian-Israeli conflict became an extremely low priority for the Bush administration as they prepared to launch a new war on the Islamic world under the guise of terrorism. Israel seized on this opportunity to expand its occupation. Towns such as Jericho, Jenin, Gaza city and Arrabeh were swiftly occupied by using disproportionate force against the Palestinians. Tanks, helicopter gun ships and Israeli warplanes were used to exert Israeli control over these towns. Describing the appalling situation Saeb Erakat said, "Sharon has decided to enter the endgame against the Palestinians and is using what has happened in New York and Washington as a pretext. He is taking advantage of the fact that no one is watching." America's response to
these developments was to announce a new Middle East initiative in October 2001. The declaration was designed to win Arab support for America's war on terror and to appease Tony Blair's demand for a Palestinian homeland. On the 15th of October 2001, Prime Minister Tony Blair gave his public backing to the latest American peace initiative for the beleaguered region. He said, "A viable Palestinian state, as part of a negotiated and agreed settlement, which guarantees peace and security for Israel is the objective." The very same day Israel carried out its first assassination since the September 11 attacks on America - effectively scuppering the peace initiative. America made no effort to revive the initiative and simply turned a blind eye to Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians. 3. At the same time Israel started to project the Israeli-Palestine conflict as a struggle between Israel and terrorism. "We should remember that the one who gave legitimacy decades ago for airline hijacking was Arafat," Mr Sharon told the Knesset. Israel was not alone in this portrayal, India, Russia and China also joined in projecting their embattled Muslim populations fighting for independence, as terrorists. The Israeli and the American public saw little difference between Al-Qaeda and the Palestinian militant groups. Buoyed by these perceptions Israel launched an all out war against the PLO as well as the Palestinian militant groups. On the 13th of February 2002 Israeli troops launched the most extensive military operation in the Gaza Strip in 16 months of fighting. Israeli cabinet minister Ephraim Sneh said, "Soldiers would remain in Palestinian-controlled areas of Gaza for days, until rocket factories had been found, and that the military would carry out more large-scale, long-term raids if rocket fire persists." The pattern of Israeli aggression, siege of Palestinian territories and America's reluctance to enforce ceasefires between the Israeli and the Palestinians characterised much of 2002. Increasingly, both the Americans and Israelis saw Yassir Arafat as the main architect behind the violence being perpetrated against the Israelis. The coalescing of Israeli and American views resulted in public calls for the PLO to reform with a more moderate leadership at its helm. On the 18th of June 2002, an interview published in the San Jose Mercury News, US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said, "Frankly, the Palestinian Authority, which is corrupt and cavorts with terror ... is not the basis for the Palestinian state moving forward." A week
later President Bushed called for the removal of Yassir Arafat. Horrified by such suggestions, Britain and Europe immediately reaffirmed their support for Arafat. At a G8 meeting on the 26th of June, 2002 British Prime Minister Tony Blair insisted, "It is up to the Palestinians to choose their own leaders." Jack Straw the British Foreign secretary said, "We deal with the leaders who are elected and, in the case of dictatorial regimes, those that are not elected, and if President Arafat were reelected by the Palestinian Authority we would deal with him." Yassir Arafat responded by sacking some of his security officials and instigating some other changes. However this was not good enough for the Israelis or the Americans who considered him too close to the British and the Europeans. The conflict continued until September 25th 2002, when Tony Blair once again attempted to inject life into the peace process. He said," We need a new conference on the Middle East peace process based on the twin principles of a secure Israel and a viable Palestinian state." Later in October 2002, Tony Blair began to highlight the duplicity of American policy towards Israel, Palestine and Iraq. At the Labour party conference in Blackpool he said, "What is happening in the Middle East now is ugly and wrong. The Palestinians living in increasingly abject conditions, humiliated and hopeless; Israeli civilians brutally murdered. I agree UN resolutions should apply here as much as to Iraq. But they don't just apply to Israel. They apply to all parties." Eventually, the growing disquietedness amongst America's allies regarding American double standards in dealing with Israel and Iraq pushed America in March 2003 to endorse for the first time a UN resolution calling for an independent Palestinian state. This was then accompanied by a flurry of visits by senior US officials to the region. But the visit of US envoy General Anthony Zinni and vice president Dick Cheney were no more than token gestures. Israel continued to justify its brutal policies in the occupied territories by casting the Palestinian struggle synonymously with terrorism. America did not lift a single finger to curb Israeli aggression or present any peace proposals until after the fall of Baghdad. 4. On April 30th, 2003 much to the annoyance of the Israelis, the Bush administration unveiled its detailed peace plan known as the 'road map'. A gesture specifically designed to help Blair quell the growing opposition to the war in Iraq both within his party and amongst the British public. Beyond this the Bush
administration did not take the road map seriously and only gave it a half-hearted push. The reason for Bush's unenthusiastic response lay in the fact that Bush was 18 months away from a US general election and did not want to alienate US Jewish voters. The Israelis exploited Bush's Jewish dilemma to the maximum and introduced a serious of measures to undermine the fledgling road map. In May 2002, Israel's Foreign Minister Shalom raised with Powell, Israel's demand that the Palestinians give up their demand to a "right of return" for Palestinian refugees to Israel's' borders. Sharon demanded several amendments to the road map, which were rejected by the Palestinian leadership. Speaking soon after the Israeli government's acceptance of the road map, Palestinian spokesman Michael Tarazi said, "However, we certainly will not take into account any Israeli unilateral conditions, and we've been assured by the authors of the road map there will be no changes to the text, and we expect that commitment to be honoured." So when America succeeded in Abu Mazen's appointment as the new Palestinian Prime Minister, Sharon proceeded to weaken him. Constrained by Sharon and Arafat, Abu Mazen had no choice but to resign. Sharon's motive behind Abu Mazen's resignation was to show to the world that there was no leadership amongst the Palestinians other than the corrupt Yassir Arafat capable of negotiating with Israelis. In the light of such circumstances the Israelis pressed ahead with extra judicial killings, assassination of militants, and fortification of settlements in the West Bank in the hope of extracting major concessions from the US.
Finally with the war on Iraq and the September 11, 2001 inquiry taking its toll on President Bush's ratings and the emergence of Senator John Kerry as an attractive alternative for the American Presidency, Sharon seized this opportunity to push through his disengagement plan. From Bush's perspective, securing Jewish votes were critical to his re-election chances. An overwhelming majority of Jewish voters voted for Al-Gore in the 2000 presidential race and a substantial number reside in Florida a key state in any Presidential election. Therefore, by inviting Sharon to the White House and approving his demands, Bush hoped to win over those Jewish voters who traditionally voted for the Democrat party. 5. Israel owes much of its success to the neoconservatives who dominate the Bush administration. Douglas Feith, the present US Undersecretary of Defence for Policy, sometime ago collaborated with Richard Perle to co-author a policy paper for Likud that advised the Israeli government to end the Oslo peace process, reoccupy the territories, and crush Yassir Arafat's government. It appears that Ehud Barak and Sharon both followed the advice to the letter. The neoconservative Elliot Abrams who is the head of Middle East policy at the National Security Council was charged with the responsibility of coming up with a road map. Elliot was also instrumental in playing a leading role in getting the Bush administration to agree to Sharon's disengagement plan. During the weeks of diplomacy, Condoleezza Rice and Elliot were the driving force behind the move to sanction Sharon's vision of the future. Their growing influence came at the expense of the secretary of state, May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
Colin Powell, who reportedly was opposed to this break with tradition. Instead, power shifted toward the Rice and Abrams and the State Department was marginalised. 6. But the deciding factor that encouraged Israel to legitimise her occupation of Palestine was the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). The PLO infected with the mentality of compromise repeatedly made concessions to the Israelis, while maintaining publicly that they were working in the best interest of the Palestinian people. At first they conceded the right to return to the Palestine of 1948 and then demanded all of Palestine up until the 1967 war. Then they conceded on taking all of the Palestine of 1967 and demanded the majority of Palestine defined by 1967. Then they continued to make concessions to the Israelis who wanted to possess more and more of Palestinian land. The PLO also gave up the right of return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. On December 1st, 2003 the PLO signed the Geneva Accords and accepted Israel's demand to deny Palestinians the right of return. But even before this, the PLO made a similar offer to Ehud Barak in 2000 a reference President Bush alluded to in his speech. These are the main causes, which contributed to Sharon's disengagement plan. Concerning the implementation of the plan there is no opposition from America or the Arab leaders all of whom have treacherously yielded to it. The only sources of opposition are Sharon's Likud party, the Europeans, the Palestinian people and the Muslims. It is widely expected that on May 2nd, 2004 Sharon will convince his Likud party to approve his disengagement plan. Sharon can be confident of this, as he has received firm assurances from President Bush that America will support the plan. Menachem Klein of the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies said, "Sharon must come home with some assurance that the United States does not see it as a first step towards evacuation of most of the settlements. He also wants to be able to say that Washington will back him if he wants to use Apache helicopters to fire on the Gaza Strip after the pull-out." As a sign of America's approval, Washington has already decided not to penalise Israel by deducting loan guarantees - unlike last year when the wall cost the Jewish state $300m (ÂŁ170m). However, the Europeans led by Britain are acutely unhappy with Sharon's proposal. They 30
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are fully aware that Israel and America have effectively derailed the road map, which calls for a negotiated end to the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Officially the British have tried to express their approval of Sharon's disengagement plan. On April 17th, Blair said, "We welcome the Israeli proposal to disengage from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, we want the quartet to meet as soon as possible to discuss how it can support the Palestinian Authority in particular economically, politically and in respect of security to respond to that offer. " A close scrutiny of Blair's statement reveals that Britain only welcomes the Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories; it does not lend any support to Jewish settlements in the West Bank becoming permanent. It also holds out prospects for implementing Sharon's disengagement plan in the context of the road map and getting the remaining parties of the EU and Russia involved. Unofficially, Britain has been seething with anger. Tony Lloyd, the former Labour Foreign Office minister, said, "I hope the policy of the British Government is still to support the road-map. I hope there is an opportunity for some very straight talking by Mr Blair to Mr Bush. The President has benefited from very close support and co-operation from Mr Blair and he is entitled to be able to say some very straightforward things. The roadmap is still the only show in town and [the Israeli proposals are] a severe setback for London, Europe and the Middle East." Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen, on behalf of the EU presidency said, "The European Union will not recognise any change to the pre-1967 borders (of Israel) other than those arrived at by agreement between the parties." Likewise on the assassination of Rantissi divergent positions between Britain, EU and America exist. On the 20th of April, Mr Blair told parliament, "We condemn the targeted assassination of Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz alRantissi just as we condemn all terrorism, including that perpetrated by Hamas." EU foreign policy Chief Javier Solana said, "The European Union has consistently condemned extrajudicial killings. Israel has a right to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, but actions of this type are not only unlawful, they are not conducive to lowering tension." Meanwhile the Bush administration denounced Hamas, saying it should be put out of business. "The Palestinian government should shut down Hamas and provide Palestinian with the social services that Hamas offers them", the White House spokesman
Richard Boucher said. Clearly the Bush administration is endorsing Sharon's disengagement plan, which endorses assassinations. At present there is very little Britain, the EU and Russia can do in the way of changing America's stance on Sharon's disengagement plan. Nonetheless it is very difficult to conceive of a situation where the Palestinian people will agree to an imposed settlement or even a partial settlement. The brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the implementation of the disengagement plan will only increase their resistance and hostility towards Western inspired solutions. A similar unease is being felt by Israel's neighbours Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. On the one hand these regimes fear that Israel and America will execute humiliating political solutions upon them. On the other, they fear the backlash of the masses that view the rulers as impotent relics unable to protect Islam and Muslims. CONCLUSION The real architects of Sharon's disengagement plan are the neoconservatives. The neoconservatives have already committed a debacle in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestine conflict is heading towards a similar conclusion. After witnessing Israeli style tactics being employed by the US army in Iraq, Muslims across the world are convinced that America and Israel are of the same ilk - enemies of Islam. America has severely compromised the West's credibility in the Muslim world by undermining western concepts such as human rights, international law, democracy and freedom. By insisting the Arab world adhere to these values, yet rewarding Israeli intransigence, it makes a mockery of these concepts and shows how America and the West have lost the intellectual battle. The last vestige of western values i.e. the secular dictatorships in the Arab and Muslim world have been exposed as guardians of western interests. The Muslim masses are restless and want to topple these regimes and establish on their ruins a global Islamic state. The West has more to lose than its credibility and material interests in the region - its very existence is at stake. With Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Cyprus, Gujarat, Kashmir, Sudan, and Xingyang simmering in addition to the oppressed Muslim masses - 2004 may well turn out to be a defining moment for the whole world.
HOW DO WE VIEW THE PROPHETS OF ALLAH?
'Say: "We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Ibrahim, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)."[TMQ al-Imran: 84]
The Prophets and Messengers of Allah are the greatest men that ever lived. They are the role models for humanity. Their hearts were the purest, their minds were the wisest, and their deeds were the most righteous. They were of a collection of men that the world had never seen, and will never again see. The terms Prophets and Messengers applies to persons who have been known to bring divinely inspired guidance to mankind. THE DEFINITION OF PROPHETS Prophet (Nabi) is derived from the word "Naba" (i.e. news). Allah says:
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'Tell My servants that I am indeed the Oftforgiving, Most Merciful.’'[TMQ al-Hijr: 49] It is also said that "Nabuwwa" (Prophethood) is derived from "Nabwa" (the high ground). The Arabs use the word "Nabi" for the high ground they follow as a guide in their travels. The relation between the urfi (customary) usage of the word and its meaning is that Prophets were of the greatest prestige in this life and the Hereafter. Prophets were of the noblest of mankind, and they were the guides of peoples and nations for their present life and their Hereafter. THE DEFINITION OF MESSENGERS
'Concerning what are they disputing? Concerning the Great News…' [TMQ anNaba: 1-2]
‘Those who deny Allah and His Messengers, and (those who) wish to separate Allah from His Messengers, saying: "We believe in some but reject others": And (those who) wish to take a course midway. They are in truth (equally) unbelievers; and We have prepared for unbelievers a humiliating punishment. To those who believe in Allah and His Messengers and make no distinction between any of the Messengers, We shall soon give their (due) rewards: for Allah is Oft- forgiving, Most Merciful.’ [TMQ al-Nisa: 150-152]
The Prophet is called "Nabi" because he is "an informed and an informer." He is informed because Allah sent revelation to him: '…she said, "Who told you this?" He said, "He
told me Who knows and is well-acquainted (with all things).’ [TMQ at-Tahrim: 3] He is also an informer on behalf of Allah . Allah says:
If you send someone on a mission, then he is your Messenger. Allah says regarding the story of the Queen of Saba:
'But I am going to send him a present, and (wait) to see with what (answer) return (my) messengers.' [TMQ an-Naml: 35] A Messenger may also be the one who follows up the news of the person who sends him. Therefore, Messengers (Rasool) are called so because they are directed by Allah :
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'Then sent We our Messengers in succession…' [TMQ al-Muminum: 44]
ALL PROPHETS AND MESSENGERS CONVEYED THE MESSAGE OF TAWHEED
They were sent with certain missions, and are commanded to convey and follow up the messages. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NABI AND RASOOL Saying that there is no difference between Nabi (Prophet) and Rasool (Messenger) is incorrect. The proof for this comes direct from the Qur'an and Sunnah.
In Abu Umamah's narration, Abu Dharr (ra) said: I asked: "O Messenger of Allah , what is the number of Prophets?" He replied: "One hundred and twenty four thousand. Out of this number there are three hundred and fifteen Messengers." (Narrated by Ahmed in Musnad) Allah says:
revealed, thus removing deviated practices like burying alive female infants or any form of idol worship. 3.
'We send the Prophets only to give good news and to warn: so those who believe and reform (their lives) upon them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.' [TMQ al-An'am: 48] Despite the difference between them, all Prophets and Messengers believed in and conveyed the pure message of Tawheed. All these Prophets and Messengers were obedient servants of Allah and were infallible in their abilities to convey the call of Tawheed in a pure manner. All Prophets and Messengers performed the following actions: 1.
Conveying the message of Tawheed.
The Messengers and Prophets of Allah were sent to mankind. They were entrusted in conveying the message of Tawheed and their first duty was to carry out the trust they have been charged with to mankind:
The Messengers and Prophets manner of delivering the da'wah is always linked to giving glad tidings and severe warnings:
'We only send the apostles to give Glad Tidings and to give warnings…' [TMQ al-Kahf: 56] The Prophet set an example of himself in the hadith: The example of me and the Message that Allah sent me with is like a man who came to his people to inform them that he has seen an army moving toward them and told them to save themselves. Some of his people believed what he said and ran away, thus were saved. Others disbelieved him and stayed where they were and the army devastated them all. The example of the first group is those who obey me and follow my Message, and the second group's is those who disbelieve in me. (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim) 4.
'Also mention in the Book (the story of) Mousa: for he was specially chosen, and he was a Messenger (and) a Prophet' [TMQ Maryam: 51] From the above definitions it can be seen that the role of a Messenger is more comprehensive than that of a Prophet. A Messenger is one who received new revelation from Allah and who was commanded to convey the message therein, whilst the Prophet propagates the Shari'ah revealed to other than himself.. Therefore, every Rasool is a Nabi, but every Nabi is not a Rasool.
'O Messenger. Proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission...' [TMQ al-Ma'idah: 67]
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To prevent a plea.
Allah has sent His Messengers and His Books in order that mankind should have no plea before Allah on the Day of Judgment:
2. Demonstrating how to worship Allah alone. All Prophets and Messengers not only conveyed the message of Tawheed, but they also instructed the people on how to worship Allah :
BELIEF IN THE PROPHETS AND MESSENGERS OF ALLAH (AS) The firm belief in the Prophets and Messengers of Allah is a matter of creed (aqeedah) for the Muslims. The belief in them differs from the view of both the Jews and the Christians. Muslims regard the Prophets and Messengers as those who were sent to remind and warn mankind of their purpose in life.
To give glad tidings and warnings
'For We assuredly sent amongst every Ummah a messenger, (with the Command), "Worship Allah, and avoid evil"…' [TMQ an-Nahl: 36] This ensured that together with the correct belief in the oneness of Allah, people were able to worship Allah with the ibadaah that He
'Messengers who gave good news as well as warning, that mankind, after (the coming) of the apostles, should have no plea against Allah. For Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.' [TMQ al-Nisa: 165] If Allah had not sent the Messengers and Prophets to mankind, then it would have been possible for them to say to Allah : "Why should we go to Hell when you did not send us a Messenger?"
'And if We had inflicted on them a penalty before this, they would have said: "Our Lord! If only Thou hadst sent us an apostle, we should certainly have followed Thy Signs before we were humbled and put to shame."' [TMQ Ta-ha: 134] 5.
To direct the nations.
Those who believe the Messenger or Prophet and follow him constitute a unique Ummah, and they usually need someone to direct them and offer them guidance. The Messenger or Prophet fulfils this role. Allah says:
'…So judge amongst them by what Allah has revealed…' [TMQ al-Ma'idah: 48]
'Is it that whenever there comes to you a Messenger with what you do not desire, you are puffed up with pride, Some you called impostors, and others you slay! ' [TMQ alBaqarah: 87] They might also be afflicted with diseases as was the case of Ayub (as). The Prophet Muhammad said: The Prophet Ayub (as) was sick for 18 years, and all his relatives and friends abandoned him except 2 of his brothers. Part of Ayub (as) affliction was that his family and wealth had gone, as he used to have many children, and be very rich. Allah says:
Some of Messengers and the Prophets used to lead their nations in war and peace, they all judged between the people and looked after their interests, and in all their activities they obeyed Allah's commands. The Da'wah to Islam - The trials and tribulations of the Prophets and Messengers The carrying of the Da'wah meant that they were subjected to immense trials and tribulations. Struggle and sacrifice were required in order to deliver this call in the face of Kufr and the Kuffar. For example, we know of the case of Yusuf (as) who was sent to prison:
'And (remember) Ayub, when He cried to his Lord, "Truly distress has seized me, but you are the Most Merciful of those that are merciful". So We listened to him: We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his people to him, and doubled their number, as a Grace from Ourselves, and a thing for commemoration, for all who serve Us.' [TMQ al-Anbiya: 83-84] Prophets and Messengers were not only subject to trials, but they were the most afflicted. As-Sab ibn S'ad narrated on behalf of his father that, he said:
'He said: "O my Lord! the prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me…"' [TMQ Yusuf: 33]
'…and (Yusuf) lingered in prison a few (more) years.' [TMQ Yusuf: 42] They also might be harmed and injured by their people, as was the case with our own beloved Messenger, Muhammad . This was the case during the Battle of Uhud when he was injured and his tooth broken. Messengers and Prophets can be ejected from their homes. This is exactly what happened to Ibrahim (as) who left Iraq for Syria. They can even be killed:
"O Messenger of Allah , who are the most afflicted persons?" He answered: "The Prophets, then those who are closest to them in faith…" Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri once went to see the Prophet when he was sick. He put his hand on the Prophet and found that he had a very severe fever and said to him:
"O Messenger of Allah You have a high fever". He said, "Yes, I have as much fever as two men of you." I said, "Is it because you will have a double reward?" He said, "Yes, it is so. No Muslim is afflicted with any harm, even if it were the prick of a thorn, but that Allah expiates his sins because of that, as a tree sheds its leaves" THE LIFE OF PROPHET DAWUD (AS) The following is a good example to show how all the Prophets (as) of Allah continued in their struggle against the forces of falsehood. It provides a valuable lesson for Muslims to take heed of and draw inspiration from. When the two armies faced each other, Galut challenged any soldier from King Talut (as)'s army to single combat, as was the custom of battle in those days. Galut also wanted to show off his strength. The men were terrorized, and no one had enough courage to volunteer. The king offered the hand of his pretty daughter in marriage to the man who would fight Galut, but even this tempting offer did not change the deadly silence among his soldiers. Then, to everyone's surprise, a youth stepped forward. A roar of laughter echoed from the enemy's side, and even Talut (as)'s men shook their heads. The young man was Dawud (as), from the city of Bethlehem. His elderly father had chosen three of his sons to join Talut (as)'s army. He had instructed the youngest one, Dawud (as), not to take part in the fighting but to help the army in other ways and to report to his father daily on what was happening at the frontline. Although Talut (as) was very impressed by the youth's courage, he said: "I admire your courage, but you are no match for that mighty warrior. Let the strong men come forward." Dawud (as), however, had already decided and was willing to meet the challenge. Proudly, he told the king that only the day before he had killed a lion which had threatened his father's sheep, and on another occasion he had killed a bear. He asked Talut (as) not to judge him by his appearance, for he feared no man or wild beast. Talut (as), surprised by young Dawud's (as) brave stance, agreed: "My brave soldier, if you are willing, then may Allah guard you and grant you strength!" The king dressed Dawud (as) in battle armour and handed him a sword, but Dawud (as) was May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
not used to wearing battle dress. He felt uncomfortable in it, and it obstructed his movements. He removed the armour, then collected a few pebbles and filled his leather pouch with them. He slung it over his shoulder next to his sling. With his wooden staff in hand, he began to walk towards the enemy. Talut (as) was worried and asked him how on earth, with a sling and a couple of stones was he going to defend himself against the giant? Dawud (as) replied: "Allah, Who protected me from the claws of the bear and the fangs of the lion, will certainly protect me from this brute!"
After killing Galut he went out into the desert in the company of nature, glorifying Allah and contemplating His favours.
When Galut set eyes on the lean young man who looked like a boy, he laughed loudly and roared: "Are you out to play war with one of your playmates, or are you tired of your life? I will simply cut off your head with one swipe of my sword!"
"The most beloved fasting to Allah was the fasting of the Prophet Dawud (as). And the most beloved prayer to Allah was the prayer of Dawud (as), who used to sleep the first half of the night, and pray for one third of it and again sleep for a sixth of it, he used to fast on alternate days." (Sahih Al-Bukhari).
Dawud (as) shouted back: "You may have armour, shield, and sword, but I face you in the name of Allah, the Lord of the Israelites, Whose laws you have mocked. Today you will see that it is not the sword that kills but the Will and Power of Allah!" So saying this, he took his sling and placed in it a pebble from his pouch. He swung and aimed it at Galut. The pebble shot from the whirling sling with the speed of an arrow and hit Galut's head with great force. Blood gushed out, and Galut thumped to the ground, lifeless, before he even had a chance to draw his sword. Dawud (as) became a hero overnight. Talut (as) kept his word and married his daughter Miqel to him. Allah said:
'So they routed them by Allah's Leave and Dawud killed Jaloot, and Allah gave him (Dawud) the kingdom (after the death of Saul and Samuel) and wisdom, and taught him of that which He willed. And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief. But Allah is full of Bounty to the Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exist).' [TMQ al-Baqarah: 251]
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Dawud (as) fasted every other day. Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-As (ra) narrated: Allah's Apostle said to me:
'And We have left nothing out of the Book…' [TMQ Al-An'am:38] The reason why Allah has mentioned the narrations of the previous Prophets and Messengers is to draw our attention to the struggles that they went through. This is meant to inspire and motivate us to yearn for the higher values, and to carry the da'wah for Islam in a similar steadfast manner. CONCLUSION
Allah granted Dawud great influence. His people had a great number of wars in their time, but they had a problem in that their iron armour was too heavy for their fighters to move and fight as they wished. It is said that Dawud (as) was sitting one day, contemplating this problem while toying with a piece of iron. Suddenly, he found his hand sinking in the iron. Almighty Allah had made it flexible for him:
'And We made the iron soft for him.' [TMQ Saba: 10] THE SHARI'AH OF THE PREVIOUS MESSENGERS IS NOT A SHARI'AH FOR US Although all Prophets and Messengers carried the message of Tawheed, it must be understood that we are not allowed to follow their shari'ah. Some scholars claim that we are allowed to follow the shari'ah of the previous Messengers, as long as it does not contradict the shari'ah brought by Muhammad . This is a weak principle because the final Messenger of Allah came with a complete Deen that gives solution to all our problems, so there is no need to refer to any other legislative solution.
The lives of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah serve as constant reminders of our great heritage. A history of triumph of good over evil. A history that teaches us a valuable lesson; to remain stead-fast with patience and resolve, courage and humility, and to deliver the da'wah to Islam in an uncompromising manner. Such is the price of Jannah.
'Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily, to him will We give a new life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.' [TMQ an-Nahl: 97]
Mohammed Ali Khan
WHO NEEDS AN ISLAMIC STATE BY ABDUL WAHAB EL EFFENDI ho needs an Islamic state was written by Abdelwahab El Effendi in 1991. The author originally lived in Sudan where he studied philosophy and politics and later on began his writing career on the Khartoum daily al-Sahafa. He has written articles on philosophy, literature and politics for a wide range of subjects and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster and co-ordinator of the Centre's Project on Democracy in the Muslim World.
The political context in which the book is written is important to understand. The early 1990's saw the end of a struggle between two ideologies, namely Capitalism and Communism, each of which wanted to shape the world order in accordance with its own values and each had its own perspective on life and the manner in which society is organised. With the world being split into the Western block, headed by the USA and the Eastern Block being led by the Soviet Union, the Muslim Ummah were not isolated from these world events. This climate naturally meant that each ideological block was vying for the world to give it leadership. Eventually, after constant intellectual warfare, the Soviet Union collapsed and Capitalism and its concepts of secularism, democracy and freedom were given a superior status. Some of the debate and discussion regarding the Islamic political system was tainted by this environment. SUMMARY OF THE BOOK "Who needs an Islamic state" is divided into 6 parts, the first chapter is an introduction about the general debate which took place amongst nonMuslim and Muslim thinkers with regards to the correct political authority and the shape it should take. The chapter discusses the views from Muslim writers who believed that tribalistic /nationalistic
bonds were innate bonds of society and hence a system structured around tribes was acceptable. Other thinkers like John Locke believed that all mandatory powers should not rest in the hands of the same person; rather it should be divided as unrestrained power gives rise to corruption. The second chapter focuses more on the Islamic political system and its change over history. The starting paragraph builds the image that the state established by the Prophet was not a normal state, as the shari'ah law was not enforced but rather it was adhered to voluntarily by its citizens. The book mentions, "The state had no method for enforcing this participation (joining military expeditions or the payment of dues)….. The sanctions were entirely moral, and bear no relation to conventional methods of state coercion". Abdelwahab builds on this argument by referring to historical examples, such as the rule of Muawiya, where, he claims, the system could not deal with all of the societal problems and his conclusion states, "A system which was based on the ruler being a standin for the Prophet was not designed to cope with a Khalifah whose conduct did not rise to the Prophetic standard". He dedicates a special sub-chapter called, "Problems with the Classical theory" (which refers to the era of the rightly guided Khulafah) and states how throughout the Islamic history, this model could not be emulated and at times required the rulers to reconcile the ideals, set by the Khulafah Rashida, with reality. The writer believes that the Islamic history shows confusion about the correct model of an Islamic political system and that the Muslims started to chase ideals that were unattainable, an example of a pious, courageous, learned and virtuous leader was given. He concludes this particular chapter by stating that the classical theory was actually the cause of decline as it prevented reformation of the system. He wraps up this view by explicitly stating how the old political model could not resolve the
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new problematic circumstances it faced such as tyrant rulers and so it needs to be revised by understanding Islamic norms in contemporary conditions. The third chapter explains how it was historical events which led to the modern debate on the nature of the Islamic state. Abdelwahab brings together the sequence of events in Turkey, which eventually led to the destruction of the Khilafah. Whilst Attaturk plotted to establish a secular state, some from the Muslim Ummah started to worry and started forming movements in opposition. This chapter collates interesting views which were being pushed near the end of the Uthmani Khilafah, the most interesting of them being by Abd al-Raziq, who claimed in his book (Khilafa aw al-imama alUzma) that the Prophet did not establish any state and that his authority was purely spiritual. The author then talks about the emergence of modern Islamic movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Khilafah movement in India. He tries to show an array of views by contrasting those who advocated extreme traditional views without taking into account modern realities and then examining those who totally went against the Islamic principles. His criticism of other movements is based upon their vision of an ideal Islamic state led by a Mahdi-type person who would re-establish the Prophetic vision or what he calls a quasi-utopian vision. The following chapter is probably the most interesting one as it discusses the relationship that should exist between the Islamic state and the rest of the world. After showing the history behind the international order and why it was created, he acknowledges the fact that international rules tend to favour the dominant player in world politics. Yet, having said all this the writer still insists that for the Muslims to establish a state in the current status "a state must gain international recognition, its borders must be guaranteed by international conventions against encroachments, while its May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
survival and that of its government depend on active economic and political co-operation of influential members of the world community". The above arguments are articulated to strengthen the writer's opinion of Islam co-existing within the current International framework and he even declares that Islam is not at odds with the concept of nation states and in fact he argues that Islam actually recognised tribal and territorial divisions and institutionalised them. The writer concludes by promoting the view that the future Islamic state should see no need to utilise non-peaceful methods to interact with the modern world. REFUTATION As the secular culture became the dominant trend of thought, the reference to the Islamic shariah text was almost extinct, this was seen when the mosques started displaying signs in the mosques which read "No politics in the mosque". Unfortunately this effect was also seen in the articles and books of sincere Muslims who wanted to take this noble Ummah to great heights. In this particular book, there are many erroneous concepts which are completely alien to Islam, however not all of them can be refuted here. Hence, the three main concepts that need to be clarified are the following: The status quo is not a reference point for resolving disputes on political issues When the Western culture achieved victory over the Muslims, it was a comprehensive victory, which meant that even when clear ayat discussing political issues were mentioned, some would twist it so that it would carry a meaning, which was in harmony with secular values, the example of Abd al-Raziq should suffice.
on the way the glorious words of Allah are understood. In this way, the Islamic rules remain free from contamination and are protected from the whims and desires of man. Indeed Allah's saying is still relevant today, when he said,
"So if you dispute about something, refer it to Allah and his messenger" [Nisa:59]
"If you believe in Allah and the last day" Hence, when deciding the shape of the political system and the way it functions, our arguments need to be based upon the texts. The Prophet left a detailed and defined ruling system This question is raised very early on in the book when the writer mentions how the model followed by the Prophet did not have any enforcement mechanisms, he claims that even the payment of dues was not enforced but was paid voluntarily. This is tantamount to saying that Islam did not provide for us the manner in which to implement its solutions and is therefore incomplete. One just needs to open up the pages of the Quran and Ahadith to realise the fallacies of such a claim. If the Prophet did not have a method to enforce the ahkam shariah, then why did Allah say,
"As for the thief, both male and female, cut of their hands, as a retribution for their deed and an exemplary punishment from Allah" [Maidah:38]
When a Muslim refers back to the Quran and Sunnah, the societal climate should have no impact
"A man committed adultery with a women, so the Prophet ordered that he be lashed"
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Finally, the claim that the Khilafah model is only applicable where the rulers are almost saint-like and are of the Prophetic standard. This is completely false as the Messenger of Allah (saw) foretold us on the authority of Abu Huraira,
The word tanazau (dispute) is not restricted only to personal disputes but rather includes societal disputes and this ultimately includes disputes on political issues. To emphasise the importance of this, Allah links this reference to the aqeedah of the Muslim, when He mentions in the same ayah,
So if we were to take the line of thinking prevalent in this book, which in essence asks to rebuild the Islamic ruling model around contemporary Western models, many ahkam (rules) of Islam can be abandoned and deemed outdated. So as an example, why can't we say regarding the five daily prayers, that it does not fit around the modern studying/working hours and so the traditional prayer needs to be revised and interpreted in accordance with our time? Obviously such an argument would be ridiculous, as it would justify the changing of the shari'ah, a definite prohibition in Islam.
This simply shows that the Prophet exemplified for us the manner in which we apply the laws of Islam. It's difficult to deny this fact as a large chunk of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim outline the way in which the Prophet dealt with criminals and those that refused to adhere to the rules of Islam.
And the hadith narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah:
"Verily the Imam is a shield from behind which the people fight and by which they protect themselves. So if he ordered to observe the Taqwa of Allah and he was just, he would have equal to these (actions) in reward, and if he ordered other than that, it would be against him equal to that" And the saying,
"The worst of your imams are those whom you hate and they hate you and you curse them and they curse you…" Hence, it is transparent for all to see that the Khilafah system cannot be put aside with the excuse that it is not applicable due to the corruption of people, as in the above ahadith the Prophet (saw) clearly mentions the there will be bad rulers and he (saw) obliged their obedience. None of the reasons given by the author are sufficient to abrogate the ayat of the Quran nor the sayings of our beloved Prophet (saw). Alas, this book does not do justice to the topic of the Islamic ruling system but is a worthy read for those who wish to explore the effects Western culture has had on Muslim thinkers. For a more detailed study of the Islamic Ruling system, refer to Nizam ul Hukm by Sheikh Taquiddin an-Nabhani. Contact Khilafah publications for a copy.
INTERVIEW WITH AN ASSYLUM SEEKER
he top ten list of asylum seeker nationalities in the UK includes countries like Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. The number of people seeking asylum in the UK rose by 20% in 2002 to hit a record 110,700 with more than 9,000 claims per month. In absolute terms, the UK received the largest number of applications in Europe - 52,000 more than the next most popular destination, France.
Figures for 2004 show an increase in numbers largely due to aftermath of the West's 'War on Terror' that has seen thousands of people displaced people from Afghanistan and Iraq after coalition bombings and attacks. Of those who have sought sanctuary in the West as refugees and asylum seekers, they have encountered strict monitoring and controls from the authorities as well as a hostile host community and xenophobic tabloid press. This month's interview has been conducted with an Iraqi Kurd who came to Britain in 2002 as an asylum seeker. Adil Ali Alan lived in Kirkuk and owned a shop there. As part of Saddam's long-standing 'Arabisation' campaign many Kurds were forced out of Kirkuk in order to ethnically cleanse it and make it into an Arab city. He was forced to leave Iraq to save his life as well as that of his wife and young child. Due to Adil's poor standard of English, some of his words have been changed for the purpose of clarity. Kosser Mohammed: Was your claim for asylum due to economic or political reasons? Adil Ali Alan: I myself faced one of the most predominant problems faced by Kurdish
Muslims in Iraq, it was not an economic problem. We were living in Kirkuk, which is one of the first places in the world to have open oil resources and not only underground wells. This particular part of Iraq was blessed with oil; Saddam did not want the Kurdish people to live there. Saddam would send his troops into Kirkuk regularly to expel as many Kurds as he could. There would be indiscriminate arresting of Kurdish people who refused to leave their homes and livelihoods where they had resided for over a hundred years. It was a well-known fact that Kirkuk was a city where Kurdish Muslims have been living for decades. If you were unfortunate enough to be the one to get arrested, Saddam and his men would put you in prison for around three months and after this they would kill you. No Kurdish person was safe in Kirkuk, it was like a total war zone. Even in Baghdad Saddam had something against even normal Arab Iraqi's, who would be in obedience to him out of fear for their lives. However the situation in Iraq today seems to be spiralling further out of control since the Americans took over. The situation is getting even worse than it was under Saddam. KM: Did you and your family face any political oppression in Iraq? AA: I owned a shop in Iraq, which was my source of income for my family. Saddam would send his people (security services) to Kirkuk to seek out any Kurdish owned businesses and they would offer to buy the business, like they did with my father. When anyone refused them they would demand that you sell the shop. We understood their demands although they didn't utter the words from their mouths, but they would certainly in most cases kill you. But they would not do this immediately. The tactics they employed were to visit the house of the person who refused to
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sell and arrest him under a false pretext such as murder, rape or theft. Whilst in prison they would forge documentation and force you to sign your premises over. In 1996 they took my father for the same reason, we didn't know where they took him it was only after Saddam was toppled that we got so see his body. He had been killed because he was Kurdish and trying to earn an honest living. KM: What happened to your shop? AA: The same fate awaited me when Saddam's men came to me asking me to sell my shop. Again I said no because it was my livelihood it was not easy to earn money in them days. The men then offered me around 35 thousand Iraqi dinars for the shop but the shop at the time was actually valued at five hundred thousand dinars so obviously I refused. I was then taken to a prison where I remained for 15 days during which time the prison guards were trying to convince me to sell my shop at a ridiculously low price. They tried to make me sign false confessions and papers to hand over the shop I refused to do so, after 15 days they came to me with a knife. They said they would cut off my finger if I didn't sign the papers. When I said no they began to cut my index finger. They made one cut and again I said no. They made another cut until they reached the bone after which they threatened to cut off my hand. Then I said you can have the shop because I knew they would have cut off my hand and even killed me. KM: How did you actually get to the UK? AA: When I was eventually released from prison they threatened my life and that of my family. So we left and headed for Iran, in Iran I met a man who said he could get me into Turkey and then to Europe. I was told that
May 2004 Khilafah Magazine
Europe would be much safer. In Turkey the authorities stopped me for not having a valid passport, but my wife and child got through. I was arrested and put in prison for three months. I got to Britain by hiding in the back of a man's lorry for six days with limited food and water. KM: Do you know of other Iraqi people with similar problems? AA: Yes, I know some people from Iraq who tell me of cases like these all the time. Some people go from Turkey to Greece from Greece to Italy from Italy they would either stay in parts of Europe like France, Holland or Sweden . Others would come to Britain. For most people the journey is an essential one not a holiday.
form of aid. The people are therefore starving and hungry and because of this they would steel food. They say that what is shown on TV is just a small part of the problem. The average man with a family of four to six children doesn't even have one dinar to his name. They say that in the evenings no one is safe in Iraq because in most houses there is a death of a child due to malnutrition. Hence, men are forced to steel from their neighbours. Iraqi's are not receiving any form of aid from anyone. KM: Have you got any family here in Britain? AA: No, unfortunately I have no family here except my wife and child and I have no family in Iraq. I lost everyone, my mother, my father, everyone.
KM: Why did you decide to come to the UK?
KM: Where did your wife and child stay when they arrived?
AA: I was not given a choice as to whether to come to Britain or France or anywhere for that matter. This was a matter of life and death for me my family. The Home Office recently told 6000 Iraqi people to go back to Iraq because Saddam has been removed and therefore the reason for coming is now over so you can go. But the situation in Iraq today is worse.
AA: Alhamdulilah, my wife met a friend of her sister's in London and she offered her and my child accommodation until I arrived. After some time my wife was given permanent leave to stay. When I arrived they questioned me a great deal. but it was made easier because my wife and child were already here.
KM: Why is it not safe for you to go back to Iraq now that Saddam has gone? AA: I am in touch with people who still reside in Iraq or have come over and have family in Iraq. They tell me of the current situation in Iraq. They say that if you have drink or food in your hand you are not safe to walk the streets because all people in Iraq have been cut off from any form of food, drink and any other
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Khilafah Magazine May 2004
KM: Since you've been in the UK has it been easy to get employment? AA: It has in fact been very difficult for me to find employment. It has now been two years and still it is very difficult even though I have an Iraqi diploma in storage management. KM: Did you find it easy to settle into the community here? AA: It was a total shock to my system to see women walking the streets with almost no clothes on, seeing people in the streets smoking drugs and coming out of pubs and drinking openly in the streets. In Iraq things were bad but we still lived like Muslims and generally did not witness things like that. KM: How did the local authority deal with getting you accommodation? AA: I faced many problems with the housing office I wouldn't know where to start. I took my papers over ten times to the local housing office in an application for a place to live. On each occasion when I revisited the office they
would say you didn't bring your papers bring them again. After about ten or more times I was fed up so I complained. I was then told I did not have a right for accommodation. I felt they were being very racist towards me. They offered me a one bedroom flat for my wife and child. I felt that this was not right. In our Islamic culture, when a child is over the age of six he should not sleep in the same room as his parents. My neighbours who live below us have three children and have a one bedroom flat. This is absurd! When I went to the council to complain they told me that the one bedroom flat is for my wife and child only and that I had no right to stay there. They said I have no documents at the housing office. Because of these complications from the council I am forced to be away from my wife and child and cannot live with them. I can only visit my son but cannot stay over at the flat. I don't understand the system in this country. KM: So where are you staying now? AA: I now live in bed and breakfast accommodation. Before I was found this room, I was forced to sleep in a car. I slept in a car for five days until I went to a solicitor and only then did I get to stay in a bed and breakfast place.
Khilafah Magazine May 2004