This is an open letter by Usman Raja refuting the forgery [HTTP Link removed] which has been published in his name by the website “Traditional Islamism”.
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few distortions and lies that are being circulated by certain factions. Namely:
1. The alleged “resignation letter” to the Quilliam Foundation. This letter is a fabrication and none of its content is true in any way or form. I did not send this letter to Quilliam at all.
2. I have no connection at all, philosophically or in practise with the Islamists and Jihadists at the loathed website “Traditional Islamism”. I do not advocate their message, and am deeply distressed that these people should abuse my name on that forum.
Abdur Raheem Green, a British convert to Islam, is one of the founders of the “Islamic Education & Research Academy” (iERA). As reported here, iERA hopes to host extremists Bilal Philips and Hussein Ye in a UK dawah (Islamic propagation) tour running from June 23 to 29.
Green’s father was a colonial administrator in Africa. According to Green, he took pride in the Empire. His father in turn was a high court judge in Bombay. Well, here is Green himself admonishing Pakistan for not being Islamic enough:
Naturally Israel too must be scourged. This is from an Islamic Voice magazine interview in 1997:
Many Islamist groups exist in Bangladesh today. Among them are: Islamic Oikye Jote, Hizb-ut-Tahrir and (the largest one) Jamaat e Islami. The Islamist goal in Bangladesh is to create an Islamic state which will impose its version of Shariah on the land. The next step would be to unite with other Muslim countries and create an Islamic super state which will eventually take over the world. The call for Muslim unity however does not resonate well with the Bangladeshi people. After all Bangladesh was created after a bitter struggle with what was then West Pakistan. The Muslim on Muslim violence that followed left any hopes of Muslim unity in tatters. These events however have not deterred them and they are still working towards their goal.
An increasing amount of attention and tax payers’ money is being paid towards initiatives which focus on Muslim issues. Muslim participation in politics, Muslim achievement in education, Muslim women’s participation in mainstream life etc. etc. No other faith group or ethnic group is being lavished with such attention and funds. We now even have the YMAG (Young Muslim Advisory Group) which allows young Muslims in sit in on government consultations and put their views directly to Ministers. There is a whole plethora of initiatives to train Imams, to teach them English and about British society in general.
Later this month a “dawah” (propagation) campaign will get underway in the UK. It is the first big venture of a new outfit, the Islamic Education and Research Academy, or iERA. Events are scheduled in Brighton, Bristol, Manchester and London.
Have a look at one of the speakers – Malaysian cleric Hussein Ye (sometimes spelled Yee). He was trained at the Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia and is considered a Wahhabi in Malaysia. This clip opens with an invocation:
“May Allah help all the mujahideen, especially in Palestine, especially in Iraq, and wherever they are, who fight to protect human rights.”
Ye goes on to claim – in a speech delivered in 2006 – that America has “no hot proof” of who carried out the 9/11 atrocities. Then he slips in this little observation:
“In order to be a Muslim by conviction and free choice, which is the only way one can be a Muslim, I need a secular state.”
The above quote is taken from the bookIslam and the Secular State by Sudanese academic and scholar Abdullahi an-Na’im. The argument is a very powerful one and very difficult to challenge from a Muslim point of view. If acts of worship (ibadat) are only valid when done out of free choice rather than coercion then surely an Islamist state would prevent Muslims from practicing their faith in the manner in which it should be practiced, i.e. voluntarily. On that basis we could argue that the Islamist idea of the “Islamic State” is anti-Islamic and anti-religious because it seeks to force its citizens to engage in acts of worship thus preventing them from achieving closeness with their creator which only voluntary worship can bring.
Today the word ‘Jihad’ has become synonymous with terrorist and political violence. This has come about due to the way Islamist/Jihadists have interpreted the word ‘Jihad’. In this article I intend to look at the meaning of the word Jihad as understood by classical scholars in Islam.
Ibn Rushd summarized a few of the various opinions of Muslim jurists on the issues of peace and war in Islam: Some of those who approved of peace whenever the imam finds it in the Muslims’ interest are Malik, al Shafi’i, and Abu Hanifah. Al Shafi’i only does not approve of a peace duration longer that the period which the Prophet, peace be upon him, made with the nonbelievers… the reason for their differences in approving of peace without necessity is the apparent contradiction between His (Allah’s) saying (in the Qur’an):
Raziq, one of our commenter-friends, posted this informative analysis of the geo-political and religious dynamics that influenced the ideology of Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, the founder of the Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Taqiuddin al-Nabhani was an independent thinker and a revivalist. Formerly a Ba’athist (a nationalist Arab Socialist Party), he maintained his Arab centric socialist agenda but presented it in Islamic language by enveloping his Arab super-nation state concept for a super “Islamic” State which must concentrate on the Arab speaking Muslims. He challenged the status quo. He attacked mainstream Islamic beliefs, such as the spiritual dimension of life, as being nothing but a mystic concept influenced by Byzantine beliefs and nothing to do with authentic Islamic teaching, which maintained the that man was purely material in his view.
An excellent dialogue on immigration between David Coleman, Professor of Demography at Oxford University, and the novelist Lionel Shriver can be read at Standpoint Online. Entitled ‘We Need to Talk about Immigration’, the piece offers a rational discussion which challenges some central taboos surrounding this emotive issue.
Shriver makes the following important point:
I would like us to deal with the feelings that native-born people have of having their generosity strained in a way that isn’t totally judgemental. We have to take the condemnation out of the argument, if we’re going to have the argument at all. We can’t immediately knee-jerk and say: “OK, you don’t want a lot of Muslims in your country, so you’re just a xenophobe and a racist, and you’re a bad person, and you probably belong to the BNP.” If you keep telling people they don’t have a right to feel the way they feel, they will end up in the BNP.