Tag Archives: Abdullah Thomson

EMAAN AND NOT AQEEDAH?

An important reminder by Abu Ibraheem Hussnayn

From the major problems in this ummah is that we take people who are unqualified as scholars, giving their opinions weight when in actual fact they are weightless. They can say ridiculous things yet the people still flock to them because of their celebrity status.

“We need emaan not aqeedah”
“The companions never had aqeedah”
“Aqeedah isn’t mentioned in the Qur’an”
“The ummah needs emaan”
“Aqeedah is dividing the ummah”

Statements similar to those above have been coming from “duaat” who many of the people see as “scholars” – in reality they are not scholars and their lack of understanding is clear to see for those whom Allah has given the tawfique.

Suppose we agree that we need Emaan. What will the people have emaan in? Allah. Ok, but what about the rest of the things that a muslim must have emaan in? As mentioned in the hadith of Jibreel where he came to the messenger of Allah (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam) and said to him –

Tell me about “Emaan” He said: “It is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and in the Divine Decree, its good and its bad.”

They say they want you to take your Emaan directly from the Qur’an and from the teachings of the prophets found therein – “because they’re the best teachers”

Suppose we agree with them. Will we then direct the lay muslim to this over-simplified and frankly dangerous approach of opening the Qur’an and deriving their Emaan for themselves? Will we leave the muslims to tangle themselves into destruction?

Of course the answer is NO. And this why the scholars wrote books on AQEEDAH – to teach the people what to have EMAAN in – proving everything they said from the Qur’an and Sunnah (on a side note – sometimes they don’t doesn’t even mention the sunnah as a source of Emaan)

To understand this we must understand the meaning of the word aqeedah in this context – aqeedah refers to those beliefs that a muslim holds to be true, they are firmly rooted in his heart and he has no doubts concerning them. So he has firm belief in Allah, His angels, books etc.

Now let’s imagine a person believes in Allâh but not the angels or the day of judgement. This is his aqeedah because he firmly believes it to be true. Is his Emaan correct? Of course not because it is not in accordance to the book of Allah or the sunnah of the messenger.

So how can we say that the muslims need Emaan and not aqeedah. There can be no emaan without the correct aqeedah! And how can we say that the companions didn’t have aqeedah – that is outrageous. Their aqeedah was the aqeedah of the messenger of Allâh.

Shaykh Saalih Al Fawzan says “And this is for the one who says: That the Eemaan is sufficient without having interest for the Aqeedah. This is contradictory because Eemaan is not eemaan except if the Aqeedah is correct. And if the Aqeedah is not correct, then there is no Eemaan, and (there is) no deen (religion).” (Fataawa as-Siyaasah ash-Shar’iyyah, Question-1)

Finally we come to the doubt – “aqeedah” is not mentioned in the Qur’an”. We say – subhan’Allah!! Show us where the sciences of hadith are mentioned in the Qur’an!? Show us where the usul of fiqh are mentioned in the Qur’an?! In fact, this “Emaan” which you keep mentioning necessitates that we pray 5x a day – show us where the Qur’an describes the prayer?!

In fact, the companions would say “we LEARNT emaan before we learnt the Qur’an.” So what were they learning? This proves that the messenger of Allâh focused on teaching them what they must have emaan in – the same way Jibreel was asking what we must have emaan in. The same way the books of aqeedah teach us what to have emaan in!

So we see, and all praise is to Allâh, that aqeedah and emaan are interlinked and the soundness of one depends on the soundness of the other. The scholars wrote books of aqeedah to explain and detail the things we must have emaan in. For someone to come today and try to separate is one of three things:

1) Compound ignorance
2) A hatred for the people of the sunnah who emphasise the correct aqeedah first and foremost
3) A combination of the two

And this is why we say – stick to the scholars of the sunnah and stay away from these sufi-inspired speakers who will only lead you astray.

Correct your aqeedah and your Emaan will be upright and remember that the acceptance of your emaan depends on the soundness of your aqeedah.

If you prayed 2 units of prayer with the best concentration ever, perfecting your prayer for Allâh, crying and focusing as much as you could; BUT you prayed without wudhu. Would this prayer be accepted by Allah? The answer is NO. You would not receive a single reward for it because purification is a pre-condition to the acceptance of the salah.

Likewise, meeting Allah with pure tawheed, having singled Him out in His Lordship, His worship and His names and attributes is a pre-condition for the acceptance of each and every single one of your deeds. If you meet Allâh having been a person of shirk then all of your actions are in vain – regardless of how inspired you were and how much vigour you had.

“Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin” (an-Nisa’ 4:48)

With this in mind, know that EVERY prophet taught tawheed and the correct aqeedah. Our messenger salAllahu alayhi wa sallam was no different. In so many ahadeeth he highlighted the importance of tawheed, the dangers of shirk and taught the aqeedah of islam. As for the Qur’an? Then it is a book of aqeedah – for every single verse points to the Oneness of Allah through its perfection.

“And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, “There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.” (21:25)

“And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad SAW), as it was to those (Allah’s Messengers) before you: ‘If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.’ No! But worship Allah (Alone and none else), and be among the grateful” (az-Zumar 39:65-66).

They want us to “connect” with the book of Allah and feel spirituality – well let me tell you; if you don’t know the correct aqeedah then your “connection” and “spirituality” won’t benefit you in front of Allah – in fact they are just moments of self delusion and your bubble will soon explode.

We connect with the Book of Allah through our aqeedah. The mushrik grave worshipper “connects” to the same Qur’an but will it benefit him? The one who performs tawaf around the graves and believes the messenger has knowledge of the unseen also “connects” and has “spirituality”. The one who believes Allâh is everywhere might even have memorised the entire Qur’an! But is his spirituality going to benefit him? By Allâh i have seen these “spiritual” people in their walk, talk and actions – they are so soft and meek in everything they do. They make drinking a cup of tea seem like an art! But it’s all false. Because their actions are based on the false aqeedah.

Focusing on their connection and spirituality without rectifying their aqeedah is like a mirage in a desert. It’s beautiful from afar but when the penny drops, you’re the loser.

Yes! Aqeedah is divisive! The same way the messenger (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam) divided between the Quraysh when he came with the message of tawheed – a father being a mushrik and his son being a muslim. Dividing truth from falsehood is not a bad thing, and believe me you will not *unite* the ummah upon falsehood.

Behind all the nice woolly posts from these people trying to promote a “Western” Islam – we see the true damage that they do. The hearts of the lay-people are attached to them and then they inject this poison. Until we find their followers having no problem with the false beliefs, as long as you “love Allah” and are “spiritual” – w’Allahul musta’an!

We MUST understand. They are NOT scholars. 30/40 year – old people coming with new ideas and new concepts that the scholars of Islam were not upon. Then they have the audacity to claim they know better. But to add insult to injury, they speak with such arrogance and surety that one would think they encompass the knowledge in its entirety!

After this, we ask Allah to guide us and them to the methodology of the prophets and to make us humble.

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ROTHERHAM GROOMING: INCONVENIENT FACTS EXPOSED

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Rotherham grooming. We really should have read the Jay Report.

This week three brothers were given a 19 to 35 year imprisonment sentence for their abhorrent abuse of vulnerable young girls in Rotherham. A sensitive topic, and one that in no way detracts from the stories of the victims, is concern over the huge damage the press coverage of this case has caused the Muslim community as a whole and the Pakistani heritage community in particular. There is also a feeling of intimidation to acquiesce to demands to apologise and a fear that questioning the narrative will be portrayed as trying to reduce the significance of the crimes. Muslims stand united in condemnation of the criminals and in sympathy for the innocent victims. The only issue we have is the unbalanced furore over the Pakistani criminals and the virtual silence over the non-Muslims who have committed the same crimes.

The case began with a story in The Times in 2013 which forced authorities to take action to protect the victims of abuse who they had been aware of for some years but had failed to protect. The initial case involved a gang of Asian men who had been abusing young white girls they had picked up from the streets of Rotherham, many of them in social care and made vulnerable by a lack of adult supervision. The exposure of the initial gang led to other gangs being exposed and further victims of “on-street grooming” coming forward.

News coverage of gangs of Pakistani men abusing white girls exploded and the media constrained the story to the particular type of grooming the Pakistani men were involved in. To anyone following the story, it looked as though Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) was something unique to the Pakistani community. Just as we have seen with terrorism; repeated calls were made for the community as a whole to apologise and take responsibility. Muslim organisations such as the MCB and the Ramadan Foundation dutifully accepted collective responsibility on our behalf with press releases such as: “Child Abuse in Rotherham: We Cannot Let This Happen Again”[1] and by saying things like “Until British Pakistanis accept that this is a problem for our community we will not be able to eradicate this evil. Burying our head in the sand as the usual response is not good enough.”[2]

Rotherham Council commissioned an independent report into CSE in Rotherham which was led by Professor Alexis Jay and in August 2014 she published her “Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham 1997 – 2013”.[3]

In an epic failure for the Muslim community it seems we did not actually read the report and instead have relied on the way it has been presented by the media. To this day most people accept as fact that CSE is carried out by “gangs of predominantly Pakistani men.” Unchallenged for 2 years an article on the Telegraph website says all “1400 girls have been sexually abused by Asian men”.[4]

What the Jay Report actually said was:

“As has been stated many times before, there is no simple link between race and child sexual exploitation, and across the UK the greatest numbers of perpetrators of CSE are white men. The second largest category, according to the Children’s Commissioner’s report, are those from a minority ethnic background, particularly those recorded as ‘Asian’. In Rotherham, the majority of known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage including the five men convicted in 2010. The file reading carried out by the Inquiry also confirmed that the ethnic origin of many perpetrators was ‘Asian’. In one major case in the mid-2000s, the convicted perpetrator was Afghan.”

It is no surprise at all that the second largest group nationally after whites is a minority, who else could it be? And ‘Asian’ is the largest minority group, twice as numerous as blacks. The key point regarding Rotherham is “In Rotherham, the majority of known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage including the five men convicted in 2010.” She is clearly referring to the tiny number of previous convictions before the story blew up and victims started coming forward in larger numbers. This is confirmed by mentioning next that the current enquiry’s reading of the case files (rather than convictions) showed that many perpetrators were Asian. Previous convictions: “majority Asian” while other cases, presumably the new unresolved cases: “many Asians”, a very unspecific term and presumably the majority were therefore not Asian or she would have said it. It is hardly surprising when the first gang to be exposed was Asian that many of the suspects she would see first were Asians.

Then in August 2015 local Sheffield paper The Star published a story titled “Majority of Rotherham child exploitation suspects are white, claims new report”.[5] In fact the data was not that new but related to the time the Jay Report was being compiled. The story quotes offender profile data that was obtained from the South Yorkshire Police and which was in a draft report presented to the Council by Rotherham Safeguarding Children’s Board.

“The number of offenders, including suspects, were mainly White (68%); 24% were Asian; 5% were from other BME communities; and 3% of offenders were female”.[6]

Not a single national newspaper reported this very illuminating data.

The data covered a key two year period between October 2012 – October 2014, that is, from before the story went public and victims started coming forward until the end of the period within which Professor Jay was collecting data for her report. She says in the Preface that “any evidence available to me up till June 2014 would be included in the report.” She claims to have had evidence pointing to there being 1,400 potential victims and alludes to having data on the ethnicity of the suspects which must surely be the same data the South Yorkshire Police had. No one can say it is an inaccuracy for her to claim that 24% of suspects being Asian is “many”, and it means the Asian community are over-represented in that sample, but it is not “the majority” or “mostly Asian” as reported by all sections of the media. This inaccuracy has been invariably understood by the public, and, in fact, has been ever since by politicians as well, to mean this is a uniquely Pakistani problem with just a few anomalous others.

The question must be: If the figures were known why were they not clearly presented in the Jay Report? And, why, when the media ran with it being a predominantly Asian phenomenon, Professor Jay made no apparent attempt to correct them?

The plot thickens

Rotherham council has been accused many times of cover-ups relating to this case.[7] In an interesting twist, the council demanded that the data showing that the majority of suspects were white be removed from the new report.[8] Not because they feared it was inaccurate, it was directly from South Yorkshire Police after all, but because “some of the data referenced could be misleading and was not telling services what they wanted to know”. Would it be misleading to have a clearer picture that the majority of perpetrators of the crime they are trying to tackle are not from the community everyone has come to expect? Surely facts are facts and the services could take them or leave them. And they said that “The data might not show enough distinction between CSE and other forms of sexual offence, for example, intra familial abuse.” Which was clearly not a very good excuse because the data specifically mentioned it was relating just to CSE.

It makes no sense whatsoever to remove from a central policy document titled “Child Sexual Exploitation – The Way Forward for Rotherham” the only reference available anywhere to the fact that 76% of perpetrators would not be as Asian as everyone would otherwise be expecting, and that 68% would in fact be white. Here’s the attendance register for the meetinghttp://moderngov.rotherham.gov.uk/mgMeetingAttendance.aspx?ID=13344

The chair of the Rotherham Safeguarding Children Board resigned at the meeting and his replacement said:

“Collecting accurate data about Child Sexual Exploitation is an evolving process. Partners and ourselves continue to build on our knowledge and are using available data taken at a snap shot in time, but it is anticipated the data will become over time more reflective of the needs of victims and survivors of CSE.”

Which, as the data has not resurfaced in any form whatsoever, we can take to be council speak for: “We buried it”

The South Yorkshire Police have confirmed they have 300 suspects but did not mention the racial profile data which they obviously have available and said “they would not rush into making arrests”.[9] It looks as though the world will continue to believe those 300 suspects are all Pakistani for some time to come. The police did however confirm that at least 2 suspects are serving or former Rotherham Councillors.[10]

Fear of being seen as racist?

Another key aspect of the case and one that plays into anti-Muslim propagandists’ hands is that nothing was done to protect white girls from predatory Muslim men because of a fear of being seen as racist.[11]

South Yorkshire Police have denied it had been reluctant to tackle CSE or that “ethnic origin had been a factor” in its decisions.[12] The Jay Report is used repeatedly by the media and government to back up the myth but in fact it says:

“Within the Council, we found no evidence of children’s social care staff being influenced by concerns about the ethnic origins of suspected perpetrators when dealing with individual child protection cases, including CSE.”

The only hint towards this is where the report mentions an undefined perception that some senior people wanted to “’downplay’ the ethnic dimensions of CSE”. This is nowhere near meaning people should avoid investigating or prosecuting minorities simply because they were minorities and indeed they found no evidence of that. The fact is, as mentioned above, the Jay Report emphasises that the majority of convictions in Rotherham until that date had been of Asian men and also that the council had dealt with 12 cases of forced marriage in the Asian community, an equally sensitive topic, in the first few months of 2005 alone. It seems that the idea that there was a completely hands off approach to dealing with the Asian community is not borne out by the evidence.

While it isn’t a very good excuse for not tackling a crime committed by 68% white perpetrators, it is a convenient way to shift the blame back onto the Asian community; to say fear of offending them prevented the authorities from doing their jobs. The narrative becomes: “perhaps if Asians weren’t so damn touchy these girls would have been protected”.

Are Asians over-represented nationally in child abuse?

The short answer seems to be no. The white population of the UK is 86%. The Crown Prosecution Service’s lead on child sexual abuse says that white perpetrators account for between 80 and 90% of child abuse crimes.[13] The new specific crime of “on-street grooming” is where Asians are over-represented relative to their population. This has been attributed to the night-time economy many Asians work in; takeaways and taxi driving. Asians are more often on the street so that is naturally where their crimes might occur.

No-one should try to say any child abuse crime is more or less than another because of where it takes place but that is what is being attempted. We must be more careful not to allow non-Muslims to draw a line around a specific way Muslims are committing a widely committed crime in order for them to portray us as the only ones committing that crime. If the police are tasked with tackling that form of the crime, as they have been with on-street grooming, then of course the statistics will show an over representation, Muslim organisations will start apologising again and it will all go to fuel the Islamophobic media feeding frenzy.

 Written by Abdullah Thomson

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] http://www.mcb.org.uk/child-abuse-in-rotherham-we-cannot-let-this-happen-again/
[2] http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/crime/pakistanis-must-face-up-to-this-grooming-evil-says-community-leader-1-7746484
[3]http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/1407/independent_inquiry_cse_in_rotherham.pdf
[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11059138/Rotherham-In-the-face-of-such-evil-who-is-the-racist-now.html
[5] http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/majority-of-rotherham-child-exploitation-suspects-are-white-claims-new-report-1-7392637
[6]http://moderngov.rotherham.gov.uk/documents/s100912/CSE_The_Way_Forward_2015_18%20Consultation%20Draft.pdf
[7] http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/how-rotherham-council-tried-to-cover-up-child-
abuse-scandal-1-7088847
[8] http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/news/crime/misleading-claim-on-most-rotherham-cse-abusers-being-white-wrongly-included-in-report-1-7587779
[9] http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/586677/Rotherham-child-abuse-scandal-300-more-suspects-identified-by-police-so-why-no-arrests
[10] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11695826/Rotherham-child-sex-abuse-300-new-suspects.html
[11] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11059138/Rotherham-In-the-face-of-such-evil-who-is-the-racist-now.html
[12] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-28934963
[13] http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/03/nazir-afzal-there-is-no-religious-basis-for-the-abuse-in-rotherham

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THE ‘REGULATING MADRASAS’ BILL: BATTERED, BRUISED & BLOODIED, BUT NOT DEAD YET

cute child quran

Madrasas can give a slight sigh of relief, for now, before taking a deep breath and wondering what the government will try next. The proposal for regulating “Out-of-school Education Settings” appears less likely to proceed as planned after the government received many thousands of replies to the consultation from piano teachers and Christian Sunday Schools indignant that they were being caught in a net clearly designed to target Muslims. Thankfully many other groups fit the bill.

The proposal was debated among MPs recently and, along with noting that not one of the 13 Muslim MPs were present for the important 90 minute debate, it was interesting to see the mix of views among the opponents to the proposal and I would urge you to watch it for yourself here:http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/26ccaa60-67c0-4321-b5e3-b47be504d5b1

Sir Edward Leigh got the ball rolling and seemed to genuinely realise “the problem” the proposed regulation addressed was, in fact, a tiny number of Muslims who will always be under the radar of any legislation. He seemed genuinely concerned that not only non-Muslims but innocent Muslim groups, including the orthodox, would be caught in the broad net the government was proposing to cast. It became abundantly clear he knew it should really have been titled the ‘Regulating Madrasas Bill’ when he said

“The truth is that those thousands of hobby groups are being forced to register only so the system looks even-handed. That is the point: the Government are terrified of not looking even-handed, and therefore they are bringing in all those other harmless groups.”

Perhaps in a vain attempt to show they occupy the moral high ground, the government does not want to appear obvious in creating Islamophobic policy; or, perhaps they have to use these deceitful methods because thankfully, as this debate showed, some in government do not share the Tory leadership’s Neocon agenda.

As Islamophobia grows in the general public, it seems only a matter of time before the government can drop the pretence and start targeting Muslims openly. In fact is there anyone left who remains oblivious to what they are doing?

When Ofsted inspects a handful of private faith schools to rustle up some “damning” sample evidence of un-Britishness for the coming season’s Islamophobic policy making, is anyone fooled by the token inclusion of a few non-Muslim schools?

Could the increasingly obvious futility of this charade be why the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan all but admitted the new anti-extremism website educateagainsthate.com did not target non-Muslims. When asked if Christian converts should be reported she replied “of course not!”.[1]

During the Regulating Madrasas Bill meeting, the MP for East Belfast Gavin Robinson said,

“The Government recently published a counter-extremism strategy. When I asked why Northern Ireland, which has a fair number of extremists, was not included in the strategy, I was told, ‘Don’t push the issue too far. It is really a counter-Islamic strategy.’”[2]

David Cameron recently set out to reassure MPs that the Regulating Madrasas Bill would not harm any party other than Muslims who he has pre-emptively condemned for pre-crime thoughts. He came pretty close to speaking the truth but it came out expertly fudged as usual:

“The Government is working closely with the Church of England and other faith communities to ensure that the system is targeted, proportionate and focuses on those settings which are failing to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Those discussions have been productive, and we have made clear the focus is on establishments that are preaching hatred or putting children at risk.”[3]

Not all in government seem to have got the memo that Christians are to be viewed as non-combatants in this thought-war. Michal Wilshaw head of Ofsted appears to have the extremist hunting bit between his teeth and promised to raid Sunday Schools to look for them there as well. Perhaps forgetting Mr Wilshaw was only repeating the official line from Neocon head office, Tory MP Sir Gerald Howarth called for Mr Wilshaw to be sacked, for simply promising to follow through with the proposed legislation.[4] There is so much deception going on around this issue that people in government look like they are struggling to keep up with what is spin to fool the public, what is hollow appeasement to calm the unintended victims and what is actually intended policy.

In the Regulating Madrasas Bill debate Sir Gerald was refreshingly honest when he said “the problem is confined to one religion only: Islam!” showing great exasperation, I presume because while he thinks only Muslims are a threat to national security, the government cannot just write a bill plainly called The Regulating Madrasas Bill. No doubt, the Muslim community can empathise with him on that account. We all know exactly what the Bill is truly for. It seems like only the mealy-mouthed Tory leadership are left insulting everyone’s intelligence; thinking they can legislate against Scout groups then whisper quietly to them “don’t worry, we’re just using you as cover”. As Fiona Bruce MP pointed out “what if” the politicians making the reassuring whispers today change to, yes its sadly possible, an even more illiberal government who might actually use the enacted legislation against non-Muslims. If nothing else it would give job security to Michal Wilshaw.

Still, for whatever reason (probably legal), the puzzle the government has set itself is how to target Muslims without appearing to be targeting Muslims. This attack on Madrasas is mainly failing because of the other groups inadvertently being targeted. We should be under no illusion that they will just give up trying to regulate madrasas. There is hope that some opposition to Muslims being unreasonably singled out will come from the MPs who know what the first steps to fascism look like. That might keep us safe, for now.

I fear it is likely that if we do not urgently do more to address the Islamophobia that continues to ferment in the electorate, gradually MPs will view standing up for Muslims as being political suicide. As Gavin Robinson said about a previous debate, after simply defending Muslims against the poisonous ideology of Donald Trump, MPs were branded “Jihadist-supporters” by some. Also let us not forget the Prime Minster’s escape of censure for labelling his colleagues “terrorist sympathisers” when they opposed bombing Syria which, by the way, is just another Muslim nation that has never attacked the UK. We have become accustomed to a middle ground government and take it for granted. But, voters who are increasingly fearful of Muslims could easily replace their current openly “terrorist loving” MP with someone further to the Right, as is rapidly happening across Europe and, of course, in the USA.[5] The remainder would be MPs too afraid to speak out in our defence. Who can say if our current Muslim MPs will be useful in the future? Judging by their absence in this crucial debate they seem already entirely afraid to be openly defending Muslim interests.

If we do not start being more active in challenging the Islamophobic rhetoric from the government and the media we should not be surprised that people are increasingly fearful of us. Urgent action is needed by us all. Write emails lobbying your MP and councillors on issues of government policy that affect us. Invite your local MP to meet with a delegation from your mosque to discuss relevant issues. Offer to run a public open day at your local mosque if they do not already do them. Take some food around to your non-Muslim neighbours. Write letters or complaints to your local paper challenging Islamophobia. Phone in to radio programs when they are discussing Islam. Submit positive news stories to your local newspaper about your community and invite local journalists to community events. Volunteer for a community clean-up effort, food bank or soup kitchen. Force non-Muslims to notice you doing good deeds, not out of fear or to appease the non-Muslims, but because it is da’wah for the sake of Allāh. Don’t wait until you are perfect Muslims, as many think they should, we need to act now to the best of our ability. Stay within your scope of understanding and inshaAllah your efforts will not be counterproductive.

If we had all been doing our job of da’wah over the course of these last 40-50 years while there have been millions of Muslims in Europe it would have now been impossible to suddenly convince the public that we are a dangerous menace, because they would have all known our reality first hand. Sadly, many of us still do not challenge Islamophobia or engage with others. We are insular, staying within the comfort of our homes, extended families and Muslim communities. Ask the Jews where a campaign of hate ended for them and look to Bosnia and older history for what might happen again to the Muslims of Europe. Too many of us think that if we are quiet and keep our heads down no harm will come to us. It is true that we are innocent after all but the campaign against us goes on whether we like it or not and never has inaction won a battle.

Make duʿā’ for our success but do not forget that Mūsā (ʿalayhi al-Salām) had to hit the sea with his staff before Allāh parted it, Maryam had to shake the tree before Allāh made the fruit fall, Nūḥ had to build the ark. Do we not also have to take action before Allāh will answer our duʿā’ and, if He wills, allows us and our children to continue leading peaceful lives practicing our religion in Europe and calling others to the truth.

Probably the most useful thing to come from the debate was the legal advice that Fiona Bruce received from Professor Julian Rivers, professor of jurisprudence at the University of Bristol and an expert on law and religion. He described the proposals as “astonishing” and said that such a registration requirement, as it would apply to religious groups, would “be straightforwardly in breach of the UK’s international human rights obligations.” Imagine the backlash against the government if the bill went ahead but after a legal challenge all the faith groups including Muslims were exempt from regulation; Ofsted left dutifully seeking out extremists in Violin classes and Girl Guides groups.

Articles 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 and 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights,[6] and the UK’s Human Rights Act 1998 which brings the convention into UK law,[7] states that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and expression, to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority. In his opinion, requiring religious groups to register would breach that. Last year, the European Court of Human Rights said that the European Convention on Human Rights “excludes any discretion on the part of the State to determine whether religious beliefs or the means used to express such beliefs are legitimate.”

So I would encourage every teacher in every Madrasa to start the next lesson by teaching the children to memorise sūrahs 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 and 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights as it is perhaps the main legal defence we have to practice and teach our religion in the UK. It is also, perhaps, the best defence against parts of our religion being labelled extremist.

And I would seriously encourage every Madrasa and, in fact, all Muslims to join Liberty.[8] Liberty is an organisation at the forefront in the fight against this government’s attempts to scrap the Human Rights Act. Pay attention to their campaigns as many of their fights are our fights.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] https://www.facebook.com/Channel4News/videos/10153464670856939/

[2]http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160120/halltext/160120h0001.htm

[3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/12108953/David-Cameron-pledges-to-stop-Ofsted-inspectors-raiding-Sunday-schools-and-Scouts-meetings.html

[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/12102135/Tory-MPs-call-for-Ofsted-chief-to-resign-over-threat-to-raid-Sunday-schools-in-extremism-crackdown.html

[5] https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=far+right+rise+in+europe+politics

[6] http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf

[7] http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/your-rights/human-rights/what-are-human-rights/human-rights-act

[8] https://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/

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