by Jamshed Abbas (Special Reports, Crescent International Vol. 42, No. 4, Rajab, 1434)
The role of committed Muslims is to work for social, economic and political justice by interacting with the oppressed in western societies.
In an earlier article discussing Muslim presence in the US, four groups were identified. Of these, our principal concern was with the group labeled “revolutionary.” Revolutionary Muslims live in the West but do not subscribe to Western capitalism/secularism/liberalism. Instead they look upon monotheism (which is represented in its purest form only by Islam) as a complete system that covers every human need from cradle to the grave. They see Western societies in need of urgent reform.
To them, the real solution to the ongoing oppression of Muslims worldwide at the hands of the US is a radical transformation of the American political and social system at home. This will not only bring relief to Muslims abroad, but will also bring relief to Muslims who are under intense pressure in the US. Thus, the reformation of American society would bring with it the solution to a problem that often confounds Muslims and makes them feel like they have to choose between their safety/security/well-being at home and the safety/security/well-being of Muslims living abroad.
The question arises: what are some of the practical steps that can attain these goals? Before this subject is broached in greater detail, it is important that a few points be clarified further. While there is urgency for “nuts and bolts” solutions to the political and social predicament facing Muslims in America and elsewhere in the West, these everyday solutions will not be forthcoming unless a broad theoretical framework is first laid out.
The most important point that should be kept in mind is that the preceding discussion does not entail a wholesale conversion of American individuals or society to Islam. (We will focus primarily on America due to its status as the leader of the “free” world, but the general rules and principles apply everywhere). A revolutionary Muslim does not have visions of flying the Islamic flag anywhere in the US — such crude and Zionist-serving visions (the bogeyman of the “fundamentalist” Muslim who wants to impose Islam on Western society) of Islamic domination have nothing to do with Islam. Of course, this does not exclude the proselytization of individuals as a natural byproduct of interaction with Muslims and the resulting tabligh of society at large. Nor does it exclude the need for Muslims to be very observant as individuals and communities. Suffice it to say that a Muslim who does not pray five times a day is hardly a Muslim, let alone a revolutionary one.
The revolutionary Muslim is not looking to impose Islamic symbols and outward manifestations of Islamic Shari‘ah on anyone in the West. Instead he/she seeks to establish justice, peace, respect for individuals and cultures; egalitarianism; eradication of poverty; intellectual uplifting of the masses
The revolutionary Muslim is not looking to impose Islamic symbols and outward manifestations of Islamic Shari‘ah on anyone in the West. Instead he/she seeks to establish justice, peace, respect for individuals and cultures; egalitarianism; eradication of poverty; intellectual uplifting of the masses; eradication of the base expression of greed/lust/ambition in advertising, movies and other forms of media; eradication of corruption within the political system and freeing it from the moneyed interest groups such as Zionists, pharmaceuticals and others; protection of the environment; a foreign policy that is based on respecting others not plundering their natural resources etc. The list goes on. Thus, if one were to express the political goals of revolutionary Muslims in the US, they would be the eradication of oppression and establishment of justice. This does not contradict our earlier assertion that revolutionary Muslims see Islamic monotheism as the only solution to the ills that beset Western societies, specifically the US. In fact the implementation of Islam in America consists not of an insistence on the outward adherence to Islamic symbols but an implementation of Islamic principles within society.
Once Muslims and their political movement in America are widely associated with Islamic principles such as justice, equality, love, forbearance, forgiveness, fearlessness, elevating humanity, chastity, intellectual and spiritual freedom, in short the fruits of the ever-giving and generous tree of monotheism and devotion to Allah (swt), people will start to take on the outward manifestation of Islam such as saying shahadah, beards, hijab, etc. It might be that if Muslims successfully implement the political goals above, millions of Americans would start to convert to Islam. That is not the goal however. The goal is the establishment of justice and eradication of oppression. The conversion or non-conversion of others is above our pay grade.
Thus, specific political actions that Muslims take in the US may adapt to changing circumstances, but the principles that guide them will be Islamic and the goal will be their implementation as outlined above. Specifics will be discussed in the third installment of this article, insha’allah.