"Islamic Government" is Un-Islamic & Sharia Law is Unjust

(ref : http://www.freemuslims.org/document.php?id=459)

January 6, 2008
In some Muslim majority nations religious extremists force free people
to confess and practice a government-approved version of faith that
they call Islam. These self-righteous terrorists and tyrants want to
subdue Muslims and non-Muslims alike. These enemies of freedom use
their handpicked Imams to issue fatwas to validate their tyranny.
Unfortunately, most of these Imams' values and fatwas that have never
been subjected to the scrutiny of a free press, are accepted as truly
Islamic values in many Muslim societies. Under many such regimes,
women cannot drive, own a business, or even acquire the most
rudimentary education. In some of these countries religious police
whip and herd the common people like camels into mosques during prayer
time. When women become victims of torture and honor killing in the
name of Islam, these Imams ignore or declare these atrocities to be
isolated incidents. They claim that Islam and Muslims are protected
under their "just" rule.

Muslims are quick to condemn non-Muslim societies for their human
rights violations. However, they are silent when it comes to the abuse
of innocent women and other members of Muslim society. In such a sad
state of Muslim society, many Muslims blindly dream of a utopian
"Islamic government", in much the same way as Christians anticipate
the "Kingdom of God."

Unfortunately, this idea of "Islamic government" is a myth created by
the power-hungry to subdue Muslims and non-Muslims alike to benefit
exclusively those who rule. The Koran unambiguously exposes the
tyrants' forgery of Islam.

The Koran states:

"Whosoever will, let him believe and whosoever will, let him
disbelieve" (Koran 18: 29)

"[O Prophet,] exhort them; thy task is only to exhort: thou cannot
compel them to believe." (Koran: 21-22).
"O Prophet.!...Thy duty is not more than to deliver the message; and
the reckoning is Ours." (Koran 13:40).
These verses teach that an atmosphere of safety and liberty is an
absolute necessity to the development of faith in the heart. These
verses demand Muslims to guarantee freedom and safety for all.
Moreover, the "reckoning" belongs to God only. Therefore, if a
governmental or Imams' Fatwas demand public obedience and submission,
such an outward appearance of obedience is not faith. The tyrants or
any humans have no means to know what is in the heart of the
individual thus subdued. When government enforces religion, the
control is over the body, not over the soul. Unfortunately, many
Muslims want to make the reign over the body, the most important tenet
of Islam to send human "meat and blood" to God. However, the Koran
rejects such tyranny over body:

"It is not your meat or blood that reach God: It is the fealty of your
heart that reaches Him" (Koran 22:37).
The Koran states:
"We sent down the Torah which contains guidance and light...Later, in
the train of Prophets We sent Jesus, son of Mary, confirming the Torah
which has been sent down before him, and gave him the Gospel
containing guidance and light. ...Unto to you [O Muhammad] this writ
(Koran) and a way and a pattern of life, confirming what were revealed
before...Unto everyone of you have We appointed a different law and
way of life. And if God had so willed He could surely have you all
made one single community professing one faith. But He wished to try
you and test you. So try to excel in good deeds" (Koran: 5:44-48).

Therefore, the very existence of different kinds of faith and religion
contesting one another in acts of good work is the will of God. Hence,
freedom without the enforcement of conformity in religious matters is
Islamic. The so-called Islamic governments of the self-righteous
violate Koranic principles and tyrannize people of all faith including
Muslims.

God told the Prophet (s): "...Fear not people, but fear Me (God)..."
(Koran 5:44).

"Say [Muhammed]: 'I possess no power to give benefit for myself, nor
power to hurt save by God's leave. Had I the knowledge of the unknown,
I would have acquired much good, and evil would not have touched
me...."(Koran 7: 188).

The Prophet (s) preached, "I am no more than a human like you..." (Koran 41:6).

And so, he proclaimed that humans are free and individually
accountable to God only.

He preached freedom of faith. He struggled to establish a free
society. Prophet Muhammad (s) functioned as a democratically elected
leader after the invitation of the entire citizens of Medina. The
Prophet (s) never forced a decision upon his community even when he
believed that the majority decision on a particular secular matter was
a mistake, as happened in the case of the disaster at the battle of
Uhud. He and a minority of the citizens of Medina argued for the
fortification of the city of Medina and planned to fight the Meccan
army from within. Yet, he agreed to go along with the wishes of the
majority of his followers to fight the Koraisch in an open field
instead of fighting from fortified Medina, even though he believed
that the strategy of the majority was wrong. He upheld the democratic
principles even when there was maximum danger to the community. So in
conclusion, it is imperative to note that Islam demands freedom, and
not tyranny by Imams, Ayatollahs or Khalifas.

Following the footsteps of the Prophet (s), all Muslims must ardently
and peacefully struggle to establish a free society. This would
require a dictate of freedom. Such freedom ensures that a totalitarian
government, an Imam, or a sunni/shiah does not presume
self-righteously to impose a personal interpretation of faith upon
others. Everyone is equal and free. If any one wants to be a believer,
let him/her be. If anyone wants to be an apostate let him/her be safe
to live the life of an apostate.

Government is a tool to maintain communal policy. Within the framework
of a democratic government, community policy is generated by communal
consensus. The concept of communal consensus, though valuable in
establishing communal parameters, becomes irrelevant in the assessment
of an individual's soul on " The Day of Judgment." What is critical in
the Islamic context is faith. Faith is an exclusively personal and
private experience. We embrace faith individually just as we confront
our death individually. An Muslim philosopher, Souroush, correctly
said that we have communal actions but not communal faith. We can
express faith in public but the core of the faith is mysteriously
private. The preeminence of Islamic faith is for the Hereafter where
people are to be judged individually:

"Everyone of them will come before Him all alone on the Day of
Resurrection. Surely, the compassionate (God) will show love for those
who believe and do right." (Koran 19:95-96).

In Islam, there is no Original Sin to blight the goodness inherent in
mankind; therefore, the prime criterion on the Day of Judgment is the
cumulative action of the individual. The officials of a government can
have faith and religious values, yet God judges the individual not for
what the community has sanctioned as ethical, but for what the
individual has chosen as honorable action. One individual cannot bear
the sole responsibility for a communal decision. So on the Day of
Judgment, a communal policy does not outweigh one's actions determined
in the course of free will.

The function of government is enforcement. Therefore, the concept of
so-called Islamic government is an oxymoron because the Koran is
against any form of compulsion or enforcement of a particular
religion. It proclaims:

"No compulsion is there in religion, for rectitude is henceforth
distinct from perversity..." (Koran 2:256).
However, closed minds of contemporary Muslims at large cannot grasp
the straightforward and simple message. A community can have Islamic
values. The community values do not come from the simple pronouncement
of fatwas by Imams or Ayatollahs, but after comprehensive free
discussion of all fatwas and opinions in a free press, without
coercion and intimidation. Such open discussion and decision-making by
the community are important Islamic tenets because God asked the
Prophet (s):

"...And seek their [i.e., people's] counsel in all matters of public
concern..." (Koran 3:159).

Mistakes are possible when humans make decisions. However, the
Compassionate God states:

"There is no sin upon you for what mistakes you commit
unintentionally, but there is sin in what your hearts have intended."
(Koran 33:5)

Unintentional mistakes happen less frequently when the mind is exposed
to free press, public dialogue, and reason. The Prophet stated "God
has not created any thing better than reason." So, any Muslim who
opposes a free press, public debate, and reasoning commits a sin
knowingly because he/she refuses to listen to the merit or demerit of
an opposing point of view. The Koreishs of Mecca rejected the Prophet
(s) because they refused to listen to reason. Muslims must reject the
paradigm of ignorance that pervades in their community and in
individual minds. Let Imams and scholars issue Fatwas freely without
power to enforce it over the community. Let us free ourselves from the
concept of enforced forms of outward Islam that demand the conformity
and submission of our "meat and blood." Reject any form of conformity
by force. Reject totalitarianism and monarchies that want to rule our
bodies. Let freedom with the safeguard of a free press rule our "meat
and blood" and let faith rule our heart. Let the hearts and minds fly
freely until truth, based in reason, pervades the earth so that there
may be liberty and justice for all (God willing).

Unlike the enforced distorted Islam of tyrants and terrorists, the
faith chosen freely at the individual level without coercion and
without forced conformity is the genuine faith. In a world where faith
freely chosen fills the heart, the true religious spirit comes alive
vibrantly to establish the ideal society where all people may partake
of that precious freedom called choice. Early Muslim history
corroborates this fact. Muslims helped Jews to create their Golden Age
and liberated Christians from the tyranny of the Roman church. Muslim
philosophy and science promoted the Enlightenment and Renaissance of
Europe. Muslims also created the experimental science. In those days,
we educated anyone who came our way without force-feeding our faith.
Now we have governments that have taken control of our bodies claiming
to send our "meat and blood" to God while Muslims have to beg from
non-Muslim societies for their daily bread to keep their bodies alive.
Islam would remain a dream and a theory with no practical value until
faith rules the hearts and freedom, liberal democracy with an
accountable free press rules human "blood and meat."

The American struggle against authority is only a different version of
the Prophet's and his immediate followers' struggle against authority.
The democratic paradigm draws inspiration from the Koranic axiom that
human beings are free under God. The American constitution reflects
this as it states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press." In America, hearts
can choose their faith at the individual level. In this great nation,
everyone is free to believe or disbelieve in the Day of Judgment when
free human spirits face God for their individual acts and faith, not
for governmental or communal sins.

American Muslims must struggle along with the rest of Americans
against any threat from external or internal forces that endanger our
re-discovered freedom. We must struggle for a better America without
abridging freedom. America may not be the perfect utopia of Christians
or Muslims, or of anybody else, but it is the best resilient nation in
the contemporary world. Muslim Americans joining hands with the rest
of Americans, without impinging on the freedom of others, must strive
to make America a greater nation than what it is now. Free Muslims of
America know that America and American freedom must be protected and
preserved at any cost if Muslims want to practice Islam as each Muslim
understands it, not as authoritarians such as monarchs or religious
bigots choose to enforce it. Finally, I thank God for creating America
where my faith rules my heart and liberal democracy rules my "meat and
blood" without anyone forcing me to conform my Islamic practices to
anyone else's Islam or vice versa.

by T.O.Shanavas

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