Friday, 29 October 2010

People lost at sea all need a direction in which to swim, some just find the right one

Blair's sister-in-law's recent announcement of embracing islam, has unleashed a fairly generous amount of media banter. The repetitive debates and fiery opinions which reappear - women in Islam are oppressed, or that she became a sympathiser of a political cause or the less overtly stated one; she's another hippee looking for the latest new thing.

Well I can't pretend to know what exactly went through Lauren Booth's mind before she took the religious plunge, but from what she describes as some sort of spiritual rush, it seems Islam for her just felt right. We live in times, lets be brutally honest here, where we all seeming to be swimming against some sort of tide.  The way we overcome the tide is dependent on the amount of thinking we do, how much of reality we really see and whether we really find the strength and guidance to plunge our arms in the right current of water.

There is never the same discovery people make when they find Islam, but one thing is true for considerable amounts of women in the west - there comes a realisation when they live deep within the luring and luxurious riches of liberalism that a place where anything you wish for goes, is no place to wish for at all.

This isn't simply about the ritual stab at western decadence, for the sake of it. This is about living intertwined amongst wanting to fulfil all your hearts' desires, and realising that sometimes the consequences of which provide no warmth to the heart at all. In fact it's about realising that a culture of doing whatever one pleases is indeed what makes men leave the mother of their kids for the younger blonde with the pokey studio flat as the only baggage with the relationship, or what makes some men feel they can treat their lady whatever way is fitting for them at whatever time having no accountability to no one - only one's kicks at that time. Or even what drives big businesses to feel it's okay to make women feel their exterior is the only measure of who they are, and that whoever they are their exterior will never measure until they buy the latest daydream or magic concealer, just to ensure they sell sell sell.

It has been freedom to do what one pleases which has plagued society to a degree that it does little to please and care for all. Instead people are being pleased robbing, knifing, swearing and breaking up families. This is no model the rest of the world should lap up.

So do you still ask why. Do you still want to know why people don't want to be enslaved to the desires of the base human who instincts and needs are no different to that of any other mammal seeking to survive on a sahara plain.

Islam, throughout the last 1400 years, provided a heart-exhilirating liberation from slavery to the human heart, to slavery to the Creator of all human hearts, and limbs and minds.  The Creator who has obligated on the human heart to care for those close to us, and far from us, those vulnerable, those ill. To care about what happens around you, instead about what happens within your own blockaded life.  It is this accountability to Him in everything that you do, in the way you treat others and how you look after society, which liberates us.

This is the easiest swim and the calmest of tide to flow through. And this is why when you find this route in the ocean, you will never let it go.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Yes - Muslims and Islam still is centrestage

The recent barrage of incidents where people on both sides of the Atlantic have taken an avid interest in burning the Quran, yet again highlights the fact that the atmosphere against Islam and Muslims is as hostile as ever.  However for many of us spectators it may have been a piece of news we read and did not batter an eyelid at.  Why? Because Islam bashing has become a norm in the West.  Since 9/11, over 9 years ago now, insults against Muslims and sensationalisation of Islam has become part and parcel of the media and society within which we live - Thus a whole generation of youth, have grown into this culture as being the norm.  It is no wonder then that the youth who burnt Qurans in Gateshead, have done what they have - They do not know anything different, do they?

The strange thing is that the liberal societies of the West pride themselves on their ability to embrace different colours and creeds by giving all the freedom to believe and practice what they wish, setting them aside from the subverted developing world - So the question then begs, how is such control and vetting of an entire community in the way they practice their faith, justified? It is clear that this multi-cultural malarkey is the 'theory' of secular liberalism, but in reality the societies to varying degrees, forcibly make people adopt secularism taking away all freedom.  In France disallowing Muslim girls to take their Islam out into society by wearing hijab, in Belgium by banning the niqab.  This shows the fallacy of the value of secular liberalism - in reality, it just doesn't work.

Being a Muslim I very recently read about how the Islamic State of the past, which existed for over 1400 years implementing Islam as a comprehensive ruling system, dealt with minorities.  In fact it is well documented, from Moorish Spain to the now Arab world, people of different faith lived side by side without feelings of isolation or being labelled.  It is well known that during the rule of Umar ibn Al Khattab, the third ruler of the Islamic State, the protection of Christians and Jews in the now conflict-filled, Jerusalem was ensured - Community cohesion was achieved as the non-Muslims were able to practice their own religions, freely, in their places of worship with the knowledge that they had the protection of the State on their side as citizens of the State.  Such a picture of community cohesion is a far cry, from the picture that secular liberal democracy has achieved today.

The big clawback

It is ludicrous that the Government is commited in clawing shrinking back a welfare system from the poor of Britain who they package to be a load of lazy louts - The finger instead from the onset should have been pointed at a decrepit system which has allowed the rich to uncontrollably increase their wealth with no care for those underneath them - This includes many politicians whose income and lives are intertwined with many of these rich elite.

This is because capitalism in its essence sets a precedence that wealth creation is the foremost measure of success and that the freedom provided for the individual through capitalism is the predominant value over any form of collective value or value of something higher than slavery to ones base desires. I think therefore it is high time we begin to have an intellectual debate about the way forward for mankind, a way forward which would ensure real fairness and society which is not broken, but wholly cohesive and productive.

Being a Muslim I sincerely believe that the model of the Islamic ruling system - the Caliphate - which existed for over 1400 years, spanning across the Muslim world, managed to purport values within society which ensured that slavery to ones desires and slavery to wealth creation were not the be all and end all. In fact the Islamic ruling system, based upon the Islamic Shariah, contrary to popular perception, ensured that the human being felt accountable to first and foremost God, for all of their actions in public and in private. The impact this had was a consciousness within society of caring for others, over purely oneself.

The Islamic values more specifically placed a strong emphasis on wealth distribution over wealth hoarding, philanthropy and a need to take care of one another, over simply increasing ones own material assets and looking out only for oneself - And these values are enshrined within the Islamic texts even to this day.

Some practical examples from the Economic system however are the Islamic zakat tax, the only form of wealth tax in Islam, taxed those on all the wealth they owned, over just someone's income. This meant the rich, with all their stored assets paid out more, than those struggling to survive. The prohibition of interest meant that the rich discontinued from getting richer from wealth they already had, and the poor poorer from debt they were struggling to pay back.

These are a few strands of the comprehensive Islamic system which no longer exists in the world today, but is being much debated across all elements of society currently in the Muslim world as a possible and real alternative to the crippling system of Capitalism.