The British government (ie. Home Secretary Sajid Javid) revoked Shamima Begum’s citizenship by stating “In certain circumstances, we will remove them of their nationality. I won’t hesitate to do that if that is the only option to me to keep people safe in the United Kingdom.” It is illegal under international law to make someone stateless. This was not the first time the government did this, rather it has been done up to 150 times since 2010. This case – and other similar cases – should have been be brought to court for trial to establish guilt or innocence.
However, Western liberal democracies pay lip service to justice and ‘rule of law’, which is not surprising when the secular/liberal politicians’ modus operandi is ‘ends justify the means’.
Due to factors such as re-election pressures, government survival, special interest groups, pandering to hostile public opinion against certain groups (often created by the secular elites) – politicians and their cohorts all trump lofty ideals of justice, rule of law and fair trial for political gains at the expense of justice and the rule of law. This is not an aberration of the liberal democratic system, rather an inherent feature of it.
A just political system is one where the laws, rights and justice are not decided by mob rule, special interest groups or catch-all justification like ‘public interest’ or any other vacuous reasons. A just political system is one based on fixed rules, rights and non-changing standards of justice. This is only possible under the system revealed by the Creator, the All-Wise, the All-Knowing and All-Just.
How does Islam ensure rule of law and justice?
Allah (ﷻ) said:
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِتَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ بِمَا أَرَاكَ اللَّهُ ۚ وَلَا تَكُن لِّلْخَائِنِينَ خَصِيمًا
“(O Messenger!) We have revealed to you this Book with the Truth so that you may judge between people in accordance with what Allah has shown you. So do not dispute on behalf of the dishonest.” [An-Nisa:105]
These and certain other verses which occur a little later on (see 4:113), deal with an important matter related to an incident that took place around the time they were revealed. The incident involved a person called Tu’mah or Bashir ibn Ubayriq of the Banu Zafar tribe of the Ansar. This man stole an Ansari’s coat of mail. While the investigation was in progress, he put the coat of mail in the house of a Jew. Its owner approached the Prophet (ﷺ) and expressed his suspicion about Tu’mah. But Tu’mah, his kinsmen and many of the Banu Zafar colluded to ascribe the guilt to the Jew. When the Jew concerned was asked about the matter, he pleaded that he was not guilty. Tu’mah’s supporters, on the other hand, waged a vigorous propaganda campaign to save Tu’mah’s skin. They argued that the wicked Jew, who had denied the Truth and disbelieved in Allah and the Prophet (ﷺ), was absolutely untrustworthy, and his statement ought to be rejected outright. The Prophet (ﷺ) was about to decide the case against the Jew on formal grounds and to censure the plaintiff for slandering Banu Ubayriq, but before he could do so, the whole matter was laid bare by a revelation from Allah (ﷻ).
Here in this example is the case of a Jew who is a citizen of the Islamic state, being framed for a crime that he did not commit. We see that the Islamic state led by the Prophet (ﷺ) had been instructed by Allah (ﷻ) to rule by justice and not to be an advocate of the dishonest.
Fundamental religious difference between the leader of the Islamic state, in this case, the Prophet (ﷺ) and the Jewish community did not swerve him from justice and rule of law.
In this and the following verses, the Muslims were strongly censured for supporting criminals for no other reason than either familial or tribal solidarity and were told that they should not allow prejudice to interfere with the principle of equal justice for all.
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُونُوا۟ قَوَّٰمِينَ لِلَّـهِ شُهَدَآءَ بِٱلْقِسْطِ ۖ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَـَٔانُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰٓ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا۟ ۚ ٱعْدِلُوا۟ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّـهَ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّـهَ خَبِيرٌۢ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
“O you who believe! Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let not hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably; act equitably, that is nearer to piety, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is Aware of what you do.” [Al-Ma’idah:8]