The sensationalism in the media following the BBC Panorama programme ‘British Schools, Islamic Rules’ on 22nd November 2010 is part of the latest effort to force Muslims – especially children – to become westernised.
It was a coordinated event between the BBC and the Policy Exchange thinktank which has links to the government and which has been linked to previous hostile attacks on Islam.
The programme followed a pattern Muslims have become used to. They demonise some aspects of Islam saying it is ‘extreme’. They link it to distortions about Islam, or to the shortcomings in the behaviour of Muslims and hope that Muslims will feel confused and embarrassed about the aspects of Islam under attack, and so distance themselves from the real issues.
This programme showed that madrasah curricula for Muslim children in the UK teach that homosexuality is a sin against the law of Allah, that Islam teaches to cut the hand of the thief, that Islam is the true religion, and insults Jews and Christians – and that all this was ‘extremism’. They said preachers were ‘extremists’ if they said that there is a struggle going on between Islam and Kufr.
We have not seen the details of the curricula presented in the programme, so we cannot comment upon how accurate they are. Moreover, there may be a legitimate discussion about what is aged-appropriate for Muslim children to learn, and the specific lessons that ought to be taught in each subject.
But none of this was the basis of Panorama’s attack. They presented things in the most negative manner, with a clear agenda that Muslims ought to distance themselves from these matters if they did not wish to be viewed as ‘extremists’.
For the government and these media organisations Muslims will be ‘extremists’ until they accept same-sex or extramarital relationships as a natural lifestyle choice, reject the hudood of Allah, view Islam as one of many valid religious options, ignore the West’s anti-Muslim foreign policy, reject any resistance to the occupation of Muslim lands, and laugh off attacks on the Blessed Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alaihi wasallam).
Regarding their criticism that homosexuality is a sin in Islam – Islam absolutely prohibits homosexuality, and also prohibits sexual relations between men and women who are not married – although the issue of illegality and punishment is a matter for an Islamic authority alone and hence is practically irrelevant in the UK. Islam promotes married life and the family.
Western societies have let marriage decline. As a result homes are broken, the elderly live alone and societies are falling apart. This is what Cameron calls ‘Broken Britain’.
Regarding their criticism of cutting the hand of the thief – This is a Shariah punishment mentioned in the Quran. It is subject to strict conditions of evidence and implementation. It is a powerful deterrent to criminality so ordinary decent citizens can live their lives without fear.
By contrast look at the situation in Britain, where the weak and elderly can be attacked or robbed, and the legal system fails to give them security. How can it be right that ordinary people are fearful of going to their local town centres because of rowdy and criminal behaviour?
Regarding their criticism that we believe Islam is the only deen acceptable to Allah – Far from being something negative, such a belief motivates concern, not contempt as the programme tried to convey. The Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alaihi wasallam) and his companions, felt sadness and great regret and concern – even causing them to weep – when anyone died with a belief other than Islam.
When Muslims believe that Islam is the truth, their conviction is based upon rational and strong intellectual arguments that lead them to believe that Allah is the Creator and the Quran is His Guidance for mankind.
They didn’t mention that some western people believe ‘freedom’, democracy and capitalism are the only correct way for the whole world to live by – and spend billions on wars and bribes to spread this ‘deen’.
Regarding their accusation that Islam insults Jews and Christians – Islam does not permit the wanton insulting of anyone for their religion – unlike some elements of the British media who simply revel in the insult and degradation of women, Islam, and many other religions. They celebrate offensive jokes about the elderly and disabled, and about religious figures, no matter who they offend.
However, the programme referred to Quranic accounts about Bani Israel in the past, which are not promoting hatred. They are frank and harsh lessons about certain human behaviours that people – including Muslims – should avoid. Islam is very clear in teaching that if Muslims adopted the same mistakes and
violations that nations did in the past, they would be equally liable to the same harsh punishments from Allah.
Regarding their criticism that some Muslims talk about a struggle between Islam and Kufr – Do they think Muslims have been blind to their constant media offensives on every aspect of Islam; to the bans on hijab and niqab in Europe; to the desecration of the Quran and the repeated insults to Allah’s Messenger?
They didn’t mention their ‘War on Terror’, which was a war started to impose secular capitalist democracy on the Muslim world, and remove any Islamic obstacle to this. Islamic texts do make references to a struggle between Iman and Kufr. But today, just as it was at the time of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam), it is not Muslim hostility to others that makes this struggle real, but the attacks on Islam by others.
Moreover Islam teaches, despite the truth of this struggle provoked by enemies of Islam, that Muslims must be just and good to others that they live alongside.
A Muslim living in the UK should respond to the attacks on Islam from politicians and media with strong arguments and a firm resolve, and hold on to their Islamic values that are targeted by these media lies.
These Islamic Shariah values that teach us to stand firm in the face of these attacks, also command us to uphold the sanctity of the lives, property, honour, and religion of other people in this country.
The Islamic Shariah values that teach that homosexuality is a sin are the same that teach that Muslims should have good relations with non-Muslims and that it is haram to lie to them and deceive them or to trick them for a certain benefit.
The Quran, which commands that the thief’s hand be cut if a legitimate court finds them guilty under the authority of an Islamic Caliphate, also says: “Serve Allah and do not join any partners with Him: and do good to parents, family, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet) and what your right hands possess: for Allah does not love the arrogant or conceited” [Translated meaning of Surah an-Nisa 4:36]
We do not expect Panorama, or any similar programme to present anything balanced in regards to Islam. It has merely reflected the brutal policy of assimilation of the British state. The government, Panorama and the Policy Exchange thinktank should concentrate more on the real problems in British education, such as the rising levels of attacks on teachers and the bullying of children; also the fact that society has rising levels of teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease and antisocial behaviour.
It is precisely for these reasons that Muslims seek to encourage their children to go to madrasahs and learn Islamic values, so that they can be decent, productive people, who have respect and care for others – no matter where they are in the world, and fulfil the command to: “O Believers! Guard yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones”. [Surah at-Tahrim 66:6]
These ongoing attacks on Islam demonstrate the desperation of the British establishment to stem the tide of Islam amongst the Muslim community. The Muslim Ummah globally has rejected the empty slogans of freedom, democracy and secularism. The Muslim Ummah today is looking to the re-establsihmnet of Islam as a state and society that can liberate the Ummah from the suffering caused by Western capitalism.
Our duty here in the West is to carry dawah to the people of this land who are fed these lies and present the real beauty of Islam as a way of life following the command of Allah (swt).
“Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the best way.” [Surah an-Nahl 16:125]
17 Dhul Hijjah 1431 / 23 November 2010