Letter: The Price for Political Participation in Britain
Dear brother in Islam,
Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu
I write to you in the aftermath of the media attack on Muslims, centring on the group ‘Islamic Forum Europe’ (IFE), which highlights some harsh truths for those who believe in joining the British secular party political system.
For many years people from the Muslim community have joined Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Respect parties. Some join because they sincerely believe such engagement helps our community, whilst others purely seek their own personal gain.
But the attacks on the IFE in the Channel 4 programme ‘Dispatches’, as well as articles in the Sunday Telegraph, were not because their members were trying to join and influence the main political parties in the Tower Hamlets area. Rather, it was said they wanted to influence the political parties in the area in the direction of Islam and for the interests of the Muslim community. It was said that the IFE is ‘extreme’, for no reason except that it holds Islamic values and is not secular and westernised enough – and that this disqualifies it from any engagement and influence.
Regarding the IFE, the local Labour MP, Jim Fitzpatrick, told the media “They are completely at odds with Labour’s programme, with our support for secularism” , whilst the local Labour party said it would “take firm action and do whatever is necessary to ensure that everyone who joins the party does so as an individual and supports Labour’s aims and values.”
All of this proves something we have said for years – in order to achieve ANY influence in the political system in the UK, a Muslim is expected to abandon his values and sell his principles, and adopt the western secular values of the corrupt political parties.
This should not be a surprise to any observer of British politics. Many mainstream MPs, who might even have started life with good intentions, have been shown to be corrupted by the political process, wrongfully claiming thousands of pounds in expenses. The current set of Muslim MPs is a shameful bunch that consistently fails to reflect the views of Islam and Muslims.
Generally, the selection processes in these parties filters out sincere Muslim candidates from strong positions, although the parties themselves might still exploit them for bring benefits and votes. In addition to this, the government and opposition view any Muslim who hold Islamic values as ‘extremist’, and they use a mix of ‘bribes’ and bullying to get Muslims to leave these values and adopt theirs. Allah Subhanu wa Ta’ala tells us in Surah al-Baqara [2:120]
The Jews and the Christians would never be satisfied with you unless you follow their form of religion. Say: "The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance." If you were to follow their desires after the knowledge which has reached you, then you would find neither protector nor helper against Allah.
Muslims must be clear, that it is not an option for us to enter a secular, kufr, political process – abandoning the values of Islam in the political arena, assuming that there is some short term political gain.
We need to find a new politics that stays away from secular politics and concentrates on building our community at a grassroots level, based on three principles: Islam, Unity and Self Reliance. This would give us a strong foundation from which to have a grassroots engagement with non-Muslims, while at the same time retaining our values and dignity, and avoiding exploitation and humiliation.
Over the coming weeks Hizb ut-Tahrir will be holding gatherings and discussions in different parts of the country, and we hope to meet in order to discuss things further.
Dr Abdul Wahid
UK Executive Committee
23rd Rabiʻ al Awwal 1431
9th March 2010