You are not safe to walk the streets out of fear of being stabbed, shot or a constant worry your house will be burgled if left unattended. This is not an exception to the norm, rather the exception is the few who manage to escape such crimes.
The rise of crime is a reflection of exactly where the liberal ideology and its political elite have lead society. It has not only created the environment for criminality to occur (pushing notions such as individual freedom) but systematically fails to address the root causes. When members of parliament are continuously caught fiddling their expenses or lying about driving offences like Fiona Onasanya, is it any wonder that the average man has no qualms about committing fraud? This is the reason why crimes such as insurance fraud, the compensation culture and financial crimes have become a culture and not just a crime.
Whilst resulting in financial loss and harm to individuals, crime also breaks down the very fabric of society. For any society to function there needs to be a level of trust between the members of the community. Crime brings about an air of suspicion around certain sectors of society who may be seen as the archetypal criminal. Be that the young or members of ethnic minorities, a rise in crime increases suspicion and anxiety levels.
Police cutbacks under austerity, combined with an increase in poverty, have created the lethal cocktail we see before us. The police are increasingly uninterested in following up ‘low-level’ crime such as burglary, thereby granting a greater incentive for criminals.
A complete breakdown of trust has led to many not even bothering to report crimes to the police as they will become a mere statistic with no retribution.
The only way to create a healthy society with a real aversion to crime is through something more than legislation alone. The notion of “I would do it if I could get away with it” is prevalent in secular liberal societies, whereas Islam builds a level of accountability within a person where a person is constantly reminded of his actions and fearing Allah ﷻ. The first line of defence is being God conscious, which in turn will make individuals account themselves before any legislation is required. This is exemplified in the Quran –
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ
“O you who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are true (in word and deed).” [At-Tawbah: 119]
A state based on the Islamic creed encourages a reliance on Allah ﷻ, even during difficult times, thereby not resorting to criminality to achieve gains:
وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا
“…And whoever fears Allah, He will make for him a way out.” [At-Talaq: 2]
The Khilafah state is responsible for its citizens and must ensure that not being able to meet basic needs does not lead to criminality. It also ensures that all levels of crime, fraud, or simply ‘cooking of the books’ are punished accordingly. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:
“The people before you were ruined because when a noble person amongst them committed theft, they would leave him, but if a weak person amongst them committed theft, they would execute the legal punishment on him. By Allah, were Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, to commit the theft, I would have cut off her hand” [Bukhari].
Take home message:
‘Do what I like as long as I can get away with it’, + criminal role models (MP’s, corporates, etc), + poverty + cutbacks = a lethal cocktail for criminality! A God-conscious society is Islam’s first line of defence against crime, as well as a state which provides citizens’ basic needs & punishments which fit the crime.