Islam offers a positive, practical change for the Muslim world while any model of democratic government would just import the problems of the west.
Western powers would have us scrambling to set up democracies in the Muslim world, where everyone has the right to behave how they like and say what they want, just like in the US and Europe. Of course when showcasing Europe and the US, they would rather we ignored uncomfortable facts like the sexual exploitation of women, the embarrassing existence of poverty (30 in million the US), social breakdown due to selfish individualism and a system that serves the rich at the expense of the poor far more effectively than any dictatorship.
Looking into India, Turkey, Indonesia and the picture is even worse.
The problem is that when an “Islamic” alternative is offered, which is clearly more aligned with the sentiments and world outlook of Muslims, then those offering it, generally, seem unable to pitch a genuine Islamic solution in a convincing manner. This is partly because when a regime claims to be Islamic (Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan before invasion) and it becomes clear that it isn’t – then the credibility of modern world Islamic solutions per se is dealt a blow.
The other reason is that advocates tend to rely on projecting the (undoubtedly glorious) past of the Islamic Khilafah as the sole reason for why the Islamic Khilafah should work today – a projection that is unfortunately open to a superficial, and often too easily accepted, attack along the lines of “that worked in medieval times but could hardly be effective in the modern world with all its modern problems”.
However, if we examine what the Islamic Khilafah and its systems have to offer in the context of some of the societal problems that are driving the current revolutions then a different perspective emerges.
Many Muslims in these countries felt the harshness of capitalism due to the economic and social consequences of a lack of employment, poor wages and high taxation. Looking to Western countries you still see citizens complaining of unemployment, low paid jobs along with high taxation. Under a Khilafah there would be an immediate shift from indirect taxation and income tax to wealth and land taxation. This would surely have a dramatic impact on the income of workers in Egypt.
And it would be good news for business too as Islam advocates a low tax environment. In fact legal tax avoidance in Islam is spending ones wealth which is encouraged – any spending, whether on setting up a business or on luxury goods, is great for the economy as it creates jobs and circulates wealth.
And not to forget Islam abolishes the payment of interest which means you can’t get rich without taking risks and if businessmen and the wealthy want to do something with their surplus money to avoid the aforementioned wealth tax, they have to invest in somewhere other than banks – they have to invest in businesses, again creating jobs and helping the economy.
Government corruption and a lack of accountability characterises Muslim countries. But in the West somehow the gap between the rich and the poor is still growing, people are increasingly apathetic about the political process because they feel disenfranchised even with the vote! In fact many people openly state that the system in the Western countries is a big con. It fools the people into thinking they have a say and a stake but in fact the room for debate is subtly but tightly constrained so that a real say is all but impossible.
Under a Khilafah the people would elect a leader and representatives for their various geographical areas. However due to the sharia rules the room for manoeuvre for the ruler or indeed any public official and consequently the room for corruption for these people would be severely constrained.
The sharia simply doesn’t allow public officials to profit from their position and there is legal case precedence to underpin this. It doesn’t allow the ruler to tax how he likes – because many types of taxation are illegal under the sharia. It doesn’t allow the ruler to hand power to his son. It obliges the ruler to deal with poverty not by looking at aggregate values like GDP which ignore the lot of the homeless, destitute and poorest in society but by identifying the poorest individual in society and ensuring that he/she has food, shelter, clothing and humane living conditions.
Allah (swt) says in the Quran “Whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are transgressors” [5:47]”
Transgressors, oppressors or disbelievers as some other ayahs say. So by looking to the Western models for the future in Egypt and other Muslim countries we would be engaging in the double stupidity of disobeying our Creator and choosing a demonstrably inferior system.
Choose the Islamic Khilafah and let’s get on with bringing this world from the darkness into the light.