The failure of the west to solve human problems is all too obvious and no amount of compromise will provide a lasting solution
The Occupy movement gets its name from the way it seeks to initiate political change. Demonstrators occupy public (though that’s not always the case) squares, and buildings associated with the issue they feel a grievance towards. This adversely impacts the everyday workings of these places, sometimes bringing business to a halt, but most importantly draws public attention to their cause – if and when the media chooses to cover the story.
It is a peaceful means of protest but based on direct action as increasingly people have found democracy wanting. Students in the UK initiated sit-ins in university buildings to protest against university fees after the Liberal Democratic Party, which had campaigned pre-election 2010 against university fees, voted in favour of fees once elected to government. Protesters have occupied Wall Street, New York, the financial heart of America, frustrated by President Obama’s unwillingness to bring to heel bankers despite his 2009 pre-election speeches pledging to curtail the power of corporate America. In the UK protesters have camped outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London for the past month after being denied access to the grounds of the London Stock Exchange to demonstrate against capitalism.
While the outward manifestations are a variety of economic grievances – income and wealth inequality, corporate greed, unemployment – the Occupy protests are in essence direct action demonstrations to raise public awareness in order to initiate political change where democracy has demonstratively failed. It’s telling that the most vociferous occupy protests are in the heart of western capitals and cities which laud their democratic credential to the world over.
Detractors like to dismiss the protesters as a disparate group including serial protesters like environmentalists but even politicians on the receiving end of their criticism like Obama have acknowledged that the demonstrator’s anti-capitalism message strikes a chord with public opinion. That doesn’t mean mainstream politicians are indifferent. In the Wall Street protests violence has erupted when the authorities have got involved while in the UK the police were heavily and quickly deployed to prevent other buildings from being occupied a few days after St Pauls’ precinct was occupied. At the same time western politicians have disparagingly accepted that stamping on protests in public places at home is not a good advert for the tired old mantra of democracy abroad.
To date the occupiers have achieved little aside from some unintended impacts. In London St Paul’s Cathedral has lost three of its senior staff who resigned over the Church’s feeble attempts to rid themselves of the demonstrators. The source of the Occupy movements anger, the financial markets, meanwhile continue to wreak havoc on vulnerable states and their people who are caught in a debt crisis while their politician friends endlessly siphon taxpayers money to prop up failing banks while insisting the masses must carry the burden of the austerity because to impose new taxes on the banks would be catastrophic.
Such a recipe ensures a prolonged crisis, higher unemployment and greater hardship for the masses. Therefore grievances will only increase providing greater occasion for the Occupy movements and those who are not so peaceful. Capitalist players will not be amiss to this and will undoubtedly offer sufficient concessions to placate the protesters. If it’s one thing that capitalism is good at its compromise- it’s in its DNA so to speak.
As we witness the rise on anti-capitalism in the heart of capitalist states the failure of the west to solve human problems are all too obvious and no amount of compromise will provide a lasting solution. The world needs a new, just vision that can only come from the Sharia of Allah (swt) with fresh, new principals to govern society. As Muslim countries emerge from dictatorship, the world does not need another failing capitalist state rather Muslim countries can offer this alternative to the world based upon the Sharia of Allah (swt) implemented via the Khilafah. A system which has a proven history of progress and advancement in line with the belief of the people and their values.
The main contention of the Occupy movement is what they believe is the way democracy has been usurped by a rich and powerful few which is the root of the economic and political grievances of the majority yet this is inevitable.
This is because democracy puts politicians above the law because they make the law. This extends to friends of politicians and that is why political patronage is valued and so valuable which then undermines democracy itself and exposes a fundamental flaw in the democratic idea itself.
In Islam no one including the Khaleef or his household is above the law of Allah or Sharia. The Khaleef can’t make up the Sharia as he goes along because it is pre-defined with the people the ultimate guardians to ensure its implementation. The basis of the Sharia, the Quran (and sunnah), is in every Muslim home in the world from Turkey to Indonesia so someone among the 2 billion Muslims is bound to know if the Khaleef changes a thing which is fundamental or fails to deliver on what Islam requires from his Office. This ensures a strong and powerful constitutional basis for the Khilafah. The economic, health, education and societal rights of the people (all of which are derived from the Sharia) follow from this strong political foundation in Islam.