Islamic Civilisation Middle East — 07 September 2007

A number of striking findings came in an underreported poll published in April 2007. The poll, commissioned by the University of Maryland confirms previous research on the subject http://www.css-jordan.org . The poll conducted across four majority Muslim countries (Egypt, Pakistan, Morocco, and Indonesia) showed overwhelming support for the following:

• Application of Shariah law in Muslim countries
• Unification with other countries in a Pan Islamic state ie. Caliphate
• Opposition to occupation and western foreign policy
• Opposition to the imposition of western values in Muslim lands
• Opposition to the use of violence against civilians

For some of these issues, the level of consensus is in excess of 75%.

WHAT CAN BE LEARNED FROM SUCH POLLS?

1. It indicates the real views on the Muslim street

2. It blows the false myths about the political ideas of Islam and violence

3. It shows that the ideas underpinning the global war on terror are dangerous for the whole world and are deceptive to Western audiences

4. It proves the need for a change in western foreign policy towards the Muslim world

5. It proves that the Caliphate resonates in the Muslim world and that there is a need for all to understand these ideas from their advocates

1. It indicates the real views on the Muslim street

Tony Blair stated in many speeches that the Muslim world does not have to choose between dictatorship and a ‘Taleban style theocracy’. Rather, he argued, that the shared universal values of western democracy and liberty should be the future for Muslims.

It is true people hate dictatorship, occupation and corruption. However, it is false to think that the Muslim world feels the only way this can end is to choose a system like the one Blair, Bush and others advocate.

Muslims see the Shariah in governance as a means of guaranteeing their authority in appointing the ruler, and giving the checks and balances of accountability. Islam, Shariah and the Caliphate are what Muslims see as their liberation from dictatorship, occupation and corruption. It is a system that comes from their beliefs and values and is in accordance with their history.

2. It blows the false myths about the political ideas of Islam and violence

Right wing and hawkish commentators in the west argue that there is an inherent link between the political ideas of Islam and violence as a means to see Islam established. This survey has proved this is a lie and is false. People in the Muslim world want Islam but do not see political violence as a means to achieve it. In reality the overwhelming activism for the return of Islam and the Caliphate in the Muslim world has been through a political method.

3. It shows that the ideas underpinning the War on Terror are dangerous and are deceive the people in the west.

Political leaders, such as Bush, Blair, Cheney, John Reid and others have all attacked the principle of anyone working for a Caliphate and Shariah in the Muslim world.

President Bush stated, when referring to people that share the ideology of Al Qaeda “They hope to establish a violent political utopia across the Middle East, which they call caliphate, where all would be ruled according to their hateful ideology.”

Tony Blair also weighed in, when after the 7/7 attacks on London he stated that Britain must confront – “an evil ideology”, defining this as “their barbaric ideas.” These included: “the establishment of effectively Taliban States and Shari’ah law in the Arab world en route to one Caliphate of all Muslim nations.”

Charles Clarke when Home Secretary in 2005 made a speech to the right wing neo-conservative US think tank the Heritage Foundation stating in regards to the Muslim world: “What drives these people on is ideas. And, unlike the liberation movements of the post-World War II era, these are not political ideas like national independence from colonial rule, or equality for all citizens without regard for race or creed, or freedom of expression without totalitarian repression. Such ambitions are, at least in principle, negotiable and in many cases have actually been negotiated. However, there can be no negotiation about the re-creation of the Caliphate; there can be no negotiation about the imposition of Sharia law”.

They have led people in their own population to believe these are ideas of a fringe group of Muslims and most Muslims disagree with the idea of Shariah, Caliphate and any political manifestation of Islam. It is this thinking that deludes people into believing that they can ‘solve’ the problems of the Muslim world by bombing some groups, banning others and changing a couple of regimes.

The reality is that Islam, Shariah and Caliphate are the political ideas of the majority. Therefore, the war that these politicians launched is one that is against the ideas that are the majority mainstream ideas of the Muslim world – the ideas that people see as their liberation from tyrannical oppression, economic dependency and political slavery. They are fooling their own population into a false idea that is a war that can be won. They say it is to be a ‘long’ war. If they are trying to fight the ideas of approximately 1 billion people this is to be a never ending war.

4. It proves the need for a change in western foreign policy towards the Muslim world

The late Robin Cook said, after the Iraq war was over, that the challenge for the west is to reform its foreign policy with the Muslim world – meaning that he recognised that a colonial relationship was no longer tenable. The sad reality is that Bush and Blair interpreted the alternative to ruling through proxy dictators as direct rule via occupation. The unfortunate reality is that the likes of David Cameron and his small circle of neocon advisors agree with this analysis. The Gordon Brown analysis is like that of the Iraq Study group in the USA – that is that the policy of intervention to suppress the expression of these political ideas of Islam is essential, but that the military option is a last resort.

The hopeful sign is that the mainstream populations in Britain, Europe and America were against the Iraq war, and do not support these politicians in their desire to intervene, interfere and invade. They are sceptical about the arguments about liberal interventionism – seeing it as a hypocritical excuse to intervene for material gain. They are sceptical about the scare mongering about terrorist threats. Even where they see the need to take security measures at home they see this foreign policy as worsening the problem. They recognise that heightening anger in the Muslim world and destroying civil society does not make the world a safer place.

5. It proves that the Caliphate today resonates in the Muslim world and that there is a need for all to understand these ideas from their advocates

Above all this survey reflects the emergence of the return of the Caliphate as a majority desire. It proves that the Muslim masses want to live by the Shari’ah. It proves that the west has lost the battle of ideas. And it proves that Islam has won the battle for hearts and minds.

Given that this is the case, this shows that there is an urgent need for people to understand these ideas from those who carry them and believe in them. Many ordinary people in western countries see past the lies and spin of politicians. There is currently no effective voice that is countering these government inspired lies with the real facts about what Muslims the world over want. There is a huge burden on the Muslim community to advocate Islam as an alternative for the Muslim world.

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