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Religion, Politics and Human Rights

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Those who do not understand the paramount necessity of the separation of Mosque-Church and State, have not read their Bible:
Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD.  This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”
So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. Then he said to the Kenites, “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.
Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the LORD all that night.   (1 Samuel 15:1-11)
And:
Next we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched out to meet us in battle at Edrei. The LORD said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”
So the LORD our God also gave into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army. We struck them down, leaving no survivors. At that time we took all his cities. There was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og’s kingdom in Bashan. All these cities were fortified with high walls and with gates and bars, and there were also a great many unwalled villages. We completely destroyed them, as we had done with Sihon king of Heshbon, destroying every city—men, women and children. But all the livestock and the plunder from their cities we carried off for ourselves.  (Deuteronomy 3:1-7)
Many read violence in the verses of the Holy Quran also.  However, it is misinterpretation of the veres advocating defensive war, whether these are misinterpreted by the Jehadis or the Islamophobes, is irrelevant to the comparison of the scriptures.
However, the separation of Mosque-Church and State becomes a necessity, in Muslim Countries, in the West and in Israel, in the case of the Bible because of the violent nature of the text and in the case of the Quran because of lack of insight of the power hungry Mullah, the fundamentalist Muslim clerics!
If you are not convinced of my stance here, go ahead and read the whole of Deuteronomy, a few hour effort should give you a life time of enlightenment:
If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.  (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)
It is important to study all religious and political traditions side by side and not focus on the dirty laundry of one particular tradition as that only confirms ones prior prejudices and biases.

Separation of Mosque-Church and State:

On the 2nd Day of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Germany’s Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) on 25th June 2011, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), Khalifatul Masih V, Fifth Successor to the Promised Messiah(as) and Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, delivered an address to an audience of over 300  non-Ahmadi guests. The majority of the guests were of German origin, whilst delegations from Macedonia, Slovenia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Malta, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, and various  Arab countries were also in attendance. The guests included people from various professions, including doctors, teachers, lawyers, politicians, as well as ordinary citizens. We present below the transcript of the address delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba):

“All the distinguished guests: Assalamo ‘Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahe Wa Barakatohu – Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all.

First of all I would like to thank all of the  guests who, despite not being a part of  our religion, are attending this event taking  place within our Annual Convention.  This programme today has been organised  specifically for our non-Ahmadi  friends, and indeed the majority, or at least quite a number of guests, are non-Muslim.

Certainly, your attendance at this event demonstrates your broad-mindedness, whereby as citizens of Germany, you appreciate that it is important to understand and recognise each another, irrespective of religious differences.

A large majority of the Ahmadis in Germany are not of German origin. In fact, apart from just a few people, the vast majority are of either Pakistani or Asian origin. This shows that not only have you come here irrespective of religious differences, but also irrespective of national and cultural differences.

It is said that some of Germany’s indigenous population has Asian ancestry. It may seem that many of the world’s nations are divided by their cultures and languages, but the truth is that their cultures and languages often have common roots.

If we look, for example, at the case of the Indo-Pak sub-continent, we observe that for a very long period various nations came and inhabited its lands. If we look just at Pakistan, we find that dozens of tribes and ‘brotherhood’ systems existed. Over many eras these distinct groups came to form one nation.

Look at the true picture of Islam portrayed by the Ahmadiyya community.  It is on these teachings that you should base your judgement.

In this speech, Khalifatul Masih V, Hadrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has also stressed, separation of Mosque-Church and State. He says:

In one verse, the Holy Qur’an teaches us that: there should be no compulsion in matters of faith (Ch.2:V.257). Some of you may not be aware that this verse was revealed when the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw) had already established a government in Madinah. At the time, a covenant had already been made with the Jews and other tribes, and a functioning system of government was in place in which the Holy Prophet (saw) had already been accepted as Head of State. The injunction to keep religion and government independent of each other was revealed at that time and in those circumstances, even though the difference between right and wrong had become manifest, and even though the Muslims believed their religion to be true and their teachings to be unparalleled.

With this injunction it became clear that these excellent teachings were to be spread through love and affection, rather than by force or by acting unjustly towards others. Allah has said that a requirement for a just government is that it should separate religious matters from matters of State, and every citizen should be afforded his due rights.

This principle is absolute and without exception, to the extent that you must act justly even with those people who have displayed hatred towards you, and who

due to this opposition have persecuted you repeatedly in every possible way. The Holy Qur’an states:

O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is Aware of what you do. (Ch.5:V.9)

This is the key principle to running a government, that religion should play no part in it. Religious differences should not be an obstacle to the implementation of justice.

Read further in Review of Religion of July 2011:

Umar Farooq: Who pioneered religious freedom for the whole of humanity!

The following is a slightly modified version of a short speech I gave in Vestal High School, New York to show that Islam is a religion of peace and that revelation has contributed in a big way to human knowledge and history.

When the Holy Prophet Muhammad claimed Monotheism in the polytheistic society of Mecca they turned against him and he and his followers had to face persecution for 13 long years.  He migrated to Medina but the Meccans did not leave him alone there and attacked Medina, it was in these circumstances that the following verses were revealed:

“Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them — Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ — And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques.” (Al Quran 22:40-41)

By mentioning Churches and Synagogues before Mosques, the revelation was laying the foundation of genuine religious freedom for the whole of humanity.

We visited Spain during the spring vacation this year and went to the central mosque of Cordoba, which was a mosque at least for three centuries, but, it is now a Cathedral.   In the year 1492 when Columbus discovered America, not a single Muslim was left alive in Spain, either converted on the point of sword, banished or killed.

Next year perhaps we will visit Turkey and go to Hagia Sophia, which is a former Cathedral, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the Greek Patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople. The building was a mosque from 1453 until 1931, after Constantinople fell to the Ottoman.   This is what groups did to the places of worship of others, the so called enemies, in medieval ages!

But, now I want to share something more dramatic with you. I want you to come with me and visit the holy land of Jerusalem. If you have been to Jerusalem you would have visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the Holiest places in Christianity. The site is venerated as where Jesus was put on cross, and is said also to contain the place where Jesus was buried. It did not suffer the fate of the Mosque of Cordoba or the Hagia Sophia because of the generosity, wisdom and religious tolerance of one man Umar, who was the second Caliph of Islam and a very close associate of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.  Jerusalem was under Muslim rule from 638 until the creation of Israel in 1948, except for a period of 80 years between the First and the Third Crusade.

After a brief and bloodless siege, initiated after the offensives by the Byzantines colonies, Muslims seized control of Jerusalem from the Byzantines in February 638. Caliph Umar Farooq accepted the city’s surrender from Patriarch Sophronius in person. Umar may Allah be pleased with him, was shown the great Church of the Holy Sepulcher and offered a place to pray in it, but he refused. He knew that if he prayed in the church, it would set a precedent that would lead to the building’s transformation into a mosque. He wanted the Christians to have their freedom of religion and their worship places safeguarded. Therefore, he instead prayed on the steps outside, allowing the church to remain a Christian holy place.   It would take Europe several centuries to catch up with the ideal set by Umar regarding religious tolerance, based on the revelation of the Quran and the actions of the Prophet Muhammad.  In the 8th century Charlemagne, Charles the Great was converting Scandinavians on the point of sword to Christianity and during the First Crusade, in the eleventh century each and every Muslim was killed in Jerusalem, according to the Christian sources, some 70,000 Muslims were killed including 10,000 in the Mosque of Umar itself.  No wonder, we owe our religious freedoms, in our great country of USA, historically speaking, to the revelation of the Quran: “And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques.”

Editor’s note: The square minaret of the Mosque of Umar next to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, very powerfully established Islamic belief in freedom of religion and puts to rest, the accusation, for all periods to come that Islam was spread with sword. Islam was actually the pioneer of religious freedoms as I have demonstrated in many of my articles and posts.  For the Muslims the political struggle was always divorced from the freedom of religion.

Square minaret of the Umar-mosque and the Church of Holy Sepulcher in the fore-ground


Additional Articles Linked in this Collection:

  • I want to take an encyclopedic approach on this all important issue, readers are encouraged to pace themselves or use the materials as reference.  The links to the following articles are broken, as Google canceled its service of ‘Knol,’ website.  You can search for these articles in my personal website, until I find time to fix these links: http://islam4jesus.org/

My apologies for the inconvenience.

Posted by on December 14, 2011. Filed under Asia,Law and Religion,Sharia Law. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Responses to Religion, Politics and Human Rights

  1. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    November 30, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Mashallah. brother Zia is giving us plenty of ‘food for thought’ … Well, what we cannot read just now we will use as reference material in the future, Inshallah.

  2. Zia H. Shah

    November 30, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Thank you dear brother Rafiq for your kind words. I thought emphasis on separation of Mosque-Church and State was timely, given build up of further tensions between USA and Pakistan and Iran and UK.

  3. Zia H. Shah

    November 30, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Blasphemy? Is blasphemy a punishable act in Islam?
    It is said and believed by many people, including unfortunately many Muslims, that the punishment for blasphemy is death. Such an assertion is totally incorrect. The Holy Book of Islam, the Holy Quran – the source of all the guidance mentions nowhere that the punishment for blasphemy is death, nor even a lesser punishment. One should read whole Quran, again and again, but will not find a single verse or commandment in reference to the worldly punishment of blasphemy. No doubt, according to Islam blasphemy is a crime, very despicable and offensive and provocative, but the authority of punishment is entirely in God’s hand; and only He can punish the culprit as He may like, in this world or in the hereafter.

    http://ahmadiyyamalta.org/2011/09/29/blasphemy-is-blasphemy-a-punishable-act-in-islam/

  4. Zia H. Shah

    November 30, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Watching against copy cat Emperor Nero!
    A lot of world history has been created by copy cat Neroes, who have established themselves by being defenders against an external, partial or non-existent threat, appealing to the sentiments of the masses of fear and prejudice. In this century Islamophobia can certainly serve as an explosive fuel for copy cat Neroes. All of us will do well to know the style of Nero:

    According to Tacitus, upon hearing the news of the great fire, in Rome, Nero returned to Rome to organize a relief effort, which he paid for from his own funds. Nero’s contributions to the relief extended to personally taking part in the search for and rescue of victims of the blaze, spending days searching the debris without even his bodyguards. After the fire, Nero opened his palaces to provide shelter for the homeless, and arranged for food supplies to be delivered in order to prevent starvation among the survivors. In the wake of the fire, he made a new urban development plan. Houses after the fire were spaced out, built in brick, and faced by porticos on wide roads. Nero also built a new palace complex known as the Domus Aurea in an area cleared by the fire. According to Tacitus, the population searched for a scapegoat and rumors held Nero responsible. To deflect blame, Nero targeted Christians. He ordered Christians to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified and burned. Tacitus described the event:

    “Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians …, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt.”

    The following link describes a copy cat of Nero who was not Islamophobic but Islamomaniac, but was able to play on the prejudice of the masses to hold onto power for 11 years:

    http://www.muslimsunrise.com/dmddocuments/2010_fall.pdf#page=17

  5. Zia H. Shah

    December 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Muslim Tradition is not equal to wife beating or child marriage like the Western civilization is not equal to torture in Abu Gharaib or alcoholism or Christian tradition or atheism equal to Spanish inquisitions or holocaust

    Any tradition that is followed by billions and have millions of apologists is bound to show some dirty laundry for one reason or another. Without going into specific reasons, why we all have dirty laundry, because we all sweat and are smelly mammals, let me just suggest that to understand a tradition, you want to immerse yourself in it at least temporarily, while you study it, so you can judge it in a holistic fashion as an insider rather than as an outside critic, who just frowns at what he or she finds ugly!

    One may not agree with individual details of what is written in the Holy Quran and it does not have to be forced on a society. It only gives a choice to the society. For example, I have never known any woman, including my mother, whom I respected and loved a lot, who would be fully happy with the permission of polygamy. However, this does not mean that polygamy is bad for those women who cannot find a suitable husband or for those children, who do not have a loving and responsible father. So, as legislative body examines the utility of any idea before approving its details, likewise, in a pluralistic society, a congress could discuss the merit of any idea, or lack thereof, whether it comes from the Quran, the Bible, the mind of a visionary or someone with a myopic vision. As long as we agree on the legislative process, there should be perfect peace and harmony!

    Each and every recommendation of Sharia, whether it is mentioned in the Holy Quran or not, should be judged on its utilitarian value and not lumped together to promote the monster of Islamophobia or a political agenda of grabbing power. If we lump every thing together, it is not a dialogue but merely political posturing!

  6. Pingback: Religion, Politics and Human Rights – Is the West ready for Islam?

  7. Zia H. Shah

    January 17, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Charlemagne or Charles the Great and total lack of religious freedom

    It is important not to forget the evolution of religious freedom in the world. As those who cannot remember the past are apt to repeat it. Charles the Great expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800. The French and German monarchies descending from the empire ruled by Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor cover most of Europe. In his acceptance speech of the Charlemagne Prize, Pope John Paul II referred to him as the Pater Europae (“father of Europe”), see Wikipedia for reference.

    According to Encyclopedia Britannica:

    Charlemagne’s most demanding military undertaking pitted him against the Saxons, longtime adversaries of the Franks whose conquest required more than 30 years of campaigning (772 to 804). This long struggle, which led to the annexation of a large block of territory between the Rhine and the Elbe rivers, was marked by pillaging, broken truces, hostage taking, mass killings, deportation of rebellious Saxons, draconian measures to compel acceptance of Christianity, and occasional Frankish defeats. The Frisians, Saxon allies living along the North Sea east of the Rhine, were also forced into submission.

    “Charlemagne.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 16 Aug. 2009 .