Can Muslims ever be citizens of a country â€“ Muslim and non-Muslims alike? Not according to Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Weâ€™ve been saying that Muslims hold no allegiance to any nation except their own â€“ the Ummah â€“ the nation of Islam â€“ and must obey only those laws that are Shariâ€™a compliant.
Now here it is in black and white, pure and simple from a noted Muslim intellectual.
The pragmatic Yusuf al-Qaradawi has been known for original views on the interpretation of Muslim principles with the goal of resolving conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims. This article analyzes his latest attempt at such linguistic deconstruction.
It becomes apparent, however, that not all of Qaradawi’s objectives in promoting linguistic change are benign. Non-Muslims have been relying on western principles of citizenship to advocate for equality for all citizens under the law. According to Qaradawi, the term â€˜citizeâ€™ in all its forms is at odds with Muslim teachings and offensive to Muslim sensitivities because it implies an abandonment of an Islamic identity for a secular one.
So whatâ€™s a citizen to Muslims? Howâ€™s this piece of wording that reveals the truth.
In lieu of “citizen”, Qaradawi suggests the word â€œbrotherâ€ which is commonly used by Muslims to identify another person of the same faith. Knowing that he would be strenuously opposed by fundamentalists who reject extending the use of the term “brother” beyond the Muslim community, Qaradawi relies on the semantic association of the word with the family, tribe and nation. He also relies on several Qur’anic verses where the term is used to refer to the Jews. He thereby makes the case that the word â€œbrotherhoodâ€. is not restricted to the religious domain, but rather can be applied to various situations wherever a bond exists among people, including “brotherly nationalism”. To illustrate, Qaradawi states that he has no problem in referring to the Christians of Egypt as “our Coptic brothers”. Moreover, to soothe the apprehension of non-Muslims, Qaradawi emphasizes that the term “brotherhood” implies, among other things, equality for all.
All well and good. Then comes the â€˜but monkeyâ€™.
Qaradawi warns, however, that nationalistic tendencies can become a problem whenever they are in conflict with religious principles, or entirely secular or fanatic in nature. Qaradawi argues that Islam rejects fanaticism in all its forms, and that nationalistic attitudes must always yield to religion whenever a conflict arises.
Qaradawi could have saved himself a lot of ink in this article if he just got to the point he just stated. Islamic law superseded secular law. The mosque can not be separated form the state. When all is done, Islamic law rules out.
Finally thereâ€™s this little diddy in his article that should bring a belly laugh.
However, discontinuing use of the expression “ahl al-dhimma” which had already lost its meaning over the years, would come at a high price.
Dhimmi has lost its meaning and not practiced so much any more? Excuse me.
However you may try Mr. Qaradawi, you canâ€™t make a 21st century civilization purse out of a sowâ€™s ear.
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